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Help with ICOM F14 Cloning Program

chief21

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I've been trying to use the ICOM cloning program (that I successfully used several years ago) to change frequencies on several Icom F14 16 channel VHF handhelds, but I have been unable to get the software to talk to the radios.

Thus far, I have tried three different Windows machines (2-Win7, 1-XP), reloaded the ICOM cable drivers, and reloaded v1.1 and v1.2 of the cloning program (1.2 worked for me several years ago). After numerous attempts on each machine, I continue to get an error message when attempting to READ the radios, although I am able to read the basic radio information. I have also double-checked that the cable connector is fully inserted into the radio.

I am experienced in programming several brands of amateur and commercial radios, but I can't seem to get the ICOM F-14 software to read these radios. As mentioned above, I had a similar issue several years ago and changing from v1.1 to v1.2 of the cloning software resolved the problem at that time, but v1.2 seems not to work this time. I have also changed numerous port settings and compatibility settings, but I just can not get the software to talk to the radios.

Do any of the ICOM gurus here have any suggestions? Is there some radio programming setting or particular sequence that I've forgotten? Is there some type of 'secret handshake' that I need to learn? I've had less trouble with my Motorola stuff... HELP!
 

merlin

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Usually incorrect com port settings and if using USB, you need the correct drivers.
The software is much idiot proof and easy to learn.
Once you get a read from the radio, you are there.
 

mmckenna

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It's been a long time since I touched those, although I have two in a box under my desk….

Make 100% sure the programming cable is seated all the way. You may have to physically apply pressure to the connection while the computer is talking to the radio.
Make sure you have the correct cable.
 

merlin

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A new bench computer and install, I had to walk through the ports to find the one that connected the radio, also as mmckenna said, the plug must be completely seated in the radio jack, some are a bit stiff.
 

chief21

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the plug must be completely seated in the radio jack, some are a bit stiff.
I've checked this and the plug snaps in convincingly.


Make 100% sure the programming cable is seated all the way. You may have to physically apply pressure to the connection while the computer is talking to the radio.
Make sure you have the correct cable.
Programming cable... As noted above. Also note that I am able to read the radios basic information, but the actual programming data will not read. The cable is the official ICOM OPC478uc, specified for the F14 and others.

What I haven't tried (and I will) is to force a different USB com port. I'll also try forcing the cable while attempting to read the radio. Thanks, guys.
 

mmckenna

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Yeah, sounds funky.

Is the version of the radio and the version of the software compatible? Again, it's been a long time since I touched Icom gear, but I know like the others, they had some weird software versus radio firmware issues.
 

KK6ZTE

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There are A and B versions of the USB cables with incompatible drivers. Make sure you're using the driver matching the cable.
 

chief21

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What I haven't tried (and I will) is to force a different USB com port. I'll also try forcing the cable while attempting to read the radio.
Neither made any difference.

There are A and B versions of the USB cables with incompatible drivers. Make sure you're using the driver matching the cable.
I'm pretty sure that my cable is the "A" version. The driver I was using initially was the one that I installed years ago - assumably v1.0 Recently, I downloaded and installed the latest version I could find, which was considerably newer. According to the readme, the newer driver would work with either cable.

I don't really understand why I am able to read the basic radio information, but I can't read the "codeplug" data.
 

chief21

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RESOLVED - After multiple driver reloads, cloning software versions, and lots of head-scratching, it turns out that the Icom cloning software can be set to inhibit future readings of the radio's codeplug (who woulda thought?). Simply writing a new file to the radio defeats this, but then one has to rebuild the codeplug from scratch. Luckily, it was only 16 channels!
And it would have been nice if the error message could have noted that the file was locked, rather than just a generic "radio is not answering" indication. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

kc8ufv

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Wow, you'd think a password would be sufficient...
If the radio has fallen into unknown hands, a password is nothing, it's easily brute forced. Much harder to brute force the RX settings (TX on the other hand can be readily determined with an inexpensive frequency counter. The F-(1/2)4 radios are FM only...

On a different note, I've found the CS-F14 software to be very reliable on a Win98 VM running on top of Kubuntu, with Kubuntu handling the USB-Serial converter, and just passing the serial thru to Windows.
 
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