Icom: IC-735

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k1agh

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So I brought a IC-735 for about $290 yesterday. I want to use it with Ham Radio Deluxe. Anyone use this transceiver with this software or know of better software to use? Also anyone have any general thoughts on the rig? I went for it due to price and the online reviews I read plus I like the 80s and 90s equipment better then current stuff available.
 

K7MEM

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Hi Tom,

I have a IC-735. It sound like you got it for a good price. I have been using mine for about 10 year now. I don't know if it is "much" better than the current rigs, but it is a good radio. There are some oddities for the IC-735, but you will come across them, sooner or later. I got mine from a friend, that didn't know how to fix it when it had problems. Its been through several people so its a little beat up, but I can still make it work.

Yes it can work with HRD, if you have the proper interface(s). I use the last free version of HRD. It may not have all the polish of the licensed version, but it suites me fine.

The front end of HRD is for Rig Control and included the IC-735 in its list of rigs. By default, the CI-V communication on the IC-735 is set for 300 Baud. But there are jumpers that let you increase that to 9,600 Baud. It is a worthwhile change. Normally you need a level converter to go between a computer's RS-232 port to the CI-V port. However, most computers, like my laptop, do not have RS-232 ports any more. So I use a RS-232 to Serial Port converter cable that plugs into my home brew level converter.

So you could build your own or get something like this Generic USB CI-V Cat Interface Cable. The IC-735 is on the list of rigs that it supports.

The Rig Control interface should allow you to change band, frequency, mode, and a few other things from the HRD front end. I have also used my interface with Fldigi, Dxlab, and several other software.

Under HRD, digital modes are handled by DM780. DM-780 can be run with HRD and rig control, or stand alone for digital modes. The IC-735 has a connector in there rear, ACC(1), that can be used to route audio to/from the IC-735 and pins for manipulating the PTT. DM-780 has to capability to operate PTT and CW Keying from a Serial Port signal. Those outputs would require a one transistor interface to go between the serial port signal and the input on the IC-735.

Fldigi is also a common software to use. Rig control is built into Fldigi allowing you to communicate with the IC-735. But there is also Flrig, which is a separate utility, that will handle rig control, and work through Fldigi. There is also Fllog, Flmsg, and a few other extras, depending on your needs.

IMHO, the main drawback of Fldigi is that it can not key your rig for CW, directly from the application, without a separate interface to convert the audio keying to a on/off keying signal. You might think that you could use the audio and the VOX to operate CW. However, with the IC-735, if you use the rear connector, ACC(1), the VOX is "bypassed". But most digital mode users probably don't use it for CW anyway.

On the subject of CW, there is also CWGet and CWPut. These are small, but very nice applications for operating CW. CWPut is freeware for sending Morse code using a keyboard. The Help information contains a schematic for a simple interface for PTT, CW Keying, and paddle input. CWPut has macro capabilities, just like all the other software.

CWGet is for decoding CW. CWGet is not freeware, but is almost completely operational, without a license. The only thing that is disabled, is the ability to save your configuration. You will have to determine if you think it is worth the price of a license.

You could make better use of the IC-735 and the digital mode software if you upgraded your license. While there is PSK-32 and CW on 10 Meters, with a General class license you could also get on 40, 20, and 15 meter digital modes.

One last note. When you run digital modes, like PSK-31, reduce your output power to around 25 watts. Digital modes, like PSK-31 are "continuous" modes, even though you run them is a SSB mode. Long transmissions at full power can overheat the output and is not needed for digital modes. On 15 meters, you can easily hit Europe, with only 25 watts and a dipole. At least I know, I can.

I hope this makes some sense.

Martin - K7MEM

p.s. Almost forgot. I have three machines with Windows 10 home and all the ham software works fine. With HRD, gobs of memory is good.
 

wwhitby

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I don't have anything to add about about using HRD, but you got a great price on that rig. My son just bought one last week for $325, and I thought that was a great price.
 
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