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Icf2020 programming

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Jigglehurts

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I am new to the forum but have been following lots of helpful threads all over this forum. I have been getting setback after setback pertaining to software and cables and serial ports computers. So my question is if I can enlist a fellow member to program my icom icf2020, I will pay off course. Near long beach ca.
 

Jigglehurts

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I have the proper software and I loaded and saved the gmrs frequencies in the software folder. I use to have a running desktop with serial ports but it has issues with the motherboard and I just noticed the video card is leaking.
 

mmckenna

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60 views in a couple of hours.not even a response.
Give it time. While this site gets a lot of traffic, getting an individual with experience on a specific radio model in a short time isn't realistic.

I used to own an Icom F2020, but it was quite a while back. I know I still have the software on an old laptop and I still have the disk (but not a drive).
Anyway, I may be able to assist.
I'm in California, but up North. I'd be happy to try and program your radio, but it would require shipping it to me, and that's probably not something you'd be comfortable with.

Maybe if you describe the exact issue you are experiencing, myself or others could solve it for you without having to ship your radio off.
 

Jigglehurts

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I figured you would be the first to respond. Thank you. There's not to many people that talk about them or have them and info on the web is lacking. I bought the radio about a year ago and slowly started researching the details of it.
I retired an old 90`s era hp desktop because I kept having to put money into failing components, bought newer pc`s and lost serial ports doing so. It has XP PRO from a retail cd I bought long ago but when I finally get the desktop running hopefully the hard drive and OS are good because I can't find the damn product key(not int the cdcase). QUESTIONS about the icf2020 is serial port on a PC is required right?Or has anyone programmed with the USB version? Does anyone know the rf power levels for low1 and low2?
 

mmckenna

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I sold mine many years ago, but when I did have it, I used the 9 pin RS-232 connection on the computer for programming.

I don't know if they even make a USB cable for it, or if any of the newer ones will work. I also never tried a USB to RS232 adapter with it.

High power is about 35 watts.
Low 2 power is about 10 watts.
Low 1 power is about 4.5 watts.
At least that is what I recall mine being. It's very likely that yours will vary. I seem to recall there was a way to adjust the power levels, but it's been so long since I've touched one of those I'm probably remembering something different.

I ran mine on 70 centimeter amateur band and GMRS (back when I still had a GMRS license). I know I had the Low 1 power set for 5 watts or below.

Decent radio. At the time when I purchased it (around 1997 or so) it was one of the less expensive remote head capable radios.
I did have the 160 channel memory chip in it, so had plenty of space for the amateur, GMRS and RX only stuff.

Only issue I ever had with the radio was the Push To Talk switch on the hand mic gave out after a while. I ended up replacing a lot of those buttons over the years (I had several Icom radios, plus a few at work). Somewhere, squirrel'd away somewhere in a box, I've got more of the little buttons .
 

12dbsinad

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serial port on a PC is required right?Or has anyone programmed with the USB version? Does anyone know the rf power levels for low1 and low2?
Serial port is required, yes. It will also require a older machine with slower bus speed. I have tried using my CF-19 Toughbook with a partitioned hard drive running PC DOS which has a serial port and could not get it to work on F2020, F420 and the like. I use an old IBM Think Pad for older stuff and it works fine.

Low1 is around 15 watts and Low2 is around 5-8 watts.
 

mmckenna

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OK, thanks for the clarification about the power levels.

I pulled out my old programming laptop and was able to open the software. Somewhere I have a cable, just not sure where.

It's an older Lenovo/ThinkPad X61 running Windows XP. I've always been able to just open the software in windows and it runs fine.
 

12dbsinad

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It's an older Lenovo/ThinkPad X61 running Windows XP. I've always been able to just open the software in windows and it runs fine.
Interesting. I can always open the software fine even under Windows or regular DOS but could never get it to clone with my Panasonic. I just keep the old IBM around for that and all the rest of the old Motorola stuff. I don't program them enough to warrant the time to try to get it to work.
 

icom1020

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I used a 486 in DOS but haven't tried in a long time. It is a decent radio but with narrowband, I moved on. Still have two of them in VHF but was also a PITA to read/write to the computer. Good luck.
 

Jigglehurts

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Thank you both for the responses,and about the power levels. My laptop xp media center edition has an Express card slot. would a rs232 Express card possibly work.
 

Jigglehurts

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Is the csf1000 2.2 software cps or rss, anyone know. I heard people programming old Astro sabre's with pcmcia serial cards?
 

mmckenna

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It's neither. CPS/RSS are Motorola terms. CPS has traditionally be the windoze based software. RSS was traditionally the DOS based software.

Icom doesn't use the CPS/RSS terms. You'll only see that on the Motorola side, although most of us will understand what you are talking about if you use those terms.

I always had computers with a dedicated RS232 port to do radio programming, so I never had to use anything else until we switched over to radios that used USB cables.
 

Jigglehurts

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So there's a good chance my laptop with XP and about 670 bus speed will work as long as the pcmcia serial adapter works it's deal. Your x61 was the top dog of it's time, little faster bus speed and built for business. My gateway mx6931 is more media entertainment. My older desktop(native serial port) is a hp that went in with asus to build the motherboard, it worked excellent when newer but time delt supposed common memory problems with the system.(wrong driver?). Keeping older systems running is obviously necessary,but I didn't think I would need it again. OH WAIT DONT BUY TO OLD OF STUFF UNTIL YOU LOOK DEEPER,Lmao. Question again if troubleshooting programing myself is it possible to brick the radio or is that my noobness shinning or is that just a Motorola thing,lol? If bricked could it be fixed? You guys are great.
 

mmckenna

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I never had any issues with programming these. They are pretty slow and dumb.

It's always possible to brick a radio, but as long as you back up everything first, you'll reduce your chances.

Step 1 when doing anything with radio programming is to ALWAYS read the radio in it's known good state and save that file in multiple different locations. That way if you screw up, you can always roll back to what it was.
This won't address actually bricking the radio, but it will often fix corrupted files.

If you did brick it, I'm not sure Icom repairs these any more.
Usually the control boards are common between all the VHF and UHF models, and just the RF boards are different. If you really got stuck you can often just find another F-1020 or F-2020 and swap the boards to get it working. Never tried it with one of these, but it works with some Motorola's of this vintage.
 

Jigglehurts

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When programming the icf2020 radio do I have to connect the radio power wires and turn it on or leave the radio off.
 

mmckenna

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The radio must be connected to power and turned on.

Also, it's a good idea to hook up an antenna or dummy load while you are doing this, just in case the radio gets keyed up. A short transmission won't cause the amplifier stage to explode in a mushroom cloud, but it's not good practice to power up a radio without something connected to the antenna jack.
 

n1das

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Wow this thread brings back some memories. I have an F2020 currently in service as the transmitter in a home brewed 440 ham repeater. I've been using it as the transmitter in the repeater since about 2011 and it's been very reliable. I'm using an NHRC-micro controller in the repeater setup. I've owned the F2020 mobile since around 2002.

I was previously using an IC-F420S mobile as the repeater transmitter and the PA died in it after a very short time. The F420S was never a good choice as a mobile to use as the transmitter in a home brewed repeater. The F2020 can safely handle being used for repeater service and I'm giving it plenty of forced air cooling. An F420S is being used as the receiver. The repeater has been absolutely bulletproof reliable since I started using the F2020 mobile as the transmitter. I haven't touched the repeater at all since around 2012.

The very old programming software I've used for these mobiles is DOS based and wasn't designed to be run in MS Windows but it works there. I have to run it in a DOS command prompt window. The (old) PC has a native serial port and I use the old serial programming cable. On older PCs I would interrupt starting Windows and make the PC boot up to the DOS command prompt only. On newer PCs with newer versions of Windows I don't have that option anymore but I've gotten it to work with Windows in a command prompt window.

Given that this repeater is planned be replaced with a Hytera RD982U-1 DMR repeater, I'm planning to re-purpose my home brewed repeater as a GMRS repeater, back to what it originally was long before I used it as a 440 ham repeater.
 

AK9R

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My story is similar to N1DAS's.

I have an IC-F1020 that has been perking along as the RF portion of my APRS digipeater for several years now.

I figured out many years ago that the level shifter in the programming cable was pretty simple and the same as what Vertex used for their handhelds. I had a bunch of Vertex VX-10s at the time so I had the programming cable. I made up an adapter to go from the 1/8 phone jack that the VX-10s uses to the RJ-45 that the F1020 uses.

I also have an old IBM laptop that runs Windows XP and has a real serial port. The programming software, Icom part number CS-F1020, I think, is a DOS program so I get that old XP laptop into DOS mode and run the software from a 3 1/2 inch floppy drive of all things.

It's a kludged solution, but it works.

Yes, your radio can be programmed. But, it's going to get harder and harder to do so.
 
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