[pskmail] ICOM interfacing with pskmail_server

  • From: Rick W <mrfarm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: pskmail@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 13:13:14 -0500

I have had a great deal of help from David, KF4WBS, in setting up a pskmail server. Lots of things to set up and thankfully, I had some Linux knowledge from earlier attempts to use the OS or I would have been hopelessly overwhelmed.

Currently, I tried interfacing with an ICOM 746Pro. In order to do this, I set up a SignaLink USB for the audio lines. It can also do VOX keying for PTT. Then for rig control I have a homebrew CI-V interface to go from COM (with the usual adapter from USB).

It mostly works, but there are some issues:

1. I have the computer connected to the rear 6 pin mini DIN plug on the rig which means it must be in the "D" mode to key up the PTT. Since the pskmail server changes through the 5 different one minute intervals to different frequencies, modes, and sideband setup, I have found that when the switch occurs, the rig drops out of the D mode and of course the rig can no longer be keyed from the software.

All our HF rigs are recent vintage ICOMs so would probably all have the same problem.

Has anyone found a work around for this dropping out of D mode?

The only software program I have been able to control the toggling of the D mode is Ham Radio Deluxe, so I know that I can be done in software.

2. Is there any way to key an ICOM with this program, using the PTT command set under CI-V? If not, then you would either need to have a VOX type interface. Otherwise it would be necessary to interface through the mike connector using the rig's own VOX. This can not be done via the rear ports since the VOX circuit comes before those connectors.

3. I still get an error periodically that says:

Invalid arg for command 'set_mode'
sh : 0 not found

I am guessing this is an argument that I have set wrong?

4. I seem to have poor results with using the PSK125 and 250 speeds with my "local" test set up here in the shack running between two systems: the Linux computer with the ICOM 746 Pro with the pskmail_server and the Vista computer with the javaPSKmail client. This is probably due to inherent problems as I have had great difficulty in the past to try and locally connect this way using the higher speed modes, e.g., PSK250.

Even though the rigs are responding to each other the data may be corrupted perhaps and they eventually time out.

Can someone explain what the server means by:

status : last = 4 good = 0 end = 2 missing =

And then sometimes it will have groups that increase with last = 1 good = 1 and then last = 2 and god = 2, etc.

Lots to understand, that is for sure.


Rick, KV9U

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