V2 Chapter 18

2005-10-11 to 2005-12-31.   A simple distribution amplifier was built to connect both receivers to the antenna; An automatically updated image of the  antenna is captured and supplied to the web site for position monitoring; the R7000 software is developed; The IF down converteris installed in the R7000 receiver

Additional Content

74. R7000 Spectrum Analyzer(2005-12-15 to 2005-12-31)



I have the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM from I5XWW) down converter installed in the SETI Net Icom IC-R7000 receiver and it seems to be running correctly.; This device is connected to the receiver 455 kHz IF output and converts that to 12 kHz.; It appears that the DRM output occupies from 2kHz to about 22kHz. The output of the DRM is then sent to a standard PC audio card.; This change was engineered by Iban Cardona of Reus Spain.

The picture below is of my twin screen development system.; I have the receiver tuned to my Weak Signal Source at 1420,392,000 and displayed; using the SETI Net Spectrum Analyzer (top of left screen).; The bottom image, stretched across both screens, is the waterfall output from the Spectrum Analyzer.; The line on the right side of the right screen is the carrier of the Weak Signal Source


74. Client/Server(2005-10-06 to 2005-12-14); I'm now back to the development of the Client/Server software.; This software is very complex with a lot of moving parts and I keep getting jammed up in the gears.; I have put this aside for a bit while I work on the R7000 spectrum analyzer

2005-12-08 R7000.; The receiver to computer part of the link was not working correctly so a few changes were made.; Version 1.4 (BLUE) is ready to use.; I now need to update the Spectrum Analyzer to take advantage of Lake-Of-Soft components that I have purchased.; This suite of Delphi modules is what I have standardized on for all Audio work (Spec Ana and Remote audio).

2005-12-05 R7000 user interface is ready to test.; You can download it from the Quick Download section on the first page . This module makes heavy use of the TurboPower Asynch Professional communications package (open source via SourceFORGE).; I am sure I never could have built the controller without it.; I have enough functions running now (see the tested functions chart below) for my needs in Remote SETI so unless someone wants things like memory set and read and automatic scanning, that will be the end of the development of this component.

2005-11-30 R7000 User Interface.; I decided to work on number 1 from the list below first.; Interfacing to this receiver turned out to be more of a problem than it should have been.; The basic trouble is the lack of details on the workings of the protocol used by the receiver.; Why ICOM would build this into their receivers and then abandon it without publishing is a mystery to me.

This is what I have gleaned so far.

Each command sent on the buss is a series of 8 bit bytes.; For example:

The SetMode command (below) looks like this:

; Preamble 1 Preamble 2 Destination Address Source Address Command Byte End Byte
;Hex FE FE 8 1 6 FD
; Decimal 254 254 8 1 6 253

in hex: FEFE816FD

The Destination Address is the jumper set address of the radio (on the logic board).; Mine is set to 8.

The Source address is the computer and; is 1.;This should always be 1 except for command 0 and 1.

The Command Byte is any of those from the the table below

;TX Mode - In this mode the receiver is the sender and the computer (or other receivers on the buss) are the recipient's).; In this mode one receiver can set the frequency and mode of all other receivers.; I don't know how I would use this multi-receiver mode but it does have a; practical use for a single receiver/computer system. A receiver in TX mode transmits its frequency and mode changes without being asked.; That means that, if the software can handle it, the current frequency and mode are automatically updated when they change.

If your receiver is enabled for TX mode (jumper set on the receiver logic board) and you change the dial then the data put on the buss is Source = 8, Destination = 0.; Same when you change the mode of the receiver from the front panel (Source = 8, Destination = 0).


Tested Function Command


Data; Sent

Data Returned ;


SetTxFreq 0 Freq none Receiver to computer.; The string:

#254#254#0#8#0#0#1#8#17#37#4 (length 5)

Converts to 425,117.6

SetTxMode 1 mode byte none Receiver to computer


; GetFreqRange 2 none upper[2D] lower ;
GetFreq 3 none Freq ;
GetMode 4 none mode #254#254#1#8#4
SetFreq 5 Freq FA/FB ;
SetMode 6 Mode FD
FE FE 8 1 6 FD


; SetVfo 7 none/VFO ; ;
; SetMem 8 memory ; ;
; VfoToMem 9 none ; ;
; MemToVfo 10 none ; ;
; ClearMem 11 none ; ;
; GetOffset 12 none ; ;
; SetOffset 13 offset ; ;
; StartStopScan 14 start/stop ; ;
; ; ; ; ; ;


  1. Tested - Results of test on R7000
  2. Function - My name for the function
  3. Command Byte - The decimal value sent to cause the action.; In Delphi decimal 13 is #D
  4. Data Sent - The data sent by the computer; with the command (either frequency or mode byte).
  5. Data returned - Response from receiver to command
  6. SetTxFreq - When the receiver is in the Tx mode (set by jumper on the logic board) this is sent TO THE COMPUTER when the receiver frequency is changed.; Is not sent as a result of a SetFreq command.; This allows the software to keep up with a spin of the dial without polling the port all the time.
  7. SetTxMode - When the receivers mode is changed (AM to FM) the new mode is sent TO THE COMPUTER.; Not sent as a result of a SetMode command.
  8. Mode:

    Mode Table:

Mode Decimal First Char Second Char
AM 0 2
FMW 0 5
FMN 5 5
SSB 5 0

2005-11-25 Summary Position.; Every once in a while you have to step back and see where you are.; I have most of the system running now but it's in bits and pieces.; This is stuff that needs more work:

System - I need a standard, minimum setup for all the components on the client and the server side.; As it is the user will not be able to setup the Remote Client, the Spec Ana and the recording and volume controls so that a successful waterfall can be displayed.; Its just to complex.

Client Side

  1. Build; the Icom R7000 user interface
  2. Add the help hints with a help page on this web site
  3. Create a default audio setup.; The audio portion of the client works fine but needs to have the audio input selected from the client rather than expecting the user to fumble through the crazy Microsoft Volume control stuff.
  4. I don't think the Star Map actually tracks the star; position in the remote mode.
  5. The Antenna Filter switch must be included in the client so that the filter can be set to 'out' when running the R7000 in other than the water hole.
  6. The Antenna Image in the 'Select Antenna' page will be updated from the image on the front of this web site but it will be done automatically, every second, when the antenna is selected.; This works now, in the next release of the client, but sometimes causes an error (JPEG; error #24) to occur.; I think this is because I am uploading the same file as I am downloading and getting only partial files sometimes.; I have no idea what to do about this.
  7. I want to look into having the Spec Ana and Waterfall incorporated in the Remote Client.; This might make the code huge but its worth a test or two.;; Integrating them would make the whole process much smoother for the remote user.

Server Side

  1. The audio server needs to be incorporated into the Remote Sever itself rather than running as a separate application.; This will allow easer setup on the recording controls.
  2. Build an audio input to the Sever sound card for the R7000.; I think I'll come in through the CD audio; port on the card and keep the WiNRADiO on the Aux input.; That way when the user switches between radios it can be done without manual switching.
  3. Build a second Receiver Server for the Icom.; I will also have to build the low level drivers for the radio unless I can find something on the web.
  4. The DLL that controls the antenna came from Kerr Electronics - the people that designed the two PIC controllers that I use for the motors.; This DLL was built so that errors cause information boxes to 'jump up' in my user interface rather than returning an error code; like a well behaved DLL should.; I have to re-write this code in Delphi or find a new DLL from Kerr.

2005-11-20 Cable repair; necessary.; The power and control cable between the outside control box and the LNA/Filter at the prime focus has become flaky and needs to be replaced.; It was built with six pin Molex connectors but this has proven to be un-reliable.; You can catch glimpses of me as I work on the cable on the monitor camera.

First connector replaced is on the rear of the LNA/Filter box.

The replacement connector

The Antenna view of Del Mar (looking East)

Up at the antenna preparing the type "N" connector

Ugly black stuff installed

Final horn assembly back in place

I used the Tyco/AMP Circular Plastic Connectors 16 Position Panel-mount and cable end.

AMP Part Number 206037 -1; and

GC/Waldom; 745-2 pins.; These are crimp 22-18 gage pins for this connector that can be crimped with a simple pair of long nose pliers.; I also soldered the wire into them.

NOTE: The Male pins go on the bulkhead connector, Female on the cable end.; I had to call the 800 number of AMP to figure this out and even though you can install the pins in either connector they will short out if reversed.

Also - The cable is not waterproof.; I will have to seal it up with something and then wrap it in that black 'glunk' that does a good job but looks like hell.

2005-11-19 I now can capture the video image of the antenna, the one I look at on my TV monitor in the shack, and FTP it to the SETI Net server.; When you login to WWW.SETI.Net the first image is the current antenna position.; I update that every three seconds using the Remote SETI Server machine.; I still have some problems with this process:

  1. The image I am capturing is a BMP file.; This is way to large (about 225KB) so it takes a long time to upload for for the clients to download.; I need to move this to a jpg somehow.; I managed to cobble together a BMP/jpg converter and this reduces the image a great deal.
  2. The image is distorted by the aspect ratio of the Remote SETI display.; I'm not sure what to do about this.
  3. I would like to capture at a faster rate for remote clients and at a slower rate for the general user that opens www.SETI.Net with a browser.
  4. I need to integrate the capture and FTP software into the Remote Server - right now its running on a stand alone program.

2005-11-18 One of the features that I wish to include in the Remote SETI Client/Server is an image of the SETI Net antenna.; This dish is controllable from the remote client and I would like to show it as it moves.; I plan to capture snapshots of the dish every couple of minutes during day and faster when a Master Client is in control.; The latest image will be moved to the main server (www.seti.net) where the clients will then access this image for their view of the antenna.; This will speed up the transfer of data to the clients by overcoming the slowness of the uplink side of the Remote SETI Server.;

A; MPG video of the antenna moving from home to due east of available for a test.; Click ;to; view this 4.5 Meg MPG file.

2005-11-11 Release of the Blue Client (version 1.16) for a test.; This version has the new receiver user interface built in and controls the WiNRADiO 1500i in Power, Mode, and Frequency.; Test results are:

1.Two users logged in Found that the M.C. timeout timer was not working - fixed
2. 'Mail To' causes the system to lockup Working this problem
Remember :
  1. Argus stations can become the Master Client and will have full control.; First time in select your own password.
  2. Guest logins can watch the antenna move and can listen to what ever frequency the Master has set up.; The Mute function is available to all clients (it mutes the client locally).
  3. The WiNRADiO has been modified and will only receive on USB.

2005-11-10 Distribution amplifier.; I wanted to run both receives (1500i and R7000) from the same antenna and also have them isolated from each other.; I build a two port isolation amplifier out of partsthat I have around the shack and it is in place now.;


This gives about 20 dB of gain right before the input to the receiver and seems to do a good job of isolation as well.; Next thing is to put it in a suitable box with a power supply.;