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I'd like a CI-V or similar interface for the FLEX-6000

Marv Member
edited June 2020 in New Ideas
I presently use an ICOM-7600 in conjunction with a CI-V interface. This tracks the frequency, timestamp, ETC which I utilize for my logging with Logic 9. Will I ever have this capability with my 6500? Thanks Marv W0ZK
3 votes

Open for Comments · Last Updated


  • Greg - K5GJ
    Greg - K5GJ Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Marv: The CI-V interface is a TTL level serial interface for connecting to other ICOM and related products. It's not difficult to generate this signaling. Are you looking to simply connect the radio to your PC to drive a logger etc or are you more interested in driving an ICOM peripheral such as a PW-1 amplifier? For loggers, etc. We already have a decent CAT interface which installs with SmartSDR. You can use connect to a virtual serial port interface from your program and it will be just like you are physically connected to the radio. If you want to connect to CI-V hardware, I'd like to know what equipment you are most interested in. As I mentioned the hardware interface isn't difficult and there are commercially available USB to CI-V interfaces. It's just SMOP (simple matter of programming.... ) though I would need to make a business case for it.
  • Greg - K5GJ
    Greg - K5GJ Member ✭✭
    edited May 2015
    Marv: I'm already loving this community! One of the folks here at Flex read my post and has given me better data on the current SmartSDR CAT implementation. There is currently a requirement to install the CAT program and drivers separately from SmartSDR. Our installer provides an ICON in the START menu to make it easier but it's currently a 2-step process due to a driver restart issue. The team is looking into more efficient ways to handle this in future releases. 73, Greg
  • philip.theis
    philip.theis Member ✭✭
    edited December 2014
    Marv, you will have all of what you have now and more. I am fully integrated now with my 5000 and the 600 series only has more capabilities.
  • Mike W8MM
    Mike W8MM Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    I vote for a CI-V emulator to drive a PW-1 amplifier. Also, direct drive of Acom 2000A and SPE Expert 2K-FA/1.3K-FA/1K-FA would be helpful as well.
  • Tim K8XS
    Tim K8XS Member
    edited December 2017
    I use DDUTIL to drive my PW-1 with the FLEX 5000 and plan to do the same thing with my 6700. I happen to have a CT-17 laying around that I connect to a serial port and it provides the hardware kevek CI-V communications with the PW-1. If you do a search, there is a ham that make an Arduino based CI-V interface for the PW-1 that corrects many of the problems folks have with the PW-1 using only ICOM hardware (ie data collusions, missed packets,etc). BTW DDUTIL also supports the ACOM 2000A and the SPE (not sure if it handles all models) along with the Alpha 9500.
  • K1UO Larry
    K1UO Larry Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    At present the SPE1.5K and SPE 2K amps are not supported by DDutil Ver3. DDUtil has not received the protocol info from SPE Expert which is different than the SPE1Kfa amplifier. regards, Larry
  • Tim K8XS
    Tim K8XS Member
    edited August 2013
    Larry - The SPE 2K manual is available for download from the ExpertAmpUSA website: http://www.expertampsusa.com/EXPERT2K-FA-EN-rev.1.0.pdf . Or is information needed that is not in the manual?
  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Are there plans, eventually, to allow a USB interface to plug into the Flex-6x00 that will allow a USB>CI-V interface without needing to plug it into a computer? Or is this one of those CPU cycle trade-off issues? It makes sense to me that all interfacing should be able to be done with plug-in USB or Ethernet adapters, or even wireless internet adapters, eliminating the need for ANY external accessory equipment to be connected to a computer in the ham shack. The interface need not be part of the 6x00 hardware, but could be simple plug-in adapters driven by the 6x00 USB/RJ45 port. Am I on target, or off base here?
  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited November 2017
    Ken, You are correct. It does take time to write the interface for each device so we want to pick the ones that many customers use as opposed to ones that only one or two customers might use. We have already written software to do this with the Alpha 9500 amplifier and SteppIR antenna controllers. Steve
  • K1UO Larry
    K1UO Larry Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Tim, The necessary CAT command information that Steve needs is not in the manual. However, he is trying to get it. Its just that SPE has not been very responsive to providing this information for whatever reason. In any event the control protocol is different than for their SPE1Kfa amps. regards, Larry K1UO
  • K1UO Larry
    K1UO Larry Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    HINT: maybe more and more requests to SPE Expert from other developers for this info will help .. for example: when FRS needs the info to incorporate into their device interfaces :-)
  • Tom
    Tom Member ✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Speaking of customers' needs I think SPE Expert and Ultrabeam could also be a safe bet. Tom
  • W6CZ
    W6CZ Member
    edited August 2013
    Icom CI-V AND Icom 0-8v band data is needed to drive peripherals that use the band voltage out - such as band decoders for antenna switches, band-pass filters, etc. I want to replace my 7800s with 6000 series but I really don't want to rebuild my stations to do it. For plug and play replacement of pretty much ANY Icom radio in a similar situation requires (in addition to CI-V) a fixed 8 vdc reference voltage and the 0-8 vdc band voltage. Ideally there would be a Y cable hooked to the Accessory connector on the Flex that has a pass-thru DB-15 and branch cables with a 7-pin DIN (same outputs as ACC2 on Icom Transceiver) and a 3.5 mm mono jack with CI-V. That would make plug & play replacement of Icom possible and if that were possible I would be ordering 2 radios today.
  • Warren Elly
    Warren Elly Member
    edited November 2013
    Greg, I'm hoping to hook up my Icom PW-1 to my 6500... what have other users done? And please add my voice as a newcomer to FLEX to get us a CI-V emulator to drive the PW-1, Ancom and SPE Expert amps as well 73, Warren W1GUD
  • k0eoo
    k0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    I know Flex did a survey of all the 6000 customers back when we first ordered and I remember Flex asking what amp we used. So can I assume you have a priority list of amps and other peripherals.... If not, please add the Alpha 87A... Thank you, Dennis, k0eoo
  • Dudley-WA5QPZ
    Dudley-WA5QPZ Inactive Employee
    edited March 2018
    Marv - I think the immediate answer is to us DDUtil v3 it can control the PW-1 directly and give you some amp feedback. Then output to your logging program the CAT data for you, control your rotators , you can do that today.. Controls other amps also like the Acom, SPE, Alpha, directly .. http://k5fr.com/ddutilwiki/index.php?title=Main_Page
  • Walt - KZ1F
    Walt - KZ1F Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Now that it has been a year, is there a list of the devices the 6000 series natively communicates with, like the Alpha 9500, Ameritron ALS-1300/ALS-600, SteppIR controller. So I did mean that as a generic question if there is a list but, specifically, what I like about the K-Line is if you switch the amp to operate the K-3 power is automatically reduced to 40 watts and when switched to stand-by the K-3 power is automatically switched to 100 watts. Ditto with bandswitching, no swiss army knife aka ddutils, required. I'd like to add intelligent hardware to my shack and connect it to the 6000 but not if it means adding another piece of third party Windows specific software.


    Walt - kz1f
  • Mike - ZL1MRC
    Mike - ZL1MRC Member
    edited January 2019
    I have a OM-2500 auto and would like to interface this to my flex6500.   I can't seem to locate CAT hardware output via the accessory connector.  Could someone please help me please.

    If there is not one available, please point me in the direction to where I can get an hardware interface from.

    Thank you
    Mike ZL1MRC 
  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Band data is not available via the ACC connector
  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited December 2016
  • VA3AE
    VA3AE Member ✭✭
    edited January 2016
    Steve!  You are teasing us, you devil!
    I have built a dual antenna stepper controller interface for my loops and would absolutely love to have a direct connect at the back of the Flex.

    I've so far been using an arduino and adapting an added PI2 to handle the communication, but some form of direct discourse (any CAT-like protocol would be fine) between the 6500 and the arduino would surely simplify my life.

    I'm not asking for a release date, but when you say yet, do you mean months or years?

  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited December 2016
    I just can't say yet -- we really need to do this, but have just been busy.  
  • Simon Lewis
    Simon Lewis Member ✭✭
    edited June 2015
    likewise ... the one thing I need ... a CAT output and then I can ditch a whole bunch of PC related bits ... the CAT goes into my Microham gear and I am happy :)
  • Steve-N5AC
    Steve-N5AC Community Manager admin
    edited November 2017
    FYI, The Array Solutions Band Master V will now do this directly.  You can plug the BM-5 into the FLEX-6000 with a USB cable and the CI-V will come out of the BM-5.  We have not tested with a PW-1 so I'm not certain it will work.  My understanding is that the BM-5 only generates CI-V and does not absorb it.  If this isn't an issue for the PW-1, it should work.  I'd be interested in hearing if anyone tries this.
  • K9SO
    K9SO Member ✭✭
    edited January 2019
    My personal CI-V days are over with the new capabilities of USB control cables, but one thing I do miss is its TRANSCEIVE functionality where I could **** one radio from another. Since I operate 2 locations and 2 6500's it would be super cool if they could be made to track each other, at least on the active TX slice. 

    I used to tune my remote IC-746 with my local IC-756 and the two would track perfectly via a simple serial server and CI-V. 

    If I see a DX spot (especially from W3LPL) I can click on the spot and instantly QSY to the DX frequency using SmartSDR CAT to see if a mortal like me can actually hear it. Unfortunately, SmartSDR CAT can only control one radio on the network at a time and I have to manually dial in the other radio to see if propagation favors the other area better (oh! the humanity!). 

    Hey, at least with the new SW upgrades I can switch CAT between radios without turning them on/off. Progress is being made. 

    Fred, K9SO

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