Icom IC-9700 users topic

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VK4GHZ
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:46 am

Came across this useful guide for IC-9700 owners looking at playing on satellites using PCSAT32.

SatPC32-IC9700-Setup-1.pdf
(1.29 MiB) Downloaded 35 times

This guide is structured in three parts:
• Part 1 Setting up the IC-9700
• Part 2 Installation of SatPC32 and control of the IC-9700
• Part 3 Enabling the SatPC32 “Scope” function.
Adam, Brisbane
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Re: Icom IC-9700 users topic

Post by VK4GHZ » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:32 pm

The following information comes from a very brave Chuck, VA7UL, and is shared FYI.

- - -

Here is some documentation showing the installation of a Leo Bodnar MiniGPS clock entirely inside my 9700, such that the only things on the rear panel of the radio are an additional SMA antenna connector plus access to the clock's USB connector.

This in no way touches Icom's clock sync connection or its function, but it does eliminate the need to use it. Results have been very satisfactory, with the 9700 maintaining rock-solid frequency stability as its cooling fan cycles on and off.

A few precautions must be noted .....

- Installation requires drilling two access holes in the rear panel casting, so it is *essential* that the entire interior of the radio be completely masked off to prevent any drilling crumbs from getting inside. Don't say I didn't warn you!

- Soldering to the internal 5VDC power source requires great care, so if you are not used to precision soldering, please do not attempt this upgrade !

- You will note a diode has been inserted in the lead from the radio's 5V source to the GPS board, to prevent current backflow from the USB power source (if connected) to the radio's 5V rail. This allows connection to the clock's USB for monitoring satellite connectivity at the same time the radio is switched either on or off.

The power lead to a trace on the GPS board is anchored with some hot-melt glue to prevent any damage from accidentally flexing the wire.

Some Kapton tape keeps the wire in place across the fan.

Not shown in this posting is fitting of a short length of PMMA end-glow optical fibre to conduct the red status LED light from the GPS board to the underside of the radio's front bezel. It will be run through one of the bottom cover vent slots to a mount point under the bezel, in such a way as to allow removal from the mount so that the bottom cover can be removed when necessary (which should be almost never).

Most of the credit for this project goes to Mike VE7HMW at Burnaby Radio for the physical installation and for exhaustive testing with a lab-grade spectrum analyzer to ensure proper operation. Testing has verified that no spurious signals are introduced on transmit or receive, and that frequency drift has been eliminated as the cooling fan cycles on and off during full power operation. The Bodnar solution works superbly well. The GPS receiver locks to satellites in just a few seconds after turning on the radio.

It is highly recommended that you configure and test the MiniGPS before installing it inside the 9700. That way you have established the initial satellite lock and verified correct operation. Subsequent locking is much faster as you power the 9700 on. Of course you could leave the GPS permanently powered on via its USB connector. Please note that when the 9700 is in Standby mode, it does not power the GPS board.

Here are photos showing what was done .....

1) There is plenty of empty space to install the GPS board that has been removed from its original case:
Checking for enough space
Checking for enough space

2) Masking off the interior of the radio to prevent drilling crumbs causing nasty problems:
Mask off the interior of the radio before drilling !!
Mask off the interior of the radio before drilling !!

3) Using the board's SMA connector as the anchor:
The board's SMA connector anchors the board to the rear panel
The board's SMA connector anchors the board to the rear panel

4) Leo Bodnar's Coupler Board, with its SMA connector reversed:
Leo's coupler with the SMA connector re-soldered in the reverse direction:
Leo's coupler with the SMA connector re-soldered in the reverse direction:

5) Tapping the 9700 internal 5VDC power, with diode inside the red heat shrink:
5VDC tap from the radio to the GPS board:
5VDC tap from the radio to the GPS board:

6) Be VERY careful soldering the power lead to the GPS board trace !!
Anchor it with a generous dab of hot-melt glue.
GPS board power lead carefully soldered to the USB power trace:
GPS board power lead carefully soldered to the USB power trace:

7) A small piece of prototyping board is bonded to the GPS board for future bonding of a fibre light pipe to propagate the status LED:
Status LED fibre optic mounting point for future bonding of the fibre
Status LED fibre optic mounting point for future bonding of the fibre

8) The two new connectors (sat antenna and usb) at the bottom of the rear panel:
Two new connectors on the rear panel of the 9700
Two new connectors on the rear panel of the 9700

9) The GPSDO locks to satellites, no problem!
Showing solid GPS lock of the MiniGPS, using the USB connection to its PC application
Showing solid GPS lock of the MiniGPS, using the USB connection to its PC application


- - -

Hi Chuck and others,

As a manufacturer and designer of (marine) electronics, I would like to add two comments against this particular type and method of installation:

1. You fixed the GPSDO board using the SMA connector and just that. Inserting a USB cable into the socket from the rear panel causes severe stressing of the solder joints of the SMA connector. The length of the USB plug and the distance between the SMA and USB socket present a lever, increasing the force applied to insert the USB plug at least 5 times. Eventually the solder joints of the SMA connector will break, especially when lead free solder is used.

Lead free solder cannot stand mechanical stress very well. Neither could leaded solder but the latter would flow a little to alleviate permanent stress. Lead free solder does not.

In this case, it would be best to also mechanically fix the GPSDO board at the other end somehow,

2. You inserted a diode to prevent current from the USB port (when connected to a computer) into the 5V supply of the IC-9700. But nothing prevents current from flowing from the IC-9700 to a connected computer when this computer is in stand-by of switched of. There should be a diode in the 5V supply from the USB port as well!

73, Meindert - PAøMHS
Adam, Brisbane
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