[aprssig] Overlooked TM-D710 Features
bruninga at usna.edu
Sat May 10 14:04:03 CDT 2008
> The D710 has some feature drawbacks as well.
> You can fully computer control a D7/D700
> with a single serial port but the D710
> requires 2 serial ports to perform the same
Interesting. Many AMSAT people for the last 8 years complined about the D7 and D700 because it combined them and wouldnt work with their tracking programs. Most existing ham satellite software required -separate serial ports- for the RADIO and for the TNC functions. So everyone complained.
Now The D710 separates them so that the radio port can be used to tune for Doppler separate from the TNC data port... and now people complain about that too.
Just because Bill was one of the first to write good AMSAT software to finally serve the combined serial port on the D7 and D700, it seems unfair to then criticise the separation to serve other systems. Bill can just as easily separate them in his code too. In fact, that is the way most other satellite ssoftware works, so it wouild be prudent to have both capabilities.
Since the vast majority of newer computers have no serial ports,
most D710 users desiring full computer control must purchase 2 USB to Serial
convertors and purchase or build 2 separate DB9 to mini-din cables.
For example, Ui-View users could use a CMD file to QSY the D700
radio, configure the TNC, and communicate via AX.25 using a single serial
port. This is not possible with the D710 unless someone writes a plugin
incorporating support for the 2nd serial port.
This also impacts Satellite IGATES who have the need to
automatically adjust for doppler shift. Not sure if any of the other
commonly used Satellite IGATE applications have provisions for using both
D710 serial ports.
I purchased a D710 to use as a Satellite IGATE but have had to
revert to using my D700 for this purpose.
IMO, the D710 serial port requirements are a step backwards.
Futhermore, the requirement to use a 2nd serial port for radio control
appears to have been a business decision, not a technical decision. Users
must buy an additional cable etc. I would gladly pay Kenwood the cost of
the additional cable if they would simply enable control of the radio via
the D710 Control Head/TNC serial port. I can see no technical reason why
this cannot be done since the control head is used to issue frequency, mode,
etc commands to the radio.
There are also some differences in radio control commands. For
example to set the D700 VFO A frequency you use FQ 00145825000,0. The D710
uses something like FO 0,00145825000,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,000,0000000,0 to QSY
(sets shift, tone, offset etc as well). This is somewhat similar to the
D700 BUF command which is apparently not available in the D710. There are
other radio command differences as well. Unfortunately, Kenwood apparently
does not publish the D7* radio command set AFAIK, though there are some 3rd
party web sites detailing the known radio commands.
These differences in radio control commands will require changes in
some radio control applications or files which worked satisfactorily with
the D7 and D700.
The bottom line: The D710 may not be fully compatible with some
popular applications written for the D7 and D700. Additional hardware may
be required as well.
Users should determine if the D710 will meet their requirements
before purchasing. At the present time, the D700 may be the only viable
solution for some specialized applications. Hopefully, this will change in
IMO, for general APRS and voice use, the D710 is a good radio and
worth the purchase price. YMMV.
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