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FAQ about Rig control (CAT)

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Q) Is it true that VQLog requires an specific file for each model of rig?

A) Yes, each model has some slight differences and VQLog requires the so-called CDF (Cat Definition File) for that specific rig in order to be able to communicate with it properly. Some of these files are located under the \CAT subfolder of VQLog in your hard disk. Additional files and more information on CDF are available here.

Q) I don't quite understand the meaning of some of the CAT configuration options.

A) I will try to explain them here in mode detail.

  1. Rig set number. You can define up to 10 different rig sets.  A rig set usually corresponds to one rig and in this case you will have one rig set for each different rig in your station. But there are other possibilities, for instance:
    > You use separate rigs for TX and RX. In this case both will be defined in the same rig set.
    > You use the same rig for different purposes. For instance, sometimes for HF bands, sometimes with a transverter for 144/28 MHz and sometimes with a transverter for 432/28 MHz. In this case you will have to define the same rig in three different rig sets, one for each different combination.

    Notice that the ** characters indicate that this rig set is enabled. You can have up to 10 rig sets defined, but might be at a certain time you would like not to have all of them enabled. Only enabled rigs sets can be selected in the CAT menu and you must have at least one enabled in order to use CAT.
  2. Descriptive name. This is the name that will identify this rig set. Use something meaningful to you.
  3. Enable / Disable button. Use this button to enable or disable this specific rig set. To completely disable all CAT interface use the options in the "Common" tab.
  4. Parameter file. Select here the CDF file corresponding exactly to the model of your rig. Some of these files are located under the \CAT subfolder of VQLog in your hard disk. Additional files and more information on CDF are available here.
    Notice that when you change the selection to a new parameter file, the following communication parameters are reset to the default values for that rig.
  5. Check connection button. After having configured all connection parameters you should use this button to check whether the communication with the rig is actually working.
  6. Connected to.  So far only rigs connected via RS-232 serial ports are supported.
  7. Port. Select the comm. port where the rig is connected
  8. Bauds. Select the baud rate that will be used to communicate with the rig.  This is a very important parameter and must match exactly the baud rate of the rig.  Some rigs allow to select the baud rate using some configuration option/menu, others don't (they have a fixed baud rate).  Look at your rig's manual and check it out !
  9. Flow Control. Select how the flow of data between the rig and the computer will be controlled. This is another important parameter and you will have to configure it depending on the rig and interface used.  If you are not sure about which value to select I suggest you make several tests, trying the different values and using the "Check connection" button after each change.
  10.  Number or Bits. Select the number of bits required, according to the rig's manual. Almost all rigs use 8 bits.
  11. Parity. Select the parity required, according to the rig's manual.
  12. Stop bits. Select the number of stops bits required, according to the rig's manual. For 4800 bauds this value is typically 2 and 1 for other baud rates.
  13. DTR. With this option you can select whether VQLog should set high the DTR line. Some interfaces require this line to be high (enabled) because they take the power from it. On the other hand if you use a Rigblaster then you will have to disable it because DTR is used for the CW keying.
  14. RTS. With this option you can select whether VQLog should set high the RTS line. Some interfaces require it to be high (enabled) while others don't care. In general leaving it enabled is OK, but there might be some interface that requires it to be low. 
  15. Used as IF of a transverter. Only select this option if you are going to use this rig (in this rig set) together with an external transverter. Once you select it you will have to enter both the output frequency of the transverter (144 MHz for instance) and it's corresponding IF frequency (28 MHz for instance)
  16. A separate rig is used for receiving. Only select this option if you use a rig for transmitting and another rig for receiving. Once you select it you will have to enter all configuration parameters of the rig used as receiver.

Q) How can I force the rig to change to USB or LSB? VQLog only logs SSB mode.

A) When you enter SSB in the mode input field VQLog determines the mode to set in the rig (USB / LSB) depending on the standard for the current band. But if for some reason you want to force the rig to change to an specific mode you can always enter the characters USB or LSB in the mode input field and then press the TAB key.

Q) I don't manage to communicate VQLog with my ICOM rig. Can you suggest me what to do?

A) The most usual reason of this are the wrong parameters of CI-V interface in the rig. You should double check that the following parameters are correct (They should be accessible through the menus of your rig)

Please look at your rig's manual to find how to change these parameters !

After making sure that they are as expected, if you are still unable to communicate VQLog with your rig then the problem can only be due to:

Q) When I change the frequency or mode in VQLog they are changed in my ICOM rig. When I select the option to update them manually it also works, but when I change them in the rig they are not updated automatically in the QSO input window. What's the problem?

A) This is almost surely due to the "CI-V transceive" parameter set to OFF in your rig. When this parameter is OFF the rig doesn't notify frequency/mode changes and thus VQLog can't update them. Please look at your rig's manual to find how to set the "CI-V transceive" to ON.

Q) I have two ICOM rigs connect to the same CI-V interface (it allows to connect up to four rigs). Is this supported by VQLog?

A) Yes or course, but you have to take into account some considerations:

Q) I don't manage to communicate VQLog with my YAESU rig. Can you suggest me what to do?

A) Some Yaesu rigs have the possibility to set the transfer rate (bauds) via some Menu. Others have a fixed transfer rate. You must look in your rig's manual how to set the transfer rate (if possible) or what is its fixed value. This value must match exactly what you select for "Bauds" in CAT configuration options of VQLog.

After making sure they match, if you are still unable to communicate VQLog with your rig then the problem can only be due to:

Q) I have a YAESU rig and when I use digital modes the program updates automatically the mode in the QSO input window as "SSB", instead of the right digital mode (PSK-31, FSK441, JT44, etc..). Can I do something to avoid this?

A) As you can guess there is no way for VQLog to know which specific digital mode you are using. For Yaesu rigs, when the "Update log automatically" option is enabled the program polls the rig at regular intervals in order to retrieve its frequency and mode, and in this case the rig reports "SSB". To avoid the mode from being updated in VQLog you can go to "Configuration - Rig control (CAT)" and in the "Common" tab disable the retrieval of  the mode.

Q) I have a YAESU rig and when I change the frequency or mode in the rig it's not changed in the QSO input window. It always shows the same frequency an mode. What's the problem?

A) This is very likely to be because you have the "Memory Tuning" operation active, and this is not supported by VQLog. Look in your rig's manual how to disable "Memory Tuning".

It also could be because you are operating with memories, rather than with VFO.  Make sure you tune using VFO A or B so that VQLog can read the right frequency and mode.

Q) I don't manage to communicate VQLog with my KENWOOD rig. Can you suggest me what to do?

A) Some Kenwood rigs have the possibility to set the transfer rate (bauds) via some Menu. Others have a fixed transfer rate. You must look in your rig's manual how to set the transfer rate (if possible) or what is its fixed value. This value must match exactly what you select for "Bauds" in CAT configuration options of VQLog.

After making sure they match, if you are still unable to communicate VQLog with your rig then the problem can only be due to:

Q) How can I connect a FlexRadio SDR rig using PowerSDR and Virtual COM?

A) Virtual COM Port software allows VQLog to be Used on the same PC than PowerSDR without cables. This eliminates external CAT control wiring by creating a software connection between PowerSDR and VQlog. PowerSDR software emulates the Kenwood CAT command set in its basic compatibility mode, which means that VQlog "thinks" it's talking to a Kenwood TS-2000 rig.

VQLog's CAT configuration window should look something like this (obviously the COM port could be different depending on your configuration):

A very good article covering the use of the SDR-1000 for weak signal operation and how to use it with VQLog is available at FlexRadio WEB site.

Q) How can I connect a Ten Tec Omni VI plus?

A) This rig emulates the CAT interface of Icom, so you can use for instance the CDF of the IC-735 in VQlog and configure the Ten Tec as follows:

Menu2

bd = 19200
C-Id = 04
CdE = ON

Q) I get an error opening Com port, but I'm sure the Com port is OK because I use it in other programs. What can it be the reason?

A) It could happen with high Com port numbers if the version you have of the MSCOMM32.OCX file is not correct. You can download the correct version from https://www.dxmaps.com/zip/MSCOMM32.zip 

UnZIP the file and copy the MSCOMM32.OCX to C:\Windows\SysWOW64 (C:\Windows\System32 in Windows XP) replacing the version you have now. Then restart VQLog.


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