Commander Configuration

Commander Online Help Contents

 

Commander's Configuration window provides 10 tabs,  each contains a related group of settings and controls that you can inspect and/or modify:

General
  • Radio  panel

    • radio model and bus address

    • polling and command execution interval

    • memory scan dwell time

    • radio-specific options

  • General panel

  • transmit/receive switching

  • VFO autorepeat rate

  • Initial command

  • Sub-band definitions

  • Online help access

Ports
Frequency-dependent Devices (3)
  • device name (appears as tab caption)

  • control names

  • control settings for each frequency

Filter Groups
  • Filter names and bandwidths

  • Filter Group behavior when radio's mode changes

Memories
  • titles for each memory bank

  • memory import and export controls

Multi Radio
  • names and polling rates for up to 4 controlled radios

  • serial port paramaters for each controlled radio

  • automatic radio selection by band

Bandspread
  • bandspread dial orientation (lower frequency on top or bottom)

  • time trigger for pushing a frequency onto the current band stack

  • bandspread mousewheel control by mode

  • DX spot parameters

Transverters
  • supports the specification of transverters for the 6m, 4m, 2m, 1.25m, 70cm, 33cm, and 23cm bands

 

You can define up to two sub-bands per band; when the primary VFO frequency does not lie within a defined sub-band, the frequency is displayed in yellow font.

For information about the purpose of any Commander control, allow the cursor to linger over that control for a second or two; a box containing explanatory text will appear. This feature can be disabled if desired.

General tab

Setting Provided for Description
Model all radios the radio being controlled
CI-V Address 
all Icom, TenTec Omni VI the radio's CI-V bus address in either hexadecimal or decimal 
Hexadecimal
all Icom, TenTec Omni VI if selected, the CI-V Address is interpreted as a hexadecimal (base 16) number
Decimal all Icom, TenTec Omni VI if selected, the CI-V Address is interpreted as a decimal (base 10) number
Continuous interrogation all radios when checked, Commander directs the radio to report its frequency, mode, VFO, filter, and S-meter data at the specified rate specified by the Command Interval
Command Interval (ms) all radios the time interval between command groups sent to the transceiver, in milliseconds
  • if no value is specified, 200 ms is used

  • values less than 10 ms. are interpreted as 10 ms

  • values greater than 60,000 ms. are interpreted as 60,000 ms.

  • 200 ms. is a reasonable setting for most PCs and radios

    • if the transceiver is a Yaesu FT-747, values less than 2000 ms. are interpreted as 2000 ms.

    • if the transceiver is a Yaesu FT-767, values less than 400 ms. are interpreted as 400 ms.

    • with a fast Primary CAT port baud rate, recent radios like the IC-7800 can handle command intervals of 20 ms or lower, yielding smooth tuning but increasing Commander's use of your PC's CPU time

No interrogation while transmitting all radios when checked, Commander will not ask the radio to report its frequency, mode, VFO, filter, and meter data while directing the radio to transmit; this option should not be enabled unless the transceiver cannot generate smooth CW while being asked to report this information
Verify CI-V command acceptance
all Icom, TenTec Omni VI when checked, waits for a positive acknowledgement after transmitting each CI-V command and resends the command if either a negative acknowledgement or no acknowledgement is received; when enabled while controlling an Icom or TenTec Omni VI as the primary radio, the Messages window's Exec function is disabled
Sync transceiver frequencies before logging or spotting
all Icom, TenTec Omni VI when checked, informs applications that log and spot that the active transceiver does not report changes in VFO B so they can direct Commander to refresh its VFO frequencies and disseminate them so that logged and spotted frequencies are accurate
Set transceiver UTC time on startup or selection IC-7600, IC-7700, IC-7800, IC-7850, IC-7851 when checked, sets the transceiver's UTC date and time when Commander starts or when the transceiver is selected
Emit subreceiver audio when dual receive enabled IC-7800 when checked, directs the transceiver to emit subreceiver audio via backpanel connector ACC-A's AF signal when dual receive is enabled; when un-chekced, the transceiver emits main receiver audio via this signal
Log Mode for Data-L or Data-U transceivers for which Commander provides a Data-L or Data-U mode specifies the "mode to be logged" conveyed to other applications, e.g. PSK31 or SSTV

If DXKeeper is installed, this selector is populated with  the modes specified in DXKeeper's Modes.txt file if present, or its DefaultModes.txt file.

Log Mode for PKT or PKT-R transceivers for which Commander provides a PKT or PKT-R mode specifies the "mode to be logged" conveyed to other applications, e.g. PSK31 or SSTV

If DXKeeper is installed, this selector is populated with  the modes specified in DXKeeper's Modes.txt file if present, or its DefaultModes.txt file.

Data sub-mode IC-7600, IC-7700, IC-7800, IC-7850, IC-7851 specifies which Data Sub-mode is selected when the mode is set to Data-L or Data-U
RTTY sub-mode K3, KX3 determines whether the radio's data mode is set to FSK D or AFSK A when its mode is set to RTTY or RTTY-R
Control Filename Kachina specify the the Kachina control filename
Control Folder Pegasus specify the folder containing your TenTec Pegasus control software; this folder should contain a file named PEGASUS.OUT
provide A/B and TF-SET buttons TS-480, TS-590, TS-590SG, TS-2000 when checked, Commander's Main window provides A/B and TF-S buttons instead of AxB and XFC buttons
provide a TF-SET button TS-990 when checked, Commander's Main window provides a TF-S button instead of an XFC button

Data transmission from ANI input

TS-480 when checked, the TS-480 is directed to transmit audio from the ANI signal in its backpanel ACC2 connector rather than from its front panel MIC input
Data transmission from USB interface or ANI input TS-590, TS-590SG, TS-990 when checked, the transceiver is directed to transmit audio from its USB interface or from the ANI signal in its backpanel ACC2 connector rather than from its front panel MIC input

Assign subreceiver to VFO A when dual receive disabled

Orion when checked, the Orion's subreceiver is assigned to VFO A when dual receive is disabled; when unchecked, the subreceiver is unassigned
Radio's minimum VFO step is set to 10 hz
FT-1000D, MP-1000MKV, MP-1000, FT-990, FT-990_12, FT-900, or FT-890 when checked, operations that QSY the radio by 10 hz (e.g. wheeled mouse movements) will be accomplished by sending a "Step VFO" CAT command instead of the standard "QSY" CAT command, thereby avoiding any muting of receiver audio

This capability is disabled if the Secondary CAT Port is configured to Lead or Follow and Lead with the Interrogate selector not set to off.

Convey Decoded CW to WinWarbler K3, KX3 when enabled with WinWarbler running, decoded CW is conveyed to WinWarbler
Convey Decode RTTY to WinWarbler K3, KX3 when enabled with WinWarbler running, decoded RTTY is conveyed to WinWarbler
Monitor Connection Flex Signature 6000 Series when enabled, Commander pings the radio once per second, enabling it to report a disconnection
Create VFO B at startup Flex Signature 6000 Series when enabled, Commander will create VFO B (slice 1) on startup if it does not already exist
No Split on VFO B transmitting Flex Signature 6000 Series when enabled, the Main window's Split box will be unchecked (instead of checked) when the radio reports that slices A and B are both active with slice B configured to transmit
Full-width RX Filters Flex Signature 6000 Series when disabled, the maximum CW RX filter bandwidth is 1 KHz, and the maximum SSB, RTTY, and DIG RX filter bandwidth is 5 KHz

when enabled, the maximum CW RX filter bandwidth is 12 KHz, and the maximum SSB, RTTY, and DIG RX filter bandwidth is 12 KHz
Radio Selection: Serial Number Flex Signature 6000 Series If more than one Flex 6000 is present on the network, specify the serial number of the radio to which Commander should connect
Radio Selection: IP Address and Port Flex Signature 6000 Series If Commander cannot connect to a Flex 6000 because its "here's my IP address" broadcast is not being heard, specify the radio's IP Address, and set its IP Port to 4992
Scan Dwell all radios specified the amount of time (seconds) spent listening to a memory's frequency before advancing to the next memory when Memory Scanning is enabled
Xmit Meter
Argonaut VI, Eagle
FT-450, FT-950,
FT-891,  FT-991,
FTDX-1200, FT-2000,
FTDX-3000, FTDX-5000,
FTDX-9000
IC-746Pro, IC-756ProIII,
IC-7000, IC-7200, IC-7300, IC-7400, IC-7410
, IC-7600, IC-7700, IC-7800, IC-7850, IC-7851
TS-590S, TS-590G, TS-990, TS-2000
specify the meter to display while transmitting

(requires No interrogation while transmitting to be disabled)

Read radio's EEPROM to determine VFO and Split status FT-817, FT-857, FT-857D, FT-897 when checked, determines VFO selection and Split state by reading the radio's EEPROM; this increases the risk that a CAT command will be changed by RFI or other data communications malfunction to a command that resets the radio.
Reset all radios when clicked, resets communications with the transceiver
Display Error Log all radios when clicked, displays Commander's Errorlog.txt file
Display License all radios when clicked, displays Commander's License
Set Time IC-7300, IC-7600, IC-7700, IC-7800, IC-7850, IC-7851 when clicked, updates the transceiver with the current UTC date and time
  • for this function to work correctly, set the radio's UTC offset menu item to 0

  • this button will be temporarily disabled for up to a minute after being clicked, or after startup or radio selection with the Set transceiver UTC time on startup or selection option enabled
Net Serv all radios when clicked, displays Commanders Network Service window, which governs communication with other applications via UDP and TCP

 

Ignore Mousewheel when checked, directs Commander to not change transceiver frequency when you rotate your mousewheel
Accept 'Dual Rcv On' directives when checked, allows other DXLab applications to enable the radio's Dual Receive (if available), e.g. when double-clicking on one of SpotCollector's Spot Database entries that specifies split frequency operation
Accept ' Dual Rcv Off' directives when checked, allows other DXLab applications to disable the radio's Dual Receive (if available), e.g. when double-clicking on one of SpotCollector's Spot Database entries that specifies simplex operation
Use TX freq for devices when split when checked, settings for frequency-dependent devices are computed from the transmit frequency when operating split
Switch to simplex on 1 MHz QSY when checked, leave Split mode when the current VFO's frequency changes by 1 MHz or more
Use multiple monitors when checked, windows that resided on a secondary monitor during the previous session will be restored to the same secondary monitor on startup; when not checked, all windows are restored to the primary monitor on startup
Log debugging Information when checked, directs Commander to record diagnostic information in the file errorlog.txt located in Commander's folder
 
Commander can switch the radio between receiving and transmitting by 
  • sending the radio an appropriate command via the serial port  (if supported by the radio, and not suppressed)

  • controlling an external interface via the serial port signals RTS and/or DTR

  • controlling an external interface via parallel port pin 17

TX clicking this button directs the radio to switch from receiving to transmitting
RX clicking this button directs the radio to switch from transmitting to receiving
suppress CAT when checked, CAT commands will not be used to switch the transceiver between receiving and transmitting; presumably a hardware signal (serial port DTR, serial port RTS, or parallel port pin 17) will be exclusively used for this purpose, e.g. when an external sequencer is in use

 

In clicking this button specifies the font color for in-band frequencies displayed in the Main window's primary VFO panel and all frequencies displayed in the secondary VFO and Memory Bank panels
Out click to specify the font color for out-of-band frequencies displayed in the Main window's primary VFO panel
Back click to specify the background color for frequencies displayed in the Main window
Def click to set the font colors for in-band frequencies and out-of-band frequencies and the background color for frequencies to the factory default values: cyan font for in-band frequencies, yellow font  for out-of-band frequencies, and black background
 

 

 
Show within Main window checking ths box
Show by expanding Main window checking this box expands the height of the Main window to display a User-defined Controls panel containing 16 buttons and 8 sliders that can be used to invoke and edit User-defined Command Controls

 

Command Function

a hexadecimal radio command specified by an even number of hexadecimal characters, e.g.

FEFE26EO0700FD

all characters are sent to the radio via the primary CAT serial port, two per byte (useful for Icom, TenTec, and Yaesu radios

an ASCII radio command specified by a sequence of ASCII characters preceded by a single apostrophe, e.g.

'AN1;

each character following the apostrophe is sent to the radio via the primary CAT serial port  (useful for Kenwood and Elecraft radios)
a sequence of ascii characters preceded by a single tilde, e.g.

~slice set 0 rxant=ant1

ASCII radio command -- each character following the tilde will be sent to your radio via the TCP/IP connection (useful for Flex Signature radios)
 
Enable when enabled, specifies a Command Sequence to be executed when Commander starts, or when a new radio Model  is selected
  • If an Initial Command is also specified, the Initial Command Sequence is executed after the Initial Command
Edit when clicked, displays a window that lets you define, edit, and test the initial command sequence
 
Browser pathname if this setting is blank, Commander displays online help using your PC's default HTML browser; if this setting contains the pathname of an HTML browser, Commander displays online help using that browser.
Select button displays a file selector dialog that allows you to choose a Browser pathname
show control explanations when checked, enables the display of explanatory information when the mouse cursor lingers over a textbox, button, checkbox, display pane, or setting.
Help button displays the information you are now reading

 

Ports tab

 

 

Radio Parallel port pin 16 Parallel port pin 14
1 0 0
2 0 1
3 1 0
4 1 1
Enable when checked, the integer value of the selected Device Control is placed onto the specified parallel port's data bits
Device specifies the frequency-dependent device whose Control value is placed onto the specified parallel port's data bits
Control specifies the frequency-dependent device's Control whose value is placed onto the specified parallel port's data bits
Command if Commander is controlling a remote transceiver via a serial port connected to a modem, use this textbox to specify the modem initialization and dialing commands to be sent when the Send button is activated; if a command is specified, Continuous Frequency and Mode Interrogation is disabled on startup
Send button when clicked, sends the Command to the modem via the serial port
 

 

Frequency-dependent Device tabs

Devices like antenna tuners and linear amplifiers have controls whose settings are frequency-dependent. While high-end units do this automatically, most require the operator to manually set the controls whenever the operating frequency changes. Commander enables you to specify tables for such devices; it then performs a table lookup based on the transceiver's current frequency and displays the correct settings, eliminating the need for paper tables taped to the front-panel. Up to four different frequency-dependent devices are supported, each with up to three controls. 

The right side of Commander's Main window is shared by  frequency-dependent device readouts, receiver filter controls, and eight banks of ten memories. If the frequently-dependent device panels are not visible, clicking the Main window's Filters & Devices button will make them and the receiver filter controls appear in place of the memory banks.

Initially, Commander refers to the four frequency-dependent devices as Device 0, Device 1, Device 2, and Device 3; as part of the setup procedure, you can replace these generic names with more meaningful names like Amplifier, or Tuner.

To setup a frequency-dependent device, use the following procedure:

Step Directions
1 on Commander's Main window, click the Config button
2 on Commander's Main window, click the Filters & Devices button if its visible
3 on Commander's Configuration window, select the Device 0 tab (you can use the Device 1, Device 2, and Device 3 tabs to setup a second, third, and fourth frequency-dependent device, if desired)
4 check the Device 0 tab's Enabled box; in the Main window, you'll see a Device 0 panel appear (the contents of this panel will be updated as you complete this procedure)
5 enter the name of the device in the Device Name box; the name of the tab will change from Device 0 to the name you specify
6 enter the number of controls associated with this device in the # Controls box; accepted values are 1, 2, or 3.
7 enter the name of the first control in the Control 1 box; if there's a second control, enter its name in the Control 2 box  and if there's a third control, enter its name in the Control 3 box.
  • to drive a command-generating slider with a control, set the control's name to <Sn> where n is a number from 1 to 8 that identifies the slider being driven
8 scroll the Device Table to the frequencies of interest, and enter the control values for each such frequency; after entering each value, strike the Enter key
  • to modify an existing device table entry, select the the information you wish to change by clicking it with the left mouse button, and then type in the new information

  • to add a new entry to a device table, scroll to its bottom, where you will find a blank line with an asterisk in the grey left-most column. Key in the entry's frequency,  and then strike the Enter key. Commander automatically sorts the Device Table in ascending frequency order, so the new entry may disappear from view. If you're planning to add several entries, it is more efficient to first create the entries, and then scroll through the Device Table entering control values for the newly-created entries.

  • to delete an entry in the device table, select it by clicking in the grey left-most column; then strike the Delete key.

  • it is not necessary to enter control values for every frequency in the table

  • depressing the CTRL key while clicking on a Device Table entry will QSY your transceiver to that entry's frequency,  making it easy to determine or verify settings

9 enter a percentage in the Tolerance box  (2% is a reasonable default)
  • the percentage difference between the frequency of  the Device Table entry closest to your radio's current frequency and your radio's current frequency must be less than or equal to the specified Tolerance for that entry's control settings to be displayed

  • if there is no Device Table entry within the specified Tolerance, the Device's control settings will be blanked

10 click the Save button and specify a destination filename into which the Device data just specified will be saved for use in subsequent Commander sessions.

.

If Commander is terminated and later restarted, saved device data will automatically be reloaded for each Device that was enabled when Commander was terminated. 

You can use the above procedure to record data for an alternate device -- e.g. a backup amplifier -- in a separate file. The Select button allows you to choose the file from which the Device data will be loaded. The ReLoad button restores the Device data to the values contained in the most recently-loaded file. 

You can specify the colors used to display a Device's settings on the right side of Commander's Main window via buttons in the Setting Readout Colors panel: 

You can select one control of one frequency-dependent device whose integer value will be placed on data bits 7 through 0 of a specified parallel port. This can be used to control an antenna switch, for example.


Filter Groups tab

A Filter Group is a named configuration of one or more receiver bandwidth settings. If Filter Groups are supported for a particular radio Model, Commander remembers the Filter Group last used in each mode. Checking the restore Filter Group on mode change  box directs Commander to automatically restore the last used Filter Group whenever a new mode is selected.

If the radio Model is an Icom, the Filter Groups tab displays the Icom Filter Group Names panel, which lets you assign names to the each Filter Group. Early Icom transceivers provides two Filter Groups whose functions are hardwired: group 1 provides a wide bandwidth filter, and group 2 provides a narrow bandwidth filter. Later Icom transceivers allow the user to reconfigure one or both filter groups for different bandwidth (by physical replacement or in high-end transceivers via menu selection), and some include a third group ambiguously referred to as normal. The Icom Filter Group Names panel lets you assign names to each group that are meaningful given the actual filter configuration of your transceiver; these names appear in the Group selector in the Main window's Filters panel, enabling you to change bandwidth with a mouse click.

If the radio Model is set to MP1000 or MP1000MKV, the Filter Groups tab displays the Yaesu FT1000MP and Mark V panel which contains a table, each of whose entries defines a Filter Group.

If the radio Model is set to Orion or Eagle, the Filter Groups tab displays a Default Bandwidth by mode panel that provides the option to set the default bandwidth to a specified value when the transceiver's mode changes.


Memories tab

Textboxes in this tab's Memory panel allow you to establish a title for each memory bank; this title serves as the caption for the Main window panel that displays the currently-selected memory bank.


Multi Radio tab

Using the controls on this tab, you can configure Commander to support rapid switching among up to four radios. Switching can be manual, via a set of buttons on the VFO panel on Commander's Main window, or automatic as a function of amateur band.

Controls on this tab's Control panel let you specify a transceiver model, a CI-V Address (for Icom and TenTec radios), the need for continuous frequency and mode interrogation, and the interval (in milliseconds) between command groups for up to four radios; these controls are identical in function to the controls on the General tab.  You can specify a unique name for each radio, which is used to identify the radio for both manual and automatic switching; if you have a pair of Icom 756 Pro radios, for example, with one dedicated to HF operation and the other to VHF operation, you might name the first HF 756Pro and the second VHF 756Pro.  The Enable boxes in this panel let you designate which radios are active. If you are switching between radios 1 and 2, enable them both, and uncheck the enable boxes associated with radios 3 and 4.

Controls on the Serial port panel let you specify serial communication port settings for each of four radios. These controls are identical in function to those on the Ports tab's Primary CAT Serial Port panel. If you are controlling multiple Icom or TenTec radios on the same CI-V bus, assign identical serial port parameters to these radios. Due to space compression, the Serial Port control uses a hyphen to mean "none", and the Parity, DTR, and RTS controls use single letter abbreviations:

 
Parity Abbreviation Meaning
N No parity
O Odd parity
E Even parity
M Mark parity
S Space parity

 

 
DTR and RTS  Abbreviation Meaning
N Always off
Y Always on while this radio is selected
X On to transmit
F Flow control (RTS only)


Note that  each transceiver's Enable box will remain disabled (grayed out) until all of its items have been selected. If your transceiver doesn't need DTR or RTS, for example, set those selectors to N rather than leave the blank.

If the port assigned to an enabled transceiver is currently specified as the Secondary CAT Serial Port panel, the transceiver's Main window selection button will be disabled ("grayed out").

Clicking a radio's Update button will update that radio's Multi Radio serial port settings from the settings specified  on the Ports tab's Primary CAT Serial Port panel. Thus once you have the settings on the Primary CAT Serial Port panel properly configured to enable Commander to control a transceiver, you can "transfer" those settings to the Multi Radio tab's CAT Serial Port panel by clicking the appropriate Update button.

A User-defined Control Set specifies

The 32 Sequence pathnames and 16 Slider pathnames are organized into two banks, each specifying two rows of 8 Sequence pathnames and 4 slider pathnames; use the Second row and Alt bank checkboxes to select the bank and row whose pathnames you wish to view or modify.

To create or display a radio's Control Set, click the radio's Edit button in this tab's User-defined Controls Sets panel. If a Control Set for this radio has been defined, this

Selecting a radio for which a Control Set is specified

By default, switching between radios is manual, effected by clicking the radio selection buttons on the Main window's VFO panel. To enable automatic radio switching, use the Selection by band panel to choose a radio for each amateur band, and then check the Auto box.

You can configure Commander to identify the currently-selected radio via a binary encoding on pins 16 and 14 of a specified parallel port.

Bandspread tab

The controls on this tab influence the behavior of the Bandspread window's slide rule dial, its Band Stack, and its presentation of DX Spots.

The always on top box, when checked, ensures that the Bandspread window will not be obscured by any other application window except one similarly configured.

If the color-code frequency pointer box is checked, the current frequency indicator on the Bandspread window's slide rule dial will be rendered in the specified in-band color if the transceiver's frequency is in-band, or in the specified out-of-band color if the transceiver's frequency is out-of-band. If the box is unchecked, the current frequency indicator will be rendered in red, independent of transceiver frequency.

The Orientation panel determines whether the slide rule dial shows lower frequencies at its top and higher frequencies at its bottom, or higher frequencies at its top and lower frequencies at its bottom.

The Band Stack panel's dwell time setting specifies the interval that determines how long the radio must pause on a frequency before that frequency and the radio's current mode are saved onto the current Band Stack; the dwell time is specified in seconds.

The Mousewheel Motion panel determines the increment by which your radio is QSYed when the Bandspread window is active and you rotate your mouse's wheel by one click. Increments are specified by mode, and expressed as a percentage of the slide rule dial's frequency range; negative percentages can be used to reverse the meaning of mouse wheel rotation to suit the user's taste.  Fractional values like 0.05 can be specified for very slow tuning rates. The mode-specific entries make it convenient to setup a faster tuning rate for SSB operation than for CW or RTTY operation.

In the DX Spot Font panel, 

There are several DX Spot controls:

 

 


The User-defined Sequence after Band Change panel specifies the name of a User-defined Command Sequence to be automatically executed when a band button in the Bandspread window's Band panel is clicked after a Delay specified in milliseconds (up to a maximum of 10,000). If no name is specified, no sequence will be executed; if no delay is specified, the named sequence will be executed immediately.


Transverters tab

A transverter is an external device that enables transmission and reception on a frequency significantly offset from that of one's transceiver. When operating with a transverter, Commander's VFO displays the transverter output frequency, and sets your transceiver to the required transceiver input frequency.

Commander supports transverters with outputs on the 6m, 4m, 2m, 1.25m, 70cm, 33cm, and 23cm bands, providing a dedicated panel on the Transverters tab that lets you specify the frequency offset (in kHz) and relationship (additive or subtractive) for each band. If, for example, your 6m transverter requires your transceiver to operate on the 10m band, then you would set the 6M transverter panel's offset setting to 22000, select the + (additive) button, and check the Enabled box; If QSYed to 50100, Commander would set your transceiver to 28100. If you have configured Commander to control more than one transceiver, each transverter panel lets you specify the transceiver connected to its associated transverter.