Getting an Icom IC-PCR1000 working with Linux Mint

I’ve just got a second hand Icom IC-PCR1000 communications receiver and needed to get it working with Linux Mint.

The Icom IC-PCR1000
The Icom IC-PCR1000

What’s unique to this receiver is that its a standalone unit which connects to a computer via RS232C (it dates from 1999) and covers the entire 10kHz to 1300MHz range (there is a US version which has US mobile frequencies blocked).

Now obviously most modern computers don’t have native serial ports these days so I’m using a USB-Serial adapter to connect it.

Installation

So to get it working with Linux. First ignore the floppies – they only contain software for Windows and even if you wanted to use it, the contents are available online anyhow.

Next plug it in to your Linux box. You’ll need a standard mini-plug audio cable which you’ll plug in to the Ext-SP socket on the radio and the other end into either Line-In or Microphone (some systems they are the same one).

Next you need is a recent version of a utility called pcrd. There’s actually two versions out there but the one I’m using is from https://www.crc.id.au/pcrd-pcr1000-on-linux/

From that page download the source for v0.12 and extract it. This should give you a pcrd-0.12 dircectory. Next you need to compile it:

peter@titan ~ $ cd pcrd-0.12
peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ make linux

Trying it out

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 89.100 wfm 230

Here

  • /dev/ttyUSB0 is the USB-Serial port.
  • -v is the volume in hexadecimal, so 00 is off, ff is full on.
  •  89.100 is BBC Radio 2 here in the South East of the UK.
  • wfm is the mode, so for broadcast FM radio you need to use Wide FM
  • 230 is the filter to use. If you leave this out it will default to 15 kHz

That’s effectively all that’s needed, sort of.

Here’s a few other stations to try:

BBC Radio Kent

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 96.7 wfm 230

BBC Radio 4 FM

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 93.6 wfm 230

BBC Radio 4 Long Wave – essential for Test Match Special, as long as you have the right antenna 😉

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 0.198

No audio?

You might have a problem with getting the audio being fed to your speakers. This seems to be a common problem with Linux mint, but there’s a solution:

First make sure you have pulseaudio-utils installed:

peter@titan ~ $ sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-utils

Next you need to add the loopback module:

peter@titan ~ $ pactl load-module module-loopback latency_msec=10

You should see a microphone icon appear next to the clock and, hopefully, the audio being fed through to the speakers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s