Several have asked that I report how my Omni V to Omni V.9 upgrade went. I
took the day off work today and was pretty caught up on my other projects so
I decided to perform the upgrade today.
I had been interested in Carl Moreschi's (N4PY) upgrade of the Omni V ever
since I heard about it about a year ago. It wasn't an easy decision for me
as my Omni V and I have had a long love affair and I was a bit leery
regarding messing with it. My interest was piqued about a month or so ago
when I was trying out my new FT-817 and spoke to another Omni V fan who had
performed the modification and was really satisfied.
The modification consists of replacing the Omni V CPU with a new one
containing Carl's Omni V.9 firmware. The modification also has two optional
hardware changes. The first is very simple, you to add a diode (I used a
1N4148) and wire to the existing Omni circuits to create a sidetone spotting
feature. The second allows you to modify the Omni V RS232 port to mimic the
port standard of the Omni V+ or IC-765. I decided to add the sidetone
spotting feature but didn't perform the RS232 circuit modification because I
don't use computer logging or rig control. I only use the port to attach my
301 remote tuning encoder.
I had e-mailed Carl, N4PY asking for information on the modifications and
needed replacement cpu chip. He sent back via e-mail a copy of the manual
for the modification he authored as well as information on the chip. The
replacement chip is mfg by Motorola and costs $8.23 plus shipping from
Newark. Carl told me he doesn't charge to write his firmware to the
replacement chip and that the only cost is $5 for mailing costs..... this
has to be the deal of the Century ! I received the chip from Newark, sent
it off to Carl and received it back programmed in about six days.
Interestingly, I ordered the chip via Newark's internet page and printed on
the invoice I received was a notation "for Omni V.9 upgrade"... whoever in
the sales department filled my order "must" be a ham in the know <grin>. The
manual for the Omni V.9 modification can be downloaded at:
http://www.hal-pc.org/~kg5u/OmniV9.html thanks to KG5U and N4PY. Check out
the features you gain for about $20 in parts and some time !
I was lucky to find new Enter, Shift and Clear keys at Ten-Tec (thanks
Garland and Don !!) but they are not a stock item and are hard as hen's
teeth to get even from Ten-Tec so don't be surprised if they say they are
not now available... my advice is keep trying, apparently they do become
available from time to time. I wanted the rig to look just like a factory
job so I added the numerical entry numbers to the keypad using Datak dry
transfer numbers.... it was easy and really looks great. A poor picture of
my modified Omni V is here: http://webpages.charter.net/w9wis/omniV.9.jpg
notice the added numbers and new order of the keys plus the new Enter, Shift
and Clear keys. The trickiest part of the modification is removing the
keypad and changing the order of the keys. It's not really difficult, just
time consuming. I finished replacing the new cpu chip, the lettering -
keypad changes and the spotting tone mod and carefully buttoned everything
up. Worked perfectly the first time power was applied ! The changes are
wonderful ... almost like having a new radio ! The ability to have a direct
frequency entry ability is worth the trouble alone...... if you love your
Omni V you really need to check out this upgrade. Imagine, gaining all
these great features and not giving up any of the features that we all love
in the Omni V ! I couldn't be happier !
Thanks to Carl Moreschi, N4PY for making this upgrade available ! Kudos for
the ability to write such an excellent control program and for all the
assistance you gave me Carl ! Truly the best of the amateur spirit.
Michael Melland, W9WIS
Winneconne, Wisconsin USA EN54pc
qrp-l #1656 - qrparci # 9875 - iparc #252
ars #1075 - http://www.qsl.net/w9wis