17 May M5Stack for the IC-705
Last Updated on September 21, 2022
M5Stack for the IC-705
Icom’s IC-705 is a versatile portable radio. It’s a modern amateur radio transceiver that has built-in WiFi. Many radio amateurs like to push the bounds of technology and this radio certainly makes it easy. One such amateur radio operator is Armel Fuaveau, F4HWN.
You will need to download Microsoft’s free Visual Studio Code software to make it all happen. You’ll also need the source code from GitHub too, but more about that below. The M5Stack utilises Bluetooth in the IC-705, but with the addition of some neat proxy software to run on the PC, you’ll also be able to get the ICMultiMeter software to work with the IC-9700 and the IC-7300 via the USB port. The proxy software must be installed on the same PC that your radios are connected to.
When I first saw the M5Stack, I thought it was small. In fact, the 240×320 display is not much bigger than a postage stamp, but as a keen microwave operator, the main use for my IC-705 is as an IF radio. The frequency display on the radio shows the IF frequency such as 434.1M MHz when the output of the transmitter is 10368.1 MHz so Armel has added a transverter feature which displays the actual TX frequency of the transverter. I was interested.
Why? Good question.
I found this project is one of those “tick the box” projects. In fact, when I first saw the M5 I thought, cute… but that’s it. Only when I saw the transverter feature that Armel had written into the code that I thought I’d give it a try as I have an interest in microwave. I suspect it will sit in the box until such time as there’s an option to drive a large monitor. The standard battery is rather small too although there are bigger capacity batteries available that vary in price. Core Electronics here in VK sell a 750 mAh battery but there’ll be others. It’s just a matter of browsing the internet.
Having written code before – a lot of Visual Basic specifically, I was also curious to see how things had changed in the development side of things. I hadn’t used Visual Studio Code before so that was another reason to give this project a shot. Don’t worry, you only have to edit a settings file compile it and upload it. There’s a great video on Youtube that will walk you through it from having nothing to a working stack.
What is an M5Stack?
The M5Stack is an extremely powerful yet low-cost microprocessor that includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It measures 5cm x 5cm and as its name suggests, additional modules can be stacked, or sandwiched between the top and bottom elements. It has quickly become popular over the past year or so. Programming it is easy as the familiar Arduino IDE can be used.
M5Stack is a technology company that designs and manufactures open-source development toolkit, including hardware, programming platform and IoT solutions. It was founded in 2017 and is based in Shenzhen, China.
Where can you get an M5Stack?
The M5Stack is available from many of the usual outlets including Amazon and eBay. The M5Stack shop is probably the best place to start. It showcases the full range of devices including controllers, sensors, modules, cameras and kits.
What skill do I need for a project like this?
If you’re not willing to get your hands dirty in editing a configuration file or two, then compiling and uploading to a M5Stack, then this project may not be for you.
Pictured above is how Armel’s ICMultiMeter looks in our web browser. Yes, you can connect to it by typing the M5Satck’s IP address into your browser although it does not update in real-time. Below is the script you’ll need to edit to suit your environment. You’ll need to tell the software what radio you’re using, how you connect to it (Bluetooth or USB), give it access to your home WiFi, and finally set up a proxy but only if you choose to connect to an IC-7300 or IC-9700.
As mentioned elsewhere on this page there are some great instructional videos with a walkthrough you can follow to get the M5Stack up and running.
The ICMultiMeter is a program that displays the frequency and status of the IC-705, IC-9700 or IC-7300. The 705 requires Bluetooth only and does not require anything else except proximity to the radio. As the 9700 and 7300 does not have Bluetooth, the radios must be connected to a local PC via USB. A proxy server must be installed on the local PC for it to work.
The ICSMeter is a program that displays the frequency of the IC-705, IC-9700 or IC-7300. The 705 requires Bluetooth only and does not require anything else except proximity to the radio. As the 9700 and 7300 does not have Bluetooth, the radios must be connected to a local PC via USB. A proxy server must be installed on the local PC for it to work.