The new SDR technology from Icom is a winner in my book. Well in my blog anyway.
Just had it for a week or 2 and I am very pleased with it. Of course radio preferences are very subjective. The only thing I miss here is a bandswitch. You have to touch the main digits on the display. This pops up a band pad and you touch the band you want. Not intuitive, at least not to me. The memories are useful of course, as is the MPAD key which can store your 5 favourite frequencies, and allows you to tune from them.
Setting up the radio for WSPR took me a few hours simply due to lack of information. This is what I ended up with when trying WSPR ON 30m. Anything not listed is left as default. A standard ‘A to B’ USB cable was used. You need to fool your software by telling it you are using IC-7100.
MENU – SET – CONNECTORS
ACC/USB Output Select. AF
ACC/USB AF Output Level. 50%
USB MOD Level. 40%
DATA MOD. USB
CI-V Baud Rate. 9600. The same as in WSPR – X or set to Auto
CI-V Address. 88h. This emulates the IC-7100.
CI-V Transceive. ON
CI-V Output (for ANT ). ON
CI-V USB Port. UnLink from [REMOTE]
CI-V USB Echo Back. On
USB Serial Function. CI-V
USB SEND and Keying OFF.
The next images show my WSPR setup.
The PC is my MS Surface Pro 4. It connects to the 7300 via the USB port. After setting all the parameters on the rig and in WSPR-X , it pays to switch off both the PC and the rig, then restart. I have no idea why this is effective, but it is. Don’t forget to adjust the speaker volume, this sets the transmit audio level.
So far, from my remote location at the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach, on the North Island of New Zealand, I have neither received or spotted any other stations. Current transmit power is 5W, and I have heard of miracles happening with less than 1/10 of that power. I have received reports from far afield with a couple of 100mW from my QRP Labs Ultimate 3s, so I think its just a matter of time and propogation conditions.