IC7100 and remoterig: 2019 updated Configuration

How I improved my IC7100 remoterig configuration

After the summer I had a major failure in my IC7100 remoterig station. The remoterig control at the radio side broken (probably due to the frquent thunderstorm we had in Italy in that period). I have to thank the remoterig team for reparing it really quickly. I use the offline time to reorganize the station with some improvement.

The biggest improvment I want to share is that I stop using the USB plug on the control remoterig.

I have to say that the remoterig has a USB adapter that can substitute the serial port of the device, but I had really a lot of problem along the past experience mostly for compatibilty with the cat software control. After I start using the serial port for sending cat stream to the control, evrything started working like a charm. So the first suggestion is: use a usb to serial adapter and avoid the usb input in the remoterig control.

The second improvment consisted in using the
RS-BA1 remote connection utility in order to remotize the audio IN/OUT flux using the USB cable connected between the remote PC and the radio. The alternative to this is following the indication I already wrote in a previous article . Using the native virtual sound allow the contemporary use of microphone and the digital mode. The only thing to take care is properly configure the radio and the DATA mode. I’ll give you the details in a future article after the refine of the actual settings.

Add a CNAME record and making your life simpler

why?

I’m writing this notes for whom would like to setup a dx cluster and he owns a not much stable ddns.

As you should know, if you setup you server for hosting a dxcluster you also need to share with the other cluster the address of your server and the service port.

Usually it is possible to sign at a public ddns service for obtaining a name connected to the actual server IP. This in most of case happens because you do not have a static IP address for your server.

So after signing to a ddns service (a free one) you can discover that they are in most of case very unstable. Not always but often.

I discovered a free ddns (afraid.org) that is quite reliable and easy to implement in a linux environment (using ddclient for example).

But after couple of month I discovered that the domain I choose died for some reason.

It is a not a big problem to restore, just change a configuration on the site and on your linux machine and you start it again.

But what happen if you linked to the previous dns name some service? In case of dx cluster you must resubmit the form here (www.dxcluster.info/telnet/submit.php).

HOW?

I have this website hosted and the domain name registered, I decided to create an alias for the telnet dxcluster service using this registered domain name.

In the majority of hosted domain service you can access to the DNS records setup.

You don’t need to alter nothing there. You just need to decide a subdomain name to put instead of www and add a CNAME record ( google “how to add a cname record” and you can see a lot of useful information)

In my case: I have a free registered ddns service iz0tws.strangled.net and the dxcluster, so I just added this cname record:

dxcluster             CNAME                .iz0tws.strangled.net

this allow me to aliasing the iz0tws.strangled.net  as dxcluster.iz0tws.com

So if you verify the ip of dxcluster.iz0tws.com you obtain the ip address of iz0tws.strangled.net

Next time I will switch for some reason the ddns domain name I need to reconfigure only the setup of linux server and not of all the pointers to it.

 

My DX cluster
IZ0TWS-2   dxcluster.iz0tws.com    port 7300

IC7100 CAT connection for remoterig

If you want to operate remotely with your PC connected to the RRC control side, you need to add a CAT interface throught the RRC radio and the IC7100 radio.

The most simple way, but also the most expansive $$$ one, is to buy the ICOM CT-17 C-IV interface.

The other possibility is to buy a simple CT17 (not original) cat connector. It usually is composed by an USB plug (with some converter IC inside) and a 3.5mm jack for the radio connetion. Take care to this, infact 1) there are no USB port at the remoterig side and 2) the levels are not properly converted from/to the remoterig logic level.

So the solution is simply use a TTL-RS232 converter externally supplied. So I just buy a very pretty pcb here at Artekit Shop that it is supplied also within the enclosure (on request).

And I connected to the male 3.5mm jack directly using the RXD and the TXD pad:

  • the  TXD and RXD must be connected both to the central tip of the plug
  • and GND to the shaft of the plug

As power supply for the VCC and the GND of the board I used the 5V taken from a USB cable.

Of course the remoterig must be programmed accordly. These are the settings of RRC control.

COM2 mode
COM2 baudrate
COM2 data bits
COM2 stop bits
COM2 parity
COM2 terminator (hex)
Use USB Com Port as COM2

The COM2 is referred to the serial port in the remoterig device.

The last raw in the option indicates that you can connect an usb cord between the frontal RRC control usb port and the PC. On the PC you should select the corrisponding COM port after the serial microbit are installed. Usually the driver installs four serial ports named RRC1258 COM0 COM1 COM2 COMEXTRA. So just look at the “RRC1258 COM2” and check which serial port your pc assigned to that.

In the program you use for controlling you just need to set this com port with 9600 8n1 speed (I tried faster speed but doesn’t seem so relialiable and also it is not necessary), 88h is the defaul terminator code.

From the software side I tested with HRD deluxe, BBLogger, N1MM+, MTTY and some other software for digital mode without problem.

If you have any feedback, please feel free to send me.

My acknowledgement goes to Charlie KB8CR that suggested to me this approach.

Digital Mode for IC7100 and remoterig

If you need to easily connect the PC to the remoterig and IC7100 follow the instructions below.

*** UPDATE 29/10/2017:  corrected an error: The sound port in and out was inverted. ***

INSTRUCTIONS

I spent a lot of times looking for a cheap solution for connecting the frontal part of the ic7100 + remoterig to the pc in order to work with the digital mode.

My tested solution consists in using an usb external soundcard (I avoided to use the native pc soundcard but it is not forbidden) and a connector that can be directly plugged in the microphone plug of the frontal part of the IC7100.

I tried other three cheap usb devices but the results wasn’t good for all of them.  I finally bought this USB external Sound Adapter from Amazon – Sabrent ASIN: B00OJ5AV8I. I suppose that more expensive is even better (wide sound dynamic and a better S/N ratio) but as a first stage this can be a good choice.

You need also two 3.5mm audio jack (mono) and an rj45 male connector. You can also avoid to crimp the rj45 connector just using a ready ethernet cable cutting away one of the two connector and using the scheme below:

6 —> Capacitor (4,7uF 50V) in series to protect the radio from continuous voltage —> central signal pin of the mono “OUT” jack –> Sound Board MIC IN

5 —> Ground signal “OUT” jack —> sound board MIC IN

3  —> central signal pin of the “IN” jack –> sound board  OUT (EARPHONES)

7 —-> Ground signal “IN” jack —> sound board OUT (EARPHONES)

In the radio menu you should select “MIC AF Out” item to “ON” in “Function” Set mode. (p. 17-22 of ICOM 7100 manual)

I also suggest to switch off the speaker output. Take care to do not zeroed the volume beacuse it will be used to regulate the input level to the PC.

After you should start trying to regulate properly the sound card level in the PC menu. It is different case by case.

I used the DM-780 in the Ham Radio Deluxe  without any problem. I do not test other softwares but  in theory they should work correctly.

In the next article the CAT connector for remote radio controlling trought the remoterig

 

My Ham Activities and beyhond