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.


IC7100 CAT connection for remoterig

If you want to operate remotely with your PC connected to the RRC control side (RRC-CP for the rest of article), you need to add a CAT interface throught the RRC radio (RRC-R for the rest of article) 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-CP.

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 row of the options table indicates that you can connect the RRC-CP front USB port directly to your PC. On the PC you must select the corresponding COM port after installing the microbit serial driver. Usually the driver installs four virtual serial ports called RRC1258 COM0 COM1 COM2 COMEXTRA. Then simply locate the “RRC1258 COM2” to which COM on the PC is assigned and use that value.

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


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:

RJ45 connecotr pinout

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)

Microphone Connector Information
Function set mode

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 actual setup IC7100 + Remoterig – Part I

My actual setup is based on a Icom IC7100. It is great radio in my opinion also if you use in a remote configuration like me.
My antenna, actually a Titan DX, is placed in my parents house for several reasons. The most important one is that is at about 900 mt a.s.l. and as no obstacle towards see coast.
The cons of my parents house is that the actual adsl connection is really poor and achieves speed around 400-500 Kb/s.
For this reason I tried in the past years several combination, mostly using a remote pc for cat connection and voice transmission (skype, mumble, teamviewer, vnc and so on).
I also tried a combo with raspberry and some audio card, but everything was really unstable, mostly because the low speed of internet connection.
When I bought the IC7100 I decided to invest some more money in something more stable and after some research I selected the remoterig device.

This solution for the IC7100 is perfect because you can bring the front part at your remote location and attach directly to the remoterig control and there is no difference from connecting directly to the rig.

This is a perfect solution if you want to use the voice.

For the CAT connection is a little more complex and I have to say that from the forum of the remoterig seller you receive few information but being patience it is possible to solve  the puzzle and after everything became clear.

So for you that are looking for a complete solution I can suggest to proceed in the following way taking really care of particulars, of course I will consider that you are able to setup the remote connection properly and you know where are you putting your hands.



RaspberryPi for radio remote control with voice support

In the last month, I worked over the optimization of my remote radio station. I have a Yaesu FT897D in my parents QTH in a wonderful open position and I would like from my house in city.

It was not a big problem to setup a remote station using a notebook running the HRD server and controlling the radio via CAT. I had some minor problem in obtaining the best voice modulation using the notebook soundcard. I’m working on it and I hope to solve it quickly. For the voice connection actually I use a classical skype connection. Everything is working quite well despite the frequent crashes of HRD, probably due to the low bandwidth of my parents QTH.

Furthermore I would like to save a notebook only for this activities so I started investigating on Rpi and its implementation. As many of you know in the raspbian distribution there are already the hamlib library and various tool for CAT control (see hamlib net control) . The Yaesu FT897 is poorly implemented but there is the possibility to improve the basic controls.

The other brick completing the set is the Wolfson Audio Card for Raspberry: it is a powerful low cost soundcard that can be fitted on raspberry giving the possibility to a) recording audio and b) using some nice DSP voice feature. The drivers for this card are going to be integrated in the latest version of raspbian kernel distribution, but it is possible to do a lot already with the 3.10 kernel (follow this user guide for installing it).

For the audio part I’m going to use the VoIP smartphone software linphonec that is compatible with wolfson audio card (doing some hacking for downsampling to 8kbit the streaming).

I also verified the the Kernel 3.10 support the USB-CAT cable based on my Prolific 2303 chipset.

Actually I have all the pieces of the puzzle in my hand and I’ll update this post as soon with details trying to provide a step-by-step tutorial.


PS: I was thinking to name this project RASPAM “rasp-ham-remote” but I open to suggestion 🙂

UPDATE (Dec 29, 2014): Thanks to Giovanni Moretti ZL2GX from New Zeland for name suggestion that for the moment sounds an improvement for the project name. About the Wolfson Audio Card: I think that the support from the producers is still unsufficient. I’m following the GITHub contribution from wolfsonmicro stuff and the last activity was one month ago.