The first IC-9700 frequency modification appeared online. Marcus (PA2DB) from HamShop.nl posted this. The modification only works on European models and by removing 2 diodes the frequency can be expanded by a few MHz to the USA market. That means 2 MHz extra from 146-148 MHz (which is a welcome modification for UK users since they have temporarily access to 146-147 MHz) and extension from 440-450 MHz. No wideband or MARS/CAP modification available yet. I guess the diodes can be found in the front.
Apr 13 2019
Apr 09 2019
The most remarkable tonight were the very poor conditions. I was able to work Dan (OZ1BEF) as usual, but with 55 signals maximum, with the help of airplane scatter. Normaly his signal is always 59+.
Another stations further away that should always be workable is SK7MW but tonight I didn’t hear the Swedish club station, tough they were spotted on the cluster.
Later on in the evening the openings towards the UK were a bit better but still very moderate.
Totals: 16 QSO’s in 7 grid locators. ODX: OZ1BEF with 510km. I could work more but did not gave CQ myself. Just busy with the new IC-9700, pre-amp settings, compressor settings, etc.
Apr 07 2019
April. The Sporadic E season is about to start. And since my last antenne for 50 and 70 MHz didn’t survive a storm it is time for a new one. This time I bought the 5070OWA9 fom EAntenna at the local Hamshop. It is a 4-element antenna for 50 MHz and a 5-element antenna for 70 MHz mounted on a 3,55 meter boom. The driver for 70 MHz is passively feeded from the 50 MHz driver.
Mounting the antenna was quite sraightforward. I needed extra tools like a 5,5mm socket and a 2,5mm Allen key, and a 7mm wrench to mount the coax, the rest of the tools are provided. But… the guys at EAntenne forgot to drill some holes in the 5 supplied mounitng plates to put the 70 MHz elements on the boom. So I had to drill 20 M6 screw tap holes (the holes itself are there). To bad, but the local Hamshop already mentioned it on the webshop.
I still got a Current Balun with ferrite clamps from the old antenna so I decided to recycle this one. Else I’d suggest to make an ‘ugly balun’ or ‘air wound rf balun’ with some coax windings. The balun I use is from Innovantennas and bought a few years ago together with baluns for 144 and 430 MHz.
Apr 05 2019
My Icom IC-9700 is connected to the network. And, as a freelance linux and infrastructure (security) engineer, I could not resist to do a port-scan on the box. The first result was port 23, used for the legacy telnet service. Loggin in was easy. No username and password required to get a shell. Quite shocking and a real security risk for devices directly connected to the Internet. That’s a receipe to get hacked within hours.
Since the # would suggest it’s a rootshell, the available commands are quite limited (yet…). But I assume it’s an RTOS shell. I’ll find time to figure it out.
Apr 03 2019
The problem with new transceivers is the lack of support for drivers in programs like Ham Radio Deluxe, WSJT-X (OmniRig), N1MM+ and MicroHam drivers. Just to name some programs I juse often. After playing around I found a way using the IC-9700 with N1MM+ by emulating an IC-7300 wich has about the same architecture.
All you need to do is change the default CI-V address from A2h to 94h. It will help to change the CI-V Baud Rate from Auto to 19200 but this step is not mandatory. Now confugure N1MM+ to use the IC-7300 and it will work out of the box when the right comport is selected. Good luck!
Update (8-apr): An experimental buid (v1.0.7598) is available on the N1MM website with initial support for the IC-9700 added. Keep in mind this is beta but it seems that both VFO’s work.
Update (9-apr): A new build with IC-9700 support is ready. Update, Set, Go. Good luck!
Apr 03 2019
The problem with new transceivers is the lack of support for drivers in programs like Ham Radio Deluxe, WSJT-X (OmniRig), N1MM+ and MicroHam drivers. Just to name some programs I juse often. After playing around I found a way using the IC-9700 with WSJT-X by emulating an IC-7300 wich has about the same architecture.
My IC-9700 settings:
MENU -> SET -> Connectors -> CI-V
CI-V Baud Rate: 19200
CI-V Address: 94h
CI-V Transceive: ON
CI-V USB Port: Link to [REMOTE]
THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON EVER(!) WITH FT8 -> Check your audio!
When starting to make a QSO, check your audio level. Use the Meter section and be sure the ALC does not more more than 1, 2 or 3 blocks. If you’re running to much audio, the ALC will kick in, crating harmonics, splatter, etc. I’m sure people will just ignore your CQ, if they are able to make a decode anyway. Use the slider on the bottom right. In my case it’s set to about -25 dB.
For receiving: Use AGC slow and change ‘6 sec’ to ‘off’. This is by far the best setting to receive digital signals (also on the IC-7300) in crowded bands and it avoids strong signals (or people disrespecting the ALC setting, we call them egoists) wiping weak signals away.
Apr 03 2019
After unboxing I notice the DIN connector is missing. From all Icom transceivers I’ve bought in the past, the DIN connector for accessoires was always delivered (as pitail). Since PTT-out is mandatory for me to control the SSPA I hope to find a suitable connector in the junk box.
- The transceiver is delivered with firmware v1.04. A newer version (v1.05) is availlable.
- It has PL259 connector for 144 MHz. I’ll change this to N in the future.
- No PTT out via RCA. I’ll open up the box soon to see if there is space in the chassis to mount an RCA connector to act as PTT-out to key-up the SSPA.
Apr 03 2019
Only worked 2,5 hours. 25 QSO’s in 17 grids. ODX: SQ6POM (716km). My result: 4th place in the Netherlands. It could be the last NAC with the FT-817 since the IC-9700 will arrive today. If this Icom doesn’t have the ALC / Power overshoot like all Icom’s have, it should be safe to feed the SSPA with it.
Mar 25 2019
144 MHz: 1st place QRP section
432 MHz: 1st place QRP section
1296 MHz: 1st place QRP section
144/432 MHz: 2nd place C-section (up to 100 Watt)
Mar 16 2019
Today, there is good tropo propagation to Spain, again. Last time activity went up in FT8 on 144 MHz, this time stations also moved to 432 MHz FT8. Spain is a new DXCC for me on 432 MHz. Also one new grid already confirmed via LoTW on 144 (EA1MX in IN73). Loud signals from stations 1.000km+ away.
Mar 05 2019
Only worked two hours. 28 QSO’s in 18 grids. ODX: GD8EXI (705km). My result: 6th place in the Netherlands.
Mar 03 2019
Active on 144, and a bit on 432 and 1296 MHz in the C-SO-LP class.
Temporary results: 1st place 144 MHz, 3th place 432 MHz and 3th place 1296 MHz.
Feb 12 2019
36 QSO’s in 20 grids. ODX: GI6ATZ (791km). My result: 2nd place in the Netherlands.
Feb 05 2019
39 QSO’s in 22 grids. ODX: SK7CY (639m). Good to hear that Conrad (PA5Y) is back. My result: 3th place in the Netherlands.
Jan 20 2019
When startin WSJT-X v2.0, an error is shown saying: “Error Loading LotW Users Data”. Dit is due to Windows systems not hndling Intermediate CA’s correctly when retrieving the LotW user data file thats been served from a secured website.The solution is simple.