The Icom 7300 panadapter includes an Inrad RX7300, Mini Circuits ZFSC-2-1 splitter/combiner, a DXPatrol SDR, a few cables and HDSDR. See my previous post on the Inrad RX7300 modification. I have been using HDSDR as a panadapter with my Icom 7300 for a few weeks now. The SDR is the DXPatrol. I tried a cheap RTL-SDR, but got too much interference from our local AM broadcast station.
UPDATE: THERE IS A MINI CIRCUITS ZSC-2-2+ AVAILABLE ESPECIALLY FOR AMATEUR RADIO. SEE HERE.
HDSDR displays the 7300’s scope on an external monitor (not technically correct, but sufficient). We get better resolution and a larger picture of the spectrum scope. It’s possible to see an entire band or more and we can tune the 7300 with our panadapter. Use the mouse, point and click on the desired signal in HDSDR and the radio follows. Any changes done to the VFO, band and mode made by HDSDR are tracked by the 7300 and vice versa.
With a panadapter I can see an entire band on my screen and jump from station to station ( See this short clip). This will work extremely well in a contest or even Field Day if you were searching and pouncing. It’s also just nice to have in normal operating.
The LCD on the Icom 7300 is FB, but small. It is hard to touch a signal and jump to the frequency. The Icom 7300 HDSDR panadapter setup is much better for that.
The DXPatrol receiver is no match for the Icom 7300 receiver, so I listen to the Icom 7300 receiver 99.8% of the time because it is so much better. The DXPatrol just provides HDSDR with a receiver.
Total cost for this is around $200. The DXPatrol was $108 and can be used for other things as well. You could try a RTL-SDR for $25 and it may work for you. You could also try a simple RCA “Y” cable splitter in place of the Mini Circuits splitter/combiner. I tried one, but it had too much noise and interference. See my list at the end of this article.
Icom 7300 Panadapter Installation Instructions
- Install the Inrad RX7300. See my previous post.
- Attach the cables and Mini Circuits splitter/combiner. Attach the left ( looking from the rear) RCA to the “S” SMA connector on the Mini Circuits splitter. Connect the right RCA to the “1” SMA connector on the Mini Circuits and finally, connect the SDR you have to the “2” SMA connector on the Mini Circuits. (Other configurations are possible.)
Icom 7300 Menu>SET>Connectors
Here are the screen shots from the Icom 7300. I use two cables, a CI-V for rig control and USB for data modes.
Software installation of Zadig, HDSDR and Omnirig on page 2.