Icom 7300/7610 Adjusting RF Power Digital Modes

K0PIR

I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

32 Responses

  1. Joe Burnham says:

    Hello Rich.

    No matter what I do, I am not able to get more than 25-30 watts out of the rig, as indicated by it’s metering. (This is when using ‘tune’ in FT8, JS8CALL, etc.). There is also no ALC indication.

    I’ve tried every possible combination of settings with USBMOD levels, RF output levels, and USB AUDIOCODEC settings on my iMac.

    Icom says that the DSP processing of the transmitted signal was the reason, despite the fact that this was happening when the software used was in TUNE mode (constant tone being sent to the radio from the iMac).

    Do you have any suggestions on where I could go from here?

    Thanks and 73, Joe WD4KAV

  2. K0PIR says:

    Great Marc. Good catch. Hopefully your SWR is stable.

    I use auto when I am portable because I am not using an amp. I have only used it on SSB and I kinda like it.

    Great to hear from you and thank you for posting your solution.

    Best 73,
    Rich, K0PIR

  3. Bernard Rhead says:

    Hi Rich

    As always thanks for all your hard work putting this site/blog together. Just one q: when you talk about the ALC zone on the 7300 do you mean the red zone on the ALC scale or the whole scale?

    Thanks

    Bernard
    G8KVM

  4. Marc says:

    Hi Rich,
    I just followed your suggestions made in the tutorial/article, and it all works fine on my IC-7610, for the bands above 40m. It all stays more or less consistent on all bands with the exception of 40 & 80 meters, where the power drops down to just 20 – 25 Wts. Any idea what I did wrong? I’d like to push out at a similar amount of power like on the other higher frequency bands. Any hint would be appriciated.
    Cheers,
    Marc

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Marc,

      Nice to hear from you.

      When the power drops, how is your SWR?

      Rich, K0PIR

      • Marc says:

        Hi Rich,

        thanks for your feedback. Yes, it had a high SWR. And I noticed something strange there. My antenna is tuned (using the 7610 internal tuner) to 7.074, doing a few FT8 QSOs. I noticed that I have to re-tune every, lets say 2-3 QSOs, since the tuner doesnt seem to keep the settings for this antenna at the selected frequency. Any idea why this is the case? From my understanding, the tuner should consistently keep the settings until being tuned next time, right? Thank you so much.
        Cheers,
        Marc

        • K0PIR says:

          Hi Marc,

          It should keep the setting.

          It could be the a grounding problem, antenna, ant. connectors, coax, etc., etc., causing problems.

          I’ve seen my antenna behave the same and one time it was water in a connector after a bad storm.

          I’d do some troubleshooting on the antenna, feedline, connections and any jumpers. Could just be something loose or something swaying in the wind 🙂

          Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here.

          Best 73,
          Rich, K0PIR

          • Marc says:

            Hi Rich,

            think I have found what was causing the issue. During experimentation, I had PTT Start (Menu->Set->Function->Tuner), set to ON. Once I set it back to OFF, the issue was gone and the tuner settings were stable, as expected.

            Cheers,
            Marc

  5. Sjuk says:

    Hi Rich,

    ICOM says that when in USB-D mode the output level of the IC 7300 should be within the ALC zone.
    Is this also valid when the IC 7300 is in RTTY mode?

    This weekend I did some RTTY (FSK) using the IC 7300 (in RTTY mode) and MMTTY, single USB-cable,
    no other (logging) program connected.
    With RF Power set on 30% the ALC was about 3/4 of the scale, so a rather high ALC reading.
    (Output reading on my external Kenwood AT-230: about 20 watts).
    With RF Power set on 5% the ALC still was 1/2 of the scale.
    IC-7300 settings: ACC/USB Output Level 40%, USB Mod Level 40%, USB Send: RTS, USB Keying RTTY: DTR.

    I tried some other settings but the ALC didn’t change a lot.
    Any suggestions to get the ALC down (if needed)? Is there a setting in MMTTY which can do the trick?

    Today I also tried a setup with FLDIGI in mode RTTY (AFSK) and the 7300 in USB-D mode.
    IC-7300 settings the same as above, but USB-Send: Off.
    Windows USB-Audio Codec settings each on 50%.
    In this case the ALC stayed low (only 2 or 3 little bars on the ALC-scale) with RF power at 30%.
    It seems to me one has more control on the ALC when using FLDIGI (RTTY / AFSK) combined with a proper setting of the USB-Audio Codec level. This compared with MMTTY (FSK). Your opinion?

    Best 73
    Sjuk / PA2VS

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Sjuk,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for the comment and questions. Very good questions.

      In RTTY (FSK) mode the ALC will not change much. It’s full out, so don’t be concerned about it. It will change slightly if adjusting the PO. When I am on RTTY FSK I usually run 80 to 100 watts. No problems at all. In contests I’ve used my Ameritron amp, but I have to be careful and watch both the radio and amp closely.

      You nailed it. When in RTTY (AFSK) you can adjust the ALC and power as if you are running PSK31. It’s nice with Fldigi.

      Sounds like you have it going very nicely.

      Thank you again and again very nice to hear from you.

      73,
      Rich, K0PIR

      • Sjuk says:

        Hi Rich,

        Thank you for your quick and reassuring reply, I was concerned about the high ALC when using MMTTY.

        I only started in digital modes about 6 weeks ago, when my new IC 7300 arrived.
        With the help of your informative website and videos getting started was rather easy.

        I only had 2 major issues:
        1. In WSJT-X sometimes the 7300 would not switch from Tx to Rx and I had some rig control error messages.
        Restarting WSJT-X was then the only solution.
        This was solved by setting the 7300 ‘USB Send’ to OFF (it is only set to RTS when using MMTTY).

        2. Some interference signals showed up on the 7300 Spectrum Scope. This was solved by replacing the
        USB cable, I now use a well shielded one.

        Thanks again.

        Best 73
        Sjuk / PA2VS

        • K0PIR says:

          Hi Sjuk,

          Thank you for the post and information.

          It is unusual for WSJT-X to do that (1.). Maybe you can just leave USB Send OFF for MMTTY. The RTTY Keying can be done by DTR.

          I have some garbage in my spectrum scope too sometimes. Thank you for your solution.

          Best wishes to you and yours. Thank you so much and best 73.

          Rich,K0PIR

  6. Ivars says:

    Hello Rick
    Well I made the final selection…. Flex 6400M vs IC-7610. I now have the big brother to my 7300, the 7610.
    I used your youtube video to set up the 7610 with WSJT-X. For some reason, WSJT-X sets up both receivers when changing bands….If you have time, a video from you would be nice that just sets up WSJT-X with 7610 and no logging software like HRD or N1MM etc. I also see a youtube video where the user has two copies of WSJT-X running on a windows machine and each copy is connected to one each of the receivers. I have downloaded the current driver for 7610 and COM Ports assigned are 11 and 12. I have only one USB cable connected to USB Port in the back of the 7610. My idea is to have WSJT-X – one on 50 Mhz, the other on 20Meters

    Need your expertise

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Ivars,

      Nice to hear from you. Congrats on the 7610!

      I have a new video and it show WSJT-X towards the end and how it is configured. I am just running it and nothing else.

      See: https://youtu.be/AngV0gLW5HY

      I will have to look at the video. Maybe they are using dual watch with WSJT-X?

      Rich, K0PIR

  7. Joe Castorina says:

    I am having issues with WSJT-X on 20 and 15m. With your settings I am not getting any ALC or watts out. All other bands work fine. I tested by transmitting a CQ in FT8 into a dummy load.

    Have you experienced this issue or heard of it?

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Joe,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for visiting my website.

      I have not had that happen. Will the radio TX when you hit “Tune” in WSJT-X?

      Rich, K0PIR

      • Joe Castorina says:

        Hi Rich,

        I have tested the CAT and PTT in WSJT-X and it works so it shows that the USB settings are correct.

        If I use the Tune feature in WSJT-X I get ALC deflection and power out on all bands.

        Then I tested into a dummy load and I get between 50-75% deflection on the ALC and my Bird meter shows the correct output power on all bands except 15 and 20m which so no ALC and no output power.

        I cannot figure it out. I have loaded the latest Icom drivers (downloaded yesterday) and I have triple checked every settings in the radio, application and Windows and all match what you have in place. I have even crossed referenced them with other articles which basically say the same as you.

        I would understand if all the bands didn’t work but just these two, which is unfortunate since 20m is the only really active band other than 40 here.

        • K0PIR says:

          Joe,

          So if I understand you right, tune works with power output on 15 and 20m, but no power output when transmitting CQ.

          I use tune briefly to set my power output level and then I make a transmission. My transmission is the same power output as what I set with tune.

          That is unusual. Are you sure WSJT-X has the correct frequency in 15m and 20m and you are in USB-D?

          Using another program, could you try PSK31 on 15 and 20m?

          Rich, K0PIR

          • Joe says:

            Well Rich, when all else fails blow everything away and start over.

            So to answer your questions. Your first sentence is correct. All other bands worked fine but 15 & 20. Everything you mentioned in your 3rd sentence was set correctly.

            Using Winwarbler I could send PSK31 and using MMTTY I could send RTTY.

            So I reset the the radio back to default, uninstalled WSJT-X and wiped any reference in the registry, removed the Icom drivers and rebooted the machine.

            I then reinstalled the application and driver. I configured the radio and all worked as it should.

            Not sure what happened. I have read a couple of posts that stated that the sound card in the 7300 gets confused at times and quits functioning. I also read that the latest firmware update resolved the issue. I have had the latest update installed for a while so either it does not resolve the issue or something else was going on.

            Made several contacts last night on 20m FT8 without issue. Prior to the issues on 15 & 20 everything worked ok and then in the middle of working FT8 it just quit which set me off on the troubleshooting path.

            I am going to watch it closely and see if it happens again.

            By the way nothing was changed in settings on the radio, application or computer from when it was working to when it stopped. That is why it was just so confusing and frustrating.

            Thanks for the help. I enjoy your videos, keep up the good work.

          • K0PIR says:

            Hi Joe,

            Thanks for taking time and commenting on how you resolved it. I’m happy to hear you got it working again.

            Another Ham I know just had to uninstall and install the driver to get his working, but he was unable to TX on any band with WSJT-X. However DM780 and PSK31 worked fine for him. Your situation is unusual in that it was an issue with just 15 and 20m.

            Thank you again, your post will be of help to others.

            73 and good DX – Rich, K0PIR

  8. Eivind says:

    Hi Rich,
    Power output is always set to 100W on my IC-7300. It’s in HRD DM780 (BPSK31), SIM31 and WSJT-X programs, I’m adjusting Tx audio level to control the output power, for example to zero ALC display, when running BPSK31 and so on.

    Adjust the ALC meter to 0 % of the ALC scale when running PSK31/63/125 if you want to send a clean signal (-34 IMD), with no visible unwanted sidebar pairs. This is measured with my outstanding KK7UQ IMD meter.

    I use nearly the same IC-7300 menu, but if only two bars appear in the ALC display, my IMD changes from -34dB to about -18-20dB measured with my kk7uq IMD meter.

    With radio set to 100 % RF Power, I have approx. 60W out at 0 % ALC display.
    In analogue SSTV (MMSSTV) my ALC scale shows approx. 100 % at 100W output.

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Eivind,

      Thank you so much for reposting and again, it’s nice to hear from you. You have a very nice looking Icom 7300 page.

      That was my preferred way for a long time and I much appreciate your posting that information.

      I look very much to seeing you on FT8 someday. Best 73!

      Rich, K0PIR

  9. Thank you for the informative article. I have wondered about the ALC setting and in my own use of the 7300, I have reduced the audio feed to just engage the ALC. then, as you suggest, adjust the power output with the multicontrol. I guess my approach on level control is « when in doubt, leave it out » I know this is an old school approach and may or may not be Valid. My fear is that every additional audio stage introduces some element of distortion. Again , old school thinking but I still think that way HiHi. I wonder what Icom’s reason is for suggesting such a high level of ALC?

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi David,

      Nice to hear from you and that is my thinking too, it’s better to be safe.

      The 7300 and 7610 are not like the traditional transceivers. Basically, they process the signal different than traditional transceivers. AB4OJ has an excellent report on it. See IC-7300 User Evaluation & Test Report.

      Many of the Hams I know using the 7300 and 7610 report no distortion at 50% ALC and a few others have even commented to me that 100% is good. I think it is better to be safe, so I’ll stay around 50%. Icom just says within the ALC zone.

      I noticed that I didn’t have to use as much power when my ALC was 50% of the scale. It could have just been propagation, but I was impressed going from 30 watts to 15 watts and getting very good reports on FT8 and PSK31.

      Thank you again and I hope to hear (see) you on the air.

      Best 73,

      Rich, K0PIR

  10. Peter Rossin says:

    Hi Rich

    Thanks for a great article. On my 7300, I have the RF Output set to 50% (50 watts), my Audio Codec output set to 22 and my Acc USB AF output set to 75%. With those settings my ALC is still 0. Took a lot of fussing to get there – nice to know ALC doesn’t have to be 0.

    What is the function of CI V echo back ON – I have had mine off?

    Pete N1PCR

    • K0PIR says:

      Hi Peter,

      Just before the article posted I was testing the 7300 settings and it is a little different than the Icom 7610. I needed to adjust the USB MOD Level to 40% or a little more to achieve what I was doing with the 7610 at 30%. I also noticed the 7300 still has a little fluctuation in ALC when going from 20 watts to 70 watts using the RF Power (MULTI) knob. So it is a little fussier than the 7610.

      No doubt settings will vary from station to station.

      I ran no ALC for a long time on the 7300 and I made a lot of contacts and got good reports which I am sure you are getting. No distortion.

      The CI-V Echo back is needed for some of the programs I am using. Particularly MacLoggerDX a while back. There was another too, but I can’t think of it now. The default OFF works for most everything and having it ON doesn’t seem to affect much but a couple of programs that I’ve seen. If you don’t have any problems, stick with it OFF.

      Thanks for commenting and your information, I appreciate it.

      73,

      Rich, K0PIR

  11. Frans says:

    Another fine advise which is in accordense to my findings. Thanks for the good job and 73,
    Frans PA0FBR

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.