WSJT-X FT8 and the Icom 7300 the Easy Way!

Are you looking for an easy way to try out the new WSJT-X FT8 mode? If you have the Icom 7300 I assure you this cannot get any easier or better. There’s no need for an external sound card (Signalink) or any other hardware. The Icom 7300 suffices. The only thing needed is a USB cable (install the driver from Icom before connecting a USB cable) and WSJT-X.

“WSJT-X implements communication protocols or “modes” called FT8, JT4, JT9, JT65, QRA64, ISCAT, MSK144, and WSPR, as well as one called Echo for detecting and measuring your own radio signals reflected from the Moon.  These modes were all designed for making reliable, confirmed QSOs under extreme weak-signal conditions.” – WSJT Home Page

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Stand Alone Preferred by Many

Over the past few weeks I have run across Hams who have been using WSJT-X just like this. No integration with any other programs. There is really no need for JTAlert, QSO Relay or any logbook. This is the preferred way to operate for many Hams.

Super Simple Installation

I’ll put the download link below. This is a safe, small and easy program to get running on your computer. Windows, Linux and Macintosh are supported. Go to the link below, click on it and download the file to your computer. From there it will vary, depending on computer OS, but in Windows just double-click the downloaded file and go through the installation prompts. It is super simple!

Important: Use something for time sync. I use NetTime.

Configuration/Settings

In WSJT-X there are just a few configuration settings to get the Icom 7300 on the air with FT8.

  • In the software, under File and Settings, on the General Tab enter your callsign and grid square.
  • On the Radio tab select the Icom 7300 for the Rig. You’ll need to know your COM port number.
  • On the Audio tab tell WSJT-X what your Soundcard Input and Output are. It’s going to be the Icom 7300 USB Audio CODEC for both.

The rest is in the video. There are just a few more things to look at and you’ll be on the air.

Icom 7300 Internal Settings

If you haven’t already done so, you can have a look at them here: Icom 7300 Easy Transmitter Settings For Digital Operation.

Here are screen shots from my Icom 7300.

WSJT-X The Easy Way!

In this video I cover the download locations for WSJT-X, how to run it and using the built in logging capability. Also included, additional settings, making a contact and finally importing WSJT-X log into HRD logbook.

Once you get it installed I have a few more videos on the Icom 7300 to improve reception, transmit and make the WSJT-X Wide Graph (waterfall) look its best. See below.

Thank you for stopping by and visiting my website. There will be more to come on the IC-7300 and IC-7610.

Have you been on FT8? What do you think about it?

73’s,

Rich, K0PIR

Sources and Reference

WSJT-X download

Using the Wide Graph

Icom 7300 Receiver Settings For Digital

Icom 7300 Easy Transmitter Settings For Digital

Icom 7300 settings that work:

Connectors

DATA OFF MOD = MIC,ACC

DATA MOD = USB

USB Serial Function = CI-V

CI-V

CI-V BAUD Rate = AUTO

CI-V Address = 94h

CI-V Transceive = ON

CI-V USB PORT =  UNLINK From REMOTE

CI-V USB BAUD Rate = 115200

CI-V USB Echo Back = ON

 

 

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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.

75 Responses

  1. blank Roger Matschke WA9MSR says:

    Thanks Rich. You ended several days of frustration trying to get my IC-7300 to transmit using PSK 31 and HRD. One stinking little setting was wrong in the 7300. Thanks for your efforts with the very informative videos.
    I was just ready to start setting up for FT8 when your latest video came out. Perfect timing.

    Have a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Alright Roger. Thank you for commenting and letting me know.

      Best 73 and Merry Christmas!

    • blank Jon Bennett says:

      Rich,
      I so much enjoy the videos and learn a great deal when watching them.
      Re the Icom 7300 and the running of WSJTX software, I too have the problem with the
      with the “USB-D” jumping back to “USB” after transmission. The packet setting does not seem to make
      any change in correcting the fault for me.
      It faked me out for a while not transmitting and then I remembered your comment of the USB-DATA comment.
      Switching back manually sets it to one transmit then it goes and then back to usb.
      HELP !
      73
      Happy New Year to you young man.
      Jon
      NQ4A
      Richmond, VA

      • blank K0PIR says:

        Hi Jon,

        Just listening to your voice mail 🙂 Long day here and -25f in Aberdeen, SD!

        I was using Rig for Split Operation and this can cause problems for some, as well as myself, so I am using “Fake it” for Split Operation. This works best.
        See if that does it for you Jon.

        File>Settings>Radio tab. Look underneath Split Operation and you’ll see “Fake it”. Use that.

        Nice to hear from you! See if that does it for you, let me know. HNY!

        Rich, K0PIR

  2. blank Anonymous says:

    Very good
    Fixing to down load today and see what
    Happens. 1st attempt no audio. I’ll delete
    And start afresh.
    73 and all the best
    🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄
    Jon
    NQ4A

  3. blank Paul says:

    Hi Rich, tnx for the various informative videos on the 7300 and the one on FT8 and WSJT-X in particular. Triggered an interest in digital modes and got things quickly working without going through massive documentation. Which I’m now doing anyway one I’m really nterested 🙂

    Happy New Year and best 73!

    Paul PA2PWM

  4. blank John, K4ZVO says:

    When installing the driver, should I select bit version that matches the installed OS?

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi John,

      It’s nice to hear from you and that’s a great question because even some of our programs are 32bit when we have a 64bit OS.

      Yes choose the one that fits your system. I have a 64bit. In the Windows File Explorer if I right click on This PC and select Properties, it shows the system information.

      Thank you and best 73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  5. blank alan waddington says:

    Hi Rich
    i was running ft8 with the ic7300 everything was ok then for some reason it has stopped showing anything in the band activity part so uninstalled ft8 +jt alert and re installed them but still the same hope you can help
    Thank you 73
    Alan m0wad

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Alan,

      It’s nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting.

      Are you still seeing the waterfall and signals coming through? Verify you are on the correct freq. and mode. The radio is in USB-D mode too.

      It could be the time. Are you using something like Netime to sync your computer clock.

      See: http://www.timesynctool.com

      Rich, K0PIR

  6. blank alan waddington says:

    Hi Rich
    no i wasn’t using netime i have downloaded it and everything seems to be running ok now
    Thanks for your help and i enjoy the videos keep up the good work
    73 Alan m0wad

  7. blank Dan says:

    Hi Rich,

    Dan here…WA2BTR. I just got the Icom 7300 for Christmas so thank you for the excellent videos. You might have covered this, but when I plug the USB cable in I lose the computer audio. I am trying to follow along with your videos but can’t since the audio goes when I am connected! It’s probably a simple setting I am missing, but any help would be greatly appreciated! I do see the waterfall display on my computer screen by the way using N1MM Logger, but that’s as far as I have gotten.

    Thanks and 73,
    Dan
    WA2BTR

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Dan,

      When I was using Windows 7 and my Signalink USB I had the same problem.

      Now I’m using Windows 10 and of course the 7300 or the 7610 and it works great.

      In the computer for the Playback devices I have the computer speakers set as the default. Then of course in the Ham software, I am using the USB Audio CODEC for soundcard in and out.

      See if setting your computer speakers as the default Playback device works.

      Rich, K0PIR

  8. blank Dan says:

    Thanks Rich…that did it! Hopefully this weekend I’ll get to play with it to see if I can actually get it rolling!

    73 de Dan
    WA2BTR

  9. blank Jason says:

    Thanks for posting the screen shots of the IC-7300 data mode settings. I’d spent a few hours going back and forth between the IC-7300 and my laptop (running WSJT-X on Ubuntu Linux 16.04) trying to figure out why I could receive just fine but transmit was a no-go, I’d convinced myself It was a laptop setting, thanks to your screen shots it turned out that I’d missed a simple setting on the IC-7300. Very grateful, thanks!

    Jason VE6JPR

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Jason,

      Good to hear form you and I’m glad it was of some help. Thanks for leaving the comment.

      I haven’t tried it with Ubuntu, but I’ll bet it works good. The Raspberry Pi is a blast.

      73 and good DX!

      Rich, K0PIR

  10. blank Mietek says:

    Thank you for very good, useful information.
    73 – Mietek SP3CMX

  11. blank Ben Setzer says:

    I followed your video to setup my 7300 for WSJT-X. I finally got it to work. I seem to be getting a lot of noise in my waterfall and some of the signals are way to wide, ie from 1000 to 1400. What setting do I need to change in the radio. Thanks for any help-your videos are great.

    Ben
    WA4BCS

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Ben,

      It’s nice to hear from you and thank you for the question.

      If you see some unusually wide signals, check your frequency. Maybe you are not on the correct frequency for the mode you are operating on. For instance, FT8 on 20 Meters is 14.074. JT65 on 20 is 14.076.

      Let me know. If that’s not it maybe this video will help: https://youtu.be/7g1syFRHsu8
      Also: https://youtu.be/4dP55uH7ewk

      On a side note: I am using “Fake it” for split operation in WSJT-X. It is trouble free. Also use Data/Pkt for Mode in WSJT-X. That will set the radio to the correct mode which is USB-D automatically for you.

      Rich, K0PIR

      • blank Ben Setzer says:

        No help, I have all the settings you suggested already. I GUESS I need to redo all the internal settings in the radio. It seems like too much audio is going to the computer.

        • blank K0PIR says:

          Hi Ben,

          What does the green bar on the left hand side in WSJT-X look like? It should be green and maxing between 50 – 70dB.

          There’s only one thing in the radio to adjust for AF Output to your computer and software. that is the ACC/USB AF Output Level. Mine is at 30% now.

          In the computer for the Recording devices, select the USB Audio CODEC and you can adjust the level from there. Mine is at 15. Yours could vary somewhat, but should be around those.

          Getting the waterfall (Wide Graph) in WSJT-X setup can be tricky too. Those sliders are touchy.

          Rich, K0PIR

          P.S. Here is an excellent reference guide: http://www.g4ifb.com/FT8_Hinson_tips_for_HF_DXers.pdf

  12. blank Ben Setzer says:

    Thanks, we are getting there. Will these audio setting affect RTTY or do I need to move them up?

  13. blank Ben Setzer says:

    Thanks for all your help–it is working perfectly now.
    You do a fantastic job.

    Ben

  14. blank Tommy says:

    Great instructions, finally allowed me to start working FT8.

    Only one issue, when I start Log4OM, it activates the transmit. If I revert to a saved load on the 7300, it works fine, switch back to my digital load on the 7300, and it keys down. What setting do I need to look at?

    73,
    Tommy K4XB

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Tommy,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting.

      Please check the RTS setting in OmniRig. RTS can be set to LOW.

      If that does not work for you. In the radio got to Menu>Set>Connectors and change USB SEND to OFF.

      I would try changing the software RTS first. That should work for you.

      Thank you and best 73,

      Rich, K0PIR

  15. blank Tommy says:

    RTS to low did it, thanks so much!

    73,
    Tommy K4XB

  16. blank Frank Sanocki says:

    Rich>

    I have ft8 working fine on one computer but not my other computer. There are no changes to the ICOM 7300 and I am using codex for both input/output on both computers. Do you have any ideas how this can happen?

    Thanks
    Frank W2GC

  17. blank Frank Sanocki says:

    I am using the silicon labs cp210 usb to uart bridge. I have a laptop and everything works perfect. I have a tower and both computers have win 10 installed. On the tower i receive signals I cannot contact anbody and i receive no responses to my CQ. Playback/record are set to CODEX. I am putting out a decent amount of power so I don’t think that is the problem. Everything seems to be set right and WSJT appears to be working fine just no response. I have made no changes to the radio settings.

    Thanks for your time and expertise
    Frank W2GC

  18. blank frank sanocki says:

    I am using Net Time on both computers and if i check time .is it shows my time is exact. Is it possible I have a defective sound card? It seems that even though I am transmitting no one can see my transmission. I do not know if I am transmitting any data

    Thanks for your help
    Frank W2GC

    • blank K0PIR says:

      The soundcard is really the Icom 7300. You are using the USB Audio CODEC for Soundcard input and output in WSJT-X? Are you decoding signals okay?

      Rich, K0PIR

  19. blank Frank Sanocki says:

    Rich
    I went to the device manager and it shows my sound card is working properly and it also has the latest driver.

    Frank W2GC

  20. blank Frank Sanocki says:

    Yes I am in USB- D mode. I have made no changes to the radio from one computer to the next. I reinstalled the Silicon Labs driver and checked the codex driver both are to the latest revision. I know the radio works fine and I know the WSJT program works fine. My computer is a refurbished model. It seems to me it has to be the computer some how. Maybe I will get a new computer.

    Thanks
    Frank

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Frank,

      That is unfortunate, but as you say everything works on your laptop it’s just when you move to the computer that it fails. I would try another USB port on the computer if you haven’t.

      I buy used computers and then eventually upgrade the hard drives to solid state. They are amazing and fast. Less expensive for me that way.

      I hope you get it resolved. Thank you for letting us know and best 73!

      Rich, K0PIR

  21. blank Steve says:

    Greetings Rich!
    Thanks to you I have been operating WSJT_X for several months. But suddenly this morning my USB audio codec drivers have disappeared!
    I am using a 7300 and HRD for rig control and logging.
    Where can I find the proper drivers to reinstall?
    Thanks,
    Steve
    KK6NTL

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Steve,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for the nice comment. I really do appreciate it.

      It’s unusual they disappeared. I would try powering everything down, reseating the USB cable at the computer and the radio and then power everything back up.

      If you need to you can install the latest driver here. It’s from Icom.

      Thank you again, 73.

      Rich, K0PIR

  22. blank Frank Sanocki says:

    Rich,

    FYI the problems with my computer not working was my wifi dongle . I replaced the wifi dongle and everything is working great.

    Thanks for all your help
    W2GC Frank Sanocki

  23. blank Brad says:

    Thanks. Got WJST running quickly. The 7300 is so easy to use. I dumped a FTDX 5000 that required a separate device to run digital modes. The 5000 limited bandwidth in data modes to 2400hz which was irritating for FT8.

    Thanks for the help.

    Brad
    N6GR

  24. blank paul says:

    Hi Rich
    I have the same setup as yourself. When i look at the audio-scope the received signal for ft8 looks flat topped , when the 7300 goes in to transmit my signal looks more of a sine-wave. I can receive ok plenty on the screen, i do not seem to make many contacts. my antenna is a ZS6BKW Multi-band Antenna at 40 ft looking out to the English channel . power is 50 watts on ft8 all settings on the radio seem to be as per the video. ft8 radio settings are USB in mode if i use data/pkt signal output seems lower Split operation is RIG .

    Best 73`s

    Paul G1ZPJ

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Paul,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for posting your comment.

      Maybe change the “LEVEL” when using the Audio Scope on the radio and see if that is not it.

      Are you in USB-D mode when transmitting? I had to watch mine when using the rig for spilt (IC-7300) because it was a little quirky. I eventually settled on “Fake It” for split and yes, Data/Pkt should put the radio in USB-D mode.

      Are you using something for the clock in the PC? I use NetTime: http://www.timesynctool.com

      Rich, K0PIR

  25. blank G0RSP says:

    Hi there not got a 7300 got its little brother the 7100 I have the Cat connection, the TX can be operated from the pc, the meter on the bottom left. The Waterfall is showing signals. But nothing displayed on the Text screen.
    Help

  26. blank Eddie says:

    I can not get the Icom 7300 USB Audio CODEC to show up. I have reinstalled the software from Icom seveal times but still do not get the codec to install. I am using windows 10. I installed without the usb cable connected and have restarted the computer after install.

  27. blank K0PIR says:

    Hi Eddie,

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

    Is the Silicon Labs COM port showing up in Device Manager? You don’t see the USB Audio CODEC in Device Manager or in the Sound properties window?

    If not, I would try a different USB cable and a different physical port on the computer.

    Also, check to see you have the correct file downloaded from icom. It can be a little confusing on their page.

    v1.30 USB Driver From Icom

    See if that helps.

    73,
    Rich, K0PIR

  28. blank Mark says:

    Rich,

    Do you have any idea how to run WSJT-X remote via RS-BA1 ?

    Regards,
    Mark

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for commenting here. I have briefly tried it on the Icom 7610. It is much easier on that radio.

      I know Hams are doing it with the 7300, but I haven’t. One knowledgable Ham is Jeffrey Towle and you can find him though his Facebook group. I am sure they can help you.

      Thanks again for commenting here and best 73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  29. blank Robert Feldtman says:

    I had WSJTx FT8 working with my IC7600, but the 7600 had to go out for replacement of finals..since then I have not been able to get decoding back on WSJTx. Got the sound levels set right, nice waterfall, lots of signals, but no decoding. I have dowloaded the Icom software – tried to reinstall driver, but I read some where the Windows USB audio codec drive reinstalls itself.. I do have a Win 10 computer, should I give up on the old Win 7 and just jump into the Win 10 setup?

  30. blank K0PIR says:

    Hi Bob,

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

    First, do you have a time sync program? Maybe your clock is off.

    Rich, K0PIR

  31. blank John Fraser says:

    Hello.
    Does the Icom IC7300 use the computers sound card for decoding/reading digital modes or is it all done in the IC7300
    Many thanks

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi John,

      Nice to hear from you and thank you for commenting here. It is done my the Icom 7300. There are some volume controls in the computer sound card that will affect it though.

      Best 73!
      Rich, K0PIR

  32. blank Willem says:

    Hi Rich,

    Thanks to your instructions my IC7300 is working like hell with WSJT-X and HRD.

    73 de Willem
    PH0WAW

  33. blank Vladimir says:

    Hi, Richard!
    Today I had my first QSO’s in FT8 mode!!!
    Until that time, I had never worked in digital modes.
    And all this, thanks to your article!
    Thank you very much!
    Your article really helped to figure everything out!
    All the best to you and your family!
    I hope that we will meet on air (including in FT8)
    Happy new year 2020!
    So many good DX’s!
    73!
    de: UX2VZ
    Op. Vlad

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hey Vlad,

      Thank you so much for the comment, I really appreciate it and glad to hear you are on FT8. I’m also happy that the information I put out helped. Thank you again, best 73 and good DX in 2020. I’ll see you on the air!

      Rich, K0PIR

  34. blank Darren Anthony Davies says:

    Great guide, mate. I had my system working but now when I go back and select CAT in WSJTX the IC 7300 starts to TRANSMIT and doesn’t stop unless I change to RTS or close the program. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? Cheers, Darren.

  35. blank Darren Davies says:

    Thanks Rich. I’ll take a look at the Icom first thing in the morning. Cheers.

  36. blank JoshB says:

    your article footnotes have some settings for quick printing which is helpful. however I noticed in your footnotes that it says CI-V transceive = ON, however in your screenshots it says CI-V transceive = OFF.

    which are you using please? thanks

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Josh,
      Nice to hear from you and I hope all is well where you are.
      On normally, off when I was using DXLab Suite. There is a notice to turn it off.I don’t think it mattered, didn’t seem to hurt anything either way. Thanks for asking and stay safe, Best 73!

      More on that here.

  37. blank Dick says:

    Hi and thanks for all the Info on the IC7300. However I screwed up and connected the USB cable to the computer before down loading the Icom driver so have not been able to do anything to get the system working. i did manage to receive FT8 for one day but then that
    went away and nothing I have done since has made anything work. Any thoughts on how to reverse my screw up would be greatly appreciated. TNX K9DLI

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Dick,
      I don’t think that will be a problem. First I would try disconnecting the cable from the computer, then install the ICOM driver and then you can plug the cable back into the computer. Try a different physical USB port on your computer. Watch device manager when you plug in the cable and see what com port comes up. That will be the comport you wanna use. Then try connecting with your software.
      Here is some more information for you. https://www.k0pir.us/icom-usb-driver-reinstall/
      Take care, be safe and Best 73!

  38. blank CHARLES E WALLACE says:

    im at a loss can not get wsjt-x to decode down loaded the new and it stoped working im now bacj to 2.1.0 and still in the same place mite see one or to decode then it stops im stuck help if you can kb8dex

    • blank K0PIR says:

      Hi Charles,

      Hey I had the same problem a little while back and what I did was uninstall the ICOM 7300 USB driver and then reinstall it. I reinstalled an older version of the ICOM USB driver. Seems like the new one didn’t work too well for my laptop. When you go to ICOM to download the driver they have some specific instructions there on how to uninstall and reinstall. I think it is called the ICOM 7300 USB driver installation.

      Try that and see if it works.

      I am camping so I don’t have good access to the Internet. Take care and be safe. 73!

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