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Using Remoterig with the ICOM IC-7100 and iPhone 7

I use the WiFi installed in the Control-RRC in my car to run HF mobile by remoting back to my home station. The control head of the ICOM is in the car, the transceiver is at home. The iPhone 7 provides the connection from the Control-RRC to the LAN/Radio-RRC. I have full control of the rig and functionality of the touch screen and other controls. This is what I found works.

1. Install Radio-RRC and Control-RRC using ethernet cables connected to your LAN, and the IC-7100 head unit connected to the Control-RRC and the radio connected to the Radio-RRC. You will also need the software running on a PC, also connected to your LAN. This is exactly as described in the instructions. Use a static IP address as suggested.

2.The station should work properly. The path is only via your LAN, but if it does not work in this configuration, it will not work using the iPhone. When you are satisfied that it works, go to the Radio Settings and set the audio to A-law 8 Hz (setting 0) on both the Radio- and Control-RRCs. Set the Rx jitter delay to 11, the jitter buffer to 9 and the packet size to 40 ms on both units as a starting point. Increase the Codec input gain in the Radio settings of the Control-RRC from 18 to 24.

3. Follow the instructions to set up the dynamic DNS on the Radio-RRC. Use the ddns.remoterig option. On the control-RRC place the own host name as seen from the Radio-RRC in the SIP contact box (you can copy and paste). This is critical.  Check the site from an internet browser after about 5 min and see that you are there. The station should still work fine, as you are on your LAN. Consider the DNS service as just a way to connect using a name instead of an exact IP address.

4. On the Control-RRC, now set the IP address to DHCP. This is necessary for the iPhone. You may now loose the ability for the station to run via the LAN.

5. Forward the 3 ports on your home router (or combined WiFi/router) as described in the instructions. With today’s robots out there trolling, I do not recommend the DMZ method. Reboot router. I did not find it necessary to disable SIP ALG on my ASUS router, and in fact I could not make Outlook communicate with my email server at work when I did so. But this may be different with other routers, servers, and internet service providers.

6. Now assemble the WiFi transceiver and antenna in the Control-RRC. Follow the instructions as written. You will need to tell the Control-RRC which smartphone to connect to. I have renamed my iPhone and given it a simpler password, but this is not necessary. Remember to connect the USB cable to the PC to perform the WiFi setup. Turn off then on the WiFi hotspot on your iPhone. Place the phone on top of the Control-RRC and proceed to scan for WiFi signals. It should be the first or second signal to be found, since it will be so strong. Choose it, then add the password that is found in the hotspot tab of the iPhone (under Settings>Personal hotspot). See why I made the hotspot password in my phone something simple and easy to remember? Do not add any other WiFi units that you may see to the list; just your iPhone.

7. All of the above steps require you to Save the new settings, of course. Now disconnect the power from the 2 RRCs and the IC-7100. Remove USB and ethernet cables.  The set-up should be: Connect the short cable that is supplied to socket on the back of IC-7100 called “Control” and to the “MIC/AUX” connection on the Radio-RRC. Connect the ethernet socket on the Radio-RRC to your router. Connect the control head via an ethernet cable from the “CONTROL”  socket on the back of the control head to the “MIC/AUX” socket of the Control-RRC. I prefer the flat, shielded, type of cable. Connect mic to the back of the control head.

8. Turn the personal hotspot off then on again on the phone. With power cables connected to the two RRCs and the IC-7100, turn on the power. You will see the green light blink only a few times on the Radio-RRC, and then be on constantly, indicating it is on the internet. That same light on the Control-RRC will blink until it finds your iPhone WiFi hotspot. I have seen this take up to 1 min. You know that it connects when you see the blue stripe across the top of the phone stating that there is a connection to the hotspot. It may take 5-10 seconds more for the green light to stop blinking. If unsuccessful after 1.5 min, cycle the power to the Control-RRC, or turn hotspot off, wait a few seconds, and then back on. I am not sure why it fails sometimes. In my experience it is uncommon.

9. If both green lights are on and not blinking, press the power button on the IC-7100 control head. You may need to hold it for up to 5 sec. The screen should light up, a frequency shown, and you should here audio from the IC-7100 control head speaker unless it is squelched. You should have full functionality, even with 2 bars of signal on the phone. If not moving, even 1 bar works fine.

10. There are 2 modifications for the ICOM IC-7100 radio that markedly improve the audio responsiveness. These can be found on YouTube. In my opinion you only need the jumper added (There is no need for the other modification, which is the addition of a capacitor. It is a tricky soldering job). With the jumper you should get 100 watts or more on voice peaks on SSB with mic gain set at 50% and compression at 3-4. Adjust to your liking. If you do not do the modification, you will need the mic gain at max and compression at 6, to get maybe 50-70 watts on voice peaks. I tried increasing the codec audio input gain on the Control-RRC, but this is not very helpful because the problem from the factory was a very conservative ALC circuit, limiting peaks too quickly.

I will upload a final version after any feedback that I receive. The system works very well. I use it almost every day on my 2 hour commute.


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