Wednesday, 26 January 2022



Most modern radios have an External Monitor port allowing you to mirror your radio's screen to a large external monitor - nothing special about that. It looks kinda cool, but it also feels gimmicky too. Unless your eyesight is poor, there's not much point in taking up a computer monitor when it could be used for something much more useful. So I tend not to use the feature much at all - after all, you still have to turn to the radio to make adjustments.

If you have Ham Radio Deluxe (or similar) you can control the radio from the computer screen and it feels more natural to make adjustments on the screen that you're looking at. But HRD (and this is just my opinion) is really quite boring to look at and the scope and waterfall facility is quite poor and not at all easy to setup.

My favourite piece of radio-related software is actually SDRPLAY's SDRUNO but that doesn't integrate directly with the IC-7610 but  HDSDR does!! Thankfully, Icom purposely made it possible to easily integrate HDSDR and they included full instructions in their manual. It's extremely simple and straightforward and I recommend that you do it. 

Please note that in order to keep your transceiver, tune frequency and LO frequency synchronised, you need to got into the ExtIO settings (    ExtIO   onscreen button) and tick the option for synchronising both ways.

SO THAT’S HDSDR RUNNING! You can stop there and enjoy it. 

Many people will be satisfied with HDSDR but personally I think SDRPLAY's SDRUNO is infinitely more sophisticated and offers better control of the radio. And the good news is, once you've got HDSDR up and running, it's then simple to add SDRUNO because HDSDR installs everything that you need.

So the first step is to install HDSDR and get that running, following the very detailed and simple instructions in the IC-7610 manual. PLEASE NOTE that you will need a good quality BLUE USB 3.0 LEAD and a computer with a USB 3.0 socket! If you don't have both, don't bother trying to install any of this software. The IQ output from the IC-7610 comes from that BLUE USB 3.0 socket. 

DO NOT skimp on quality when buying this cable - buy a double-shielded one of good quality!!!  And don't buy one longer than you need to. Use a piece a piece of string between your radio and PC to determine the minimum length of cable you can get away with.

So with HDSDR installed and running, you now need to copy a folder and a file to the "DOCUMENTS FOLDER" of your PC. That folder and file can be seen in the image below. Locate them, copy them and then paste them into your Windows documents folder.

Now you're ready to download the SDRUNO SOFTWARE and install it as normal. If you are asked which SDRPLAY device you will be using with the software, just select RSP1A (it doesn't really matter which because you won't be using one anyway). You only need to download one file - SDR UNO! Don't bother with anything else.

People might wonder what makes SDRuno better than other similar style software and to me, it's not so much the functions and features (although that's very important), it's the efficiency of the software in terms of how slick it is, how fast it operates, how glitch-free it is and how regularly updated it is.

Install the SDRUNO SOFTWARE and you will end up with an SDR UNO icon on your desktop but that is NOT the one you'll be using to open the software. If you double-click that one by mistake, it will go looking for an RSP1A device, won't find one and will close down.

What we need to do to start the software is run a different tool. Go into your Windows Menu by clicking in the bottom left corner of your desktop and in the list of programs, find SDRPLAY and go to the SDR ExtIO icon and right click it so you can run it as Administrator (you can save a copy to your desktop while you're there). 

The software will now run and will start with the initial panel open. From there you can click on the buttons to open the RX window, SP1 & SP2 to open the scope and waterfall. If you're used to SDRuno, you'll very quickly figure it out, but if you're new to it, you'll probably have to watch a few YouTube videos to understand and fully benefit from this fabulous software.

If you try an older version of SDRuno that is already on your PC, you'll need to pay particular attention to the part of the instruction videos relating to separating the tune frequency from LO frequency! It's a minor point which if ignored will cause you much grief. I think the very latest software may have removed the requirement to offset - you'll have to check.

I should point out that my computer had OmniRig pre-installed and I don't think you need it for this application, but just in case you end up needing it - you can find the software HERE.

That's it! You've got some of the best software in the world running on your PC and controlling your IC-7610. Best of all, it's FREE! The only cost is about 20 minutes of your time. I'll explore more and report back on how practical and useful it is.

Please leave any comments below - and thank you for visiting the blog.

73, Tom, M7MCQ.

UPDATE  30 JAN 2022

After installing SDRuno, I'd been using it as an extra receiver but a friend of mine wanted to use it to control his 7610 completely, so I was on the phone with him trying to sort that out. To be honest, I didn't actually think there was a problem, but we learned that SDRuno wasn't keeping the Radio freq, Tuned freq and LO freq synchronised if you clicked on a signal in the scope.

Adjusting frequency with the mouse wheel was fine, but not if you clicked on a signal.

There has to be a way to resolve that issue and I'll update when I find it. I noticed also that opening the SDRuno software with the ExtIO icon meant that there was no SaveWS button to save your workspace, so each time you open the program, you have to lay out the various panels all over again. 

I might end up simply connecting my RSP1A to the RX-OUT of the IC-7610.

Update 3 FEB 2022

Apparently, SDRuno V1.4.1.1  has a bug which is causing this inability to click on the scope to tune when using IF output mode as opposed to using RF. It will be fixed soon.

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