18 April 2016

Icom IC-7300 and spectrum / waterfall on the PC

Icom IC-7300 is a great feature radio, but the main complaint about it is there's no I/Q output (or at least video output like in the IC-7000) so you can see the spectrum/waterfall display on a larger screen.

Icom IC-7300 waterfall

I kept telling people the Icom IC-7300 already has an internal soundcard available through the USB port and the spectrum/waterfall display is available in the Icom RS-BA1 software, also via the USB connection, so there's no need for I/Q (which is very sensitive to zero-hertz interference and amplitude/phase mismatch). Until I saw these videos:

It seems the spectrum and waterfall display available in RS-BA1 is just a kid's toy with no practical use - the delay is very bad and refresh rate is catastrophic. And no, you can't blame this on USB speed limit, even USB 2.0's half duplex has huge overhead for whatever that display requires if the datastream is properly encoded.

I asked Icom for a comment on Twitter, no reply yet. I'll update the post if I have more info.


  1. Hi Razvan,
    check this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbGtlNbJ2KQ

    73' Ton PA1PXL

  2. Hi Ton,

    Bonito shows audio channel spectrum a few kHz wide, like any other datamode software.


  3. Hi Razvan, okay i was not aware of that. Saw the video on youtube and looks interesting. Maybe Icom will upgrade her RS-BA1 software in future (should be part of IC-7300 package)
    73' Ton

  4. I own the 7300 and it is a huge disappointment not to be able to use the software with anything other than the OEM software for a panadapter. It is a bit surprising and makes this rig only half as good as it could be. Still like the radio and plan to keep it but it is a big negative for me and I tell others the same.