One of the reasons I purchased my icom IC9100 was for VHF/UHF contesting. Being a shack in a box, with 160m-23cm bands in a small package, it was the ideal rig for my limited space. and has been a wonderful performer.
In Australia we have a number of active higher band contests throughout the year, A local ham Mike VK3AVV has a very simple, but very powerful logging application called VKCL (VK Contest Log). This software incorporates the scoring rules for a majority of the australian and a lot of the overseas contests and allows simple logging, helps you keep track of the rework rules, stops duplicates, works out distances and grid squares.. AND – with a connection to your radio, it can read the band/mode and track these changes as you move around the bands and LOG.
To enable this radio control function in VKCL, you need to install the simple program OmniRig, developed by Alex, VE3NEA.
“Omni-Rig is a dual interface COM/OLE server for transceiver/receiver control. Its key features are: multi-threading: several programs, even if written by different authors, can control the rig via Omni-Rig at the same time; external rig description files: you can add support of new rig models just by creating ini files describing the CAT commands of the rig”.
The first contest owning the 9100 and I fired up VKCL, only to discover that no Icom IC9100 Omnirig .INI control file existed.
A quick google search found a version that had been written for an Icom IC-7410 (the HF version of the 9100) and 15 mins later I had modified up the command set and had it working with my IC-9100. The instructors on the configuration and format of this CAT control for the radio are in the back of the 9100 user manual. The file I have created performs only basic control, as was required to make the radio and VKCL interact. It will follow mode and band changes for my setup, and makes working these contests as a single operator, single radio, single log very simple. You may find that this .INI file is too simple for some applications and connections and may require some development time to work with your specific setup requirements. Being open source you have the ability to modify and expand on this .INI file to provide additional function’s. If you do modify and create a better version, it would be great if you could share you improvements!
If you would like a copy of my IC-9100 INI file you can download it as a .zip file from this link IC-9100 Omnirig *note I created this file to drive my gear, and it may not work out of the box for you!. Caveat emptor!
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