FT8 on Icom 718 -- How?

Discussion in 'Rig Control, Prop., Cluster, & Other Software' started by N9AXL, Jun 17, 2019.

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  1. N9AXL

    N9AXL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a RPC-I17-UF-3M cable to install between my Icom 718 and computer. I installed DX Lab which gives me CAT control of the rig. I want to do FT8 and WSPR so what else do I need? I installed WSJT-X and Meinberg.

    I am thinking I need a Rigblaster or something like that? Sorry to sound so stupid but I'm upgrading from my 1960s vintage radios so this is all new.

    Is there a simple step by step guide to using FT8 with a 718?
  2. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, you need a Rigblaster, SignaLink, etc. That plugs into the 13 pin DIN connector on the back of the 718, and into a USB port on your computer. See this link for a short description:

    You'll also need to configure the WSJT software to work with your radio. Launch the WSJT software, and go to "Settings", "Radio" and select the Icom IC-718 from the rig dropdown. That should be all you need....
  3. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been using a Signalink with my 718 for about 5 years now. Works like a charm.

  4. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Signalink USB is a winner. I still have this setup: IC-718, CAT cable, Signalink USB.
  5. N9AXL

    N9AXL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found a Rigblaster Plus for $50. I guess that will work. Not the newest and greatest but I dont want to spend $200 until I am sure I like the modes. I have poor antennas and low power. Hoping that FT8 works better than results on SSB.
  6. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    It will, but be prepared to be called unskilled, lazy, etc...

    It's bad out there.:D
    KD4MOJ likes this.
  7. N9AXL

    N9AXL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes. I get there is this prejudice against using the digital modes. At some level I get it (and sort of agree that many people don't have the knowledge that used to be standard) but the hobby allows for all types in my view.

    I mean hams have been using RTTY since the 1930s and no one seems to give them a hard time. That's actually what I am interested in but I just don't have the space for an antique RTTY machine.

    My answer I guess will be to describe what I have in my shack besides my FT-718 -- (partial list) Collins S-line, Hallicrafters, Drake line including R4B, Gonset, National, Hammarlund and an RME-69 -- all of which I rebuilt myself - I guess if that and having a ticket since 1978 makes me lazy and unskilled that's how it is. And I can do CW by hand at 30 WPM.
  8. AA6YQ

    AA6YQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You'll need a CI-V interface to enable Commander to control your IC-718, and a soundcard interface to enable WSJT-X to use a soundcard in your computer to receive audio from your transceiver and send audio via your transceiver for transmission.

    You can build or buy a CI-V interface. The RPC-I17-UF-3M you purchased should satisfy this need.

    You can build or buy a soundcard interface.

    There are commercial products, like the Rigblaster you mention above, that incorporate both a CI-V interface and a soundcard interface. If you already have the CI-V interface, a standalone soundcard interface will probably be less expensive.

    Step-by-step instructions for configuring Commander to control your IC-718 are here.

    Step-by-step instructions for configuring WSTJ-X can be found in the Configuring WSJT-X section of this article. After you have that working, other sections of that article explain how to log QSOs directly to DXKeeper, and how have decoded callsigns in WSJT-X color-coded to reflect award need (relative to the award objectives you've specified in DXLab), and participation in eQSL and LoTW:


    I suggest that you join the DXLab Discussion Group, where all questions are welcome, no matter how many times they may have already been asked and answered.

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  9. KB8QJF

    KB8QJF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As an old guy that would like to get into FT8. I too have an Icom 718. I need a list of what I need with links for the parts to connect between the rig and the USB port in my laptop. I just don't know what to get. All the hams around me are all older than I and most don't know how to use logging software. Anyone want to help??
  10. N9AXL

    N9AXL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got it working. PM me and I will be happy to go through how I got mine set up.
    KB8QJF likes this.

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