This is a guide how to work satellites with the Icom IC-9700. When trying to understand the IC-9700 I needed to write down how to use it – so this is how this post was born. Several different user scenarios are explained below.
Setting up PstRotator and OmniRig
The PstRotator manual is very good so please read it, very important is the section how to use IC-9700 with PstRotator satellite functions.
The file for OmniRig is delivered with PstRotator and is named IC-9700PST.ini. Do not forget to copy this file to the OmniRig folder.
My settings for OmniRig is like this:
And a typical layout for PstRotator Satellites Tracking is like this:
Case 1: Using IC-9700 stand alone without computer control
Read the IC-9700 Basic Manual section 7 “Satellite communication”. It has all the information you need.
I have tested linear satellites with manual tuning (RS-44) and it worked very good. My uplink TX signal (VHF) was fixed and I tuned the downlink signal (UHF) when needed. The VFO tracking/untracking function of the IC-9700 is outstanding.
Some basic rules I learned from skilled operators:
- “Tune the highest frequency”
- “Always tune UHF to VHF” – the same as fix the VHF frequency and tune UHF.
Case 2: Using IC-9700 with PstRotator
Once again – first read the excellent manual of PstRotator and the section about satellites and IC-9700. Then – read it one more time!
Some operating hints:
- Select the satellite from PstRotator Favorites. Correct frequency, mode and subtone (if needed, for FM) are now set to IC-9700, and the radio goes into Satellite Mode. The filter selection, for example if you have chosen FIL2 for USB, should not be changed from PstRotator.
- The first time on a satellite you may need to correct the offset with the +/- and then click Save.
- Press the “UP+DN” on PstRotator. Doppler is now adjusted on both RX and TX. You can use the VFO knob on the IC-9700 to tune around on the passband with full doppler control, very nice! Just transmit and you should hear yourself.
- If a station you would like to receive, or your own signal, is off frequency it can be good to use the RIT on the radio to adjust RX frequency in a smooth way, without changing the PstRotator settings. Also the PBT (Pass Band Tuning of RX filter) can be good to use during RX.
Case 3: Using IC-9700 as TX with SDR-Console v3 as RX
In this case the IC-9700 is working as the transmitter with full doppler control and SDR-Console with a SDR (or panadapter for IC-9700) as receiver, also with doppler control. Be sure to set the correct band for TX to the MAIN VFO in IC-9700 and do not use the Satellite Mode. Then use the same setup as described in this post.
It is possible to use the VFO knob on IC-9700 to tune the TX frequency.
Case 4: FT4 with IC-9700 and PstRotator
Be sure to use DATA mode settings in PstRotator. Then the IC-9700 is using the filter you have selected for DATA.
Then use it just like Case 2 above.
Case 5: FT4 with IC-9700 as TX and SDR-Console v3 as RX
Use the IC-9700 as transmitter and SDR-Console with SDR (or panadapter for IC-9700) as receiver. Be sure to set the correct band for TX to the MAIN VFO in IC-9700 and do not use the Satellite Mode Use the same setup as described in this post.
This is the setup I’m using when running FT4 because I think it gives better control over the QSO than using PstRotator.