Remote base station with Digirig

I’m a relatively inexperienced ham so apologies if any of my questions are silly.

I’m planning on setting up a remote-controllable VHF/UHF base station. Not inaccessible, but minimal interaction with the hardware for regular use would be nice. I know some of the more expensive models support this out of the box, but am I correct that with the right software, I should be able to tune a radio and use both voice and digital modes with a digirig? My understanding is it’s effectively just a sound card, so it should be able to handle voice too.

With that in mind, I’m considering either the IC-2730A or FTM-300DR mobiles. Is there any significant difference between the CAT implementations for the two radios/manufacturers? Any reason I will be disappointed and shouldn’t try this? Thanks for any advice!

i’m not aware of ANY of the popular 2m/70cm ‘mobile’ radios that will do ‘cat’ control.
‘cat’ control being ‘tuning around the band’. (not to mention fm mode only)

so that the first hurdle.
my IC-821H does have C-IV (icom cat) but that’s another ‘class’ of 2m/70cm radio.

moving on :slight_smile:
the next part is voice operation vs digital modes operation.

voice is a an ‘straight shot’ using RCFORB
free to use server/client that will let you talking into an android/other device and your audio in/out is sent to your remotely located radio connected via digirig, or other soundcard/keying device, that is connected to your server side PC.

digital modes:
i’ve not found any use for remote controlled station digital modes on FM 2m/70cm.
NOT saying there isn’t one, just don’t know what it is.
(i do packet and vara but no need for remote)

that being said, for my 6m/hf remote station digital, i simply use TightVNC to remote into the PC connected to my IC-736.
that remote pc of course has all the digi mode software, rotor control, and a digirig type device.

i just use any vnc viewer on any platform and remote into that pc and operate digi modes like i were sitting at the remote pc.

good luck


i’m long winded and rarely concise.

sorry about that

  1. remote voice operation = pretty easy/simple but no tuning around the band with regular dual band mobile radios.

  2. what did you have in mind concerning digital modes for vhf/uhf ?
    (that would narrow down possible solution paths)


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Thanks for all of the info! That’s all super helpful. Something like rcforb seems like what I want. ICOM actually advertizes their IC-2730A to have CI-V which is how I landed on that radio. Assuming that’s true, it sounds like I should be set.

For digital I don’t have any plans but I agree remote doesn’t seem too useful. I don’t believe there is much digital by me but I could see myself repurposing that setup as a digipeater for my HTs if I ever get into it.

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if the 2730 does c-iv control that’s sweet!
(according to the manual, it sure does)

i haven’t bought big three gear in awhile so i’m used to the ‘pc’ port on mobiles to work like programming a handheld with chirp, rather than ‘computer control’.

icom, my favorite, has done a good thing with implementing c-iv in the 2730.
i was disappointed that icom isn’t interested in analog aprs, hoping for years they would produce something like the kenwood offering.
i run an aprs digi-gate and use two way aprs quite a bit.

looks like you picked a good rig to remote.
jump in and see what all you can do.
the digirig has been a reliable soundcard/serial interface for me in everything i’ve tried with it so far.


Oh why did I have to read this post?? Now I have to buy an IC-2730! CI-V control would be a game changer!

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I found this conversation about controlling the 2730 with CI-V:

ICOM 2730 FULL CI-V control and Audio out of Speaker 2 - Digirig Forum

I’m struggling to understand what programs people are using to control this transceiver with CI-V commands. I can’t find any youtube videos or online tutorials. It’s not a model listed in FLRIG (at least not my version). This one looks over my head. I would really like to understand this better.

Here’s the manual with some info on the CI-V, but it doesn’t talk about what software to use in order to send the commands to the radio.

IC-2730A/E EXMENU items and CI-V information (

I’m guessing someone would just need to sink the money into a 2730, digirig setup, and a OPC-478UC cable, then spend some time trying different combos of other radio settings in some comms software.

Hamlib has a listing, but someone in the digirig forum linked above said they had issues with it. Maybe their issues were in connecting the cable for the CI-V commands onto the digirig, when they should only use the digirig for audio and PTT, while using a completely separate cable for CI-V commands.

I was able to find an ICOM CI-V programming guide for the IC-2730A, if the application support isn’t great maybe I’ll just start with Python to make sure the digirig + cable is working in the first place.

Edit: I missed your link, that’s the same one I saw!

one of the things i really like about Icom is their ci-v implementation.

‘most’ common functions of a radio will be the same command across the board.
just choosing ‘generic icom’ and the correct address will get you going most of the time.

the ‘command set’ isn’t completely rewritten every time a new radio comes out.
just more commands added when new ones are required.

now, more ‘advanced’ functions are usually only available with model specific definitions.

so things like dstar mode and gps data polling or dstar low speed data send or spiffy things like that, will not be in the generic definition.

but, things like memory vs vfo mode
channel up, channel down
direct frequency set
power level
mode (not on the 2730 as that is fm only)

so, the scenario i could see is:
a winlink gateway or bpq32 bbs that can scan vhf/uhf frequencies
(common for a multiband hf gateway/bbs)

or working the fm satellites