|Using Icom IC-F8101 and Icom IC-F7000 HF Radios for Amateur Radio ALE and Selcall|
The Icom IC-F series of commercial HF SSB ALE Selcall radios can be used in
Amateur Radio Service. Here, we provide some helpful guidelines,
information, and fill
files for various versions and feature sets to enable these radios
to operate on the ham radio ALE HFN and HFL nets and channels, as well as various Ham and commercial Selcall channels. Please
in mind, that this page is a work-in-progress, and any of the
information or files here are beta versions, subject to changes or bugs.
not an official Icom site.
Not an endorsement by HFLINK of any radio.
There were known bugs in the early firmware of first Icom IC-F series HF radios, but recent F8101 firmware "enhanced" upgrades solved the problems. There
is no guarantee of any kind that this information is appropriate for
the user or for any specific radio model or version. The information here is
provided for informal educational
reference purposes only. We highly
recommend that you seek professional technical service for programming
your radio if you are unfamiliar with the complex firmware, software,
hardware, and interfacing issues involved.
Unofficial User Support Forums
Forum Group for IC-F8100
Icom IC-F8100 Reviews - Comments - Tips - Operator Settings -
Configurations - Modifications - Settings - Peer Support - Nets - HF SSB
Land Mobile Radio
Forum Group for IC-F8101
Icom IC-F8101 Reviews - Comments - Tips - Operator Settings - Configurations - Modifications - Settings - Peer Support - Nets - HF SSB Land Mobile Radio
Forum Group for IC-F7000
IC-F7000 Reviews - Comments - Tips - Operator Settings - Configurations
- Modifications - Settings - Peer Support - Nets - HF SSB Land Mobile
Front Panel Keypad Programming
Generally speaking, it is complicated (but possible) to set up an Icom
commercial HF radio for ALE and Selcall via the front panel by hand jamming
(keypad programming) the channels and parameters into it via the keypad. Keypad programming is
only recommended if a very simple configuration is required. We
recommend reading the Instruction Manual and following it carefully. It
probably take 12 hours or more to program a full-featured ALE/Selcall
complex configuration by hand... and when finished, it would be very
difficult to debug any problems with it. The information we
provide here about software programming can be used to program the
radio via the keypad, or to change a few of the parameters or channels
on the fly. The settings can be seen by opening the appropriate *.icf in
CS programming software or viewing the
*.pdf files on this page..
Programming By Computer
The Icom IC-F7000, IC-F8100, and IC-F8101 radios
are designed to be programmed by a radio technician using a computer,
before the radio is put into commercial or NGO service. Icom radios are
available in a variety of
software-defined feature sets that are loaded into firmware by the
radio technician. Two radios may appear the same on the outside, but the
firmware inside them is what determines how they will function, and
that may be entirely different for each radio.
By using the Guidelines and fill files provided here on HFLINK... the
channels, the Selcall, the ALE features, and complete set up of the
radio for ham use can be
easily programmed by a computer-savvy ham radio operator.
Keep in mind that the HFLINK fill files are designed to enable the ham
operator to use all the normally-obscured features of the radio. The
focus of the design of the fill files is to provide a wide variety of
functional value when the radio is used by a ham operator for EMCOMM
service. This means that hundreds of frequencies for ham radio service,
emergency use, other services, and disaster communications are loaded in
memory that might not be needed on a daily basis... but may be accessed
when needed in an emergency situation.
The ham radio oriented HFLINK fill files are not suitable for radios
intended for commercial HF or NGO applications. However, these fill
files may form a foundation or example that can be modified by a radio
technician for other purposes. For knowledgeable users or techs
intending to modify the fill file or create a new fill file for the
radio, it is extremely important to gain a very thorough understanding
interaction, limitations, and functions in the programming available,
ever starting to program it.
We recommend the use of a serial port or USB interface cable
with a PC or laptop computer using the appropriate CS-F7000, CS-F8100, or CS-F8101
cloning software. The software configures the Channels, Networks, Profiles, ALE IDs
and nets, Selcall IDs, and Setmode programming.
The fill files with file extensions
*.icf are necessary for programming Icoms for ALE and Selcall using
the Icom CS Cloning Software. The *.icf file should
be loaded after the CS software and the radio transceiver are set up
and connected together via the proper USB or serial port connection. A
zip file is available here for download, it includes all regional
versions of the various files in one download. Please note: These fill
files are set up for use in various countries of the world, so there are
many channels that are selectively enabled via Network and other
configuration, depending upon the region *.icf file the user decides to
Channel frequencies pre-programmed and available for selection in these fill files:
- Amateur Radio ALE Network HFN (Worldwide Data/Sounding ALE)
- Amateur Radio ALE Network HFL (Worldwide Voice SSB ALE)
- Amateur Radio ALE Network HFL (USA Voice SSB ALE)
- Amateur Radio Selcall Network (Worldwide)
- Amateur Radio Selcall Networks (Australia/New Zealand)
- 5 MHz EMCOMM Emergency channels for various countries and regions
- Amateur Radio IARU Centre of Activity Emergency Comms (Emcomm CoA)
HF 4WD networks: VKS737 HF Radio Network / HF-Tel, Austravel VMD750, HF
Radio Network VKE237, Radtel, HFoZ, Reids Radio
Data / Bush Telegraph / Bush Phone Plus VMS469, RFDS Network, etc.
- New Zealand Emcomm, HF 4WD, tramping networks such as: NZ AREC, NZ MRS, etc.
- Common AM and SSB CB channels
- HF Marine Distress channels
The programming can be edited for other applications, countries, or
purposes. When using these files, it will over-write the channels and
ALE programming in your radio with the new file channels and settings.
Save your existing programming before loading the new file. Important: To use these files, you must follow the Guidelines below carefully. Do not skip any steps, otherwise the configuration will fail.
IC-F8101 Version E and 33:
Programming files for CS-F8101 #02 for use with IC-F8101 Enhanced or 33 version
Download IC-F8101 Enhanced version or model 33 fill files:
FILL FILE for North America
FILL FILE for ITU Region 1 and Region 3
DOWNLOAD IC-F8101 SERVICE MANUAL version E
Early or First Version IC-F8101:
Programming files for CS-F8101 for use with IC-F8101 first version
DOWNLOAD early version IC-F8101 FILL FILES CLICK HERE HFLINK_2015P_ICF8101.zip
(release date 03 JAN 2015)
Beta version for International, Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. Primarily designed for Ham Radio use, but also includes other services.
DOWNLOAD IC-F8101 BROCHURE
DOWNLOAD IC-F8101 MANUAL
DOWNLOAD CS-F8101 CLONING SOFTWARE MANUAL
! WARNING ! Do Not Program IC-F8100 with IC-F8101 Software or Fill Files.
DOWNLOAD IC-F8100 MANUAL
DOWNLOAD IC-F8100 BROCHURE
DOWNLOAD IC-F7000 MANUAL
DOWNLOAD IC-F7000 SERVICE MANUAL (without schematics)
IC-F8101 Programming Guidelines
Using Fill Files and Programming With CS-F8101 Software
(Note: these guidelines are for programming an IC-F8101 radio . Some other versions of software or firmware or other radio models may differ slightly from this procedure.)
1. Connect computer to radio using a USB A programming cable less than 3 feet (1 meter) in length. Use a USB 2.0 port on your computer, or else use a USB 2.0 hub between your computer and the radio. Not following this recommendation on USB hardware can cause your computer to fail to properly communicate with the radio.
2. Connect a dummy load to the radio.
3. Turn on radio.
4. Start CS-F8101 software and set up the software COMM port by using the automatic Search TR, or manually setting the port.
5. In the CS-F8101 top menu "Clone>Read<-TR"
Wait for the software to load from the radio.
6. In the CS-F8101 top menu "File>Save As"
Save the file name as OLD.icf
(this saves your existing radio programming in case you want to restore it later)
7. In the CS-F8101 top menu "File>Open"
Navigate to the the file you want to load for your country/region/area.
In the CS-F8101 menu "IC-F8101>Channel"
Check to see that the new channels have been loaded properly from the file...
8. In the CS-F8101 programming menu section "IC-F8101>SELCALL>Profile"
Change the SELF SELCALL ID from 3001 to your own selcall
address. Change all the 4 digit numbers for each of the Selcall Networks
listed in the profile. Normally you would enter the same selcall number
for all 4 networks in each of the lines of ID. If you have a different
selcall number that you use for VKS737, for example, you can enter it in
the ID for that Network. If you need a ham selcall number, please post a
message on the HFLINK group, and your number will be added to
the Selcall Coordination Listing for Amateur Radio.
9. In the CS-F8101 programming menu "IC-F8101>ALE>ALE-Self Individual ID"
Line 1: ID change the NOCALSIGNHFN to your own ham callsign
Line 2: ID change the NOCALSIGNHFL to your own ham callsign
Note: do not use " / " in your ALE callsign.
10. In the CS-F8101 top menu "File>Save As"
Save the file name as your own callsign...
for example: W1AW.icf
11. In the CS-F8101 top menu "Clone>Write->TR"
Wait for the file to be loaded into the radio.
12. Test the radio.
Check through the channels, to see that they have been loaded into the radio properly.
13. Test the scanning and calling of ALE and Selcall functions.
Special programming may be required for some applications such as:
Here are some tips on customizing the fill file:
- Channel change
- Channel addition
- Channel delete
- Channel name
- Network configuration
- Setmode settings
- Selcall or ALE ID addresses
changing the order of existing channels. Instead, add a new channel in a
blank space or else replace an undesired channel with a new one, and
then set up the network field configuration for it.
begin the name of the channel with the frequency in kilohertz or else a
sequential number in the order that it should appear in the front panel
- Always insert the channel in the list in order of either frequency or sequential number in the channel name.
to check the Network>Channels configuration for each channel after
making any changes, since this can be corrupted due to additions,
deletions or re-ordering.
IC-F8101 Operating Tips
How to Call a Station on ALE : The ALE Individual Call
Hold down for 1 second for Network selection.
(a Network is a pre-programmed group of channels and callsigns)
Press and select Network to call on.
(normally for ham radio, select Network = ALE HFN Sound World)
Press and select Call Type = Individual.
Press to select the Callsign to call.
(if the callsign is not on the list, try another Network or add the Callsign to this Network)
Press to select your Own Callsign.
(note: if it says NOCALSIGNHFN, please program your callsign before going any further.)
The next step, you have 2 choices.
You can Select a specific Channel to call on,
You may want to select <Auto> to try calling on all the channels in the Network. (Auto is usually the preferred method for ALE)
Press to transmit the ALE Individual Call.
The radio transmits the ALE call now.
(this may take a few minutes, if selected <Auto>)
If you need to stop the calling sequence, press microphone [PTT] to cancel it.
There are 2 possible outcomes for ALE Individual Call:
(success! connected with the called station)
(2) Link Fail
(the called station did not respond) Demo Videos
(possibly due to propagation, busy, or interference)
(try the ALE Individual Call again! )
IC-F8101 ALE CALLING AND LINKING
IC-F8101 SELCALL CALLING
ICF-8101 SELCALL GPS POSITION CALL
(DIY Cable and GPS Interface)
Icom IC-F8101 AVL1.5 GPS Position Reporting Map Software Download
Free software designed for HF Fleet Management by Icom for use with IC-F8101 radios. This utilizes the Selcall GPS Call system. Works with Enhanced Version IC-F8101 radios made after November 2015.
Calling a Station on Selcall : The Individual Selcall
(this section is a work in progress)
Selcall Channel Frequencies CCIR 493-4
IC-F8101 Accessory Pinout Documentation Errors
Errors were found in the IC-F8101 accessory connector pinout
documentation in the manual. Please see the diagram below for the
correct pinout. Thanks to Martin KB2CQI for testing and making the