I see that ICOM just released a new Firmware upgrade for the IC-7300. This is Version 1.40 and it has some good looking upgrades to the Waterfall and the scope display, among other things. I also like the added ability to customize some of the Front panel control functions. I am going to go through the process to get it installed, and will share my experience here.
This upgrade provides a number of significant changes, so I welcome it, and thank ICOM for this great support of the IC-7300. It appears that this radio has already set sales records and this makes it only better. All the details can be found on the ICOM Site under IC-7300 Downloads.
Saving your Settings FIRST
Before I do any Firmware upgrade, I am saving all settings to a file on a PC that is not connected to the IC-7300 which I will be upgrading. ICOM recommends that you do this, or you may install the upgrade and then find that things don’t “work” like they used to. You have to realize that any time you do an upgrade, there is always the chance that things will go wrong. So while I will share my experience and the steps I follow, I can’t assure you that there will not be a problem with your upgrade in your Shack.
Saving your settings is very simple, using an SD Card. To save settings, just do the following: MENU–>SET–>SD Card–> Save Setting. Then enter a filename and CLICK on SAVE. Then I select SD Card–>Unmount to remove the SD Card, for copying to a PC for safe keeping.
Due to the well-known 7300 Clock Battery issues, the SAVE date of your settings file may not be correct. Mine shows 1-1-2000. This is because I do not keep my 7300 connected to 12 Volt power unless I am using it, so the Clock Calendar always resets to 1-1-2000 when I power-up the radio. If you want to hear more about that, just go to the IC-7300 Group on Groups.io and wait for 5 minutes…. I added the current date to the Filename, BUT that caused a problem. Apparently the 7300 does not like “long” filenames. When I put the SD Card back into the 7300 to restore the Settings, it did not see the file. I reduced the File name to 15 characters (plus .dat) and it seemed to work fine. Set your filename on the 7300 and don’t change it.
Performing the Firmware Upgrade
The User Manual has a section on Updating the Firmware. In the latest FULL Manual (file name IC-7300_ENG_FM_9), that is Section 15. Following these instructions, you can check the current Firmware Versions before the upgrade. I recommend that, so you can confirm what is updated in the Firmware Upgrade process.
The process is very easy. just carefully follow the instructions and make sure your Power will not be disrupted during the process. When you are asked if you want to proceed with the update, be sure to press YES for a second or two. I have seen reports from some people saying that “nothing happened,” and it was apparently because they just tapped that YES button. When you are done, the 7300 will RESET and you want to LOAD your stored Settings File.
Verifying the Upgrade
When I power-up the IC-7300 now, it says Version 1.40 in the lower-right of the screen. Using the MENU, you can display all of the Versions. To do this, just select MENU–>SET–>OTHERS–>INFORMATION–>VERSION. What I see now is:
Main CPU: 1.40
Front CPU: 1.01
DSP Program 1.07
DSP Data: 1.00
This agrees with the ICOM Site, so I think I am ready to give it a spin. After a few days, I will post my findings about the changes. As always, I will be watching the IC-7300 Group on Groups.io to see how others do with this upgrade.