This article describes how to copy the existing settings and memory channels from an IC-7100 (we’ll call it Radio A), and insert these settings and channels into a different radio (we’ll call it Radio B) without using programming software or cables. It also describes how to switch Radio B back to its original settings and memory channel configuration if you wish. Using this process, you can essentially “take over” another operator’s IC-7100. You can make it appear and behave just like your own radio (Radio A), and then you can return it to its original state. You can literally take your IC-7100 with you without it ever leaving your shack. You can also use this process to help a new IC-7100 user get started by giving him or her a copy of the settings and memory channels you have already programmed into your radio.
Optimally, you should have three SD cards to complete this process. You should have one blank SD card (we’ll call it your “transfer” card) for saving and transferring configuration backup files. In addition, each of the IC-7100 radios involved in a transfer should have its own dedicated SD card. We’ll call this SD card, usually resident in each radio, its “original” SD card. Most operators typically keep this SD card in the radio to back up their settings and memory channels and do things like record QSOs during normal operations. Using three SD cards is the safest way to ensure that you will be able to return both radios to their original configurations after you play.
Even though IC-7100 radios have SD memory card slots, moving settings and memory channels from one radio to another is not as simple as just swapping SD cards. The IC-7100 holds settings and memory channel information in RAM (Random Access Memory). Therefore, powering off the radio and simply inserting a different SD card will produce no changes in the radio settings or memory channels upon reboot. You will need to jump through some hoops to make changes.
The first operation that should always be undertaken in order to transfer settings and memory channels is to save the current settings of your radio (Radio A) to its original FAT/FAT32 formatted SD Card. As mentioned, you probably already have an SD card in your IC-7100. If you don’t, stick a FAT/FAT32 formatted card in there before you begin. This card will now be called your radio’s (Radio A’s) original card from now on. If you’re not sure how to format an SD card properly with your computer, insert a blank SD card into your radio, and format it by pressing the Set Button and choosing the “SD Card” settings menu of your IC-7100. This menu includes a Format option.
Now that you’re set, let’s begin…
- On your radio (Radio A – the one containing the radio settings and memories you want to transfer), press the SET button. Using the radio’s menu system, choose SD Card / Save Setting, and save Radio A’s settings and memory channels to its original SD card. Choose YES if you receive any questions pertaining to what to save. Remember to choose a file name carefully. This will give you a copy of your current settings and memory channels. Reboot the radio if prompted. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
- Now, remove Radio A’s original SD card, and insert a blank “transfer” FAT/FAT/32 formatted SD card. Then, repeat Sep 1, saving your settings and memory channels to the transfer SD card. You might want to name this second copy of your settings and memory channels “Radio A” in order to make the transfer process easier as you go along. This will give you a second copy of your settings and memory channels that you can take with you and later transfer to one or more radios. Reboot the radio if prompted.
- Next, remove the transfer SD card on which you just saved a second copy of your radio’s current settings and memory channels, and replace it with your radio’s original SD card. If you followed instructions so far, you should have a backup copy of your settings and memory channels on your original SD card and a “travel” copy on your transfer SD card. Your radio (Radio A) should now be in its original state, and it’s time to focus on Radio B.
- Before you make any modifications to Radio B, you should repeat Step 1 on Radio B using its original SD card. If there is no SD card in Radio B, you can go directly to repeating Step 2 and save Radio B’s settings and memory channels to your transfer SD card (the one already containing the backup file from Radio A). However, you are “working without a net” if you skip Step 1 on Radio B. Your safest bet is to obtain an SD card that you can dedicate as Radio B’s original card, and make a backup on Radio B’s settings and memory channels on this “original” card. Remember to choose a good file name!
- After making a backup of settings and memory channels on the original SD card for Radio B, repeat Step 2 on Radio B using your transfer card. Name the file “Radio B”. Reboot if prompted, however, don’t remove your transfer SD card from Radio B. You should now have a transfer card in Radio B that contains files with the configurations for both Radio A and Radio B.
- You will now change Radio B into Radio A! Navigate to the same IC-7100 SD Card settings you have been using to save backup copies of settings and memory channels. This time, however, you are going to choose “Load Setting” instead of Save Setting. From your transfer card, choose the backup file you created using Radio A. Answer YES to any questions the radio may ask pertaining to upload. If things work properly, Radio B should check the file, upload it, inform you that upload is complete, and ask you to reboot it. After reboot, you will find that Radio B has been turned into Radio A!
- Remove the transfer SD card from Radio B, and replace it with Radio B’s original SD card if you wish. You may also choose to save Radio B’s new configuration to its original SD card. Remember to use a different file name than you used to save the backup of its original configuration in Step 4!
If you have used this process to permanently clone Radio A into Radio B, you are done! If you only wanted to possess Radio B’s brain for a little while and then change it back to its original state, you have a couple more steps to restore it to its right mind.
- Insert your transfer SD card into Radio B. Navigate to the same IC-7100 SD Card settings you have been using to save and load settings. This time, you are again going to choose “Load Setting”. From your transfer card, choose the backup file of Radio B’s original settings and memory channels. Answer YES to any questions the radio may ask pertaining to upload. If things work properly, Radio B should check the file, upload it, inform you that upload is complete, and ask you to reboot it. After reboot, you will find that Radio B is once again in its right mind.
- Remove the transfer SD card from Radio B, and replace it with Radio B’s original SD card. Backup again if you wish.
Once you understand the process of backing up settings and memory channels from an IC-7100 to transportable files, you can use your backup files to either temporarily or permanently mirror your IC-7100 to other IC-7100 radios. You only need a few SD cards to get started!