Saturday, December 10, 2022

Icom IC-7100 Remote Separation Cable

 Do you ever get a sinking feeling when this happens after you reconfigure your shack layout?


I had to unplug the control head cable of my IC-7100 in order to move it on a different shelf. I fired up the radio after reconnecting everything back together and was baffled why the touchscreen, buttons, and control knobs stopped working. I re-seated the cables and tried again. Same result. Would a bad cable allow the radio to power on? The answer is yes. It depends on which pins in the RJ45 connector are making contact. Either pins 7/8 or 1/2 were not making contact in my cable anymore.

The original cable consists of 8. shielded, twisted pair wires and have a straight through wiring configuration like a standard ethernet cable, but the cable braid and RJ45 connectors are also shielded.


Icom's OPC-2253 is a very expensive part to replace on the radio at @ $75 plus shipping so I was on the hunt for a cost-effective route.


You can buy replacement RJ45 connectors with a shield and replace the ends if you have a crimper tool or you can buy another cable meeting/exceeding the standards of the OPC-2253 cable. 

Why would you want to do this instead of using Icom's cable? Several reasons.. You can buy or make cables that meet your length requirements or have a spare on hand. The cables are also a fraction of the cost and work just like the original.

If you plan on replacing the damaged ends of your original cable, then you need to look for shielded RJ45 Cat6, Cat7, or Cat8 8P8C modular connectors for FTP/STP Stranded Ethernet Cable & Solid core cable. STP stands for Shielded Twisted Pair and FTP stands for Foil Twisted Pair. Make sure you have a 8 pin crimper die and ensure the foil shieled has conductivity end to end.


If you want to simply buy a complete cable, then you will need to find 26AWG Cat6/7/8 networking cables with shielded RJ45 ends. Ensure the pins and shield are wired straight through or you could damage your radio. I recommend this cable since I've tested it