Picture of the Icom IC-705

Station or Access Point – Which WiFi to use on the IC-705

Last Updated on July 4, 2021

Access Point or Station? Which one?

There’s been a bit of confusion lately about how to access the IC-705 using your PC or laptop. You’d want to do this if you’re trying to run software like wfview. The IC-705 is the latest arrival in the Icom stable of radios and being the latest means having more smarts – and this radio doesn’t go lacking.

As amateur radio moves into the online and digital world, so too do radios like the IC-705, and as a result, the way we connect our computer equipment to the radio is also changing.

First came the CIV port, which was usually a 3.5mm jack on the back of the radio. Then came the USB interface, which is probably the most common to connect a radio to the PC. Recently the LAN port was added to radios such as the IC-9700. This was the first time a radio was assigned an IP address and accessible over a local network, and now the IC-705 introduced us to WiFi.

All of these options are still available on most modern Icom radios in one form or another, but it’s the WiFi capabilities of the IC-705 that has the amateur community buzzing.

There are two ways to connect to the IC-705. Access Point or Station. First thing’s first, navigate to the WLAN Set option and make sure WLAN is turned on. Press MENU -> SET -> WLAN ON.

Next is connection type, and this is where the confusion lies. You have a choice when it comes to connection type – Access Point or Station.

The station (connect to network) setting, as the name suggests, connects to an existing home wifi network. This is the same network your laptop and phone connects to. If you’re using your IC-705 at home, 99% of the time this is the setting for you. Just as your other devices on your home WiFi connect to your router and are assigned a local IP address, the same happens to your radio. This way you can access your radio from any other device such as your laptop that is on the same home wifi network.

The access point setting is the option that creates a lot of confusion. This setting is for when you’re away from your home wifi network – on a remote hill or at the local park and you want to connect your laptop to the radio. This setting more or less turns the IC-705 into your home router without the internet connectivity meaning you can connect directly to the radio from your laptop by opening up the WiFi tab on your taskbar and selecting the IC-705.

Picture of laptop operating WSJTX on the IC-705 wirelessly using wfview

If you want to run FT8 wirelessly with wfview, there’s a video to show you how to set things up. Out of the box, it’s not possible wirelessly at the time of making this video, but it is with a USB cable, so maybe keep one of those in the glove box of the car for special occasions.

To conclude… at home you’ll connect using the Station option and when you’re away from home, you’ll use the Access point option.