R30 ICOM IC-CSR30 Vs. WCS-R30

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N1SQB

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I just ponied up the dough on an IC-R30-16. I decided to take the plunge after a lot of research. Now, I need opinions and or suggestions on the two software packages listed above as the prices are very far apart. Which is the best software for this receiver? What will one do that the other won't? The CSR30 is almost $80 whereas the RT systems software is $35. I'd love to hear from those of you who have experience with either software. I don't want a top-notch receiver running on mediocre software. I looked at BUTEL too but it looked too basic for this receiver and it doesn't support audio files. Thank you in advance.

Manny
 
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kruser

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I ended up getting both.

RT's early versions had bugs where some items would not read or write correctly to my R30. Some things like the Digital settings such as NAC would be absent after a read. Things like the RF Gain would be set to minimum when I wrote back to the R30.
Then in RT's config screen where all the settings are, several settings were simply missing from the menus and some of the ones listed in the menus just would not read the value stored in the radio when you read the radio in RT's software.
Writes would also not write all the values you set in the software.
One that I don't think was fixed is the time offset used for setting the clock with the built in GPS. Mine always read a value far away from what was stored in the radio. I don't think they ever fixed that even though I reported it.
In RT's credit, they have fixed many of the bugs found over the time the R30 version has been available. Users like us send them bug reports and they usually do fix them. Sometimes they send you an email back saying the bug has been fixed but usually they say nothing. You just need to get used to checking for updates on your own with the built in updater.
RT's software is also kind of slow to open and then it's noticeably slower than Icom CS-R30. It's still very usable though.
RT's software offers the ability to bulk edit a group of memory channels that you can select using standard windows control keys.
It's also a bit friendly for importing and exporting the channel data for use by other programs.
There is a way to get an export from Icom's CS-R30 to import into RT's software and I think the other way around. I think this takes a bit of tinkering though to get it to work right.

For Icom's CS-R30, it's pretty rock solid and is much faster in all aspects than RT's software.
Icom's software also includes every possible setting that can be changed in the radio.
I think the biggest con for Icom's software is the lack of being able to do bulk edits on your memory channels. You must do them one channel at a time which can be a pain if you need to edit a lot. This is where I'll use RT's software to make my edits and then import it all into Icom's software or write it to the radio and then use Icom's software to correct any mistakes found from using RT's software.

If you can swing it, I'd get both.
And by all means, if you find a bug in RT's software, send them a bug report and they will usually fix it pretty darn quick.

If you ever get an Icom R8600, a lot of the data from that radio will import or export from RT's version for use by RT's version for the 8600.
The 8600 data can also be used to import into the R30 version of RT's software. Some edits are needed but it sure makes it easier than doing most of it by hand.

Another nice feature is RT's software does have a Radio Reference import feature for both the R30 and R8600. I don't think it will get everything like maybe trunked systems are omitted but it does good for all conventional systems. I don't recall if it tries to import DMR systems though. If it does, it would probably default the receive mode to one of the FM modes being as the Icom's don't do DMR.

This is all I can remember. I'm sure I've left some things out so maybe others will chime in with their experiences or correction to what I said!

One other thing, make sure you get Icom's latest version of their CD-R30 software and also make sure your R30 has the newest available Firmware version which I think it 1.10 for the US and Overseas version.

Have fun with the R30! They are very nice radios.
 

N1SQB

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I ended up getting both.

RT's early versions had bugs where some items would not read or write correctly to my R30. Some things like the Digital settings such as NAC would be absent after a read. Things like the RF Gain would be set to minimum when I wrote back to the R30.
Then in RT's config screen where all the settings are, several settings were simply missing from the menus and some of the ones listed in the menus just would not read the value stored in the radio when you read the radio in RT's software.
Writes would also not write all the values you set in the software.
One that I don't think was fixed is the time offset used for setting the clock with the built in GPS. Mine always read a value far away from what was stored in the radio. I don't think they ever fixed that even though I reported it.
In RT's credit, they have fixed many of the bugs found over the time the R30 version has been available. Users like us send them bug reports and they usually do fix them. Sometimes they send you an email back saying the bug has been fixed but usually they say nothing. You just need to get used to checking for updates on your own with the built in updater.
RT's software is also kind of slow to open and then it's noticeably slower than Icom CS-R30. It's still very usable though.
RT's software offers the ability to bulk edit a group of memory channels that you can select using standard windows control keys.
It's also a bit friendly for importing and exporting the channel data for use by other programs.
There is a way to get an export from Icom's CS-R30 to import into RT's software and I think the other way around. I think this takes a bit of tinkering though to get it to work right.

For Icom's CS-R30, it's pretty rock solid and is much faster in all aspects than RT's software.
Icom's software also includes every possible setting that can be changed in the radio.
I think the biggest con for Icom's software is the lack of being able to do bulk edits on your memory channels. You must do them one channel at a time which can be a pain if you need to edit a lot. This is where I'll use RT's software to make my edits and then import it all into Icom's software or write it to the radio and then use Icom's software to correct any mistakes found from using RT's software.

If you can swing it, I'd get both.
And by all means, if you find a bug in RT's software, send them a bug report and they will usually fix it pretty darn quick.

If you ever get an Icom R8600, a lot of the data from that radio will import or export from RT's version for use by RT's version for the 8600.
The 8600 data can also be used to import into the R30 version of RT's software. Some edits are needed but it sure makes it easier than doing most of it by hand.

Another nice feature is RT's software does have a Radio Reference import feature for both the R30 and R8600. I don't think it will get everything like maybe trunked systems are omitted but it does good for all conventional systems. I don't recall if it tries to import DMR systems though. If it does, it would probably default the receive mode to one of the FM modes being as the Icom's don't do DMR.

This is all I can remember. I'm sure I've left some things out so maybe others will chime in with their experiences or correction to what I said!

One other thing, make sure you get Icom's latest version of their CD-R30 software and also make sure your R30 has the newest available Firmware version which I think it 1.10 for the US and Overseas version.

Have fun with the R30! They are very nice radios.

Wow! Thank you for that in-depth response. It sounds like I have some thinking to do now. I guess getting both makes sense, so its a matter of which one comes first. I will start off with RT Systems first and go from there. Thanks again!


Manny
 

KM4OBL

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I bought the Icom software, due to the bugs or inadequacy of the other choices at the time I bought my IC-R30. I think CS-R30 is more than satisfactory for my purposes, even though you have to edit one channel at a time. It is also faster than the alternatives, which is why I have not been tempted to get any other software for this receiver.
 

N1SQB

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I bought the Icom software, due to the bugs or inadequacy of the other choices at the time I bought my IC-R30. I think CS-R30 is more than satisfactory for my purposes, even though you have to edit one channel at a time. It is also faster than the alternatives, which is why I have not been tempted to get any other software for this receiver.
I ended up starting with the CS-R30 due to a $25 credit I had with HRO. I gotta tell you, I like it a lot. Once I set up the communication with the radio and saved the main file, I have had no issues at all. Funny thing happened. I have a PS4. I bought a 9 foot cable to charge the controllers, really cheap. When I saw that it was the same cable type as the one supplied with the R30, I decided to try it. Wouldnt you know it works perfectly. It charges AND programs without a hitch. So, I now have a 9 foot programming cable that I only paid @$10. On a desk filled with other radios, this is a plus.

Manny
 

RV

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Considering this radio too. Did you all consider ARC30 from Butel? I have used their other scanner s/w in the past. Haven't done a detailed comparison with the RT or Icom versions vs Butel yet.
 

N1SQB

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Considering this radio too. Did you all consider ARC30 from Butel? I have used their other scanner s/w in the past. Haven't done a detailed comparison with the RT or Icom versions vs Butel yet.
Look at the last full sentence on my original post. Getting Butel for this receiver is like getting a brand new Cadillac Escallade and then putting bald tires on it. This receiver is perfect with the CS-R30 software. IMHO

Manny
 

DeepBlue

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My needs are apparently simple. I used the trial version of the Butel software on my new R30 and loaded it by copying and pasting from my AR20 Butel programming software as well as line by line from Radio Ref. Works fine for me so far. Issues other have with database downloads, etc aside, works to load and store all the frequencies I tossed at it. Even the trial lets you save the files to the SD card and the radio reloads from the updated card when you tell it to. For just slapping a ton of frequencies and modes into the radio - it works OK.

Sean
KB8JNE
 

N1SQB

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My needs are apparently simple. I used the trial version of the Butel software on my new R30 and loaded it by copying and pasting from my AR20 Butel programming software as well as line by line from Radio Ref. Works fine for me so far. Issues other have with database downloads, etc aside, works to load and store all the frequencies I tossed at it. Even the trial lets you save the files to the SD card and the radio reloads from the updated card when you tell it to. For just slapping a ton of frequencies and modes into the radio - it works OK.

Sean
KB8JNE
Hey if it works ok for you, have at it. Personally, I like software that lets me do more than just a few things. If it can be adjusted by hand, the software should be able to do it as well. This radio has a LOT of bells and whistles. That's why I went with a do it all software package. Whatever works for you I guess...

Manny
 

phyberoptics

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The thing I love about the Butel software is the ability to pull from RadioReference. Not sure if the others can do that but it saves me A LOT of typing.
 

Butelsoftware

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ARC30 is a simple and cheap (US$ 14.95) frequency programming tool, nothing more nothing less and imports from radioreference.
Comparing it with Icom's CSR30 that retails at US$ 80 or more does not make sense and ARC30 was never designed to compete with Icom's offering. Many users just need a programming tool for their handheld receiver.

Gommert
www.butelsoftware.com
 

jaspence

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I tried them all. The RT ability to import is not as smooth as it is for some of the ham radios, but it works the best for me. Writing to the sd card and then loading from the sd to the radio gave me the most problems, which was another plus for the RT Systems.
 
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