Tuesday, 29 March 2016

New arrival: Icom IC-7300.

Well, it did not come as a shock, as I had ordered it in October for my birthday, which was in December. I have had my bus pass for over 3 months now.

Last week they asked me to pay for the rig.

Then today I got this message from parcel company DPD:-

Your order will be delivered today by David, your DPD driver, between 12:44 and 13:44
Follow my parcel now - Live tracking of your parcel below:

David is currently making delivery number 1, you are delivery number 29.

David is approximately 3 hours 30 minutes away from you.

David was true to his word and it duly arrived at 12:44.

As usual, click the photos to enlarge if you need to.

Not that I have had time to do much.

As it is planned to use it mostly on 70MHz that is where I pointed it right away. Like the IC-7100 it does not have a band tab for 70MHz, but you select 50MHz and tune up. No problem with the speed-weighted tuning knob.

As you can see I absent-mindedly tuned it to the GM8RBR beacon on Skye on 70.100 (almost). That is a beacon I rarely hear, and up it came - say 529 report. Then, emboldened I tuned it to 70.000 to see if I could hear the Buxton beacon which is usually even harder to hear. I mis-tuned slightly but I could see it on the panoramic display so I tuned to one side and there it was! Also 529 at peaks but never inaudible.

These are very simple tests - I will have to carry out some more investigation.

Power output at full power seems about 40 watts as opposed to the official 50W. I bet that will get some comment, but as I intend to use it as a linear driver it is fine by me. I only need 10 to 15 watts for my purposes.

No time yet to check it out on the lower bands as I am getting ready for the RSGB 4m UK Activity Contest this evening.

I will post a detailed review in due course. However, a couple of things strike me. One is it is very light. It is the width of the FT-450 (which you can see above it), taller to fit in the display screen, and yet it feels much lighter. Not much circuitry needed for the SDR rig, so I guess most of the weight is PA section and tuner.
Secondly, the receiver is amazingly quiet. I know that SDRs are famous for this. My Flex 1500 was delightfully quiet, though my Fun Cube dongle is not so peaceful. Does this disguise super efficiency or some deafness issue? We shall see.

Anyway so far I have only worked 1 station - Scott, MM3LSO. 3 km distant. IO85wu to IO85wu.

More later.



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