IC-7300 SDR Greatness!By Jose B Rivera - N2LRB
It is a funny how one can become enamored by a radio, going from not liking it to loving it. This is what happened to me with the Icom IC-7300. When I first heard about the radio there was not much information given about it. All one saw were photos and the bands it worked. And I have grown immune to company ads which tell how great a radio is. Besides, I was busy buying my IC-9100.
Some time last month I thought to sell all of my HF radios, except for the new IC9100 and then use my KX3 as a base station at home. The Elecraft KX3 is one of the top rated receivers as are all Elecraft radios. But then Sherwood Engineering post their test for the Icom IC-7300. And it was rated # 12! That impressed me. Especially given the price of the IC7300.
At about the same time the internet and hams on the radio were raving about the IC-7300. Up until then I thought of saving up for an Elecraft K3s, with ATU and 2M Module. But having the 12th best radio for such a great price gave me pause to think about not buying the Elecraft. In buying the IC-7300 I spend less than half the moneyI would have spent on the K3s and use it in purchasing the IC-7300.
After doing some research and ensuring that the radio was out to market without major flaws I went ahead and ordered the IC7300. I had to sell my Yaesu FT-857D and Yaesu FT-897D and one desk microphone in order to buy the radio.
What really got me was the reports of great receive on the radio. Who would not want one of the best receiving radios on the planet? Better yet the radio was an SDR radio, which means that featured can be added later on, and that it can be updated.
Setting her up
After getting the radio from the UPS guy, I opened the box, pulled out the radio, crimped some PowerPole connectors to the DC Cable and attached it to my power supply. I added the antenna and made my first contact with N0HQ, a special event station. The radio worked! And I was very happy with the audio. The Audio from the speaker was loud and clear. And tuning it to a station (by ear) was easy. I did try the pan-adapter that came with it, ‘the scope’. I just don’t know if I will use it that much.
The Icom IC-7200 is a joy to look and as well as a joy to use. It receives as advertised and its functions are easy to learn to use. Best of all the price can’t be beat. I can see the IC-7300 biting in the sales of the Elecraft K3s. The IC-7300 gives you an SDR radio, with almost the same receive as the Elecraft K3s but for half the price and with a built in scope.