Just before heading to Cap Verde D4C for CQ WW SSB 2016 I was really thinking of buying an IC-7300 just to test how it would perform at such a special place under real contest conditions. The IC-7300 is not known as a contest rig (yet), but it you see where it is located on the Sherwood list it way above some “approved” contest rigs. Besides a couple of K3’s we use IC-781 and IC-765 there, and I believe the 7300 should outperform them. I am not in need of a new radio, but curiosity killed the cat.
The ICOM IC 7300 was performing very well over the whole weekend. The radio served as our Multiplayer Station for 48 hours and all operators were really happy with the little guy even on 80 and 160m. Outstanding sound and great benefit having the fast spectrum. The only thing you need in a contest environment like this, with big antennas and CQWW SSB on air is: You HAVE TO HAVE BANDFILTERS! It was reproducible all the time that OVF will go on and reduce receiver performance when Bandfilters were set to bypass. This makes it very interesting on a contest station where you usually have Bandfilters anyway. You cannot buy more BANG for the bug than this Radio. Second radio for SO2R or Multi OP setup …. it is an alternative! Thumbs up from all Operators @ Delta 4 Crazy!
More German information on the radio here: ICOM Europe IC-7300
The full english manual can be found here: Manual from ICOM JAPAN
With the compact size and weight is is a very good travel companion as well!
It was planed as a test only, but now I have already decided to NOT give that radio away again!
It will stay in my ICOM portfolio for portable operation, vacation time and maybe it will be up @ D4C again soon!
Here is a summery of the IC-7300 by ICOM America:
The Innovative HF Transceiver
Download the latest firmware updates
New technology is changing the way receivers are being designed and the IC-7300 is an industry first as an RF, Direct Sampling System is being used in an entry level HF radio. The ability to digitize RF before various receiver stages reduces the inherent noise that is generated in the different IF stages of a radio. We feel the performance of the ‘7300 will far exceed your expectations for a radio considered entry level.
|100W (25W AM)|
RF direct sampling system
The IC-7300 employs an RF direct sampling system, where RF signals are directly convert to digital data. Then processed in the FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array), making it possible to simplify the circuit construction as well as reduce noise that can mask weak signals.
The new “IP+” improves the 3rd order intercept point (IP3) performance improving the ability to copy a weak signal that is adjacent to either a strong interfering signal. In this process, A/D converter is optimized to reduce or eliminate signal distortion.
RMDR and phase noise characteristics
The IC-7300’s RMDR is about 97dB* (typical value) improving the Phase Noise characteristics by about 15dB (at 1 kHz frequency separation). The superior Phase Noise characteristics reduce noise components for both receive and transmit signals.
* At 1 kHz frequency separation (received frequency: 14.2MHz, MODE: CW, IF BW: 500Hz)
15 discrete band-pass filters
The RF Direct Sampling is protected by an array of bandpass filters. The signal passes through one of the fifteen bandpass filters, where signals outside the passband are rejected. To reduce the insertion loss, the IC-7300 utilizes High Q factor coils.
Large color touch screen
The large 4.3” color TFT touch LCD offers intuitive operation of functions, settings, and various operational visual aids such as the band scope, waterfall function, and audio scope.
Like on the high-end rigs, the waterfall shows a change of signal strength over a period of time and allows you to find weak signals that may not be apparent on the spectrum scope.
Use the audio scope function to observe various AF TX/RX characteristics such as microphone compressor level, filter width, notch filter width and keying waveform in the CW mode. Image below shows the Audio scope with the waterfall function and the oscilloscope.
Touch screen display
Audio scope function
Real-Time spectrum scope
You no longer have to choose whether to listen to the audio or have the spectrum scope sweep for signals as the IC-7300’s real-time spectrum scope offers the simultaneous operations found in some of the more expensive rigs! This means you can use either the spectrum scope or the waterfall to quickly move to an intended signal while listening to the receiver audio. The ‘7300’s touch screen introduces a “Magnify” function. So, when you first touch the scope screen around the intended signal, the touched part is magnified. A second touch of the scope screen changes the operating frequency and allows you to accurately tune.
Spectrum scope specifications
|Scope system||FFT (Fast Fourier Transform)|
|Sweep speed||Max. 30 frames/second (approx.), selectable from slow, mid or fast|
|Resolution||1 pixel minimum (approximately)|
|Waveform display area (vertical axis)||80dB|
|Reference level adjustment||–20dB to +20dB|
|Peak level hold function (Max. hold)||ON/OFF/last 10 seconds|
|Other functions||Averaging indication
Touch screen operation
VBW (Video Band Width) adjustment
- Built-in automatic antenna tuner
- 101 channels (99 regular, 2 scan edges)
- SD memory card slot for saving data
- Cooling fan system
- Multi-function meter
- CW functions: full break-in, CW reverse, CW auto tuning
- SSB, CW, RTTY, AM, FM modes