I have been having a great time at Orlando Hamcation that this year features the ARRL National Convention. One of the highlights was getting a first hand look at the brand new Icom IC-7300. Icom had a demonstration model on display that was shipped from Japan just for this show. As far as I know, it’s the one and only IC-7300 on display in the USA at this time. This radio has generated a lot of interest on the Internet since it was announced. Many in attendance in the big crowd on Friday made a bee-line for the Icom booth to get a first look at the IC-7300. FCC approval is pending, and the radio is expected to be in production and available for sale by the end of March, 2016.
I had a little bit of time at the show to take a look at the radio. It is the perfect size for a ham shack or a portable operation. The big 4.3 inch LCD color touch screen is bright, crisp and clear. The many features of this radio activated by a simple touch of the screen were fast and responsive, and the menus are intuitive and very easy to navigate. A long press of buttons and certain touch screen functions bring up secondary controls that are also easy to navigate and operate. This is not a full review, but I found the entire front panel to be well laid out with good ergonomics in mind.
The IC-7300 weighs just under 10 pounds, with dimensions of 9.45 x 3.7 x 9.37 inches. It includes an SD card slot on the front, and connections for USB, antenna, external tuner (although it has a built in auto tuner), key, ALC, accessory, CI-V, speaker and others. As I stood and played with the rig, I thought how great it would be on the desk, but also how perfect it would be for portable operation for Field Day, NPOTA, and other similar activities.
Of course, one of the great features of this radio is the big real-time spectrum scope with waterfall. It also has a great real-time audio scope. These scopes look fantastic on the 4.3 inch TFT LCD screen. One great feature of the scope is the ability to use your finger to touch and tune to a signal displayed on the scope. This feature is responsive and quick.
Icom in the brochure for the IC-7300 touts the great receiver in this radio. The specs indicate a RF direct sampling system with 15 discreet band pass filters, with “class leading RMDR and phase noise characteristics”. Icom also states that the IC-7300 has a new “IP+” function that greatly improves 3rd order intercept performance. All of the hams I spoke with at the Icom booth were very excited about the potential for this receiver, but there was no signal connected to the radio at the booth to hear how good it really performs.
Fortunately, after the show was completed for the day, Will (AA4WJ) and I were able to take the IC-7300 with us in order to test it out on an antenna. We did not use the transmit functions on the radio, but were able to test out the receiver at my campsite with a Budipole antenna on 40 meters. Following are the short videos we took as we listened to the radio and worked through some of its many features and functions. Unfortunately, time would not permit us to video all of the menus and features, but we hit the highlights. The audio you hear is from the radio’s internal speaker. From our quick run through, I came away with the opinion that the receiver lives up to the expectations I have heard from many hams. I’m very excited about this new addition to the Icom lineup and look forward to having one in the shack.
Enjoy the videos. A big thanks to Ray Novak, N9JA and Will Jourdain, AA4WJ of Icom America for allowing me to test out this great radio.
73, Bill, AB4BJ