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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-7300 HF/50MHz TRANSCEIVER Help


Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-7300 HF/50MHz TRANSCEIVER
ICOM IC-7300 HF/50MHz TRANSCEIVER Reviews: 229 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $1,499
Description: This new HF plus 6 meter 100 watt transceiver hosts new
capabilities and technologies for its class. Instead of
the conventional superheterodyne system, a direct RF
sampling approach is used. The brilliant TFT touch screen
provides complete operational status including a stunning
real-time spectrum display with waterfall plus a useful
audio scope display. There is a built-in tuner. Other
features include: Voice memory, 15 Band Pass Filters,
CW/RTTY memory keyer functions, RTTY decode, SD card
slot, USB for CI-V and audio I/O, digital noise reduction
and 101 memories. Only 9.45 x 3.75 x 9.37 inches
(240x95x238mm). Supplied with HM-219 hand mic, DC power
cord and fuses.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.icom.co.jp/world/products/amateur/hf/ic-7300usa/
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WB0UWG Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2017 14:53 Send this review to a friend
My 2 cents  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was skeptical about all the positive reviews, but it was time for a new rig, so I decided to give the IC7300 a try. Glad I did! Exceptional rig, easy to use out of the box, outstanding receiver. It took a little fiddling to get it working with Ham Radio Deluxe and WSJTX over the rigs built-in USB interface. Everything works great now. I could go on praising this rig, but it would only be repeating the many fine previous reviews. Money well spent.
 
WA6MOW Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2017 12:11 Send this review to a friend
Oh no! Another review.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
There is no perfect radio. As part of the hobby I enjoy using different radios so I have owned them all, literally. I only work cw and rarely work contest so I'm speaking from a cw ops point of view. I have no strong local stations to deal with so I have no idea how well it would perform with a guy running a KW next door to me. The negatives: I was disappointed in the fan noise compared to my other radios. I was also disappointed in the relay noise working fast cw or full QSK. With head phones on they became a non issue. That is the bad stuff. The good stuff out weighs those two negatives. It is a fun radio to use. Icom did a great job with the menu system and the touch screen. I was able to use the radio and all its features without looking at the manual. Having owned K3's and other menu intensive radios the 7300 is a little diamond to set up quickly. The receiver is a joy to use and just sounds good to me. The noise reduction works well and is not irritating. The filtering is very effective. I have not had a need to try the noise blanker as I have no pulse noise to deal with. The overall build quality is excellent and I think the rig is fairly priced. I would definitely buy this radio again without hesitation. Don't buy it if it lacks the features you are looking for. People write these reviews and complain about missing features. I don't quite get that!
 
WB8VLC Rating: 3/5 Sep 1, 2017 19:23 Send this review to a friend
poor receiver, mediocre noise reduction  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had it for a week and a half but gave it up, the receiver is crap I constantly had RF OVERLOAD issues even with moderate signals.

The 7300 was overloaded beyond use with a nearby neighbor 3 miles away on every band we jointly operated on, in particular 6 meters, 20 and 40.

The noise reduction in the 7300 was crap, it couldn't take out even moderate power line noise.

My replacement was a Elecraft K3S which I purchased for a steal, ah the joy of a quiet RX with excellent noise reduction features.

While the k3s was 450 more than the 7300 its an order of magnitude better than the icom and I can operate on the same band as my neighbor even when he runs his multi stack of six meter LFA's or 20meter and 40 meter dx engineering yagis and 1500 watts which couldn't be done on any of these bands with the 7300
 
WA0UAY Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2017 19:22 Send this review to a friend
Another discovery.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned this radio for about 14 months now and recently found something that maybe others have but I wanted to share it anyway. The 7300 has such a sensitive receiver that the noise floor was sometimes a little higher than I liked. I found that if you engage the ATT attenuater, the receiver noise floor is considerably quieter. Of course you can reduce the RF gain but the ATT makes more of a difference. Because the receiver is so sensitive, the signals, even weak ones still come thru beautifully. About everything else has been said about this great transceiver. An unbelievable radio at a bargain price!
 
W1WM Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2017 09:35 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Receiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Calling this an entry level rig is ICOM's way of making you long for something in their line up that is more expensive. This is not a double conversion superheterodyne radio with optional filters and dsp in the audio stage. It is truly a software defined radio in a box. Sherwood's test numbers bear out the superiority of its design. The touchscreen is a joy to use and the radio's features are highly customizable through the user interface. HIGHLY recommended.
 
F6GYY Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2017 10:35 Send this review to a friend
A versatile transceiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Absolutely an amazing transceiver for the price...
Ergonomy and menu layout are top class. The touch screen is small but very sharp. The audio quality is top notch. Got a lot of compliments concerning the modulation.
Everything can be adjusted. NR, Filters, AGC, RF-Gain and audio HPF /LPF ....so extreme sensitivity
is possible...also a QRM free reception...
In extreme case, the SCR preselector from Heros technologies ( 1.5-30 MHz ) will do it...
 
KE0EYJ Rating: 4/5 Aug 5, 2017 22:06 Send this review to a friend
Some issues, after six months  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Iím going to add to the below review. I would like to highlight some negatives, and move my review down to a 4/5, after more than 6 months of ownership.

Here are my reasons:

First, the radio does not do so well against city noise, as other radios I had had here. I live in the center of Seoul, Korea, where noise from all manner of electronics is substantial. The 7300 is a very sensitive radio, however, it does not do well with noise rejection. The higher noise makes the sensitivity advantage of this radio moot. I have owned an Elecraft KX2, and was impressed by its ability to keep noise out of the receiver. Iím not talking about NR, which is not so special on the Elecraft KX2 Ė I am talking about what the radio seems to let in from the spectrum. I must say, If you live in a noisy city, the Elecraft line of radios will suit you much better, if you can afford it. I sold the KX2 due to lack of scalability (and I could get a 100w FT-891 for less). I would have gotten the KX3, had I done it all over again.

My second choice, and a more budgetary one, would be to go with a newer Yaesu FTDX radio. I own the small (and very inexpensive) Yaesu FT-891, and even that cheap thing, costing half what the Elecraft does, will filter noise better before it reaches your ears (3k roofing filter is standard). SDR is a different technology, in terms of filtering, but the 7300 is kind of like a wide-open barn door, in a noisy city. This desensitizes the radio.

Second, and this is a major annoyance to me Ė the 7300 has a very strict ALC control, which I swear makes the signal other receive quieter, than from other radios. The wattage output is there, but the ALC is so strict with peaks, it is noticeable when I listen to the 7300 vs other radios in the shack, over websdr in California, from here in Korea (5,000 miles+). I love the sound of the HM-219 hand mic, because it cuts pretty well, but upgrading to a better mic will help raise this lower level. Itís still down, compared to other radios. Iím not a test engineer, so Iíll just leave this quote here, from AC7FD, from the 7300 Facebook Group page:

The ALC circuit of the IC-7100 and IC-7300 are very similar and both radio suffer from low power on SSB. I compared my TS-590S, FT-857D and FT-891 with my IC-7100 and IC-7300. The two Icom radios had in average 40W less average power in SSB measured with a 2-tone test NF signal on a high quality meter and also on an O-scope. Friends also brought a IC-7600 and some older Icom radios. They were similar to the Kenwood and Yaesus.
We tried different settings on the 7300, high mic gain, compressor on....it doesn't reach the average power of the competition. A german guy has a very nice before and after video in English language on youtube for the 7100. as the ALC circuit is very similar to the 7300 you can adopt that result to the 7300.
The added capacity to calm down the ALC circuit makes a big difference.
Icom is not talking about this for a very good reason and in my experience Icom US is never confirming such issues. Icom EU confirmed behind curtains at Friedrichshafen the power overshot issues with the 7300 when the compressor is on. Some EU distributors have a warning paper in the paperwork with Expert linears that the 7300 and the TS-590 without modification can damage sensitive high gain amps due to the power overshot......so don't be a dumb consumer. Icom does have issues like every manufacturer has and the 7300 in general is a awesome radio.Ē

Again, Iím not an engineer, but thatís something to research a bit, if you are into SSB. Itís not an issue in CW or RTTY levels, from what Iím seeing.

Here was my old review, before these two issues began to bug me:

I donít need to heap praise on this wonderful radio. At this time, nothing even comes close to its abilities + nice bandscope. I want to, instead, highlight a few useful things that hams new to this rig can learn a lot from. First of all, consider it a MUST to search Youtube and see Steve Ellingtonís (N4LQ) videos on how to use the Twin PBT and notch, and SSB Tuning. Do a lot of video watching, and learn. I didnít think the 7300 was all that great, until I figured out how to use it Ė and it is a different animal than older radios.
Once you learn the Twin PBT, you also should dig into the menus and learn about how to tweak your receive audio Ė a massive benefit over other receivers, because itís SDR, and you have an automatic filter adjustment that lets you create the filter you want. To find it, touch Menu Key/ Set / Tone Control / RX / SSB / then lastly, RX HPF/LPF. Set that to somewhere comfortable around 200-1700 for local, and 300-1500 for DX. That will cut a fair amount of hiss and noise out of your Rx, immediately.
You may have heard complaints about the red OVF light flashing. and how it ďdegrades audio to engage the RF gain to compensateĒ. Poppycock. These people donít know how to run their radios. Theyíre running them wide-open, with a preamp on when not needed, and/or without using the Twin PBT properly, and surely without setting the receive audio filter, as explained in the above paragraph. This is an SDR, and it is capable of boosting the signal a tremendous amount without need for the preamp, in most cases. I run mine with the filtering on, and adjust my Twin PBT properly, and I never see the OVF light, unless I accidentally hit the preamp in an area that I donít need it. Iím also in the center of Seoul, Korea Ė a very noisy QTH.

The hand mic on this sound fabulous Ė so much so that you really donít need anything else. With the hand mike, your settings should be a Mic Gain of 35, Compression engaged at ALL times on 1 to 3 (if you donít use compression, youíll barely ever full 100w out Ė if ever). For DX, you can boost it all the way up to 8, so long as your mic gain on the stock mic is around 35. Donít boost the mic gain anywhere above 40, on the stock mic, as it only degrades your audio and limits the range with which you can use your compression. Less is more, here. As for my transmit audio, I set it to +3 bass, and +2 treble, on the mid setting, for DX. The Narrow setting actually doesnít work as well, unless you drop the bass to -3, max the treble to +5, and then compress the heck out of it, to about 8. I have tested various settings with several longpath contacts (I have a Youtube video recording of this stock mic, from a friendís 7300 in Australia), out to 11,000 miles, and they all prefer the mid or wide setting on the mic bandwidth. All of these are adjustable. Search for my Youtube video under the title Icom 7300 HM-219 Stock Mic, to hear various settings.

The Noise Reduction of this radio is better than most. I run it on a setting of 1 at all times, for SSB. Itís really far more useful for CW, in the higher settings. A setting of 1 removes some hiss, and does not degrade even extreme DX audio. Sometimes, I run it on a 2, but I am primarily SSB, so I donít go above that.

Lastly, one of the most important features you can learn for the 7300 is how to turn off the AGC, for hearing faint DX that you canít get to with the Twin PBT adjustments, alone. To do this, hit the Function key, then long-press the AGC button. You will then see 3 settings you can individually tweak for timing, if you highlight them and turn the turning dial. Turning them all the way counter-clockwise will allow you to shut off the gain.
Next, how to adjust the RF gain for proper faint DX hunting:

1. Turn the RF Gain almost all of the way counter-clockwise, until just before the signal goes totally quiet (depending on the radio, you might be able to turn all of the way and still hear something faintly).

2. Turn the AF Gain (volume) of the radio, counter-clockwise, to just above a whisper.

3. Turn off the AGC (Auto Gain Control). Be aware that when you do this, you need to be sure you've followed steps 1 and 2, or the volume may become immediately very loud, so it's best to do this when AF Gain/Volume is low, (as mentioned in #1), and you are not on or near any signals. Also important, have your RF Gain turned so that your noise level is somewhat quiet ( as in #2). On the ICOM 7300, you have to long-press on the AGC button, under menu, then choose FAST, and turn your tuning dial to OFF.

A note here: Your AGC is what protects your radio, and you ears, from sudden noises -- be they strong signals, pops, or whatever -- by essentially controlling this RF Gain level. Once you turn that off, you've removed that automatic level of protection for both your ears and your radio. (someone with an Engineering background will be better at explaining this). So, you are now fully responsible to lower the RF Gain by yourself, so it's best to have it agressively counter-clockwise, so that your not hearing much, when you release (meaning turn off) the AGC.

4. Next, with the RF Gain still all of the way Counter-clockwise, so that the radio is nearly silent (don't move the RF Gain yet), we bring the AF Gain (volume) up to a quieted -- not quite normal listening level, where we cut hiss, but still just hear the signal clearly.

Note: you actually have to boost the AF Gain maybe 20%, and you'll be at a normal listening level, where hiss is mitigated slightly, but you're hearing the signal -- you want to keep it just quiet, but readable, as this will cut out some bit of HISS.This twiddling and toggling of the AF Gain, as you raise the RF Gain, will help you find a good boost, while still keeping the HISS noise at bay. The amount of volume you get from bringing up the AF Gain, while the RF Gain is fully engaged (counter-clockwise) will differ, depending on the radio. For example, I can raise the AF Gain (volume) of my Elecraft KX2 fully clockwise, while the RF Gain is fully counter-clockwise, and hear next to nothing. On my ICOM 7300, however, I still hear some, even when the RF Gain is fully counter-clockwise, and can only turn the AF Gain halfway before the volume becomes too loud. This is where the two radios differ a lot, and where the Elecraft benefits much more from this method. The 7300 benefits from this much more, if you have a very low noise floor in your area.

5. Once that AF Gain volume is set (about half for Icom 7300), you just leave it where it is, roughly, but you will twiddle it a bit up or down, to keep HISS down to lowest possible levels, as your slowly raise your RF Gain. You are now using your RF Gain as your volume control, by turning it clockwise to raise the volume, or counter-clockwise to lower the volume. While you are adjusting your RF Gain, you are looking for a happy medium between where signals are loudest, but the noise around them is quietest. Also, never forget that you're going to need to lower the RF Gain if you encounter a strong signal, or you'll get distorted loud audio that will freak you out, so keep your hand at the ready. I also twiddle with the AF Gain a little bit, if that helps the signal -- it really depends. Experiment!

6. Depending on the radio, this is where I'm now beginning to employ whatever other tricks are available. Here are a few, depending on radio:


With the 7300, I first begin with Twin PBT FIL1 (touch to get to FIL 1, then long hold on FIL 1). I have FIL 1 set to a bandwidth of 3.6. You can toggle between SHARP and SOFT to choose which is best. I then center the Twin PBT by long-pressing the Twin PBT dial. I turn both PBT dials right, then left, to see which side sounds best. I then shift one side or the other offset about -125, or so. Then, I move left and right on both again... looking for a sweet spot. Then, I adjust one of the PBT dials for best sound, then leave it. Then, I adjust the second dial for best sound. Then I grab both again, and give a turn left and right to see if it's any better. At last, I try the opposite SHARP or SOFT button, to see if one is better than the other.

Once I've done that with FIL 1, I leave it, then move on to FIL 2 and FIL 3, and do the same thing for each. I now have 3 selectable filters that I can choose from -- one may sound better than the other, as we listen.

Still with me?

We're not yet done with tweeks on the 7300.

Another thing you can do is hit MENU button, then SET, then TONE CONTROL, then RX, then SSB (assuming we're on SSB), then choose RX HPF/LPF. This is where you can cut all sound out above or below a bandwidth range. You can experiment per your signal you are hearing, but I usally end up around 300-1700. Sometimes it sounds cleaner from 200-1500, or in between. It depends on the DX's voice, and signal. Changing these numbers help you to remove more HISS from the background noise, so you can boost your signal more.

From here, I'm back on the signal, and raising my volume by using my RF Gain, while only moving the AF Gain slightly, to keep the HISS down.... boosting the snot out of the signal, and then trying/tweaking FIL 1,2, and 3 to find my clearest signal.

This is a great radio. Do your homework on how to use it.

 
K5ML Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2017 18:19 Send this review to a friend
Most Radio for the Money Ever  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My first amateur radio license was issued on July 31, 1957. A lot can happen in 60 years, and it has.

When transceivers became popular and I could afford one, I bought a Drake TR-4. After that I owned in order, an Icom IC-740, Collins KWM-380, IC-756 Pro III and an IC-7600. When the IC-7300 was released early last year I perceived it as a nice entry-level radio and little more. I was waiting for Icom to come out with an SDR replacement for the IC-7600. They announced that the IC-7610 would be forthcoming in 2017. So, I waited, and waited and waited.

One day in late March, I got tired of waiting and decided to take a flyer and buy an IC-7300 to see what all the hype was about. I still had my IC-7600 and thought the 7300 would make a good backup radio for years. HRO had dropped the price from $1500 to $1350 (they are now down to $1150) so I bought one and put it on the radio desk. It took all of 20 minutes to move my IC-7300 from being a backup into the starting lineup. To be sure, the IC-7300 does not have all the features of the IC-7600. However the reverse is true too. For the next 4 months, my IC-7600 in mint condition, sat on the desk gathering dust until I sold it.

When QST called the IC-7300 ďa game changer,Ē they werenít just whistling, ďDixie.Ē The first night I had it on the desk copying 40 meter CW. It pulled unreadable signals out of the noise and made them readable. Some of those same signals were present but not readable on my 7600. When comparing radios, I used the same Icom SP-20 speaker. In comparing on-air transmit audio, the 7300 was the winner again. I used the same Icom SM-30 microphone with no outboard audio processing on both radios. With the IC-7300, I get compliments on my audio as I never have before.

To be sure, it would be nice if the 7300 display were larger and the radio could be hooked up to an outboard monitor. Nevertheless, the screen is bright and readable enough for my pair of old eyes. Touch screen technology is wonderful and addicting. My plan is to buy a Flex-6600M or an IC-7610 in the near future when they are released. In the meantime, the little 10-pound transceiver is a whole lot more than an entry-level radio. Never before have I gotten so much radio for the money.
 
K9IKE Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2017 08:26 Send this review to a friend
Can't go wrong  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Absolutely the BEST HF radio at this price !!
Full of features that might be considered an
option in other rigs. What are you waiting for?
 
KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2017 14:24 Send this review to a friend
After 47 years...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Over the years I've owned most of the great radios.. IC-7600 most recently.. most of the Yaesus, several Kenwoods, Flex 300 and 6300... and I have to say this "entry level" Icom is the best of all the bunch. Noise rejection, sensitivity, selectivity and the "almost as good as Flex" spectrum display make it a true winner.. I was one of the first to have the 7300 delivered, and have never ever regretted the purchase. With current "used" prices on the major ham sites hovering around $1000 it becomes the most amazing "bang for the buck" in today's ham radio market. New OP or old pro, you'll never regret owning this radio. de KK8ZZ
 
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