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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-7800 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-7800
ICOM IC-7800 Reviews: 103 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $10,000 US
Description: The ICOM 7800 HF/6M was first introduced at the Dayton Hamvention 2003. ICOM believes it is the most advanced amateur radio ever developed. It utilizes four separate 32-bit floating point TI DSP chips, has a 7-inch wide TFT display, built in RTTY/PSK31 receive and transmit using a USB Keyboard interface, plus compact flash technology. The radio features an IP3 of +40dBm and 110db dynamic range. It features two identical, fully independent, receiver circuits. There is even a separate preamp and mixer for the 6 meter band. More information, brochures, U.S. dealers, and pricing should be available soon.
Product is in production.
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G0VHS Rating: 5/5 Sep 17, 2012 19:36 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely Tip-top.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Having been a strict Kenwood fan since being licensed over 10 years ago, the thought of buying an Icom after my poor experiences with 706's didn't encourage me.

The 7800 MKII has changed my opinion immensely, leaving my 850 and DSP-100 not really getting much airing, only just for monitoring my outgoing audio!

The build is comparable with top end laboratory RF test equipment, and I think due to the economic climate, something that may not be re-released by any manufacturer anytime in the near future...I look forward to being proved wrong!

Apart from being so bloody heavy it makes moving it around difficult, it's a beast. QRM is no more, and believe me, when you main wireless station antenna is a vertical GP mounted 200' up, QRM/QRN IS a problem normally!

The menus could be a lot more intuitive and I would like to see a much more flexible and user configurable GUI.

The price is very reasonable taking into consideration the enjoyment and longevity of ownership.

Just wish that the display would be a bit's tricky in reflected sunlight (although that is a rarity in the UK!)

You get what you pay for - simple.

ON9CC Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2012 12:53 Send this review to a friend
Best TRX ever owned! Pure joy to use!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought my V2 second hand from a HAM in Northern-Ireland about 1,5 years ago. TRX was/is in pristine condition and an excellent performer on 160m and 6m (only used it extensively on these 2 bands). Wkd many (weak) DX on 160m, EME on 50MHz, 95% CW. Also participated in the 2011 and 2012 CQ160 CW and SSB contests.

2 months ago I bought an Orion2 (second hand) and have been comparing both. After 2 months I decided to sell the Orion2 since it was getting dusty more and more and in the end would not even switch it on any more due to obvious reasons :-) ...

- I like the RX of the 7800 better. It's just easier to filter out the extreme weak ones.
- NR works and does not distort the signal (as the NR on the O2 does).
- Excellent filtering, even in the CQ160SSB contest where is itīs extremely busy and filled with HP neighbouring stations!
- the Icom user interface is superior ... just can't get used to anything else it seems (used an FT-5000 in a contest lately and that thing got me some extra grey hairs). Every 7800 knob/button is there where you expect it and does what you expect.
- equal dual receivers (unlike the Orion's)
- the 7800 spectrum scope is very good. OK, no Perseus but compared to the Orions (1 and 2) which is not useable at all.
- the 7800 looks and feels great and is qualitative miles ahead of the Orion (the Orions buttons were not or "over"-responding).

OK, I wouldn't have bought the 7800 for $10k+ ... but for the second hand price I payed for it, nothing of the current TRX's available beats it IMO (IMO!).

Have sold the O2 to a HAM friend who is Orion minded. He will certainly enjoy the O2 more than I do.

Bottom line: the 7800 is just a pleasure to use and has an excellent RX! If you can get your hands on a good cheap one, you wonīt regret it!


NB: and if this thing would break down (or 'self destructs' as one reviewer calls it ...) I would just get it repaired and still rate it with a 5/5. Why: simply because things DO break down!!! Bentley's, Bugatti's, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes (and other premium/expensive cars) they all can breakdown.
K4VUD Rating: 0/5 Jan 10, 2012 04:50 Send this review to a friend
7800 Self destructed  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Another similar problem with IC-7800, sn 0201781, mfg in 2007, sold March 2011 (new at old price).

Operation for 2 hours on 18MHz, one hour CW and one hr. SSB using 200watts into 2:1 or less antenna.
No problems and working great.

Immediately went to CW to test SWR on 24, then on 10.1, ALL OK AT 200 WATTS AND KEY DOWN 1.5 MINUTES EACH BAND, and then on 7.0-7.2.

On low end of 40meters, with key down at 200 watts (30 seconds) the rig shut down completely with the POWER switch going blank; radio totally dead. Switched off the rear AC switch, waited 30 sec and switched rear switch back on and the radio came back on to receive immediately with green ON POWER light on.

Changed RF POWER knob to full CCW (lowest power), listened to 40meter signals are ok. Key down and radio turned off completely, again.

Now, rear AC ON POWER switch on, but no function on the front switch ON POWER, no orange light, and
no green light and negative function on all.
Now Dead.
ZS2DL Rating: 4/5 Aug 24, 2011 06:19 Send this review to a friend
Expensive!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have owned several HF transceivers in the past 20 years, and I am and always will be a DXCC fanatic approaching Honour Roll.

The IC7800 has been in my shack for about 9 months now, and believe I have played enough with it to give fair commment. All other Icoms I have owned, including 746PRO and 756PRO3 suffered from what we CW ops call Tinny audio on RX. The IC7800 Suffers non of that. It is also phenominal when it comes to the PBT and digi -Sel is oustanding.
The Display is fantastic to look at and add a 24' Flat screen monitor and you shack looks like a military control room.

Next to it I have an FT2000. This is why the IC7800 does not get a 5. If used correctly My FT2000 can match the IC7800 in between the low band noise. And this at a third of the price.

YES the IC7800 has far more bells and whistles than the standard FT2000 but not everyone needs all the bells and whistles, and while trying to break pileups and while running pileups very few of these bells can be used because you don't have time to play.

So if you already have everything and have money to burn you need to get one of these radios. However, the radio make not'eth the operator and you can get away with a lot less.

Other than the price I cannot fault this radio. And I can see that attention to detail is of the highest order in the manufacturing process.

NS0W Rating: 3/5 Apr 5, 2011 09:12 Send this review to a friend
Too expensive  Time owned: more than 12 months
I only operate SSB ragchew and some DX. I never contest and this review is based on my experiences doing that.

Unfortunately, we also have to factor price into every review - if not, how would anybody be able to give a radio like an IC-718, FT-450 or similar ever a 5/5. My other radios are a TS-870 and base K3/10, so most comparisons are based on these. I am also not reviewing Icom's service or the reliability of the radio - I never had any problems in the year that I own this radio. The radio is the second gen i.e. 3Khz roofing filter and firmware is 2.20.

What I like:
Display is beautiful - end of story.
The dual PBT is very nice for getting rid of QRM. So does the auto notch filter in getting rid of those inconsiderate tuner-uppers.
The manual notch filter is also excellent.
Noise Reduction is excellent.
Standard serial port on the back for remote control is great.

No waterfall spectrum display and ...
No IF-out or built in antenna splitter that allows me to run a SDR receiver that will give me the panadaptor with waterfall display.

Recovered audio is not as good as what I get out of my Kenwood TS-870. I used an Icom SP-20 on the 7800 and Kenwood SP-31 on the TS-870. Audio out the ACC connector or optical connector on the back into external amp and speakers, is excellent, though.
DC voltage on Microphone pins. On the K3, you simply go into the menu and turn the bias voltage on or off and on the Kenwood it is on a separate pin. On the Yaesu 9000 you have a XLR mic connector on the front and conventional connector on the back. I know you can use the ACC connector on the back of the 7800 but that bypasses the mic gain circuit.
The implimentation of Twin PBT is complex and filled with non-essential information compared to the simple effective K3 or Kenwood implementation.
The SFT filter indicator is confusing and there is virtually no documentation on it in the manual.
The same goes for the Manual Digital Selector adjustment. There has been posts on the 7800 Yahoo group about folks not being able to figure out of this does anything useful - and I am in that same category.

I have done many A/B comparisons between the IC-7800 and the TS-870 and a few between the K3 and the IC-7800. Most of these test were a weak signal close to a real strong one and I was trying to dig out the weak signal. So far, I could not find a situation where any one radio of the TS-870, K3 and IC-7800 could do it better than any other radio. I have to admit that my K3 only have the stock filter installed and the TS-870 only has one fairly wide roofing filter.

I would have overlooked the shortcomings and gave it a 5 if the price was below $7000 but neither the performance, nor the features makes it worth the new price to me. Seems the best price you can sell a pristine used one for these days is around $7.5K - so the used market has come close to what I perceive the real value to be.
K8RA Rating: 5/5 Jan 15, 2011 19:20 Send this review to a friend
Great radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Trust me, I have owned a lot of radios. The 7800 is my all time favorite. I love the features and user friendliness. ICOM has the best sounding DSP noise reduction software of any of the manufacturers. Everything in the radio works as advertised. I could go on praising this radio but others below have said it all.

I do agree with the amplifier sequencing issue but I purchased a sequencer from DX Engineering and the problem was solved. The other issue in my opinion is the weight of the radio. It is expensive to ship if you do have a problem
W5DNT Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2010 12:47 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic XCVR  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Without a doubt the best transceiver I have ever owned, by a country mile! The features are very extensive but simple to use. Excellent ICOM ergonomics, inuitive operation. The CW options are great, especially the APF (audio peak filter). Diversity receive and split operation in stereo is awesome. Having a completely independent second receiver, loaded with all the same bells and whistles, makes for a tremendous tool for the serious DXer.

Low noise floor, makes a great 160M DX rig. It hears weak stations that the PRO3 (which I like too) simply does not hear. Can't wait for topband season this fall.

No issues whatsoever with headphone rfi, PAs, etc. No complaints at all. ICOM support excellent with initial questions and firmware upgrade.

Am I happy to have spent this kind of money on this transceiver, ABSOLUTELY! This is a serious radio for the serious amateur.
G0CGL Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2010 23:34 Send this review to a friend
new firmware 2.21  Time owned: more than 12 months
My only long-term niggle with the 7800 has been that the sharp/soft DSP filter didn't set properly on changing modes. On going back to SSB it would often be on 'sharp' even though it supposed to be 'soft'. New firmware 2.21, available on the Icom Japan site, rectifies this issue at last.
KE7CPE Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2010 21:17 Send this review to a friend
Incredible Rig with Many Features  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my IC 7800 for over 4 years. I'm just now discovering the full potential of the radio. The features are absolutely amazing. The S/PDIF input and output on the back are very useful for operating digital modes. The radio interfaces nicely with HRD and also the IC PW1 amplifier.

If there was one thing I could change about the radio, I would add a USB port for rig control and input/output audio. Maybe they will come up with some sort of upgrade to allow the USB keyboard connector on the rear to be used for rig control and sound input/output. Other than that, I don't think I would change anything.

Overall, this radio is an absolutely incredible machine. I just wish the radio came with a cushy chair and comfortable headset to make long hours of operating enjoyable.

Good DX and 73!
IK0YKM Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2010 04:35 Send this review to a friend
Flawless  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am IC-7700's owner.
Today I bought transceiver ICOM IC-7800.
Extraordinary Easter surprise.
The 7800 has the second receiver.
I be moving 7700 to holiday home.
I've had Yaesu for about 30 years but the IC-7800 left me really surprised.
See also my previous comment on the 7700
I'm very satisfied.
Thanks Icom
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