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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Icom IC 703 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC 703
Icom IC 703 Reviews: 184 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $400.00
Description: QRP HF and 6 Meter all mode radio. Comes standard with Antenna Tuner, DSP, Keyer, Memory Keyer, Power Conservasion system.
Product is not in production.
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W2WAW Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2011 02:19 Send this review to a friend
excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own both the 703 and the + model.This rig in my opinion is by far the best portable rig for the money. The receiver is fantastic, the current draw is very low and the internal tuner is great, long wire with a balun, twin lead dipole etc.
I have not found an antenna that it would not match.
Check the bias voltage on the original 703 and then GO CAMPING,73 W2WAW.
KB0SFP Rating: 3/5 Jul 1, 2011 15:23 Send this review to a friend
ATU Very disapointing  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had to have one of these for two reasons. The TX audio processing & the internal ATU.

I've been on the transmitting & receiving end of the 703 many times. They have great TX audio processing. I was VERY disappointed in the almost ZERO range of the auto antenna tuner. Pretty much worthless. It bugs me a very great deal to be required to use an external tuner on an antenna that's almost resonant, when the radio has one built in.

Were it not for it's lack of audio processing, & only 5 watts out, my FT-817 would be preferred for serious portable use.

I also own an SG-2020, 2x FT-817, 2x FT-897, & countless military pack sets.

Dennis Starks
Monitor(all USB):
3996, 5403.5, 7296, 14342.5, 18157.5
G6YTB Rating: 0/5 Jun 24, 2011 08:51 Send this review to a friend
Poor receive  Time owned: more than 12 months
The worst radio ever owned receive is poor if connected to large antenna you can hear every other station except the station you want to listen to have owned this radio from new for 2 years had 6 contacts using it can,t get rid of it quick enough
Also own an icom ic 490e this is the same
Would purchase Yaesu or Kenwood in the future
W5GV Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2011 20:22 Send this review to a friend
Great, versatile QRP radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my ICOM 703+ used (as new) with the ICOM AH-703 antenna, CW filter, mounting brackets and separation cable. A pretty complete package. I then went out and purchased the LC-156 back pack and an AGM battery with charger. I've used it portable and pedestrian mobile with very good results, talking all over the country and Canada.

I bought a pickup and thought it would be fun to go HF mobile although I wasn't sure at the time how much I would really use it in the truck. I bought a Tarheel 75A antenna and mounted it in the bed of the truck and lacking funds to buy another radio for the truck I installed the 703+ in the truck and have been using it that way for the last 7 months. Wow, I have been using it like crazy! I have it on virtually every minute I'm in the truck and make contacts often, either answering a CQ or calling one. Sometimes I drive up to the mountains here in NM and park some where in a good location and spend the afternoon making contacts. I've just about worked all continents, half the states and several foreign countries including Japan and Finland. 90% of my ham hobby is now working QRP from the truck. I usually keep it at 5 watts so I can count my QSOs as QRP, but will turn it up to 10 when I'm just enjoying myself.

Of course the critical factor for all QRP work is the antenna. The Tarheel works very, very well for me. The antenna tuner works well and tunes up the little ICOM AH-703 antenna whip, my G5RV at home and tweaks the Tarheel after tuning it for lowest SWR.

Most would think think I am crazy to run Mobile/QRP since running mobile is a challenge in itself without reducing your power level to only 5 watts, but it works well and I have learned a great deal about QRP and how to make it work.

Really no complaints that I can think of.
9V1JP Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2011 09:01 Send this review to a friend
Great radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For portable rigs, I own a Yaesu FT-817ND and an Icom IC703. I love them both but a bit more on the Icom. The Icom broke down with difficult to trace intermittent transmission problem so I bought another IC703 while the faulty one is being repaired. The problem was traced to a plate through hole with high resistance and it is now fixed and fully operational. Now I am extremely happy with 2 Icoms with one serving as a standby set.

If you like QRP or field operation on HF band, this is the radio to go for. Power consumption is reasonable (approx.250mA at Rx). Just make sure you do not feed it with higher than 12v if you do pedestrian mobile with the radio packed in a backpack as any extra voltage fed into the radio will end up as heat - excessive heat generated and not removed will eventually have negative effect on the PCB (that is how the plate through hole got damaged on mine).

Grab the rig while you can find one in the market, damn good rig with such small foot print.

James Puah 9V1JP
G1HQK Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2011 06:02 Send this review to a friend
Love it!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a wonderful little radio, I have an 817 also but this knocks spots of it for ease of use, the bigger display is much nicer on the eye. The Rx is very good.

I use this for HF airband and SW listening, very nice tone. DSP and If shift help with the noise, my only little gripe is the range of the ATU, mine will not touch my vertical on some bands, but then I have an external ATU for those so no real problem, comes in useful when /P or /M.

Have worked or heard all around the globe on this little beauty, with either a vertical or end fed dipole connected, nothing fancy.

Considered selling it, changed my mind after I had another play!
K4AXF Rating: 5/5 Mar 2, 2011 12:52 Send this review to a friend
THE BEST!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my IC-703 Plus for 18 months now. Every rig has its plusses and minuses, but having used Argonaut V, Elecraft K1 & K2, and some older QRP rigs, I have hung onto this rig the longest. It's just a great, do-it-all rig.

I especially like how the antenna tuner memorizes settings for all my favorite frequencies - no tuneup needed.

The absence of keypad frequency entry doesn't bother me a bit as I have loaded every QRP frequency (new and old) for every band plus favorite SSB channels on every band into memories. That makes for real quick frequency/band hop.

I also like the quick split function for qrp fox hunts. Find the fox, hit the quick split and I'm automatically transmitting up 1 kHz. The XFC then lets me move my transmit around the pileup. Works just as well for DXing.

Yes, the menus can be awkward at times but with practice, it's easy to navigate the menu system.

In my 703, I've used both the W4RT 500 Hz filter and the Inrad 250 Hz filter and both work great. I found that I prefer the narrower bandwidth; so, that's what's in my 703 now.

I operate 99% CW. I don't use the full QSK as it shortens dits noticeably; when I need fast break, I just shorten semi-breakin delay setting down to 50. I love using the CW keyer memories for canned CQ messages. I have one set for de K4AXF/QRP after my callsign and one with K4AXF/QRPp and one just plain K4AXF for when I'm running the full gallon (10-watts).

Occasionally I check into my regular SSB net using the 706 instead of my 100-watt rig and it gets good signal reports from the net control and other members of the net.

And one other thing: The IC-703 is a really, really good at AM broadcast reception. It's a pretty darn good SWL receiver, too. The internal speaker is OK; but, with an inexpensive Sony bookshelf speaker hooked up, it makes for surprisingly good hi-fi listening.
K4AXF Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2011 12:50 Send this review to a friend
The best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned a number of QRP transceivers (K1, K2, Wilderness Sierra, Argonaut 509, Argo 515, Argo 516, TS-130v) and the IC-703 Plus is the one I like the best.

Features I like:

Once you've used the rig a while, the antenna tuner remembers the settings and goes to them when you select a frequency. The tuner is fully integrated - no pressing the tune button.

Also, once you've set the rig up and have used it for a while, the menu system is quite easy to navigate.

The memory keyer is easy to set up and use and is very handy.

The power and SWR meter scales read very accurately.

The bandpass tuning, RIT, A/B VFOs, Split, and Quick Split functions all work excellently.

I've loaded in all the QRP calling frequencies for each band into memories, making it very easy to navigate up and down the bands and I don't miss direct keypad frequency entry at all.

Con. There is only one slot for a CW filter; so you have to make a choice - narrow or wide.

Con. To enter the set-and-forget menu, one must turn the radio off, then back on while holding in the LOCK button. Most settings need not be visited again; but, it is inconvenient when you do need to change one.

Con. The 13.8 v power connection is via a "pigtail" on the back of the radio. I replaced this arrangement with a connector so as not to have a wire dangling off the back of the radio (something I absolutely can't stand).

IMHO this is possibly the best-integrated transceiver ever.
9A7PJT Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2010 12:41 Send this review to a friend
Very nice rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Have 703+ 6 months , perfect radio !
Have also 817 & FT7 QRP rig but this radio is much , much better !
W1WOW Rating: 4/5 Sep 6, 2010 08:27 Send this review to a friend
A great QRP rig with the most features out there...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using the ICOM 703+ for about two weeks now. The receiver is wonderful - quiet. At 10 watts the 703+ runs cool. Nothing like the other 706s... The internal tuner is probably the biggest coolness of the radio. It works well but is not a LDG or SGC tuner. It will tune to trim but will not take a random length dipole and make it work on even two bands in my experience. This is my reason for 4 stars instead of 5. If the tuner was a "smartuner" it would be just perfect in my book. All in all a very nice radio which is easy to lug with very little power requirements!
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