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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | ICOM IC-7700 Help


Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-7700
ICOM IC-7700 Reviews: 131 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $6999.95
Description: Description: The ICOM 7700 200W HF/6M has been introduced at the 2007 Dayton Hamvention. ICOM has followed all the success of the beautiful IC-7800 with the smaller, single receiver IC-7700. It utilizes two 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, external video connection, high res spectrum scope, plus high voltage MOSFET 200 Watt PA.
Product is in production.
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ZS5WC Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2015 03:59 Send this review to a friend
Bold and Beautiful!.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Placing an Icom IC-756 next to the IC-7700,is like parking a Japanese compact next to an F650!.
The sheer size of this rig -(and weight) kind of caught me by surprise-but then, I like them big and bulky!.

AS a norm, I would normally equate good performance to size, having collected and restored many older rigs and the bigger units normally don't disappoint!. Cooling certainly won't be an issue if you look at the size of the Chassis / heatsink.
Plenty "horsepower" under the hood with the 200w out,and the processor audio with the Heil PR-781 on Transmit does not disappoint!.
Having a HV PA also helps as the IMD levels on transmit are very low-and you can hear this on the air.

The receiver is super smooth sounding, does not irritate the eardrums like some of the other receivers out there, and the audio reproduces well on the external loud speaker.

The Close in IMD on Receive is better than I need, selectivity is good, and the white noise levels in the receive audio is very low. (Could be a bit lower-but then I am picky..)

The NOISE BLANKER has me confused, sometimes it works as described in the manual, sometimes I get a large POP! in the RX audio when a light switch gets turned on or off-and my other rigs don't do this--So will keep on fiddling until I get it better or working well. Just irritates me like a dashboard rattle-sometimes it's ok, sometimes not.

DSP works fine-I normally don't require or like to use DSP, but when needed it certainly makes a difference.
The Internal tuner works great as well.

I would have liked a POWER adjustment in the MENU, because when you excite a modern Solid State amp, you have to twiddle the power and drive knobs to reduce the drive level. For instance, on the TS-590s you would have pressed the menu button, scrolling to "power", turning the selector knob to right level, and exiting the menu. Very quick operation.
Also would have been nice to record a received signal on air and be able to play it back to another station, whilst someone is setting up his station.

Great Big Rig, still learning to "drive" it properly-but very happy with the IC-7700, my only real complaint is the Noise Blanker, but who knows, I might find a way to set it to suit my conditions eventually.
73 de William
ZS4L / ZS5WC
 
NW3Y Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2015 18:16 Send this review to a friend
Great radio !  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had Icom's before and because of my happy experience with those, I choose to upgrade my station with the IC-7700 and IC-7600 (see seperate review). The IC-7700 is a "beafy" rig. Nice to have 200W output, a 7.0" screen that is surprisingly helpful, several RS232 ports, 4 SO 239's out for antenna choices, great design and good ergonomics, easy to use menu that can shape stuff going out as well as coming in, good roofing filter options and DVK and CW outputs that record four individual output transmissions. Recordings and playbacks are way too easy with this radio. Coming from an older contest rig, its nice to be able to connect and use the cw keyer, in a contest, in conjunction with the cw programing. There are tremendous options with this radio and I find it very user friendly. The comments on the audio quality and crispness continue to be impressive from other stations. Did I mention it has a super nice binder for the operating instructions which is easy to use and understand? I'm very happy with this radio and look forward to putting it through its paces in a contest.
 
N7AIG Rating: 5/5 Jan 31, 2015 10:41 Send this review to a friend
Two Thumbs Up!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm no stranger to premium radios, and this one reminds me strongly of an R&S SIGINT receiver I used back in the 1980's. This is a big and heavy radio, and exudes professional test equipment quality. And like the old R&S RX this one also allows (but doesn't require) an external frequency reference.

While it may seem like yesterday's technology, the IC-7700 is yesterday's tech pushed to its ultimate in performance. And it has been around for 6 years now, so the bugs have been worked out. This is a good point to dive into the new purchase if you don't want a bleeding-edge tech experience. And for the money this beast cost, I'll stick to tried and true.

I mostly listen to my radios, and I do a lot of precision frequency measurements. So I was curious to see how this radio behaved.

Hooking up my external Rb reference gives the radio instant-on with stability and accuracy limited only by its internal DDS architecture. And that architecture is complex, so no easy formula to figure out what its micro-offset will be for any tuning dial setting. But I measured Rb/GPSDO stability of +/-0.5 mHz (that's 0.0005 Hz !), and tuning accuracy of 0 to -0.06 Hz.

The internal clock does *not* rely on the external reference, as it showed about 0.5 sec gain after 24 hours.

The spectrum display is interesting and probably adequate for its intended purposes. But it does not compare to the kind of display I'm accustomed to with my Funcube Dongle + HDSDR on the computer. (Of course it takes a Pentium class computer to provide such a display, and the IC-7700 only has a high-end Texas Instruments DSP chip. DSP's are terrific for raw signal processing, but not geared to computer displays and GUI's).

The spectrum display is a kind of traditional swept analyzer with adjustable sweep speed and sweep range. The resolution bandwidth is internally kept to its optimum setting in relation to those two parameters.

In contrast, the Funcube HDSDR display is a real-time FFT in high resolution.

So what's the difference? I'm more accustomed to FFT's, but they aren't really better or worse for this purpose. A very short signal burst might be missed by a swept analyzer if it happens at large enough separation from the instantaneous analysis frequency. An FFT would catch it, but if it is very short in duration, the accuracy of the display would be poor. All you'd know is that something happened in some region, but not exactly sure where and how strong. Personally, I do prefer the FFT all-at-once kind of processing, but that probably reflects my upbringing.

And so I do run my Funcube dongle with HDSDR in parallel with the IC-7700. I can click-tune on the HDSDR waterfall and my IC-7700 instantly tunes there too, and vice versa. But in a pinch, you could easily fire up the IC-7700 solo and have a total blast with it.

In comparison to other rigs that I know -- I started with an IC-756, then IC-756 pro III, then IC-7600. The IC-7700 is the professional-grade top of that line, with deference to its big brother, the IC-7800. I haven't used or touched a 7800, but I understand the 7700 is the same radio inside -- just one of them instead of two.

If you have an IC-7600, then you have about 90% of the IC-7700. What's lacking is the 48V finals, 3 dB of extra top power, solid build quality (and heft!), direct Ethernet connectivity for easy remote operation through just a router, external frequency reference, and probably some slight edge in front-end quality. Otherwise, the IC-7600 is very much the same in features. Certainly, the same IF DSP processing, almost to a "T".

For myself, I'm happy that I took the plunge to the IC-7700. But unless you are a techie and devoted scientist and engineer, it probably would pay to stick with the IC-7600. (You could get two of them for the price.) Plus, you get Dual Watch on the IC-7600, which is consciously lacking on the IC-7700.

All in all, two thumbs up.
 
W3DDF Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2015 13:00 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had an Icom 7600 and thought it was a nice radio. I wished it had some of the feature that the 7700 has. I then moved to a Flex 6500. Although the Flex was easy to use I missed the knobs so I sold it and bought a pristine second version 7700. It is a great radio. The receiver is as good as the Flex and having the external monitor ability is great. It was much easier to connect my Tokyo Hy Power amplifier to the 7700 than the Flex. Glad to be back to a larger knobs and buttons radio again.
 
SM7JKD Rating: 5/5 Oct 17, 2014 10:56 Send this review to a friend
Time for a change.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Having used Yaesus these past 14 years, I thought it was
time for a change, but to what. I narrowed my choices down
to two rigs, The Kenwood TS 990 S, and the Icom IC 7700.
I have a few friends with both the 7700 and 7800, so maybe
was influenced with my choice. Reasoning that, should I need
advice/help, this would be readily available.
I decided on the 7700 , because I felt it fit my needs, I work DX
mostly 40 and 80 mtrs , early mornings, and have no interest
in contests.
I have had it five days now, and from opening the box, everything was quality. As it is a heavy beast, I left the handles
in place, which helped when placing it on a shelf at eye level.
Connecting coax, external monitor , linear etc, was easy, and
well illustrated in the manual.
I use a Heil PR 781 with the 7700, which I had with my last rig.
Before the 7700 arrived, I watched a film on You Tube many times, explaining how to operate it, what menus there are,
Different knobs etc. This helped a lot with the enitial start up.
I turned the rig on, felt a bit nervous, but things soon fell into
place. I adjusted the settings for my audio, and had a brief
listen on the monitor, but had a good idea from friends, re settings. Love the large screen on the rig, the layout, and
didn't find the menus too difficult either. The scope is very
good, and useful. The external monitor also great.
I found the filtering very good, and easy to pull out the weak signals. It is early days, but I am in no doubt that I have a quality rig, which will give me years of pleasure.


 
K5UX Rating: 5/5 Jul 22, 2014 15:28 Send this review to a friend
Good design/great ergonomics  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm not going to bore folks with lab tests and numbers. Like many others, I have owned several of the high-end transceivers and have yet to find one that I didn't like. Each one has its respective pluses and minuses. I recently sold my Flex 6500 and wanted to get back to a more traditional transceiver. Nothing wrong with the 6500.....I just wanted to try something that was different. After reading the eHam reviews about the 7700 PA failures, I talked with Adam, VA7OJ about the issue. As it turns out, Icom redesigned the PA a few years ago and went with a single PA device rather than a pair of MRF150's. This change, along with other changes, was enough to convince me to try the "new" 7700. After owning the rig for over a month now, I have to say that it compares favorably with the other rigs I've owned during the past several years. I'm a casual SSB and CW operator and occasionally operate RTTY and PSK31. The 7700 build quality is outstanding and the performance is in the same ballpark as my previous TS990S, FTdx9000, K3, FTdx5000 and Orion 2, keeping in mind that the 7700 only has one receiver and does not have "dual watch". If you need two receivers, then this certainly isn't the rig for you. Most of my CW is weak signal work and the 7700 does a good job of pulling the weak ones out of the noise, particularly with the audio peak filtering. This is a heavy rig and not something you lug around the house without serious planning. Another item that convinced me to try the 7700 was the recent firmware release by Icom. They finally listened to their customers and added some very nice features like a waterfall and enhanced scope features. Bottom line is that the Icom 7700 a pleasure to operate. Ergonomics are good and performance is outstanding.
 
N2EAC Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2014 10:20 Send this review to a friend
UPDATED REVIEW  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been operating my IC-7700 for about 5 and 1/2 years. I usually ragchew on 160m and a little bit on 75m phone. I have owned and thrown out ( oops, I mean sold), and operated side-by-side as back up radios, a (1) a fully loaded Elecraft K-3 (built by Elecraft), (2) a Kenwood TS-870S, and an Icom IC-756ProIII. I have always received great audio reports (ok, I admit, I run an MXL Ribbon Mic, an 8 band W2IHY EQ, and a Symetrix 528e - but I have an NCS Multi-Switcher and all of the other radios mentioned had the benefit of the audio chain) and all I can say is that the Tx and Rx DSP is outstanding and blows away - no comparison to those other radios). All of my audio reports have been outstanding and the Rx DSP is equally outstanding with hours of pleasure in listening to the radio.

NOW Icom has updated the firmware in the past couple of days to ver 2.0. All, I can say about the IC-7700 is a new radio. Just a couple of the long list of upgrades include tremendously upgraded Tx/Rx scopes, add a USB Mouse now to the already USB Keyboard, increased Tx and Rx recording to a USB drive, direct remote rig control (no computer interface needed) and the list goes on.

I would think of it as being a single VFO version of the Icom IC-7800, the Yaesu FTdx-9000D, or the Kenwood TS-990S - each being great, first class transceivers (I have never operated the Hiberling PT-8000a, a Ten-Tec-Orion II - sorry to see it no longer being produced i cannot give a comparison, or the Yaesu FTdx-5000MP, each as I understand are first class transceivers).

In summary, all I can say is that Icom did an absolutely stellar job with the ver 2.0 firmware upgrade. Icom took an already great radio and made it greater. While it is not an inexpensive radio, it holds its own with other 1st Class style to the radios mentioned in the above paragraph (note - I intentionally do not include the K-3 in the list of great radios, I found the K-3 to be a poor quality Tx/Rx SDR radio, albeit, Elecraft could have shipped me a defective radio, but neither will they admit to it, nor did they make right on fixing the DSP problems, or compensate me for my significant financial loss, as I was out hundreds of $$$$$$ to sell the K-3). I enjoy operating this radio and can do so for hour at a time without fatigue. Without reservation, the Icom IC-7700 is an absolute "buy it" transceiver.

73, Ed, N2EAC
 
DL3NCR Rating: 3/5 Dec 22, 2013 06:10 Send this review to a friend
Problems with PA Unit  Time owned: more than 12 months
Almost three years ago I had the opportunity to buy an IC-7700. It was a bargain offer from a dealer, just half a year old and in mint condition.
Having owned an IC-736 before, the receiver is a tremendous improvement. Pass Band filter can completely fade out adjacent signals and depth of the notch filter is very high.
You are able to pull signals out of QRM and noise where other transceivers are failing.
The display gives a lot of information at a glance. I was watching the evolution of graphical displays over the years. It first I considered them as a nice but superfluous gimmick.
But meanwhile I find it very useful and as all big vendors are offering rigs with graphical displays, one can truly say it has become a market standard.
I donīt really miss the second receiver. If this is a show stopper for you, think about using skimmer software for CW and digital modes to accomplish the same.
Being operated at 44V, the MOSFET linear gives a tube like signal. A massive heat sink allows a high duty cycle and even 200W output does not really heat up the chassis.
So why just three stars ? Recently I became BFC member. You may have heard about this club concerning Yaesu TRX, especially FT-817, but also FT-857 and FT-897 to some extent.
Yes, itīs the Blown Finals Club. I wanted to operate on 160m and erected a Butternut HF-2V in my garden. There is a special coil for Top Band operation. I have ground-mounted the
antenna, using 20 radials of various length. Iīm also using the Top Loading Kit to improve bandwidth. Tuning was not easy, but with the help of a vector antenna analyser, I managed to
have resonance on all three desired bands (160/80/40m) with reasonable SWR (2.1@1830kHz).
After connecting the coax cable to the IC-7700, I measured SWR with the internal meter at low power. The values were about the same as on the VNA before. Then I increased power
slowly up to 200W. SWR did not change and I started a CQ. But after a few seconds, smoke came out of the rear part of the IC-7700 and power supply failed ! I thought that there
must have been some problem with the built in power supply. I checked fuses, but they were not blown. I tried to switch on the TRX and it immediately came back to life. But when
I wanted to start transmitting again, I noticed that there was almost no output any more. Horrified I detected that the finals must have been blown !
Soldering iron is not a stranger in my shack, but repairing the PA unit of the IC-7700 would definitely exceed my capabilities. So I contacted ICOM Europe what to do. They said that they would not directly accept a repair order, but I have to send in the TRX to an official ICOM dealer. They named me some and I picked out the one I had the best impression of.
I wrote a letter with the fault description and asked them for some sign of goodwill, as I could not blame myself having made something wrong (afterwards I made about 100 QSOs on 160m with my
FT-897, even using a linear).
The ICOM dealer directly sent the TRX to ICOM Europe when the read my letter !
I got a quote from ICOM either to repair the PA unit (new MOSFETs but PCB just fixed and not replaced, 665€), or to replace the PA unit by a new one with a new design. For this alternative,
also the filter unit has to be replaced (1254€). Although the second offer would cost almost double the price of the first offer, I decided for the new PA unit. I sent back a written order,
the ICOM dealer had prepared. After more than one week I phoned him to find out the delivery date. He told me to contact ICOM Europe directly. There I learned that the
delivery time of the new PA Unit cannot be told and would be at least four to five months ! But they offered me to exchange the PA unit with a new PCB, but old design.
Because I didnīt want to wait for another half a year or so, I contritely agreed. The price would be in between previous two offers (999€).
Got back my IC-7700 this week. Seems to work fine again, but I have not tested it on all band with all antennas and all working conditions (linear, tuner, digi modes and so on).

I am deeply disappointed that there was no sign of goodwill by ICOM. The fact that they have changed PA Unit design (together with Filter unit !) and that it cannot be delivered, clearly proves
me that I am not the only one and it is a series problem. Certainly they would never admit this. I have owned ICOM shortwave TRX, handhelds, mobile and VHF TRX for more than 25 years
(the list has become very long over the years). But most likely, the IC-7700 was the last one for me made by ICOM.
 
M0VPL Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2013 11:03 Send this review to a friend
Pure class  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have purchased an Icom 7700. I could have gone for the new TS-990 but after listening and operating both radio's I went for the icom 7700. ease of use, great filtering, and I dont need twin receivers. infact its nice to think all the effort has gone into 1. nothing wrong with the kenwood as i like kenwood equipment, have a mint 2004 TS-870s also TS-2000X had a TS-950sd FT-2000D prior to icom 7700 no comparison! no dout people find something to complain about, its human nature. but as a TOP line HF radio the IC-7700 takes some beating. like most radio's i would advise reading the book for a week or so because if you cant drive it you cant comment.
 
LA8KHA Rating: 5/5 Nov 20, 2013 05:12 Send this review to a friend
Just great radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I,ve used Yaesu FT-1000 Mark V,Yaesu-FT 1000D,Yaesu FT-2000 and Icom IC-756 Pro.But the Icom IC-7700 is simply a much better radio.I bougth this second hand for some $5K and it`s worth every penny.
 
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