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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | ICOM IC-7600 Help


Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-7600
ICOM IC-7600 Reviews: 133 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $3,950
Description: The ICOM IC-7600 has been unveiled at the Tokyo hamfair August 2008. DSP based HF/50 MHz 100W transceiver keeps the best of IC-756PROIII with the look and convenience of IC-7XXX seiries rigs.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KJ7MX Rating: 5/5 Dec 9, 2014 22:15 Send this review to a friend
A real easy rig to use!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've had my IC-7600 for about three months now and I really like it! I've had a few Icom rigs - IC-706MKIIG, IC-746 and an IC-7000. I loved the 7000 but way too heavily "menu driven".

So after playing around with the 7600, an IC-7410 and an FTdx-3000 at HRO in Portland, OR., I came home with the 7600. The 7410 was a bit too basic and the ftdx-3000 felt really (amazingly) cheaply built. Maybe it is because I had some familiarity with the other Icom rigs, but I was able to power up the 7600 and get the basics down without picking up the manual. I really like the fact that most of the items I have to dive into the menus for are "set it once and forget it" items. I operate mainly CW with 10-20% on SSB. Mostly chasing dx, rag chewing, and some non-serious contesting. I find myself using the dual watch all the time in pile-ups.

the NB is incredible on some really nasty line noise I get on 40 & 80. The filters seem to do a good job. The audio from the receiver is good, but not "kenwood quality", referring back to the old hybrids. The more I use the rig the more I like it and the more it starts to feel like a comfortable pair of shoes. I can see holding onto this rig for quite awhile!
 
F4FYJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 29, 2014 07:16 Send this review to a friend
A very good rig !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've mine since september 2013 .I use it for digital modes using in board sound card and cat system with HRD/DM780.
It work better than my Icom-7400, G8XGG interface and Sound Blaster sound card .
Very goob noise blanker and DSP.
 
G3RCE Rating: 3/5 Oct 28, 2014 05:54 Send this review to a friend
ok if you like noisy radios  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you've ever operated an Elecraft K3, Flexradio or a Kenwood TS590S? then the only reason for choosing a 7600 might be because it has a pretty display! but most certainly not for raw performance.
Now if only ICOM would take the trouble to update the 7600 with a synthesizer like that of the K3?
 
K5RR Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2014 06:19 Send this review to a friend
Surprisingly good transceiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After I had to send my Icom 7800 to Icom for repair, I bought a 7600 for use in this weekend's CQWW SSB contest. I was very pleased with how it performed. The only complaint I have in comparing it to the 7800 is the compromises that had to be made in the controls because of the smaller size. But I don't consider this to be a major problem.
 
W3ULS Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2014 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Covers Nearly All Bases   Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned a 7600 for years, and find it fills the bill as an all-round rig covering just about all the bases. See previous review. I agree with the KK5DR review below, except I've had no issues or glitches.

If you are a "big gun" contester with several 180-foot towers holding multiple beams, then maybe this transceiver is not for you. I also do not have experience with digital modes such as JT65, etc., so can't comment there. But for 95% of hams, I'd say you can't go wrong with the IC-7600 as the main rig.
 
KK5DR Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2014 12:53 Send this review to a friend
Solid performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my 7600 since they first came to market. It has been a solid performer.
Prior to the 7600 I had the 7800 and 7700, these are great radios, but big and heavy, limited in application.
I got the 7600 and tested it along side these other radios and found that the 7600 is very, very close in performance to these much bigger, much heavier, much more expensive radios.
For me, the 7600 is a great balance of size/weight, versatility, performance, & reliability.
I've done a couple software updates that fixed minor operational issues, and updated without any problem.
All the features and functions on the radio work as they should when used correctly.
I've only had two glitches in all the time I have had this radio. The glitch is; when the radio in very cold( below 40 F), it would boot up and there was no recieve audio, however the band scope showed signals present. A reboot corrected this problem. Now, I warm the shop up before I power up the radio. If this problem starts happening at higher shop temps I'll send it in for repairs, but for now it's working great.
This is one radio I'll keep for a long time, even if I replace it, the 7600 will always be with me.
 
W8NWN Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2014 06:24 Send this review to a friend
The Display  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A very early review. All the other so called comparable radios displays were unstable. The Ft-DX3000 brightness was unstable and changed after the unit was on for a day or so and "flickered". (very annoying) The IC7410 when turned on was dim and after a while went to the brightness you set it before. I admit, I am not a fan of the new type displays. I prefer the display for example on the FT-1000MP which I still have.

The IC7600 is a good radio so far...just overpriced in my opinion. But early on, I haven't found anything about the display that is changing. It is staying the same from initial turn-on. It does have a screen saver that comes on after about an hour to protect the display.

I will post another review about the electronic aspects of this radio later but so-far a good radio as expected for the higher price paid.

 
K4TB Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2014 17:47 Send this review to a friend
Great Noise Blanker and DSP  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Over the past dozen years I went from an Icom 756 Pro3 to a Yaesu FTDX-5000 with DMU-2000, to the Icom 7600. I needed to downsize my shack because I'll be moving to a new, smaller QTH at the end of this year, so I traded the FTDX-5000 for a brand new Icom 7600 and I am totally satisfied.

In short, the Icom 7600 is simple better than the others when it comes to the noise blanker and DSP. The noise blanker is phenomenal, eliminating some local raspy noise that occurs here occasionally that the other rigs could not eliminate. While the FTDX-5000 was better in selectivity in some cases, I find that the Icom 7600 is just as good 99% of the time. Couple that with the much more straightforward menu system of the Icom 7600, the built in scope with all its features, and the myriad of features in the Icom 7600 not found in the FTDX-5000, such as USB ports, built in PSK31 and RTTY operation, etc., I am happy with the trade. Also, I am working just as much DX with the Icom 7600's 100 watts as I did with the FTDX-5000's 200 watts.
 
KI6WXM Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2014 13:58 Send this review to a friend
icom 7600  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been using a Yaesu Ft-950. A great radio at a great price. I have never had a problem with it and I have talked around the world. I wanted to step up a bit so I researched and bought my first icom radio. A icom-7600, WoW! What a difference in radios. I just never realized that a radio could be this quiet. My first contact was Vienna Austria on my 5BTV antenna with 36 radials. I like my antenna but I know it is nothing special. This is the best radio I have ever owned. I do not sell radios so I will have this for a long bit.
Everything is where you would think it should be. The scope is the greatest thing I have ever seen. It is small so it fits on my table with ease. The filters are easy to set up as well as very productive.
I thought about the Yaesu Ft-3000 very hard before I bought the icom-7600 I read everything I could find. I called several of the HRO stores and talked to them. This radio has been around for 5 years or so. The bugs have been worked out of it I would think. I guess I could be wrong but I do not think so. I am just a normal older woman in Ham radio. I am in love with the icom-7600. The price came down a bit for the Ham fest this weekend so I got one at Hro hear in Oregon. KI6WXM
 
AD0AR Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2014 21:39 Send this review to a friend
5+ rating!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I could not decide which base radio to get- I had narrowed it down to 3 choices, the Elecraft K3, Yaesu FTDX 3000, and the Icom IC-7600.

I talked to a few amateurs who have the above mentioned radios and read through numerous reviews of each radio to assist in my decision making process. While all three have minor different yays and nays, I eliminated them one by one. No offense to anyone who owns these radios, I am sure you had your reasons to purchase what you did. This is why and how I made my decision.
Too many operators negatively commented on the harshness of Elecraft receive audio, plus all the extras that had to be purchased to have 100 watts, antenna tuner, add on cards, panadapter. Then to find out that it has no built in sound card, and only had a serial port for computer control also limited things and made it more complicated too. Scratch that one off.
Then I was going to get the FTDX 3000, but I put my trust in another amateur that told me that I should go for the IC-7600 over the FTDX 3000, even if the FTDX 3000 had better receiver specs. He said the Icoms have larger, better displays and easier, more intuitive controls and button layout.
6 months ago I pulled the trigger and got the IC-7600. I have never looked back.

All right, this is my second Icom rig, with the IC-7000 being my first.
Simple comparision between the two Icoms on 15 Meters- I have a constant carrier noise source induced by a poorly shielded HDMI cable on the TV/PC setup on the first floor, simply adding a few ferrite beads knocked this birdie like signal below the noise floor on the IC-7000.
Using the same antenna, but with the IC-7600 in place, this same signal is now 16+ db above the noise floor!! Holy cow! I had to replace the cable with a $100 monster cable double shielded with 8 added on ferrites before I was able to squash the unwanted signal below the noise floor on the IC-7600 and then on very quiet band days I still can see a little leaking in on the spectrum display!
Night and day comparision between the two radios! You get what you pay for!
My observations:
I weighed the noise floor through the USB computer soundcard interface using Visual Analyzer software. (google it for more info) On default settings with DSP at 100% and the receiver terminated into a dummy load I measured a very quiet -116db noise floor. That was with the default sample rate set to 44Khz. I saw an option on Windows 7 to change the sample rate to 48Khz. I changed it and remeasured the noise floor.
You may ask why change the sample rate?
Common knowledge on increasing the sample rate simply pushes the Nyquist frequency limit higher (the highest sample frequency attainable which is inherently half of the sample frequency) We all know that even using ESSB that no one will ever need to exceed the 22Khz default Nyquist frequency of this rig, but the audiophiles reading this know that by increasing the sample frequency, the noise floor is lowered even more and the dynamic headroom also makes some moderate gains.
After changing the sample rate to 48Khz, the DSP enabled 100% the noise floor was measured at -124 db!
With DSP disabled I measured a -80db noise floor.
All these readings are uncalibrated and should be considered average/relative as I have no ability to calibrate my setup for higher accuracy.
Using the same setup on my IC-7000 connected to a Signalink, I was at best able to achieve a -100db noise floor under the same conditions.
Now for some other features- intuitave layout of buttons, but here's some nags about the buttons:
I don't like the tiny pop out power control knob. It should be bigger and have easier access.
Using programmed channels. I HATE using UP DOWN buttons! I hope a firmware update would allow the RIT knob or tuning knob have a extra mapped function that allows a twisty knob of memory channel selections!
About the DSP:
I think the DSP rocks in this radio! Either SWL listening or monitoring CW, while the internal speaker does no justice of the audio reproduction, using an external speaker the audio quality is superior compared to anything else I have listened to!
When adjusted optimally, there is close zero audio noise, giving the appearance that squelch is enabled, but it is indeed not!
Using CW mode with the DSP set to minimum, the noise floor noise is non existent, so no white noise listening fatigue here! Just pure CW tones, which by simply twisting a knob on the front the user can change the RX CW tone to their liking.
One note about the roofing filters-
In my use of the roofing filters I have noticed that some signals being broadcasted are darn dirty as verified by the beautiful spectrum display. No matter what brand radio you have, you will hear these offenders throwing their splatter across the band.
Speaking of the spectrum display- It is kinda hard to tune the radio to a spectrum peak indicated on the display when using the relative frequency display option when the spectrum display is "centered" on your operating frequency, but when it is used in the "Fixed" mode, the present band is displayed in whole, and your operating frequency is indicated by a vertical line, just like a old fashioned slide rule tuning indicator, but with a twist- all the spectral lines are superimposed on the slide rule tuning! When you see a spectral peak on the display, merely a simple spin of the dial can QSY the vertical indicator line right on top of the new peak instantly for monitoring! This s great for catching those quick tuner uppers just coming onto frequency!
The IC-7600 does have a internal fan. I did find it turning on even when only receiving for long periods of time, but it is pleasantly whisper quiet with no hint of motor hum. After testing power output into a dummy load I found that the IC-7600 is able to maintain it's rated wattage down to about 12.5V, then the 100 watt rating starts dropping.
I initially had my power supply voltage set to 13.8VDC, but after this test indicated that there were no gains to running the higher voltage, I turned down the power supply voltage to 12.9VDC.
The radio runs much cooler and I experienced the internal fan only turns on when transmitting for extended periods.
About the internal antenna tuner and internal 2 port antenna switch:
The tuner is FAST with the only noise eminating from the cabinet is the initial engaging click of a relay and a flashing tuner light is the only indicator anything is happening.
I wish Icom had an option menu to show the memory set points of the tuner graphically. That would be a awesome diagnostic tool! Plus it could allow the operator to plot SWR's for their antenna that can be saved and referenced later in the event of station problems. The operator could recall a "Original" saved SWR plot, then overlay it over the latest plot. That would save many headaches troubleshooting! Plus having the ability to "see" the values the antenna tuner is correcting could very well assist an operator in fine tuning a dipole or other antennas without the need for other test equipment, and since it is internal to the radio, nothing needs to be disconnected or swapped out!
The 2 port antenna switch is awesome as it remembers if the tuner is needed for a specific antenna/band. I use port 1 for my Magloop, and port 2 is used for a wideband "spotting" antenna that does not need to be tuned onto frequency like the Magloop does to RX anything.
Also, while it is nice that Icom had the foresight to allow some color customizations to the radio display, simply having only two color options (Black and Blue) for the background is very limiting. They should have allowed for the full color gamut just as they did for the spectral display. They should also have allowed for changing the color of the frequency display font this way too.
About the PBT feature:
IT does work wonders, but is not as sharp as the single manual notch filter. I think in a future firmware update ICOM should superimpose the PBT graphics on the 5Khz and 2.5Khz spectrum screens to better facilitate the filtering that is being applied. That would be baller!
About the Universal Serial Bus HOST capabilities:
This radio allows the use of a USB hub that allows a USB memory drive AND qwerty keyboard at the same time but the darn radio only has 100 memories and limited voice recording capabilities?
Shoot! Get a firmware update out there that allows you to use the whole USB memory drive as an extension to the memory onboard the radio! We like memories! The more the better! We aren't getting any younger and I like to use my memory capacity for things on the XYL Honey Do list, etc. and not for remembering frequencies, bandwidth selections and modes....
To simplify computer connections, there is a USB connection on the back that allows for computer control and sound card connections through one simple USB cord! It could not be simpler!
I have had very good luck using the single USB interface for digi modes such as RTTY, JT9, JT65, Olivia, etc. but for CW and RTTY through a PC, I would get a keyer interface so the radio can be set to the correct mode, then the APF/TPF and other selective filtering can be used like it was designed to be used for those modes, plus all logging software will log everything without editing entries to the correct mode/freq.
So Icom, do you think you could give us some of these features/additions I mentioned above? You guys did a stellar job on the recent IC-7700 firmware upgrade, don't forget about the IC-7600 users!
I hope you all enjoyed this long review! Lets keep the ideas coming for any possible future firmware updates! In God we trust, All other we monitor. 73 de AD0AR
 
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