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Show all reviews of the ICOM IC-7200
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of the ICOM IC-7200.
Nov 5, 2013 11:20
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Easy with Digital Modes and Superb Receiver!
Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First of all, I have to say that I use these rigs with voice and digital only, 10 to 80 meters and this review is actually a comparison with the Yaesu FT-950, which I owned for 2 years.
The IC-7200 receiver is much cleaner and much more sensitive to weak signals than the FT-950 using the same antenna and similar selection of DSP filters available in both. The stock microphone on the FT-950 seems to do better than the one that comes with IC-7200, although both are really cheap, made in china, accessories that need replacement if you are competitive and demand quality.
Besides the receiver, the most important aspect where the IC-7200 excels is with the use of USB to work the digital modes. Just one (standard) cable and you are all set. For the beginner it could not be easier and for anyone it simplifies the mess of cables of interface required if the rig does not support USB. Through the USB you can control the radio with a PC (I use Ham Radio Deluxe 5.2438), operate the digital modes and log your QSOs easily.
I paid around $ 1,400 for the FT-950 two years ago and around $ 1,000 for the IC-7200 a month ago. Actually, the IC-7200 is more expensive than the FT-950 if you take into account that the IC-7200 is in reality a sophisticated rig made cheaper to compete in the market and it lacks a lot of cost elements compared with the FT-950:
- the FT-950 has two VFOs knobs, while the IC-7200 has a single VFO knob a button to switch A/B;
- the FT-950 has two antenna connectors, while the IC-7200 has just one (of course you can use an external switch with either one);
- the FT-950 has FM, while the IC-7200 does not;
- the FT-950 has a much bigger (and colored) display compared to the IC-7200 (monochrome);
- the FT-950 has back-lit buttons, while the IC-7200 does not (this is a feature I miss in the IC-7200, especially when I use it at night);
- the FT-950 has an internal antenna tuner, while the IC-7200 does not (using a 10-80m antenna as I do, the internal tuner does not help and I use a MFJ-962 with either one).
One obvious advantage of the IC-7200 over the FT-950 is its portability (size and weight) and a smaller foot print.
Of course, in the end the choice is yours and I hope I have added some valuable insight for people looking for an entry level HF/50 Mhz transceiver.
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