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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: 105 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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G4RNI Rating: 5/5 Dec 20, 2013 07:25 Send this review to a friend
Stunning but you need to learn about it  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had many a good rig (and some not so good) over the years. I'm NOT afraid to admit if I've bought a lemon but this is one superb radio.
I considered the FT-5000 range but they're just too plasticky and gimmicky for me. The TS-990 was a possible but the pretend analogue dial made me wonder if they'd just added gimmicks to up the price.
This one I got, 2nd hand, from a dealer, with a warranty, for 60% of the new price so not a bad deal.
Weighs a ton. Built like a proverbial brick ****house but above all FUNCTIONAL.

Superb TX and RX audio. Bomb proof receiver (I live a 1/4 mile from 4 x 2.5kW AM broadcast tx) which doesn't flinch in strong signal situations.

Filtering is the best ever and the noise blanker, well! My adjoining neighbour bought a new PLASMA TV for Christmas. S9+20dB buzzes everywhere and where my TS-2000, FT-847 and (ex) IC-775DSP NB's do remove some of the racket, the IC-7800 mk II NB completely eliminates it.

Expensive, yes but the difference between giving up or having HF.

Money I could have done with keeping but you're a long time dead.
F5MAG Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2013 12:54 Send this review to a friend
ic7800  Time owned: more than 12 months
beautiful tranceiver a better tranceiver that I have after using the other device range Yaesu TENtec sdr
very good very good very sensitive receiver no dynamic modulation on and after putting the 3.0 firmware there are many changes on the dsp and different menu I recommend
KB5BIP Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2013 15:49 Send this review to a friend
A true Flagship  Time owned: more than 12 months
First the build quality on this radio is unmatched by anyone. The receiver is as good as anything on the market even up to today's standards. Bells and whistles it has them all. Easy to use and learn. Audio on receive is warm and can easily be set to match your taste. I also have a new K3 and the 7800 easily holds it own and in some respects is better than the K3 receiver. A true flagship indeed. 10 grand yes they are and worth every penny once you use on. It don't get any better than the 7800. 3 years and has worked flawlessly.
PA9JO Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2013 07:14 Send this review to a friend
Happy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well in 2008 I bought my first IC-7700, after 4 years I tryed the Flex radio 5000, great tranceiver but Flex must do more about the monitor if you like to use E-SSB. Well now a few days on my IC-7800 WOW what a receiver and warm sound from the speaker !!! I'am really happy with the new rig !!!
73 Jo .
KI0Z Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2013 09:31 Send this review to a friend
IC-7800 RCVE ANT  Time owned: more than 12 months

Subject: IC-7800 FYI FINAL..!

the IC-7800. If you need or want more ability to hear signals in the noise floor one needs to tell it what you want ! it's easy the AGC controls what you hear ! I adjusted the fast to .2... FOR CW . Now trying to hear a WEAK signal in the noise floor use FAST this hears farther into the noise floor than slow. next push on AGC VR adjust to near CCW the signal and noise will come up and you will see a 2 + S unit increase yes it is noisey BUT the signal is now 2+ S units stronger and copy is from none to Q4??? adjusting the AGC VR & NR for best copy with APF to WIDE. when finished push AGC VR to off you are back to fast agc... I use a DX eng RP-1A preamp you do not tune it, it is broadbanded and I put a Power switch on the power cord with a Green Led + resisror on it. the preamp is switched on or off with the power switch.(ant goes thru it when off) the xcvr does all the antenna switching when connected in the back of the radio YOU CONNECT IT TO THE BACK OF THE RADIO AND GO TO ANTENNA SETTING AND USE (ANT 1/R*)=1 XMIT & 4 RCVE ANT (TH11, etc.)I USE THE TH-11 FOR RCVE WITH THE RP1A PREAMP ONLY WHEN SWITCHED TO THE IC7800 rcve with 2 position Diawa switch..USE DIGI SEL ON 160 METERS FOR AN AMAZING REDUCTION IN NOISE ,
IT IS AN AMAZING COMBINATION.. .+50 SIGNALS GIVE NO PROBLEMS WITH IT HAS A BETTER FRONT END THAN THE RCVRS DO A GREAT PREAMP.(THANKS W8JI ) I DONT USE IT ALL THE TIME JUST WHEN I WANT MORE GAIN . This gives you 3 preamp combinations.... Note those that think they need a better radio just havent or dont know how it works ,OR HOW TO USE IT... few radios have AGC-VR .. Im taking this rig in the coffin with me and the TS-590's an Icom in Kenwood clothing .. they keep up together no matter what they encounter on 160 contests ect , etc.SSB/CW..!...when using AGC-VR it works a LOT better If you also use APF in WIDE and ONLY USE agc-vr in 250HZ or narrower or you will not like the selectivity ..!!! GL & DX.. i COULD NOT BE HAPPIER WITH THIS XCVR...!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST RAN THE CQ WW CW & PHONE ,ARRL CW . I also WORKED MIDWAY A FEW YEARS AGO ON 160,80,40,30 METERS on the TH-11-RCVE ant, WITH A +25 DB OVER NOISE ON THE DELTA LOOP... 73 &GL..David KI0Z..
W7UTE Rating: 5/5 Feb 7, 2013 15:52 Send this review to a friend
The BEST!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought mine 5 months ago used on Serial#0201759. I paid mid 6K and hoped for the best. Got it and it was in near perfect condition. My 7600 became my backup rig. I've had the 7700 and the 781 along with all the pro's and this rig by far is the BEST. I use it for SSB with my PW1. The receiver is excellant and the transmit with my PR-781 mic gets excellant audio reports. Every time I use it I marvel at the display, the quality looks and feel. This is a keeper. The noise reduction is almost as good as the 7700 and 7600 and is by far better than any other manufacture and I've owned a lot of radios. I'd like to try the TS 990S, but it won't stay in my shack.
VE2PXP Rating: 5/5 Jan 18, 2013 12:49 Send this review to a friend
One word: A real Rolls Royce   Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my IC-7800 2 years ago, was 4 years old at that time, s/n # 0201291, and I operate this marvellous machine almost everday on all HF bands. Just... Perfect ! Wow... Sound is fantastic, operate that machine it's a real plesure and the feeling is like you drive a Rolls Royce... Just fantastic! I had before FT-990, FT-1000D (my second best rig), FT-2000D (really did not like that one) and TS-2000. IC-7800 is definitively the dream machine for any amateur radio "passionned" operators.
PY2WG Rating: 5/5 Nov 13, 2012 03:20 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic !!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had all radios on the market since 1970, IC 7800 is the best of all.
K3MD Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2012 18:40 Send this review to a friend
Best Rig Available  Time owned: more than 12 months
Have had this rig 7 years. Around 50,000 QSO's on it. Very good for CW, SSB, RTTY. Use with Writelog for RTTY contesting. Has been back to Icom for blown finals and blown driver. Otherwise trouble-free. This rig is impossible to overload. It is a very expensive rig, but worth the money. Have tried K2/100, FT-2000, Orion I, IC-7600, K3. I have not tried the new FTDX-5000 or the new TS-590S. If this rig breaks I will get an IC-7700. I seldom use the second receiver, but it works extremely well. The second receiver is mainly useful for me in DX pileups. Selectivity on CW and SSB is very good. This is the older unit with only a 6 KHz roofing filter, but this seems to make no difference. Digital Voice Keyer very easy to use. Easy to interface to Rigblaster for RTTY. Easy to interface to DX Doubler for SO2R. The bandscope is extremely crisp, although it has limited usefulness in contesting if you are operating the assisted class. Often run it at 2.2 to 1.8 KHz selectivity for SSB contesting. Run at 400 Hz selectivity for CW and RTTY(steep slopes).
K5JZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2012 10:48 Send this review to a friend
Best CW, SSB and Digital Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
Let me begin by stating that I have been a licensed Amateur for 40 years. I have been a DXer since the first day that I was licensed… and a Contester on and off during those 40 years. There has never been a time in my life… after becoming licensed… that I have ever been away from our Hobby.

There are a subset of DXers and Contesters that have been able to own/use the entire list of the top of the line rigs over the past 25 years. The user groups for different models are full of posts where DXers and Contesters have compared and contrasted most of today’s rigs side by side and have written their thoughts and opinions for us to peruse. I have been fortunate to be in a position to own or try out most of the top line rigs and I can testify without a doubt... the IC7800 is a supreme weak signal receiver for CW or any other mode… IMHO… the 7800 is the absolute best of the current crop of high end radios. Flex and their new direct RF sampling receiver will change that and other Amateur manufacturers will follow suit. The technology has already been accepted and is the current state of the art amongst high end communications manufacturers such as Marconi, Racal, Harris, R&S, Telefunken and Collins. BTW, in the 50’s and 60’s all of these companies experimented with the “in vogue today” down conversion IF scheme and dropped it due to its in band IF problems. Direct RF sampling SDR systems eliminate these conversion schemes.

I am in two DX clubs with a combined membership of about 100 and I consistently hear DX stations that at times… my friends cannot copy and these other rig choices are connected to similar antennas and in some cases… the exact same antenna combinations. At times… this is due to their front ends being overloaded for various reasons or signals leaking past their IF filtering. Some rigs still have audio notch filtering that does not remove the offending carrier but only removes the heterodyne. Some noise blankers open their receiver front ends to overload. In some cases, I have had friends call me on the phone and request proof that I can hear stations that they cannot… “Let me hear what you are hearing”. Some of my friends live very close by and some are separated by up to 30 miles or more... and I hear things at times… that my friend’s FT1K's, MKV's, K3's, FT5K's, Orion II's and many other rigs in the club… cannot hear. Many of my old rigs are sitting in their new homes and are included in this group.

K5GDX/K5MDX have used IC7600’s, 7700’s and 7800’s in contests over the past several years. We have also used FT1000MP MKV’s and FT1K’s, Kenwood 2000’s and even an odd ProII and ProIII. Again, when we do find a difference in the performance of these rigs… the newer Icoms always have the advantage… not once has it been any of the other rigs with an edge. During Field Day 2012, I didn’t even have to use a front end filter on my 7600… the FT1KMP MKV had its noise floor elevated by 20db without these front end filters. It was the same with a friend’s 920. The 7600 suffered no ill effects. In many cases, the Yaesu, and Kenwood rigs performed admirably.

During Field Day 2012, in the 3A class (65% CW contacts)… we placed #1 in Mississippi, #1 in the Delta Division and #12 overall in the USA. We have a contest station setup in a cow pasture and it resides inside of our Emergency Communications trailer and we have towers, yagis, ¼ verticals for 160 and 80 (with radial fields), wire antennas and a Hi Z Receive 4 Square system and we run it all on a 15KW Genset. We are surrounded by 4800 volt high tension wires and the environment is noisy… but not when Icom’s world class DSP noise blanker, DSP noise reduction and DSP filtering is applied.

I was able to work DXCC on 160 meters without the aid of a low band receiving antenna and the only reason that I could accomplish that feat is that the IC7800's receiver is just that good at fighting noise… with its DSP and its BRICK WALL filtering. I now enjoy a DXE 4 Square Receive Array but it was not always so. I have friends that come to my rural location to use my station. Not one friend has ever had a situation with my 7800… where any close in station caused them not to be able to copy any weak DX station being pursued. They have to open up the filtering and disengage the APF (on CW) just to hear the offending stations that they assumed were just normal hash that their radios must endure. What is the importance of one single performance specification… one that is more marketing hype than it is an indicator of real world performance, when the state of modern Amateur transmitters produce dirty signals that are filled with wide band noise, phase noise and key clicks in some cases? If you can narrow your filtering down until adjacent signals no longer interfere with the intended signal, if you can remove interfering noise sources using built in tools… then a receiver is doing exactly what we demand that it do. If a signal resides within a receiver’s IF filter passband, then nothing is going to remove that signal. When I speak of the filtering in the 7800, I am speaking of BRICK WALL FILTERING. Crystal filters themselves can introduce IMD into the IF chain… this is well documented and there are treatises written on the subject. The DSP filtering in the newer Icom transceivers do not exhibit these anomalies.

The APF in my IC7800 makes the difference between hearing the weakest of signals and not hearing them. It is not designed to work like the old analog APF filters in some legacy rigs.

If one is considering buying a new top of the line rig and is considering any of the new Icom offerings, one only has to read through this very review thread to come to the conclusion that 99.50% of IC7800 owners that have posted to this review… agree with my findings… and they have in their own words… offered data that are diametrically opposed to some of the competitions accusations about today’s Icom transceivers. I have had the 5K, 9K, and K3 on my bench... hooked to the exact same antennas... and not one single time have any of the other rigs proved to be superior. In many cases… their “performance” is the same... certainly one rig sounds different from the other, there are differences in ergonomics… but the basic performance is close to equal most of the time… but when there is a difference... the IC7800 and IC7600 have always come out on top... in real world conditions. 40 and 30 meters are examples of where the FT5K and K3’s fall behind. The problems on those two bands are IF related and exist because of engineering design choices. I have briefly mentioned those concerns above.

On the evening of 11-10-12, I worked the PT0S on 160 meters and through QSB, QRN, QRM and jammers that made many just quit. Friends in the North East had the propagation as did the Europeans. They were reporting the PT0S signal was up to 10DB over S9. At best here… they peaked at about S7. I was able to use the IC7800’s second receiver… utilizing its incredible filtering aids… to find the stations that the PT0S was working… through the wall of RF that was a roaring hoard of NA, SA and Europeans continuously calling… and I was able to find his operating pattern and spread… and BANG… IN DA LOG! I also worked them for both of our Club calls.

Some friends that were using K3’s and FT5K’s made it through also. None of these newer rigs are poor performers by any means. Another buddy worked them with his modified FT1KMP MKV and still another with his venerable Kenwood 940 and my old JPS NIR12 DSP unit. Opinions are highly subjective and many will testify that their choice of rig is better and they will tell you why. If the IC7800 were as bad as some of the competition and their followers would lead one to believe… I would not have been successful in my quests… and I beat my local friends into the log that night…because I could hear the PT0S Q5 when they could not. I did not have to ask for confirmation of my QSO… with the 7800… one seldom has doubts about things like that.

If I have propagation to a particular part of the world at a given time, then I can hear the DX and I can work them. IMHO and that of many serious DX'ers and Contesters like K1AR, who owns a fleet of IC7800’s in his World Class Contest Station… we know the truth.

What rig to use is an extremely personal choice… and those choices are as varied as there are Ham operators. My advice to all Hams is that you buy the right rig the first time… buy the one that you like best… for whatever reasons you may have. The only person’s opinion that should matter to anyone is the person writing the check and operating the rig. Buy what it is that you want the first time… I have found in my decades of experience that one will save money in the long run by buying what they wanted in the first place and not what they would settle for. Enjoy Ham Radio… it is all about the FUN!

George K5JZ

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