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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | SWAN 700CX Help

Reviews Summary for SWAN 700CX
SWAN 700CX Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $869.99
Description: Swan 700CX ham 80-10 meter rig with 750 watt PEP input. This rig easily does 450 watts PEP output. Matching Swan 117XC Power Supply and speaker. Vintage 1977

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W9BGX Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2019 18:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent vintage radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've been a ham continuously since 1964, first licensed as a Novice with the call sign, WN9JLV.

Fond of my first "real" radio, a 1968-model Swan 350, and wishing to relive the glory days of a fantastic solar maximum when that Swan could contact any ham on Earth with just a dipole antenna, I was recently very fortunate to purchase from Sam, W3SLM, a Swan 700CX SS-16B Special in decent condition.

After some tinkering with the radio's PA neutralization, and then finding on eBay a good-condition Shure Model 444 microphone, the Swan 700CX is back on the air with 500+ watt output voice peaks on 20 meters.

Comments on the performance of this transceiver:

(1) The Swan's receiver is very sensitive, selective, and quiet, especially with the automatic noise limiter (ANL) activated. Ignoring its complete lack of DSP, the Swan's basic "hearing" is as good or better than a number of late-model radios I've operated.

(2) The choice of the Swan's microphone is very important. I went through several mics which did not provide good over-the-air transmitted audio reports. But then, following up on an old 1970's-vintage Swan ad that showed a Shure 444 mic with the radio (the ad called it a Swan 444), I found one on eBay that did the trick. Now, no complaints on the transmitted audio!

(3) The Swan's final amp adjustments (P.A. grid, P.A. plate, coarse load, and fine load) also substantially impact its receiver sensitivity. If you need to neutralize the final amp (as I had to on 20 meters), first adjust the P.A. controls for maximum received signal strength when connected to a well-matched antenna. Only then adjust the P.A. neutralizing capacitor, which is accessible from the bottom of the radio through a hole in the bottom cover plate.

(4) On SSB voice peaks, the Swan's RF power output is easily 500 watts. Relative to 100-watt radios I've used, this makes a real difference in station-calling success rate. A small muffin fan placed above the P.A. compartment keeps everything in the radio cool. This also helps to quickly stabilize the VFO.

In summary, when I use my "new" Swan 700CX SS-16B Special, apart from the current lack of sunspots, I almost feel like a teenager again. Enjoy!

73, Al WA9JLV

SV1AGK Rating: 5/5 Jan 27, 2017 03:52 Send this review to a friend
titan  Time owned: more than 12 months
i purchase from Houston Texas at 1976, i change one time only the final tubes 8950. full output 400watts. very easy receiver (2,7khz bandwith)excellent audio. many qso.
W3AFC Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2011 19:54 Send this review to a friend
Super durable, powerful rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have to give the 700CX a 5 overall based on similar rigs of like vintage because mine works great and gets out barefoot like some others do through a linear. I've committed great sins against mine and installed an RCA jack on the back to provide an output from the product detector so I can run that into my shack PC and use DSP and decoder programs, and I also installed a push-type speaker terminal block for an external speaker. My only complaint is the persistent slight hum from the 117CX power supply. I could fix most of that but it's minor, and I'm using this right now as my only rig. It's so easy to work on that I'll probably never part with it. After a 10-15 minute warmup the VFO stabilizes and I get great signal and audio reports. I have yet to use mine for AM but when I set the balanced modulator to around 5:00, and monitor my audio through a Palomar 500 meter (it has an AM monitor) the audio sounds super. By the way, the modulator is easier to balance with a scope than the procedure set forth in the manual. I picked mine up for a song on eBay as "for parts or repair" because the seller (a curio shop) didn't have a power supply. It worked right out of the box and required very little alignment. The RF output jack was a pleasant surprise: I have that running to my HQ-170C. When I transmit, both the internal receiver and the 170C get muted. Sweet!
KI6NQT Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2009 09:45 Send this review to a friend
My Favorite  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have both the standard and ss-16b. I have replaced the 8950's with the 6lb6 output tubes. Having a blast with these radios. Audio is very nice. Will be keeping these for quite awhile.
KC9GUZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2008 10:25 Send this review to a friend
Great old rig!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my 700CX off of Ebay from a radio collector in California and have had a ball with it since the day i got it. Sure its over 30 years old but for its age it is in GREAT cond. The previous owner rebuilt the power supply which saved me a step since i was going to rebuild it anyways, and the rig itself is very clean. I had to replace the 6.3 volt bulbs but that was no biggie. With the 8950 tubes i get between 300 and 500 watts pep output with no problem. It tunes up like a dream in 40 and 80 meters but as of yet i have not tuned it for the higher bands. The receiver on this rig is GREAT with little or no hash and trash, but a NB function is missed on the rig. Every function of the rig works like new. The only draw back of therig is it used VERY expensive final tubes, the 8950s now runb between 65 and 125.00 a piece! But there are conversions on the net to use tubes like the 6LB6 tubes which are about 20.00 a piece and have about the same plate dissapation.
Overall i like the rig.
AC0FA Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2007 11:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig dont need an amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 700CX is a great performer. The audio output is beautiful. It has a hot receiver I leave the RF gain about 9:00.

I have added a digital readout from almost all digital electronics dfd-1 swan. After removing the analog indicator card and plexiglass.

It fits in the hole for the analog dial. With some tape and black paper it looks pretty sharp.

I remotely mounted the frequency counter board for the display to the internal mobile speaker mount.

I tore 14 wires from a computer floppy drive flat strap and soldered it between the frquency counter board and the display on he front of the rig.

I choose to use a 9v battery for power source though the 12.6v from the light bulb or pin 5 of the VFO connector would probably be fine.

The LO signal is picked up from pin 8 of the vfo.

The 700cx is a wonderful AM Transmitter.
It uses ballanced modulator AM signal generation. It is about as close to plate modulation as you can get.

It shows 70w Peak Envelope Power in the AM mode
and exceeds recent commercial broadcast quality
with their OTHER forms of low level modulation.
Plenty of power for local net operations.

Best to use a seperate Receiver for AM the
2.7 khz bandpass filter makes net operations
difficult. Needs a 3" surplus computer fan on the final cage at all times.

Good all around performer. Works well with a good multiband Vertical tuned for low swr in the ham bands.

I would buy another.

K4PDM Rating: 4/5 Jun 10, 2007 05:18 Send this review to a friend
Classic fun rig!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I can't in good conscience give it a 5, because even compared to rigs of its day, it was a bit crude, as radios were already shifting to designs using only 3 vacuum tubes. But the Swan 700CX powerhouse, pretty much the last of the traditionally-designed Swans, sure is a fun rig to play with!

Mine still has 8950s and I hope I can keep it original. It doesn't drift if I give it a long warmup. It'll work into some terrible loads, putting out several hundred watts. I really salivated over this rig when I was studying for my Novice all those years ago, and now its on the desk!

Let's use and preserve these old Swans for as long as we can. They fired the fantasies of many a young ham about 3 sunspot cycles ago, when hams had more patience for drift and chirp, Collins still made the ideal rig, and 8950s cost ten bucks...
N4KC Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2007 08:21 Send this review to a friend
A "5" in 1977...a "4" even today!  Time owned: months
I bought one new in...I think...1974 and put a lot of hours on it. Of course, it drifted. All rigs drifted then. But it had a good receiver (no DSP), nice, clean CW tone (no built-in keyer or memories), excellent punchy SSB modulation (no processing), and originally promised 700 watts PEP on SSB and about 400 watts input on CW. It had sweep tube finals (no transistors) and you had to buy an external VOX for SSB and break-in CW. You also had to add an external VFO to work split or cut down some on the drift.

But it was a rugged son of a gun, capable of loading into most anything you tried (no internal tuner). I used mine on RTTY at only slightly reduced power for a long time before I smoked the filter caps in the power supply. I just put higher rated caps in their place, noticed no hum, and RTTYed away.

By the time I sold it in 1991, the tubes were soft to the point I only got a good 100 watts out on CW. But man, the contacts I made with that rig! Yes, I'd love to have one today. I could probably even fix it if it broke, unlike my current rig...that I'm afraid to even remove the cover from!


Don N4KC


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