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Reviews For: Icom IC-703

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Icom IC-703
Reviews: 181MSRP: 400.00
QRP HF and 6 Meter all mode radio. Comes standard with Antenna Tuner, DSP, Keyer, Memory Keyer, Power Conservasion system.
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N3KCM Rating: 2015-10-08
Best little all purpose radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Bought it, had it 5 years, sold it, kicked self for 3 years, bought another, will never sell again! Any radio that requires 13 volts is not field friendly. I'm a yaesu fan but ic703+ beats ft817nd hands down. Auto tuner is awesome. 10 watts is bonus for those low prop days.
K0INN Rating: 2015-08-26
Everytime I play with it I'm making contacts Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've had this ICOM 703+ for about 1 week. It was purchased with plans to try out some QRP portable operating. I bought from a ham that decided to sell to fund a new K3. The previous owner had the W4RT one board filter installed - 500 htz CW filter and 2.8 khtz SSB filters. These are Collins mechanical filters.

The size and weight of the radio is about that of a typical 2m/70cm mobile rig. Definitely bigger and heavier than a KX3 and FT817. I settled on getting the Icom because of the generally favorable reviews on the internet. I liked the large display, internal antenna tuner, and DSP noise reduction. I know the KX3 has those but at twice the price I paid for this radio.

Every time I play with the radio I'm making contacts. The first night I had it I made two CW contacts on 40 meters first time answering a CQ. I then acquired an ICOM rig control cable and Signalink USB (great product also). With PSK, everytime I CQ or answer a CQ the other ham is coming back to me. On JT65, again, I making a contact every time I try. Bear in mind this is with my base station antenna which is a magnetic loop antenna I have on the roof of my house.

It's a very nice shortwave listening radio as well. The sound of the internal speaker is quite good - not room filling but very listenable. I'm getting familiar with the menu system which is reasonable. I've used a straight key which worked well. I haven't tried paddles yet.

All in all I really like this radio. It's a portable but it has almost all of the functionality of a regular sized rig. The only function I really miss is CW auto tuning that will zero-beat the other hams CW signal. My other rig is a Kenwood TS590S.
IU0CXU Rating: 2015-03-25
Excellent QRP Rtx Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned in the past the standard version first (no 6mt band) and, later, (year 2005) the Plus version (HF+50Mhz). In summary great receiver, outclasses in this case the Yaesu ft 817 as comparative test done thanks to my buddy Arthur who had the courtesy to let me use the small 817 for a week. Both the standard version that the Plus with the internal ATU tuned all verticals and dipole antennas that I owned. Fantastic! I still own it and I wouldn't sell him for gold!!!
AD7QQ Rating: 2015-01-02
Great QRP Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have an old non plus model I've owned for about 8 years. I've hiked all over with it and used it both with an Icom specific battery and with A123 batteries with great success. I have found the menues to be a bit tricky and so have always carried a cheat sheet with me. I have found the built in SWR meter and the antenna tuner to be quite useful in field antenna matching. It has a very sensitive receiver, better than the 817's I've seen others use, and comparable to my Yaesu 450 if not slightly better. If you can get one that works, you will not be disappointed. It is a fun, easy to use full rig with all the bells and whistles but small and easy to pack.
W2UIS Rating: 2014-07-15
My Favorite HF Transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
By far this is my favorite HF transceiver. If you can purchase one you won't be disappointed. I use mine with a 40 meter inverted v antenna.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W2UIS on 2010-08-14

I used my 703 as the main rig until my purchase of the Yaesu 857D 3 year ago. I now use the 703 for portable operations with hamstick dipoles or on my deck with the Hustler 5BTV. This transciver has given me many hours of pleasure. I highly recommend the 703 or 703 plus.
Earlier 5-star review posted by W2UIS on 2009-09-17

The 703 is a fantastic rig (I own one without 6 meters) however the price today is too high for a unit that only has 10 watts of output. Go to the HRO page a 703 plus cost $765 while a Yaesu 857D sells for $730. I paid $400 (closeout) for my 703 without 6 meters which I felt was a reasonable price. I own both a 703 and 857D and I'm very happy. I recommend both just make sure before you submit that purchase. The 857D is my main rig while the 703 is my deck and portable rig.
KK4CUL Rating: 2013-10-21
Amazing value, fun rig. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have to admit I am biased towards Icom gear. But prior to finding a 703+ in 95+% perfect condition, I was sold on getting a KX-3. I had the money, I was sick of hauling around my IC-7200 to run portable (very heavy with a 22 Ah SLA), and I love the quiet and selective receive of the Elecraft. But, I voted with my wallet when a near mint IC-703+ came up for sale on the Yahoo group.

I spent months researching QRP rigs, as my QTH is so full of power line noise that I do 75% of my operation portable. So when the radio first arrived, I hooked it up to my PSU and 15m LnR EndFedz antenna. Of course, it was late in the evening so 15 was dead, but I heard some DX I couldn't quite pull out of the mud. I figured I would give the antenna tuner a workout (10 watts won't hurt anything, right?) To my surprise, the built in ATU got me ~1.5:1 on 40m, 20m, and 10m on a mono band 15 meter antenna! I made my first QSO to New York for a Fire Safety special event station on 40 meters. 59 report both ways. The noise blanker didn't help much with my line noise, but the AF DSP did help with band noise. I found NR Level 2 to be ideal for most situations. 3 works well with lots of band noise, but at 4 and above, it really starts to effect audio quality and even intelligibility. I then listened to the Maritime Mobile net (I didn't check in) on 20 meters and found the audio quality excellent. It really was as good as theIC- 7200, but the IF DSP and Twin Pass Band Tuning on the IC-7200 helps block out adjacent signals better. The OMISS net on 40 sounded great, and even with the noise reduction and noise blankers off, the audio was pleasing to listen to.

That weekend, I went to a forest to work portable. Instead of my heavy 22 Ah SLA, I just brought a 7 Ah one, the radio, a 25 ft. section of coax, and my 10/20/40 LnR EndFedz antenna. Right way, I made a 10 meter QSO to Hawaii with 10 watts. He was ~5-8, and gave me a 5-4. Not bad! I heard a few Trans Equatorial stations on 10, but I have worked enough of those in my car with an HTX-10 and Mag mount. Down to 20, and I was amazed at how quiet the receiver is in such a crowded band. My friend's 857D was hearing the stations I was, but they were noisier and muddy sounding. I didn't work anyone on 20 as he was setup on there and had the only bandpass filter.

Down to 40, and it was like tuning around local FM broadcast stations! Every 3-4 KHz was a rag chew that was clear as day. It's not as quiet as the KX3, but I paid less than half of an assembled KX3 with built in ATU. I ended up rag chewing with a station in FL, WI, GA, and IL. The band started to get noisy around 10PM so I cleared with one gentleman, but I got many compliments from my signal with 10 watts, mic gain at 5, and compression on. With the backlight on low, buttons on low, and LED lights on low, I was drawing about 320 ma RX, and about 1.2 amps TX. My voltage dropped from about 12.8-12.5 after 6 hours on a 7 Ah SLA. I was very pleased so far.

The next morning, I hooked it back up to my 15 meter EndFedz and worked 4 European stations during a contest. I got one 4-5 report and the rest were 5-5 or better. It's amazing what 10 watts will do with a resonant antenna -- the low end was about 8 FT ABG and the high end was about 20 FT ABG -- nothing fancy or high gain.

Yesterday, I set up in the drive way with an EARCHI 6-40 end-fed wire antenna. The internal ATU was able to match 60m - 6M with <2:1, and a 1.3:1 on 40, 20, 15, 10, and 1.5:1 on 6! I worked a few stations in the IL QSO party, as well as ALMOST picked up KL7LF in Fairbanks! He heard me, but didn't get a good enough copy for the QSO.

Overall, this rig has made my operation fun and lightweight again. No more am I limited to operating when the Power Line noise in my neighborhood decides to behave. No more am I required to haul around 30 pounds of Radio + Battery + Coax + antenna.

For an 817ND to compete with this rig, you would need to purchase the DSP mod and install, an external ATU (>$100), the TXCO, etc. These mods alone add >$200 to the base price and you get V/UHF. I can bring my HT if I really want to. So to me, the smaller size and V/UHF did not justify the lack of DSP, ATU, TXCO, and receive audio quality.
N0YXE Rating: 2013-10-20
REVISITED Time Owned: more than 12 months.
An excellent low power machine. Icon quality and performance.
The on-board tuner is great like others have reported. I get a 1.2:1
SWR on 75 meters through my 36' end fed on the roof at 20'. If you need more info on my invisible end-fed and a picture of this mini station set-up, send me an e-mail:
W5FZ Rating: 2013-09-18
Installed FL-52A CW Filter Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Radio set works great, nice, terrific but...after installing the newly received FL-52A 500HZ CW filter by ICOM, when in Narrow cw,,the receive drops way down. I have to turn the volume WAY up to hear OK. It does filter, but???? Was careful not to do cold solder joints when installing it, so now what? Marked 0 to 3 months for owning the new FL-52A filter, had the radio about 3 to 6 months.
IK3BRT Rating: 2013-07-21
Fantastic Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased the plus version since 2009, compared with the Yaesu FT-817ND (owned) in hf bands the Icom IC 703 is far superior in terms of quality and cleanliness of the signal.
Definitely good radio with the built in antenna tuner very very efficient.
KA6SGT Rating: 2012-12-15
Terrific Rig! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a versatile little radio with great features! I pressed this rig into contesting service over a two year period and was amazed at how well it could be heard in the company of "big gun" stations. The FSK feature was surprisingly easy to implement with the W3YY Interface ( I even help draft the schematic for this rig ( when I was W9IP. Wish I still had it! Had to sell off my station about two years ago to help pay medical bills.