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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
N4SAX Rating: 2012-09-12
Still a TERRIFIC Rig!!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Since I first wrote my review of the IC-703, I have had a good opportunity to get even more familiar with the radio. All I can say, after spending a couple more months with this radio, is that I echo the sentiments of N0AZZ – This little radio should be put back into production! I am constantly amazed at how well the rig operates with such little power. I like it so much that I made two videos for YouTube displaying the quality and capability of the 703. The first video is from Field Day 2012 (stateside contacts) and the second video was filmed during the (Sep 2012) Worked All Europe DX contest. Both videos are based on 15-meter contesting, but the radio has worked equally well on all the bands I have tried to date. My IC-703 videos are located at:

Field Day (Stateside):

Worked All Europe (All Europe contacts):

Bottom line: If you are contemplating picking up an IC-703, I think you will find (as I have) that the rig is well worth your investment!

Earlier 5-star review posted by N4SAX on 2012-03-27

After being a "dormant Ham" for 30+ years, I decided to get back into the hobby that fascinated me through my college days. I found a used IC-703 on one of the forums and it turned out to be a great purchase! I initially encountered the RF issue which caused erratic CW locking during transmit and I made the mod (grounded the key socket) to eliminate that problem. Have been using the rig with a long wire and a 20-meter EndFedz antenna. During last weekend's SSB contest, I worked Spain, Luxembourg, England, Slovenia, Madiera Island, and France (among others!) on my little 10 watter. Had to wait my turn through the pileups but it was a blast. My neighbor (also a Ham) was amazed when I shouted "...just worked Madrid on 10 watts"...and he had to come see what my formula was. Although I know the antennas (on both ends) had a lot to do with it, the little Icom made it fun for sure. Great QRP rig and fun to operate once you get used to the menu system!
G4YVM Rating: 2011-12-22
Yes, it's very good. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Well, I've used this rig mobile now and also at home just for fun. It delivers the QSOs for sure, and it gets good reports for audio etc. Filtering is good enough.

I had the "tx lock" on CW when I added a miracle whip but the DK mod from Icom sorted it.

My BIG concern is that awful menu system! Hell's teeth its hard work. I mean, why??? However , when you fathom your way round the menu it's a useful bit of kit.

The other issue for me is that the screen text is a little small and I need to keep popping reading glasses on to see what it's doing.

The auto ATU inside is also pretty good. It resolves SWR on my short mobile whip and buts of wire. I don't perceive it to be as good as my 746 ATU or the LDG 817, but then why would it be? It's not in the same league but it owes work as a trimming ATU. All in all it's worth having

Final thoughts? I like it. Mobile or base, it's a goodl little wireless.

These things sound like I'm not happy, in fact I am. I enjoy using the 703 and it works fine.
N0AZZ Rating: 2011-08-15
The Best IN IT'S CLASS Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have owned an K2, 817 both are distant seconds to the 703+. Best display, audio, receiver, atu will tune about anything within reason, very good battery life when portable.

This radio should be brought back into production.
KM0U Rating: 2011-07-07
Great Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have a plus model and use it regularly as my home rig with fixed, tuned antennas. I like to go camping so use the rig for occasional portable operation as well. When portable, the ATU is terrific with an end-fed wire (70 feet), LDG 4:1 balun, 35-70 foot counterpoise, and a short length of coax it quickly tunes 6 through 80 without any issues at all.
Lots has already been said about the other attributes of the rig by previous posters but I wanted to emphasize the tuner's ability to effectively tune/match a simple end-fed wire across a broad spectrum of freqencies thus making the rig a great portable choice.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a QRP rig with an internal atu, give the 703 strong consideration, I've been using mine for several years with excellent results.
YV4OW Rating: 2011-07-05
1 revision Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Estas son mis impresiones despues de llevar el ic-703 por mas de 6 dias caminando por aproximadamente 50 kilometros de los cuales en 2 hubo que salvar una altura de casi mil metros (monte Roraima)
Sus dos kilos de peso y su pequeño volumen nunca fueron un inconveniente para caminar o para atravesar 2 caudalosos rios (Kukenan y Toc) tampoco lo fueron las 4 pequeñas baterias lipo que me deberian dar una autonomia de 24 horas de operacion ya probadas en mi casa de la isla de Margarita.
Un poco mas pesada y voluminosa (3 kilos) fue la antena OCF que lleve en el morral. Total el morral no llego a pesar mas de 14 kilos que es lo que me permito llevar a mis 69 años.
Todo el tiempo llovio pero aun asi pude desplegar la antena en el Roraima y trabajar en 40,20 y 15 metros con apenas 1.2 de estacionaria sobre la ocf
en la cual utilice un balun 4:1 hecho sobre un toroide binocular.
Excelente el tuner
Excelente el compresor
Excelente el receptor y
Excelente la antena que me permitio recibir reportes 59 con apenas 3 vatios de salida puesto que trabaje todo el tiempo en baja potencia para conservar baterias.

W2WAW Rating: 2011-07-02
excellent Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own both the 703 and the + model.This rig in my opinion is by far the best portable rig for the money. The receiver is fantastic, the current draw is very low and the internal tuner is great, long wire with a balun, twin lead dipole etc.
I have not found an antenna that it would not match.
Check the bias voltage on the original 703 and then GO CAMPING,73 W2WAW.
KB0SFP Rating: 2011-07-01
ATU Very disapointing Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I had to have one of these for two reasons. The TX audio processing & the internal ATU.

I've been on the transmitting & receiving end of the 703 many times. They have great TX audio processing. I was VERY disappointed in the almost ZERO range of the auto antenna tuner. Pretty much worthless. It bugs me a very great deal to be required to use an external tuner on an antenna that's almost resonant, when the radio has one built in.

Were it not for it's lack of audio processing, & only 5 watts out, my FT-817 would be preferred for serious portable use.

I also own an SG-2020, 2x FT-817, 2x FT-897, & countless military pack sets.

Dennis Starks
Monitor(all USB):
3996, 5403.5, 7296, 14342.5, 18157.5
G6YTB Rating: 2011-06-24
Poor receive Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The worst radio ever owned receive is poor if connected to large antenna you can hear every other station except the station you want to listen to have owned this radio from new for 2 years had 6 contacts using it can,t get rid of it quick enough
Also own an icom ic 490e this is the same
Would purchase Yaesu or Kenwood in the future
W5GV Rating: 2011-04-25
Great, versatile QRP radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my ICOM 703+ used (as new) with the ICOM AH-703 antenna, CW filter, mounting brackets and separation cable. A pretty complete package. I then went out and purchased the LC-156 back pack and an AGM battery with charger. I've used it portable and pedestrian mobile with very good results, talking all over the country and Canada.

I bought a pickup and thought it would be fun to go HF mobile although I wasn't sure at the time how much I would really use it in the truck. I bought a Tarheel 75A antenna and mounted it in the bed of the truck and lacking funds to buy another radio for the truck I installed the 703+ in the truck and have been using it that way for the last 7 months. Wow, I have been using it like crazy! I have it on virtually every minute I'm in the truck and make contacts often, either answering a CQ or calling one. Sometimes I drive up to the mountains here in NM and park some where in a good location and spend the afternoon making contacts. I've just about worked all continents, half the states and several foreign countries including Japan and Finland. 90% of my ham hobby is now working QRP from the truck. I usually keep it at 5 watts so I can count my QSOs as QRP, but will turn it up to 10 when I'm just enjoying myself.

Of course the critical factor for all QRP work is the antenna. The Tarheel works very, very well for me. The antenna tuner works well and tunes up the little ICOM AH-703 antenna whip, my G5RV at home and tweaks the Tarheel after tuning it for lowest SWR.

Most would think think I am crazy to run Mobile/QRP since running mobile is a challenge in itself without reducing your power level to only 5 watts, but it works well and I have learned a great deal about QRP and how to make it work.

Really no complaints that I can think of.
9V1JP Rating: 2011-04-06
Great radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
For portable rigs, I own a Yaesu FT-817ND and an Icom IC703. I love them both but a bit more on the Icom. The Icom broke down with difficult to trace intermittent transmission problem so I bought another IC703 while the faulty one is being repaired. The problem was traced to a plate through hole with high resistance and it is now fixed and fully operational. Now I am extremely happy with 2 Icoms with one serving as a standby set.

If you like QRP or field operation on HF band, this is the radio to go for. Power consumption is reasonable (approx.250mA at Rx). Just make sure you do not feed it with higher than 12v if you do pedestrian mobile with the radio packed in a backpack as any extra voltage fed into the radio will end up as heat - excessive heat generated and not removed will eventually have negative effect on the PCB (that is how the plate through hole got damaged on mine).

Grab the rig while you can find one in the market, damn good rig with such small foot print.

James Puah 9V1JP