An ICOM Ham Radio
Unconditional Fan!

I recently upgraded my ICOM ham radio HF base station XCVR from an IC-735 to an IC-7200 HF+6M transceiver. What a difference!

On The Plus Side

ICOM ham radio XCVR IC-7200ICOM IC-7200 HF XCVR + 6M

The IC-7200 now gives me access to the 6M band. It is great new addition to my station's operating capabilities.

It's fascinating to hear fleeting portions of QSOs during meteor showers or auroras. Making solid contacts by bouncing signals off a meteor shower's short-lived trails of E-layer ionization - or an aurora's rapidly moving curtain of ionization - is a nice and welcome new challenge.

I especially like being able to control the 7200 by software from my PC. To that end, I use the (A-B type) USB cable between the rig's USB port and the PC.

This comes in very handy because I use a QS1R SDR receiver to monitor activity on the band I want to work. The QS1R's SDRMAX-V software lets me have a detailed panoramic view and I can spot and quickly listen to any type of signal I see on my PC's the second screen. Once I find an interesting station, I can easily and quickly tune the 7200 (by software again) to the frequency, I spotted the station on, and attempt to make contact.

Being able to control the IC-7200 ICOM ham radio by software has brought considerable new flexibility to my operations.

On The Minus Side

I miss "rag chewing" on FM (F3E) in the upper part of the 10M band (between 29.51 MHz - 29.7 MHz) that the 735 allowed me to do. Hmm!

Well, ok. I admit that I still have the 735 and that I can always fire it up to do that. It's just not as handy as having access to the FM mode, along with all the other modes, directly on the same transceiver. But that's a minor inconvenience, right?

The 7200's transmitter has a maximum power output of 100 watts PEP, while the 735 could pump out as much as 200 watts PEP! Is that a "problem"? None that I have been able to identify yet!

More On ICOM Ham Radios

ICOM ham radio IC-735 HF transceiver.ICOM IC-735 HF XCVR

As you can see below, I have been a ICOM fan for years. There are other fine amateur radio manufacturers out there, but I don't see the need to change (yet ;).

It's just that, after having had second hand radios for more than 15 years, I chose ICOM amateur radios based on a friend's recommendation.

ICOM ham radio IC-28H VHF FM transceiver.IC-28H 2M FM XCVR

He had nothing but good things to say about ICOM rigs. On top of the list were...

  • Reliability.
  • High quality craftsmanship.
  • State of the art technology.

I wholeheartedly agree with my friend!

I bought the IC-735 HF xcvr and the IC-28H VHF FM xcvr in 1990.

Then I bought the IC-W31A dual band VHF/UHF FM portable transceiver in 1995.

I have been using these ICOM rigs since then. During all these years, they never failed me.

ICOM ham radio IC-W31A VHF/UHF FM portable transceiver.IC-W31A VHF UHF FM XCVR

What more can I say?

Well, actually there is more!

I have been experimenting with software control of my IC-735 ... and I'm getting hooked!

The free software I am experimenting with is only giving me a taste of what true SDR (Software Defined Radio) is capable of.

I am secretly hoping that ICOM will come up with its own SDR software coupled with ICOM hardware specifically designed for SDR.

Why Stay With
ICOM Ham Radio (s)?

I can, and will, certainly continue operating with the ICOM rigs I already have.

However, I feel I will eventually succumb to the temptation of owning a "real" ham SDR ... like, for example, the FLEX-5000A™!

Will I part with my ICOM rigs if I switch to true SDR ham rigs?

No, I don't think I'm going to be able to part with my "old friends". Need proof?

I still have my old IC-22 2M FM crystal-controlled transceiver (that was before synthesized frequency control)! And I still use it too!;-)

ICOM ham radio IC-22 VHF 2M FM transceiver.IC-22 2M FM XCVR

Over the years, I have found than an ICOM ham radio is a long-lasting, trouble-free choice. Click here for more on ham radios.



73 de VE2DPE
Claude Jollet
7, Rue de la Rive, Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Québec, Canada J6E 1M9

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VE2DPE Ham Radio Operator and SolopreneurVE2DPE

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