The Icom IC-7300 Transceiver
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The IC-7300 is a direct RF sampling SDR tabletop transceiver that Icom first introduced in August 2015. It is the successor to the venerable IC-7200.
The IC-7300 features a large color TFT touchscreen that provides intuitive operation. Its user-friendly interface allows you to quickly set various functions and edit memory contents.
Since it was introduced in 2015, the Icom 7300 has quickly become one of the most recommended HF + 6-meter radios for ham radio enthusiasts. It's an easy-to-use, feature-rich rig that's perfect for beginners and seasoned operators alike. It's also a great value, which makes it a very popular option among ham radio enthusiasts.
The IC-7300 is the first of Icom's line of Software Defined Radio (SDR) transceivers to use a RF direct sampling system, which means that the HF signals are directly converted to digital data and processed in the FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array). This allows the IC-7300 to eliminate physical mixer and filter devices and offer a high performance real-time spectrum scope.
RF direct sampling is an incredibly popular technology in the world of Software Defined Radios, and it's a great way to make sure that your radio has the best possible performance. The IC-7300 uses this technology to achieve class-leading Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range (RMDR) and Phase Noise characteristics, which helps ensure that your transmissions are as clear as possible.
This radio also has a programmable voice shortcut function, which lets you assign a voice command to your receiver's menu functions so that you can access those functions without having to rely on the display. This is especially handy if you're in a hurry to get on the air or need to quickly access important settings while in the field.
Another impressive feature of the Icom IC-7300 is its touchscreen display. While it can take some time to get used to, the touchscreen's user interface is easy to use and offers a lot of convenience.
Other features of the Icom 7300 include a built-in spectrum scope, an audio spectrum, and a wide range of user-programmable memory functions, all of which are easily accessible via the touchscreen. These functions allow you to set up and manage your QSOs, record your own voice and transmit data files, and more.
The IC-7300 also comes with several accessories, including an AH-4 antenna tuner and a handheld microphone. It also features a USB port for connecting to your computer, and comes with a user manual that provides instructions on how to use the radio's features.
In August 2015, Icom introduced the IC-7300 at the Tokyo Hamfair, a new radio design that replaced their popular IC-7200 model. This was the first of what is now known as direct sampling SDRs, and it ushered in a whole new era of performance and versatility for ham radio enthusiasts at a price point that wasn’t previously available.
The design of the IC-7300 is fairly simple, and it is a good example of how some of the best features are crammed into an inexpensive radio. Unlike most SDRs, which use mixers and filters to convert RF signals to digital data, the Icom 7300 uses an FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array) to do it.
Basically, the FPGA receives the RF signal, a signal that is preselected via a bank of 15 band-pass filters. Then it converts the signal into a 14-bit Analog-Digital Converter (ADC) using a Linear Technology LTC2208-14, sampling at 124Msps.
Next, the signal goes trough a FPGA that handles the spectrum display and the demodulated audio stream. The FPGA also performs noise reduction and notch filtering, as well as audio bandwidth adjustment.
This is a nice design, and it gives the radio great audio quality. It’s not quite as crisp or clear as the Yaesu FTDX1200, but it is a lot better than most other SDR radios at this price point.
The IC-7300 is also one of the few SDRs that has a USB port, and it supports CAT control and RTTY decoding without the need for an external interface. This is a very nice feature to have, and makes the radio very easy to operate for a wide variety of users.
It is also worth mentioning that the IC-7300 has a very low current consumption when in receiver only mode, and it’s really cool to have a radio that can run in this condition. You can’t say that about all other SDRs, and this is one of the main reasons why so many people have turned to them over more traditional radios.
The IC-7300 has some other unique features, too, like an integrated tuner that matches loads up to 10:1 SWR with minimal output power and a “emergency mode” that allows it to reduce its output by half when overloading. It’s a really clever design, and if you have the budget for it, it is definitely one of the best tabletop HF+6m radios out there right now.
If you're looking for a new radio, the Icom 7300 offers the performance you need at a price that's a tad lower than other comparable models. This is because it uses direct sampling technology to convert RF signals to digital data, resulting in improved sensitivity and dynamic range over a wide frequency range.
The Icom 7300 also features a wide range of other important functions, including RTTY decoding and programmable voice shortcuts. The radio can be used with a computer, and it comes with a CD that contains a complete operations manual.
Icom has a reputation for producing excellent receivers that deliver high performance at an affordable price, and the IC-7300 is no exception to this rule. This radio is loaded with features that amateurs will appreciate, such as a waterfall display, touchscreen interface, and a number of programmable voice shortcuts.
As with most SDRs, the IC-7300's performance is largely dependent on the quality of the Analog-Digital Converter (ADC) that converts a radio signal to a digital stream of data. It uses a Linear Technology LTC2208-14 14-bit ADC, which has a sampling rate of 124Msps. It is similar to the Texas Instruments TMS320C6745, which is used in most high-end SDRs.
Compared to other radios, the IC-7300's ADC performance is very good, as measured by QST in various tests. It is a bit more sensitive than the Yaesu FT-991A, for example, and it has superior phase noise characteristics.
The IC-7300 also incorporates an RF direct sampling system that enables the RF signals to be converted directly to digital data, reducing circuit complexity and cost. The radio's "IP+" function improves 3rd order intercept point (IP3) performance, improving RF sensitivity when a weak signal is received adjacent to strong interference. This improvement leads to better Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range (RMDR) and improved Phase Noise characteristics compared to the IC-7200 model.
RMDR is a measurement of how well a receiver can distinguish weaker signals from stronger ones. The higher the RMDR, the more robust it is against strong signals that are close to the desired frequency. This is one of the most important measures of a radio's performance, and it's especially important for weak-signal DXers.
The Icom IC-7300 is one of the most cost effective HF/50 MHz radios available. It is well priced for the features it provides and can be had with a modest investment of cash or credit.
The top tier model features a 4.3 inch screen that can display a variety of interesting information. A spectrum scope and waterfall are among the highlights along with a nice RTTY decoder. It is also a cinch to set up and operate, although you may want to consider a quality USB hub to avoid a potential short circuit. The best part is it doesn’t take up much room on your desk.
It also comes in a sturdy box that looks like it has lasted a long time. There are a few good options out there for a new 7300 but you might want to hold out for a bargain.
Aside from the price tag, you need to weigh what the 7300 has to offer against your own needs and priorities. In the end, you may be better off buying the Yaesu FT-991A or Kenwood TS-590S if you are in the market for a new HF/50 MHz rig. You might also want to consider a HTPC or laptop to keep your transceiver clutter free.
The IC-7300 is a direct RF sampling SDR tabletop transceiver that Icom first introduced in August 2015. It is the successor to the venerable IC-7200. The IC-7300 features a large color TFT touchscreen that provides intuitive operation. Its user-friendly interface allows you to quickly set various functions and edit memory contents. Features Since it was…