I follow the news about Icom’s new rig: the IC-7300 closely. Actually I’m more a Kenwood lover but there is something with the IC-7300 that I love. It’s predecessor (IC-7200) also is a interesting radio, especially for portable use (holidays etc.). My friend PH4M bought an IC-7200 a few years ago and loves it. I got the change to play with it from time to time and I start to grow a little love for Icom. But I didn’t see much use for an IC-7200 in my current shack.
Back to the IC-7300. In a certain way it’s a revolutionary radio, it’s the first of the big three (Icom, Kenwood & Yaesu) which comes with a complete digital sampled RF-path (aka SDR). Sure, it’s not the first amateur SDR-rig. We know FlexRadio has SDR’s for years now and even Elecraft has it’s KX3. But Icom is the first of the big three to come out with a fully SDR-capable rig.
I kinda like the idea of SDR. It makes the device very flexible because future updates can be feed in as software and you don’t need to do much upgrades of the hardware. And if the software (and processor) is fast enough, it will beat good old hardware in performance. Downside of most SDR’s in my opinion is the “new” look & feel of the rig itself. I don’t want a button-less box on my desk and do all the operating from my PC. I don’t like the thin display from Elecraft either. I still want my SDR-rig to be a good old box with button’s on it, but a little smaller then regular rigs. It’s cool to be able to operate the rig via PC if I want to, but not necessarily.
ICOM seems to understands this completely and build the IC-7300! I’m very curious how the rig will operate. From the various reports I found on You-tube, I got a first impression. At a price of around a 1000 euro’s it is a very interesting rig to expand my shack with. I don’t want to get rid of my beloved Kenwood TS-590 for it, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a IC-7300 next to it… According to some sources, the IC-7300 will be available in The Netherlands in January 2016 (it’s already available in Japan).
So I created a money-box to put in savings. I already have saved 100 euro’s. I figured it will take me a year to get the money for this rig. In the meantime I will follow the news closely and if someone buys a IC-7300 I hope I will be able to spend some time operate one.