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IC-7300 Compared To Flex 3000. Apples To Oranges??

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KI4VBR, Jul 30, 2017.

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  1. KI4VBR

    KI4VBR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have recently become very interested in the Icom 7300. In the past I have owned a Flex 3000 and have found it to be a great receiver (at the time) for my needs. I am ready to buy another HF rig and I am on the fence between these two radios. I guess my question is, can these radios be compared to one another, and if so, which one has the better receiver.

    My needs and priorities are simple..... I just need a very good receiver that will help reduce QRM/QRN and pick up some slack for a marginal antenna (deed restrictions). Budget is around $1500 and I don't mind a pre-owned rig......obviously the 3000 will be used. I will be using a computer regardless of which rig I purchase.

    I realize there are all kinds of specs and stats that can be compared between radios, but in the end, I am looking at this from a practical point of view. What comes out the speaker/headphone is most important to me... both AF& RF quality. Memory banks and tons of buttons are really not important to me.

    Thanks for any input that can be offered. I did a basic search on this forum for both the Flex 3000 and the IC-7300 and no hits can back. If there is already a thread, please point me in the right direction.

    V
     
  2. K4FMH

    K4FMH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    V,

    Just an observation from someone who has both rigs...can you identify your "commitment" to software defined radio as well as computer dedication to a Firewire adapter?

    I ask that because the Flex 3K uses the older Firewire adapter and it's a critical link for that radio. Gerald Youngblood spoke to my local club (here's from here originally before moving to Austin TX) on the history of Flex SDR development and showed the then-new Maestro remote control panel. Firewire, for about 5 minutes, was the hot I/O game in town at that time. So, if you have a good PC (varies on specs but Flex 3K manual shows the minimums; I use it with a Dell Optiplix 980 with 8GB RAM and multiple monitors) and a compatible Firewire card/cable, the Flex 3000 is a good SDR transceiver. Their remote control "knob" works well too.

    Now, the Icom 7300 uses a software defined radio model but they house the "computer" into the radio itself, giving knobs and all. The display screen, however, is a far, far cry from the PC monitor display of PowerSDR control software fro the Flex 3K. So that may or may not be something you want to optimize but, if so, then the Flex 3K might be an advantage. The Icom rig will no doubt be updated via firmware but the Flex 3K is "dead" in terms of future development by Flex itself.

    I hope this helps you by helping to shape the aspects of each rig. Both have outstanding features...the Flex 3K, however, is a far cry from the newest Flex 6000 line. I having pulled the trigger to upgrade there from my 3K yet.

    Best wishes...

    73,

    Frank
    K4FMH
     
  3. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I owned a Flex 1500 about 5 years ago. At the time, it was ranked #13 on the Sherwood Engineering list. I had reliability issues due to the proximity of the transmitting antenna to the computer and my 1000 watt linear. I used a little Italian amp to boost the QRP Flex. But I was impressed with the receiver and the versatility of the many filter options. I now own an Icom 7300. The classic radio interface (knobs) does prevent the extensive versatility of the SDR program of Flex, but most of the time, I don't need that stuff. The Twin Passband filters and the notch filter do everything I need to do. Plus, you can get 2 7300's for the price of a Flex. I find the performance other than filter adjust-ability very similar to the Flex 1500 except that the 7300 has a Hi Fi sound to it and the Flex 1500 sounded harsh. I haven't used the modern Flex radios. So if you like the classic big knob radio interface, get the 7300. The SDR is quite good. If you like to play with a mouse and fiddle with stuff, get the Flex. I am a contester, so I don't have time to play around with settings during a contest. the 7300 has done very well, on SSB as well as CW. The CW filter is very tight (50 hz) and no annoying ringing. Works for me.
    73
    AF4RK
     
  4. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have had the 1500 (junk), the 3000 (ok), the 5000 (very nice) and the 7300, along with many other sdr's and rigs.
    The 7300 is fine, its not really an sdr like a flex, options are limited.
    The RX audio will not go below 200 Hz, tx audio is good but bandwidth limited.
    There is no advantage in the 7300 over the 3000 except you do not need a computer.
    You get a very small screen and very limited performance with the 7300.
    The 3000 has any filter width you want, drag and drop the filter, sync AM detector, and loads of other options and abilities.

    For the money I would get a flex 5000 or an Anan radio and a big screen.
    I run a 25 inch monitor with my Anan and love it.
     
  5. AH7I

    AH7I Ham Member QRZ Page

    The $65(kit) Softrock direct conversion will hear anything the other two will. You'll need a computer and a decent audio card. HDSDR or SDR-Console.

    73, -Bob ah7i/w4
     
  6. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have retina damage, thank God I can still see. That said, I don't understand the desire to have a widescreen TV for your radio. The 7300 fits me perfect, that's just me and my opinion.
     
  7. WW1WW

    WW1WW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The IC-7300 is the worst radio for SSB I have ever used. It is pathetic when there is any substantial noise on the band and overloads easily. On the low bands it generates intermod products with AM broadcast even when the nearest station is 30 miles away.
    On the plus side the user interface is nice and it makes a great radio for digital modes.
     
    ND6M likes this.
  8. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I never noticed any of the above on mine.
    I did not like the fact the audio response does not go below 200 Hz.
     
  9. N2DTS

    N2DTS Ham Member QRZ Page

    There may be a setting I missed allowing a wider frequency response from the 7300.
    The radio is very easy to operate, its instant on, the touch screen works well, allowing much more control and it makes things simple to operate and figure out.
    The screen is small, but gives good detail and you can change things to enlarge things you want to look at.

    You can't compare it to an Anan, or a Flex, those need a computer, and if you add up the cost of a good computer (at least an I5) and the radio, and sometimes an antenna tuner, the price of the other radios is at least twice the 7300 (now $1200.00) or much more.

    The 7300 has two preamps and an attenuator, plus an RF gain control before the A/D converter, overload and noise should never be an issue.

    I like the big screen on my Anan, you can see a LOT of detail about signals or see a wide bandwidth with some detail, but as a standalone rig the 7300 does great.
    No contest for portable or mobile work, also no contest is space is at a premium.

    The 7300 is new selling used for under $1000.00, you are not going to do better then that!

    On the other hand, the Anan radios can do diversity, include pro audio tools to compress and shape the audio, has pure signal, multi receivers and unlimited options to adjust every aspect of the radio, support remote operation and a big screen....

    Both are a lot of fun...
     
    N7UJU likes this.
  10. PA1ZP

    PA1ZP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi

    I love my 7300 , but QRM fighting has to be done before QRM enters the rig.
    Best way to do is special RX antennas good 1 : 1 current baluns and or active noise-canceling with phasing.

    I had several rigs none of them were able to remove QRM they could hide it a little, they could reduce it a littlewith NR, but they couldn't get rid of it.
    Good antennas can get rid of noise before it enters the rig by not picking it up or only pick-up RX in a certain direction.

    73 Jos
     
    PD2R, VK5FPAC, KC2SIZ and 1 other person like this.

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