icom ic-703 Anyone use one?

Discussion in 'QRP Corner' started by KC7JNJ, May 8, 2020.

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  1. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    A friend has a nice loaded ic-703 in great shape. Thinking about doing some trading with him this weekend. Wanted to see how owners of them felt about them. Seems to be pretty nice QRP rigs.
  2. K7TP

    K7TP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had a + version and regret selling it. Somehow I never got used to the menu system; other than that it was a fine rig.
  3. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My 817 does not have any notch filtering. How did your 703 do on crowded bands?
  4. KB7NRN

    KB7NRN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've had two IC-703s, one with 6mtr and one without. I've also owned four FT-817s.

    Excellent receiver, built in antenna tuner, 10 watts out, bigger knobs and display and lower power consumption then FT-817/818. By turning off the back light to the display and dimming the LED indicators, using the power save mode and squelch you drop current consumption under 300ma to around 250-275ma. the FT-817 is over 400ma. It's been a couple years since I sold my last 703 but I had all the power save options marked in the manual. I had no problem with the menu. Between the IF notch and DSP it did pretty good in crowded bands. The 703 is also designed to operate down to 9.6v too. Yes, they are bigger then an 817 but for HF SSB & CW they are way better radios.

    Oh, and many hams say the 703 is just a QRP version of the 706... It is not. Totally redesigned both TX and RX.

    I only sold mine to fund a CTX-10.... And I don't care to have VHF/UHF in the radio. I got over the all in one radios years ago.
    K0UO likes this.
  5. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I own numerous QRP radios. KX3, KX2, YouKits 4 band and an IC 703+. I mostly use my KX2 for portable operations since it's so small.

    BUT....I love my IC703+. It's a great radio. Before I owned it, I had the FT 817. I also liked that radio but the 703 offered features that the 817 did not have. Even though I only use resonant antennas, at times I needed a tuner for the band's edges. The 703 has a great tuner, built in memory CW keyer, DSP and and works great in crowded band conditions. Check out Sherwood Engineering web site where they compare radio's performance. You'll see the 703 listed. It actually, for it's time, stacks up pretty good.
    It would take the jaws of life to pry that radio out of my hands. You won't be unhappy if you get one. It really is a great little radio.

    For portable battery power, get a LiPo battery. I just posted info on a good choice for an external battery.


    Make sure you fuse the battery. Also, cut the power cables and install Anderson Power Poles. What you can do is get a few long zip ties and zip tie the above battery to the side of the radio. Now all you have to do is connect an antenna. The radio is 100% self contained.

    Good luck,
    Barry, KU3X/QRP

    K0UO likes this.
  6. KB7NRN

    KB7NRN Ham Member QRZ Page


    Or you get really carried away and build a case for it! ;).... The battery is inside.
    W7UUU and KU3X like this.
  7. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like that. Where did you get that case?
  8. KB7NRN

    KB7NRN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Made from scrap 1/8" aluminum plate and angle.
    7-8 years ago my work scrapped out a couple HP mainframe computers... The aluminum was used as covers on the different units. Waste not, want not!

    I cut it with a jig saw and filed square. Drilled and tapped by hand for 4-40 & 2-56 screws.
    See my QRZ page for more details.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  9. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got to play with the 703 this weekend. Friday around 19:45 pacific I started hearing very faint stations on 20meters. I was thinking the 703 was really making it happen as I never hear anyone at that time. Just for the heck of it I switched the antenna over to my 817nd. My 817 has the BHI dsp. It totally left the 703 in the dust. The BHI dsp is really really something. Then again Saturday on 28.400 I was hearing very weak signals on the 703 I played around with its built in dsp trying to get them clearer. Turned on the 817 clicked the antenna over and BHI dsp made it so that station was much better on the 817. Switching the antenna back and forth there was times I could hear the station on the 817 and I could not hear it on the 703. I decided not to trade, and to start saving my money for the external version of the BHI dsp. I have a ft900 I dont use that is full of filters and a tuner. It has a nice notch filter. I am thinking I will use the external BHI on it and turn my power down.

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