ICOM IC-718... Decent first HF rig for a noob?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KI7HSB, Jun 11, 2018.

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  1. KI7HSB

    KI7HSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The rig I really wanted is better part of $2,000... But I have a champagne taste and a beer pocket book...

    A friend of mine recently won a spankin' new, still in the box IC-718 in a raffle and sold I to me for significantly less than retail. It's not the wiz-bang rig I wanted, At least it will get me on the air instead of on the sidelines wishing. Probably good to start with a cheaper rig anyway, right?
  2. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Excellent radio. What modes do you use and how much antenna can you put up?
  3. KI7HSB

    KI7HSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a noob, I have no modes that I currently use. I can tell you that my interest in in DX.

    The antenna will have to grow with my skills. I currently live in town and the city has jurisdiction over any tower that I install. They have been very positive and encouraging, but they are insisting on certain safety features that run the cost up to around $2,000 just for the tower alone. I'm thinking of just building whatever I want to save money and take the chance that no one will call the city and complain...

    Realistically, a 35 -50 foot tower and whatever decent Yagi I can build or Hex Beam I can acquire would be nice, but I may have to experiment with single element dipoles first...
  4. KN4CQB

    KN4CQB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am using one as my first radio and it does a great job without being overwhelming to operate.
  5. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 718 is a decent rig. Fairly capable and very easy to operate. I had one for about a year until I sold it to upgrade.

    However, the receive audio is awful, because of the very small speaker. A decent external speaker will work wonders on that rig. I used a small bookshelf speaker with mine, which was a vast improvement.

    Also, if you're going to experiment with wire antennas, you might want to invest in an antenna tuner. A manual tuner is fine, but an auto tuner is much more convenient. I used an LDG Z-100+ with mine (with the Icom interface cable). Worked seamlessly, and is about the same price as a decent manual tuner.
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  6. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It will indeed get you on the air. Use the money you saved on a radio to put up as much antenna as you can. If you have DX aspirations, that's what will get you there.
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    You have a great radio, especially for a "newbie," and I do NOT mean that as a derogatory term. The disadvantage is the low power. THAT can be solved as part of your low budget; 90% of a station is in the antenna, 10% in the operator expertise and equipment.
    The importance of the BEST antenna possible can NOT be emphasized. And those are often home brew (aka, low cost) antennas, such as simple dipoles.
    Once you have an antenna, ANY antenna, get on the air You may not need an amplifier to make plenty of contacts, but if you do get an amp, there are (now, legally) amps that use low power drive to get into the 100 Watt level. That may well be all you need.
    In addition, the IC-718 is great for satellite/portable use. Wish I had one!
    WB5THT likes this.
  8. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A rig is only as good as it's antenna. Don't expect a whiz bang transceiver to impress you if you are working with a stealth antenna system.
    Sitting at the demo shack at HRO comparing rigs on a tower mounted Yagi is impressive but does not relate to bringing it home to a poor stealth antenna.
    Operating a $5000 rig on an attic dipole doesn't really make much sense. I think your IC-718 will do just fine until you determine what you are allowed to do for an antenna system. Save your money for an antenna system first.
    WB5THT likes this.
  9. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Headphones are a must, get a 5btv and lay a few dozen radials and you'll be fine.
    WB5THT likes this.
  10. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's a great transceiver for just about anyone. It has a good reputation, pretty easy to use, a solid performer with no serious issues. I've known a few guys who have had them and they all like it.

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