Product Review - The ICOM IC-7000

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Dec 7, 2005.

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  1. AE7Q

    AE7Q Guest

    I also have had the IC-7000 for about four days. Observations on Fred's comments (above):

    (1) Instead, go to the Yahoo IC-7000 group and download the international version of the manual in a PDF that has the TV operational instructions included. The PDF manuals are in color, which the printed manuals are not.

    (2) Recall that with USB, each radio would be a USB slave to the PC or a "CT-17USB" master. Presently, the ICOM CT-17 allows four ICOM radios to communicate with each other, because the CV-I protocol is really an TTL open-collector, ONE LINE variant on RS-232 that allows "network-like" interconnections. Now yes, this could all be fixed in a "CT-17USB" version, but at what $$$ price? As it is, you can buy ICOM's OPC-478 cable for $45 (or even RT Systems CT-29A cable for $25), cut off the stereo 3.5mm stereo plug (which uses ground and ring) and replace it with a 3.5mm mono plug (or make an equivalent adapter, as I did), and you have radio-to-DB9 communications. Add a DB-9 to USB adapter, and you are done.

    (3) I like the "two-clock" feature: You set clock 1 to UTC, and then set clock 2 to the appropriate offset. That way, as you change time zones and/or daylight savings time, you just adjust the clock 2 offset.

    (4) Page 37 of the manual says (I haven't tried it yet) that the LOCK button on the microphone has a different function than the LOCK button on the radio front panel; the microphone LOCK button locks the other microphone buttons, while the LOCK button on the radio front panel locks the dial.

    (5) Yep, works fine for its intended purpose: to monitor TV channels in an emergency. If they're listening to us, we ought to be listening to them (grin).

    Additional comments:

    I like the new, smaller power connector, and I understand that the new connector is not unique to the IC-7000 or even ICOM. As radios get smaller, that huge standard power connector was getting to be obsolete.

    I like the color display, and I think that color will be the new standard for upscale amateur radios, but I don't think the lack of color will put Kenwood out of business.

    I like the infinitely (well, almost) adjustable DSP.

    I like the size and weight.

    Dealing with memory locations is infinitly easier than on the FT-897D (which I also own).

    It would be nice if the RTTY waterfall display was available in other modes.

    I agree with some that the menu system is not as clear as it could be. In fact, I think the FT-897D menu system is clearer, although with the IC-7000, the common menu items are easier to get to (once you know how).

    With the FT-897D and MH-59 microphone, every setting on the FT-897D except for RF-gain/squelch (including AF and power on/off) could be adjusted from the microphone; that would have been nice on the IC-7000/HM-151.

    While both the IC-7000 and FT-897D/MH-59 have direct frequency entry, the IC-7000 lacks direct memory location entry; that would have been nice as well.

    Since the IC-7000 seems destined for portable or mobile use, a digital power voltage readout (ala the FT-897) would be nice (perhaps on some menu, along with perhaps other operational parameters, like internal temperature?).

    Don't get me wrong: my FT-897D is for sale (on eBay), but both radios have their advantages and disadvantages.
     
  2. wb0oiz

    wb0oiz QRZ Member QRZ Page

    A quick note on the 7000 from a happy truck driving owner. The TV and Mars mods from bk.mods work fine and have not caused any problems that I can see. The lack of dtmf ability from the microphone at first caused some head scratching, but seriously, in today's cellular world do we really need a lot of repeater phone access and such? im finding the 4 stored dtmf slots a bit constricting, but I can make it work with the *, #, and 2 of my favorite echo link numbers in the slots. So far, got to say this is the best rig I have ever owned... and I'm still learning how to use all the functions. One of these days I'm sure that I will find the menu setting that cooks breakfast for me!
    Cary, WB0OIZ cary@kcmarket.com
     
  3. RW3ARX

    RW3ARX Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. wb0oiz

    wb0oiz QRZ Member QRZ Page

    More comments after running the 7k for a few weeks in my truck...

    wow. did I say wow? WOW!

    I think I have finally figured out all the buttons and features and have found one problem. With an external cassette audio interface plugged in to the front panel to run the audio into my truck sound system I found an interesting problem with tuning to the AH-4 tuner. Don't ask my why, but there is some sort of problem there that does not allow tuning (or high power transmitting) on bands above 21mhz. Unplug the audio output from the front panel and the problem goes away. Wierd....

    I am also running the rig with a cheapo headset mic (I think it is an old plantronics) and found excellent audio reports when finally adjusted right. The mic settings must be set quite low with all but the strangest of microphones... im finding 8-15% to be more than enough to drive the rig and provide excellent audio reports. Another advantage of this low setting of the mic is that very little background noise is picked up by the mic in noisy conditions. My opinion is that this was well thought out for a mobile rig.

    Lastly, an operational review. Yesterday in my semi on the way to KC from Tulsa 20 meters opened up reasonably well into europe. I had nothing better to do, so I cranked up the compression to about 6 and jumped into some pileups. What do you know... immediate responses! Thinking this was a lucky catch, I tried another pileup... same result... I was racking up dx.. MOBILE!! Over and over again I did the same thing. I don't quite know why yet, but the signal this thing puts out over the bands really punches through the rest of the signals. I am quite pleased with my hot little rig at this point and I'm hoping some of the future review bring light to why this rigs signal qualities have such an incredible punch.

    So, about a month into the owership of this new rig, you are reading the words of a very happy ham trucker!

    73
    Cary
     
  5. wb0oiz

    wb0oiz QRZ Member QRZ Page

    regarding cw hardness:

    no one seems to be mentioning that you can totally shape the rise and decay time as well as spacing and width of your cw signals. Of course there are going to be some who have no idea what they are doing and produce a hard signal with extremely steep rise and fall times. Smooth it out a bit guys and all the cw shaping problems you might be hearing about go away like magic.

    Just another reason I absolutely love this 7000!

    Cary
     
  6. IZ7AUH

    IZ7AUH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Folks,
    I need a IC-7000 TV modification, my radio is EU versione, it's possible?

    best 73 de IZ7AUH Frank
     
  7. SM7JUN

    SM7JUN QRZ Member

    Frank,
    Have a look at this page
    http://www.qsl.net/icom/ic7000/7000tvmars.html
    You will find the TVmod there.
    But I might add that in my IC7000 (bought in UK abt 4 weeks ago) there was a solder short pad right next to the diod D2154. The only thing I had to do was to remove the solder and everything worked (leave the diod D2154 in place)   [​IMG]

    Good luck

    73
    SM7JUN, Thomas
     
  8. G8KHS

    G8KHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looking at the reports on this site and others on the IC7000 it seems a bit unfinished. So for my future ssb mobile activities the sensible choice is a used IC706G2 or an FT817D. Both are a lot cheaper, have acceptable displays, and are as good in a mobile ssb situation as the IC7000. I'll still keep an eye on it though for a Mk2 version.

    73 John G8KHS
     
  9. PD9SW

    PD9SW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Guys,

    Fred in the first place thanks a lot for such a nice review. Maybe there are some more recent comments to make as I read there was still something more to come.
    Anyway, I have this little question.

    I live in Europe (The Netherlands). Is it very unwise to buy an US version of the IC-7000? What are the differences between the EU and US version? I read the manual and it seems there are not that many differences, but for the 1750 Hz tone not to be on the US version. Am I wrong, have I overlooked some things? Is there a difference in possibilities for mods maybe? Hope to hear! Many thnx in advance
    73, Steven
     
  10. VK3TY

    VK3TY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fred,

    A very nice review indeed. I read it with interest your revuew and hoped you may have covered a salient point (which you did as per the above quote).

    Both my friend and I have bought ourselves the Australian version. We're definitely not disappointed by the IC-7000 at all but...

    As we both access IRLP and given that the IC-7000 is all-band and all-mode we found it surprising to find that the supplied HM-151 (despite having a myriad of buttons) lacked basic manual DTMF functionality. It would appear that the ONLY way to trigger DTMF tones is via the four memory locations. When "bouncing" between IRLP nodes, this is an absolute pain.

    My thoughst were that it may be possible to program (say) F-2 to accept numbers from the key pad, store them in D1 for example and then, on the pressing of the PTT, send the concents of D1. Maybe I'm coming up with a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist - dunno.

    What I do know is that omitting manual DTMF input makes me feel somewhat robbed when I can quite easily do it on my IC-2720 :-(

    It was suggested by one Icom person that I purchase a new microphone but I suspect that with the IC-7000, the tones are generated internally and NOT in the microphone perse.

    Have you or anyone you know worked out how to overcome the problem of manual keying of DTMF tones?

    73,
    Nick (VK3TY)
     
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