Questions on IC-7300 and antenna-restricted QTH

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KM4SQS, Mar 13, 2018.

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  1. KM4SQS

    KM4SQS XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hey guys,

    So, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and buy an IC-7300: the radio looks beautiful, and I've heard nothing but the best comments about it. I think I'm going to jump now, especially while the $200 ICOM rebate is still in effect (until 3/31/18).

    I have 2 questions related to the purchase:

    1) What vendors would you recommend for the best "bang for the buck" in getting this (ie: lowest price, best freebies, etc)? Gigaparts is throwing-in a $30 Gigaparts/Icom drink tumbler, which honestly does nothing for me. I'd rather if they're gonna throw in a freebie of some type, make it worth while! Most places (HRO, DX Engineering, Gigaparts) offer free shipping over $100, so I'm not too worried about that.

    2) My current QTH is antenna-restricted (1st floor apartment, large porch but fully screen-enclosed with no outside access/door/etc, can only get a dipole maybe 8ft into the air, potential RFI from other units connected to mine, etc). So, I was thinking about maybe getting an MFJ-936B mag loop tuner to go with the IC-7300, to give me the ability to do 80m-10m @ 100w from ground-level. My thought process is that, if using the 936b, that I would just not use the IC-7300's tuner at all (since the 936b should present a perfect 50ohm load and 1:1 SWR to the radio). Does this sound right?

    I'm also absolutely open to, and enthusiastically invite, any other ideas for operating a 100w HF radio with the QTH limitations I listed!!!
     
  2. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    DX Engineering DX Engineering DX Engineering
     
  3. K3LI

    K3LI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    DX DX DX DX DX Engineering. If you don't buy from there, you can only work the US. Buy from DX Engineering, you can DX the whole world 'cause their name says so.
     
    WZ7U likes this.
  4. AD0AC

    AD0AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've found HRO to usually be cheaper than DX Engineering, but I would also highly recommend Associated Radio in Kansas. If you are looking to purchase the transceiver and accessories such as the power supply, coax, and antenna at the same time, the smaller radio stores will usually work a deal for you. DX Engineering has arguably the widest selection of goods, but they tend to run high from what I've seen. For common stuff like a 7300 and anything MFJ, you can buy it from anyone, nothing special.
     
  5. AF7ON

    AF7ON Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've used Main Trading Company for a couple of purchases with no problems.

    Mike
     
    N2PPK likes this.
  6. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you have three call you MUST buy in 3 land
     
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's not a "mag loop" tuner, it's a loop tuner. To cover 80m-10m you can't use just one loop; the frequency coverage is 1.5 octaves, so a "big" loop about 50 feet in circumference or perimeter will cover 80m and 60m; then a somewhat smaller loop about 30' in circumference or perimeter will cover 40m and 30m; then a smaller loop about 15' in circumference or perimeter will cover 20m; etc. It's not magic and does not have infinite tuning range.

    However, they work REALLY WELL if you make your antenna in the shape of a loop (round is best, but square or hexagonal or whatever works) and use heavy gauge, solid conductor wire. The wire gauge absolutely makes a difference, and it becomes obvious as soon as you start playing with it.

    I made about a 50' perimeter loop at my nephew's condo, using #8AWG solid copper wire. You don't use any "feedline" at all with this tuner -- don't even try, that really screws things up. The two ends of the loop plug right into the tuner, with no twin lead, no coax, no nothing. And it makes contacts!:) But again, for it to work properly over all those bands (80m through 10m) you'd probably want at least three loops, and change the loop when you change bands if the bands are farther apart in frequency than about 1-1/2 octaves.

    Can't comment on the IC-7300 as I don't have one, but they are popular and I hear a lot of them on the air.
     
  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    A few items of advice.

    1. Never buy an STL/magloop. Build your STL. It will have far better efficiency, and if you are already space-compromised, efficiency is even more important than for other folks; even more so if you plan to limit yourself to 100W. This includes the "tuning" section of the loop, which is what the 936B is. The fact that the 936B attaches to the loop with hardware fasteners (wing nuts) means it is already somewhat compromised with respect to efficiency. This effect becomes more important as you go to longer wavelengths with a fixed-size loop.

    2. A single "loop" of any kind is not going to give you consistent coverage from 80m through 10m. A single optimized loop will give you coverage across perhaps two octaves. That is, a 20m optimized loop will give you decent performance up to 10m and down to 40m. A 40m optimized loop will give you decent performance on 80m and 20m. Expecting more coverage than this is asking for disappointment.

    3. Small vertical loop antennas are very dependent on height above ground for their efficiency. The best performance tends to be when the top of the loop is just under λ / 4 above the ground. Using an STL from a picnic table can be made to work, but it would do consistently better from two or three stories above the ground.
     
    KD8NGE and N2EY like this.
  9. K3EY

    K3EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    In other words if you’re not like these men forget it
     
  10. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have done well over the years, on various items, with R&L, HRO, and Gigaparts. I think highly of all three.

    So it may just come down to price.

    Are you buying just the radio, or other accessories? By that I mean power supply, mike, key, cables, etc. Look at the cost for the TOTAL package, not just the radio. Some vendors will offer the radio itself at or near their cost, but sell the remaining accessories at or near MSRP, and that’s where they make their $$.

    Are any of the vendors required by law to charge you state sales tax? Don’t forget to factor that cost in.

    Are any of them offering rebates or coupons?

    Will any of them match the price that a competitor offers?

    What’s their return policy, for in warranty items and otherwise?

    Do some checking. Ask around. Don’t rule out some of the smaller vendors. Get the best deal you can.

    Good luck
     
    WA8FOZ likes this.

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