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Author Topic: Icom IC-7000 -- NOT your go-kit radio  (Read 13910 times)

Scott

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Icom IC-7000 -- NOT your go-kit radio
« on: September 01, 2012, 11:43:46 PM »
When I was first licensed 13 years ago, the legendary Icom 706 Mk II G had just hit the market, and was highly coveted by vets and n00bs like me alike.  Icom really set the standard for what mobile form factor HF radios were going to be, then set their own bar higher.  Other manufacturers wimpered and scurried for cover at their lost market share.

Time passed.  Radios evolved.  Electronics and filters and features got smarter, smaller.

The Icom IC-7000 was born, with its gorgeous 2" LCD full-color display, all-included digital signal processing, multiple notch, automatic notch, and noise reduction filters right out of the box, full (100W) power on HF+6, and 50W/35W on 2m / 70 cm.

It's sexy.  It's small.  The audio is *amazing* -- if you've never heard one of these babies drip its audible chocolate all over your airwaves, you're missing out.  Even in FM through local repeaters, the audio is like listening to broadcast radio.  It's that good.

So, all of these features in a tiny radio, plus it comes with the remote head / separation kit and near-complete radio control microphone, this thing needs to be the cornerstone of your ARES go-kit, right?

WRONG!!!  WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!

Keep it in the car!  Keep it in the Faraday cage!  Keep it on the shack table while you save up for your IC-7600!!

The problem with the IC-7000 is *the screen.*  That big pretty LCD causes the whole radio to idle at around 2 amps, and they tend to run hot.  That's too high of a power bill to pay for a go-kit radio -- they're beautifully luxurious rigs, but not for duty service.  It's an indoor radio.

Also, Icom does not offer a portable auto-tuner for it, and most of the people at a site like this aren't interested in the skills development required to run a fickle manual tuner like the MFJ 948 (nice tuner for the price, but using it well is a skill that takes a lot of refining for most wire antennas).  Sure, you can get a LDG IT-100 auto-tuner, and it'll do a good job, but my experience is that there are "gaps" in tuning coverage for compact auto-tuners.  My MFG 948 will tune up the entire 75/80m band on my G5RV.  The IT-100 quits at about 3825 and will not tune higher than that.

I'm not a Yaesu guy, but they really nailed it with the FT-857 as far as go-kit radios go.  They also offer quality auto-tuners for it that can be reasonably accommodated in a project box, and they won't suck the life out of your batteries like a wife with a credit card.

Hope this helps.  If anyone would like to hear my IC-7000 to verify my pornographic description of its audio, drop me a PM and we'll set up the sked (even if we have to do it via IRLP / EchoLink because you haven't upgraded yet :) :) ).

gil

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Re: Icom IC-7000 -- NOT your go-kit radio
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2012, 02:50:20 AM »
Hello,

The Ic-7000 sure looks great. 2A though is indeed way too much for battery operations. My K1 draws 55mA, K2, 220mA, and that's with the backlit LCD on, and the S-meter on as well. Even the FT-817-ND draws 450mA on receive, which is considered high..

Gil.

Alxnndr

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Re: Icom IC-7000 -- NOT your go-kit radio
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 12:03:07 PM »
I have to agree with what you shared about the 857.  I started doing a lot of emergency service and volunteer work as soon as i got my ticket and the FT8900 and later the FT350 (APRS) radio are great for 2m / 70cm especially with the cross-band repeat function, but they lack the HF capability that I would want and or need if I was truly isolated and needed to get the latest from far away.  The 857 has been promoted to my shack until I can get my paws on something with more horsepower, but that wil still probably be a FT897 (same radio as the 857 just capable of running on internal batteries).  With an lDG tuner and a G5RV antenna I have realized signals I previously thought did not exist as I dipped my toe into HF waters.  Given the all mode capabilities of these radios I would still probably keep my box stocked with one of the aforementioned dual banders and an 857 or a 897 for longer deployments.

Scott

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Re: Icom IC-7000 -- NOT your go-kit radio
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 01:42:20 PM »
He gets it.

Nice setup.

cockpitbob

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Re: Icom IC-7000 -- NOT your go-kit radio
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 08:49:28 PM »
I measured the non-transmitting power on my FT-857D.  It was 0.66A.  It has power saving setups like automatically turning off the display backlight after a pre-programmed time.  I'm not convinced its filters are as good as some other radio's, but the overall balance of compromises is really good.  I really like having the option to dial the Tx power back and operate off a 7AH lead acid battery for a few hours.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 10:34:45 AM by cockpitbob »

12Footer

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Re: Icom IC-7000 -- NOT your go-kit radio
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2015, 01:15:29 PM »
Greetings from a noob. I'm sorry for resurrecting dead threads in my very-first post like this, but have to chime-in. I have both the IC-7000 and the FT-857D, in addition to the IC-706MKIIG.
I agree with all that has been posted so far, but need to add to those comments from my experiences.
The IC-7000 current demand is a big issue because it just gets higher with age,as the 'lytics dry-out  in a Florida mobile install in short order. The 857 is less demanding on the battery, but is MURDER on the eyes, as would be Yaesu's QRP cutie-pie, the FT-817. The Icom 706 is far more hardened for mobile installations, but again, heat is a main issue for all of them -- as is their vulnerability to EMP. In fairness, none of these radios, or any radio I can think of manufactured before 1970 IS immune to a good solar flare, or Atmospheric nuclear burst. If you want to use ANY post-FET rig for a good go-kit, it must be hardened to withstand heat and EMP damage.
All you need is the equivalent of a climate-controlled Faraday-cage. It's not hard to do, and can be accomplished by placing these small HF/VHF/UHF rigs in shielded storage, in the closet. It helps that these can all fit inside a metal ammo box, or aluminum attache case, equipped with a connection to earth ground clipped to it  That way, if YOU can handle the heat, the go-kit will too.My "go-kit" consists of;
A homebrew G5RV wire dipole.
Composite bow with a heavy, threaded-on nut in place of it's tip (to get the antenna placed).
"Power Pro" fishing line for antenna support and launch purposes.
Yaesu FT-101E HF rig (yes, it rates it's own 'suitcase').
Yaesu FT-857D All-bander
LDG AT-100 Tuner
LDG1000 tuner.
Texas Star 667, modified
Homebrew Outboard, switched LPF box.
Jumpers and bulk wire.
"Iso-Tip" cordless solder iron with full tip complement & wall-charger.
Hand tools such as tweezers, nippy-cutters, screwdrivers, etc.
"Powerpole' connector kit.
Bencher Iambic key
MFJ-464 Keyer/reader

Needless to add, but this is a trunk-full! Over 80 lbs divided amongst 4 boxes, two of which are shielded. But I plan communications to be my main function in grubby times. I'm 62 years old, which is too old to fight 18 year-olds, some of whom will be armed, with large-bore weapons and good eyesight. My value to an anarchy-based civilization will not be brawn -- It will have to be brains and skills.






 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 01:28:01 PM by 12Footer »