I just published an announcement about the new Icom IC-705 portable transceiver, but omitted an important question for SWLing Post readers:
How well could the IC-705 serve shortwave listeners and DXers?
Keeping in mind that the IC-705 is not yet in production, we can only go by the features and few specifications Icom has revealed so far.
Since the IC-705 is a general coverage receiver with a frequency range from 0.5 to 148 MHz, it covers all of the shortwave bands and more.
We also know the IC-705 is based on the same direct-sampling architecture as the excellent IC-7300 (click here for our review), thus I expect the IC-705 will sport a capable receiver.
Icom’s other direct-sampling radios have excellent sensitivity and selectivity, so I assume the IC-705 could as well. I would also hope that, like the IC-7300, the AM bandwidth could be widened for full-fidelity AM audio–this has been one of the few criticisms I’ve had using the Elecraft KX3 and KX2 for shortwave listening.
The IC-705 sports other features that could make it an outstanding package for for DXers:
- It has built-in audio recording to a MicroSD card. (Woo hoo!)
- It has a useful, full-color, configurable spectrum and waterfall display
- It uses the same BP-272 Li-ion Battery pack as the ID-51 and ID-31 series handy talkies. In receive-only, I would expect long battery-powered listening sessions. Of course, you can also plug in an external 13.8 V battery to increase off-grid listening time.
- It’s incredibly portable and lightweight
In short, the IC-705 has all of the makings of a fully self-contained shortwave listening station–a grab-and-go DXpedition-grade rig. The IC-705 even has an (optional) custom Icom backpack!
Let’s just hope the IC-705 performs as well as its larger siblings and that its price is competitive.
Again, I plan to review the IC-705 once it’s released and in production. Both pricing and shipping are yet to be announced. Follow the tag IC-705 for updates.