More field time with the new Icom IC-705 general coverage QRP transceiver

I’ve been using the Icom IC-705 pretty heavily since I took delivery of it a couple weeks ago.

The more time I spend with this radio, the more I like it.

Serious functionality and features

I originally stated that I’d probably sell the IC-705 after my review/evaluation period because it simply doesn’t have the design characteristics I like in a field QRP radio.

I tend to prefer simple field radios with a basic high-contrast LCD or analog display, and a protective cover over the display. I’m not personally the biggest fan of pressure sensitive touch screens in field applications.

Earlier this week, I stopped by Lake Norman State Park for a quick Parks On The Air (POTA) activation.

I wrote a field report on QRPer.com noting the fact that the IC-705 is a superb SSB transceiver. It truly is. I included a video showing the IC-705 as I worked a few stations on the 40 meter band, and another video demonstrating SSB memory keying (politely overlook the fact I had the rig set to LSB on 20 meters in that video–!).

Listening in

When I finish a park activation, I often spend a little time on the broadcast bands tuning around and enjoying the low-RFI setting.

At Lake Norman, I decided to make a short video highlighting the wide receiving range of the IC-705. The video only highlights a few bands–the IC-705 can actually receive from 0.030–199.999 MHz and 400.000–470.000 MHz.

The EFT-MTR end-fed antenna I had connected to the IC-705 that day was not ideal for reception above 15 MHz, but as you’ll see, it was adequate for a little radio fun. I was using the Emtech ZM-2 external antenna tuner that day because my mAT-705’s battery died.  I highly recommend the ZM-2 for shortwave listeners and QRPers alike because it makes it so easy to tweak wire antennas for optimal matching and reception. In the video, however, I left the tuner in the last matched configuration. This isn’t exactly a pro video, but I hope you’ll enjoy it anyway:

The Icom IC-705: A keeper

This transceiver is so versatile, I don’t think I can let go of it. I really appreciate the IC-705’s frequency versatility and excellent performance. With this compact rig, I can do some proper SWL DXing and possibly even FM and MW DXing.

As simple as it is, the built-in digital recorder clinches the deal.

The IC-705 is a pricey piece of kit at $1300 US, but I suspect Icom will lower the price or start offering rebates once the supply/demand curves normalize. At present, retailers are struggling to keep up with customer demand and most purchases are on back-order.

Blind Audio Test results

I’ve just closed the surveys for our IC-705 blind audio tests. The response was overwhelming and the results?  Well, you’ll soon find out. I hope to present all of the findings in a post within the next few days.

Boomark this link to follow all of our IC-705 posts.


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7 thoughts on “More field time with the new Icom IC-705 general coverage QRP transceiver

  1. NE7LS

    I wonder how much the memory bank will help you go from one band to another as it might include your preference per band. Hopefully it’s not just remembering frequency but also other information too. I will stay tuned to your posting to find out. Thanks for the show. Keep up the fun it is great to share.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Good point–I’ve yet to really save frequencies to the memory banks, but they’re so easy to use I know I will. I suspect I’ll first load the bank with my preferred POTA CQ frequencies, along with QRP calling frequencies, then the bulk of the memory bank will be filled with my shortwave broadcast and utility stations.

      Thank you!

      Reply
  2. 13dka

    Nice demonstration, just what I wanted to see! 🙂

    One thing selling this to me is that it covers everything from VLF to VHF/UHF including the FM band (being very interested in FM DX as well). Of course I didn’t expect that would have RD(B)S since it’s still a ham TRX and even the IC-R8600 doesn’t have that. However, that would have pushed me over the cliff immediately because that’s such a huge time saver for FM DX. Also AFAIK the BW for FM is fixed at 200kHz (again, like the 8600), so pulling weak stations out of the noise by putting that to 70-100kHz is not an option either and if there’s no RDS and no stereo that would make that kind of BW necessary, 200 kHz as a default doesn’t even make much practical sense.

    I don’t think the IC-705 is lacking selling points or potential buyers but that, together with the simple recording capability would’ve attracted a lot of people from that corner of the spectrum. Well… if there’s tropo ducts you can go 2m instead with this radio, where everyone IDs himself a lot and 2m SSB DX is likely as interesting, challenging and rewarding.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Agreed! The IC-705 almost smacks of both a QRP transceiver and nearly full-featured wideband receiver.

      I do wonder if some of its capabilities could be further improved with firmware updates. I’d LOVE to be able to decode wefax! 🙂 Guessing that’s not going to happen, though.

      T

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Using the Icom IC-705 to record a local AM broadcast station | The SWLing Post

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