Taking the Icom IC-705 on a shortwave and mediumwave field trip

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, 13dka, who shares the following:

Yesterday evening, I took the Icom IC-705 to the dike for the first time (got it on Thursday and spent a lof of time with familiarization).

Since it was already too dark, wet and cold for all the fuss with antennas, I decided to just put a telescopic whip on a tiny magmount on the car roof, curious what the 705 would make out of that. That magmount is the worst thing ever, too much cheap RG-174 seems to attenuate the signal from the whip (possibly some impedance catastrophe), my portables don’t like that thing at all.

So the antenna was as bad as it gets but…it demonstrated what the 705 can do with extremely faint signals! I had really good and quiet reception even when signals were not at all showing up on the S-Meter or much on the waterfall. I had to turn on preamp 2 and crank up the scope “Ref” gain up to see anything, but SNR was great, I didn’t have the feeling that I’m missing many stations and it even worked pretty well on medium wave to longwave, with the signal really tapering off only below 500 kHz and I learned why omnidirectional whips never caught on on MW! ?

AM band scan:

31m band scan:

So yes, as an SWL/BCL receiver it will likely perform as good as it possibly gets with literally any antenna or anything that could stand in for an antenna, the only thing it doesn’t have is sync but since it can tune in 1 Hz steps it can truly zero beat in ECSS, it has notch/autonotch (indispensable also on congested broadcast bands), passband tuning, if I didn’t get that wrong it has 10,000 memories and the 32 GB SD card I was putting in is good for more than 3 weeks of recording 24/7. With some regular BNC whip it’s still a cool bedside radio in a hotel room (no alarm function tho), also good for some VHF/UHF in-house good night 88s between licensed dads and daughters if you plug in the mic, which you don’t have to.

What a cool toy, I’m sure I will still love it when the honeymoon is over!

Thanks for sharing this, and for those band scans. Wow! And I love the “also good for some VHF/UHF in-house good night 88s between licensed dads and daughters”–! Ha ha! That is a real possibility.

Your IC-705 experience on MW and SW is similar to mine. I’ve used the IC-705 a number of times in the field and find that it has a superb and capable general coverage receiver. I’ve also coupled it with my homemade NCPL antenna and have been very pleased with the results. I couldn’t be more pleased.

You’ll find the twin passband filters are incredibly effective at knocking out adjacent signal spill-over. And, yes, the auto notch feature is excellent for killing hets in your audio. I’ve even used the notch manually and like many of my PC-connected SDRs, the filter can be adjusted in width.

I think you’ll continue to enjoy the IC-705 well beyond the honeymoon phase and I’m hoping you might even post some more comparisons at the dike!

AS I mentioned in previous posts, I had fully intended to sell the IC-705 after my review period, but I’ve grown to love this radio so much, that is no longer going to happen.

Spread the radio love

2 thoughts on “Taking the Icom IC-705 on a shortwave and mediumwave field trip

    1. 13dka

      The RIT on the 705 is using 1 Hz increments as well but yes, I’d prefer using the RIT over the main dial because it’s less sensitive to tune and not so prone to be kicked out of tune by accident. 🙂

      Reply

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