Tag Archives: IC-705

Could the Icom IC-705 be a shortwave listener’s Holy Grail receiver?

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!

The Icom LC-192 backpack (Source: Universal Radio)

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.

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The new Icom IC-705 QRP portable, backpackable transceiver

This weekend at Tokyo’s Ham Fair 2019, Icom announced an innovative transceiver to their line-up: the Icom IC-705 QRP transceiver.

The IC-705 introduces several industry firsts for a backpack portable radio:

  • It uses the same BP-272 Li-ion Battery pack as the ID-51 and ID-31 series D-Star handy talkies. To my knowledge, this is the only HF transceiver that uses battery packs that can be swapped so easily in the field–like one would swap an HT battery pack
  • It has a general coverage receiver that spans a whopping 0.5 to 148 MHz
  • It sports a full color, touch screen with spectrum and waterfall displays
  • It includes the D-Star digital voice mode
  • A GPS receiver
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • A MicroSD card slot for memory storage, screen captures and recordings

All of this appears to be included, not add-on options.

The only IC-705 omission, in my opinion, is an internal ATU (antenna tuner). Something I would have expected, but not a deal-breaker for those of us who could really benefit from the amount of features this radio offers.

Side and back panel view noting ports and connections.

There is no word yet on pricing or availability, but you can count on us to post these details once they’re available. If you would like to follow updates, bookmark the tag: IC-705

We will also review on the Icom IC-705 as soon as it’s available.

Video from Amateur Logic/Ham College

Ray Novak (N9JA) with Icom America did a live video interview with Amateur Logic/Ham College TV yesterday. The video includes a full announcement in English from the Icom Booth:

Click here to view on YouTube.

IC-705 Pre-Release brochure

Many thanks to Ray Novak for snapping a few photos of the pre-release brochure:

Update: click here to download the full IC-705 brochure. Hat tip to Dave Zantow!

A surprise from one of the “Big Three”

The “Big Three” transceiver manufactures–Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood–have not shown a lot of interest in backpackable QRP radios over the past two decades.

By “backpackable” I mean QRP transceivers specifically designed for portable use in the field–radios that typically have built-in battery options, internal ATUs, and designed to be lightweight shack-in-a-box units.

Yaesu introduced the FT-817 almost twenty years ago and it lives on today (with modest upgrades) as the FT-818. Kenwood has no portable/backpackable HF QRP radio at this point.

I bet the IC-705 is being introduced today because Icom sees a strong market among field-portable operators who enjoy travel and outdoor radio activities like SOTA (Summits On The Air) and POTA (Parks On The Air).  In addition, many ham radio operators live in neighborhoods that are either plagued with radio interference (RFI) or don’t allow antennas to be installed outdoors. Portable radios liberate ham radio ops from their shacks and allow them to set up a station far away from noise or home owner’s associations.

Looking forward…

Again, I’ll be in touch with Icom about the IC-705 and will share updates here when they’re available. I’m looking forward to evaluation this rig when it hits the market!


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