Tag Archives: Icom IC-705

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.

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Another “Wacky Wake-Up Crew” recording

After posting a recording of 630 AM WAIZ’s “Wacky Wake-Up Crew” last week, a few readers asked for another recording, so here you go!

I made this recording yesterday morning (Monday, October 19, 2020) with the Icom IC-705 connected to my homebrew NCPL antenna:

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Using the Icom IC-705 to record a local AM broadcast station

In my previous post, I mentioned how much I enjoy the built-in digital audio recorder in the new Icom IC-705. While I wouldn’t buy a QRP transceiver specifically for built-in audio recording–there are less expensive options out there–it is an incredibly useful feature in my world.

After publishing that post, I was reminded that Monday morning (October 12, 2020) I connected the IC-705 to my homebrew Noise-Cancelling Passive Loop antenna mounted indoors at my parents’ house.

My NCPL antenna

Their house is like so many others in that it is inundated with RFI (radio frequency interference). I find that the NCPL antenna does a fine job mitigating most of that noise on the mediumwave band when I position it so that the bulk of the interference is nulled.

Monday morning, I tuned the IC-705 to my favorite local AM station: WAIZ on 630 kHz.

Weekday mornings, Dave and his “Wacky Wake-Up Crew” always put me in the right mood. They’re incredibly goofy/corny and 100% original.

It’s extraordinarily rare these days to find a local radio station, with local talent, creating a local daily radio show. Almost all of their ads are local, too.

I made the following off-air recording for myself, but decided to upload it for others to enjoy. I’m not sure what the receiver audio EQ or bandwidth filter was set to when I recorded this. It’s not a demo of receiver performance, just a little radio fun.

Enjoy:

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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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Icom IC-705 Blind Receiver Test #5 (Final Test)

Test #5: Radio Exterior de España 9,690 kHz

In this test (click here for #1here for #2, here for #3, and here for #4) we’ll listen to the Icom IC-705, and one other comparable radio, tuned to Radio Exterior de España on 9,690 kHz. I picked REE, in this case, because it is a blowtorch station and I could take advantage of the IC-705’s maximum AM filter width of 10 kHz.

I’ve done my best to match these radios in terms of audio and receiver settings, but it’s certainly not perfect–these are essentially real world, not laboratory conditions.

Notes:

  • Both radios are using the same antenna via my ELAD ASA15 Antenna Splitter Amplifier
  • Both radios are set to the same bandwidth: 10 kHz
  • I’ve tried to match AGC settings on all radios
  • Both radios have different audio EQ characteristics–not all are fully adjustable
  • Both have separate recording devices and are not matched perfectly in terms of audio levels. In other words, you may need to adjust your volume a bit to compare.

My advice would be to focus on aspects like signal intelligibility, selectivity and signal to noise.

Please listen to each recording, then kindly answer and submit the survey below. Thank you!

Radio A

Radio B

Survey

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Icom IC-705 Blind Receiver Test #4

Test #4: Voice of Greece 9,420 kHz

In this second test (click here for #1, here for #2, and here for #3) we’ll listen to the Icom IC-705, and one other comparable radio, tuned to the Voice of Greece on 9,420 kHz.

I’ve done my best to match these radios in terms of audio and receiver settings, but it’s certainly not perfect–these are essentially real world, not laboratory conditions.

Notes:

  • Both radios are using the same antenna via my ELAD ASA15 Antenna Splitter Amplifier
  • Both radios are set to the same bandwidth
  • I’ve tried to match AGC settings on all radios
  • Both radios have different audio EQ characteristics–not all are fully adjustable
  • Both have separate recording devices and are not matched perfectly in terms of audio levels. In other words, you may need to adjust your volume a bit to compare.

My advice would be to focus on aspects like signal intelligibility, selectivity and signal to noise.

Please listen to each recording, then kindly answer and submit the survey below. Thank you!

Radio A

Radio B

Survey

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Icom IC-705 Blind Receiver Test #3

Test #3: Shannon Volmet SSB

In this third test (click here for #1 and here for #2)) we’ll listen to the Icom IC-705, and one other comparable radio, tuned to Shannon Volmet on 8,957 kHz.

I’ve done my best to match these radios in terms of audio and receiver settings, but it’s certainly not perfect–these are essentially real world, not laboratory conditions.

Notes:

  • Both radios are using the same antenna via my ELAD ASA15 Antenna Splitter Amplifier
  • Both radios are set to the same bandwidth: 2.4 kHz
  • I’ve tried to match AGC settings on all radios
  • Both radios have different audio EQ characteristics–not all are fully adjustable
  • Both have separate recording devices and are not matched perfectly in terms of audio levels. In other words, you may need to adjust your volume a bit to compare.

My advice would be to focus on aspects like signal intelligibility, selectivity and signal to noise.

Please listen to each recording, then kindly answer and submit the survey below. Thank you!

Radio A

Radio B

Survey

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