Monday, August 28, 2006
Finally. It has been on my wish list for the better part of a year, but I've been holding back. A new receiver (or transceiver in this case) always has its early production run flaws, and there were some issues with the IC-7000 that kept me from buying it. Last week I gave in to my basic instincts (not the Sharon Stone kind of thing) and ordered one after I got a good offer from a Norwegian retailer.
I only got it today, so this is indeed "first impressions". It is very small. Well, since I already have an IC-703 I should't be surprised, but fact is: It's even smaller than the IC-703. WHD is 167x58x180mm and the weight is 2.3 kg. I am a metric man so if you want lbs and inches, you do the math. Of course, power is extra. For transmit it will need 22A at 100 watts; at receive it requires 1.6A at full volume.
Specs: AM sensitivity 0.5 - 1.8 MHz is 13uV with preamp on. For the MW DX-er: Awful. But a friend of mine bought one last autumn, and his IC-7000 measured around 1uV so obviously the Icom specs were overly conservative as usual. So I took the chance and ordered one, hoping that my IC-7000 would not be much different.
Excellent bandwidth options. All DSP. One can choose any set of three bandwidths for each mode from a pallette ranging up to 10 kHz for AM. A bit like the 746Pro except it had fixed AM bandwidths.
So, how does it fare? The first thing I was interested in finding out was the sensitivity figures. While I set up and warmed up the signal generator I compared it with the very sensitive IC-703 and became quite optimistic. I had reason to. On the upper part of MW, sensitivity was around 0.7uV. On the middle part around 0.9, and the lower part around 1.0uV down to 1.3 on 510. LW is a joke... around 25uV on 310. I didn't go deeper. SW sensitivity was close to 0.5uV. Measured with 6 kHz bandwidth AM, 30% modulation and preamp on. These figures are in fact 3-5dB better than my friend's IC-7000. Since I was expecting no better than 1uV, I am well content.
More as I start to explore its possibilities and limitations.