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Ham Nation Reviews the Icom 7300

Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZBLawrence Kellar KB5ZZB Member ✭✭
edited June 23 in New Ideas
As I watch the new Ham Nation. Bob Heil is loosing his mind over the new Icom 7300.  I can understand his excitement over getting a "game changing rig", I however would love for him to get his hands on a "real" SDR radio like a Flex 6700.   If most hams would just give Flex a chance I believe they would be pleasantly surprised.  


  • Jd DupuyJd Dupuy Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Knowing Bob for quit sometime, he is a MAC user only. Hates Windows Based PCs. He has a Soft Rock that was sent to him but never has played with it. Plus he is just plan old school operating guy. Some guys just like Fords and would never think of stepping on a Chevy dealer's lot. Mine should be here tomorrow and I will put together a 3 minutes production for airing on Ham Nation. Don't forget ICOM is a sponsor for the show as you already know. I agree about folks just trying one, but cost, computer knowledge and old ways will keep most away from a 6000 series.

  • Jay -- N0FBJay -- N0FB Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Well, gosh.  The Flex guys need to get an eval 6500/6700 and a Maestro out to Bob and let him play.  If he likes the Icom, he should go bananas over the Flex if there is not a bias thing going on.
  • Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZBLawrence Kellar KB5ZZB Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Bob is a wonderful guy....If he could play with a Maestro and 6700 I think we could have him hooked
  • km9r.mikekm9r.mike Member
    edited December 2019
    I actually think a 6300 would **** his mind after playing with a 7300, but then again icom has been a long time monetary supporter of Ham Nation...just sayin
  • DH2IDDH2ID Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017
    I had the opportunity to play with the IC-7300 last week:

    +Portable(fieldday)/mobile use
    +All ICOM cables/connections, even CI-V work

    -Much too small touchscreen
    -Waterfall/spectrum size ludicrous (for a Flex6k5 man at least!)
    -Problems with big signals
    -No connection for external monitor, should have HDMI
    -QSK relay noisy clicking

    All in all not bad, but I'm not going to buy it. I wanted to replace
    my old and trusty IC-756PRO, which I use for PACTOR/EMCOMM and CW.
    OK, I know that the IC-756PRO is way down the Sherwood list near the Drake 8,
    and the IC-7300 is at place 12, but - heck - I love that rig and can work with it
    at night with no lights on. And it does full QSK with PIN-diode switching.
    And it works for months on end when using it as a PACTOR mailbox and
    even without an antenna, when that fell down in my absence...

    73, Alex - DH2ID

  • Burt FisherBurt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Heil is terminally boring, Gerald in totally interesting, he gets to the point and not blabby
  • Lawrence Kellar KB5ZZBLawrence Kellar KB5ZZB Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I could sit and listen to Bob or Gerald talk for hours. I have learned a lot about audio by listening to Bob. Also I give Ham Nation a lot of credit for getting old Hams and New People interested in Ham Radio again.
  • Corey/ KC0YNSCorey/ KC0YNS Member
    edited May 2016
    Thank you for speaking up for a 6300,  I'm starting to get a complex because I don't own the 6500/6700......I'm happy with my affordable 6300 & will have lot's of fun when my Maestro is delivered next week.  
  • Kevin Va3KGSKevin Va3KGS Member
    edited June 2017

    Suggest Mr. Bob do a live Ham Nation Special with Mr. Gerald at Dayton this year.  After all they will be under the same roof!!


    Kevin, Va3KGS

  • Philip KA4KOEPhilip KA4KOE Member
    edited June 2016
    Bob is an audio guy so I don't understand the fuss when the transmit bandwidth is hardwired max at 2.9 KC.
  • Jay -- N0FBJay -- N0FB Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    I have a 6300 as well and it is an insanely great radio.  I would like to get a 6500 just because of the pre-selector filters.  I don't necessarily need 2 more panadapters.
  • Tim - W4TMETim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2016
    Panadapters abhor a vacuum.  Once you got em', you find operational uses for them in addition to the "cool factor".
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    My Dad loved the Ford Thunderbird. He got his first in 1959 and got the latest one every two years. I am partial to Toyotas and Hondas. I don't challenge the individual that prefers Ford, or even those few that prefer the Tesla. I believe Bob has reviewed the 6000, several times. Some even prefer vanilla, for some odd reason. And what should not come as a shock to the new Maestro owners, some hams actually prefer knobs and rocker switches.
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    I find it truly fascinating how many people are talking about the 7300.  It of course is not in the same class of even the 6300.  There is a similar series of threads on the Elecraft reflector where I posted this comparison

    Flex 6000 = Tesla Model S

    IC-7300 = Nissan Leaf

    Elecraft K3s = Porsche

    Kenwood TS-590 =Toyota pickup

    It was pretty funny because wayne emailed me back directly to say several of the Elecraft principles own a Tesla.  ;-).
  • Bill -VA3WTBBill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    Now, if Flex wanted to go the same direction. They could mount the face of the Maestro on the front of a transceiver. All one unit.
  • Roy LauferRoy Laufer Member ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I corresponded with Bob Heil on these points the other day.

    He is a big fan of Icom and that manufacturer sponsors his podcast, HamNation.

    He thinks that the IC-7300 will be a "game changer", and perhaps it will be for the 
    "usual suspects", the Japanese manufacturers. He likes the "price point" of the IC-7300, although I am sure he also has the Icom flagship radio in his shack and that goes for almost twice as much as a Flex 6700.

    I suggested that the viewing public would be very excited by looking at what a more "higher end" SDR were capable of.

    He assured me that  he and Gordo have a Flex review planned for the future (I just hope it isn't too much in the future).

    A lot of "old timers" really don't like computers, and love their knobs and dials. The only way to get them to use an SDR is to disguise them as a legacy radio. I doubt that anyone could tell that the IC-7300 was an SDR radio without tracing its circuit board logic!

    The IC-7300 is a lower end, cut cornered ("entry level"), stealth SDR radio.

    I think that "stealth SDR" is the route that the big three Japanese manufacturers are going to go with.
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    The power of flex, other than its competition grade performance is its eco system.  you want computer control you have SSDR, you want knobs you have Maestro... you want IPAD there is an app for that. you want to use your Mac? theres an app for that too.   
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited December 2019
    I never owned a 5000 but given its cube-like profile I have to believe there is a lot of free space for air to circulate. I've never cracked open the case of the 6500 but, given the whole software replacing hardware thing I'd be surprised if there weren't free air space there as well. I think FRS would have a winning combination by ha ing the 7000 series be a conventional transceiver form factor that had knobs and dials and rocker switches and allowed for smartSDR should someone actually prefer that mode, all for the same price points.

    Obviously, any company is free to determine what products they wish to produce. It's not our place to dictate that. As a consumer, however, I prefer a transceiver with a front panel, reasonably massed tuning knob and switches. I suspect, given the preproduction ordering of Maestro, there are an awful lot of people here that concur. Whether they admit to that is a completely different issue.
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Flex's business model seems to mirror Tesla
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    It does indeed.. Using the cars is a great example.. 

    Tesla.. new tech.. everyone agrees its the way to go, scares some, is different but ultimately will be adopted  = flex 6000

    Nissan leave, cheap version of the tesla tech.. in a more traditional form, much less capable however = iC-7300

    Porsche, high performing, pinnacle of internal combustion tech.. with some added computer gadgetry = K3s

    etc. etc... ;-).
  • KY6LA_HowardKY6LA_Howard La Jolla, CA. Paris and Sablet FranceMember ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016
    EXCEPT like my 6700 squeezes past the K3S, my Tesla squeezes past every Porsche, Ferrari and Lambo I have raced against so far...
  • EA4GLIEA4GLI Salvador Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    I would prefer the next product to be a 144-440-1.2G all mode transceiver, 100W all bands with continuous RX from 70 Mhz to 3Ghz (even 5GHz).
    Compatible with the Maestro.
    Perfect complement to my 6700. 
  • NX6D DaveNX6D Dave Member
    edited December 2016
    FRS had fully functional Maestros set up at Visalia two weeks ago.  They had exactly one computer, a NUC, running SmartSDR on a big display, and four or five Maestros running a variety of 6000 series radios. Bob was there and could have come by any time for a hands-on demonstration, which I'm sure Gerald would have been delighted to provide.

    I'm in Ham radio now because of Ham Nation and Bob Heil, so I owe him, but I would like to see him take a good look at the FRS gear.
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    I met Bob when I was a teenager back in the 60's living in Carbondale IL.  I was playing in some garage bands and he had a music shop up in Marissa IL strait up rt.13 about 50 miles northeast of where I lived and I used to drive up there and drool over the guitars and amps.  I also used to  see him at the southern IL hamfests selling off odds and ends from the orange and purple modular recording and sound boards he used to manufacture.  Very interesting guy.

    I had exactly the same experience as Bob when I bought a SDR-1000.  I was ready to just get out of ham radio because I was so friggin bored.  I had very good radios Orion and FT-1000D on the desk and amps and antennas, but didn't turn them on for years.  Then that little stack of  boards and a fancy sound card completely revolutionized the hobby for me.  I couldn't leave it alone.  The hook was the level of performance I could get out  of a few hundred bucks worth of stuff, and the ability to customize stuff on the fly, and software upgrades in PSDR.  I hope the 7300 does the same for a lot of hams, and I hope they find their way to Flex, so in some respect it is a game changer for the hobby.  

    73  W9OY
  • Burt FisherBurt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016

    Lawrence you would have to listen to Bob for hours to get minutes worth of information, whereas if you listened to Gerald for minutes you would get hours worth of information. Ham Nation takes 10 minutes of material and stretches it to an hour (although they have superior technical quality).

  • Bill N5TUBill N5TU Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    This is in addition to Jd's comments above about Bob's preferences. He is my neighbor, although we rarely have time to get together. Bob feels that it is important to bring new people into our ranks, and one vehicle for doing this is radios that are relatively simple to set up and operate. Once people discover the adventure of Amateur Radio, they may (one hopes) remain and expand their horizons. The IC-7300 certainly seems a cut above the entry-level HF radios of past years. Success will give people a reason to continue; failure will only discourage people and drive them away.

    Now, waiting for Maestro to show up on my doorstep early next week.

    VY 73,
    Bill, N5TU

  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    I get that people are passionate about whatever product they chose to purchase. What I don't get is people vocally disappointed in and critical of an individual, taking corporate financing from some other manufacturers, not paying the same homage they do for their favorite manufacturer.
  • km9r.mikekm9r.mike Member
    edited May 2016

    I specifically upgraded to another Flex SS because of goals that I have set for myself in the world of contesting and nothing more. Specifically so2r contesting which can be vitally important but not in all contesting. 

    Like Jay said, your 6300 is an insanely great radio. I knew it the day I first turned mine on and still feel that way today. I  simply wanted an insanely great so2r radio and that is the only reason why I upgraded.
  • km9r.mikekm9r.mike Member
    edited May 2016
    That sounds neat.  A high performance 144-440-1.2g all mode would be a rig I would buy but only if it was a Flex : ).

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