For the attention of Flex - Icom Lies

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Icom are making some completely false statements in their Icom 7300 brochure. From http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/hf/7300/default.aspx

RF Direct sampling system — a first in Amateur Radio*

Instead of the conventional superheterodyne system, the IC-7300 utilizes the RF direct sampling system — a first in an amateur radio transceiver. 

Personally I think I'd be contacting Icom and getting them to withdraw that especially given how poor performing the specifications of the Icom 7300 are and how its likely to harm people's views of SDR receiver performance and in turn do harm to potential sales of the Flex 6000.

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M0GVZ

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Posted 3 years ago

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Barry N1EU

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That asterisk points to "among major amateur radio manufactures."  So if there is an argument, it's over who is and who isn't a major amateur radio manufacturer.

I wouldn't get carried away dissing the IC-7300 until someone actually tries one, let alone tests its performance.
(Edited)
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M0GVZ

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I'm going on their published performance data for the 500Hz CW and 2.7kHz SSB filter settings.

http://www.ab4oj.com/icom/ic7300/ic7300br_full_en.pdf

 The CW filter setting performance is actually the same as that of the YF-107C 500Hz CW filter fitted to my Kenwood TS480. That would suggest close spaced dynamic range is going to be about mid range "conventional" radio performance levels which is way below what SDR is capable of. How many people are going to be disappointed buying a SDR thinking they're going to benefit from brick wall filtering to find its actually no better or in fact may be worse than the radio they've already got?
(Edited)
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Barry N1EU

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I hate to break it to you, but not all of us cw ops want or like brick wall filtering.
(Edited)
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Mark Griffin

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You must consider that with a hardware filter there will be limitations. With a software filter the only limitation is the software itself. I agree with Barry, N1EU,  don't pre-judge on the capabilities of the 7300 on a brochure. I'm sure once it comes out there will be some group that will do a side by side analysis of the 7300 versus the Flex. Mark Griffin, KB3Z
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Lewis Cheek

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I for one would like to trade off some "BRICK WALL" for improved cw performance.

Lew N4CO
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M0GVZ

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You must consider that with a hardware filter there will be limitations. With a software filter the only limitation is the software itself. 

This is why I cannot for the life of me work out why they've used a filter with such a poor shape that makes it no better than any other radio. By all means have such a profile for a "soft" filter but these are the specs for "sharp" filtering.
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Barry N1EU

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Rob Sherwood NC0B asked me to post this on his behalf:

In my opinion, brick-wall filtering can be carried too far.  The down side of brick-wall filtering is usually longer latency, significantly over 100 milliseconds (ms).  (ANAN-200D with 2K default buffers = 131 ms,  Flex 6700 = 162 ms)  On the other hand an IC-756 Pro III is 6 ms.    TS-990S latency is 18 ms.  (Measurements all with 500-Hz CW bandwidth) 

As far as what kind of product the IC-7300 is, it would seem to be Icom’s first “toe in the water” of a direct-sampling transceiver.  Kenwood re-entered the market with a new product with the TS-590S, followed by the TS-990S.  One would expect there to be some intermediate-priced from Kenwood this year.  The IC-7300, if it has good market acceptance, will likely just be the first of many new Icom products throughout their price range of transceivers over the coming years.   

Brick wall filtering has its practical limits.  On CW, once the shape factor is adequate, (lets say around 1.5:1) then the limit in copying a weak signal a few hundred Hz away from a very strong signal is the key clicks of the adjacent QRM signal.  When the key clicks are in the receive passband, steeper skirts don’t help as  long as the QRM is not in the transition band of the filter.  Likewise on SSB, a strong QRM signal 3-kHz away from the weak signal we are trying to copy is limited by the transmit IMD of the station 3 kHz away.  Today’s rather mediocre transmit IMD performance of solid-state PAs running on 13.8 volts is the main limit in reception.  Sharper skirts and shape factors of 1.1:1 to 1.3:1 are not really better than 1.5:1, except when the QRM might be a heterodyne on the edge of the passband and eliminated with IF shift / passband tuning. 

A typical CW signal is about 1 kHz wide at -60 dB due to key clicks.  A typical SSB signal today with a 13.8 volt PA is about 12 kHz wide at -60 dB.  Brick-wall filtering cannot fix this problem of the bandwidth of the QRM’s transmit signal being in the passband.

 Rob

NC0B


(Edited)
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Ken Hansen

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"You must consider that with a hardware filter there will be limitations. With a software filter the only limitation is the software itself. "

Software is bound by the hardware running the software. It is reasonable to assume that steep filtering requires more CPU/DSP 'horsepower' than more traditional filtering. That additional horsepower costs money, money that will likely push the cost of the radio past the entry-level price Icom was likely aiming for.

There are compromises involved when aiming for a lower price-point.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I agree Ken. It looks as Icom is not really competing with flex in any way. But I wounder if the timing and product is not right for Icom. If they don't want a rig in their line up to challenge their big rigs, then maybe they should wait till one of those rigs are ready to be replaced. and come out with an SDR radio with much better performance. It also seems clear Icom is not ready to invest big in SDR untill they know how sales could be. But with this new offering it gives Icom owners a chance to see what SDR is,,sort of. I say that because there are other inexpensive SDR radios out there that Icom users could buy with better performance.

I should wait and write another article on this, but. It is also interesting the design of most of the SDR radios coming to market. For most, it is a box with buttons and knobs and a small screen on some. And some will allow a larger screen to connect to the radio, and It may have a very basic program for operation. These companies will not invest thousands to develop software. The SDR experience is much different from Flex and Anan, as very well refined software is the way of operation. And by the way, I hear a new software is being worked on to replace the old PSDR or HPSDR used on the Anans.
 
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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I think it way premature to guess at what ICOM's evil intent is or what the performance profile of the radio will be. It seems to me there are but two axises, margin and performance. Yes, most modern radios offer a panadapter local and displayable on a billboard sized monitor. I believe the mere presence of Maestro speaks to the value of tactile controls. On the performance side if you look at Rob's top ten and ARRL s top ten that addresses performance. That leaves margin. ICOM may well have more profit from the 7300 than thgy do from the 7851. It may prove their best radio from the profit perspective.
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K4SC

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I think Icom realizes that panadaptors sell radios and cheaper radios with better panadaptors than available in their current product lineup will likely sell a lot of radios. 

If Icom had been able to get the high resolution panadaptor without SDR and reduced price point, then they might have stayed with a conventional heterodyne configuration.

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Bill -VA3WTB

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So your saying that Icom has no interest in SDR?
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Walt - KZ1F

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I believe ICOM does do panadapters on their existing line. Panadapters do not require FPGAs.

I think the crux of this ongoing discussion revolves around what one considers SDR to be. Manufacturers have been using Digital Signal Processing (software) for decades. The Alpha 9500 has 5 independent microprocessors (software) controlling it. Could one consider it Software Defined Linear Amplifier? As a marketing differentiator vendors are free to defined software defined however they want. Filtering in many current radios are both hardware and software. I believe what differentiates Flex is their filters (at least in the 6000 series) are completely software. I am not certain about the 1500. Wait, no, the 6500 and 6700 have 'preselectors', which, I think, are also hardware.
(Edited)
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Barry N1EU

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And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't close spaced dynamic range in a direct sampling receiver independent of the digital filtering that follows the ADC? 

Generally speaking, we hams only benefit by additional manufacturers bringing direct sampling radios to market and we should welcome them.  I hope Yaesu, Kenwood, Elecraft and Ten-Tec join the fray.
(Edited)
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M0GVZ

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It is but if the idea of the "sharp" setting for a filter is to give the best performance possible why would you make it no better than a stock manufacturer mechanical filter?
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Ken Hansen

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DSPs cost money, and if in order to implement a 'better' filter it required a more expensive DSP part, that could blow the radio out of it's intended market.

Icom (I believe) had a price-point in mind BEFORE committing to certain features/specifications. However the new radio performs, it will always be arguable that the technology exists to improve it - in almost every case it is because of cost, not ignorance of the alternative technology.

Also, as noted by others, Icom probably chose to reuse existing DSP software developed for previous radios rather than 'start from scratch' for their new radio.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Honestly, this is really nothing but marketing semantics.  How Icom chooses to define "major" is really up to them.  We know the truth.  That is all that really matters.
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DrTeeth

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Tim,

"We know the truth.  That is all that really matters." Not if the Icom marketing muddies the waters and costs FRS sales. Knowing the truth will not help if it costs $s. This needs to be dealt with NOW by FRS marketing as a matter of urgency before it gets out of hand.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Same as their claim as Best in Class. The class is their 7100, 7200 and 7300 which are all reasonable bottom end radios. Clearly the 7300 is a low cost product targeted at unsophisticated hams. It looks to be a littlest than the price point of a 6300 but with much poorer specs.

The obvious reason that the 7300 has such bottom end specs for a SDR is that Icom is afraid of cannibalizing their more expensive Legacy Radios by having comparable specs to modern SDR's.

I expect that Icom will be very slow in the uptake of high end SDR's to protect their investment in Legacy Radios
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Icom 7300 for unsophisticated ham?  What else would you expect to hear from a Flex user's site?  I think the 7300 will give Flex a run for it's money. At least the 7300 doesn't need a computer to use it.

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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If you read the specs the Icom 7300 is in the same class as the Icom 7200/7100 which were targeted to replace the venerable 706. These are great radios for the low end but clearly not for serious Dx or Contesting. BTW Along the way I have owned a few 706's and a 7100. Still have the 706 in a portable EMCOMM case.

Unsophisticated. Hams without engineering/electronics background who might be confused by the claims of Direct Sampling SDR/ Heterodyne using low end components being equivalent to a high end SDR.
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David (AA9G)

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"Icom 7300 for unsophisticated ham?"

Steve, that is not what he said at all. However if the 7300 does indeed have the same specs as the 7100 there is no way it's going to come close to a 6000 series.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Understanding that this is the echo chamber, we, none of us, will know where the 7300 positions itself in the market until, likely within 90 days of Dayton. It may fall over, it may sell off the shelves. As Barry (and I) have both said, competition is good for all of us.
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Ken Hansen

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"Clearly the 7300 is a low cost product targeted at unsophisticated hams."

'Unsophisticated hams' = anyone interested in an unsophisticated radio, or are you insisting on insulting hams that choose a radio considering price?

"It looks to be a littlest than the price point of a 6300 but with much poorer specs. "

The IC-7300 will list for less than HALF the price of a FLEX 6300, that is a significant price difference.

I don't understand your passion at trashing a radio obviously built to a price-point significantly lower than your preferred radio brand's lowest priced radio...
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SteveJ

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My point exactly, Ken. 
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Duane N9DG

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I think the key thing to make sure that people who ask you what you think about the 7300 is to point out that what they have basically done is to replace the synthesized LO and a few analog mixer stages with an A to D and a FPGA. Beyond that it is a very “traditional” radio in every respect from what I can tell looking at the publicly released info about it, both in how it is implemented, and how the user can use and interact with it. As such, it really doesn't have all that much in common with the 6K, or even any of the various other traditionally PC-UI/Based SDRs, DDC or not, that have been around going back over a decade now.

And yes they certainly won't cannibalize the models above it at its price point from a overall performance perspective. But you can bet that the follow-on models that will come out above its price point over the next few years will more likely than not also be DDC designs. I think there is very little doubt about that. And there are several models in that lineup that are due for replacement, so I don't think it will be that long. The real question is will those higher-up models also just be traditional radio designs implemented in DDC / SDR? Or will they have capabilities beyond that? Basically those “non-traditional” radio capabilities that we are all familiar with here.

The bottom line is when someone asks me what I think about the 7300 in the context of it being an “DDC SDR”, I factually describe what it is that they have done technically, and have not done. And then explain what that means in terms of its actual performance, capabilities, and limitations as compared to the SDRs that we are all familiar with here because of those design and architecture decisions that they have made for the 7300.
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Lee, Elmer

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good analysis Duane
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Someday all radios will be direct sampling SDRs in some form.  Ours already are...

We are kinda glad to see them get a little toe in the water.
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Dan -- KC4GO

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In the end it's going to be about the software not the hardware.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Very true.
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Wilbert Meyers

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On the other hand, they make a radio with waterfall, touch screen, knobs.... and so much more for ~$1000. Oh wait a minute there is the "maestro" with waterfall, touch screen, knobs and so much for $1000 and ooops no radio included...LOL
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Yes sort of like comparing a Hybrid Yugo (Icom 7300) to a Tesla (Flex)
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Wilbert Meyers

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Actually not, more likely a cheap tablet with knobs and nothing to do (maestro without a flex radio) with an actaully fully opertional radio (IC7300)...LOL
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Wilbert - it really doesn't make any sense to compare a dedicated high end accessory to a different product class.  Really not a very mature comparison.

If the FRS products are too rich for your pocket book - if they don't provide you enough fun and performance for your dollar - you don't have to buy them.

Ditto on the IC-7300, or any other radio (or product).

(Just like a Used Remington 870 can shoot well enough to challenge an average punter with a high end shotgun, so can radios.  Both guys can have a blast too! (that Pun intended) But I'll be damned if I'll give up my clays gun just because the nice wood on it cost more than a couple 870's as bemoaned by some kibitzer Wilbert.  Just ain't happening.)

@Howard - Putting "Unsophisticated." and "Hams..." near each other on the same line is baiting the peanut gallery I guess!  Amazing how emotively these folk just simply WANT you to have written ""Unsophisticated hams..." so they had something to moan about!  Bet you do wicked puns too?

---

General lesson - never read too much into marketing hype.  It is the later structured published testing & reviews, and the marketplace that will sort out the fact from fiction.

73

Steve

K9ZW

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SteveJ

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Icom 7300 is like a Yugo?  Come on Howard the radio hasn't even come out yet and been tested. How can you make such a comment.  Talk about Flex Fanboys.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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If you have had a chance to read some of my publications you might discover that I may know a little about reading radio specs!!!!

it is pretty clearly targeted to the IC-706/7100/7200 replacement market...
Fine for portable use and stations who want an inexpensive radio
But with those specs clearly not targeted to serious DX or Contesting...

From what I could see before Adam Farson was forced to take the spec sheet down (now replaced by a link to Icom)  was that it was a hybrid of a Generation 4 Direct Sampling SDR  combined with a Legacy  Superheterdyne back end running a 36MHz (?) IF.....  so it would appear to be a baby step towards a full fledged Generation 4 SDR.  Sort of like cobbling together a battery onto a Yugo to call it a Hybrid... Electric/Gas vehicle.
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Ken Hansen

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"If you have had a chance to read some of my publications you might discover that I may know a little about reading radio specs!!!!"

Uh, ok.

"it is pretty clearly targeted to the IC-706/7100/7200 replacement market..."

Yeah, obviously...

"Fine for portable use and stations who want an inexpensive radio"

Want? How about 'can only afford'?

Should Chevrolet stop making affordable cars because BMW makes better cars? Should Chevrolet only build cars to compete with BMW?

"But with those specs clearly not targeted to serious DX or Contesting..."

Who said that was what Icom was aiming for? Icom has a line of Contest radios,

"From what I could see before Adam Farson was forced to take the spec sheet down (now replaced by a link to Icom) was that it was a hybrid of a Generation 4 Direct Sampling SDR combined with a Legacy Superheterdyne back end running a 36MHz (?) IF..... so it would appear to be a baby step towards a full fledged Generation 4 SDR."

Wow, you're really good at reading spec sheets!

"Sort of like cobbling together a battery onto a Yugo to call it a Hybrid... Electric/Gas vehicle."

Wow.

Icom is offering an exciting new radio at a price-point well below any full-power radio currently offered by Flex. It has an interesting set of features, and employs a bit of new technology - most of the radios that the IC-7300 will be competing against are 10+ year-old radios selling in the $1,000-1,250 price range (TS-2000, TS-480, FT-450, IC-7200, IC-718, etc).

For Icom to offer the IC-7300 at an estimated $1,250 street price they need to manufacture it for between $500-600 (I believe, since there has to be money in the street price to support Icom, Icom America, and your local retailer selling the radio) - the Flex radio that sells for $2,350 probably cost FRS $1,500 or more to build. Your insistence on faulting Icom for even bothering to design a new radio that is not nearly as good as the ones FRS offers is an insulting and exclusionary view that casts you, and by extension the FRS community in a negative light.

You can't make QSOs on a radio you can't afford, and, in case you weren't aware, not everyone in this hobby can afford/justify a $2,350 radio - you can, that's great, but holding lesser radios (and calling the people that buy them 'unsophisticated') in contempt does a much greater disservice to the FRS business than any imagined harm Icom's mention of SDR tech in their brochure does to Flex Radio's business selling (superior) SDR radios.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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You sure you are Not Burt in Disguise?


"Unsophisticated.--- Hams without engineering/electronics background who might be confused by the claims of Direct Sampling SDR/ Heterodyne using low end components being equivalent to a high end SDR."    - directly quoted from my post above....

"Affordable"  - For most hams Affordable is really about choices you make about discretionary spending rather than the ability to pay for things.. One less case of beer a week ($20 x 52  weeks= $1,100)  will easily cover the extra cost of a better radio if you choose to spend the money on radio vs Beer...But if you prefer to enjoy that extra case of beer then you choose to buy the lesser radio...very few hams fall into the category of not being able to afford either the beer or radio....

BTW,,,  Waiting for the Flame that Unsophisticated Hams Drink Affordable BEER.
(Edited)
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Ken Hansen

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"Unsophisticated" - confuse low-cost, entry-level radios with contest radios that sell at twice the price...

"Affordable" - only three less beers a day, every day for a year to cover the difference... Well, when you put it like that, Flex radios just seem so affordable! All I need to do is drink three less beers a day, every day for a year, then I can buy the 6300 - and only one more year of three fewer beers a day and I can get the radio front panel 'Maestro'? Whew, I think that should be pointed out in Flex's advertising!
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Walt - KZ1F

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A case of beer for $20? What swill do you drink? As that would be 'a case of beer less per week', are these consumed before or after firing up the 2KW linear?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I rarely drink beer as you know I prefer wine. But I used beer as a more familiar reference point because good wine easily costs more than a case of beer. The 2k peaks at 2338W into a dummy load. Definitely have a glass or two of wine before contesting or chasing DX. Relieve the stress.
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Lee, Elmer

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I don't think any way in hell a DDC/FPGA 100W SDR is going to sell for $1200.  #pipedream #speculation.

If you look at the specs and block diagram it screams profit margin compared to the IC 7600.  There is NOTHING cutting edge about this technology.  My guess is it will perform about as well as a mid level K3 with a bunch of filters for half the production cost of a mid level K3 with a bunch of filters, i.e. it will be twice as profitable for Icom.   This radio is not really so much competition for Flex as much as it's a legacy radio killer.   From the specs it looks to
 me like a 120mhz ADC, a cheap FPGA, a cheap android or linux tablet and a couple knobs

SDR is about the software and what you can do with the software, not about the hardware.  The hardware is already beyond good enough.   From the software point of view the 7300 is primitive compared to the 6K Flex series.  The 7300 will further open up the SDR market to a greater swath of hamdom and that's a good thing.  

73  W9OY
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Duane N9DG

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Based on the price specified in Yen I would expect it to be in that region, if not initially, then later after all the “I have to have one now” people have paid a price premium for the privileged of being one of the first to get one.

The DSP code that IF filters and demodulates the signal in DSP processor is by all indications modified from one of the previous models that used an A to D at a 36 kHz IF. I'm quite convinced that was a big factor why they chose 36 kHz as its “IF” as described in its brochure. Basically the data stream being fed into the DSP from the FPGA looks pretty much the same as what came out of the previous model's A to D that sampled the previously analog 36 kHz IF. So the main quantity of code writing that needed to be  done is for the FPGA and the display and control code. But also because of that, its IF filtering traits will quite likely be very close to those previous model(s) the DSP code is derived from. The IF bandwidths specified in the brochure show a shape fact that is not very steep at all, and are specified at the -6 and -40 dB points instead of the more standard -6 and -60 dB points. Though I think Icom has always used -6 and -40. 

Where it will outshine its price point peers is for phase noise and RMDR. There is no reason to believe that the plots in its brochure for those performance traits are wildly optimistic. Getting good performance for phase noise and RMDR is the nature of the beast when you sample at ~122 MHz / 16 bits, unless you've botched the clock design.

Its spectrum display will no doubt be much better than its similar price point peers as well, but it will be hampered by its small size, and I've seen no mention of the pixels for that 4.3” display. And also there is no apparent provision to send that spectrum “video” to an external monitor when you want to. A lot of people are asking about / criticizing that on the 7300's discussion list.

It is clearly competition for the FT-991 / 1200, TS-590 / 480 region since it is largely operationally equivalent to them.

However I don't quite agree that it is only about the software. Hardware does matter, it matters a lot. But the hardware has to be designed to allow software be written so that you can do all the things that you want to. And that is why it is ludicrous to compare the 6300 against the 7300. They are very different hardware design approaches despite them both being DDC.

The 6K series hardware is designed from the outset to be a wideband device, pick and chose what signals you want to work with from anywhere in that wide sampled bandwidth via the software. And as IP network device. The 7300's hardware is the polar opposite of that, and it has a lot of hardware limitations that confine it to only working with a rather narrow chunk of spectrum, and then even narrows that further yet in the FPGA. The 7300's hardware for example will never be able to let you listen on both 160 and 6M at the same time no matter what they do with the software for it.

But it is what many people say they want in a radio, the many that do not understand what SDR technology can offer beyond what traditional superhets could, or don't care what SDR can offer beyond superhets.
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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What I meant by hardware doesn't matter is at some point performance is beyond good enough and little is gained by doubling hardware cost.  Clearly if you are using a 120mhz ADC to dribble out a 36 khz signal to your so called "IF"  you are wasting tremendous horsepower, as in your design constraints are nothing about performance and totally about the cheapest most profitable solution.  The more I think about your analysis the more it pisses me off to think about how Icom is ripping off the customer with a ridiculous design.  

73  W9OY
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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All Icom did was slap a Direct Sampling A.D onto their standard back end IF design. Saves a lot of engineering development cost and time. Lots cheaper to build using existing production.

But clearly not optimized as a true full featured SDR could be As I said targeted to unsophisticated hams who do not understand the technological difference and hams who don't choose to spend a lot of $ on hame gear. Plus it gives Icom bragging rights to be the first Major Manufacturer (their words not mine. Should be Jqpanese) to sell a SDR.
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SteveJ

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How is Icom 'ripping of the customer'? 
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Walt - KZ1F

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What significant technological difference??? Only 5 angels dancing on the head of a pin as opposed to 6? The K3S, which according to you (Howard) isn't even SDR, has effectively identical specs. So I am at a loss for what contest quality SDR even means. I would put good money on the op running the 100w 7300 working just as many dx q's as the op with the 6700 and all the other whiz bang add-ons, given identical feed line and radiators. In fact the guy that puts $5,000 into coax and antenna and $1500 into the transceiver demonstrates outstanding allocation of ham radio budget.
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Howard, major manufacturer.. That would be Chevrolet, not Tesla. But few would argue the corvair is the better car.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Walt

If you really believe that there was no difference between low-end and high-end radios why did you buy a 6500?

K3S is a legacy radio that is great for contesting. But once flex delivers Maestro I see the game changing. So much so that we may have a bunch of K3 to dump.

Chevy and Tesla are different market segments. You need to compare Tesla to its real competitor like MB and BMW. Tesla outsell all their competitors Worldwide in Large Luxury Automobile class

http://evannex.com/blogs/news/7333850...

By the way owning a Tesla is like owning a flex both get better with each new software update
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Or not Howard. I suspect that would be determined by whether you or Dennis are driving the bus.
If one buys a car for bragging rights, yes, different classes of auto. If one buys a car for commuting and nights out with friends, same class.

BTW, it did not escape me you didn't answer the question...well, maybe you, in fact, did: bragging rights.
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SteveJ

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The cost for a 'complete' Flex system including the Maestro is way overpriced.
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Walt - KZ1F

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@Howard, you and I have covered that ad nauseum.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@SteveJ...

Then Please do not buy a Flex as you clearly seem to imply that you would be happier with a radio you can afford so you still will have money left over for beer...
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Wlat

You know me better than that...

I never buy anything for Bragging Rights...

I buy only stuff that I think is the best for me. which sometimes can be the top of the line of whatever it is I want (like Flex or Tesla) and sometimes l(like all my Harbor Freight Tools )  is the bottom of the line) ..... I really do not give a damn what anyone else thinks of me... hence no bragging rights...
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Walt.. you are right.. I am going to need to demonstrate to Dennis that the Maestro makes us more Q's before he will let us dump all the K3's    But we did dump all but one of the IC-7800's when the K3 proved to be better...  IC-706/7100/ Class of radio was tried out too..but seriously NOT Competitive...

As I said,. the contest station is about winning.. we are rig agnostic in that we only use whatever makes us the most Q's ---if a rig proves to be better all the older slower stuff gets dumped...  I still find I can personally S&P faster on a 6700 than a K3 but others don't pending Spots on the display and the Maestro ergonomics ...OTOH.. the K3 is still pending the Maestro a better Run radio...

Bragging Rights.. Earned only by WINNING Contests or being the FIRST to land a ATNO contact... not by the Bling you own..
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Walt - KZ1F

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OK, fair enough. MB and BMW major auto manufacturers, Tesla, not so much. In that comparison, hard to say which is best car. Way easier to say which is most 'provocative'.

If BMW said they were first to come out with all electric car (of the major luxury auto manufacturers. That would be a true stmt... I think. In other words, lest my point be lost, it isn't a slight, it's a marketing distinction. So the notion ICOM lies is factually incorrect. It doesn't attempt to address which, 7300 or 6700, is the better rig. That people take it as a personal insult is a completely different issue.
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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@SteveJ

In your overpriced comment, you completely prove the point why the design concept of the 7300 is primitive .  The 7300 looks to be a high horse powered engine stuffed in a Yugo frame with a 20 ga sized fuel line driving a 10 speed bicycle transmission.  If you have a big data engine but primitive software and lousy I/O you can not bring out the radio's potential.  If you can not bring out the radios potential then you may just as well stick with a legacy radio design like the IC 706, and you have absolutely no business hawking B/S about the radio's cutting edge amazing attributes.   The added value to the Flex line of radios is in the software development and the plasticity of the design both of which costs tens of thousands of man hours.  Because the design is plastic and made out of software it's potential is limited pretty much by the designer's imagination, bounded only by the limits of the data engine.   

What I garner from your comment is you are very unclear about what actually goes into designing a cutting edge multi-featured SDR.  From what I have seen Icom in its primitive implementation has failed to show any design creativity and so the claimed "OH WOWWW- ness" of the radio is mostly advertising hype and clearly you have been willingly or unwillingly hoodwinked by their hype.  I find this to be a rip off of unsuspecting or poorly knowledgeable hams.

73  W9OY
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James Whiteway

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Steve, a Maestro and a Flex 6XXX is no more over priced than most high end Amateur radios. It is really all about what you want and are willing (or able) to spend.
  Which is the case with most peoples hobbies etc. Getting worked up about it really is a waste of time. I think the 7300 will sell well at first. But, once people run into it's limitations, they'll start thinking about better SDR radios. It certainly won't hurt Flex Radio's sales. And as Walt stated, competition is a good thing.
james
WD5GWY
 
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Barry N1EU

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There are photos of the digital circuitry and some chip info at http://jr3uic.asablo.jp/blog/2016/01/18/7995492  
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W7NGA

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Not every ham must spend $10000+ to enjoy the hobby.

Some folks just want to bang out a CQ on their old J-38 and learn something about the person at the other end of the ether.

And God forgive them if they don't auto-log the QSO or feel the need to define themselves by some ethereal 599 report.

W7NGA  dan
San Juan Island, Wa.
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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SteveJ, Wilbert and Ken are just TROLLS.
You can tell by very specific behavior traits in their posts.

After an amazingly written response by Duane N9DG all SteveJ fixates on was the ripping customers comment from Howard. Duane just broke down into manageable pieces the reasons why the 7300 is perceived as a rip off with a truck load of technical acumen. But that doesn't merit a response from either of our 3 new guests in the forum.

Ken Hansen is clearly offended by the "unsophisticated" adjective, following on the perceived outrage of SteveJ. Very typical trolling technique. Find offense which somehow the trolls think will add gravitas to their posts. Ignore the substance, is all about the cover and not the content.

Then Wilbert Meyers comes in out of nowhere, and bashes the Maestro for being a device with no radio. Wait until he sees the FlexControl, a knob with no radio, or the RadioSport Headset... which, oh my, is an accessory that it is sold with no radio!!.

Do you think they might know each other? Are they even licensed hams... they don't find it necessary to grace us with their call signs. Yet another trait of Trolls... anonymity.

They are also trolls because there is no desire to engage in a technical debate about the equipment, just name calling, trying to insult the community of Flex owners based on the price of the product.... calling posters "Flex fanboys" and trying to plant the seed of dissent and unsophisticated behavior in the forum. 

The funniest thing though is some of the arguments. For example, trying to define Icom radio's as the "affordable" alternative for amateur radio ops. I am still laughing about that one. Icom..... affordable.... cheap.... all in the same sentence.

Complaining about the Maestro (an accessory) for not having a radio, but not overly concern about the 7300 trying to be sold as an SDR with.... get this, no SOFTWARE.

But I will bite the troll bait, and argument that, Price is irrelevant. You buy what you want or what you can afford. And that ends the price argument. That "cheap" 7300 will feed a family for a year in some parts of the world. That "expensive" 6700 is the price of a long haul commercial First Class plane ticket for one person. 

Hopefully the trolls will realize that we are just not that interested in their approach and go to greener trolling pastures.

I can't wait to find out what specific word or comment in my post they fancy, which word offended them. On the other hand, if they leave to never come back.... I will not miss them.
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Lee, Elmer

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However as trolls they make the perfect boundry against which to bounce your handbaalls. Might they be Icom fanboys???
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I loved the Icoms (plural) I have owned! And I love the Flexes I have and I enjoy the Kenwood and Yaesu I still own and use. I will never understand why become a "fanboy" of a brand and limit yourself the benefit of using whatever pleases you or satisfies your specific need.

In my house we have apple, android and windows devices... they all coexist, together with chromecast, roku, amazon tv, and android tv....
(Edited)
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Ken Hansen

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Icom does not call the IC-7300 an 'SDR' - they say this:

"
Instead of the conventional superheterodyne system, the IC-7300 utilizes the RF direct sampling system — a first in an amateur radio transceiver. This technology is seen in Software Defined Radios and other radio equipment. " [http://www.icomamerica.com/en/product...]

The radio employs technology used in SDRs - that is a fair statement IMHO. Do you have any links where Icom actually calls this an SDR?

I see Flex radio owners imagining Icom is marketing the IC-7300 as an SDR (they aren't, see above), then argue against people they imagine claim the IC-7300 will eat into Flex radio sales (it won't, just as Chevy doesn't eat into BMW sales), and then insults potential buyers of the IC-7300 (because unless you are in Japan the radio isn't yet available) as 'unsophisticated' and ignorant of the superiority of the a Flex radio.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I don't see where I specifically wrote that ICOM calls the 7300 an SDR in my post. By the way, they never call the IC-7300 a "radio" in their brochure so, based in your logic, we cannot call it a radio either.

As I said, it was going to be interesting where you focused on my post. No response to the part about not providing us with your callsign, focusing again in the adjective unsophisticated, which, by the way, it is NOT an insult. It just means that you lack sophistication.  No a single bit of technical information provided by you.... nothing....

The receiver... "Direct Sampling Superheterodyne" which IT IS in the ICOM literature.... care to grace us with your technical explanation of this technology?

I reiterate my opinion, trolls that add no value, just looking for an online fight without merit.
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Ken Hansen

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Icom says they are using technology found in SDRs (and other devices), that isn't a claim that it IS an SDR.

Are you really so pedantic to argue that 'transceiver' is not equivalent to 'radio'?
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Icom 7300 rear panel



One antenna port, molex tuner port, Din 13 acc port, 2 RCAs, where have I seen a similar rear panel.......

Icom IC-718 rear panel

(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Icom IC-706 Rear Panel It comes with2 antenna ports - must be better?

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Ken Hansen

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The Yaesu FTDX-5000 has FIVE antenna connections - obviously the pinnacle of the industry! ;^)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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LOL. It actually was, not long ago, then Flex started making radios....

I guess I didn't put in words what I was trying to convey with pictures.
I personally think the 7300 is a 718 with a small screen and basic FPGA in between.
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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too funny
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Walt - KZ1F

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Has it occurred to others that this thread has gone seriously contentious and negative?

Interesting and good observation Sal! But, as I said earlier, we'll all know more by end of July.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I disagree Walt. Contention, if we take the less aggressive of meanings [disagreement], is what makes this, or any forum great.... negativity, I see it coming from one direction only, and not necessarily from the frequent users of this board.

Very few people are bringing to the forefront the technical truth of the 7300, which is, literally an IC-718 with a $100 sdr middleware. Duane did.
And also, there are IC-7300 being sold and used in Japan. So it is actually a device already available for purchase.
 
In this forum we seem to uphold Flex to a different standard. Promises need to be kept, to the letter, any advertising of features has to be exact and devices are questioned ad nauseam. 

Take the Maestro as reference of my point. Very few here (myself included) take the route of, let's wait until the end of 2016 to comment about the Maestro. Let's wait until it has been in the market for a few months.

Icom is literally using its position of prominence in the current transceiver market, and building in the hype surrounding SDR to sell unsuspecting buyers a glorified USB Dongle SDR inside of an IC-718.

There isn't any software, it uses a miniscule screen with no resolution specs and there isn't a way to output the digital sampling outside the radio.  Users of any modern SDR, or even "older" SDR architectures understand that it is a tremendous rip-off, but the hype is such that there are persons that come to this forum and state that this radio, in particular, will pretty much take sales away from Flex.

Which is totally nonsensical as they are not in the same price range... therefore if the 6300 is not "affordable" to this potential buyer the existence or not of the Icom is of no consequence to Flex sales.... that buyer will never afford the Flex and move on to other things.

Barry brought the subject of Filter Skirts quoting Rob's text. I have read that a few times, still don't fully understand... I consider that content valuable.... as I get to understand radio and the technology that surrounds it a bit better. The same with Lee's comments and many other, yours included.
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Barry N1EU

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I'm not sure about calling it SDR middleware Sal?  Hanging an ADC on the antenna lead isn't the middle, it's the front  ;-)

And to be real, EVERY new radio is introduced with hype of one sort or another.  We need to just smile at marketing's eternal nonsense.

I'm more curious what Icom's second direct sampling rig will look like rather than the IC-7300, which is just a toe dip in the water as Gerald aptly put it.
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Lee, Elmer

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The second version will have 2 antenna ports and be twice the money
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Walt - KZ1F

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Or perhaps sport the back panel of the 7800. I suspect, if there is a second model Barry, what it does will be totally predicated on how well the 7300 is received.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Sal, what I was alluding to was the concept of when one side of a discussion/disagreement devolves into name calling they've already lost the argument.

I mean no provocation in this comment. What hype Sal? You've got two small companies doing SDR. Now a major provider of communication equipment is entering the water in the Amateur Radio spectrum. Isn't the hype mostyly 'internal' combustion?

As far as hurting FRS sales, it may hurt or help FRS sales. As we've both said, we won't know until at least end of July or later. So we should all take a breath and let Gerald, Steve, Eric, and Lori worry about how, if at all, what ICOM does or doesn't do will effect FRS.
(Edited)
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I think it has been civil. I , for once, would love for these casual guests of the forum to provide interesting information, some insight.

They could come here and say something like:

"I am so and so, this is my callsign, I have been lurking for a while, first time poster. I know a lot about the internal design of the Icom and I think I can speak of the nice features it brings to the market. I believe the price will be attractive to prospective buyers and let me explain to you why a Direct Conversion Superheterodyne receiver is a great advancement.... I also think the size, weight, user interface, access to 70 Mhz, internal tuner.... etc, make it a competitive and innovative device. I have always enjoyed Icom's, its user interface and look forward to this radio, which might be my first foray into the SDR world."

If they don't they are just looking to ruffle feathers. Therefore my troll categorization.
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Ken Hansen

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I, for one, never delved into technical aspects of either radios, just called out those that were casting potential IC-7300 buyers as 'ignorant' and 'unsophisticated', so I felt no need to offer up my CV to support my statements.

As for the argument that the Flex 6300 'only' costing 52 cases of beer more than the forthcoming IC-7300, well, I'm not sure I'm qualified to argue at that 'technical' a level... ;^)
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Ernest - W4EG

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What does a discussion about Icom radio have to do with This forum?

The powers to be have shut down other discussions related to Flex much quicker than this nonsense going on here!

My two cents worth... 
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SteveJ

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Exactly, this thread should never have been started in a Flex forum.  Maybe the original poster is trolling.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Ernest,

If we should exclusively talk about Flex then even you posts about Senate Bills wouldn't have space here.

I think that this forum is more than just a Flex outlet, it is a group of OMs with a wealth of backgrounds that can and do discuss many subjects from different points of views. 

I really enjoy what I read here and find a lot of the information fascinating. FRS doesn't moderate anonymous posters, they are doing great not moderating opinions.

Even if I think SteveJ, Ken and Wilbert are trolls (this is just my personal opinion) I still think they have been civil throughout  this thread. I just don't agree with their opinions.
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Ken Hansen

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"Even if I think SteveJ, Ken and Wilbert are trolls (this is just my personal opinion) I still think they have been civil throughout this thread. I just don't agree with their opinions."

The purpose of a forum is to *exchange* ideas, not take turns repeating the same opinion...
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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When you say "repeating".... Are you refering to me because of the "troll" expression or yourself because of the unsophisticated adjective? :)
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Ken Hansen

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Read my words again - I am supporting your defense of a diversity of opinions, expressed civilly... I did not accuse you personally of anything, I just don't see the value in a forum where everyone repeats (or parrots) the party line on any topic.

I take no offense at you calling me a 'troll' - from your perspective it probably seems that way - I understand that. I pushed back on the name-calling and what I see as false claims against Icom.
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SteveJ

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I think in a Flex forum if you don't agree with the company line then they consider you a troll.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Not so, you can't just say things with out any reason for it. If you Don't like flex , that's just fine, then move on, let it be. But at least people should state what bothers them about a product.
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Ken Hansen

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Are you of the opinion I don't like Flex radios? I've never stated an opinion on Flex other than to say it's a great radio (but of course, I failed to give a reason for my support, so I guess it doesn't count! ;^)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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No, as you may have noticed, I was responding to Steve J above.
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Lewis Cheek

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I have asked myself why this is ongoing? 

Lew
N4CO
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Walt - KZ1F

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I agree with Sal's last. To answer your question Lewis, this is clearly a topic that elicits strong opinions and as many are want to do, they are airing them.

I do, however, think it is Gerald's, Steve's, Eric's and Lori's job to worry about who is and who is not their competition and may or may not be a threat to their revenue stream. What no one is acknowledging is the subconscious fear people have that the 7351 may directly compete with their radio at a fraction of the price. That may or may not e er happen, so it is the realm of how many angels are dancing on the end of the pin.
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Lee, Elmer

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So now who is being contentious Walt?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I am personally laughing at the out of context reaction that the word unsophisticated continues to receive....    Must be the politically correct crowd at work again....

This thread has become too funny.......
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Walt - KZ1F

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Yes, it purely has Howard.
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Steve W6SDM

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"This thread has become too funny......."

Especially true now that some folks are posting pictures of their radio's butts.  :)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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ROTFL
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spopiela

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I'm a new Flex owner and enjoying the radio. I want to learn and enjoy the radio. There are many useful posts for me. Currently, this thread is not of any use to me and others if it continues to go off board on posts. Please stop!
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Perfect Accessory for the IC-7300. The iGrow Headset. Headphones that ALLEGEDLY help you grow hair while waiting to work VP8STI on your 7300


(Edited)
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SteveJ

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This would be more useful with the Flex according to those that comment on the SDR forum on Eham.net.
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Steve W6SDM

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Those eHam guys that complain probably don't have any hair left.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Mature, so very mature.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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My contest buddy N6KI sent it to me hoping it might have a Flex interface.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Can we get back to talking about wine? I'm thirsty and wonder what pairs well with DX?
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I recommend www.bruliamwines.com. (Disclosure. My son's winery) Their Pinot pairs well with smooth DX but their Zin is better for rough and ready contesting.
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Steve W6SDM

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Mad Dog 20/20 - warm, straight out of the bottle.  :)
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Jon - KF2E

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What we need is a secret phrase we can imbed in a post that will page Tim to close the thread.

Jon...kf2e
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Walt - KZ1F

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Jon, I am sure he is watching this ... Or enjoying the weekend with his family.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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He is watching the football game.

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