+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
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!!
Flex 6000 = Tesla Model S
IC-7300 = Nissan Leaf
Elecraft K3s = Porsche
Kenwood TS-590 =Toyota pickupIt was pretty funny because wayne emailed me back directly to say several of the Elecraft principles own a Tesla. ;-).
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.
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.
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.
Now, waiting for Maestro to show up on my doorstep early next week.
On the other hand, to buy a transceiver with the same features as a Flex 6300 combined with a Maestro at $3700, one has to spend around $5000 or more with Elecraft or any of the Japanese manufacturers & you still end up with a hybrid; a superhet followed by a DSP. Hybrids are a kind of hardware trap with firmware upgrade possibilities much more limited than with the architecture of direct conversion radios.
It appears to me that the 7300 is only the first of what will be a long line of direct conversion amateur transceivers to chase Flex in this market. It's exciting times. Maestro due here on Tuesday.
Performance was not the issue for me. It is usability. It only took an hour for me to realize that a 20" monitor beat a tiny 4.8" display packed tightly with so much information. Icom ought to seriously consider a networked box with a good client program.
I might reconsider Icom when their next transceiver comes out. IC-7500? An 8" touch-enabled TFT would really set the market on fire.
For now I am very pleased with the 6300. No more eye strain. I can sit back and see everything in great detail. Even activity on two bands.
I don't think there can be any doubt that direct-sampling DSP is the future; along with large, touch-enabled color displays.
Ya know what has a great graphics display, the ts-990s.
My ts-530sp never overloaded either, but I never lived next to an am radio station.
- It's small and light enough to fit into a medium-sized Pelican case.
- It's self-contained, with voice recorder and keyer built in. No computer needed.
- It can be interfaced to a lower-end lap control for use of third party programs - the laptop doesn't have to do anything but display.
- It has a built-in tuner.
With the price being $1,000 less than the 6300, it looks like a good choice for a Field Day radio. I see a lot of clubs latching on to these and giving up their Yaesu FT897s.
Knowing him, and his operating style and interests, I would not have any concerns if he stepped up to SDR via the 7300. My guess is that he would have fun with it and may even some day step up to a flex.
Just as the Flex-1500 has been called a "gateway drug" rig, I think the if-7300 will also be an introductory rig for many people who will develop a thirst for higher performance. And many others will find it to be all that they ever need.
Variety and choice are wonderful things. The competition is going to drive even more innovation. The next ten years are going to be fun to watch.
One radio is pretty much self contained while the other requires a computer and software. The latter offers a lot more flexibility in terms of operating environment, upgrades, etc.
I don't really see these two products as competitive because they offer a great product to different markets with some degree of crossover. I have had Flex radios since the 3000 but am considering the 7300 for a go box/Field Day radio solely because of it's portability.
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