New ICOM 7300 SDR

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Recently, the HPSDR user group has been buzzing on news of the new ICOM SDR, the IC-7300. I just added a comment that I thought the FLEXers might find interesting (humerous?):


73 de Tom K3IO (ex W3IWI)
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Tom Clark

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Posted 4 years ago

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Bill -VA3WTB

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The Ham radio economy in sales is said to be 37 million Bucks.
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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That is gross I am sure. I know that your ham dealer hardly gets enough profit to spend time selling them. I think they are there to lure people in so they buy the coax and connectors where the markup is 100%.
(Edited)
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Worldwide?  That seems like a very low number to me.  Back in 2007, Kenwood estimated the worldwide ham radio market to be worth $139M in sales annually.

Icom sells $61M of equipment (of all types... certainly not just ham radio equipment) in the US each year, out of a total sales volume of $275M.

Peter
K1PGV
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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I bet compared with maritime and aviation, the ham market barely exists!
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Lewis Cheek

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Neal is correct in his statement, if the dealer really ( after credit card fees, shipping, etc.) makes 2-3 percent he's having a GOOD day. I worked part-time for a major for 12 years, and there is no money in selling rigs.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Would think the number given to you is vastly understated.

Add up the ARRL budget, the economic impact of the major ham shows, the public estimates of the major vendors (example AES is listed as a $20-50m/yr, MFJ reported sales of $12.6m five years ago and so on), then the tower folk, service folk, repair people... well you get the idea. 

I have not done enough study to aggregate the various sources, nor have enough data to eliminate the sales duplication of volume reports at production and middleman reseller levels (the markup for overhead and of course profit at the reseller level is the important part in doing the math), so I am not going to venture a guesstimate myself.

Can say the number you were given is quickly arrived at when adding only a small segment of the easily available annual sales data.

73

Steve K9ZW



(Edited)
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Nobody questioned Neal's statement.

I'm merely reacting to Bill's quote regarding the size of the global size of the ham radio market. 

I have trouble believing that worldwide, there's less than $40M of ham gear sold per year.  If that were so, I have trouble believing anybody would be willing to do R&D in the space.  There'd be no way to make back your investment.

Peter
K1PGV
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KC2QMA_John

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Is this the Icom Fourm? I'm sure Icom loves the fact that this is the #1 topic on the Flex Site!
(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Being bumped to the top by having fresh postings does not make a thread #1 - and so what if it was?

It is neat to see the pioneering FRS did - and the brave faith so many had in making pre-order commitments including what was almost a form of "crowd funding" by putting down deposits & payments in full for the Signature series while it was still being developed - that all this is blossoming into a bettering of the herd as a whole.

That other manufacturers are incorporating at the Amateur level parts from similar a pallet of similar technologies as what the FRS Signature Series offers is only natural.

These new offerings are laggard in market entry and overall feature set, but are predictable seeing the success of the Flex-6x00 series. 

With SmartSDR 1.4 and the present feature set available to me from the Flex-6700 (or even the 6300) I'm pretty happy, AND with the scope of what SmartSDR 1.5 and later 2.0 should bring I can say I'm pretty darn excited about what the FRS family of products will offer.

For my 2-cents, until such time as the "big boys" adopt a Radio-Server and separate Client-Device/Software I don't feel much temptation to add one of their partial SDR behind-the-knobs boxes to my shack.  And I can say will all certainty I couldn't see replace one of my SmartSDR driven radios with a IC-7300...

73

Steve K9ZW

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Over 8 years ago Kenwood estimated the Ham Radio Market in the $140m/yr range on new sales - Bob K0NR had written about this at http://www.k0nr.com/wordpress/2007/08/how-big-is-the-worldwide-market-for-ham-radio-gear/

Would not be surprised to learn that the USA/NA market is presently around that number.

These are not massive numbers - the USA trade value for just a single building service category can be the $20 Billion range (look at roofing or windows...)

But a $100m+ market is nothing to sneeze about either!

73

Steve K9ZW

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Lee, Elmer

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I bought a KX3 to see what the hubbub was about,  It's sort of a SDR-1000 level radio.  It's direct conversion with a Arduino like DSP.  To get stuff into a computer you need a "soundcard"  so this is a kind of "SDR".  Interesting it has a roofing filter.  It is not very open to experimentation except you can program some macros.  IMHO it's more of an updated K1 than a SDR.  To some however it does meet the definition, and that's my point in mentioning it, to set a lower boundary. 

I bought a Anan 10 to see what the hubbub was about.  It has a full featured ethernet based version of PowerSDR as its software.  It has a fair amount of horsepower and is ADC based.  It has the ability for considerable experimentation but relies on everything pretty much being coded up from the ground up for every new iteration/architecture of control software.  PSDR_mrx works well everything else is pretty much sorta works or not.  This radio was designed to be a test bed for ideas and to that end it completely fulfills its design goals.

I look at this 7300 and the only digital I/O  I see is a USB 2 B plug.  So this radio to me looks like a ADC > FPGA > android tablet.  If the price point actually is $1200 then it's likely a cheap ADC > cheap FPGA > cheap android tablet.  I doubt there is much I/O connectivity or flexibility in programming, probably pretty much just the ability to upgrade firmware.  Be that as it may it will probably be able to go toe to toe with a K3 and stand up pretty well if not very well.  It likely will not have the playgrounds we have like the Flex API, Waveforms DAX SCAT multiple well integrated third party programs, or routine deep updates in its operating system.  Once you get it going making changes only cuts into the bottom line, so I don't see much in the way of changes except on the fringe.  I doubt there is much room in the architecture for much change either.

So if I were Elecraft I would be scared.  The analogue radio is going the way of the dodo.  If I were Flex I would be glad.  It means the ARRL's grip on analogue roofing filter prejudiced testing necessarily has to change.  Icom spends a lot of dough and will not stand for a stacked deck when it comes to testing.  Once the iron grip on testing falls Kenwood and Yaesu will HAVE to come out with competition or be left in the dust.   Anti-SDR attitudes will start to melt away as the pure capability of SDR will blow the new user away.  They will wonder why they have $800 tied up in stupid roofing filters and then realize they have been ripped off.  Next will come the idea: "if this is so good I wonder what a Flex can do?"  HMMM freeDV   HMMM DSTAR  HMMM remote base.  HMMM world class contesting (very near on the horizon).  HMMM advanced station control  HMMM all those weird digital modes etc etc.  

It's an exciting time in ham radio  Thanks Gerald, Steve, W5GI (rip) and the rest of the folks at Flex including the sales people who keep the lights on.   Thanks Phil Harmon, Phil Covington and Bill Tracey and the rest at HPSDR and even Anan for their part in commercializing the knowledge!  This is what creative destruction looks like.  This is what advancement in the state of the art looks like.  It's a good thing.  Flex has nothing to fear.  Edison built GE, but I have AC coming out of my wall socket.  

73  W9OY
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W5XZ - dan

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great assessment, Lee!  73
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Well said, Lee.
These are indeed exciting times for radio development.
I was not around for the AM/SSB transition (but followed closely upon it) and I am sure that there was a lot of contention in the ranks as they argued "True voice" vs. "Donald Duck" and BFO vs. Product Detectors.  The Phasing vs. Filtering debates were probably interesting to listen to in the early days of SSB. 

Now we have the same debates raging in the analog vs. SDR and Hybrid-SDR and Pseudo-SDR arena.  As long as we all remember that all of this is a means to the end of enjoying conversing with one another, it can be an enjoyable process as we watch the world of electronic communications change yet again.
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Gopro

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Hi guys,

it's really amazing and, at the same time amusing, how do you discredit other rigs.
If the Flex 6000 series is the best in the world (and accordingly to you in the whole galaxy),
 I'm curious, how  than is possible that Flex 6700 are so badly scored against KX3 and Anan-100D in the test on SDR Zone: Flex Radio Signature Series Model 6700 review Part 2 and 3?
Poor man, Michael Alexander - N8MSA,  was noticeably affected and disappointed with results
of his tests!
Obviously, i am not enlightened enough, or i miss something?

73,
Bozidar
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Bozidar

Yes you are definitely missing something

These are SOFTWARE DEFINED radio. That review is 17 months old and refers to V1.1 software. We will be at V1.5 software this month. Absolutely different radio
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Gopro

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Howard,

still no comment on test: Flex6700 vs KX3 and Anan-100D?
https://sdrzone.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=106:flex-6700-review-part-3...

I have expect more from you, but i fully  understand you, i was also shocked-
it's not easy to realise that your dreams come apart...

73,
Bozidar
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The credibility of this review, if we call it that comes into question. He is going on and on about DSP witch most people understand that the Flex is under development in that area. Why so much testing on something not finished? I think I know why but I will let others figure it out, it's clear...
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Bill is correct. The 17 month old review based on 1.1 software is totally irrelevant today.

It's like comparing performance of a 1980 car to a 2015 car. Not the same car.
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Lee, Elmer

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Speaking of discrediting other rigs:

Gee Bozidar I thought it was the 7300 that is the first radio to ever use a DUC?  Of course every cellphone in the universe uses one but details details.

73  W9OY
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Boldizar

That report part 3 is 17 months old and is based on version 1.1 software

This month we are at version 1.5 software. The radio software has completely changed and the alleged defects in 1.1 have been corrected. The radio performs entirely differently today. I suspect if you get the same comparison of 1.5 versus any of the radios The current flex would totally outperform them.

I would refer you to the Sherwood and QST ratings where the Flex is a top rated radio
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Funny set of reviews.


In part 1 the receive quality is "superb".... In part 3 it "doesn't retrieve as much audio from received signals" as other radios. Clearly, the guy doesn't get paid to review radios for a living, because he'd starve.


This thread is wandering far afield, but that review raises an interesting point... has anyone done a similar head-to-head competitive analysis? Is there something about how the AGC in the Flex that makes it perform less well than some of its peers? Or is the reviewer way off base?


Peter

K1PGV
(Edited)
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Barry N1EU

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I think there have been a few head-to-head comparison comments by two hams who owned both Flex 6K and Apache Labs ANAN-100 rigs but those comments were quite a while ago.  Not sure those guys still own both radios.
(Edited)
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I don't know Peter, but there are several here that own or have owned all of the other radios. I'm sure they could tell us. Dave W2OX would know.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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We did a shootout last year between the 6700, K3, KX3 and IC-7800 during the CQ SSB contest


https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...


https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...

You can read the rather humorous conclusions and that was with old software versions albeit a generation beyond the V1.1 quoted in that Part3 report.
(Edited)
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k0eoo

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I was at a TCDXA, local DX club, meeting last night and I Com America gave a Skype presentation on some of their new stuff including the IC7300....

Looks like the 7300 is still in engineering.  It has not been through FCC testing and the word from IC America is, it should be available mid 2016 if all goes as planned....
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Chris DL5NAM

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... and the result is:

http://www.sherweng.com/table.html

List update 25. April
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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The IMD DR3 using a narrow spacing is very respectable; especially for a $1500 radio.  However, the Filter Ultimate at 85 dB is much lower than most of the other radios listed with dynamic range narrow spaced values in the low 80s. The radio may be susceptible to saturation when used in a strong signal environment like Field Day.
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Chris DL5NAM

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Adam VA7OJ/AB4OJ also publish is review:

http://www.ab4oj.com/icom/ic7300/7300notes.pdf
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Lewis Cheek

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Most folks, I know, like the radio, but the're not dxers or into contesting.

Lew N4CO
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Stan - VA7NF

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A friend borrowed my 6700, no name or call without prior permission, in his DX and Multi-multi QRO environment.  After watching me run CW and RTTY decided to try it out for a month.

At first the no knobs (except flex control) was daunting but the DX hunting, low noise, lack of audio fatigue, and sensitivity convinced him that a change from his older station was necessary.

Unfortunately, depending on viewpoint, he replaced his station with ICOM (7300 and 7600?), likely based on price and familiarity.  For a short time we had "First in Canada" 6700 and "First in Canada" 7300 running at the same time.

The 7300 was significantly better than older equipment, especially in phase noise and inter-station interference (Full power 40 CW used to "mess up" 20 SSB even with band pass filters on each) and was more familiar. 

We will likely run 3 station multi-multi high power in future contests with my 6700 + his two ICOMs and will determine then how well we can run in a 3-up environment.  (STEP-IR on tower 1, tri-band on tower-2, and wire on 80/40)

Seems ICOM price and slightly poorer performance won out over Flex higher price and better performance.  Time will tell. 

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Barry N1EU

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The reported tendency of the IC-7300 to go into an OVF condition (14-bit ADC overflow) when strong signals are present makes me think it is not a good choice for a multi-multi.  Good luck.
(Edited)