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Icom IC-7700s at G6PZ – a 9 Month Report

Icom IC-7700s at G6PZ – a 9 Month Report

Mark Haynes, M0DXR, on behalf of the Icom UK Contest Group G6PZ has written a report on the two IC-7700s that Icom UK donated. The report featured details of the performance, features and usability of the Icom 7700 HF/50MHz transceiver.

The G6PZ Icom UK Contest Group, situated in Somerset, was the proud receiver of three new radios in 2008. Station owner Paul, G6PZ, purchased an IC-7800 and Icom UK sponsored the station with two brand new IC-7700s. The past 9 months has provided an excellent opportunity for the team to test the transceivers in conjunction with new antennas, such as a 4 element MonstIR HF yagi (3 elements on 40m) on a 100ft tower.

The station is on the air for many contests during the year, including CQWW SSB CW & RTTY, CQ WPX SSB & CW, IOTA, IARU, Russian DX, BERU, CQWW 160 etc. One of the main advantages of the station now is that it has a complete ICOM line-up of transceivers. This has many benefits; for example standardising the PC/band decoder configurations, therefore allowing flexibility moving radios around, and the operators’ familiarity with the gear, as the 7800 and 7700 tend to be fairly similar in usability. This is very important as the operator needs to be able to make selections on the radio very quickly, reacting to the band conditions at any time. The better the familiarity, the quicker the adjustment and the higher the score!

The radios have worked faultlessly during the year. Obviously, during busy contests the bands are extremely crowded and operating can sometimes prove difficult and frustrating regardless of equipment. The IC-7700 has taken this into consideration with its selectivity and ease of use. Filter selection and choice is magnificent. The superb performance of the roofing filters that can be found in the IC-7800 are provided also in the 7700, and are second to none – it’s just what’s needed when there are literally thousands of stations on the bands. We notice this mainly on 20m and 40m, where the filters allow RX to be narrowed therefore reducing co-frequency interference. Noise reduction measures and notching, which are also of much relief during contest conditions, provide an operation which maximises ease, enjoyment, and scores.

A note about robustness - I have operated all kinds of radios on DXpeditions, contests, and special events, and it is always nice to feel the unit is tough and strong. The IC-7800/7700 are robust yet attractive, and appear to have been designed such that they are unlikely to have any loose parts or fall apart in any way, even if they received a knock.

The clear displays of both radio types allow external screen view using the monitor socket. At G6PZ, we present each station on a separate LCD display, which helps monitor readings even when tired! The clarity of the readings on these displays are superb.

Built in voice recorders help save voices when CQing during quiet periods, and the quality is identical to TXing direct from the microphone. The audio quality is truly amazing, better that I’ve known on any other HF transceiver. Selection of the width and type of compression is easy and effective. Audio to drive the ACOM 2000 amplifiers needs only low levels of mic gain and drive, with crisp clear audio at the antenna. This is essential to ensuring we are heard at the other end during tough contest conditions, and without a high quality clean signal, we would no doubt see the effects in our results.

We have often received reports about the quality of the signal being heard at the other end, which is always nice to hear as we take our contesting very seriously. There is no margin for error in these contests, and we are now confident that the station is supported by an extremely efficient line up of transceivers, antennas, and above all, operators! The next project is for an 80m four square antenna, which we are hopeful will help us improve on the band we feel is currently our weakest. We are confident that the Icom line up coupled with this fantastic aerial will ensure top scores.

Our next contest will be WPX CW at the end of May, followed by IARU (operating as GB5HQ for the RSGB HQ nationwide effort), and then Islands on the Air (IOTA) at the end of July.

Please listen out for us and give us a call!


Mark Haynes, M0DXR

On behalf of the G6PZ ICOM UK Contest Group.

Icom UK Marketing -


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