Roger Lapthorn, G3XBM, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cambridge, England.
One of the best rigs I once owned was the 10W Icom IC703. This was a well equipped QRP radio with a decent receiver, DSP and auto ATU. I sold it to a local amateur who was a poor pensioner but I regret selling it now! No fan needed at 10W. Just a first class rig.
I totally agree… Blew the socks off of the FT-817 any day of the week. It is sad that ICOM really never pushed the radio… It also beat out the SGC-2020 with or without the internal AFDSP… It took a very long time to come up with a radio that topped the 703,IMHO. The KX3 is now the king of the hill(s), but a IC-703 might make a great second choice if you can’t afford the KX3. The problem is finding a used one. They rarely hit the used market and when they do they sell fast.
I had two of them at the same time, one for SSB and one for CW. Unfortunately, the 703 would accept only 1 Icom filter.The choice was either a filter for CW or one for SSB. (Yes, I know about the after market double filter)
I sold the one with the SSB filter when the Kx3 arrived. The 703 has a very nice receiver and is a pleasure to operate. After getting used to the menu, which is slightly different from the IC 706 series, its a very intuitive radio to operate! You hit the nail right on the head, Roger, regarding the FT 817, I had one of these beasts also, and hated it so much I gave it away rather than suffer a guilty conscience for taking another ham’s money for it.
Now a days, I still use the 703 occasionally, especially for QRP PSK. But its mainly a back up rig for the Kx3 now. I do love the 703, and I’ll never part with it.
73 de AA1IK
I have the 703 + Modified the radio with a FL-96 filter Main…and the
opt filter is the Fl 53A ..Great Radio… It’s all in the Antenna…
Look at my Call on QRZ to see the Mod to the filter..
I looked your mod up on QRZ, Perry! Only a ‘real ham’ would do such a thing! LOL<
Good for you! Not a pretty mouse trap, but a better one for sure!
73 tnx for the tip
I have the IC703, put a Yaesu 817-857-897-2000 500Hz CW filter in (without the print)and take it to SOTA. It is a good trx and indeed if you can buy one you should do that.
The FT817 which is smaller and lighter has it advantages too, it is a bit harder to operate and does not have a tuner, but it is a good trx.