RAC contest and the new IC7610

I was finally able to get on the radio and give the RAC contest about 2 hours and I had a blast with the new rig. I made only 32 contacts as the  Christmas season is a busy time of the year for all of us but Julie and I both agreed that the weekend after Christmas it was going to be a relaxing weekend. As always Murphy very briefly showed up in the shack. I tuned my MFJ 1788 loop to a great SWR of 1.3 using my MFJ antenna analyser. I then flipped it over to the IC7610 and the perfect match went to 3.0!! After some trouble shooting it turned out to be a short coax jumper between my antenna switch and the 7610. I replaced it with one I had on hand and all was good. As I thought about it I do
Won't make that mistake agian.
remember at one time there was an issue with one of my patch coax cables.....guess I never fixed or tossed it out.
I was thrilled with the Icom 7610 I didn't as of yet get the time to set up N1MM+ contest software so during  the contest I was old school with a paper and pencil. The audio was crisp and clean, I stayed with the 250Hz filter and had not even one issue with very close adjacent stations bothering my contact station. The touch screen is very responsive and an absolute joy to use. I took advantage of the 2 independent receivers, I turned on dual watch and had one VFO on an RAC station such as VE7RAC who was very popular and the other VFO I search and pounced. With one simple button push I muted the VE7RAC station and could unmute to check on the pileup. Once things slowed down I was able to put VE7RAC in the log.
Dual Watch on 
Another feature I found very handy was as you spin the VFO faster your tuning steps increase so you can move up and down the band quickly. One issue I found was that as the shack got a bit darker the bottoms on the Icom are not illuminated. This being a new rig resulted in some incorrect push button selections.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “RAC contest and the new IC7610”

  • Dave, WD8CIV:

    Wires and connectors are always a problem waiting to happen. We use a lot of cables, jumpers, scope probes, and test leads at work and they fail pretty regularly. But they’re really good at camouflaging the failure as an equipment problem.

    If I have a lead that I suspect might be intermittent I tie a knot in it. If it acts up again, or if I’m certain it’s bad, I cut one end off and either throw it away or add it to the pile of things to be fixed.

    Glad you’re having fun with the new rig, and it sounds like that loop antenna is doing the job.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Dave and thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, I should have learned my lesson in the past when other cables have failed me and I “was going to” put it off to the side BUT I forget to only have the same cable cause me issues again.
    Have a great weekend Dave!

  • Howard Jones:

    Hi Mike, You are not the only one to get caught. We made up a battery powered test box with PL259, BNC and type N connectors. You can switch to check continuity or shorts. It unearthed a few potential problems at our radio club before they appeared!
    Enjoy the new rig and thanks for your blog
    kind regards Howard

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Howard and thanks for stopping by, that sounds like a great idea and if you can (if you have a blog that is or your club) post the plans for this test box you made. I am sure many readers would be very interested in it. Well thanks for taking the time to comment.
    Have a great weekend.
    Mike VE3WDM

  • Ron KA0RG:

    Hi Mike,
    Been having my IC-7610 for about six months and put up a couple dipoles for 6 and 10 meters so I could operate until my MFJ-1788 was delivered. Got it but having some issues. Trying to tune on the five different bands but the SWR is super high on 15 17 and 20 meters but looks just about flat on 40 and 30 meters. Now when I transmit on the 40 and 30 the meter on the control head looks good but the SWR on the 7610 is high. Is there something on the 7610 that I need to turn off.
    Thanks in advance for any help. I sent an email to MFJ but will probably call them too.
    Ron Gaspard

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