Icom 7300 Microphone Christmas Savings Plan

icom 7300 microphone

BM800

The Icom 7300 microphone that’s included with the radio gets great audio reports, but I can’t use a hand mic while contesting or running a net. When I first received my Icom 7300 I ordered a Heil Y cable with blocking capacitor so I could continue using my dynamic microphones. They weren’t real expensive mics, but I wanted to use what I had. Others purchasing the 7300 did the same thing. Mine were acceptable and sounded good, but I just couldn’t get my VOX to work right. It worked, but the VOX gain had to be set near max and it was still inconsistent.

Speaking for myself, in retrospect I should have broke down and purchased a new electret condenser mic instead of spending money on the cable with blocking capacitor, but looking on the bright side, I probably would have spent too much on the new mics.

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You see, I was considering a couple of Heil microphones, an Icom desk mic and and another more expensive brand. All good possibilities and all excellent microphones. Well worth the money, but more than I wanted to spend.

Icom 7300 Microphone

Wanting to save a buck or two I looked for the best deals while not sacrificing on audio quality.

I purchased a Yamaha CM500 for a headset. This is a well known headset with the Flex radios and I have heard good things about it with the Icom 7300. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s comfortable, pretty light and receive audio sounds good. I would say transmit audio is excellent. It’s got a hot mic and activates the VOX like a mic should on the 7300. See more ham reviews at eHam.

UPDATE: A friend, WB0OAF, just sent me a audio recording (k0pir-yamaha-cm500) of the Icom 7300 while I ‘m using the Yamaha CM500 headset. Settings: Mic Gain 40%, COMP 2, TX Bass -1, TX Treble +3, TBW Narrow 300-2500.

And just recently, WA0OAF, told me about the BM800. ( There are many flavors of this mic around. Andy got his off Amazon and I got mine off E-Bay). He was using one with his Icom 7600 and it sounded great.

After looking into it and finding the best deal I could, I purchased one off of E-bay. Again, not disappointed and I have already received a few good unsolicited compliments on audio. People have been asking me where I purchased it.

These are inexpensive electret mics.

The BM800 is not as hot as the CM500, but it doesn’t require 48v like the spec sheet shows and the Icom 7300 is supplying it with 8v just FB. So far I really like this mic. It doesn’t look or feel cheaply made.

UPDATE: WB0OAF made a recording of me on the BM800. My Icom settings were Treble +4, Bass -1, Mic Gain 40%, COMP 4, TBW Narrow. Click below.

I had to replace my Y cable with blocking capacitor, so I got a replacement off of E bay. It’s a 8 Pin MIC/Headset Adapter HS-01C for ICOM and works very well.

Icom 7300 Microphone Transmit Settings

  • TX Bass = -1
  • TX Treble = +3
  • TBW = Wide and Narrow (defaults)
  • Mic Gain = 40%
  • COMP = 1

(These are beginning settings. Refer to setting-mic-compression.)

Here’s a very good article on compression by G0GSF and AB4OJ.

The Christmas Savings Plan

Heil Pro Set = $168 vs. Yamaha CM500 = $60.  Savings = $108

Heil iCM = $118 vs. BM800 = $18. Savings = $100

Total savings = $208

As I said, the Heil mics are excellent microphones and well worth the money. Who knows how long these low cost mics will last. I used a Heil BM-10 for years with my Kenwood 570 and Icom 7000, always getting great audio reports. I still have it today using it portable and I will probably never get rid of it.

Am I happy with the new microphones? Yes! The Icom 7300 VOX works fine with both mics. How do the new microphones sound? You be the judge. I’m on the Breakfast club net every Thursday morning at 6:00 AM CST and every Saturday morning 5:00 AM CST. Come and listen and of course check-in with me. 3.973 MHz.

So saving a couple of hundred dollars I’ll have enough to buy a few more Christmas gifts for the people I love. That’s my kind of savings plan 🙂

Interesting Sources:

Excelvan BM-800 Condenser off Amazon. ( I personally haven’t used this one)

BM800 I got off of E-Bay

Transmission1 Forum

Radio Ham Mic Slapdown – YouTube

Ham Nation 237: Do you want a condenser microphone?

Transmit Audio – K0BG

It’s not your microphone, it’s you! – WB2WIK/6

HamRadioAndVision – How To Use An ALC Meter

Icom Microphone Notes

SSB Compression

I hope you find this informative and useful. Best wishes, 73 and good DX. – Rich, K0PIR

 

Comments

  1. I was wondering what all I would need to get the same mic setup as you do for my Icon 7300. Thanks in advance. KI7KWH. 73

    1. Author

      Hi Kevin,

      The Yamaha is easy and just takes a Y cable if you want to use a simple foot switch. The BM800 will use the same Y cable.
      I didn’t provide a link to the foot switch in the post, but there are many choices on E-bay. Personally I still use and old Heil foot switch I bought years ago. It still works okay.

      The boom mount to hold the BM800 is just and inexpensive one from Amazon. I hope to upgrade soon to a Heil or studier one. Mine is a little touchy.

      Let me know if there’s anything else. Thanks for commenting and thank you for reading my article. Beat 73 and hope to hear you on! – Rich, K0PIR

  2. Great Info!! thanks. One question. You put directly BM800 to IC7300 (1) mic pin and (7) Gnd pin?? or use +8v to feed BM800?.
    Thanks for answer.
    Regards

    1. Author

      Hi Tony and very nice to hear from you. Great question and I got my answer from another Ham. He said that this mic does not need more power as it states in most advertisements. Yes, the power from the Icom is enough. He took it apart and discovered the extra power as claimed by the ads is unnecessary. I am using the cable that came with it, no modification, just plugged it into my “Y” cable. Try it. I am sorry I cannot answer about the pin and gnd. I hope this helps. Best 73 and hope to hear you on – Rich, K0PIR

  3. Hi Rich:

    I am investigating mic’s to use with the 7300.
    In the course of doing my reading, besides reading about mic gain and compression settings, I read that some say “for DX, use a narrow bandwidth” whereas another says “Narrow setting does not work well for DX”.
    Problem is, I can’t figure how to “set:” the bandwidth they’re talking about.
    I see under Tone Control that there are SSB TBW (transmit band width??) of Wide, Mid, and Narrow.
    But I don’t see any way to choose one of these and make it “stick” or be in action.
    Can you tell me what I’m missing here??

    Thanks, Wes AI4FH

    1. Author

      Hi Wes,

      Nice to see you on here. That’s a great question!

      You change the TBW (transmit band width) by pushing the “FUNCTION” button on the front of the radio. The menu that pops up will show your TBW. Just touch the softkey (softbutton) on the LCD to cycle through the options. WIDE, MID, NAR.

      To change the TBW settings (Hz) go to MENU>SET>Tone Control. Push Tone Control and go to TX. Then touch SSB. You’ll see you can change the settings (Hz) for WIDE, MID and NAR from there. I just use WIDE most of the time.

      This stuff can be found on page 4-14 and 12-3 of the full manual.

      Everyone’s voice is a little different, but generally the narrow works good for DX and the wide for rag chewing. I played around with mine and using the Monitor with a headset, have it where I like it. The default WIDE is good for me.

      I hope this helps you. Let me know.

      73 – Rich, K0PIR

  4. Thanks Rich – great answer!

    Since you mentioned using the Monitor – I have tried that and had miserable results.

    Can you outline how you use it successfully? – I didn’t use headphones – is that the trick?

    I got a squeal that scared me and i gave up.

    Thanks, Wes.

    1. Author

      You nailed it. Use a headset and it’ll work FB.

      I went through my TBW settings today and made a minor adjustment from the default setting. It’s still very hard for me to tell a difference in subtle changes using the monitor, but my hearing isn’t all that great anyway. It takes a QSO with someone who knows or better yet, have some record your transmission and send it to you.

      Best 73 – Rich, K0PIR

      P.S. From a friend of mine, “The Audio Amp in the
      MONITOR circuit is only sampling Audio from the MIC AMP, not the TRUE
      RF Signal output.”

    1. Author

      Hi Shaun,
      Thanks for coming by my website and thanks for commenting.
      I use this HS 01 C Mic Adapter I got off E-bay. Very reasonable. It’s sold by K6VHF.

      Thanks for asking and I’m still using both those mics today. I get positive comments regularly on the audio.

      73’s Rich, K0PIR

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