Icom 7300 Best Entry Level HF Transceiver

The Icom 7300 made some great advances in Amateur Radio communications. The first SDR HF transceiver with knobs and the first affordable SDR HF transceiver with LCD touchscreen and real time spectrum scope. The Icom 7300 is lower in price now and arguably the best entry level HF transceiver on the market today. If you own one, pat yourself on the back!

Best of all time? Maybe!

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Icom 7300 Affordability and Loaded with Features

Look at the price of the Icom 7300 – $1,149.95!

During the 2018 Hamvention they were around $1,000.00! Dedicated Hams with some extra cash can pick one up for portable ops and/or as a backup rig.

I think I purchased mine for $1,349.00 and I still think that was a good price.

The Icom 7300 is also loaded with features. Many of which you’ll find on more expensive rigs.

  • 100 watts output
  • Auto tuner
  • Real time spectrum scope
  • Audio scope
  • SWR graph
  • LCD touchscreen
  • Bandpass filters
  • Voice, CW and RTTY memories
  • QSO recording
  • RTTY FSK
  • Rear USB port and CI-V (Remote) port
  • SD card slot

icom 7300

Icom 7300 Ease of Use

Because a lot of Hams today use smart phones, the Icom 7300 is easy to operate. The LCD touchscreen is very intuitive. It is not hard for young or seasoned Hams to figure out how to operate this rig with the touchscreen. I don’t think I opened the manual until I was ready to start operating digital modes.

Changing bands, filters, power level and modes is very easy. The auto tuner is effective, fast and even has an emergency mode for antennas with high SWR.

This radio makes Ham radio enjoyable for many because it is so simple to use. Just add power, attach the mic and an antenna, hit the tune button and start talking!

Icom 7300 Transmit and Receive Quality

I don’t think I have ever received a poor TX audio report. The hand mic that comes with the Icom 7300 has excellent audio quality. So good, many Hams stick with it!

Inexpensive mics such as the BM800 and Yamaha CM500 sound very good and I always receive good audio reports with those mics. See the article Icom 7300 Microphone Christmas Savings Plan.

The receiver is also very good. Receive audio is good with just the internal speaker. Filtering is superb. It’s very easy to use and adjust FIL1, FIL2 and FIL3. The Twin PBT works great as does the NB and NR.

The option to adjust the tone in SSB TX and RX is also very nice to have. In addition, it’s very easy to adjust the transmit bandwidth.

Icom 7300 Digital Modes

I have never seen an easier transceiver to setup for digital modes. With the built in sound card there’s no need for any additional hardware.

Just download the USB driver from Icom, attach a USB cable between it and your computer and it’s almost ready to go.

HRD DM780, Fldigi, WinWarbler, WSJT-X and many more digital mode programs work great with the Icom 7300.

Whether you have a Linux, Mac or a Windows machine, you’ll find compatible software.

RTTY (FSK) really made the difference for me and the RTTY filtering is excellent for contesting. I used N1MM Logger+ in RTTY contests and couldn’t be happier with the performance.

I don’t use CW much, but I know avid CW operators and they like the Icom 7300.

Conclusion

I believe the Icom 7300 is the best entry level amateur radio transceiver available today. It may the best entry level rig of all time, but only time will tell.

If you own an Icom 7300, what are your thoughts on it? I’d like to hear what other owners think.

I hope to hear from you.

Best 73,

Rich, K0PIR

 

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K0PIR

I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

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Dave
2 years ago

Many, if not most, of the more esoteric, technical, advances Icom has introduced with the 7300 will likely go unappreciated by the ‘average’ amateur radio operator. However, those of us who are technically minded and trained will set this radio well above just entry-level!! It’s a keeper as well as the 7610. Once I learned the 7300, I could not resist spending the extra bucks for the 7610. Good for Icom ! ! !

Dave – WØLEV

Renee Culver
2 years ago

I’ve been a ham for 55 years and I’ve owned some fine rigs. The 7300 looks simple but “entry level” does nor do it justice,

Ken Hendrickson - w6bzy
2 years ago

Thank you for all the great videos. Thanks to one I got DM780 working with my IC-7300.
I see you have used both DXLab and HRD. Maybe a video comparing the?
You may also want to look at Win4Icom Suite.
Any advice for a main software program to use with my 7300? I am mostly using ft-8 now but want to use most digital modes.

Ken Hendrickson - w6bzy
2 years ago

I have the IC-7300, SDRplay RSP1A , Mini Winkey USB, and an antenna designed by W6NBC that I built from a Harbor Freight flagpole. It works well for an area with antenna restrictions but is what I would call a compromised antenna. I have made many contacts with ft-8 but other modes clearly show its’ limitations.
My question is: What would be the best software to effectively use my set up to learn to use cw (probably with decoding software)- I have hearing issues) and RTTY, PSK, and other digital modes.
At 75 this has become my main hobby and I am willing to put the time in to learn a suite like DXLab or Ham Radio Deluxe and have been using computers and software since the 80’s but I would like your input as to which direction to go. Thanks in advance.

Brad
2 years ago

I received my 7300 yesterday. I gave up a FTDX5000 for this rig and I am having more fun. I do have one question. How to I get it in SSB USB mode. It switches back and forth between LSB and USB-D. Is USB-D good for SSB?

Brad
N6GR

Brad Rich
2 years ago

I tried to get to USB phone before I connected HRD. I touch the mode, select SSB and I get either USB-D or LSB. I have not seen USB ever while using he rig. Acts like it does not exist. It toggles back and forth from LSB and USB-D. Very strange.

Firmware is 1.12 I think, not 1.3. As soon as I get a card reader for my PC, I will update the firmware but with any firmware, I should be able to get SSB USB.

Once I figure out how to talk and send CW, I will go after the digital modes.

I am assuming when I see LSB mode, I should be able to push LSB again to get USB BUT GOES TO USB-D

Brad
N6GR

Tom Korevec
2 years ago

Dave,

I have been following your emails and videos for a year now and I respect your advice and could use some at this time.

I sold my ICOM 7300 10 months ago, replacing it with an Elecraft K3S which I am very happy with. I am now trying to settle on a portable solution and have been seriously looking at the Elecraft KX3 with the companion amplifier. However, after watching your recent travel video where you used your ICOM 7300 on the road, I am wondering if the 7300 would be a better solution. Its weight is about the same as the KX3 with amplifier but, as you know, the difference in price is dramatic which I don’t mind paying if that solution is best. I greatly prefer digital modes and I was quite pleased with operating digital on the 7300.

I would very much appreciate any thoughts and advice you have that may help me make my decision.

Thank you!

Tom AF4TD

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