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!
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 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!
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.
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.
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.