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Icom 7600 update, price drop... Replacement due?


#1

Hi everyone,

Off topic question. I’ve been milling around looking at possible radios for home use, and I’ve noticed that Mr Lynch & Sons have the Icom 7600 at £780 or so pounds down from its normal price.

That, plus the new firmware update makes me wonder if there is a Mk.ii on the way, or if a replacement is imminent?

I see they have the new 9100, and a shiny new ‘top of line’? 7851 (which will no doubt cost a kidney and half a liver and be way over my budget. No price on the website for that one yet though).

Anyone have any news on the future of the 7600? I don’t want to do my usual trick of setting my mind on something, only to find it discontinued as I near the savings required… Makes me wonder if a new 7700 is due too?

Cheers all.

Ian


#2

I would not be surprised if the 7600 was to be replaced, it has had problems with its logic module from day one.


#3

Thanks for the tip, I didn’t know that. Its time to look at its down sides too. Seems many people on the web seem to like it, but after 7? Years of production, I’m guessing it’s due either a mk2 reinvention or a replacement.

For me, it’s the big price drops that retailers seem to have on it that suggest it’s coming to the end of life.

If there is a replacement coming, I hope they are not going to hike the price too much. An IF out and an external monitor output seem to be on the ‘wants list’ for owners.

Cheers, ian


#4

Don’t forget exchange rate fluctuations and distributors wishing to move inventory to improve cash flow as reasons for price changes outside of end-of-life sales etc.


#5

Also a good point Andy. I’m just concerned that it will become the ‘old’ model a week after I buy it. Given the current financial climate, it must be difficult for retailers to move the higher priced items, but large reductions always make me weary.

After spending a little more time reading last night, it seems that the new firmware release has added many of the features that its big brothers have. It seems to be a fine radio.

With any luck, it will stay at discount prices for a little while longer.

Now how do we convince Yaesu to bring out a new version of the 817?


#6

What’s wrong with the current one?


#7

To me, not a lot. It’s a great little transceiver. I do think that it might be due a little refresh by Yaesu’s engineers though, given the age of the design etc.

For its purpose, as a portable QRP radio, it’s ideal. I’d have one with me now if it hadn’t been liberated from me in São Paulo by some quick handed bag snatcher (and considering another one for SOTA use once I return home).


#8

Nothing fatally wrong with the 817, but it would be nice to have lower power consumption on receive, a roofing filter and an automatic or manual notch to get rid of those maniac tuner-uppers that are probably only doing it out of spite. A more modern design with less sideband noise would do no harm, either, but despite this little wish list I still love my 817!

Brian


#9

The battery life - just a change to a more modern, higher capacity (and voltage) battery would drastically improve the rig.


#10

And change the charging circuits.
And change the charger (wallwart)
And all the certification testing.
And all the testing for warranties.
And…
And…

Simple changes can have massive knock on costs. Major changes will have even bigger costs.

How many more 817’s will be sold if it has a longer life battery? Will the number of extra sets sold recover the costs in a reasonable time? If the answer doesn’t suggest a rapid payback there is little point making the change unless you can incorporate the change in many other models to amortise the cost further.


#11

“The battery life - just a change to a more modern, higher capacity (and voltage) battery would drastically improve the rig.”

Replacing the standard pack with the flat 2500mAH Lipo adresses this issue Jim (G8MTV). I’m very happy with the result, where I might get 1.5 activations out of the Yaesu NiCAD, I get three from the LIPO.
Ed.


#12

Agreed Ed,

Improved battery life would be easy. I like others above would like to see lower rx power drain (different DDS and CPU) and improved SSB selectivity plus good CW filter (roofing filter, new filters). 10 W out on HF should not be too hard either (more air flow, new output chip)). A good audio compressor is on my list too (small IC or done in CPU) . I could add on most of these to the current box now so for Yaesu to bring out a later mark with these features should not cost them too much.

The 817 has been put in the technical shade by the fully optioned KX3. $ are the only reason to buy an 817. Perhaps Yaesu should move to DSP technology.

And perhaps Icom could bring out an updated IC703 or their own version of the KX3?

Or could Alinco make something that’s not as big as a suitcase?

Word of caution. Wait until a new rig has been on sale for a year and the bugs ironed out before buying.

73
Ron
VK3AFW


#13

Hi Ron, all good points and perhaps the answer is an SDR - very flexible as regards filtering, lower power consumption (at least on the receive side), and probably more robust with so many components going into a single chip. I believe ICOM said no to a new portable rig when they were asked in an interview a couple of years back.

As always, nothing will happen unless there is a business case for it. The FT817ND is a good rig at the price it is. The KX3 is a better HF rig but having to add transvertors and chose which one isn’t as simple. Yaesu, ICOM and Kenwood build in large quantities, Elekraft can afford to give build options but then that costs more to produce and the cost has to be passed on. That being said I believe the basic HF KX3 is also a good rig for the price, it’s the costs of the “optional extras” to add 2 & 4m that puts me off it. There’s also no 70cm capability. The HF ATU is nice though.

Actually this thread is getting somewhat off the original subject - but I guess as it’s in the “Off topic” section, you’d expect us to go Off topic H.I.


#14

I have to own up to the “off topic - off topic” steering, as I mentioned the 817 after my initial query about the 7600.

I think my minds made up on the SOTA choice, but far from set on a new HF for home use. Too many damn sweets in the shop! :slight_smile:


#15

I looked at the KX3. Its technical specifications are great, but by comparison with the 817 it feels lightweight and tinny, whereas the 817 gives an impression of sturdiness that is born out by its longevity in heavy use. I wouldn’t swap my 817 for a KX3 even though the performance of the KX3 makes the 817 seem obsolete - and this brings me to the original query: if you like the 7600 I would say that it would be better to get one from the end of the line rather than have an early model of its replacement - why pay to take part in the field testing of a new rig? :smile:

Brian


#16

Hi Ian, well since you started the topic - you have every right to “steer it off course”!

To add to the confusion, at a price point between the 817 and K3, there is a new rig on the back of Radcom - the ELAD FDM-Duo SDR transciever, which claims a better performance than the other two 5/10w 12v rigs. Worth a look at least-

Ed.


#17

It seems the 7600 is here to stay for a while, but I note that the ICOM website has dropped the 7800 from its lineup, being replaced by the IC7851. Stunning hardware, but the 10k price tag is a little owchy. Anyone want to buy a liver? One careful owner… :smile:


#18

Sure Andy, if they updated one aspect of the FT817, then not many new units would sell.

I love my elderly FT817, we’ve been together since 2001, before leaving my parents house, marriage and kids, and I’d never part with it!

I am firmly in the camp that a new FT817 is needed though. Just look at the IC706 series, Icom managed to shift plenty of units! I had a friend who had the IC706 fitted in his Land Rover Discovery, as soon as the IC706mk2 came out, he swapped to the latest model. Not too long after that, the IC706IIG was being fitted to the disco!

If Yaesu brought out a new FT817, I’m sure lots of us would be interested. It would be nice to have a keyer memory, decent internal battery and lower receive current.


As for the IC7600, I wouldn’t be worried about getting an ‘old model’ if it does what you want and is well proven, what’s the issue?

73, Colin