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My New Shack Radio

I’ve been using my IC-705 to do some SOTA chasing for the last year. The radio works well on summits but the 10W output struggles to be heard from my home QTH. It’s very satisfying to have a successful QSO with QRP but it can be very frustrating at times. There have been several occasions when I could hear an activator but they couldn’t hear me.

With limited space in my garden and planning restrictions limiting what I can do with the antenna side I have decided to take the brute force approach and up the power!

An Icom IC-7300 with 100W. It arrived this morning and I had my first QSOs on 40m SSB this evening. The controls and screen are very similar to the IC-705 so the learning curve hasn’t been too steep. Sadly, I haven’t been able to try CW yet as it needs a 1/4" Phono socket (!) but an adaptor should arrive tomorrow if Jeff Bezos can find time from launching himself into space. Once I’ve sorted out the remote ATU to drive the doublet antenna I’ve built I will be back chasing.

Only louder! :slight_smile:

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I’ll have to revoke your membership of the QRP chasers club John :grinning:

You’ll lose that nack of trying to guess the sweet spot 30second window to call just as the pile up subsides and before the activator suddenly clears off to another band :slight_smile:

73 Jonathan

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I had the opposite problem recently. Bought a Ukranian paddle which has a beautiful 1/4" plug but all my rigs need 3.5mm!

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I know what you mean. I still remember my first SOTA chaser QSO which was to an activator on an HB summit. The satisfaction my 10W had reached that far from my home QTH was and remains very strong.

But the downside is not being heard on many occasions even when there was clearly a gap as I could still hear the activator calling CQ but they were not hearing me.

I hope to do more tests over the coming weeks and try to estimate the real world difference between 10W and 100W. Probably less than I expect but today’s experience was promising. Everyone I called heard me. This was a good start. :slight_smile:

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I seem to have the opposite problem as I often struggle to hear activators from home.

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I experience that as well. This evening (around 1800 UTC) was curious. I could hear an operator in Italy clearly as they spoke with someone in the UK but I couldn’t hear the UK caller at all. I’ve experienced that on 20m, its what I expect on that band but this evening I was on 40m and had thought inter-G would be open but clearly it wasn’t.

A CQ call I sent out on 40m CW using the memory keys to code it (no key!) was reported on the RBN as not being picked up by anyone in the UK. I guess I need to go down to 80m. :slight_smile:

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Congratulations on the new radio! Very exciting! :tada: :tada:
I’ve yet to speak to someone who’s been disappointed with the 7300. Hope you enjoy it and will be interesting to see what the difference is with the extra power.

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Hello John,

congratulation to the new member of your HAM farm.
(Please, don’t reveal it, but I’m using also a IC7300 since 2017 and I’m very satisfied with it. But using only in my shack not on summits.)

I wish you joy with th TRX.

73, Ludwig

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nice trx…
…next to it, the IC 9700 would look very good. :wink:

73 Armin

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Nice one John and the 7300 is a cracking rig , incredibly intuitive

Enjoy

Craig

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I also use a 7300 as the main rig in the station - and it is easy to use and seems very effective, however since the sun woke up in November and I had a few non SOTA FT8 contacts in the USA and South America I have become interested (My wife would say obsessed )`with finally achieving DXCC status - allbeit by cheating and using FT8 so at the monent the 7300 spends a lot of time on the FT8 frequencies. The family are getting somewhat bored of the list of countries contacted…( I’m at 99 confirmed by the way and am waiting for at least another 10 to upload their logs to LOTW. It is a bit of a strange world with Guernsey being harder to confirm than New Zealand…) , with the result that when I get a SOTA alert I am now chasing with the 10W KX2 - which is suprisingly effective, although there have been a couple of occasions where I have needed to swop rigs for the extra power. I have added an Inrad desk mike to the 7300, and the next project is to make a tx/rx switch so that In can use my very effective 40m loop for rx and the vertical for tx… I also have a Ukranian (CT73) paddle and it (very) occasionally gets used for chasing if I think that there is a station that will put up with my QRS sending…
PS when working non SOTA stations there is still the occasional contact that says “Only 100W !..” and the very odd chase when someone has carried a 857 up the hill and I’m using less power to chase…GL 73 Paul

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