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Icom IC703 10W Transceiver

This rig was used for several years and I have never had so many filled pages in my log book! It was a SUPERB rig for the QRP enthusiast and did just about everything that one could want. The antennas used have been modest: a 50-60 ft long wire at about 15 ft average height and a V2000 vertical on 6m.  The IC703 features a built-in DSP filter and auto ATU as well as speech processing an a CW keyer with 3 message memories.  It is an ideal "all-in-one" ham station for QRPers.

Mine was sold in recent years to another local retired amateur as I already had an FT817 that was enough for my needs. I do miss it at times though!   If you can find one - they are not easy to find these days - I can highly recommend this transceiver.

Unlike the FT817 and the Elecraft KX3, the IC703 does not have provision for an internal battery pack: it is more of a small home or picnic table QRP radio than a backpack radio, although Icom sold carrying accessories to support this sort of use.

Some points of note

  1. The RX is nicely quiet, but sensitive, even without the DSP switched in. It reminded me of my old FT7 in this respect: that was the best receiver I'd ever used and this one rivals it.
  2. DSP filter works nicely. Not having used a heterodyne "remover" before it was unbelievable how well it worked. The progressive step DSP noise filter works well too.
  3. Dial backlight was a relaxing amber colour. I had expected it to be a harsh yellow.
  4. Menus are easy to follow (although I'd seen similar in an IC706).
  5. The auto-ATU loaded the longwire on ALL bands except 160m! Much better than expected. I was surprised how, once stored, the ATU reset to a band change almost immediately - clatter of relays for a few milliseconds and it was there.
  6. One on the air it works well with worldwide QSOs on SSB and CW achieved. Audio reports have been excellent with the ability to punch through a few pile-ups being noted.
  7. It is an excellent performer on 6m (most of Europe, N.Africa including EA8 worked with just a modest vertical). 2m and 70cms would have been nice too but I expect that will be in the IC703 MkII.
  8. A QRP version of the IC7000 or IC7100 with internal ATU like the IC703 but with all the DSP IF filters would be nice.
  9. No provision for internal batteries (unlike KX3 and FT817).


 Power10W max, adjustable to 0.5W
 Size 167(W) × 58(H) × 200(D) mm;
 Sensitivity0.16uV or better on SSB for 10dB S/N
2.0 kg
Less than ±0.5 ppm (0 to 50°C; +32 to +122°F)
Auto notch, noise reduction
 ATUBuilt-in, auto tune
 Voltage 9.0 to 15.87 V DC (negative ground)
 Other features
RF speech processor, memories.