Icom 7300 as a receiver

Sprint

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Mar 16, 2004
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38
Location
Kingston, Ontario
Hello,
Who’s using this radio for their utility receiver ? I have read a few pieces that many swl and utility listeners purchase transceivers for this purpose.

I’m looking at this to replace my Icom 746 pro.
Welcome any thoughts or experiences.
Cheers
Chris
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
The 7300 is a great radio even if you never transmit on it. If you look at the critical test data on the 7300 and the 756 Pro you will see the Pro has about 71dB for 2kHz close spaced dynamic range and the 7300 is up around 94dB on one sample and 97dB on another. That is light years ahead in performance when listening to weak stations snuggled up to very strong ones. I have a 7300 and its a great SW performer and the color display with spectrum analyzer and waterfall is great for locating stuff to tune in.

The only thing I've found where the 7300 is a little lacking is using it near other high power transmitters like at a ham radio field day site. Its preselector is not up to the task of keeping out a 100 watt transmitter on 14Mhz when you are receiving on 7MHz when the antennas are within 100ft of each other. Except for that you get about $2,500 in performance for a little over $1k new.

Here is a link to Rob Sherwood's excellent test data on many transceivers. Receiver Test Data


Hello,
Who’s using this radio for their utility receiver ? I have read a few pieces that many swl and utility listeners purchase transceivers for this purpose.

I’m looking at this to replace my Icom 746 pro.
Welcome any thoughts or experiences.
Cheers
Chris
 

WA8ZTZ

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
660
If you want a new desktop SWL receiver nowadays, a HAM transceiver with general coverage receive capability is about
your only option. When comparing receivers, you will probably find that the sensitivity specs all seem to be pretty good but
take a real close look at the dynamic range specs as prcguy mentioned.
This is what separates the good radios from the really good radios. The ARRL lab product reviews found in QST give
real performance numbers.
One other thing about sensitivity, if you are into AM broadcast band or longwave listening, be aware that some receivers sensitivity
is intentionally reduced, sometimes drastically, below 160 meters. This is done to prevent overloading by strong local AM BCB
stations. However, it maybe an indication that the MW and LW coverage is not considered that important on what is primarily
a HAM radio. If MW and LW is part of your plans, then get a radio that is not desensitized down there. You will need all the sensitivity
that you can get when chasing LW beacons for example.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
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Bowie, Md.
Sometimes the MW attenuation is nothing more than a pot or a resistor strapped and grounded. The email reflectors for the various radios are a great resource for finding out about these, and how to remove the attenuation

LW is another matter, sadly. I got booted off a Facebook group for saying this (heh) - there is no US broadcasting in the 155-281 khz range, so engineers see no reason to put together a good front end for that range. In fact, I don't think the ITU has allocated that band for broadcasting in the Americas. So if you hear US broadcasters on LW, it's likely to be a mixing product from strong MW stations. Some front end filtering will be necessary in such cases if you want to browse in that band. Hams have a couple of secondary allocations there, so in certain areas, you will hear digital modes that can be copied with the right software, and of course, NAVTEX can be heard primarily on 518 Khz, altho there are other frequencies less used as well. Here, loops are a primary antenna type - unless you have very understanding neighbors....Mike
 

WA8ZTZ

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
660
The OP may or may not be interested in receiving below 160 meters.
The MW/LW attenuation thing was mentioned for his awareness.
However, one other item that needs to be considered is the antenna.
No sense buying a premium receiver if a good antenna(s) is not available.
 

devicelab

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Bothell, WA
Or you could pick up the future ICOM-705 ($TBD -- $1200-ish)
Or the ICOM R8600 for $2300 (very good Rx per Sherwood Eng)
Or the Xiegu G90 ($425 shipped)
Or the Yaesu FT-891 for $600
Or pick up the SDRPlay RSPdx for $200 -- and get 1khz to 2Ghz wideband receive coverage

But it always comes down to the antenna... poor antenna =poor signals == bad experience
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
The Icom 705 has unknown performance at this time but I suspect it will be similar to the 7300 and a little worse at the worst.
Icom 8600 is tippy tip top notch.
Xiegu has no meaningful tests that I can find and I would be surprised if it works any better than an SDRplay. You usually get what you pay for.
The SDRplay RSP2 series is not bad for the price but not that great either.
The FT-891 is not known to have a great receiver.

A good antenna is something to strive for but a lousy receiver is lousy on any antenna and usually worse on a good antenna.

Or you could pick up the future ICOM-705 ($TBD -- $1200-ish)
Or the ICOM R8600 for $2300 (very good Rx per Sherwood Eng)
Or the Xiegu G90 ($425 shipped)
Or the Yaesu FT-891 for $600
Or pick up the SDRPlay RSPdx for $200 -- and get 1khz to 2Ghz wideband receive coverage

But it always comes down to the antenna... poor antenna =poor signals == bad experience
 

eorange

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Cleveland, OH
My 7300 works really well as a ute receiver. Built in record to SD card, beautiful audio, nice display, and USB soundcard for PC-based mode decoding. I only wish it had a battery backed RTC.
 

devicelab

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Xiegu has no meaningful tests that I can find...
108db @ 2khz (blocking)
90db 3rd Order IMD
84db @ 2khz... (RMDR)

MDS is @ -138dBm
SSB Sensitivity is 0.25uV

It beats the pants off my ICOM 7000 -- which shouldn't be very difficult these days -- but it's pretty impressive so far.
 

prcguy

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The RMDR puts it somewhere between a Yaesu FTDX-3000 and an Elecraft KX2. That's hard to believe for a low cost Chinese radio. The Icom 7000 was measured around a 63dB equivalent of RDMR, not so good.

108db @ 2khz (blocking)
90db 3rd Order IMD
84db @ 2khz... (RMDR)

MDS is @ -138dBm
SSB Sensitivity is 0.25uV

It beats the pants off my ICOM 7000 -- which shouldn't be very difficult these days -- but it's pretty impressive so far.
 
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