Icom: Icom IC-9700

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iMONITOR

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At first glance I thought this would be a fun and interesting radio to play with as a receiver only, until such time I might progress to getting my license. But it appears it does not have wide-band receive. Is it really limited to monitoring ham bands only? Considering it's using SDR technology this was a shock to me. I guess they're trying to protect the sales of the over priced IC-R8600. Too bad.

Icom IC-9700

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AB4BF

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At first glance I thought this would be a fun and interesting radio to play with as a receiver only, until such time I might progress to getting my license. But it appears it does not have wide-band receive. Is it really limited to monitoring ham bands only? Considering it's using SDR technology this was a shock to me. I guess they're trying to protect the sales of the over priced IC-R8600. Too bad.

Icom IC-9700

View attachment 87056
The 9700 is the companion to the IC-7300 which does not have 2 meter and 70 cm. We played around with one during winter field day this year (before the world went bat crap crazy) and with all the bells and whistles, the 9700 is impressive. The only thing to keep in mind is that you've got to have a very good antenna.

For the price, though, I thought that the 9700 should include 220 MHz. Oh well, maybe later, Hmmm?

For the best, imho, that one could get for the money spent is the Yaesu FT-991A. I ended up with my brother in laws, whose wife passed last year, and he lost interest in Ham Radio. (could've been all the "amen sisters" that started chasing him almost immediately, but I digress). FT-991's (the original without the continuous waterfall) are on the market, now.
You not only get HF, it also has 2 meter and 70 cm. You can also program the VHF and UHF frequencies in AM, SSB, CW, as well as the regular stuff.
I'm an ICOM kinda guy, but this has impressed me a lot...
 

ArloG

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As you see, the 9700 is a VHF/UHF receiver.
So your play time fun will be limited to those bands. Not great fun to me at all.
You sound like you may really want to get an upper level SDR receiver until the time comes you do get your ticket.
As far a the "over priced" 8600 goes. At the time the IC-R8500 was released it was very expensive for 1996 budgets.
And depending what school you came from, it hands-down blew away other radios in the same class.
I have one. But there is still and always will be something magical about electrons sailing through a vacuum.
I see my Collins 51J sold for around $1500 nineteen-fifty-seven bucks. That was a pretty decent car back then dude.
I've owned my 8600 for several months now. Expensive? Sure. Compared to the days of 99 cent gas? Not so much.
With SDR operation on a PC, I can do something that the 8500 didn't do well at all but I always wanted to. Decode LEO APT satellites.
It would receive them great, yes. But with a squished IF bandwidth, forget about it. SDR is awesome!
Really though. Although I'm a die hard Icom buff. Jump over the the Flex Radio site. Trade in options for when your play-pretty gets old is cool.
People all over are gobbling up the IC-7300 and then flooding the forums with "why doesn't it do this, why cant it do that".
For a $1000 2020 budget radio, that's quite a bang for your buck. But it's still only a grand.
 

AK9R

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The IC-9700 is optimized for the 2m, 70cm, and 23cm amateur radio bands. Even though it is an SDR, there are filters in the RF path that are designed just for those bands.

If you want a wide-band receiver, the IC-R8600 is probably a good choice.
 

EricCottrell

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Hello,

Wideband receivers are generally like they say about discone antennas, they receive all frequencies not very good. The major problem is usually the front end filtering. Strong AM and FM broadcast stations nearby can cause overload and images. Most wideband receivers are mediocre on HF frequencies and lack features.

The IC-9700 is a great performer on 2M, 70cm, and 23cm ham bands. One reason is the ham bands only frequency coverage. The front end filtering required is simple.

I have found the IC-R8600 an exception to the typical wideband receiver performance. Icom uses the more expensive 16-bit digitizers. This can result in better dynamic range. The IC-9700 and IC-7300 use 14 bit digitizers. The R8600 also has a number of features useful for HF. The only thing I do not like is the lack of DMR reception.

If you do not like the price of the IC-8600, then do not look at a radio Icom has not done anything with for over 10 years, but still sells for much more, the IC-R9500. I get the impression that you get most of the performance of the R9500 in a R8600, but at a much reduced price.

73 Eric
 

prcguy

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I think Rob Sherwood had some comments about the R8600 vs R9500 and the 8600 outperformed the 9500 in every way. On his receiver list organized by close spaced dynamic range the R8600 is number 3 on the list and the R9500 is down around number 38. Other things like the LO phase noise are 10dB lower on the R8600.

The R9500 is a beautiful receiver but its design is over 13yrs old, which might as well be a lifetime in receiver design years. In just the last 5yrs receiver design has turned completely upside down with new advances and ideas.

Hello,

Wideband receivers are generally like they say about discone antennas, they receive all frequencies not very good. The major problem is usually the front end filtering. Strong AM and FM broadcast stations nearby can cause overload and images. Most wideband receivers are mediocre on HF frequencies and lack features.

The IC-9700 is a great performer on 2M, 70cm, and 23cm ham bands. One reason is the ham bands only frequency coverage. The front end filtering required is simple.

I have found the IC-R8600 an exception to the typical wideband receiver performance. Icom uses the more expensive 16-bit digitizers. This can result in better dynamic range. The IC-9700 and IC-7300 use 14 bit digitizers. The R8600 also has a number of features useful for HF. The only thing I do not like is the lack of DMR reception.

If you do not like the price of the IC-8600, then do not look at a radio Icom has not done anything with for over 10 years, but still sells for much more, the IC-R9500. I get the impression that you get most of the performance of the R9500 in a R8600, but at a much reduced price.

73 Eric
 

iMONITOR

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I was hoping to kill two bird with one radio. I thought the 9700 would be nice to get aquanted with and in the event if I ever get my ham license I'd have a transmitter ready to go!
 

prcguy

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Nope, you will need an R8600 right now, then an IC-9700 when you get your Tech licence, then at the very least the IC-7610 for HF/6m. They look really nice all stacked together. Don't ask how I know this.

I was hoping to kill two bird with one radio. I thought the 9700 would be nice to get aquanted with and in the event if I ever get my ham license I'd have a transmitter ready to go!
 

jwt873

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As mentioned above, keeping it only in the ham bands allows for tight filtering to reject out of band signals.

It's really meant to shine as a CW/SSB satellite and weak signal rig and not as a "shack-in-a-box" like many other radios that cover a wide range of frequencies. I'm active in weak signal work and I'm considering buying one of these to replace my aging Kenwood TS-2000 for its far better SSB & CW capabilities.

While it will work on local FM and D-Star repeaters, it would be a waste to buy one and use it only for FM & D-Star.
 

iMONITOR

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As mentioned above, keeping it only in the ham bands allows for tight filtering to reject out of band signals.

It's really meant to shine as a CW/SSB satellite and weak signal rig and not as a "shack-in-a-box" like many other radios that cover a wide range of frequencies. I'm active in weak signal work and I'm considering buying one of these to replace my aging Kenwood TS-2000 for its far better SSB & CW capabilities.

While it will work on local FM and D-Star repeaters, it would be a waste to buy one and use it only for FM & D-Star.
I though all the filtering was done in software with an SDR?
 

prcguy

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In a dongle type yes but a high performance SDR will have band pass filtering ahead of everything. Making it a superhet with LC band pass filters then a low noise LO with high level mixer to a crystal or mechanical filter will give even better results as that limits what the A/D converter sees improving its dynamic range. Some of the newest high performance direct conversion types rely solely on the front end band pass filters and really good high level A/D converters before the DSP magic downstream.

I though all the filtering was done in software with an SDR?
 

ArloG

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I though all the filtering was done in software with an SDR?
Although I make it a point to grab service manuals for all of my electronics, this one is too new to justify having one just yet.
The demodulation is done in SDR, front end filtering looks like it's done the good old fashioned way. I could be wrong.

"The R8600 has 11 discrete RF bandpass filters in the HF bands and 13 bandpass filters in the VHF/UHF bands. To prevent overflow, only the intended signal is passed, while it rejects any out of range strong interference signals. The R8600 provides +30dBm IP3 and 105 dB dynamic range at 14.1MHz. IP3 performance is +10dBm at 144 MHz and 0dBm at 440MHz."

87070
 
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SigIntel8600

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At first glance I thought this would be a fun and interesting radio to play with as a receiver only, until such time I might progress to getting my license. But it appears it does not have wide-band receive. Is it really limited to monitoring ham bands only? Considering it's using SDR technology this was a shock to me. I guess they're trying to protect the sales of the over priced IC-R8600. Too bad.

Icom IC-9700

View attachment 87056
I almost pulled the trigger on the 9700, I have had my ham ticket (General) for 20 years. I started with VHF/UHF, checking in with and passing traffic on various traffic nets. For me it got old quick. Jeez, another "Happy Birthday" message, LOL. On HF, I worked CW, AM, and SSB on 10, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 40 Mhz. A shoe box full of DX QSL's including Lebanon, Alaska, Hawaii, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Korea, but it got old for me too. "Your 5x9 repeat your call?" WTF? I figured a top of the line, all mode, VHF, UHF transceiver would be something new and renew my interest. But I have realized that my interests lie for the most part in MONITORING. So, after years of staring at Icom 8500 ads, but never buying, I bypassed the 9700 and purchased the IC-R8600. I could not be happier. Paired with my AOR DV-1, the IC-R8600 allows me DC to daylight monitoring activity. My transmitting activity is now exclusively on GMRS repeaters. In my area, there is way more proper radio operating techniques and technical knowledge on GMRS. I do Have a FT-100D if I want to join in on the "hemorrhoid" update chatter on my local ham repeaters. LOL.
 
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