Wednesday, 12 February 2020

IC-7300 vs IC-7610


Hmm, I've not had the radio two minutes and I've already been told a few times that I could have bought three 7300's for the price of the 7610. Well yes, I could, but then all I'd have is three 7300's and where's the sense in that??

There is no denying that the 7610 is an expensive radio, but there's no point in comparing it with the fact that it's 3X the price of Icom's entry-level SDR transceiver. The 7300 is a Icom's entry-level SDR transceiver and as fabulous as it is, it's still entry-level. That's fine for many people - it does everything they want and more. I'm happy for them. I just wish they were happy for me too :-)

Some lucky people drive around in £75k Range Rover 4WD. Happy days - I'm pleased for them. I don't go around explaining to the owners that they could have had 3 KIA Sportage 4WD for the same money!

The fact is, the 7610 is a different radio to the 7300. For a start it has 2 INDEPENDENT RECEIVERS. It has 2 HF Antenna Ports, it has 4 BNC ports for RX-Out, RX-In, REF-In and TRANSVERTER. 

The 7610 screen is almost 2x the size, It has a DVI-D socket to feed an external monitor to expand the display. It has 2 ACC sockets, 2 USB sockets on the rear panel, 2 external speaker jacks, a socket for external meter and a socket for external keypad, plus a remote socket.

The 7610 also has 2 USB sockets on the front panel which can be used for a variety of things including memory-sticks, an RC-28 VFO, a mouse, a keyboard, etc. The USB-2 socket on the rear panel is split into 2 Virtual Com ports which is useful for RTTY (FSK) using just one cable.

Additionally, the 7610 has a built-in Timer function, Dual Clocks (Local & UTC) and Solid State T/R Switching.

Finally, the 7610 has a built-in Server and a LAN port which makes it perfect for remote control operation without the need to have an active PC connected to the radio!

The radio has a very "top drawer" feel to it and doesn't give you the impression that it was built to a price. It's a good size, without being overly large. The extra real-estate means that it can accommodate some useful physical buttons that the 7300 cannot - such as the BAND buttons and handy RECORD & PLAY buttons.

The 7300 and 7610 are both fabulous radios and considering that I'm relatively new to the hobby, it may appear that I've gone for the wrong radio, but I invested in the 7610 because I am new and because I'm constantly learning. I don't want to be restricted by a radio a year or two down the line.

Someone else suggested that I should have spent my money 'more wisely' and bought the 7300 and the matching 9700. Well if those two radios were the same price, that suggestion might have had some merit, but the 9700 is a staggering £1,800 and I'd rather put the big bucks into the HF side. I don't want to pay £1,800 to talk to "Johnny in Wigan". Anyway, I have my IC-7100 and DR-735 for VHF/UHF (not to mention an FT3 and D74).

So back to the 7610. I love it. It has absolutely everything I want and need. Hopefully, it will give me many years of service and entertainment. I can experiment with all the HF bands, all the different modes including Digital, run FT-8 on one receiver whilst running SSB on the other, etc, etc. With my limited capacity to erect antennas, I need the best possible receiver performance and the quietest floor level to help me to get the best performance from my dipoles and end-feds.

The remote operation is a really nice feature and I've already got the RC-28 plug-in VFO and the RS-BA1 software (V2). This adds a whole new element to operating - I can get out of the shack and sit in the garden or conservatory, etc. When fully licenced, you can operate the radio from ANYWHERE!

This isn't a dig at 7300 Owners! This, I guess, is a dig at those people who see fit to criticise someone else for investing in a radio which they don't deem to be worth buying. Well hey, you aren't buying it, so don't worry about it, LOL.

I acknowledge that the 7300 is one of the most important radios to have ever been launched! It was (and remains) ground-breaking in terms of what it offers at its particular price point. It's so good that it has seriously impacted the Secondhand Radio Market - why would someone pay over-inflated prices for legacy radios when that price is so close to the cost a a used (or even new) 7300? They won't! As a result, the price of used radios is falling to more realistic levels and will continue to fall as people move to SDR technology.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Tom, an interesting post again. I see radios on the secondhand market that have lower specs compared to the IC-7300 but costs at least 2 times what a IC-7300 costs new. Anyway, if I had the money to buy a IC-7610 I would do it instantly. It has so many more possebilities and features. I hope you have a lot of fun with the rig. I think the only problem is were to install this big radio. I hope to see some updated shack photos on your blog. 73, Bas

VE9KK said...

Good evening Tom, I also have the 7610 and love the rig I came from the Elecraft K3 and still have an Elecraft rig the KX3 for portable op's. I looked at the software Icom offered for the rig and chose to go with Win4icomsuite instead. I had this for me K3 and KX3 the support is great and with the Win4icom software, there are some things you can do that you can't do with the rig. For example, you have a slider for filter on the fly adjustment. This is great for me for CW in a contest otherwise you have to push a few buttons on the 7610 to gain access to the filter menu. Have a look at the Win4Icom software and see what you think.
I do full hearty agree with your comparison between the 7300 and 7610. I wanted an independent receiver as I had that with my k3. I got used to it and love it and it was a must-have in my next rig and the 7610 fit that bill. Enjoy the rig, Tom, I have had mine for over a year and still am very much thrilled with it. Go onto YouTube and look up K0PIR he has some great videos on the 7610.

MadDogMcQ said...

Thanks for your response Bas. The shack is in BITS lol. Hopefully have it sorted out this weekend. Waiting for a monitor-cable.

MadDogMcQ said...

Many thanks for your response Mike - appreciated. I think this is a 'keeper'. I'll check out K0PIR as you suggest. Thank you.