Saturday, September 02, 2006

IC-7000 first impressions

When a telescope is first used it is said to have first light. I don't know what the equivalent for a radio should be, but I happened tonight for the new IC-7000 I picked up at Boxboro. I must say, it is a surprisingly nice radio!

The first QSO was with XE1NVA in Mexico City and he gave me a 59. He was S9+10 or S9+20 here so I believe his report. The contact was just under 2000 miles according to my logging program's calculations. Not bad for the first one!
I had spent some of today obtaining and preparing cables for this setup. I like to have each radio have its own Pelican case and pack within the outfit everything needed to make that radio effective including the tuner, patch cables, power supply (if it will fit in the case), computer connection gizmos, and headphone/audio adapters.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make, in my opinion, is to continuously cannibalize one setup to make another one work. That is almost certainly a recipe for disaster as leaving behind that crucial component becomes not just possible but likely the longer you take that approach. Following my own advice, today I purchased another Keyspan USB Serial adapter (USA HS-19HS) and the mating DB-25 to DB-9 reducer so the 7000 now has its own computer interfacing hardware. Again, keep it all together or you'll be having a scavenger hunt before every trip and likely leave something behind.
I'm using my ICOM CT-17 level converter for now but I've purchased a West Mountain Radio RIGtalk that I hope to use instead of the heavy CT-17 once I get the driver working on my Macintosh. (I've not spent any time on this problem. I'm sure it is just a matter of tracking down the driver and installing it.) The RIGtalk will eliminate the Keyspan adapter, CT-17, the DB-25 to DB-9 reducer, and the USB cable, replacing it with something that resembles a stick of gum that plugs directly into the USB port on the computer. That's a savings!
Finally, you'll notice in the picture I have a larger display sitting on top of the loop antenna controller box. This is a portable DVD player with the video in connected to the radio's video out via a simple 1/8th-inch mono jack patch cable. It gets a little squiggly when I transmit, but looks great the rest of the time. That larger display is very easy on my old eyes. I can tell that this little DVD player will be a common option in my discretionary equipment!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice looking setup, especially the portable DvD player for an expanded display. The IC-7000 interests me very much and I am considering one also. Would be interested to hear if you get it all setup with your Mac as I am also using a G4 Powerbook with DX Logger software so would be interested to hear how the interface works for you. Keep us posted!

73 de Jeff

September 03, 2006 9:47 AM  
Blogger NE1RD's Blog said...

The IC-7000 works great with MacLoggerDX. In fact, the very first contact was captured with full rig control from the logging program.

September 05, 2006 2:09 PM  

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