On a whim (and because I love a good deal), I bought this from Burghardt radio for $399 plus shipping. The radio arrived fairly quickly and I hooked it up to my test station. This was a "stock"/NIB radio, thus with no modifications.

First, the spec's:

Frequency Range HF for IC-703
HF + 6 meters for IC-703-PLUS
Temperature range -10°C to +60°C; +14°F to +140°F
Antenna Impedance 50 ohms(SO-239)
Frequency stability Less than ±0.5 ppm (0 to 50°C; +32 to +122°F)
No. of Memory Ch. 105(99 split, 6 scan edges)
Frequency stability Less than ±0.5 ppm (1 min. after powered ON/0 to 50°C; +32 to +122°F)
Power supply voltage 9.0 to 15.87 V DC (negative ground)
Current Drain Tx

Rx 10 W
5 W
Max. audio 3.0 A
2.0 A(9.6V)
0.25 A (typical)
0.45 A (typical)

(projections not included) 167(W) × 58(H) × 200(D) mm;
6 9/16(W) × 2 9/32(H) × 4 7/8(D) in
Weight (approx.) 2.0 kg; 4 13/32 lb

Modulation system USB/LSB Balanced Modulation
AM Low Level Modulation
FM Variable Reactance Frequency Modulation
Spurious emission 50 dB (HF bands)
Carrier suppression More than 40 dB
Unwanted sideband suppression More than 50 dB
Spurious Emissions Below 30 MHz: Less than -50 dB
Above 50 MHz: Less than -60 dB
Microphone Connector 8-pin modular jack (600 ohms)
Output Power USB/LSB/CW/FM/RTTY 0.1 to 10 W (at 13.8V)
AM 0.1 to 4 W (at 13.8 V) USB/LSB/CW/FM/RTTY 0.1 to 5 W (at 9.6V)
AM 0.1 to 2 W (at 9.6 V)

Receive system Double conversion Superheterodyne system
Intermediate frequencies 1st 64.455 MHz (for all modes)
2nd 455 kHz (for all modes)
Sensitivity (typical) : Frequency Range
(at 2.4 kHz BW) AM
(at 6 kHz BW) FM
(at 15 kHz BW)
0.50 - 1.799 __ 13µV*1 __
1.80 - 29.99 0.16µV *1 2µV *1 __
28.0 - 29.7 0.16µV *1 2µV *1 0.5µV *1

10 dB S/N for SSB, CW, RTTY and AM, 12 dB SINAD for FM
*1 Pre-amp is ON

Squelch sensitivity
(Pre-amp: ON) SSB, CW, RTTY
FM Less than 5.6 µV
Less than 0.32 µV

(typical) SSB/ CW (BW: 2.4 kHz)

AM /FN-N (BW: 6 kHz)

FM (BW: 15 kHz) More than 2.4 kHz/-6dB
Less than 4.5 kHz/-60 dB
More than 8.0 kHz/-6dB
Less than 30.0 kHz/-60 dB
More than 12.0 kHz/-6 dB
Less than 30.0 kHz/-60 dB

Spurious Response More than 70 dB
AF output power More than 1.0 W with an 8 ohms load
RIT variable range ±9.99 kHz

Now for the REVIEW!

First of all, I haven't owned this very long, but I did peruse the 703 Yahoo Group and read about the sporatic problems with driver failures, and (from the words of an Icom Tech) a way to avoid it! This seemed to beat the FT817 (another model I was looking at) where the 817 Yahoo group has come up with a group within the group called the "BFC" (Blown Finals Club).

Following the instructions I checked the voltage across the designated resistor and found it to be, indeed, high (almost .7v). The adjustment to .5 (or close to it) was done in seconds, and a few minutes later the cover was back on the rig!

As you can see, this radio looks just like the IC-706, but it only puts out a maximum of 10 watts. So why would I want this one? Well......I like QRP. I like CW. I also like QRP CW!! and of course - the price was right. I was also excited about my plans to upgrade to General (just need the written test) and also, getting back onto 6 meters this fall ( I just can't decide whether or not to get the beam or just the Ringo).

Having previously owned the quirky FT-100, I was well prepared for navigating the menu's and I found the Menu's and Operation Guide very easy. My choice of power supply was of all things the PS/Spkr made to match the 10m Emperor TS-5010. The color scheme matched and the 703 sits perfectly on top of it.


The IC-703 seems to be well built, and for now, it's a really cool rig to own. However, I didn't like a few things:

1. The connector for the DC PS seemed a bit iffy so we'll have to see how it holds up. And...

2. I don't like the microphone connection at the bottom of the rig. If this is the way they want it, they should have made the "Feet" a tad taller so that the microphone connector didn't bind so much.

3. The Noise Blanker was much better than my previous HF/6m rig (Alinco DX-70) but it could have been better.

Well, there you have it - my min-review of the Icom IC-703. I'll try and put an update in my Dec or Jan column just to let you know how the first 6 months went.