With the warmer weather approaching I figured its time for change. Enter the Icom IC 703+:
Just picked it up from HRO last week and can’t wait to start backpacking with it! For a qrp rig it seems to fit me better than my FT 817 but weighs a ton! First impression seemed good – I like the dsp features and built in auto “tuner”. I also like the low current drain compared to the 817, ~300-350ma on receive with muted audio, tx at 5 watts is about 1.5 amps, 10 watts is around 2 amps with a load voltage of ~13.5 volts. This rig can also run off of ~9.6 volts and still put out 4 to 5 watts which works for me as I happen to have some spare vex 9.6v nicad 1A power packs not being used(another battery pack to be built!).
Still the 817 has its place as a portable 6m, 2m, and 70cm all mode rig with just the basics. Just yesterday I took it to the top of Mt. Taurus for some weekend spring qrp action:
Even the 817 still weighs a bit – any serious operating will require an external power source – I use a homebrew 2A 12v regulated battery pack. This adds considerable weight and you’ll begin to feel it in no time when trekking about. For an antenna I just use 22g speaker wire that I had laying around as an end fed wire to my homebrew t transmatch. I usually work on 20m , 10m, 6m, and 2m – give me a call if you hear me!
I’ve finally gotten around to fixing up that nice 1919 Vibroplex Original, here it is:
I replaced the feet since they were worn out with ones found at Home Depot – at the time they had only white feet, a bit oversized but they actually work far better than the stock ones and they manage to hold their grip pretty well. Can’t wait to start operating some more after this semster is out! Until then,
73 de KC2BNX