How close were we with the IC-7X00?

by Adam Farson VA7OJ and Matt Erickson KK5DR

The IC-7X00 screen - a derivative of the X3? (Original image courtesy Jim Tittsler 7J1AJH.)
 

The announcement of the Icom IC-X3 at Tokyo HamFair 2006  got us thinking: Could a new mid-range amateur HF/6m transceiver be in the offing, based on the IC-X3 platform? We put together a speculative page on the new radio.

We speculated that the new transceiver would have the following major features. Just how close were we? As it turns out, we were fairly close; 16 out of 22, or 73%. (Y = yes, N = no, TBD = to be determined)

  1. Model designator: IC-7X00, where X is any digit except 0, 4 or 8. Y: IC-7700

  2. All HF amateur bands plus 6m. Y

  3. 48kHz DSP IF, with TI TMS320C6713BZDP DSP IC. N: 36 kHz, w/TI TMS320C6727 DSP

  4. AKM AK5394A ADC (123 dB dynamic range) and AK4394 DAC (120 dB dynamic range). Y

  5. Relay-switched front-end BPF. Y

  6. Preamps 1 and 2 similar to those in the IC-7800 or IC-756Pro3. Y

  7. Possibly a relay-switched ATU which can be placed in the signal path on RX and TX. Y, but same ATU as IC-7800

  8. A relay-switched "Digi-Sel" preselector, possibly as an optional module. Y, built-in

  9. 150W BJT PA section, 13.8Vdc @ 30A. Possibly an internal switching PSU as an optional module. N

  10. Alternatively, a 150W 48V MOSFET PA, necessitating mains-only operation. Y, 200W (single STAC2942B power device in Rev. 12 model)

  11. DSP-driven FFT spectrum scope with selectable RBW down to 100 or 200 Hz, (free of zero-signal "grass", like the IC-756Pro3). Y, dedicated TI TMS320C6720 scope DSP, min. RBW 100 Hz

  12. VGA display driver with rear-panel VGA socket. Y

  13. Single RX, with Dual Watch. N, no Dual Watch

  14. X3 chassis and cabinetry. Y, up to a point

  15. Dual manual notch, with fully independent adjustments (as in the IC-R9500). N, Manual Notch as in IC-7800

  16. NB in the DSP algorithm, fully adjustable. (No more analogue pulse-gating NB!) Y

  17. Pure DDS synthesizer without PLLs, for improved reciprocal-mixing noise performance (as in the IC-7000). N, DDS/PLL

  18. One or two additional (selectable) 1st-IF roofing filters. Y, 15/6/3 kHz Hi-Spec 1st IF filters.

  19. Rear-panel reference frequency input/output socket. Y

  20. Fully remote-controllable via Ethernet port, with user-selectable IP address. Y (via RS-BA1 server included in Firmware Ver. 2.00)

  21. Firmware upgrade capability via Ethernet port. Y

  22. Built-in Web server for Web-based remote radio management, possibly as firmware option. N

We see a price point in the USD 5000 range. Time frame? IC-7700 price range low to mid $6K; released early in 2008.

73% right - not bad for mere speculation. Now visit the IC-7700 page...

Copyright  2006-2017, A. Farson VA7OJ/AB4OJ and M.A. Erickson KK5DR.
Last updated: 11/08/2017

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