ICOM IC-7000

When I was getting interested in amateur radio again in the mid 2000’s the Icom IC-7000 was newly launched as a successor to the multi band IC-706 and as a competitor to the Yaesu FT-857d I eventually bought later on. The IC-7000 looked superb having a colour multi-function display and all bands from HF to UHF (except 70MHz).

It was quite a bit later on that old friend and sadly missed Steve MJ0SIT would get an IC-7000 when he got licensed and much to my surprise when he left us I was contacted by mutual friend Stevie GJ6WRI to let me know that Steve had left his radio equipment to be passed on as he thought best and felt he would’ve wanted me to have the IC-7000 as I would appreciate it and use it. Well I was frankly amazed but also very pleased; Steve was a good friend and sincerely missed and it’s good to have a memento that will be cared for and used.

The IC-7000 is another modern ‘menu-driven’ radio set up differently to the Yaesu but I’m getting there and the excellent ‘IZ8BKT IC7000BKT’ software dedicated to the IC-7000 is superb for rig control as well as programming memories (luckily the CAT lead was with the rig!).

I've been wanting to dabble with 6 metres (the magic band) for some time and have for long hankered after an IC-551d but they are pretty rare and not cheap, this seems ot answer the question though being set up for 50MHz and hopefully will yield some results once I can get a suitable antenna built. Stevie WRI gifted me a 6m beam which I should really re-build but it needs some height and a rotator which management may not approve of so for the time being I have design for a wire delta loop I need to try, we shall see!

The only issues I have found are that the radio is not tolerant of RF in the shack (initially being located in the rolltop desk and suffering from this but now just fine in the main radio ‘stack’) and the radio notably runs hot. The thinking here is that the radio is relatively power hungry being a relatively early user of a colour TFT screen and its turning a lot of that current into heat. Accepted thinking seems to be that the rigs body acts as the heat sink (only fairly small fins are fitted at the rear panel) and there is of course a built in cooling fan but this seldom seems to activate. The display does include a temperature gauge but doesn’t to my mind tell the full story and I was perplexed to find the rig shutting itself down when ragchewing on 10FM one day apparently because the radio was overheating!! Short term fix is to add a small external cooling fan to draw more air through the built in fan housing but this can give rise to dust and dirt entering the rig (though admittedly this is ‘sucking’ rather than ‘blowing’).

Update December 2020: Well what was hoped to be a simple modification turned into an epic of seemingly biblical proportions! The overheating fan mod and MARS/CAP broadband were done by James M1APC for me over in Cornwall but by the time it found its way back to me in the summer a fault materialised, a couple of caps on the audio unit giving up so it had to go back again! Finally got it back when we were able to visit the UK (between lockdown 1 and 2!) in October and now he’s working just fine. All memories re-programmed using the excellent IZ2BKT software and this will be pressed into portable/mobile HF operation back in Jersey all being well, especially as the FT857D has been taken ill at the moment! There’s always something!! Anyway, I'm pleased to report the overheating os no longer an issue thouygh the 7000 is still noticeably sensitive to higher SWR and RF but is working fine!