Now that I’ve had a few days to play with the IC-705 I have a few comments and a hefty rant. But I want to be perfectly clear that I’m already smitten with the transceiver and well pleased with the purchase. No regrets, I’d buy it again in a heartbeat.
I’ve made numerous HF contacts with the 705 using SSB and CW. All stock settings, stock hand microphone and received enough complimentary audio reports that I have no plans of changing anything about the microphone or the settings. The front-facing speaker is pure delight especially when compared to other QRP gear that isn’t.
Yesterday I spent time configuring the 705 to do DSTAR with my hotspot and after a little futzing, that all worked as expected. I’m not a fan of DV but when you have a transceiver that literally does everything you kinda want to see it do everything.
Start of rant.
The ICOM IC-705 is a high-end radio. It does a lot of things and its price is commensurate with the capabilities and performance it delivers. This is no cheesy knock-off QRP rig. It’s a Cadillac. But when I took it out of the box and set it on my desk it promptly fell over. Again and again. Like a dead bug the damned thing just will not sit pretty. At least not without more money.
I get that this equipment will be used by a diverse audience and everyone will have a better idea about how it should be mounted. Some will use the versatile base to put it on a camera tripod or maybe in that expensive backpack that ICOM also sells for it or in any of a hundred other combinations. And yet I’m struck by the fact that a radio costing nearly $1400 (US) will just fall over like a dead drunk guy right out of the box.
I find this fairly incredible and terrible form for ICOM who either don’t have a mechanical engineer in their employ or who purposely did this in order to sell a mount. This has already spawned a healthy aftermarket for all manner of holders and cages to support and protect the precious cargo, but come on man, it would have cost ICOM all of two-dollars to bend a small piece of aluminum with a 1/4-20 hole in the middle of it and toss it in the box.
But did they? No!
So for fourteen hundred bucks I can’t even push a button on the touchscreen without knocking the whole thing over, or without first picking it up and holding it in my hand before propping it on a rolled up towel which is how I’m using it at this moment.
End of rant.
I told you, I’m still enamored with this radio so I’ve ordered one of everything to go with it. A metal mounting plate, the 705 auto-tuner, micro USB cable, microSD cards, flexible VHF/UHF antenna to attach directly to the radio, a small dedicated power supply for it…
I figure the IC-705 will feature prominently in my ham radio future and I look forward to the fun I expect it to bring - as soon as I can keep it from falling over when I touch it.