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Old 01-08-2011, 10:27   #1
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Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

I recently got my amateur license and am narrowed down to the ic7000 radio for use on our boat. I was wondering if anyone is using the 7000 while cruising. I guess I could modifiy it to include MARS, but is that necessary.? I just want to make sure I'm buying a radio we can use mainly on the boat for weatherfax, winlink, etc on the ham frequencies.
Thanks, April
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Old 01-08-2011, 21:11   #2
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I use an IC7000 as a backup to my m802, and it has worked well with these caveats:

For full power it needs pretty close to 13 volts to avoid distortion. You can run fine at 20-30 watts with lower voltages and no problems. I use a boost convertor to make sure it always has 14 volts.

If you use it with a Pactor modem you may find you have to set the modem drive
Level very low to prevent overdriving the transmitter because the IC7000 af input sensitivity is very high. This opens you up to RF getting into that input unless you have stellar grounding. I built a 7:1 attenuator into my modem to radio cable to help with this.

You will also want to make sure the radio is well ventilated if you run pactor at high power. Ive never had problems, but they are not designed for high duty cycle at 100 watts output, and getting hot may be pushing your luck.

Its a great radio if taken care of. The MARS mod is easy and but ive never had to use mine out of band.

Chip
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:50   #3
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

April,
I was hesitant to reply as I do not own an IC-7000 and since Chip does have one and seems happy with his, I didn't wish to come off as negative...
So, to be clear, the IC-7000 isn't a bad radio....but I think (my opinion) there are better options....


Having used the IC-706MkIIG (a predessor to the IC-7000, w/o IF-DSP), here are my thoughts....

1) Uisng a small "menu-driven" radio can be a downright pain in the a**.....
And, I'd not choose this type of rig as a primary radio....unless space was at a very high premium.....


2) Since the "cost" of an IC-7000 (at about $1250) isn't much less than that of an M-710 (at about $1595).....nor even the full featured (DSC, etc.) M-802 (at about $1895)......
(and adding the seperation kit/cable, etc. for the 7000 adds more costs...)

I was wondering if you'd considered a real marine MF/HF radio (such as the M-710 or M-802)????

Just as examples.....
H.F. Radio on Board's SSB/Ham store

AES Price list



3) And, since the IC-7000's rec specs aren't nearly as good as those of the M-802 (which is similar to the IC-756ProII), etc....just wanted you to have some more opinions / options....
Just FYI....
Receiver Test Data



4) April, have a look at a recent discussion of HF radio choice on the SSCA Disc Board.....you may find it helpful....
SSCA Discussion Board • View topic - ICOM 802 - Purchasing a New SSB Radio



I hope this helps....

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:12   #4
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John is right about menu driven radios, but if you use the radio frequently, the menus become easy. If you don't they can be frustrating. The nice thing about the IC7000 is that it is extremely flexible on HF, VHF, and UHF bands. For Ham use, menus and all, it is way better for me than the M802 (but I like my Elecraft K2 better at the home base). If you want a robust radio for the boat, for Pactor email and routine voice comms, you really would be better off with a 710, m802, or other well regarded marine radio. Still, the IC7000 has worked well for me in all of the above roles when properly fed and interfaced.

Chip
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Old 04-08-2011, 14:04   #5
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Why don't you go with the 7200. http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc..._QSTReview.pdf It's front end is water protected like their marine radios and seems a much better, has many of the features of the 7000 and a less confusing interface. Seems like it would be a better choice if you have to have the bells and whistles of a state of the art HF radio on a boat.

Personally, I went with an Icom 718. Rugged, simple to operate and worked extremely well for both voice and email with a Pactor II modem. Best of all, they are really easy on the pocket book. Bought mine used with the DSP module and opened up for transmit capability on all the HF bands for $400. New ones are slightly over %$600. I'm not a ham geek and just wanted easy to understand and reliable long range communication. No problems sending and recieving both voice and email on the sail to Hawaii last summer. Kept up with the daily check ins on the MM nets, regularly heard and communicated with hams from as far away as the East Coat to Australia, and picked up the GRIBS to keep track of the wind in an atypical weather year for the passage.
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Old 04-08-2011, 15:10   #6
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

I recently got a Yaesu 857D + antenna tuner FC-40, and will appreciate any comments.
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Old 04-08-2011, 15:35   #7
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Ah, April? MARS in radio-speak means the Military Auxilliary Radio System.
NETCOM | MARS

You don't want to be modifying a radio to work with MARS unless you are a MARS member.

If you mean modifying it to work on MARINE HF...that's prefectly fine as an
emergency provision, or for listening in. Just bear in mind it will be illegal to transmit in the marine services. Which is not to say hams don't do that commonly, just to remember it is illegal and if for some reason you are caught, you can be sure you'll be paying the piper. The alternative is to buy 0ne of the few radios that are dual-certified for marine and ham use. (Icom 710, 810, etc.)

No, the "radio police" don't usually come around to check anything. But you might want to look over the many threads on those subjects before making a decision.
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Old 19-05-2012, 10:51   #8
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Has anyone opened this radio up for Marine frequencies?
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Old 19-05-2012, 12:13   #9
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewitts View Post
Has anyone opened this radio up for Marine frequencies?
That is what the "MARS mod" does. It involves opening up the radio and identifying a particular surface mount part and removing it.
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Old 19-05-2012, 22:04   #10
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Ok, so has anyone identified the diode?
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Old 20-05-2012, 07:16   #11
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Yes, just google for IC-7000 Mars Mod.
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Old 20-05-2012, 10:07   #12
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Thanks,
Regards
Ed
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Old 21-05-2012, 02:44   #13
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

to MS100:
Hi I have been using the Yaesu FT897D and FC-40 auto-tuner for a number of years now on my boat.
Internally the 897D is exactly the same as the FT-857 which is even more compact.
The FT 897D is robust, very versatile and has never failed me. It is also a safe back-up for the marine VHF if needed.
The FC-40 antenna tuner is another story... Although very fast at retuning previously stored settings, and easy handling through the "tune" function on the rig, its impedance matching range is (too) limited. So you have to choose very carefully the antenna wire length if you want allband use....Even with a decent RF ground/counterpoise system, it took me countless trials, even with multiple parallel wires etc, to finally arrive at 9.2m of total wire length (= total length until the underdeck ATU's antenna connector). This gives me HAM 80m-40m-20m-17m-15m with good to reasonable SWR. Forget most of the marine bands like 12 Mhz.....untunable. For those I would need to find another suitable length.

So forget to cut and isolate your backstay to the usual 40ft and then add the GTO-15 untill the ATU....little chance that you will get all-band operation!

In the latter case you will be far better off using the SGC-230 atu (more expensive but the Rolls Royce) or the cheaper CG-3000 (chinese but I use it at home QTH - works like a charm). Those have a far wider impedance matching range.

Jan
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Old 21-05-2012, 08:38   #14
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Goudurix, thanks for your comments.
I have not yet installed the equipment on the boat, but it is interesting what you say about the FC-40. I suppose I have a lot of experimenting ahead.
It's not easy for me to find a SGC-230 or the CG-3000.
regards, marcelo
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Old 21-05-2012, 09:24   #15
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Re: Any Ham Using the IC7000 (Mod) for Cruising ?

Hi MS100 amigo Marcelo (seguiré en inglés para los otros),

Don't worry there are solutions.....

Firstly you should decide which bands you need (HAM - which bands and/or marine SSB - which bands?).

Secondly, the simplest solution is also the cheapest: do not cut your backstay but install an "alternate backstay antenna" (copyright Bill B. Trayfors ) => run a stainless steel or tinned insulated steel antenna wire from masttop (using a spare halyard) to the railing on the back of the boat (choose the side where you can install the antenna tuner just below the deck as close as possible to where your antenna wire comes down e.g. the lazarette). I installed an insulated through-hull connector, and fixed the antenna tuner just below it, so I have no stretch of antenna wire running belowdecks (see pics on my page on QRZ.COM - just type in my callsign: ON3ZTT )

If you have this, and an RF counterpoise connected also to the antenna tuner, you can easily play around with different antenna wire lengths (use cheap copper wire for testing, replacing it with more robust wire later...yes of course for the purists....other wire insulated or not will change the velocity factor a bit but the effect won't be huge...).

Now determine the upper frequency limit you need for long distance SSB - this will determine the max wire length: 0,63 X highest wavelength = maximum wire length. 0.63 times wavelength gives the highest gain lobes still with low take-off angle for long range communication. If you make it longer, you will mainly get RF radiation shooting up to the sky - useless for long range skip communication.

A practical example: say you want to use HAM 40m ,30m, 20m, 17m and even 15m as DX frequencies: a 8.9 meter wire will still give you low take-off angle for 21.25 Mhz (15m band). On 40m band it is slightly shorter than 1/4 wave so would still work well as a 1/4 wave groundplane antenna.
I found empirically that a 9.2m wire (sloping wire + the wire leading down from antenna wire until the tuner) gives me tunable allband use from 80m-15m HAM bands with the FC-40.

Say you want 4.4 Mhz till 12.5 Mhz marine bands: a 15.1 meter wire will still give you low-angle take-off and a 15m wire is also slightly shorter than 1/4 wave on 4.4 Mhz.

By the way at my home I have set up a 9.2 meter vertical whip antenna with elevated radials as RF counterpoise, now using the CG-3000 antenna tuner and this also tunes well on the same HAM bands (80m - 15m).

This 9.2 metres is not a length specifically inked to the Yaesu FC-40 tuner but it must simply be a length where for which the resistance and reactances presented to the tuner are accceptable and within range, even for the FC-40.
Now if you would need both HAM bands and marine SSB bands, you could have 2 wires, interchangeable.

BTW these backstay wire solutions with an antenna tuner are always a compromise solution. You could have a far more efficient system without the need for a tuner using vertical wire dipoles also hoisted from the mast but you would need one dipole per frequency.... I have 20m, 17m and 15m HAM-band homebuilt dipoles on board (sorry Bill: WITH 1:1 balun...) but I don't use them too often, the allband wire/tuner solution is more handy though less efficient.

Good luck, and do install the FT857 and FC40! Once you have the correct antenna length, the FC40 works superfast and reliable.

Jan
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