gjorgensen, et al,
1) Yes, the M-803 is due to ship shortly! (I was told 1st quarter 2020, but looks like it could be this month!)
2) FYI, I will be in NZ and Aus in a few weeks and won't be back here until March (and have many things to do this spring), but I do hope to purchase
and evaluate the M-803, before this summer.
[although I make no promises]
That means I'll have to update these "stickies" and make more videos!
Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
Maritime HF Comms
I haven't seen it yet, and haven't checked out its "VFO" mode (for ham operations), nor have I a clue as to how good its SSB
talk power is?
Remember that the M-802 has a great DSP-based speech compressor
that gives it a great / punchy (but very clean) SSB
signal....but if it is turned off, it has a rather weak and meek SSB signal. Also, wondering about the noise
blanker / noise
reduction functions of the M-803's receiver....especially concerned how they designed the programming/settings of the receiver in high-noise environs and/or in crowded bands / high signal level situations with RFI, etc...(in most sdr's / direct-sampling radios these are handled by user controlled software
functions, not sure in the M-803)
Assuming those things are done correctly and it performs up to my satisfaction, I think I'll be reworking my Nav Station to make an M-803 my primary HF rig! (and maybe a new M-605 VHF
, as well?)
3) As for some details / clarification of the M-803:
a) Like the M-802 shared some design architecture such as IF-DSP, etc, with the Icom IC-756ProIII (although with totally different transmit PA and user interface), ....the M-803 shares some design architecture with the Icom IC-7300 / IC-7610 such as RF direct sampling / SDR receiver (although here again with a totally different transmit PA and user interface....and, fyi, I think the M-803 has the same transmit PA section as the M-802, which is a very clean transmitter!)
b) Yes, it is a "12vdc" (13.6vdc) radio
, and is actually built into the same exact chassis as the M-802! (connector layout is a bit different, but damn close...and I think Icom went back to a 4-pin Molex connector for the tuner control!)....assuming Icom gave it decent SSB audio firmware, it should be an excellent HF transmitter, for both maritime and ham (for SSB/USB/LSB, CW, FSK/RTTY, all right out-of-the-box....and any other digital modes you desire, by adding ext modem
or computer sound-card interface)
And, assuming Icom has done the firmware and direct-sampling SDR software
correctly, it should be a great HF receiver as well....(fingers crossed!)
c) Yes, it has a built-in GPS/GNSS receiver (and included ext antenna!)...finally!!
d) The actual operation is supposed to be (understand I'm just going by what Icom told me, I haven't yet used one) similar to that of the M-802....and its user functions/knobs are supposed to be similar to that of the GM-800 (aside from the Class A DSC
functions of the GM-800, it should be the same)
e) FYI, yes the M-803 is a new radio....direct-sampling SDR DSP, etc....but care should be used when comparing it to the GM-800.....remember that the GM-800 in addition to being a "24vdc" radio, with ground isolation, etc. it was designed (years ago) to meet both the IMO GMDSS standards, as well as the EU/UK (and Aus ?) standards, to replace the M-801 (which had some UK/EU and GMDSS issues) and as such the GM-800 cannot transmit on LSB, nor CW, etc....and is locked-out from transmitting outside of its specified maritime bands....(I assume someone has a hack for it, but I've not seen one)....and limited to 85w transmit power below 4mhz, and 125w above 4mhz.......so, while on the outside the M-803 looks a lot like the GM-800 (and, of course, its user interface is the same), it's probably more accurate to say that the M-803 will "look" and "feel" a lot like the GM-800, but will actually operate a lot like the M-802?? (we'll all see in the coming months)
[although the actual Icom "maritime" settings for a direct sampling SDR receiver (and transmitter) have yet to seen / used on the air....so assuming Icom did it right it should perform as good or better than the M-802, but remember the early versions of the IC-7300 had some pretty glaring issues...so, I'm going reserve judgement until I use the M-803...and if this spring goes well, I should be able to do side-by-side / A-B comparisons, on-board, live...]
4) Have a look at the Icom M-803 page and look at the "Product Brochure" PDF as well as both the "features" and "specifications"....
And, keep your eyes at Gary's site (Dockside Radio)...