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Old 07-01-2020, 01:07   #1
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New Icom M803 SSB

Well, according to the Icom website the venerable M802 has been discontinued in the US and replaced with the new M803. They claim it'll be shipping this month. It has a similar look and feel to the fancy M605 VHF with a color display, and as with the 802 the control head is separate from the transceiver box. It uses the same AT140 tuner. Dockside Radio lists it and unsurprisingly the price went up.

According to the brochure it's a direct sampling receiver, so I would guess the RX architecture is basically the same as the 7300. GPS is built in and an external GPS antenna is included. They list "full class E DSC" which I suppose solves the various DSC issues they had with the 802.
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Old 07-01-2020, 01:56   #2
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

Icom M803 specs..

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/marine/ssb/m803/specifications.aspx
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Old 07-01-2020, 17:11   #3
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

The 803 looks similar to the GM800 line of icom HF radios. Maybe a merge in technology.
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Old 07-01-2020, 18:26   #4
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohgary View Post
The 803 looks similar to the GM800 line of icom HF radios. Maybe a merge in technology.
Export Only..

http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...0/default.aspx
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Old 07-01-2020, 18:33   #5
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

The IC-M803 is 12V, while the GM800 is 24V only. Some of the other specs are different, presumably because it was designed to meet a different standard.


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Old 07-01-2020, 22:54   #6
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

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!


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tc-198305.html


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tc-133496.html




HF-DSC
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX




Icom M-802 Instruction Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr




Maritime HF Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y




Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY



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"....
http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/marine/ssb/m803/default.aspx

And, keep your eyes at Gary's site (Dockside Radio)...
http://www.docksideradio.com/index.html
http://www.docksideradio.com/Icom%20SSB%20Radios.htm




Fair winds.

John
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Old 07-01-2020, 23:26   #7
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

Oh, and BTW, I do also really like the 2 minutes of audio recording function....just like the high-end Sailor radios!
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Old 08-01-2020, 17:42   #8
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartleyg View Post
The IC-M803 is 12V, while the GM800 is 24V only. a
YOu can run it on 12v with the optional adapter.
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Old 08-01-2020, 23:09   #9
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
gjorgensen, et al,

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)
I think you hit the $64 questions (or $2400 questions, as the case may be). Since there's no manual posted yet operation is guess work, but I don't see anything obvious on the front panel for VFO mode. Hopefully that's not botched up. I also agree about the filtering and NB/NR. My primary HF xcvr is an Icom 7300, and while the SDR RX performance is great it's still important to be able to tweak like crazy. If they preset all that it could be trouble, especially if they're trying to automatically compensate for nearby high power transmitters. Still, Icom tends to get that stuff right (eventually at least), so once it shakes out a little bit I expect this should be a fine radio.

BTW, while it uses the AT140 tuner, a different cable is required than the 802.
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Old 08-01-2020, 23:40   #10
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

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Old 09-01-2020, 22:34   #11
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

It's available now and we have it for sale online with details. They are in-stock and ready to go in the US.

Some of the comments confuse the M803 with the GM800.. They are different. The M803 controller matches the GM800, GM600, and M605 control heads visually, but the M803 is not the same unit as the GM800. It is 12V for sure, and built in GPS as mentioned above.

One note is that is supports the AT140, same as M802, but requires a different control cable, OPC1465 vs the M802's OPC1147N.

Radio only.
https://www.sea-tech.com/product/icom-m803-ssb-marine-radio/

Full communications package with Pactor and all cables/etc.
https://www.sea-tech.com/product/sea...03-ssb-kit-v2/

Icom has explicitely told me that you can unlock ham bands iike M802 but I have not tried it yet since I won't have my demo. I will be demo'ing the M803 at the Seattle Boat Show this month.

A note on the M802.. It's still in stock as well, but cannot legally be sold or installed in the US as of 1/1/2020. It's available for sale as Export Only currently.

Let me know if you have any questions!
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:25   #12
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

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A note on the M802.. It's still in stock as well, but cannot legally be sold or installed in the US as of 1/1/2020. It's available for sale as Export Only currently.
!
What LAW make the 802 illegal to sell?
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Old 12-01-2020, 12:31   #13
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

FCC certification waiver expired on 12/31/2019. That 2 year waiver was put in place after the FCC changed DSC requirements several years ago. The M802 doesn't meet the new FCC requirements related to DSC functionality. It hasn't met the requirements for many years but there was a grace period after the rule was changed, then there was a waiver granted by the FCC to give Icom time to update the hardware. Which is part of why the M803 was released now.
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What LAW make the 802 illegal to sell?
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Old 13-01-2020, 10:12   #14
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

I'm hoping the M-803 will turn out to be a great rig!

As for the venerable M-802, it's still a good rig....
And, Richard was correct here....and this is one reason why we saw the M-802 discounted this past fall...but...
But, according to what I was told my Icom (in 2018), this was only a Part 80 Certification issue (being slightly out-of compliance with DSC), and would not effect the legality of the radio being sold for other services, such as the amateur radio service (where no FCC Certification, other than the standard Part 15 stuff, is required), nor fixed/land-mobile service (Part 90), nor aviation service (Part 87), both of which it was certified for...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems View Post
FCC certification waiver expired on 12/31/2019. That 2 year waiver was put in place after the FCC changed DSC requirements several years ago. The M802 doesn't meet the new FCC requirements related to DSC functionality. It hasn't met the requirements for many years but there was a grace period after the rule was changed, then there was a waiver granted by the FCC to give Icom time to update the hardware. Which is part of why the M803 was released now.
So, while Icom Marine dealers were told (by Icom ?) they couldn't sell the radio in the US after 12/31/19, as far as I know there is no law preventing others from selling the M-802 for other uses/services (such as ham radio / amateur radio service, etc.).

At least that is my understanding of it....but...

But, this might be a moot point, as there are probably few M-802's in distribution pipeline, and few were stocked by any ham radio dealers....but, as long as the dealer isn't selling it for maritime, FCC Part 80, compliance, I think it could still be sold....
Again probably a moot point, but just wanted to add some clarity (although not sure I did?).


Fair winds.

John

P.S. As I wrote above....if Icom did it right, the M-803 should be a great radio! (just need to see how they did the direct-sampling/SDR/DSP settings, and how seamless using on the ham bands / "VFO" Mode is...as well as how they implemented noise blanking, etc....and any speech compression/speech processing in transmit audio?)
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Old 23-01-2020, 09:33   #15
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Re: New Icom M803 SSB

IIRC, the IC-7300 is (in)famous for not liking being around other transmitters. This is likely only a ham thing, but something to think about.
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