Tuesday, May 12, 2020

IC-9700 Coming Soon to My Shack

ICOM IC-9700

I've had an interest for a while in VHF SSB and FT8.  I also wanted a more robust radio for my regular FM repeater use.  Using dual band mobiles in the shack just started to feel like a compromise.  Or maybe I just want to sound like I can justify a new rig, in case the XYL is reading this!

I spent quite a while going back and forth on what kind of radio to buy for VHF/UHF.  Like I said, the mobiles just didn't seem enough like desk candy.  But what was it that I really wanted to accomplish?  I made the mistake of not asking this question before I started looking at rigs online.  I had all but decided on the Yaesu FT-991A.  In fact, I had it added to my online cart and was going to check out when I decided to look around a bit more.  The 991A is a very capable rig.  HF, 6m, VHF, UHF, and Yaesu System Fusion!  It connects to a PC with a single USB cable for rig control and digital modes.  It would be excellent to pair with my Yaesu FTDX1200 currently in the shack...so why didn't I buy it?

When I started thinking about what I actually wanted to achieve, I made this list:

-Base Station
-Preferred to have a nice band scope
-Preferred to have Dstar so I could put my ICOM ID-5100A in my truck
-Preferred more output power than my 50w ID-5100A

Given that list of wants, it became clear that the FT-991A would not do the trick.  The 991A doesn't have as nice of a band scope as the IC-9700.  It has Yaesu System Fusion rather than Dstar.  There isn't much YSF in this area, but I do maintain a Dstar stack nearby.  The 991A also is still not any more powerful than the ID-5100A mobile.

So even though the cost of an IC-9700 was a bit more and it would require a triplexer, it seemed to be a much better fit for my needs.  When I went to order the IC-9700, I decided to order from Gigaparts.  I had been looking at it for a few days on their website and added it to my cart.  I pulled up the cart and began to checkout, just to find that the price had increased suddenly by $100.  Which is strange because DX Engineering and Ham Radio Outlet still had it at the same price.  I then decided to not pay the extra unexplained $100, so I ordered from Ham Radio Outlet. I found out after I ordered it that it was out of stock.  I ordered it on 5/1/2020 and have heard nothing.  When I inquired with HRO customer service, I got  a one line response that they hope to have them by the end of the month...so I wait.

[UPDATE 5/27/2020]
After 26 days of waiting patiently, I finally received my IC-9700! 

73 de W4LSG sk

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