Icom IC-7610


Since my return to ham radio in 2017 I have owned and operated several HF radios, the first was the Kenwood TS590, nice radio but limited in the fact to add a SDR scope required hardware modification, plus the TX ALC is over aggressive limiting the obtainable peak/average power.
Next was the Yaesu FT-991, very similar performance to the TS590 on the receive side of operations, better TX peak/average power compared to the Kenwood.
The next radio I changed into was the Icom IC-7300, this radio is very different to the other two requiring an understanding of SDR and the limitations likely to encounter (Overload). The very first advantage of the Icom over the others is the ability to have very good modulation, achieving many on air compliments, the receiver seemed more lively, measurements showed better than 0.2 uV (0.16 uV) for 10dB SNR but at these levels with only 10 dB SNR the receiver is way too noisy, however this is not a huge problem since any station that low is unlikely to hear you. In general for the money the IC-7300 offers very good performance compared to more expensive radios, making an excellent entry level choice.

The opportunity to upgrade to an Icom IC-7610 arose, the price was such that it was an offer too hard to refuse. At first I did not think it would offer a lot more than the IC-7300, I was wrong.
The filters are a lot nicer and more effective, the dual receive is a bit of candy, for some could be a good option, not for me.
The noise reduction system DSP seems to have more range in the mitigating steps, making the operation more effective in achieving that sweet spot that recovers the best audio.
The receiver sensitivity is the same as the IC-7300, but here is the difference, the IC-7610 resolves the audio of low level signals far better than the IC-7300
this without any filtering. I attribute this to the fact that the IC-7610 is a quieter receiver, with lower noise floor (White Noise), lower that the IC-7300.
I don't have equipment to measure this, but the fact I can hear with good legibility signals that are below S1 is a good testament.

The IC-7610 has a RMDR (Reciprocal Mixing Dynamic Range) of 110 dB compared to the IC-7300 of 100 dB, the IC-7610 is a later evolution in the Icom SDR range, no surprise that this is a better figure, I understand the Flex radio has a similar figure to this, more to do with the Chips been used.
However the result is a quieter receiver, and more head room against overload.

Operating an SDR radio offers a different set of requirements , that of keeping out of band signals away from the wanted part, the reason is that overload can be caused from signals far from your wanted listening area, the IC-7610 solves this problem by having an adjustable preselector (Digi-Sel), along with an RF gain control plus a variable attenuator calibrated in 3 dB steps up to 45 db, not quite sure how the two systems compliment each other or what part of the system they act upon, something to investigate, but as far as strong signals and overload, one has a huge range of control.

Ergonomically the IC-7300 is better, the IC-7610 seems to have duplications the likes of band selection that is both via the touch screen and a key pad, memory VFO selection only available from the quick menu, silly things like that, buttons that could have been used for better operational ergonomics instead of duplications, the worst for me is the placement of the RIT control placed close next to the VFO control, I for ever hit the RIT when tuning.

Concluding, the IC-7610 after a few days of operation keeps amazing me on how good the receiver is, having overcome the placement of some of the front panel functions that Icom in their usual manner, have placed with no real logic sense to aid an operator, I like this radio, and is a keeper.

Links to further inform.
No Nonsense Icom 7300 vs. Icom 7610 Comparison


About RMDR



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It would be a good challenge to build a transceiver one-self , get just what you want , not too complicated ,don't need an on board memory we all have that , bells and whistles belong on fire trucks , tongues stay firmly in cheeks , and dollars stay in wallets , Just kidding a bit .