I Can Work This Thing!

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The Icom IC718 passes our first tests....

The Icom IC718 went to California Radio Camp with us during the first week
in March, and served as our "Field day" station - the one we set up outside
and as a "portable" station using a wire antenna. Things we look for in a
rig to work well under these conditions include clear audio from the
speaker, good transmitted audio, ease of use by campers with different skill
levels, easy to read display, functional controls, and overall ruggedness of
design. How did the 718 do? I'm pleased to report that it did very well.
The front-firing speaker was easy to hear, even under adverse conditions.
Transmitted audio was exceptional, and the display has large, easy to read
numbers. Our blind operators commented on the clear audio produced by the
optional voice module, as it spoke the frequency on the display. The keypad
in in the upper right corner of the front panel, and the numbers follow the
familiar telephone-style layout. The rig was easy to use once it was set up
to our liking, but like all modern gear, it was essential to read the manual
first to understand the ins and outs of initial programming. There is no
doubt of the rig's solid design. It is relatively compact, midway in size
between a mini-rig like the IC706 and the larger Kenwood TS570. Advantages
include the low price, which was only a little over $600 delivered,
including the voice module. Other delights were the easy to read liquid
crystal display, uncluttered front panel, excellent audio (both in and out),
and overall ease of use. Disadvantages were no six meter band and no
internal antenna tuner. However, an external auto tuner is available from
Icom. We will be testing the rig further at Minnesota Radio Camp. A tape
manual for the IC718 is available from the Handiham book & tape catalog.

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