ICOM IC-705 First Look

ic705 box

The IC-705 was the radio that everyone was talking about in 2020. It has the potential to engage the ham operator in using HF while still having the comfort of VHF/UHF; without the compromise of a big rig. Although, the radio is not perfect and has been criticized there are many technologies that ultimately will be present in most rigs.

The IC-705 specs are interesting. Basically it a software-defined radio (SDR) which is also a QRP rig with HF, VHF/UHF, and D-Star. The IC-705 transmits at 5 watts with an internal battery or 10 watts when connect to an external battery or power supply. In addition, the power configuration might be more interesting. You can charge your internal battery with an external battery or via USB!

The radio is meant for going out in the field and making contacts. For example, if you participate in SOTA or POTA activations, this might be a radio for you. Or you may mount the radio in your car so you may communicate while driving. On the other hand, you may keep the radio at home for it’s compact and very portable.

The killer app for this radio is its ease of use with its touch screen like your phone. The menu structure is similar to the IC-7300, thus you don’t have to learn a new interface. There are many great tools available on the IC-705 from a variety of scopes and meters to bluetooth and GPS. I feel the IC-705 is like a glorified HT with many features like D-Star and HF. I say this because my Yaesu FT-3DR (affiliate link) is packed with many features like GPS, APRS, bluetooth, touch screen, etc.

The bigger picture? ICOM’s architecture is gradually moving away from an arcane and sometimes unproductive interface and hardware. Too instead, using familiar technologies that we use everyday on our phones like: GPS, Bluetooth, and USB. In addition, ICOM are using best practices for graphic user interfaces (GUI) by not only using a touch screen, but to help us program the radio more efficiently. Gradually these technologies will attract more people in the amateur radio hobby.

Below is my unboxing of the radio and how it compares with the KX2. I was very fortunate to find one at the Ham Radio Outlet in San Diego, CA. You are now able to buy the IC-705 on Amazon (affiliate link). Be safe and see you on the air, -73 Frank KN6BST.