The I-COM IC-7100 is a High Frequency, (H.F.) transceiver covering the ham radio spectrum from 1.8 Megahertz through to 30 Megahertz, all mode capability including S.S.B., both upper and lower, C.W. A.M. and F.M. modes at your fingertips. The transceiver also features the four metre band together with six metres, two metres and seventy centimetres the latter allocations have the benefit of all mode capability making the IC-7100 an ideal transceiver for the newcomer, you would be hard pressed to find a multi-mode all band transceiver as a rival to the IC-7100.
Essentially the rig is a mobile transceiver, there is no aerial matching unit built-in and you will have to provide a power supply capable of proving 25 watts at 13.8 D.C. Volts. A simple dipole or vertical could be easily constructed for portable operation.
If you intend to use the transceiver in the shack, extendable feet on the control unit makes the head stable and easy to use. A mounting bracket is also available if you intend to operate the transceiver as a mobile rig, this device uses a suction cup on the base, where it can be secured to a Dash board top for easy use, however I am not a great supporter of mobile operation, but you can use the IC-7100 in the car as a portable station which is safer.
The face of the IC-7100 has a touch screen for convenient mode and band change operations; you simply touch and hold the band display and it will step through the complete H.F. allocation. The six metre band will appear as you change bands; however the four metre allocation is selected manually.
Modes are easily changed using the touch screen and filter widths are altered using a button and the main tuning dial. The dial has a Brake arrangement to tighten the tuning rate, which is useful if operating portable, it does prevent accidental tuning. You can also set the dial to step through channels at different frequency spacing which is a benefit when using the two metre or seventy centimetre band where we use set channel steps especially on F.M. Operation.
Other useful features include digital Noise reduction filtering, an effective Noise Blanking control and the automatic gain control can be set to fast or slow these settings are used when receiving S.S.B. or C.W., they enhance the receiving of these modes when band conditions including fading occur. A C.W. or Morse code reader is built in to the IC-7100 adding another convenient feature.
Squelch and volume controls together with R.F., (Radio Frequency) gain control are placed on the left hand side of the IC-7100 and are conveniently positioned for altering these most used controls.
Buttons along the front of the IC-7100 control panel provide automatic tuner activation, together with mic gain and output power control. A button for C.W. speed and pitch are also provided for the keen Morse code enthusiast. A notch control is also provided for eliminating stations nearby to your operating frequency.
There is provision for memory channels to be stored and scanned, and you can also scan portions of a band, a convenient feature when using the transceiver outside of the Ham Band allocation.
D-star mode is also incorporated into the IC-7100, my transceiver came with a number of digital repeaters and reflectors already in memory channels, however you can easily modify this list to suit your own area.
My conclusion, to this article about the I-com IC-7100 is that it would be an excellent starter transceiver for anyone entering the World of Ham radio. The rig has all the major bands built into a very small box which is at home on a shack desk top or on dashboard of a vehicle. It combines all bands with all modes so you will never miss out on not being able to listen to a signal.
All the Short wave broadcasts from stations around the World can be monitored, together with a number of utility services. Medium wave and long wave bands work exceptionally well, I used a frame aerial for this part of the radio spectrum. The VHF air band works very well together with many P.M.R. users throughout the VHF spectrum including the Internal FM Marine band. Digital mode enthusiasts will find that the IC-7100 works very well when plugged into your laptop or computer.