Icom drops hints about the SHF-P1 controller prototype/concept

Yesterday, Icom posted the following teaser and image above on Twitter in advance of the 2022 Hamvention:

Are you ready for Dayton Hamvention 2022? Something new and exciting is on the horizon, visit us in building 2 from Friday, May 20 through Sunday, May 22.

At first, I was scratching my head because the product image (at the top of the page) looks like an IC-705, but the frequency displayed is 5.780 GHz.  Then I remembered mention of Icom’s SHF (Super High Frequency) Band Challenge some months ago.

I looked up the SHF Project page on Icom Japan’s website and found the details.

Basically, Icom seems to be repurposing the IC-705 platform to be used as a controller for the SHF transceiver. Why not? The IC-705 has fantastic ergonomics and a brilliant spectrum display.

In order to mitigate line losses, the SHF transceiver/RF module is designed to be mounted directly on a tower at the antenna and controlled remotely via a LAN cable. Here’s a simple diagram from Icom’s news release:

Here’s what the SHF RF module looks like:

Icom will have the new SHF-P1 controller prototype on display at the 2022 Hamvention:

I think it’s pretty cool that Icom’s working on a 2.4 GHz/5.6 GHz project even during these challenging times for manufacturers. I’ve never even tinkered in these frequency ranges, but I think it would be a lot of fun to explore.

For more information about this project and links to all previous news releases, check out the SHF project page on Icom’s website.

19 thoughts on “Icom drops hints about the SHF-P1 controller prototype/concept”

  1. Outstanding! Icom is clearly thinking outside the box. I hope it improves our utilization of those bands.

  2. This is cutting edge, exciting tech and what one would expect from Icom. However, as with all leading edge projects, no doubt, it will be very expensive when and if released.

    1. I’m sure it’ll be pricey–most of the gear in those frequency ranges is pricey. I imagine this will be something clubs might look into…especially those in metro areas. Of course, some rovers as well. Pretty specialized stuff, but fascinating.

    1. Hmmm…the image they used in their hint on Twitter shows 5.78 GHz on the display, though. I think the ‘9700 only goes up to 1.2 GHz. It seems to coincide more with their SHF-P1 announcement and info as I posted.

      Plus, the Icom SHF doc literally says the prototype SHF-P1 will be on display at the 2022 Hamvention.

  3. Icom came out with the IC7300 HF/6m rig and then the IC9700 VHF/440/1.2GHz rig. Now looks like doing similar for the IC705 although definitely a much different rig from about any other manufacture for Ham Radio.

    73, ron, n9ee

  4. I always take the view that at those frequencies there isn’t much activity and the £/QSO cost is quite high so I’ve stayed away. I guess Icom will have done their market research and maybe hope to grow activity there but I expect it to be expensive and there in lies the problem, who will buy one given QSO’s generally have to be arranged via sked, you have to sit on a hill top to get anywhere with it and you need a bit of tropo or rain to increase the range.

    My glass is half empty on this one!

    1. It’s a very niche part of the spectrum, that’s for sure. Although I know almost nothing about it, I’m sort of fascinated. I don’t ever see getting into it myself–I just don’t live in an area with any of that activity other than the odd contest or scheduled contact.

      Tell me I could bounce that off the moon with 5 watts, and I’d be first in line to buy all of the gear! 🙂

      1. Microwave spectrum is wide bandwidth and point to point. It is not good for random QSOs. But it is good for high speed data links.

        Ham radio will lose bands if they are not used and cw and ssb will not use MHz of bandwidth.

      2. I used to run video thru a 27′ uplink dish to Satellite. 6 mhz wide but it was analog and the transmitter usually ran at 250 watts. 3khz audio with 5 w to the moon and a high gain antenna should work.

  5. As someone who is interested in making better use of the “ultra highs” *and* who already owns an IC-705 (that K4SWL made me buy) this is very exciting!

  6. ic-9700 has an Ethernet port, would be nice if they could provide a firmware update to it to allow it to be used with the remote transceiver boxes…

  7. Needed to include an ATN and better graphical SWR meter on 705. Should have worked on that!

  8. So many ‘nay-sayers’ to 2.4 and 5.6 GHz but yet everyone is oogling over DMR? Think outside of the box guys! This SHF-P1 has MANY possibilities! Think AREDN Intranet! Add your choice of sector or dish antenna and you have an ODU backbone radio! If it does both bands at same time, you now have backbone AND LAN on 2.4 Ghz. Outstanding!

  9. Here is a thought…

    With the advancement of this project; I think they should consider using Fiber Optic connectivity, rather than a wired solution. rfi proof, better control, and most importantly, safety from lightning, etc.

  10. Really don’t like the ic-705 to much plastic, not enough of the traditional connectors would be better if there were pl259 & n type connector on it, and a traditional microphone jack on it they could have done this with a slightly larger display and tuning knob. Also HF, 144, 430, 23cm and 2.5w 5w, 10w ,40w forty is for data modes.

    I have not come across any radio on the market that satisfies me yet.

  11. John Payton,

    Agreed except fiber optic as a compliment. In another words, CAT 6 or fiber. On a mountain top, if you loose a fiber cable, good ole CAT 6 could keep your node on the air! But I agree, fiber would be a great feature!

    Mark Price, if you want HF, 6, 2, 440 and 1.2, get one of the ICOM radios they already have! This radio equipment looks to have NOTHING to do with these bands! This looks more to be in the realm of either weak signal work, but more likely (I hope) is ARDEN type networking/LAN/linking. If that is not something your interested in, then you misunderstood the equipment on display and its intended purpose which has nothing to do with anything below 2.4 GHz.
    The display is a uniform display interface which simplifies the users familiarity for specific radio style comms, reduces the different styles of housings that have to be created thus reducing overall production costs.

    If this equipment is similar to Ubiquity point-to-point equipment with a Amateur radio comms interface along with higher power than the current point-to-point products (say on the order of 5 to 10 watts on each band) and ICOM can keep the costs reasonable, (doubt it) it would be a REAL point-to-point / LAN winner! We (I) can only hope!

    Being a former ICOM tech rep, this is VERY unique for ICOM! They keep prototype products (anything S/N 999 and lower) VERY under wraps! That they even call it “P1” is a hint that they are really looking to get feedback on Amateurs interests in this very different Amateur product! My guess is this is not like all the equipment we’ve ever seen from ICOM before! This is more in the networking, backbone, back hall LAN type of equipment For amateur radio intranet networking.


    de N7LT

  12. There is nothing like this little rig, so the possibilities for experimenting will be endless. I see higher gain dish antennas as the first mods with some new beacons and satellite modes soon. Imagine a “Go-Box” made up of a 705 and 709 as the ultimate portable QRP contesting machine! I only wish Icom had added 222 and 902 mHz in the mix!

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