Evidently loads of love for the Icom IC-703!

It’s funny: without fail, when I post a new field report or activation video, I get comments from readers about the radio I used during the activation.

“I love that radio…”

“I can’t stand that radio…”

“Why did I ever sell that radio…?” 

If you you follow QRPer.com or my YouTube channel, you’ve likely seen these too.

We’re passionate about our radios for good reason: they’re the hands-on bit…our main interface with our wireless world.

IC-703 Love

Something that has really surprised me are the number of comments I’ve seen from readers and subscribers praising the IC-703.

Since I posted my last activation video, I’ve gotten so many notes on QRPer, YouTube, and via email from those of you who simply love the IC-703.

At least seven of you have told me you still have the original IC-703/+ you purchased new and that you’ll never let go of it.


I love hearing comments like this. The ‘703 is a cool radio in so many respects.

My IC-703 Plus has been a little temperamental and I need to do the Icom-suggested modification that sorts out keyer lock ups. As you’ll see in my next field report, mine does still have issues using end-fed antennas even when using an in-line common mode choke. I could, of course, attach counterpoises to my end-fed antennas and likely mitigate this, but I’d like the ‘703 to be robust enough to handle antennas in my kit just like my other field radios.

I’m convinced the modification will work based on what I’ve read.

Again: great to see all of the ‘703 love! Thanks for that!

9 thoughts on “Evidently loads of love for the Icom IC-703!”

  1. Hi Thomas,

    When I was studying for my foundation license in the late 90s, this was the pin up model I was dreaming of. I had the full size promotional advert that showed manpack configuration with the rucksack and the 10w seemed perfectly matched to the license. I ended up buying a FT-897 but often thought over the years I would buy one if I came across a good used example.
    73 Steve MW0SAW

  2. The classic QRP Icom radio with tuner and big boy features

    I have mine with the backpack and the AH-703 antenna

    I love mine and it enjoys the collins filter

  3. I’ve also had a love hate with the 703, I have owned nine of them in 14 years, I keep buying the latest fangled QRP radio and then sell the 703 only to buy another when the opportunity presents though the KX2 and Lab 599 has finally put an end to it.

  4. Hello Thomas,

    I’m always in love with mine., which is the second version, i.e The HF/50MHz, The Plus model. – I use it for 13 years now without issue, and I work the world with it.

    As I saw in your fine video, you have the first version, without the 6 meter band.

    I remember that the first version had issues, Many operators reported that many years ago.

    It is the reason why Icom replace the first version with the second one while they corrected all those issues and add the six meter band.

    1- Visit the Icom information and FAQ page.

    Look at: VA7OJ/AB4OJ’s Download Page

    Look at the last page which is: The Click logo to go to Adam, VA7OJ/AB4OJ’s Icom Page. Information and FAQ Page.

    C-703 60m Enabling Procedure
    IC-703 Key Jack EMC Fix
    IC-703 Keyer Service Bulletin
    IC-703 TX Driver Service Bulletin.

    Where you may be able to fix some old issues.

    Click for Icom America website.Oldies but Goodies
    For service-related issues on these radios, visit the Icom Service Knowledge Base.

    2- http://ad5x.com/images/Articles/Vprotect.pdf

    3- https://www.qsl.net/icom/ic703/703key.html
    This one is from Dietmar Fichter VE3CG

    About IC-703 KEY JACK EMC FIX .

    Keep this one Thomas it is a great classic, and a keeper..

    Cheers, 72/73

    Mike VE2TH

  5. YES! Why is it that perfectly good, operational radios are considered old or outdated, seen as “yesterdays news”? Case in point is the IC-703. It is a modern, sophisticated radio that has most of today’s features but yet is considered passé? This is so for many perfectly function radios that plummet in price…all the better for the bargain hunter!

  6. When I first began studying for my Canadian Basic with Honours exam and started researching and watching the used radio listings on the local club site, FB Marketplace and Kijiji, the Icom 703 was one of the first radios I saw on sale. It wasn’t the 703+, but was still my radio of choice for my first HF rig!
    I ended up with a hardly used, almost new FT-818 which has done me well. I still watch the used listings for an Icom 703, just in case. That 10w boost just might be the way to go for my next purchase, if another one comes along.

  7. Crazy good radio, Made a lot of SOTA activations with it. Never failed me.

    High price for extra’s like the cw filter. I put in a Yaesu filter since the IF is the same as that of the 817. Just take the filter from the board, add some wire and mount it on the IC703 motherboard.
    I wish I could buy another CW filter for the 2nd 703 I have. And for a FT817nd I bought last year. Shame actually Yaesu doesn’t provide filters anymore!!

    Buttomline about the IC-703 I still love them, will NOT part from them.

    1. Hi, Frank,

      I was lucky (I now realize) to snag a 500Hz CW filter for my ‘703 only a week after receiving it in 2021. I paid $115 which, at the time, I thought was quite high but now realize it was a bit of a bargain.

      You might check out this article on how to assemble your own narrow filter for the 817ND (and perhaps mod it for the 703–?):


      1. I have two 703’s and both are non plus versions. They both have 500hz filters in them. One I installed and the other one already had it. I love these radios and will not part with them.

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