If you’ve been here long, you’ve no doubt noticed that I have a sizable collection of QRP radios I take to the field.
Although I have some favorites, I try to rotate all of my radios in the field and even pair them with different antenna combinations as much as possible. If I only owned one field radio, I’d shake things up by pairing my one radio with different antennas deployed different ways during my POTA/SOTA activations.
I get a real thrill out of testing different combinations, actually, and I feel like it keeps me on my toes because I don’t get too comfortable with any one setup in the field.
No doubt, using a wide variety of radios gives me a more informed perspective when beta testing or evaluating new radio models.
That said, there is one radio in my collection that has been overlooked too many times: my Icom IC-703 Plus.
Many of you have noticed this, in fact. I’ve gotten several emails and comments asking, “So Thomas…when are you taking the 703 out again–?” 🙂
When I purchased the ‘703 from my buddy Don a couple years ago, I imagined taking it to the field very regularly. I always thought it was a cool little radio and with its built-in ATU, it’s quite compact for a tabletop-style rig.
Thing is, each time I’ve taken it to the field, I’ve had issues with the electronic keying that I did not have when using it in the shack. It’s quite sensitive to RF, so end-fed antennas seem to create unwanted dits and dashes in the keyer.
The simple fix, I hoped, was simply using an in-line common mode choke to keep the RF away from the radio. Thing is, the IC-703 has an SO-239 antenna port and two of my common mode chokes are BNC. I meant to purchase a BNC-to-PL-259 adapter at the Shelby Hamfest, but picked up the wrong item (I should have been wearing my glasses).
Then I remembered that my Chameleon 50′ RG-58C/U cable not only has an integrated in-line choke, but also PL-259 connectors. This could work! Continue reading POTA with the Icom IC-703 Plus: Working a serious SWR problem first, though!