Icom IC-705 174 Days Later….

I don’t really do reviews but quite a few operators have asked me what I think if the IC-705 so this is not a review of the IC-705, its my thoughts and some details on what I have been doing with it for the 174 days I have owned it, at the end I answer the popular question “Do I recommend the IC-705” – spoiler alert, yes I do. Not much of a spoiler, if you’ve been following me on here or my social media accounts you already knew that I’m sure 😉

Its now been 174 days (almost 7 months) since I picked up the Icom IC-705 I bought from Nevada Radio, as a big fan of tech in general and a proven ‘early adopter’ I was really looking forward to this radio when it was announced back in 2019 and I paid the pre-order deposit at Nevada Radio as soon as I noticed they were taking pre orders. Nevada Radio are one of my favourite suppliers and we just a few miles from where I was living at the time.

On the 23rd of September 2020 the wait was over, I got the call that my pre-order was now in stock. We had moved a bit further away but I figured it was still worth the drive to go and pick it up and an hour of so later I had picked up my radio and was heading back home ripping the packing plastic from the screen as I went 😉

Shiny box!

It wasnt long before the Icom backpack designed for the IC-705 was in stock (the next day in fact) so I ordered one of those too.

Icom LC-192 Backpack

My IC-705 has spent most of its time in this backpack and its great to be able to grab it and take along everything I need for a portable radio station on the few occasions we have been out in the past few months.

Icom LC-192 Backpack, space for everything I need for my portable digital radio station

Not only does the backpack protect my radio, it also makes it easy to deploy and operate the radio from the backpack in a variety of locations and terrain.

Easy to operate the IC-705 in the LC-192 Backpack
IC-705 operation by the sea in Keyhaven
IC-705 up a hill near Dorchester
IC-705 by a heavy sea near Weymouth

I mainly use the IC-705 for Digital Modes, specifically JS8Call and Winlink which means I need to connect it to a computer of some kind. The IC-705 is perfect for this as I can connect for both CAT control and sound between the radio and computer with a single USB cable or by using the Icom Remote software I can connect completly wirelessly using a wifi hotspot, either a router, the cimputer or a hotspot provided by the radio. I can also connect for CAT control over Bluetooth.

Sadly I cannot use Bluetooth for sound or NMEA data (GPS) or WIFI for NMEA the addition of these options would make the radio 100% perfect.

Connecting a computer is a breeze, download a USB drive (if on windows – but you may already have suitable drive if you have previously connected an Icom radio), plug in the USB cable and you are ready to go. The IC-705 has an internal sound card that you can use over the USB cable or Wifi as I said previously, so it really is plug and play you can be on the air with JS8Call or WSJT-X etc within minutes of taking it out of the box.

But its not just great for digital modes, its bright, responsive touch screen makes operating the radio easy, the waterfall display helps hunting those weak DX stations or finding a clear frequency for your use, the radio isn’t full duplex but for Satellite QSOs its usable and the waterfall really helps manual tuning to account for the doppler effect.

IC-705 Receiving SSTV images from the ISS

You can use the internal speaker, the microphone has a speaker or you can add a bluetooth headset ensuring you can actually hear what’s going on.

The lack of an internal tuner does not take anything away from this radio. I tend to use resonant antennas anyway so I never even considered this when purchasing and I discovered can fit two or three antennas into the LC-192 backpack that cover 40m to 70cm without a problem.

The IC-705 is an ultra portable radio packed with features, you can take it and some suitable antennas just about anywhere but it’s also great just sat on my desk tuned in to my local 70cm repeater. For digital modes in the field or at home in the shack its second to none with easy wireless operation.

IC-705 in the shack tuned to GB3EX at my home QTH on Exmoor

People have asked if I recommend buying one to which the answer is “yes I do”, so much so that I intend buying a second one…..

If you have any questions please feel free to comment or get in touch, you will find some setup guides on this website but if you need anything specific I’m sure can provide more.


Mark M0IAX

go to https://m0iax.com/findme for my social media accounts and contact details.