I have been looking to purchase a new rig for some time and finally decided to go with the Icom IC-7600. I was torn between this rig, the Elecraft K3, and the Yaesu FT-2000 (because I can not afford the FTDX-5000). For my needs, this is the best of the three. and I will maintain my complete K2 station as my “second receiver” and for use in contests in SO2R mode.

I have had the IC-7600 for a few weeks and have had a chance to do a bit of testing. I worked a short stint on a RTTY contest, a 10-hour CW contest, and made a few SSB and PSK-31 contacts. Operating the rig has been very enjoyable so far. It just seems to be very well thought-out and the IF DSP filtering is outstanding. The built-in RTTY and PSK decoders are great. Just plug-in a USB keyboard and go.

The internal antenna tuner works great but only handles up to about 3:1 SWR. Since I have some “ugly” wire antennas, I have acquired an LDG external tuner – the AT-100 PROII. It has an Icom interface that integrates it nicely with the rig (as well as the internal tuner, in my opinion). It definitely allows me to match a broader set of antenna situations than the internal tuner (as the specs would lead you to believe).

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