Pros: Is one of the best units I ever purchased and is a great radio with a boat load of features.
Comments: I bought 2 IC-7000/AH-4 combos a few years ago when I ran into some money. One was dedicated to the car with a remote cable, the other was for the shack. Overall, this is a great little radio with a few minor issues. I didn't encounter the microphone audio issues others reported. The shack radio has also been taken into the field on a number of occasions and run off a battery/solar charger system and used for both voice and data modes. The IC-7000 is an excellent portable radio, provided you have the power budget to run it for the time period you require.
First the great aspects:
- The noise blanker is superb on SSB. It suppresses most impulse noise without being too nasty on receiver performance.
- The DSP filters are great. It's nice to have a selection of filter shapes available to suit conditions at the time. The notch filters also work extremely well.
- The DSP NR function works quite well. I'm particularly hard on DSP noise reduction, and many systems destroy intelligibility for me as they reduce the noise. The default factory setting for the NR function is a little aggressive and I found it better turned off with these settings. However, a minor tweak of the NR settings resulted in good noise reduction without ruining intelligibility, and the NR function gets a lot more use now.
- Receive performance is excellent. On HF, I never have to use the preamp. On VHF/UHF, the preamp can lift performance a little.
- CAT control is awesome. I run the radio in the shack with a CI-V interface and a soundcard connection for digital modes and remote operation. Pretty much every function is available over CI-V, and some settings are much easier to tweak using a computer than the front panel (Tx power being one of these).
- Just recently, I accidentally hit the "VSC" button and wondered what happened. When the penny dropped, I read the manual and had a play with this function. It seems to work quite well. A weak (barely copyable) HF SSB signal was able to break the voice squelch reliably. The VSC also works well on FM - another potential solution if the local repeater frequency is plagued by birdies and CTCSS is not available on the output.
- The menu system is mostly fairly intuitive, and can be used easily in the car for major functions.
- The AH-4 tuner integrates well with the radio. Operation is simple and reliable.
There are a few minor issues, but they don't detract much from the radio.
- No DTMF on the stock microphone. DTMF memories are all well and good, but they are too inflexible for the mobile IRLP/EchoLink user.
- Tx power adjustment is buried deep in the menu system. In the shack, it's easiest to use CI-V control.
- No option to have squelched FM audio on the accessory port. Squelched audio there would be nicer for remote base operations, especially in my setup where I frequently mix local and remote operations, depending on where in the house I am. Using the speaker output in my setup is too inconvenient, especially as I prefer independent local and remote level controls.
- The bank arrangement of the memories does not play nicely with a lot of software. I'd prefer those memories to be managed as a "flat" block or user defined banks/groups.
- The SWR meter doesn't work on VHF/UHF, which is a pain when trying to diagnose VHF/UHF antenna issues in the car.
- A quirk of my setups is I have 6m available on the VHF/UHF antenna system in the shack, so having 6m on the HF port is a bit annoying, as for FM use, the vertical is a better choice of antenna (and I can reach at least one 6m repeater on it). I can understand why things are the way they are, so this is more of a "wild dream" than a real gripe.
If you're after a mobile with a heap of features, a robust field station or a compact all band, all mode radio for the shack, the IC-7000 is definitely worth a look.