Join Date: Jul 2002
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Icom 710 vs. 700 pro Why spend the extra money
What would make a good purchase for you will depend on what you need to use your SSB for, and I''m speaking of all its likely uses long-term when I say that. If a future ham license is possible, you might want to avoid the 710...but if operating the radio more effectively in cruising venues, including as a ham radio, is important, then perhaps the 710 would be preferred. If it sounds like I just contradicted myself, welcome to the sometimes obscure world of SSB radio.
You might want to explore a few dedicated websites to get more targeted info. One I''d recommend is hfradio, a SF Bay area business that markets Icom products to boaters and talks at length on their website about Icom differences. To give you a taste of their content, here''s an excerpt:
"One well known drawback of the M710 for Ham radio operation is the lack of "VFO" control of the transmit frequency. This is NOT the case with the M802. That means when you tune someone in with the receiver, you have to enter the receive frequency, then the transmit frequency, into a memory channel before you can transmit on that frequency. To move up or down in frequency slightly, the whole process has to be repeated. Pretty much a pain! Not so with a radio from us - we found a way so that when you tune the receiver to a new frequency with the knob or keypad, a simple press of a button puts the transmitter on the same frequency.
To overcome this limitation, Icom introduced the M700-PRO..." (Visit www.hfradio.com for the full text)
The 700 Pro will work well on a boat. The 710 is probably, over all, more versatile and (until the 802 came out) was considered the ''gold standard'' for Marine SSB. They both are large, heavy and power- and real estate-hungry (when e.g. compared to the 706, which is an ideal, less costly but ham radio choice).
If you''re budget sensitive, why not consider buying a used, bench-tested and calibrated radio? You might inquire of vendors like hfradio if they have used gear available as customers move up (e.g. to the 802). And of course, there''s always places like eBay...