Stray Signals

Ham on a Hog 3: Icom IC-705 Transceiver Meets Harley-Davidson –

Two of my favorite pastimes are riding motorcycles and operating amateur radios outdoors. I especially like it when I can do both at the same time. Ham radio is actually quite popular with some moto enthusiasts. Many folks don’t “get it,” but .002 percent of the population do resonate with the hobby. That’s over 770,000 licensed amateurs in the US, according to the ARRL, a national association for amateur radio and a good place to start if you’re interested in getting involved.

Icom IC-705 Transceiver Meets Harley-Davidson: Ham Radio

I can’t think of anything I’d rather do that pack my gear into a Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited and blast off. This Road Glide has just about every electronic farkle and amenity one might ask for. Better yet, it’s a heavyweight performer, and riding one is like being on a magic carpet. Although I didn’t need all the room that its top case and panniers had to offer. I figure anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

For Ham on a Hog 3, I headed for the outdoors to show off Icom’s wildly popular new IC-705 transceiver. It’s a QRP radio, which means that its 10-watt output is considered low power and mainly (but not exclusively) for portable operation. Yet, the IC-705’s features and capabilities are like no other radio in or near its class.

It can operate on most amateur radio bands and most modes like AM, FM, CW (Morse code), single sideband (SSB), RTTY, digital, and D-Star digital voice. It receives general coverage shortwave in and out of the ham bands (.030-199.999 MHz and 400.000–470.000 MHz), and aircraft airband AM VHF. There is an almost endless list of features that I’ll get into soon, and it’s all in a 2.4-pound form factor that will fit practically anywhere.

I operated the IC-705 with Icom’s AL-705 magnetic loop antenna, the Alpha Antenna Enhancement Kit for the AL-705, Icom’s LC-192 backpack, and Bioenno Power’s 3, 4.5, and 6 amp lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. An external battery will allow me to run the full 10 watts power out of the transceiver vs. 5 watts with the included onboard battery. More on these later.

For background on my past ham radio related stories, the first Ham on a Hog story was written in 2014. My pal Cocomo Joe blew the engine on his bike about 50 miles

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