IC-7300 Feature: TX Spectrum Scope

Ok I just had to rush this one out – the IC-7300 has a really REALLY neat feature in that the Spectrum Scope / Panadapter can be used to visually monitor your TX Bandwidth.

To do so, all you need to do is put the Spectrum Scope in ‘CENT’ mode, and transmit.  I recommend using the lowest span setting, -2.5k to +2.5k.

Why is this such a cool feature?  Let me share an example.  When setting up the radio for digital mode work, I noticed something when transmitting JT65:

20160508_210537

If you look closely, you can see a bunch of junk around the JT65 tone being transmitted at that moment.  Although the ‘junk’ or distortion is quite low comparatively, I decided to play with the gain settings available in various places.

I found that by decreasing the ‘pwr’ slider in WSJT-X, I could significantly clean up my signal:

20160508_210549

If you look closely, you will notice that not only is the ‘junk’ (distortion) gone, but the sidebands (which are created when the tone changes) are significantly weaker. If you’re wondering why the sidebands don’t appear even, its because I’m not transmitting exactly in the middle of the SSB Filter bandwidth.

How cool is that?  Not only does the Icom IC-7300 have a handy feature that lets you monitor TX bandwidth, it is actually a great way of ensuring your digital mode setup is configured optimally.  Quite an amazing feature given the price point of the IC-7300!

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