VHF Contesting with the ICOM 9700 (with video) 2

ICOM 9700 on 2m

ICOM 9700 – does it live up to the hype?

Each year me and Phil M0NVS get involved with the RSGB 2m Backpackers series of contests. 2019 is no exception and while we don’t have any chance of winning it, we do always enjoy it! We like to do as well as we can, but are limited by the relatively small hills here in IO91.

We operated on behalf of the Chesham & District Amateur Radio Society (CDARS) using the club callsign G1MDG/P.

This year we decided to operate in the “Hilltoppers” section, which allows you to use 25 watts, instead of the “Backpackers” section where you’re limited to 5 watts. We also decided to use Phil’s new ICOM 9700 to put it through its paces. In addition we used a 2m 6 element LFA Yagi with a TV rotator, laptop for logging and a 75Ah Leisure Battery to power the setup for 4 hours.

Building the 6ele Yagi - do those elements look straight enough?

Building the 6ele Yagi – do those elements look straight enough?

6 element LFA Yagi, TV rotator and a speed sign mast support(!)

6 element LFA Yagi, TV rotator and a speed sign mast support(!)



Watch the short video to find out more about the setup and see the ICOM 9700 in action:

The ICOM 9700 did a marvellous job and was really easy for to operate for the first time. Controls are very similar to the ICOM 7300 so if you can use one, you can use the other.

We didn’t seem to suffer much from strong adjacent signals either, the radio stood up well to the usual strong local signals we have to deal with here in IO91.

ICOM 9700 on 2m

ICOM 9700 on 2m

The Contacts

We worked 79 contacts over the 4 hours, across 6 DXCC (G, GW, GI, GM, GD, PA), with our best DX being PA4VHF at 503km, whoever said VHF is line of sight had better eyesight than me!

Here’s all of our contacts, DX over 300km is highlighted:

M0KEA/P IO92KG 62km
M0LPF/M IO91RV 5km
G8BGV/P JO01HP 84km
G3OMB JO01O 121km
PA0WMX JO21XI 453km (Netherlands)
G4DSP IO92VT 109km
M0TAZ JO01CN 62km
G4MKR IO92VD 40km
G4XZL/P IO90MX 102km
G4FOH JO02BA 50km
G8FMC IO91NW 25km
G0RMG/P IO82XJ 119km
G1MZD IO92NB 33km
G3PHO IO93GG 170km
G4HGI IO83PL 233km
G8ONK IO83MR 265km
M0ILR IO92UF 46km
G3ZNU IO91PQ 22km
G8LZE IO91SO 29km
2E0VXX/P IO82QJ 155km
PA4VHF JO32JE 503km (Best DX – Netherlands)
M0REG/P IO90TV 108km
G0UCH JO01FN 77km
G7JYL JO01DK 74km
G0IJN JO01JP 95km
G0ODQ IO91MR 32km
G3MXH JO02LF 111km
M0IAM IO91QE 75km
M0WCO JO00EW 121km
G4JGG IO91PX 18km
G8CUL IO91JO 54km
M0ICK/P IO93AD 173km
GS4HAM/P IO85OQ 452km (Scotland)
MM0C IO75XU 501km (Scotland)
M0ICR/P IO91OQ 26km
G4ASR IO81MX 167km
G8T JO01KJ 111km
GW1YBB/P IO81KW 178km
G4BRK IO91HP 62km
G3MEH IO91QS 11km
G0OVA/P IO91QI 56km
M0IEP IO91DP 84km
M9T IO80AQ 271km
GW9J IO72VE 254km
2E0VCC/P IO70SP 304km (Cornwall)
G0GMY/P IO90JO 147km
G6LNU IO91HO 64km
M1G IO91CL 96km
M0JSB/P IO91SE 75km
2E0MDJ IO81WV 109km
2E0RCS/P IO83SQ 242km
G7NBE/P IO92IQ 106km
GW8ASD IO83LB 217km
GW4TJC/P IO83EB 249km
G6DOD IO90JR 134km
G0VHF/P JO01PU 126km
G0ACK/P IO91TO 31km
G8FKH IO91SN 33km
G5TO/P IO93FL 193km
2I0XIZ/P IO74BV 490km (Northern Ireland – Thanks Neil!)
G8DVK IO91IN 62km
G0WKV IO92JN 91km
M7JMQ IO92NF 48km
G1B IO93OJ 173km
M0HOM IO93QO 195km
G7HEM IO82WK 127km
G6YPK IO92FH 86km
MD0MAN/P IO74SF 372km (Isle of Man)
G0LGS IO81WV 109km
GW6KLQ/P IO82HS 218km
M5AEO/P IO91QU 6km
G3BPK/P IO83PN 240km
G8BUN IO93EQ 217km
G8MWU IO91IJ 73km
G4NBS JO02AF 58km
G4GFI/P IO80QR 192km
GW4IDF/P IO81NV 161km
M0PAR IO82UC 124km
M6VUK/P IO93GD 157km

Thanks to all those who worked us!


A fun day out on a hilltop! Once again we both found this contest enjoyable and a bit of fun. The ICOM 9700 did a marvellous job, this is the only time I’ve used it, but it handled everything really well. Obviously the screen is quite difficult to see in direct sunlight – we’ll have to put together a paper sun shield for the next one!

We missed working ON and F stations, which are usually quite possible – we certainly beamed a lot in their direction, but if they’re not there, you can’t work ’em 🙂

What was the one thing we forgot? Sunscreen! I was quite burnt after this contest.. much to my YL’s amusement.

2 thoughts on “VHF Contesting with the ICOM 9700 (with video)

  1. Reply Larry K9MMA Jun 7,2019 18:08

    Nice job. Beautiful video. Thank you for sharing your excitement with us.

  2. Reply Tony G7OEM Jun 8,2019 14:12

    Nice video! + loads of contacts with that very nice Icom …

    73 Tony G7OEM

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