I saw a new video from Bob k6uda, where he shows off a very cool accessory for the Icom IC-705. It’s designed and build by Scott KK7AIR. In short it’s a bezel frame, CNC machined out of aircraft grade aluminium.
Before we begin this article, it’s pretty incredible seeing a community-driven effort around the Icom IC-705. I knew this radio was special when we first heard about it in August 2019. People thought I was crazy, but it is exactly with the Yaesu ft-818 should have been. If you haven’t seen my 705 video yet, please take a look at it here.
Made in USA
The “Tactical” cage offers some protection for the screen around the bezel. I imagine the idea is providing some protection, against face down drops, drops which would normally destroy our rotary encoders. The cage also adds a carry handle for the rig and side mounted grab handles, for easier rig handling. Finally, the cage also offers a pivot point, which forces the radio to stay put, in a more ergonomic, tilted back position. This puts the 705 in the perfect angle for good viewing.
Although the cage offers some additional protection and grab points, it does nothing to reduce the minimum operating temperature of the IC-705 for field communications (at the North Pole). It also lacks any type of WX protection. We’ll need to address those things separately. Personally I vote for either moving someplace warmer, or operating in a nice heated space, as I often do. Even so, the bezel cage and additional grab points, are exactly what was missing from the IC-705. I know it adds weight to the rig, but the additional benefits, “outweigh” the weight gain for some situations. Now if someone can come up with a tempered glass shield for the touch screen, one which is touch compatible and easy to install, we will be set. Scott has done an amazing job designing and manufacturing this cage.
I have also seen the Japanese version (Links to ebay) on ebay. Looks great, but it is much heavier. IMHO, It provides protection in places the 705 doesn’t require it. It is essentially a box around the 705. Perhaps if I wanted to rack mount the 705, but I can’t see using it for portable operations. Can you? The full body protection seems like it has a place in overlanding, car camping, … I just would not like to “carry” that extra weight in my backpack.
Then there are a Chinese version (Links to ebay). Similar to the Japanese version, this one is actually quite amazing. It also adds some unnecessary bulk to the IC-705, but if I wanted full body protection, and a way to put the 705 in that tilted good viewing position, I could give this a try. Moreover, if they (or the Japanese) would make a version which focuses on the front bezel, and removes everything else, I would buy one (as a budget option) in a heartbeat. This one even includes a display cover, protecting the screen during transit. Not sure about having another “invisible” object to lose in the forest, but it is a great addition. Perhaps they can make it in some other color than clear, eg yello, orange, …
Finally we get to Bobs video. He is quite excited by the “Tactical” Cage. So am I, but you can’t tell from my dry, boring, writing style. I’ll let Bob do the talking, now that I set the stage for this video.
If you like the Tactical cage for the Icom IC 705, you can order yourself one from this webpage. (https://www.peovi.com/product/ic705-tatical-cage/) I have absolutely no affiliation with The Machinist, but I do believe he’s doing a magnificent job.