I think the 7000
is the best Apache Labs design to date. If I was going to drop $3K on a radio, it would be the 7000
, or, to be totally fair, a Flex 6400, or, seriously, TWO IC7300's, or now that I think about it, maybe even two used ANAN-100D's
But, IMHO, if you want to play in the openHPSDR, open source universe, still the ONLY way to get adaptive predistortion linearization, for a brand new radio at the $3K price point the 7000
is the way to go:
1. Most people buying a radio this expensive already have an amplifier and do not need 200W.
2. Assuming (1) above, you don't need a very large power supply, nor do you need to accommodate the large size and weight of the 8000
3. The changes made to the preselectors, signal routing and minor changes made on the Orion MkII board (perhaps it should be called the Orion MkIIa?) have continued to improve both TX and RX performance.
4. The 7000
brings back all of the very flexible signal routing features that were present on the 100D and 200D but lost on the 8000
5. The 7000
maintains the superior connectorization of the 8000
(although it still lacks audio line outputs, just as the 8000
does.) Apache has offered a retrofit rear panel for the 7000
that fixes the connector mechanical flexing issue.
6. The 7000
embraces the minimalistic cooling features present on the 100D and 200D to save size, weight and cost but now also provides an external fan connection for those who need more cooling (extensive digi mode or AM operations and the like). The fan is noisier in the 7000
, however. I believe that there is a fix for this though, still investigating...
7. There is no LCD panel with separate microcontroller to cause fault conditions that cannot be fixed remotely.