Great DX SSB contact with IC-7100

I have not been on the radio much since I setup the new IC-7100. There is still a bunch of stuff I need to setup on it (DStar, VHF/UHF etc). One thing this new rig has had numerous negative comments on is a rather anemic SSB power output. My new rig has the latest firmware from ICOM that supposedly corrects the issue.I have not seen many comments from IC-7100 owners about the effectiveness of the fix. This morning I had a combination of conditions that lead me to believe that the rig is A-OK.

Tuning around today on 20m I came across a weak SSB signal from a station in Indonesia. This is a desirable contact for me as I do not have that country in the log for DXCC. Propagation has not been good. with a solar flux index of 86 and a sunspot number of 65 and K=2. Here is the prediction map for the time of the contact:

2016-04-27_12-08-24

The map shows that a path was open to that region from South Texas.

I was having trouble copying the station but did make a call a couple of times to no effect. I switched to the FT-450 and had a similar result. I noticed that the 7100 did slightly better on receive and the DSP controls are a lot easier to access. I switched back to the 7100 and found the receive was slightly better to my ear. I called again after hearing his QRZ and was able to hear him copy my signal with a 57 report. We had a brief exchange and completed the QSO. Given the combination of band conditions, and switching between rigs I believe the rig is working SSB reliably. I know this is somewhat anecdotal but lacking a peak reading meter this is the best proof I have.

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