Some years ago I purchased an Icom IC-706-MkIIG transceiver.This was the third and final version of this very popular amateur radio. I was attracted to the 706 for a number of reasons, some of which are:
Small size makes it an ideal mobile radio
Transmits on all amateur HF bands plus 6-meters, 2-meters (VHF) and 440 (UHF)
Receives 30 kHz-199.999 MHz and 400-470.000 MHz depending on version
Works in all modes
Has digital signal processing for noise reduction (DSP)
Removable and remotable faceplate / control head
One button remote tuner control
Good meter selections including SWR, Power, ALC, and Bandscope
That’s an impressive list of features and the radio really delivers. I used it for many years in a mobile environment without any problems except those pesky menus. It seems that the only way Icom was able to pack so many features into such a small radio was to make many of the settings and choices accessible through a series of complex menus. There just isn’t enough space for lots of dials and knobs. That’s OK if you have a great memory (I do not) and if you are not running the rig mobile. It is next to impossible to make on the fly changes while driving in a safe manner. The vehicle must be stopped or you risk serious injury to others and yourself when that inevitable crash occurs (it’s a crash, not an accident).
Then about 4 years ago the Icom quit working. It would receive for only a few minutes at a time and whenever I tried to transmit it would shut off within seconds and refuse to be revived for hours. I inspected all connections including the power cables going to the battery. I could find nothing wrong. The radio went into the closet until such time as I decided to fix it. That time finally came a few weeks ago. I am at a time in life where I am trying to catch up on many of the things I have let slide. Radio repair was one of them. I had sent a radio to Icom America in Bellevue, Washington in the past. It took two tries for them to fix my new IC-737 but they did do it. It was not their fault. The first time they could not replicate the problem. The second time I told them to run it until it fails or keep it. That worked. I have had that radio working without a hitch for about 20 years now. Why not try them again?
I checked the Icom web site and found that they now have independent repair shops, located throughout the country, that also are certified on their radios. Which to pick, Kirkland (I already trusted them) or an unknown “Icom Service Center” in St. Joseph, Michigan? I called Kirkland. I asked if the Michigan shop was certified to repair the 706. The pleasant lady informed me that the St. Joseph shop was an expert at Icom 706’s and they charged $52/hr rather than the $84/hr charged by the home base in Kirkland. I sent it to St. Joseph, MI and authorized up to $200 in repairs. If it was over $200 they would call me first. I got the call after it was all done. The total was $125 including shipping. That was a good call! The official name for the service center is SAR Technical Services, Inc. How long did it take? A little over a week. What was wrong? a shield on the main board had come loose from its solder joints and was jumping around and shorting things. Now it is in solid. I will never again hesitate to send an Icom rig out for service.
Check the above You Tube video to see how well the rig works. You will note some video hash in several instances. Maybe the low battery on my camera did that? Anyways, I am quite pleased with the repair done by the Michigan Icom Repair facility.
Now I have the 706 sitting on my home desk and I have been getting familiar with it again. It seems that I need the manual at hand at all times. Solution? I decided to write my own cheat sheet or reference card for the Icom IC-706MkIIG. So far I have made three tables in Microsoft Word. Each table summarizes the functions of one of the three main menus. With a little more work I will finish this. My goal is to have no more than 4 pages total. That should be an improvement on the non-indexed 68-page factory manual. I am tired of flipping pages and making my own index on sticky notes.
I reproduced the menu tables below. They don’t appear exactly as on the Word document due to formatting constraints of the web. Feel free to use this document if you think it might be helpful. You can download a properly formatted PDF copy of the reference sheet by clicking on the following link:
Now back to playing with this sweet-sounding radio!
DISPLAY to toggle through 3 Menus, M,S,G:
M1-M4 Manual p.3-4
|M1||SPL – Split frequency
Long Press for split; defaults to VFO B freq on TX (up 5)
|A/B – Switch between VFO A and VFO B||A=B (XFC when split on)Set both VFO’s to same freq.|
|M2||MW – Memory Write
While in VFO mode use (17) dial to choose mem. Channel. Set freq.,tone,split,etc. & push MW 2 sec to record.
|M>V – Freq. Transfer
While in VFO mode hold M>V to move selected memory to VFO Becomes MCL, Memory Clear when selecting M from V/M; clears selected mem. channel
|V/M Toggle between VFO and Memory Mode; rotate (17) M-CH to choose memories|
|M3||FIL – Select filter
(None Installed) *
|NB – Noise Blanker
For ignition noise only
|MET – Meter Selection
Toggle: Power, SWR, ALC.To display SWR:
CW mode, hit PTT, read notches on scale
|M4||VOX – Voice-Operated
Toggle. Set Gain & Delay in Quick Set:Long press DISPLAY, choose Q3-Q5
|(SSB/AM)COM –Speech Com. Toggle on/off To set up select ALC meter M3 in Quick Set sel. MIKE GAIN,set 2-5 on voiceM4>COMP,speak/adj.(FM)-Repeater duplex; push & hold to auto-set or push to toggle up/down/off||(SSB/AM) AGC-Automatic Gain ControlToggle between Fast (FAGC) & Slow.(FM) TON- Toggles rpt. tone set in initial set mode|
S1-S4 Manual p. 4
|S1Memo Pad – quick temp. memory, 5 or 10 available||MW – Memory Write
Press 2 sec. to save freq. to mem. displayed
Write: Push to write.10 Memories avail.
|MPR-Memo Pad Read
Push to cycle 10 pad memories
Starts & Stops scan; set SQL open or closed 1st.Resume setting controlsResume in 10 sec is default (resume ON)
In VFO mode set a freq.Close squelch.Dial in mem. chan. to be watchedPress PRI (F2) to begin & end.
|V/M Toggle between VFO and Memory Mode; rotate (17) M-CH to choose memories|
B. S. R. Band
Stacking Register; quick band change function. See p. 4 of manual
|14Press and hold to change band.||7Store here the 3 bands you use most frequently||144Allows quick jump to band with one press.|
|S4Digital Signal Processing||ANF-Auto Notch Filter
||NRL-Noise Reduc. Level
Press to choose level by rotating M-CH dial
|G1||Band Scope : Push F-1 to select step (0.5-100kHz).Push F-3 for sweep start/stop. Rotate main dial to align with freq. peak you want to tune to. F-3 sweep agn., F-2 return to orig. freq.|
|G2||SWR Plot Measurement; hold F-1 to choose pitch; push & hold F-2 for step; Push F-3 and then push and release PTT until each bar displays; 1 or 2 rows of display is under 1.5:1 SWR|
|G3||Tx Freq. – Press F-3 (T) & then M-CH dial to choose TX freq.|
|G4||Memory Names: Use M-CH dial to choose memory. Editing Memory Names: Choose ‘E’ (F-3); rotate main dial to select characters.F-3>next F-1>back F-2>space. Push ‘Menu’ to exit.|
Display Menus (Display button is to left of main tuning dial)
Display – Single Press Cycles through Menus M, S, and G (see above)
Display – Long Press enters Quick Set Mode which gives different options according to mode of receiver (SSB/AM/FM or CW or RTTY)
When in SSB/AM/FM there are 8 settings.
Step through them with MENU button or UP and DOWN buttons.
Rotate Main dial to select values.
Single Press MENU to exit Quick Set Mode.
Some Settings are: Q1 RF POWER Q2 MIC GAIN/CW PITCH/RTTY TONE
Q6 REPEATER TONE Q7 TONE SQL
See User Manual, p. 48-50 for full details.
IC-706MKIIG Manual and Product Brochure. Download direct from Icom.
IC-706MKIIG Service manual from repeater-builder.com.
IC-706-Related Links on The DXZone web site.
Official Specification Sheet on Icom site.
RigPix specification sheet.
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