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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!

G.M. (WA6CDE) on November 4, 2005
View comments about this article!


Icom 706 Mk has a major problem... design flaw .... be careful out there...

I recently have run into two other hams who now have had the same failure with their ICOM 706s' ... both have be scraped due to the bad service that ICOM has been promoting on this issue...

It appear that the Caps C188 and C604 both are rated for 16 volts at 1000uf... these are electric caps and as such have liquid in them which is corrosive... and currently the way that ICOM instructs you to wire the radio up for mobile operation can lead to the failure of one or more of these caps... which can do irreparable damage to your 706 if they burst or catch fire by shorting out in the process of their explosion...

Here is why....

The instruction manual says to hook the leads of the 706 directly to the battery... make a good connection... as it says that can handle at least 30 amps... fine..

However, when you check the shop manual circuit diagram... it shows that the power is ever present on the input to the radio.. and also the PA amp section that these little caps are associated with.

Why did they do this.... well ICOM being cheap didn't want to switch the high current PA section on and off... by putting some device in that would handle 30 amps... so what they did was wire it so that the finals are hot all the time as a direct connection (see drawing) and its associated circuitry of which these two caps are in line with.

So what's the beef...

Well if you go starting the car... your starter can develop spikes that amount to several times the input voltage... thus the little caps which are rated at 16 volts are right at what the battery voltage and charging system is... So when you go to start the car you could be placing at least 2 to 3 time (30-45 volts) of the battery voltage across them.. thus, we have exceeded the voltage rating of the caps... some one at ICOM didn't quite figure that out right... I would think...

What is also amazing on this radio is that someone has not had one of the PA transistor fail and cause a fire or at the least flatten the battery while it is un-attended... if they failed also... something not to be taken lightly...

When we called ICOM... not once but 4 times now to present this design flaw to them and to see if they will back the defective material or part... due to their under sight.. we were told that for 90 bux an hour they would fix it... (1 hr MIN) plus the shipping to and from can become a expensive issue...

So what's the fix...

Well about the only thing that you can do is to put either a relay or a ckt breaker in series with the power leads going to the 706... Sure its going to be costly.. but, how much is your car worth... or the radio... as it appears that ICOM is reluctant to fix the bad capacitors when they fail... which then could lead to the radio becoming a boat anchor eventually...

I know K0BG is going to differ with me on this but, I prefer that a aviation toggle switch circuit breaker (such as what can be gotten from Chief Aircraft parts) be put in the positive feed line... Here you can have a selection of a toggle switch or a rocker switch similar to what aircraft call the avionics master switch... that does about the same as what you need to do in the car... and that is remove the power from the radio until after you start the car... and the charging system has settled down.

It is the only way that you will be able to isolate the 706 from the rest of the electrical system... as their on/off button on the front does not remove or apply power to the PA board as shown.

I am against using a dual relay contactor as the points of the relay will eventually develop some IR drop and again your going to suffer the effects of a low voltage application... and cleaning the contact is some what of a chore. While the good quality 30+ circuit breaker that has the regular toggle switch on it was made for the aircraft environment and thus can stand the test of time without having problems...

Conclusion

If you own a ICOM 706 and don't make the modifications to the power input leads... you can stand a chance of damaging the radio due to their deficiencies and/or loss of electrical to the car leaving you stranded or thinking that the battery is no good... worst yet... come back and find it had a color change as it burnt up... if the 30 amp fuses don't work as advertised...

I am sure a lot of people who own a ICOM 706 are not aware of the design deficiency and the fact that if it happens your going to have to pay for it.... thus we call it to your attention... as I am sure ICOM would never...


0x01 graphic

Member Comments:
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Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by G4IJE on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hmmm... there are an awful lot of IC-706s operating mobile every day and if this was a major problem I would have thought we would have heard more about it by now. Doesn't connecting directly to the battery help to PREVENT voltage spikes? The battery acts as an enourmous capacitor; maybe someone who knows more about auto electrics would like to comment.

>>ICOM being cheap didn't want to switch the high current PA section on and off..

Isn't that fairly standard practice?

73, Paul G4IJE.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N7BUI on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This has been standard practice from manufacturers for many many years. The battery is the most stable source of voltage in a vehicle and that is why Icom recommends attaching the power leads directly to it. One of it's other jobs is to act as a voltage stablizer in the electrical system and to absorb voltage spikes. If you are seeing 35-40 volt spikes in the system, it's probably not doing its job and is beginning to get weak. I have seen many cases of "whine" in public safety radios that have been solved simply by having the vehicles battery replaced.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N8NOE on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have connected my 706MkIIg to the Car, in the Shack and Now in the BackPack.. NEVER had any trouble like this?.. As for the CAPS, Sony has this type issue with the SW-1's and radios of this vintage. I have replaced MANY now here, and Understand the trouble. Seesm these were "State of the Art" at the time all the design and about the time the 706 came out.. If it hasn't got to eating the Board, it's not a bad fix, if it eats at the board you got a mess and a world of trouble.. I have the 706MkIIg and the 746PRO and after ALL the radios, I'm VERY happy using Icom's.. I hope you get your all good, but I'm with the Second post, Seems we'd hear more if this was a Big Issue..
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by ARRLBOOSTER on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This article is just a wrong headed flame against a fine company and a workhorse of a product. I laughed when I read the sensationalistic headline. Thank you, Einstein.
Ric
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W8JI on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
There is nothing wrong with connecting across the battery and leaving the PA energized, assuming the PA is stable and the system fused.

I'm not sure placing 16V rated caps across a battery input is the best idea, since many electical systems go over 15 volts. Reliability depends a great deal on the design headroom of the capacitor itself. Electrolytics can be a mess.

Looks to me like a cheap and simple fix would be using commonly available 35 volt capacitors. Looks like more of a component selection issue than a design issue.

73 Tom
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W1FBI on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I run Icom 706 in my mobil. Cole-Hersee Mfg. Of Boston,Ma. Part# 2484-06 sells A battery Disc. switch.
Rated: 6-36 vdc 175Amps. CONTINUOUS {1000 Amp Intermittent}.This switch can be used to cut the
power to the radio OR The electrical system of the car.

Ed W1FBI
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K8MHZ on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"So when you go to start the car you could be placing at least 2 to 3 time (30-45 volts) of the battery voltage across them.."

How so? Your battery can only provide 12 volts and that drops to 10 or 11 while cranking the engine. Where do the rest of the volts come from?

73,

Mark K8MHZ
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by NE0P on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What about the other major design flaw in the 706MKIIG-it's receiver sucks!! The 706 original has a better receiver in it.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KB7LYM on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Never had any problem with my ICOM-706 ! But there are those that have a gripe against this company or that one and getting their kicks picking fuzz from their navels and complaining and then writing all that stuff down to get support from the masses to bolster their ego with all that knowledge they present. Just an old f__t doing swimming up river with an anvil around his neck. Relax folks.... who knows the next item might be the ICOM IC-756PRO for 12000 greenbacks. Just get your hammer ready in case you get an advise from the problem solver. Aye !!!! ICOM-706 still working !!
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA2DYA on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Does anyone know what the voltage accross these capacitors is when the amplifier is amplifying?

--- CHAS
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by AA4PB on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Where do the rest of the volts come from?
------------------------------------------
The inductance of the windings in the starter motor often causes some rather sizable voltage spikes during starting. It is common practice to consider these spikes during design of automotive equipment.

I notice that the 706 has two diodes directly across the input. I wonder if these might be of the surge protection type that prevents these spikes from appearing on the internal DC lines.

 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K2JVI on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Re:Does anyone know what the voltage accross these capacitors is when the amplifier is amplifying?

--- CHAS

By looking at the schematic,I would suspect the voltage to be no more than the nominal voltage bieng fed to the radio,and somewhat less(not by much)when the amp.is on. I would NOT expect to see this voltage increase with the amplifier on.

73's.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KK4BH on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
by G4IJE on November 4, 2005
Hmmm... there are an awful lot of IC-706s operating mobile every day and if this was a major problem I would have thought we would have heard more about it by now. Doesn't connecting directly to the battery help to PREVENT voltage spikes? The battery acts as an enourmous capacitor; maybe someone who knows more about auto electrics would like to comment.

Exactly! You can run a radio off of a car battery that is being charged by a pulsating DC source, such as a battery charger, and have the purist most regulated DC voltage present at your radio. The closer you connect the radio across the battery the less ripple and spikes will be present. This is one reason it is not advised to use the cigar lighter. The maze of wiring further removes the radio from the filtering effects of the battery and can increase the chance of spikes being present. Also, the path from the accessory wiring may not be as direct a path as you think. Relays, fusable links and solid state switches run rampid in automobile wiring. It is possible for a momentary break to the battery, allowing the radio to "feel" the unregulated, unfilterd charging voltage. This is rare but could happen.

I owned a 706MK2 for over 2 years and have presently owned a 706MK2G for over a year. They are powered in the shack by a Astron RS35M and left on 24/7. They have weathered numerous power failures, not being damaged by the power surge when the power comes back on.

The 706 series is probably one of if not the most popular HF mobile radio. If this were a cronic problem I think we'd be hearing alot more of it. I believe this condition is either a rare random failure or due to not connecting the radio properly in the car/ failure of automobile wiring.

73
KK4BH
Ken

 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K3WVU on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Never had a hint of problems with my 706MKIIG, and have never heard anyone else complain about it, either.

Dwight K3WVU
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by NJ2L on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Those diodes prevent reversing the supply polarity by presenting a short and popping the line fuse.

My understanding of capacitors is that the most stress on a capacitor and the supply sorce is when they are first enegized. This would make me think that adding a switch inline with the supply will now increase the number of times these capacitors need to charge from zero volts, thus stressing the capacitors more. I have noticed a small spark when reconnecting the 706 back into the car. I would rather avoid this surge to the capacitors than letting them sit at a level voltage most of the time.

 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K0BG on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I saw this article about the same time it was posted on eham.net. And yes, I disagree with some of the premise. And I disagree with some of the solutions posted herein as well.

As has been mentioned in at least three posts, if this were indeed a problem, every single one of us would know about it. The Icom 706 in its various configurations, commands a 75% share of the world-wide mobile marketplace. With these numbers in mind, even if 1,000 units had failed due to this purported problem, from a statistical standpoint, this is a minute number. I would further suggest that if they do fail, it is a problem with the electrical system in the vehicle, not one in the design of the Icom.

The published voltage spec for the 706 is 13.8 VDC ± 15%. Unless my math is defective, that's a maximum of 15.87 VDC. If your vehicle's voltage is this high, you're going to have a lot more problems than just your 706.

Adding power relays in series with mobile transceivers is a questionable practice. As a result of the information published on my web site, I've heard just about every argument pro and con. The only one that makes sense is to offer a solution to those who can't remember to turn off their radios. Well, a 706 has a built in auto off feature, so (thanks to Yoda) out the window that argument goes!

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K6LCS on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>>...just a flame against a fine company and a workhorse of a product. I laughed...

If there was a widespread problem with this unit, it has escaped my employer - arguably Icom's largest dealer in North America. Of the last 1,000 IC-706MKIIG we have sold, there have been an extremely small number of total warranty repair submissions...a number so small that it's well within anyone's "confidence level" for such a product.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by NI0C on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W8JI said:
"Looks to me like a cheap and simple fix would be using commonly available 35 volt capacitors. Looks like more of a component selection issue than a design issue."

When I was doing circuit design, component selection was an integral part of my job. So was making sure there was plenty of "headroom" in the component ratings.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
Major Defect Found in Ham expectations!  
by W9WHE-II on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Hams...they complain about the high price...then complain about the simple design required to keep the price down to what they want to pay.

If you want a higher qualify HF mobile, and are willing to pay the price, ....then buy a Motorola Micom. If you want a lower cost radio, buy an Icom. But don't expect Motorola design quality at an Icom price!


W9WHE
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WQ1H on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting: I have used the 706 mobile from the day it was first sold. Not a problem. I have owned all three models.

Then like most of use we do not read the manual. Under precautions...Make sure the tranceiver power is OFF before starting the vehicle. This will avoid possible damage to the transceiver by ignition voltage spikes.

I have made a few violations of this precaution...WHOOPS. No failure...the components can handle certain amounts of excess...good design.

Abuse of design limitations is not a defect. Light up a bulb rated for 110 with 220. It is bright for a moment...

Dave
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K5LXP on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Once something hits production, cost reduction becomes the overriding priority. A bean counter sits down with a reliability engineer and determines that 16V caps would take the unit beyond the warranty period, so that's what's used. Considering the number of units that have failed for this 'problem', I'd say they were right. It's a big tradeoff between cost and MBTF, if you design the max margin into every part the product would become unaffordable.

To the author of the article, having some data or evidence to support the statement of 'a major problem' would go a long way to establishing the legitimacy of the claim. 'Two other hams' compared to the many tens of thousands of units out there accounts more for a random bad cap than a design flaw. Add in the myriad of variables that existed surrounding the failed units (actual connections, temperature, number of cycles, etc) and it indicates anything *but* a design problem.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by VE2LH on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Assuming that these capacitors are tantalum, good design practices are 1) presence of a series resistor in order to limit the surge current (not always easy to implement). 2) A minimum voltage derating of 50%.

Beware that overheating (even slightly) the capacitor while repairing will have a very important impact on the part life.

I would recommend replacing the part by a higher voltage one. (Design rule here : 100% derating)
73

 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KB1GMX on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Find a radio where those caps are rated for more than
16V. When you do let us know. It will be rare.

Further that 16V is working voltage, nearly all of those parts if you look them up have a peak surge that is higher. If you exceed the 16V what happens? How long did that peak voltage have to stand (as a constant voltage) before failure occurs? I've seen real cases
of wrong caps run for hundreds to thousands of hours at +150% (continious) before failing.

Last item, if your exceeding those by the stated amounts
the finals will likely see overvoltage and fail.

Sorry, the sky is not falling.

Just make sure you hook up correctly to the battery
and fuse both hot and ground.

If it were such a problem you'd see reports. can you find any?

Allison
Kb1GMX
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA9SVD on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Isn't it "Good Amateur Practice" as well as good electrical and common sense to fuse ANYTHING connected to the battery?
Almost every manual tells you to fuse the device AT THE BATTERY. (Although there are differing opinions about whether the negative lead should also be connected to the battery, but if it is, it should also be fused!)
A fuse will protect the radio, the car, the wiring, AND the battery.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA0ZZG on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry you are having problems with your radio. I don't
think it happens that often. The voltage spike, you
talked about is from the inductive kickback from the
starter. The battery will act like a large filter
cap to smooth it out. That's why ICOM recommends
a connection directly to the battery. Having the
PA stage wired directly to the battery is a normal
design these days. Most radios have a soft start
power switch. I've not seen this to be a problem with
Amateur equipment. I have seen problems with commercial
radios though. This is because type acceptance procedures do not require testing with the power off.
I've seen PA's break into oscillation when the radio
is turned off. Fun thing to find, which truck is
spitting out RF.
Dave WA0ZZG

 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KC8VWM on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

... I figure by the time this thread is all said done we will have completely redesigned the Icom 706, drawn a new schematic, and have a built in vibroplex key sticking out of the faceplate.

73 Charles - KC8VWM
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA1RNE on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The automotive electrical system can be a very hostile environment for electronic devices like amateur gear and audio equipment.


There are a couple of ways that the nominal 12-14 vdc electrical bus can become much higher and cause damage to equipment:

1) A load dump where the battery becomes disconnected and the charging system is running at a high charge rate. Under these conditions, the electrical system can see transients as high as 25-125 vdc for up to several hundred milliseconds. Not a good idea to disconnect your battery while the vehicle is running....


2) A failed voltage regulator. This can result in steady state overvoltage of up to 18 vdc.

3) In some instances, jump starting can produce as high as 24 vdc depending upon the state of the battery being jumped and the type of equipment creating the "jump".

4) Inductive load switching. Vehicles have countless numbers of relays, as well as the ignition system inductors (coils) that can create transients as high as 300 vdc for ~300 microseconds or less in duration.


One of the ways to protect against these conditions is to specify conservative component ratings during the design process- in this case, a 35-50 volt electrolytic would be the way to go.

The other is liberal use of TVS devices, or Transient Voltage Suppressors and MOV's.

Adding a relay to isolate the power amp isn't a good solution. Not only would the relay not fit inside the radio, it would add unneeded expense and complexity. Also, you'll note from the schematic that C604 is decoupling the input power right where it comes into the radio, along with HF bypass capacitors and the reverse power protection diodes - which is right where C604 belongs..

As others have said, the reliability of the 706 has been good, so it does lead one to believe that the failures were caused by one or more of the above events. However, the high reliability is in part influenced by the fact that the steady state overvoltage events do not occur frequently, and in some cases could be classified as abuse - like disconnecting the battery while the engine is running.

What Icom might consider doing is using higher voltage electrolytics and some TVS devices, and maybe adding some additional warnings in the operating manual but that's about it. Some might say the warnings would be in a similar class as the ones McDonald's added to their coffee cups: Danger, Hot Beverage, can burn you if you pour it on your lap....


73, Chris
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Well... So far we have had over a dozen hams reply with... IF YOU GET ICOM TO FIX YOURS� LET US KNOW� SO THEY CAN FIX MINE� TOO... THEY STAND FAST ON THE ... NOT OUR PROBLEM WHEN A PART FAILS... AND NEVER HEARD OF IT!!!.. and use the old ... your just a stupid ham�.a dummy insinuations.. So its your fault our radio or its parts have failed....

These are just some of the emails I have gotten back from �CUSTOMERS of ICOM�

Yes the spikes from the starter and headlights are quite large but, the worst offender seems to be the heater blower motor � talk about a transmitter� ouch�

While true that the caps blowing up may be a fluke (Not ICOMS problem but rather the parts vendor) It appears not to be uncommon and damaging (Even ICOM finally admitted that they had 706 listed in their database as having the same problems for repair)


I agree and the point of the article was the voltage ratings which is very close to what the design is However, as one pointed out� it is NOT only the voltage of design but also, the UNIT HEAT that contributes to the failure of the parts.. I too have noticed that the unit gets very hot mounted away in the trunk. well above what I would call normal (you can�t hold your hand on the back of it after a QSO) and wonder if this also contributes to the failure mode of the caps�

As another said.. do the fan mod� and it will save the unit.. I plan to on mine� thanks..

As to the Ctk breaker� yes it is NOT THEIR for its current protection but rather as a high current switch.

As to the leaving the finals on or spiking them when the power goes off and on well� every time you start the car your doing just that but, in reverse too� as these caps will contribute as well as absorb current� so when you start the car.. and the battery goes down due to the loading � guess what happens to the ICOM � ever put a volt meter across the battery when you put that dead short of a starter on it� ???

No I think the aviation group might have it right... Keep the radios off line till after you start the car� a inrush surge is much better than a out rush and then a inrush � but, the IR drop of the ckt bkr as well as the wiring will keep it down to a slow run from what we have found � however, Alan K0BG�s concerns of the unit providing ground if the engine thus fusing the negative leads also to keep the current from flowing back through the radio mount� would then be isolated if one had the dual master radio switch such as we suggest instead I would rather be concerned about ground loops starting to develop if one goes grounding things in different places�

If the finals develop a slow current leak (under 30 amps) you could end up with the battery being un-useable to start the car if allowed to set for several hours� all while the fuses won�t blow isolating the bad radio from the car battery.

How many time will the battery cycle before going bad� unknown� but, one can be assured that its life will be shortened due to it�

Here are some pictures of the bad cap.. for you to see... (I have sent them to the webmaster to add to the article .. please see above)

Remember� It may not be a problem right now for your radio� but I am sure � it will�.

Thanks for all the input on the subject.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KI4LYX on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I spent 10 years designing automobile electronics. Many of the comments that have been posted are correct but need to be explained. The starter inductance is the cause of voltages exceeding the battery voltage. The battery internal resistance determines if the termial voltage can spike during starting. A 16 volt spec capacitor directly across the battery terminals is marginal, 35v spec would be fine.

I expect this one case would be traced to a particular battery/starter/wiring issue. This is why many people have not seen the problem. The possible wiring issue is a function of the terminal resistance from the starter to the battery and how the radio contacts are made at the battery. If they are a lower impedance to the starter than the battery the voltage could spike up.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N0TONE on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Have previously been a diagnostician in automotive electronics. I agree with the postings that indicate this is not an Icom problem.

If, at the battery, you can exceed 16V, then you have a problem in the vehicle. When was the last time you cleaned the connections to the battery? Resistance developing at the battery connections can easily cause loss of regulation.

AM
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WB2WIK on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I checked every 12Vdc-powered rig (schematically, anyway) I have, and they all have something like this: 16v electrolytic capacitor(s) across an unswitched power line. So, it's evident this isn't exactly uncommon.

I've used most of my rigs mobile (except the ones that can't be 12Vdc powered or are really large and heavy) and I've never had a failure in any of these capacitors, yet. My Yaesu VHF-FM mobile rig has similar caps across the line and it's been hanging under the dashboard for years, including with the doors locked, windows up on sunny, hot summer days when the car interior temperature reaches >150 degrees F, and I've started the car thousands of times under those conditions and it still hasn't failed.

I suspect any failures are component-related, not due to shabby design. Shouldn't cause a fire, since the components, circuit boards, wiring and connectors are all UL flame rated as "non flammable" or self-extinguishing materials. They can burn, smoke and smoulder but shouldn't sustain an actual fire.

This sounds like a solution looking for a problem...

WB2WIK/6
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W5EEX on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have a Yaesu 897 and I took a look at the specs. It is rated for 13.8V +/- 15% which would make the maximum input voltage 15.87V. They also offer a warning about transients due to automotive installations. I would think Icom has a pretty similar spec and warning. 15.87V max
would still be inside the limits for 16V caps, although I would not want to sustain operation at that input. When the specs say 15.87V (or whatever Icom's spec is), is DOES NOT mean it is ok to exceed it for ANY length of time by 2X or 3X the max.....that's why there is a spec
for max input. So I would not call this a defect in Icom's design as long as the specs are maintained.
73
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WM5Z on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
<<"So when you go to start the car you could be placing at least 2 to 3 time (30-45 volts) of the battery voltage across them.."

How so? Your battery can only provide 12 volts and that drops to 10 or 11 while cranking the engine. Where do the rest of the volts come from?

73,

Mark K8MHZ">>

Even tho the battery itself only supplies 12 v, the starter motor is an interrupted, magnetically charged inductor. It can induce several times the supplied voltage.

Here is a little experiment you can do. Connect a small transformer primary across a AA cell. Now with your fingers across the transformer, disconnect the battery. Made you jump, didn't it? Even an old fashioned ohm meter bias can induce quite a jolt.

A car battery really doesn't have that much transient suppression. It really only presents about 100 uF of capacitance per cell, but there are 6 cells in series, so the total capacitance is only 17 uF.

With 100's of amps of current going through the starter you would really need FARADs of C to do any appreciative supression.

Here is what I recommend. Add a couple of ferite cores to the power line. Also install an 18V 5 watt zener across the power lead inside of the radio if one is not already there. (Yeasu radios come with this as their design). The 2 volt added peak will not hurt a 16 volt cap for this short a time period.

Looking at the pictures in the original article, though, I am more inclined to believe the damage actually might have come from excessive summer time temperatures with the radio mounted in a closed car. If the original caps were rated at 70 deg C, and the car was parked in the sun, I would guess that this temperature could easily be reached. Leave a window slightly opened in the summer. You would not believe the temperature difference this little bit of ventalation can afford. Here in the New Mexico desert I have seen the temps inside a closed car reach 190 F. It will burn your hand if you touch things inside.

Steve/WM5Z
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
EOZ...
yes the radio still works fine... we replaced the cap
a whopping 96 cents.
with another which was rated at 35 volts... instead of the 16 as listed in the shop manual... ( Alan K0BG said he shop manual showed the part as being a higher voltage than the 16 volt one we removed... yes it is original) So at one time we think they did have a higher voltage set of caps in them

No...
If not for the white smoke which came out of the radio... I would not have known the cap had blown... It did not blow the fuse or show any signs of damage other than the liquid on the metal cover which started to corrode. We were told that some had this liquid eat the ckt board on theirs. thus it might be a good idea to check... by removing the cover...

Look for the top to be deformed like shown in the picture.

Yes

We checked the radio with the bad cap in it and it still worked

So how is one to know?

thanks for all the info and help
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KD6NEM on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Now that this article has reappeared on the front page of eHam after a number of months, I'd like to mention that there is a well documented problem with defective capacitors found in the PC industry. There was a period of time where a number of capacitor manufacturers (primarily Chinese so far as I know) used a defective formula for their electrolyte. Depending on useage it took anywhere from almost two to three or four years for this to show up. The results are bulging or leaking caps. I have never seen this on any smaller than 470uf, though normally only 1000uf and larger, at least for personal computers. I have replaced capacitors in somewhere between 50 and 75 motherboards, and have seen a number of switching power supplied go south because of this because of blown caps as well. Many motherboard makers ate a lot of these on warranty. Probably was a primary contributor of a few going out of business. There were millions of these bad caps used in consumer electronics in the past four or five years.

By the way, I have yet to see a motherboard be fatally damaged by the electrolyte leak, though I suppose it could happen. I have had to scrub with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol a few times, and confess that surface mount components are not easy to clean around.

But the thing I don't get is that these are Japanese Caps, and so few radios have apparently been affected. Very likely just a few isolated, completely unrelated incidents?

Still, a quick inspection to see if they are bulging couldn't hurt. And yes, installing JAPANESE caps rated for 35 volts would be what I'd do if I saw any bulging ones.

73,

Stu KD6NEM
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N6AJR on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If you go to a auto parts store, you can buy for about 10 bucks, a constant duty solinoid. this is likem a ford starter relay, but made to stay on. you hook a fat wire to the battery and a fat wire to the radio, the relay is bolted to ground and an small switch to the control lead ( 12 v from the fuse panel??) on the relay turns it on and off. these will handle several hubdred amps. easy fix for any car needing a high currrent switch. I used it in my pickup/camper to connect the camper battery while running to charge it and then shut it off while parked so using the camper battery did not kill the starting battery

by the way, don't use a ford starter solinoid, they are going to catch fire in about 27 minutes of constant use, (don't ask how I know) use a constant duty solinoid, its made for this.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KC0MQR on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Ok several have said a battery is the best protection from the spike and everything should be fine. Simple test will prove this!!! Place a good volt meter on the battery and crank the engine. You will notice the voltage drop to about 10v and then gradually build back up to 15 or 16v. Wheres the voltage spike????
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W8JI on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Wow, what a bunch of varying opinions!!

I'm sure it's not a chronic failure or a bad design, however.... placing a marginal voltage electrolytic cap across a line that cannot be current limited or protected in equipment where the line is subjected to transients will probably ruin a few radios. Whether that is acceptable or not is up to the manufacturer.

The people who don't have radios ruined will say "oh well", but the poor guy who totally loses a $1000 radio because of something that for a few cents could have been prevented probably won't be very happy.

It certainly isn't a major design flaw or a major problem, it's just one that will really *^^% a few customers off royally.

The vast majority will never have a problem, but the poor fellow who loses $1000 will not be very happy. It's like the guy who buys a car and has the engine kick a rod and catch fire 1000 miles after warranty is out. I'm sure that is what we have going on here.

73 Tom
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by THERAGE on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Oh geez. ten years in production and someone decides that maybe there is (oh i'm sorry-"A MAJOR DEFECT FOUND!!") a problem with the 706's because theirs blew up. Don't you think that if there was an issue with the 706's, Icom would have a recall and fixed it at NO charge? Before you go running to the store with a dead radio and big crocodile tears, be careful what mods you do inside/outside of the radio. Make sure that you wired the rig per the manufacture AND there are no issues with your cars electrical system.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by AA4PB on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Wheres the voltage spike????
-------------------------------------------
I agree that a good battery will filter much of the spikes however, using a voltmeter is not a valid test. The spikes are very narrow pulses and you need a storage scope to see them.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N0AH on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like a Yaesu rig- Out of the box, they sale you 80% of the radio then expect you to buy the remaing 20% over time in accessory items and replacement parts to make the stock radio acceptable. (Yes, that was a sentence run-on)
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K4IQT on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Many years back I was involved in the design of low-voltage high-current systems, then moved into the design of electronic systems directly interfacing with inductive relay coils. We worked in 24v and 50v systems, and in both cases always used at least 100v capacitors. Weak spots in circuitry for NASA and for telco's is just not tolerated.

Apparently Icom has never heard of derating. The few cents additional cost to use 35V capacitors should not be an issue on the comparatively short production runs that most ham gear has. This is more likely just an engineering oversight, and since it is not causing a high percentage of warranty failures it is not considered a maintenance issue by Icom.

They are not the only ones missing the boat on derating - my Ten-Tec Argosy and the Yaesu FT-301D I wisely sold years back have some 16v electrolytics, too. Fortunately I gave up HF mobile back in the days of the Heath monobanders.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W8JI on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
by KC0MQR on November 4, 2005 Simple test will prove this!!! Place a good volt meter on the battery and crank the engine. You will notice the voltage drop to about 10v and then gradually build back up to 15 or 16v. Wheres the voltage spike????>>

Bad measurement technique. You need something that will detect and display transients. A volt meter won't do it.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N0AH on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Icom 706
Cheap Components
Must be MFJ
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W4CNG on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Glad I don't own any ICOM rigs. Whew, just missed this one with my Yaesu rigs, which have other issues, but do not blow up on Starter Transients cause they are off line until after the engine cranks, transients detected with O'scopes not Voltmeters.
Steve W4CNG with 5 second delay to On-Mode master start Relay power contactor.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W5EEX on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Gimme a break here.....where did some of these guys get technical training? Since when can you measure transient voltage spikes with a voltmeter? Believe it...there are plenty of spikes running around with the starter is cranking, when compressors kick on and off, etc....that's why the radio manufacturers put warnings in their user manuals about it.....if you think that voltage at the battery is clean DC, get a high frequency scope and do some snooping around.....then you will want to be careful plugging your $1000 radio onto that power bus.
73
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found?  
by K4RAF on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My fuse failed, can I write a "Buss 20A - Major Failure Found" if I make clear by TWO (2) Hi Res Glossy photos that it opened as designed?

Bad batch of electrolyte, cap vents opened as designed...

This is nothing more than hype with a couple million in the field. How do I make my 2 - 706MKIIG's fans stop running in receive, short of running external blower? They're in the open air on the bench! Heat is far more of a concern by my experiences. 706's run !HOT! ???

Punch Out - Go Home !!!
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KILOWATT on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Occasionally, we all buy ourselves a lemon. Yaesu, Kenwood, Ten Tec, Icom.....Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Volkswagen.....It's inevitable. Everyday on the assembly line isn't perfection.

And please keep in mind; Icom doesn't manufacture the individual components of their radios. If you got a bad capacitor or two then it's more likely that Icom's specs were correct but the manufacturer of the caps failed on their quality control. Hey, it happens!
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KILOWATT on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>Glad I don't own any ICOM rigs. Whew, just missed this one with my Yaesu rigs, which have other issues, but do not blow up on Starter Transients cause they are off line until after the engine cranks, transients detected with O'scopes not Voltmeters.
Steve W4CNG with 5 second delay to On-Mode master start Relay power contactor.<



I own Ten Tec rigs and have discovered a major flaw with them. Must rebuild the PTO's every few years. Why do I keep buying them? They build the best damned CW rigs on the market. Guess I'll have to learn to live with the PTO rebuilds, huh?

The Icom 706 gives you some pretty big bang for the buck. Despite the occasional defective part, they're a great radio, from what I've seen and read.

As I've previously stated; Everyone builds the occasional lemon.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KL7IPV on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I bought the original 706 in 1996 and it played well until I sold it in 2000. I then bought the MkII then have used it with out a problem until I tried 60 meters. I got it fixed and it is permanently mounted in my diesel truck. I also have a MkIIG and it plays well all the time. I have the 703 also and have no trouble with it. I figure after all those Icoms, I would have had a failure as described by now. Since I haven't I won't say it CAN'T happen but I am not going to spend any time worrying. It just isn't worth the time. I will just play and enjoy until such time the little bugger fails.
73,
Frank
KL7IPV
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N5EAT on November 4, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I've had an original 706 since 1995. It probably did 75,000 miles in one car before I retired it to in house duty. I install my mobiles with parts I purchase at truck stops. I've done everything I could possibly do to this radio to kill it. It won't die. (however, i've had 2 IC-703's and both died quick deaths running off a nice power supply into resonant antennas). There are ways you could wire a radio into a car and possibly expose the rig to some high voltage spikes if certain ignition equipment were malfunctioning. It's never happened to me with any of my gear. And this is one radio that ICOM has manufactured of late which doesn't have many reliability problems. This problem is serious, but I think extremely rare.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by NN8Y on November 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
There are lots of inductive electrical loads in a car that will produce transients on switching, sometimes huge ones.

A major manufacturer's spec is something above 200 V, positive or negative, meaning any device on that car has to be able to withstand 200+ V spikes.

The same manufacturer had a bad habit, for many years, of using electric radiator cooling fans which created spikes in excess of 500 V. This was blowing voltage regulators and climate control modules.

This was solved by installing back-to-back zeners across the fan supply leads.

A fuse will not protect against transients, if they were designed that way they would blow on inrush current every time you turned something on.

I'd put back to back zeners on the power lead, that will protect against spikes of either polarity.

NN8Y
Rob
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W9GB on November 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Althoguh proper design is one question - you also have t be careful to examine the capacitor as a potential source for this problem.

Electrolytic capacitor problems are NOT limited to Icom - in fact a IEEE Spectrum article pointed out maor problems in proper manufacturing (Far East) -- that hit most computer motherboard mfg (failed motherboards, exploding caps).
http://www.motherboardrepair.com/

Look at this web site of images - if you doubt!
BTW, I repaired by nephew's HP Pavillion after replacing 12 of these "base caps" (one hour of bench work on a 4-layer motherbord) - from dead to back to life!
http://www.motherboardrepair.com/index.php?sec=images

BTW, both MicroCenter and an HP Servcie Center missed this proper diagnosis. When I took the motherbaord out fo the case (whcih they likely did not do) - the daignosis was straight forward with both nose and eyes!!

w9gb
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by GM6TVR on November 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My 706 has experienced mega untroubled stops and starts when installed in my car. This is just a thought - Some people may have connected their rig directly to an HGV 24 volt supply, or even suffered a direct lightning strike, any of these events can cause a major defect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HGV or lightning bolts, try to keep it at 12 volts!!!!!

John www.johnblack.org
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KG6LFN on November 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I am sorry to hear about your problem.

I use two high quality (aircraft) internally suppressed power relays in series on the high side. One relay is wired normally open and is closed by the ignition switch, while the other relay is wired normally closed and will open when the starter is engaged. I use the normally closed relay as a failsafe to open the power circuit to the radio thereby preventing the voltage spikes from damaging my radio just in case the starter is engaged with the radio accidently left on.

I fuse only the hot lead as I have seen the damage caused by open low side fuses when electrical equipment sought the path of least resistance and found a ground elsewhere: smoke check failed! Unless the radio (including the antenna coax shield) is fully isolated from the rest of the common ground which is completely impractical, I don't advise low side circuit protection unless you are obliged to hook your battery leads backwards on occasion . To the brainy types who can't wait to tell me how wrong I am about this subject: save it, wire your radio the way you want to and I'll do the same.

I don't suggest this is the best or only way to wire a radio but it has worked flawlessly for me - even on my newer Icom that sparks when you connect the power lead!
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by AD5X on November 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I use in-line home-brew transient suppressors on my IC706G and IC-703, just to be safe. The suppressors are cheap and easy to make. Details at www.ad5x.com.

Phil - AD5X
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by AA4PB on November 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If you power a relay from the vehicle accessory line then the relay will open just before the starter engages and close again as soon as the ignition switch is returned to the run position. There is no need to use two relays.

The purpose of a fuse in the negative lead is to *prevent* problems with the radio and wiring in the event that starter currents attempt to flow thru the radio grounding system when starter grounds fail. A fuse should always be used in the negative lead any time that the radio's negative lead is returned directly to the battery terminal.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WB4DX on November 5, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have had all 3 versions of the 706, yes, their receivers leave a lot to be desired (UHF /VHF) Almost as bad as an HT! I couldn't use any antenna other than a 1/4 wave 2 meter antenna due to intermod.
I won't have another one in my car. Workhorse......Not!
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by NJ3F on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

This is simple stuf.

1. a 16v cap is 16wvdc working voltage. not peak.

2. if you replace it with a 35wvdc cap, the cap wont
work as well, and will degrade over time and become
leaky (current not liquid).

3. it doesnt cost much more, to use higher votage
caps, why do you think they design equipment this
way? because thats the proper component for the job.

look at other factors, maybe a few bad components got
through, maybe the heat in the car had something to
do with it. if you change to 35v caps you are taking
a big chance, they wont filter as well and over time
will get worse.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by YD0NHR on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe that major defect happened too in my ICOM V8000 2m rig.Two times its burns the PA when installed at mobile. So I decide to use as base rig and never give anymore trouble.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N4VNV on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Reference the original comments. All I can say is I've had all three of the Icom 706 series. That covers roughly ten years, and NEVER had a problem. I forget about half the time and crank my car with the radio still on. AND that also covers six different cars between the wife's and mine.
Reference the comment by NE0P! The receiver in each of the three IC-706 series got better and better. MY IC-706MKIIG has a better/more sensitive receiver than my Icom 746PRO does. I DID purchase all of mine NEW!
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KE1MB on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have a very beat up, 5 year old 706mk2G. It has been portable with a mag mount on many cars and has run off of many different power supplys. No issues. But I can understand that using a 16volt cap is a bit risky. It is possable that due to the rare nature of the failure that the design stood. I would wonder why one would not consider upgrading any cap that is close to it's rating and not worry about complex high current switches.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W5DXP on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What poorly designed vehicle caused this "major defect"?
--
73, Cecil, W5DXP
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by AA4PB on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Starter spikes have been seen as high as 60V on 12V automotive systems. Are you going to replace all the capacitors with 100V ratings? How about the IC's and transistors?

The spikes are very narrow (high frequency components) and they are usually minimized by the parallel capacitance and the series resistance and inductance in the wiring, fuses, etc. Its rather difficult to account for all variables however because the size of the spike depends on the condition of the vehicle battery, the wiring, etc so it can vary even with vehicles of the same make and model.

A good way to protect the radio is with a surge protection diode. Even then if there is not enough series inductance or the spike contains too much energy (long time period and/or high voltage) then the diode will short.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA2JJH on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
1)TNX FER the very detailed artical.

Yup them DC-Daylight swiss army knife rigs do have their problems.

Funny, I saw a few people describe and sell the 706 IIG rigs as a commercial rig?!

Guess Icom thinks your getting so much for the money, that Q.C. is frivilous!

I purchased the FT-100D on a close out sale. All or most of the bugs are rare in rigs that are being discontinued.....I hope! NIB with DSP,500hz CW filter and TCXO closed out at $730 shipped. So I think I got a good deal.
I did find out that the only problem not solved was the sensitive 25W PA brick. So I run the rig at 12W out.

Except for the telco style mic jack, it is an OK
rig. The SSB audio is too wide for my taste. I hope to find an INRAD 2.3khz filter to replace Yaesu's 2.7KHZ
filter.

I found it pays not to buy a rig until N4PY or whoever makes PC control software.
The IF shift control on the radio is too small to adjust properly.
Many other hidden functions and controls work better when adjusted by a PC and 3erd party software

Just like the 706, the FT-100D was not a decent rig until Icom and Yeasu listened to Hams complaints.

Too bad that by the time the rig is being discontinued, the manufactuer fixes all or most of the
problems!!!!

Perhaps it is prudent NOT to run out and buy a radio that is just introduced. If you wait a few years after the intro, just about every bug and mod. is published.

I feel it is the same way with computer software.
If you buy XP these days service pack 1,2 and many other patches are on the disk you buy 3 years after the intro of XP.

Again thanks for the very detailed artical
73 DE MIKE WA2JJH

Also by the time a rig is being closed out, you know what your getting for your money. Many hams before you have published fixes and mods.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KG6LFN on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
by AA4PB on November 5, 2005

The purpose of a fuse in the negative lead is to *prevent* problems with the radio and wiring in the event that starter currents attempt to flow thru the radio grounding system when starter grounds fail.

*****************************************************

Most radios installed in new model cars are mounted to an insulator as it is becoming increasingly difficult to find any metal to attach the radio to around the newer dash panels. If the installer doesn’t include a proper bonding strap between the car and radio chassis, the only other path to ground will be through the antenna feedline shield should the negative side fuse open. And believe me; they open just due to vibration in the hostile environment we call the engine compartment.

I suggest this test to make you a believer: Go out to your car and open your negative side fuse. Turn on your radio – the ground will be afforded by your coax shield if you are using a proper antenna. Go to high power and do a little ragchewing.

Then you can tell me how many problems your low side fuse *prevented*!

By the way, I have never lost a “starter ground” on any of my machinery, nor have I ever had an engine, transmission or rear end fall out. If that is a concern in your machine, see a competent mechanic fast and have him tighten up all of your battery cables!

If you dispute the simple test I offer you, you would probably dispute Euclidean Geometry because you think Euclid was a liar.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KC8VWM on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
So how is the IC 706 design particularly any different than 95% of the other radios on the market today that are just as equally susceptible to the same problems of voltage spikes in a mobile operating enviroment?

 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W5PPF on November 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have had three 706Mk2G's. Used them mobile & fixed for the past 4-5 years, never a problem with any of them. Have my Mk2G in the car now, connected with #8 dc power line direct to the battery with a fuse in the positive side---No Problems after lots and lots of use. And by the way, the receiver is fine!!
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by AA4PB on November 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KG6LFN: The way I look at it you have two choices. If the negative lead fuse fails then you send 20A peaks thru your coax shield. If the starter ground fails then you send 200A of starter current thru your coax shield. It's your choice :-) If the negative lead fails then you will see the radio's panel lights flicker on voice peaks and that should give you an indication that you have a problem.

Personally I don't have a negative lead fuse because the ground wire is connected to a mfg provided grounding stud right next to the battery.

Many radio mfgs provide fuses in both the negative and positive lead of the power cables they supply with their radios. They do that because of the potential for starter grounding problems if you tie the negative lead directly to the battery terminal. I have seen starter problems on older vehicles with corroded connections.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W9WHE-II on November 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What horror!
What huberus!
Why...just who does Icom think it is, the ARRL?


So....ya gonna sue em? get millions for yer pain, Suffering and emotional distress? What about lost wages from your job? I know...file a class action! Force them to replace every 706 AND give you a 7800 for your trouble!

Then...what about punitive damages? 10 Million? 100 Million? They need to be taught a lesson! Sue em!

W9WHE
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W9WHE-II on November 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I almost forgot.
What about the car manufacturer? Shouldn't they be sued? After all, they have a 12 volt car with a 16 volt + spike!

I'm thinking emotional distress, lost wages, punitive damages here......

Bet if we file a class action we can all get FREE cars!


W9WHE
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WB2LCW on November 7, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
How about some SA15A Transient Voltage suppressors
across the power leads Jameco has them for $.26 cents each? Standoff voltage 15v min breakdown 16.7v?

Or else use some big Zeners to do the job?

73
Mike
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K5MDM on November 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WOW, what a tempest in a teacup for this so called baloney. The 706, all models, have proven to be litterally bullet proof ( mine got shot at and still is ok) hihi.....I dont know how many I have had, have 2 now that are YEARS old and I just run em. They come on when the car comes on, just work. What a waste of time this article is. EHAM , you should delete this , its false premise and will probably just scare some of the un intiated in the hobby... 73 Murray K5MDM
WHAT OTHER USED RADIO COSTS ABOUT $650-700 good used AND NEVER QUITS? AND HAS ALL BANDS!!!!
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
5mdm...

Murry...

and some people just don't know what they are talking about... huh... last time I checked the 706 was around 900 bux... but, then again I guess yours is special... being shot at 'en all... did someone shoot at it to put it out of its mesery or just didn't like it??? or because of your attitude, were they shooting at you and missed and hit it by mistake (smile)

No... you clearly have not looked... (blind in one eye and can't see out of the other) or else don't read...

Let me illumiate ya... go to the begining of the article... try open both eyes this time and look at the pictures... read the postings... and then come back and spew some more...
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I like the zener diode idea but, if you put them after the fuses will it blow the fuses when you get a spike? If you put the before the fuses, then you have the source potential that they are looking at and that may not be good for them either

as to the ground being fused

I agree the fuses blow and the next grounding is through the coax to the antenna. Then again if the starter or engine ground is not their or weak, don't you have other things going to and from the engine that also have ground s associated with them that would become issues for the operation of the vehicle. The engine grounding is equv to the starter current which used to be several times the alternator currents. Todays' alternators however are equal to or greater than the starter current...

However, we recieved a email from a gent who works in the transmission shop who said that if you want to see a spike... looke when the new transmissions go shifting and start pulling and releasing the selo's to make it change gears. He claims that they are the highest current user in the new vehicles'

I am sure Ford and the other major manufactures really pay attention to some little ham or other end user that has added a device to their car and that item failed. Actually if you go to Fords, Chy, and GM sites they really do have a section for the installation of radios in the current vehicles and give suggestions as to how one should connect it so as not to damage the vehicles systems from both current pulls and RF loads.

Sue ICOM you have to be kidding they live in Japan.

As to improvements

Yes I would think that they read these pages with great consern. Here they get the feedback that they don't normally get due to the hams not responding back with problems unless they see them in their own service centers. So does it help or hurt the product? I feel that it helps call their attention to a defect, one that they should address. However, as current owners of these radios, you and I will never hear a word from them as they quietly make the change. So that they don't have to recall them. Unlike the US AUTO MAKERS, if their is a problem with the car, they issue a recall notice and ask you to return it to the dealer so reparis and upgrades can be made, normally at their expense. You will never see this happen from any off shore radio manuafacture it just doesn't happen. I am sure they feel like were the rich giants and thus if it has a problem, throw it away and go buy their new one.

As a open discussion I think this is the best and thank eham for allowing us to all express our opinions without bias on ham radio products.

thanks for all the input
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K6LCS on November 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>>...As to improvements...Yes I would think that they read these pages with great consern...

This is a NON-ISSUE. This "massive, fatal failure" is not occurring - at least not in the United States. I have NO cases of this "problem" occurring in the past approx. 1,000 IC-706MKIIG units sold by my employer...

This entire thread has been a humourous read.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by W7DUD on November 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
In general, I think that automotive charging systems can hold the voltage to fairly tight limits, except for some 'transient' voltages.

Although capacitor rated steady state voltages are likely under-rated by a considerable margin, I would suspect the transient withstand capability of the failed capacitors. The transient withstand may be mostly un-related to the steady state voltage rating, and is a more a function of the care taken in the manufacture of the capacitor insulation. Testing for the transient withstand is probably a 'destructive' test.

Having first hand experience with the industrial testing of electronic parts, a small percentage of bad parts are passed as 'good'. At the semiconductor company I worked at, the company 'Product Assurance' 'think tank', determined that if 3 or 4 random parts, out of about 300 tested were found to be 'good', there was a very good probability that the entire lot was about 99 percent good. The other 1% could be defective. This was a method generally excepted by the whole semiconductor industry. Mil-spec was tighter, of course. The Mil-spec parts were 100 percent tested.

The above percentages, are from memory, and could be a bit off.

I suspect a very small number of electrolytic capacitors are defective, and can be 'punctured' by automobile electrical system transient voltages.

Kent - W7DUD
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by HP1KL on November 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

Of all the comments submitted, not one mentions the "obvious" -- the fact that all CAR radios are wired to the ACC side of the ignition switch precisely for this same reason.

Of course, I am NOT suggesting that transceivers be connected in this manner. They SHOULD be connected directly to the battery with BOTH leads fused.

But then of course, what happens if we "forget" to turn the radio off before cranking? This is where a simple NORMALLY CLOSED relay will fit the bill. The coil should be wired to the ignition key's START wire or directly to the small wire on the starter's solenoid (which comes from the switch anyway) and this ensures that the radio will be switched OFF whenever the starter is activated.

The contacts will only be switching or handling the radio's amps while on standby or receiving. It is unlikely that someone would transmit AND start the car at the same time(!)

In fact, if relays of a suitable power rating are not available, two or more can be wired in parallel to do the job.

Tony,
HP1KL
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA9SVD on November 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
by HP1KL on November 9, 2005

Of all the comments submitted, not one mentions the "obvious" -- the fact that all CAR radios are wired to the ACC side of the ignition switch precisely for this same reason.

That's not the "obvious" reason at all. Yes, the auto radio is disconnected during starting, but so are the headlights, air-conditioner, and almost all other (factory installed) accessories. The obvious reason is to allow the statrer to get as much current from the battery as possible, to assure starting.

Then again, there ARE notable exceptions for (electronic) items that remain connected even during starting: the Clock, engine computer, the radio memory backup...
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KC0EJR on November 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The high voltage spike comes from the collapse of the magnetic field in the field-windings of the starter. When the starter is disengaged the field creates a voltage spike higher than the voltage of the battery. Since this spike is higher than the battery it becomes the voltage source. It travels from the starter, through the battery and back to the starter (the source). As my auto-electrical instructor told us, DC electricity is always trying to find its way back to the source.

73, kc0ejr
Bill
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by HP1KL on November 9, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

Re: "That's not the "obvious" reason at all. Yes, the auto radio is disconnected during starting, but so are the headlights, air-conditioner, and almost all other (factory installed) accessories. The obvious reason is to allow the statrer to get as much current from the battery as possible, to assure starting."

+++++++++

I am 62, and headlights etc that are disconnected during starting or cranking are only in newers cars.

Ever watched people crank their cars with the headlights on?

Radios, on the other hand, have ALWAYS been switched off while starting because of the induced transients or spikes (notice the comments immediately after my original note). Admittedly, this was much less of a problem 40 or more years ago when radios used tubes and vibrators and thus less susceptible than "solid-state" devices.

Tony,
HP1KL
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K6YUM on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I am wondering if the Icom 703 has a similar problem especially in light of the poor design of the 703 and the need for many modifications to have an operational radio. There are some similarities between the two rigs including poor design and workmenship.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA2JJH on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
<<<<<< I have NO cases of this "problem" occurring in the past approx. 1,000 IC-706MKIIG units sold by my employer...

This entire thread has been a humourous read.>>>>>>>>

Hey Clint, I enjoyed your JFK CONSPIRACY WEBSITE!!!

You work for an ICOM Dealer. Could not one say your could be an ""ICOM COMPANY MAN""

I am just joking with you, not making a personal attack.

Getting back to facts. Perhaps the higher than 16 volt effects accrue over years of use.

Mil spec and some ham rigs WILL blow the fuse in either the hot and nuetral 12V leads if excessive voltage or currant are drawn.

Sorry for going off tangent. I could not resist the conspiracy angle! You did say your Boss sells ICOM.
There is always a risk that people get "OSWALDED"
HI HI 73 DE MIKE
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by NO6B on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>This is simple stuf.
>
>1. a 16v cap is 16wvdc working voltage. not peak.

"Working voltage" is the maximum voltage that can be regularly applied to a capacitor in normal service, not a voltage at which a capacitor is specifically made to be used.

Since the capacitor in question is simply marked "16 V", we have to assume that the given rating is in fact peak voltage.

Either way, good engineering practice is to specify component ratings at least 25 to 30% over the maximum expected values. At 13.8 V, the capacitor is at 86% of rated voltage.

>2. if you replace it with a 35wvdc cap, the cap wont
>work as well, and will degrade over time and become
>leaky (current not liquid).

I have never heard of this.

>3. it doesnt cost much more, to use higher voltage
>caps, why do you think they design equipment this
>way?

Capacitors with higher voltage ratings are not only more expensive, but also larger in size. Cost & size are the two main factors that the ham equipment manufacturers focus on, so it's not surprising to me at all that Icom tried to cut corners on that filter cap.

>look at other factors, maybe a few bad components got
>through, maybe the heat in the car had something to
>do with it. if you change to 35v caps you are taking
>a big chance, they wont filter as well and over time
>will get worse.

As others have pointed out, the best solution is to replace the capacitor with a part capable of higher voltage. I know of no data that suggest a higher voltage capacitor would be less reliable over time.

Bob NO6B
 
The myth of voltage spikes  
by KF6IIU on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I can just hear old man Burns on the Simpsons: "Drat! Another voltage spike from the magneto of my horseless carriage has damaged my wireless!"

Maybe on an older car, but my 1999 Honda Cr-V is clean at startup - I've looked at it with a scope. I'd say if you have a relatively new car that is blowing up 16WVDC electrolytics you might have a problem with the car's electrical system. Spikes big enough to damage equipment hooked up in parallel with the battery are probably big enough to damage other electrical equipment in the car and even the battery itself.

I'm more worried about the drop in battery voltage at startup, tp 9 or 10 volts, so it might be prudent to see if a place behind the main contactor in the car can provide 20+ at full voltage. Future project.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N2DY on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I have had a 706MKIIG in one of my vehicles continuously for the past 5 years. It is hooked directly to the battery and I have not had a single problem. I suspect that this is much ado about nothing.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WB2GOF on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Is it already April 1st? This article made me think it was.
WB2GOF

BTW-N2DY- Hi Don!
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KE6PID on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps this cap was defective? What's the voltage running in the car? A bad ground or defective regulator can cause the charge voltage to rise quite high.

Major defect? I think not.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KE6PID�

No the car is a fairly new one and the solid state voltage regulator keeps it around 14 volts� it is the other items that generally develop the spikes that can exceed the rating of these caps

Yes we agree we think that there is a bad batch of caps in these radios. Time will tell which I am sure some of the Clowns such as WB2GOF, who is still trying to figure out how to put toothpaste on the bowl brush that he uses, is so typical of the mind set for denial. Some of these go back and get old ham calls reassigned to �em so that they can impress everyone, so they think?

If one goes back and looks at the pictures we posted, one can clearly see that something happened to this cap. So far we have found that most of the cars that we have checked exhibit spiking from operational sources. Some of these spikes exceed the voltage rating of the parts. Then again parts manufacturing today�s QC is probably better than it was years ago. However, with the advent of computers, engineers and manufactures are holding to a closer tolerance than what the general rule of thumb was years ago in value factors. This is probably driven by production cost and size.

Again you will see that the power is constantly on the final transistors from the drawing posted. People like WB2GOF and others who claim no problems will probably be the first to squeal like a pig when suddenly it happens to them. Why someone should have done something to keep THEIR rig from blowing up.

With all the gazillions of these radios out their in use, clearly then if this is a fluke rather than a pending problem one would think that such a big company as ICOM would be happy to have it returned, the bad part removed for R&D failure inspection so as to find out why this was happening. (We now have over 119 who emailed us with problems relating to the same parts). And YES Icom is aware that there is a problem with these parts also. We were contacted by the head honcho, referred to first off as, just another STUPID HAM, and implied that they didn�t like our informing others of this problem; which we were promptly told to go away. Later we found through the service dept that IN FACT ICOM is aware of such a problem by records which they keep. I frankly was not impressed that ICOMs management has such a low opinion of the Ham�s of today. Then again, Current trends from the leadership of the hams (ARRL) seems to promote the dummy�ing down of the hams technical abilities in favor of sales. Go figure.

As to the current 119 people who also were degraded by ICOM and its management and told they would have to pay to have it fixed. I am sure these people thought that it was something that they did to cause it. Now were finding out that instead it appears to be a bad, poorly designed radio, part.

As to the issue of the power being applied ALL THE TIME.

I have read with interest all of the REAL comments on this subject. To recap what one should have installed in their car with this or other radios is:

Some way to keep the radio isolated away from the vehicles electrical system when not in use. (keeps you from having to also have a cell phone to get the road side service out to jump start the car due to a dead battery)

Making sure that the engine ground is maintained and checked periodically so as not to have power drawn through the ground side of the radio and its antenna leads.

Fuses are good but, to slow.

A second battery for just the radio might be ideal.

These radio run extremely hot when in use. (another poor design item which leads to part failures) Thus, one needs to provide some external cooling for them if placed in confined areas.

We want to thank all those who contributed to the thread.

And lest we not forget
Then there are the clowns who like on the radio have to make it known that they are present. Clearly knowing little about the subject, they can always be counted on to post some sort of diatribe and dribble and are always out to impress ya with their testimonials.
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WM5Z on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Earlier on I commented that the problem might be due high temperatures. I am willing to conceed that there might be a problem with capacitors. See the link below which shows that computer manufacturers are also having the same problem.

http://news.com.com/PCs+plagued+by+bad+capacitors/2100-1041_3-5942647.html?tag=nl.caro


Steve/WM5Z
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KL7IPV on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
from WA6CDE, quote, "
And lest we not forget
Then there are the clowns who like on the radio have to make it known that they are present. Clearly knowing little about the subject, they can always be counted on to post some sort of diatribe and dribble and are always out to impress ya with their testimonials."

Thank you but I am not now and have never been a "clown". I do find it interesting that those who have had no problems are "clowns' and just posting to be seen. Maybe, but that fact remains that after three different Icom radios, none have failed due to the problem you reference. I also may "know little about the problem" because I haven't experienced it but that doesn't make me less qualified to make a post related to the original stated problem. And just because you feel my posting is not justified, I wont address you as a "clown". I think you have a made a valid point as well about a problem YOU perceive. Happily, it doesn't apply to mine - yet!
73,
Frank
KL7IPV
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KL7IPV on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe I should state that I took the quote as pertaining to me and others since the word "testimonial" was used. That tells me it refers to those of us that have had no troubles and took the time to say so. If I am wrong, oh well; it aint the first time.
Frank
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WB2GOF on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WA6CDE - No need to become offensive! Could it be that you were wrong? Can't laugh at oneself? WHO IS THE CLOWN HERE? Judging from the posts.....
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WB2GOF on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
It is also interesting to note that WA6CDE cannot be found on the QRZ callbook. What does that tell you?
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Kl7IPV…. Frank


No it does not refer to the people who made their personal statements based on their unit… The Clowns I talk about are like the others who jump in with inferences, which don’t even pertain to the topic at hand. How many times have we heard, a friend of a friend of mine says that his friend had one, yet speaks as though no one else has had this problem even if he doesn’t own a unit? Those are the ones that I say make the testimonials, which are irrelevant or have no basis.

I appreciate the ones that have experience with their units. (Both good and bad) And yes some are good some are bad but just like the person who wrote about the same problem in the computers, with the same parts. How is one to know if it is wide spread or just a fluke of the manufacture? We agree that at first we also thought a small percentage appeared to be affected with this problem originally. But, is it a design problem (heat, parts at rated value, etc) or is it a parts manufactures problem. And if it is a parts manufactures problem who is going to pay to have the radio fixed? The consumer or the manufacture? These questions are what were asking also. Some of the answers are not too friendly both from other users as well as the manufacture. It is our intention to bring this issue to light so that in the future one might not think it was an operator error, when in fact it’s a manufactures problem. And how might one forgo this problem and extend the life of the unit? The issue of damage to ones property be it radio or car, should be the primary topic of concern here. Who is responsible is secondary.

I found it interesting that ICOM chose to first off ignore it. Then when further inquiries were made innuendoes were made. For what a 98 cent part that took us about 20 min to change out. What a company that won’t even take the time to even take a look at the problem. Instead chooses to ignore it and hopes it will go away.

Later we found that they indeed did have information on this problem from others deep inside the company. What makes it more interesting is that they knew of it but, choose to keep it hidden from perspective new buyers. That is not right.


So WB2GOF
Now we come to your comments about laughing at ones self. I quite frankly don’t think spending almost 1,000 bux on a radio to have it go bad within two years something to laugh at. You may be independently wealthy and can afford to spend the 129bux to have your fixed on top of giving them the 1,000 bux. I don’t think this is a laughing matter and to think so could lead one to the assumption that if one did, something might be WAY wrong with their thinking.

Could I be wrong? Well how can I be wrong when you look at the pictures and schematic posted at the beginning of the thread. That picture is not a fake. It was not a computer drawing, it is real and it really happens. (NOW ALMOST 150 PEOPLE SAY IT HAS TO THEM ALSO) So your clowning around making statement about LAUGHING at right or wrong is not really appreciated. One could say your comment leaves a lasting impression of your concerns on the ones that have had it happen to them. JUDGING FROM THE POSTS I think you missed the boat completely about the problems associated with this radio and its design. Clearly the ones that have responded with in kind findings about the Caps, Heating concerns, etc have good basis of findings. However, because you appear to lack the technical knowledge, may I point out to you, the fact that any excessive heat will shorten electronic components (including the elect caps) will in fact lead to early failure. If you think this is FUNNY AND LAUGHABLE and that is your opinion alone. Most good engineers seem to find that excessive heat is no laughing matter when it comes to part life.

And, as to my not being on the QRZ callbook. Soooo. It is by my choice, not to stop hams from contacting me, but rather stopping all the spam and junk mail that seems to originate from their list that they sell. So what does that tell you? Clearly it shows me that when you can’t debate in the conversation without getting negative in a personal manner. Your comment about me not being on QRZ Clearly has nothing to do with the topic in the thread. SO WHAT DOES THAT TELL US?

SERIOUSLY!

YOU ARE THE CLOWN their Chuckles
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by NN6EE on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Well most of us who OWN IC-706's (whatever model) and have used them EXTENSIVELY (4.5yrs) have NEVER had any problems with them either in a mobile enviroment or portable, or even base use!!!

It's a damn fine rig & RELIABLE!!!

WHY TRY TO FIX IT IF IT AIN'T BROKE???

The doomsday scenario seems at best to be either "Crying Wolf" or "Chicken-Little" saying the SKY-IS-FALLING!!!

Jim/ee
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Jim NN6EE….

Awww come on now… I am sure the rest of the people who wrote IN also think it’s a real fine rig… why just think, you could put a plate on the top and cook eggs too after a Net QSO. Clearly an added feature that is a Bonus to the owner when out on field day and hungry. Of course stealing the eggs from that crow or Robbins’ nest might present a bit of a feat in its self. Just remember that the Condors are still on the endangered species list and their eggs have this little red circles with a hash bar through the symbol of a guy eating breakfast and below it says, “ do not tamper with these eggs, federal offense, go directly to jail, do not collect 200 dollars” hand painted on them. Ya think!!

. of course reading what the other have said and recognizing that we said the early radios had a higher voltage rating cap in them just might have something to do with what were describing here on your OLD 706 radio. Have you ever heard of a production line change? I find it amazing that you can tell the difference between old and new.

I am sure you’re speaking for every one that owns a 4.5-year-old rig. Yep that qualifies for recently manufactured hmmmmm.

Remember to read the complete article first before inserting foot in mouth grin

It's a damn fine rig & RELIABLE!!!

WHY TRY TO FIX IT IF IT AIN'T BROKE???
And your statement about everyone else’s, you know to be true.

You made a funny.

Did you see the picture at the beginning of the article hmmmmmm I don’t know what profession your in but, surly not electronics, if you don’t think that cap is broken. Jim go back and this time open both eyes will ya. Here let me put it in ARRL extra class basic language for ya. SEE CAP. SEE CAP HAS HOLE IN TOP. CAP NO WORK NO MORE. HOLE LET SMOKE OUT. SMOKE GONE. NEED NEW CAP.

Ya it ain’t broke Lord help ‘em. Hams used to be able to tell good parts from bad. But, today’s ARRL new give away breed seems to be lack just a little in the technical abilities.

DON’T LOOK UP JIM. The sky IS falling according to the environmental Nazis. AWWW you looked up (grin)

Thanks for writing about most everyone’s 4.5 year old, how is that you said it, Well most of us who OWN IC-706's (whatever model), Jim. I am sure now that you have spoken for most everyone who owns one we can now go put it to bed feeling warm and fuzzy that were all in your good hands.

Nighty night.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K2WH on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The guy who wrote this article knows nothing about capacitor ratings and how they are determined.

The 16vdc is the maximum working voltage. That is, at 16vdc, the cap should work flawlessly. He makes it sound as if at 16.1 vdc, the cap will explode.

Voltage spikes or excursions are taken into consideration when the cap is designed. A 16vdc cap will (under test lab conditions), withstand a spike of over 1000 volts as long as the duration is in a millisecond or less.

K2WH
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K1CJS on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I notice the author doesn't specify where he has hooked up the leads from the radio--it seems like he doesn't even have the radio in question, he seems to refer to a third party indirectly.

I am with the others who are saying this is a rant against Icom -- if there were a 'major defect' like that, we would have heard more about it by now.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K2WH on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
WA6CDE, not listed by QRZ. He is one of those hamsexy dropouts.

K2WH
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA2JJH on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
YA KNOW.....This is pandemic. I believe that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

OK perhaps many loyal ICOM owners never had or will have this dudes problem.

The FACT is that our rig makers will sell a rig with flaws. I shall not take a side. No, I have not heard of lots of ICOM 706's going south from over voltage.

However many hams hate getting a rig that is a DOG.
A DOG is the equivalant of a LEMON.

Perhaps the writer could have been less histrionic
with his artical.

I think we can all agree this ham had a real crappy experience with a 706.
The dude went to the trouble of writing this.

I JUST FEEL WE SHOULD TREAT OUR FELLOW HAMS A LITTLE
NICER.

Of couse dis-information and SOPHESTRY should always
be challenged.

I do not think anyone wants personal hidden agenda's, however history always has shown that whistle blowers get screwed.

Please be advised that I am not 100% convinced by the artical. However many hams do get lemons and dogs.

I was going to write an artical about buying used rigs on EBAY.

My experience is that many rigs I have purchased on ebay work great for a few months, then go south!
I do not think I will bother to write the artical!
YEAH, I KNOW many of Ya's say GOOD! So much for this
hobby. THE THRILL IS GONE, as the song goes!



 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Oh Geezzzzzeee here come the clowns again Fresh in from the bottom of the barrel. Better known as hugo and hecliff.

Geeee First K1CJS (Cinder Just Stupid) makes a statement that he has no knowledge of thus knows not of what he speaks. (Can’t read either as I stated that the cap in the picture was taken from my rig ???? Doesn’t that kinda say ownership????)

Then K2WH assumes that he is the end result. Hamsexy drop out huh what are they giving you all back their to drink in the water? Its beginning to effect your brain. 1000 volt spike holy #$%& Ya and it will take 10,000 volts for less too but shortly their after duck so you don’t get hit with the left over parts. Yep the guys at the local ham club probably are very impressed with your engineering. I wonder if that is why they put 16 wvdc on the cap. Ya mean they actually call out the working voltage for it darn crafty of them Chinese to do that. But, according to WH why pay attention to that, he is a authority, its ok to run em at 1000 volts Just not for long. Hey WH what is the inrush current on that cap if you do apply 1000 volts. The lead size is like your statement a little short huh.

You guys have way to much time on your hands It never amazes me to read what the new breed of ARRL hamtechnical hamdicappes come up with now a days. We all know (by reading comments such as yours) that your a product of the super fine ARRL cronies which exceeds in instilling technical abilities. Why if they can't learn no problem we will just give it to em anyway. What a kick in the pants for the guy who did have to study, work to learn. Ya I know we can't discriminate in this kids hobby. Didn't the highly technical CB bands go that way too? (It would be a insult to the fine hams who are handicapped to say your one of them) ahhh a glimps of the future of ham radio if this is the best you can come up with. grin.

I know
Lets let the computer design the thing, make the thing and then it can commucate with other computers so all we have to do is sit back and be fat dumb and happy as ya call yourself a ham. Didn't you say that your buddy Al Gore came up with ham radio? Ya I am sure you did say that Hmmmmm.

Well try not to hurt yourself by thinking again. Thanks for the laughs You guys are a hoot keep up the image or what ever you call it (grin) :)

Too fun. :) :) :)
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N1LQJ on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If it is any consolation, I work for a major Electronics company in the repair shop. The circuit is 35V sanyo BLUE caps in there. I replace hundreds of these caps in a month, all blown.

1) Replace your 16V Cap with 35V cap (2x rating)
2) Don't use blue caps. (Sounds crazy, but for twelve years, and the four years of electronics schooling I had before that, all seasoned techs prohibited the use of blue caps. Why I don't know. Where I work now, ALL PCB's in for repair with blue caps, are changed out with better rated caps. (Green or Brown).) Like I said, I don't understand the prejustice against blue caps, or Sanyo caps, but I replace both all day long in reworks.
3) Sounds like vehicle problem
a) battery cable is resistive, and your radio is connected before bad spot in battery cable?
b) Voltage regulator, either in alternator or side wall, depending on model, is fried, allowing surpluss voltages.
c) The starter can produce back EMF with the power is cut to its windings. V=I^2LdT, but the regulator should obsorb this. The battery should absolutely obsorb this spike. Did your started moter develop a winding problem and blow your regulator?

Replace caps in radio with non blue 35V caps(again, I don't know why, its just 16 years experience).

Replace battery cables, check ground cable from engine block to battery. Don't assume a resistive problem from starter or alternator to battery in on positive side of system. Both started and alternator ground to engine block, which is connected to battery by 1 Wire.

Replace Battery in Car

N1LQJ
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N6JSX on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Do you want the straight skinny on electrolitic capacitors of the size/type/specs of this article?

I was an Sr. Electronics Quality Enigneer a few years ago at a large forklift truck manufacture. We saw nearly the same problem of exploding caps in our truck control systems. It was not due to the corrosiveness of the substance but poor workmanship in the foil cutting inside the capacitor. The foil was so poorly cut that vibration and slight electrolyt dry-out caused an internal component short. Depending on the circuit and current you may get a pop and a circuit or flames if there is no fast over current protection (fuses).

First we only saw this in Panisonic caps but eventually Nichicon caps showed the same problem. Now you can add Sanyo to the list.

I suspect there are very very few actual capacitor manufactures/OEM's - they label the cap to whomever is buying it that is not the actual manufacture.

I gave up on Quality and went back to Engineering as a Sr. Electronics Test Engineer. We've not been able to conclusively find a reasonable/consitant screening test to pre-check caps. We want the MFG to pre-screen out potential bad caps - but notta. So it's a crap shoot at this point.

Best thing to do is fuse your radio right at max operational current. If/when it happens it won't kill to much of your radio.

FYI, I' have two 706's (original and MK2G) and both have been mobile for well over five years - notta problem yet. Except for the RJ-45 mic connector.

Kuby, N6JSX /8
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by N1LQJ on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Makes sense, all the caps I replace are in motor control circuits and subject to vibration when the printer head jerks back and forth continously.

Thanks

N1LQJ
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KC8VWM on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Geeee First K1CJS (Cinder Just Stupid) makes a statement that he has no knowledge of thus knows not of what he speaks.

----

This boys and girls is what is commonly know in ham radio circles as condescending low life elitism.


This has been a KC8VWM production.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 14, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I recieved a email from a trucker who said he also had the same problem with his 706 except that it took out the finals... some 400 bucks worth of transistors from motorola (no subs) at the same time. As well as the battery and some other computer service requirements for the vehicle. After talking to a DX ham for about an hour he had to run into the store and get some things. Left the truck and when he came back in a matter of min after someone reported the smoke pouring out of the windows and kids inside found exactly the same thing I did but worse. Seems not only the cap shorted but, the transistor developed a short and filled his truck with smoke so thick that he could not see across the other side. His two youngersters were in the vehicle when it happend and developed a bad cough within hours requireing them to be taken to the hospital for treatment. He said that the radio was red hot and couldnt be touched... he cut the wire at the battey to the thing... The Radio is only 1 year 1 mo old and ICOM refused to fix it under warntee saying that they are not responsible for what happened.

He had one good piece of advise that I thought might be something that others would want to know about

He suggested that you go to the automotive parts store and get a constant on contactor. He said that they sell two kinds... the starter relay and the relay contactors that can run contenously with low current draw and very low IR drop across the contacts but, good for high currents. RV stores sell them for second battery hook ups too. And while they are not the solid state item it works well with his new radio. He said it look like the old starter selo's but, only has only one coil lead on it.

He went on to suggest that you place a diode across the contact to get rid of any spikeing that may occur when it is shut off. As well as a big over rated consertive voltage cap that will absorb the surge when the contactor comes in. These two itmes have to be calculated as they will have high currents.

Now what he says to do is really practical. you take the relay coil lead and hook it to the same line as the car radio is and thus you can by turning on the key cause the radio to come on line... when you go to start the car it will kill the power going to the radio thus avoiding the spikeing and when your sitting you can use the ACC from the same key. Simple and cheap insurance too...

He goes on to say that this also keeps the munchkins from accidently turning on the radio when left in the car... and haveing a intelligent conversation with some ham on 2 mtrs... grin... as well as it disconects the radio from the battery when left sitting un-attended or garaged.

He feels that some european cars already provide a power port which does this and allows up to 30 amps of service to be provided.

for what ever its worth... sounds like a plan for me...

73's
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KC2MDO on November 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Computer manufacturers, most notably Dell have been having a problem with bad capacitors. It has apparently been linked to a bad electrolyte formula in some Tiwanese caps. Here's some links to identifying the bad capacitors.

http://badcaps.net/ident/

http://www.gripewiki.com/index.php/Defective_Dell_Motherboards

Mike

BTW, check the FCC database for callsigns.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K6LCS on November 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>>...You work for an ICOM Dealer. Could not one say your could be an ""ICOM COMPANY MAN""

Of course anyone could say that. But the facts I cited are facts. I work for arguably the largest Icom amateur radio dealer in North America - and we are NOT receiving scores of warranty repairs with ANY problem - and definitely not the alleged "problem" mentioned in this thread.

Maintaining this thread diminishes the legitimacy of eHam. That's MY opinion - no one else's.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
K6LCS….

I work for arguably the largest Icom amateur radio dealer in North America - and we are NOT receiving scores of warranty repairs with ANY problem - and definitely not the alleged "problem" mentioned in this thread.

Maintaining this thread diminishes the legitimacy of eHam. That's MY opinion - no one else's.

First off… the problem they are having would not come to your attention anyway… By your own words you work for a dealer… not a repair station… huh… if you’re a radio dealer then your not part of the warrantee group. Thus how can you make such a statement as…. And we are NOT…. Hmmmm… Sounds a little like you’re a heavy company man looking for a pat on the head from the boss for being a good little puppy and barking at the others…

Then we get into the ….
Maintaining this thread diminishes the legitimacy of eHam. That's MY opinion - no one else's.


Here again your using your own opinion… but, clearly others don’t think so. I also find it a little strange that you think this thread diminishes the legitimacy of eHam when in fact it has pointed to several problems that seem to occur with this rig as well as some have made very good statements to help prevent any problems from occurring. If you think this is diminishing the ICOM radio then glad to see its your opinion as I don’t. I instead see it as a open forum which can discuss problems and have others propose solutions. After all if it were not for the forum then how would people know? Clearly as a company man your restricted and if you did.. that same boss who pats you on the head would point his finger and say the magic words…. Clearly it’s a case of if your not for ‘em then you against ‘em in your eyes.

However, look at it this way… Now that your aware of the problem you can’t sue them for not informing you if you go use it after knowing all this.

Still I think its pretty cheap of ICOM not to take care of a part which fails for reasons other than operation misuse. After all we are talking only a 98 cent part here. Guess all of the others should take not and maybe now look for radios that they can work on instead of having to send them back for the 100 bux a hour repair. Several hours of pay for training on your radio and you might just as well pitch it first off rather than send it up and get the business end of the screwdriver and soldering iron… as some of the emails we have gotten from disgruntle ICOM people who had their radios repaired said they saw a lot of mail miles put on their rig and it still wasn’t fixed right of something else was now not working… as it was before it went in to be played with.

While it makes no difference that this radio is only a cheap 800-1000 bux one… think of it as a basic building block for the 3000- up ones. If this has a 98 cent part that failed what are they going to do to you as a customer when your 3000 dollar radio goes turtle… Wana bet they use the same parts in it too… ahhhh… I can hear it now… sorry were not responsible for your 3000 dollar radios problem due to a 98 cent part. Our shop rate is 90+ an hour plus you pay the shipping both ways… hmmm ya that should sell a lot of ‘em. If it were a car it would be recalled… if it were a boat it would be a lemon… but, because it’s a ICOM its junk unless you fix it.

Ya you’re a company man… bet that spot on the top of your head is getting bald from all the patting… luckily its the top of your head or really do they pat you somewhere else…. grin


By the way… I did go get a selo ($9.98) from the RV parts store and install it in the (+) line going to the radio… as well as to the auto radio power line from the key switch. Now when I shut the car off… it is OFF… but, now the munchkins are miffed because they can’t turn the radio on and carry on a conversation on 2 mtrs when the adults are out of the car…
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by THERAGE on November 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
*WA6CDE, not listed by QRZ. He is one of those hamsexy dropouts.

K2WH *

You can find him here:
http://hamcall.net/reports/fccdaily/20041116.htm

Look hard enough and you can e-mail this Clown direct.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Geeee� Therage� (mr clean) JAC� see above �. you seem not to have a call sign �hmmmm talk about one of them hamsexy dropouts� yourself� but, one thing I find interesting � no real constructive comments� JAC � tisk tisk�... so what is it your mumbling about here...

You seem to be the one that is the freak showstopper� grin� why look at your pic� least I use my call sign� and can stand up � when addressed� huh� I wish that really they would require people who write on the web to use their real call sign� maybe they wouldn�t hide behind the keyboard� for concealment� huh� then again we wouldn�t get the laughs, entertainment and amusement if they did� oh well�

I know � I know.. your just one of them handicapped duddetts that just can�t seem to get any respect once they find out who you are so you hide behind your verbiage. It wouldn�t surprise me if you�re a paranoid skitso yammer also�(yes they really are talking about you behind your back when your listening)

As to emailing me directly�. Yep others do� unlike you I make it no secret mission impossable fantisy land idea... and we enjoy their comments and suggestions but, then again they are real people� huh� they can write on the web so others can see the responses too�

LOL next time try to stick to the topic at hand� and try to keep you mind out of the gutter� it really doesn�t impress most of us� with the innuendo and personal attacks... yep a real mental midget... I think I hear them talking about you...right now. Your how old and still live off your mother? no doubt you just doing what comes natural and clown around. grin�
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K6LCS on November 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>>...if you’re a radio dealer then your not part of the warrantee group...

There's no such thing as a "warranty group." But each individual store IS ver much involved in warranty repairs.

>>...Maintaining this thread diminishes the legitimacy of eHam. That's MY opinion - no one else's...

I realize if only eHam subscribers and/or those with legitimate contact info were able to post here, this would be a more honest forum. Many here "hide" behind incomplete registration data and fake names - which eHam allows.

>>...if it were not for the forum then how would people know?

People being alarmed by thread titles like "Major Defect Found!" when the sales/repair numbers show that that "defect" doesn't present a problem offers little in the way of education.

>>...as a company man your restricted...

I am "restricted" in no manner whatsoever.

>>...I think its pretty cheap of ICOM not to take care of a part which fails for reasons other than operation misuse...

Again - there is no widespread failures as described in this thread when it comes to the IC-706MKIIG.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Clint�.

>>There's no such thing as a "warranty group." But each individual store IS ver much involved in warranty repairs.

Hmmm� then why is it they say to send it to icom at the stores??�. I am sure some guy behind the counter is opening up the radios and getting all over inside them� to fix �em. Last time I checked the guy behind the counter hardly could tell the difference between a PL-259 and a BNC connector� and you expect me to believe that the STORE is involved in the warranty !!! Please tell me how� grin�

>>I am "restricted" in no manner whatsoever

You mean your company lets you go around and badmouth their products�. I find it comical that one would write�

Ya I�ll bet �.


>>...I think its pretty cheap of ICOM not to take care of a part which fails for reasons other than operation misuse...


>>Again - there is no widespread failures as described in this thread when it comes to the IC-706MKIIG.

Here you say�. there are no widespread failures�

Well then it has to be a defect huh� could you then say it was a fluke a defective part ??? and if so.. don�t you think that the company should replace it if its defective� otherwise if is it a widespread failure� wouldn�t they want to choose to ignore it� in fact of saving the money that they would have to put out in repair them all�. And when it occurred , after the warrantee has expired� then make money on a problem that they knew about in the first place but, chose to keep it under wraps till after it becomes the owners problem�. Sounds like economics 101 to me�

.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

The defect is real� the part is critical� and in time it will fail, do damage, if not replaced.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Clint�.

>>There's no such thing as a "warranty group." But each individual store IS ver much involved in warranty repairs.

Hmmm� then why is it they say to send it to icom at the stores??�. I am sure some guy behind the counter is opening up the radios and getting all over inside them� to fix �em. Last time I checked the guy behind the counter hardly could tell the difference between a PL-259 and a BNC connector� and you expect me to believe that the STORE is involved in the warranty !!! Please tell me how� grin�

>>I am "restricted" in no manner whatsoever

You mean your company lets you go around and badmouth their products�. I find it comical that one would write�

Ya I�ll bet �.


>>...I think its pretty cheap of ICOM not to take care of a part which fails for reasons other than operation misuse...


>>Again - there is no widespread failures as described in this thread when it comes to the IC-706MKIIG.

Here you say�. there are no widespread failures�

Well then it has to be a defect huh� could you then say it was a fluke a defective part ??? and if so.. don�t you think that the company should replace it if its defective� otherwise if is it a widespread failure� wouldn�t they want to choose to ignore it� in fact of saving the money that they would have to put out in repair them all�. And when it occurred , after the warrantee has expired� then make money on a problem that they knew about in the first place but, chose to keep it under wraps till after it becomes the owners problem�. Sounds like economics 101 to me�

.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

The defect is real� the part is critical� and in time it will fail, do damage, if not replaced.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K6LCS on November 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>>...Last time I checked the guy behind the counter hardly could tell the difference between a PL-259 and a BNC connector...

Cute line - but it tells me you haven't dealt with any of the 12 Ham Radio Outlet locations.

>>...you expect me to believe that the STORE is involved in the warranty...

Absolutely. If a client calls me with a problematic radio that is still under warranty, then I offer to handle the process for them. That's my standard personal, professional operating procedure.

>>...You mean your company lets you go around and badmouth their products...

My company doesn't produce much (evidence again that you aren't acquainted with HRO). But bring one's experience to a job like this surely benefits one's clients - wouldn't you agree?

>>...there are no widespread failures...

Sorry you have problems accepting first-hand, established facts: Icom IC-706MKIIG units are not experiencing the failure described in the original message in any significant numbers to warrant a thread title of, "MAJOR DEFECT FOUND."

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
 
Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by K2JXW on November 19, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Over the last 6 months I have been stranded several times (5) because of a dead car battery. It always seemed to happen if I left the car parked for 10 or more hours, but I could never figure out why. I even replaced the car battery with a new one; but, sure enough, when I would come out in the morning and try to start the car, the battery would be dead. I suspected a short in the wiring somewhere and was about to trade in the (almost new) Trailblazer. Then I read the "major defect" thread. I checked the current drain of my 706 with the radio OFF, and guess what: the current drain was 900 mils even tho the radio was not powered up. In fact, pushing the on/off switch made no difference either way.

Now I disconnect the power cord each time I park the car and have not had a dead battery since, even when the car has not been started for several days. Ya' think it was something in the 706 that was draining the battery down? You betcha!

Thanks, thread!
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by KJ7YL on November 27, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"When we called ICOM... not once but 4 times now to present this design flaw to them and to see if they will back the defective material or part... due to their under sight.. we were told that for 90 bux an hour they would fix it... (1 hr MIN) plus the shipping to and from can become a expensive issue... "

If you are not satisfied with ICOM's response then I suggest contacting the manager of technical support and continue to push the issue up the company ladder until you do.
 
RE: Icom 706 -- Major Defect Found!  
by WA6CDE on November 29, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I checked and believe me... If I could I would get them into court... however, the state does not allow small claims court to go into other states... thus they are safe for the moment... as we sure as heck were ready to "MAKE THEIR DAY'

They know of the problem... and it appear that the new 7000 is having the same QC problems as the 706/3 has with parts...

What goes around... comes around .... a old and wise saying...

I have now installed a selo to disrupt the power to the radio when the car key is not on. I also shut off the astron power supply now that I know the radio finals are still in line... something I didn't used to do as no one said anything (including the manufacture in their discription and operation manual)

wana bet you get a notice in the mail stating that what you found here on eham is a big discovery on Icoms part... oh wow...

As the problem grows... now have over 600 who have said they experianced similar problems both mobile and at home. Gee for a problem that was unknown sure seems like it was.... huh...

Bet Icom is wringing their hands over the new 7000 so they can DISCONTENUE the 703/6 series. Probably keeps them up at night too... grin...

Anyway.. thanks to all who also have found this problem and come forward in a positive manner...
 
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