eHam

eHam Forums => Station Building => Topic started by: K5LXY on March 22, 2012, 09:11:11 PM



Title: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: K5LXY on March 22, 2012, 09:11:11 PM
I realize this is a loaded question, but I think every ham out there is familiar with the sudden TX death associated with the Icom 746 Pro. This is the second time in less than 3 months to experience this with my rig.
Would like to hear from other 746Pro current/former owners if I am wasting my time and money?
Should I sell when I get it back from repair and move on? MAN I love the 2 meter coverage. Don't care about 6 meters.
Any experience with this rig I want to keep; good, bad or indifferent is appreciated.
What is your favorite modern HF rig?
Really interested in the TS-2000, opinions?
       Many TNX folks
          K5LXY


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: K9KJM on March 22, 2012, 09:38:13 PM
The Icom 746PRO did have lots of problems!

A Kenwood TS2000 would be a very slight step down in HF receive performance in my opinion, BUT is a much better all around radio, True dual receive,  Capable of cross band repeat,  UHF to HF etc.
(Operates Hf and VHF/UHF at the SAME time, Unlike other radios that can only do one at a time. Actually two radios in one box.)
It would be a good thing if you could find someone in your area who has the TS2000 and would let you run it's receiver through the bands to see how you like it. Or maybe a local ham dealer?

I also have an Icom IC756PRO besides the TS2000 that I prefer for HF, BUT if I could ever have but only one radio, It would be the Kenwood TS2000, Without question.   There is no other radio on the market in it's price range that can do all that the TS2000 can do.


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: KQ6Q on March 23, 2012, 10:19:42 AM
I've been running a 746Pro for about 10 years, and have had zero problems with it. I even take it to our group's Field Day where it gets used by anyone/everyone. I use it with the factory switching power supply, never been mobile. I always use the internal tuner, as all my antennnas are compromises. Factory mike, use the internal keyer with the paddles in a Heath HD-1410 keyer. How have you been using yours ? What power supply ? anything else on the same 13V power ? Any RF in the shack ? Moisture in the environment (in a damp basement?) do you have lightning in your area ? Ground your antennas when storms are nearby ?


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: KG4NEL on March 23, 2012, 01:22:10 PM
I realize this is a loaded question, but I think every ham out there is familiar with the sudden TX death associated with the Icom 746 Pro. This is the second time in less than 3 months to experience this with my rig.
Would like to hear from other 746Pro current/former owners if I am wasting my time and money?
Should I sell when I get it back from repair and move on? MAN I love the 2 meter coverage. Don't care about 6 meters.
Any experience with this rig I want to keep; good, bad or indifferent is appreciated.
What is your favorite modern HF rig?
Really interested in the TS-2000, opinions?
       Many TNX folks
          K5LXY

As a very happy former user of the regular 746, I was disappointed to hear so many had issues with the 'PRO.

Do you need 2 meter multi-mode capability, or just FM?


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: K9KJM on March 23, 2012, 09:12:32 PM
I've been running a 746Pro for about 10 years, and have had zero problems with it. I even take it to our group's Field Day where it gets used by anyone/everyone. I use it with the factory switching power supply, never been mobile. I always use the internal tuner, as all my antennnas are compromises. Factory mike, use the internal keyer with the paddles in a Heath HD-1410 keyer. How have you been using yours ? What power supply ? anything else on the same 13V power ? Any RF in the shack ? Moisture in the environment (in a damp basement?) do you have lightning in your area ? Ground your antennas when storms are nearby ?

One of the lucky ones!

The problems with the IC 746 are very well documented:

http://rudius.net/oz2m/ic746pro/index.htm

http://www.n1eq.com/tech/page_01.html

http://rudius.net/oz2m/ic746pro/ic746pro_biasing.pdf

http://www.kb2ljj.com/data/icom/ic-746pro.htm

http://www.qsl.net/k5lxp/projects/746Pro/746ProNoTX.html

There are lots more if you search around......



Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: K7MH on March 25, 2012, 11:56:25 AM
The issues with the 746 rigs are well documented but there is still controversy regarding just where the problem actually is with IC151 sudden death syndrome.
What isn't documented is just how many people have had these problems and of course you hear the people with the problems complaining about them which gets a lot of attention. Just the way that is.
I have had a regular 746 I bought used and now a 746 Pro I bought new. Never had a problem with either. A friend of mine has had 2 of them with no problems as well. Maybe we got lucky, don't know.

Bottom line is that if you are unhappy with a rig, try a different one if you can afford to.
I have heard that there is a lot of crying in the Yaesu user groups too.
Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances! :P


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: N7TEE on March 26, 2012, 06:42:19 PM
The only problem that I have had with mine really old one S/N under 2800 was when I did not have the fan pushing air thru the back grill.  Then the IC 151 went out.  Repaired it and put the fan back and no problems.

Dave


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: WB4TJH on March 27, 2012, 10:05:42 AM
I bought a brand new IC-7000 last year, but  it failed twice in a few months and  I traded the darned thing off. I never even tried the vhf or uhf on the radio, and it never once left my operating desk, but went POP once on receive, and actually BANG another time when I keyed the mike on 20 meters. The second time, it took out the driver board and one of the finals. I said to heck with Icom and when I got it back from the warranty repair the second time, I traded it off for a Yaesu FT-950, which has worked perfectly ever since. I loved the receiver and features on the IC-7000, but with that shoddy record of dependability, I won't be buying another Icom any time soon.


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on March 28, 2012, 03:54:36 PM
If it causes you to worry - dump it.
Buy something which will not cause you worry.
There are lots of options for transceivers, from all the manufacturers, so take your time and get something else, Icom or otherwise.
It sounds like you have been burned quite a few times with that rig, so get some peace of mind.

The fact that others have not been burned with that model rig is irrelevant, you are the person who has to feel happy with the rig, not others.
Many people have so much ego invested in their rig that it becomes a tribal war whenever someone exposes problems with some rig.
I for example, have all Yaesu equipment, because I have never had a minutes downtime with a Yaesu rig in my long ham career.
But - if I started having trouble with Yaesu, I would go shopping in someone elses patch, since I don't own any of these companies, and am not emotionally invested in them.

Do what you feel is right for yourself - you paid for it, you have the right to decide on your own course of action.

73s



Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: K9KJM on March 28, 2012, 09:25:13 PM
If it causes you to worry - dump it.
Buy something which will not cause you worry.
There are lots of options for transceivers, from all the manufacturers, so take your time and get something else, Icom or otherwise.
It sounds like you have been burned quite a few times with that rig, so get some peace of mind.

The fact that others have not been burned with that model rig is irrelevant, you are the person who has to feel happy with the rig, not others.
Many people have so much ego invested in their rig that it becomes a tribal war whenever someone exposes problems with some rig.
I for example, have all Yaesu equipment, because I have never had a minutes downtime with a Yaesu rig in my long ham career.
But - if I started having trouble with Yaesu, I would go shopping in someone elses patch, since I don't own any of these companies, and am not emotionally invested in them.

Do what you feel is right for yourself - you paid for it, you have the right to decide on your own course of action.

73s



Good advice!

I learned many years ago that it is very foolish to become too fond of any particular brand. And that goes well beyond just radio equipment.  Cars, Motorcycles, Snowmobiles, And most any product you can think of, Each brand has it's "good" models, And it's "Lemon" models.

Years ago I used to have mostly all Icoms, Until I got burned by several of their lemons.
(I still have some Icoms, But got rid of the lemon models)


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: K1CJS on March 29, 2012, 05:52:16 AM
Just an observation.  I've seen rigs that have been used 'gently' and rigs that have been used hard.  One friend of mine used his rigs hard--he was a member of the "AKR" club--and he was usually having to have his rigs repaired often.

The "AKR" club?  That's the "All Knobs Right" club--whose members push their rigs as hard as they can!   ;D  73!


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: N4KZ on March 29, 2012, 07:43:02 AM
Problems with IC-746 Pros are well documented but I never had any problems with mine. Nor my IC-746 or Pro 3. I loved all 3 rigs. Wish I had never sold the 746 Pro. I now have a TS-2000 and although it does a lot for not a lot of money, I think it has a noisy receiver on HF and has low sensitivity on 2 meters.

On the other hand, I had many problems with my SteppIR 3 element yagi while others had none. Sometimes you just have bad luck with rigs and antennas with moving parts. Fix'em and go one -- particularly if the radio has features you like. Since Icom took 2 meters off its new IC-7410 and put 2 meters on its more expensive IC-9100, you probably won't get an Icom rig in the future that combines HF and 6 and 2 meters. Fixing the rig you have now makes a lot of sense, I think.

My my opinion.

73, N4KZ


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: N4DOV on March 30, 2012, 07:25:07 AM
Interesting topic for me as I am in a similar situation with a new transceiver that has broken down twice (different issues not related) and is still in the warranty period. I do like the rig as when it works it really great, but how would you handle this situation? Look forward to your replies/advice. Thanks.


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: KG4NEL on March 30, 2012, 12:58:17 PM
Interesting topic for me as I am in a similar situation with a new transceiver that has broken down twice (different issues not related) and is still in the warranty period. I do like the rig as when it works it really great, but how would you handle this situation? Look forward to your replies/advice. Thanks.

How much longer on the warranty? :D

I guess there's a school of thought that if the failures were due to early firmware/design issues that the mfg. will resolve, you may be in the clear from here on out. The other is, fix it and cut your losses for the future.


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: KC8Y on April 06, 2012, 06:09:06 PM
I had an IC-736 xcvr, for abt 15-years; never any real problems with the radio, just had new memory batteries & realignment. Traded it in (which I should never had done). 

Got the IC-7410 for HF.  Already had the IC-v8000 for 2-meters.  Love the receive on HF. 

Before the ICOM rigs, had Yaesu and Kenwood radios.
Again, never any real problems with any of them.

Guess it's just having good luck :)



Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: WA9MNF on April 16, 2012, 08:52:49 AM
Hi...

I can appreciate your problem with the IC-746 PRO. I bought one in March 2008 from HRO. I had it for less than 2 months and I lost xmit power. I called HRO and I sent it to them. They in turn sent it to the Icom repair facility on the west coast. When I received it from them it lasted a short time and the same failure occurred. I called Icom Service Center Michigan and spoke to Matt. I explained my problem to him and I sent it to him. Two weeks later I received it back and it worked like it was supposed to for 7 or 8 months. Then the backlight failed. I called and spoke with Matt again and although it was out of warranty he told me to send in to him. I did and he covered the repair under warranty. Since then I have had absolutely no problems with it. I mainly run digital modes and cw but also use it on ssb and am.

I suggest you read some of the reviews on Eham and give him a call. Matt is a good guy to work with and obviously is an excellent technician. I love the 746 PRO and it has a great receiver coupled with very broad frequency coverage. Good luck..oh, and I have no connection with Matt whatsoever other than being a very satisfied customer..

73

Ed


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: W8JX on April 16, 2012, 09:26:55 AM
Based on track record though the 746 does have some design flaws that effect its reliability.


Title: RE: 746Pro died twice, DO I DUMP IT?
Post by: AA4HA on April 16, 2012, 06:47:25 PM
Just an observation.  I've seen rigs that have been used 'gently' and rigs that have been used hard.  One friend of mine used his rigs hard--he was a member of the "AKR" club--and he was usually having to have his rigs repaired often.

The "AKR" club?  That's the "All Knobs Right" club--whose members push their rigs as hard as they can!   ;D  73!

I have never heard of the AKR club (as a formal organization) but in my time I could nominate a bunch of folks for membership. Usually they are also asking where the hidden service menus are so they can dial up the 100 watt PA to 125 watts for that extra 1/10th of an S-unit that makes all the difference in a contest <joke>.

It is amazing how many of these folks also have things that barely resemble antennas (coat hangars held together with acid core solder), no grounding, do not own an SWR meter and judge everything anecdotally or by reports on how good "they sound" on ESSB. Also they will run a full 100 watts to get onto the input of a local 2 meter repeater that is located 3 miles away and you can roast a steak on the heat sink of their favorite transmitter.