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Author Topic: ICOM IC-740 real operational performance question  (Read 4025 times)

Posts: 3

« on: April 27, 2008, 09:29:43 PM »


I'm trying to help check out an ICOM IC-740 of a friend.

I am wondering the following about how much maximum power these units typically put out in the real world.

Select RTTY mode on a frequency in the 40 meter band when transmitting into a well matched load (e.g. 50 ohm test termination).

Raise the RF PWR knob to its maximum possible power level.

Set the METER switch to monitor 'RF'.

Connect an external watt-meter inline with the transmitter output.

Start with the apparatus warmed up but 'cold' without having transmitted significantly for many minutes; i.e. PA cooling is not overheated.

Key down with your mic. key or whatever to begin transmission, and look at the RF watt meter indication.

What is the actual power typically seen / generated by one of these units in these conditions?  Does it vary significantly from unit to unit?

I thought that they were nominally capable of around 100W+ output from my recollection of some marketing specification, though it is always possible that various internal losses may reduce the actual figure somewhat below that.  

I'm wondering what the threshold is for saying a given unit is operating reasonably and at what point one might start questioning either one's power meter calibration or the transmitter's capability / matching.

Marketing watts don't always even approximately equal real watts, so hence I'm wondering what others' experience has been with these units.

Posts: 104

« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 08:38:10 AM »


As per my unit:  serial #180 02681---original owner---

Power supply:  IC-PS20---switching unit---and your requirements---
Dummy load:  Heath Cantenna
Ant:  G5RV
External power meter: Viewstar VS300A (on ant. tuner)
Freq:  7.050
RF Power out:  full
Power on IC-740 meter---just short of 80 watts
Power on External meter-70 watts

My IC-740 is in the original condition, and has never had any modifications or repairs done.
Please be aware that there is an internal switch that
permits you to choose between 50 watts out or 100 watts out.  It is S1 on the right-side board once you remove the top cover.
I hope this is of some help.



Posts: 3

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 10:03:30 PM »

Thank you very much, Ernie, that was exactly what I was needing to know.  Your results are reassuringly similar to the unit we've been looking at, so I am reassured that nothing is necessarily amiss about not getting closer to 100W out of the unit.

I wasn't aware of the power switch, that's good to know, though I think it must be in the 100W position now and is just delivering output in the 60-70W (+/- measurement accuracy) range as seems to be approximately normal relative to the results you've shared.

Thanks again & 73.

Posts: 104

« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 12:00:34 PM »

Hello KG6DFT---You're very welcome.  In addition, I neglected to mention that the input power, as stated in the original brochure is 200W for A1 and F1, as well as 200W for A3J (SSB)---As well, "A good
measure,if the radio is open, is to replace the electrolytics in the REG Unit, it is fairly easy to do, and generally higher voltage-rated replacements will fit in the existing space".  This was the advice from another operator several years ago, and who had the same rig.
There are a number of sources for advice, namely the Yahoo Group: icomclassic, and Scott Malcom's MT Website----

The only thing that has 'gone bad' in my rig is the COMP switch (a generally well-known issue), so I don't use it!
The meter light went out a few months ago, but that is not much of an issue.


Posts: 2

« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2014, 08:57:39 PM »

Hi Guys I see you all have about the same thing wrong with your rig as I do. like you I just dont use the comp s/w and my preamp relay died but I was able to fine it at rf parts. with my 740 I get about 85 watts by the meter on 40 then as I move up to 20 about 65 watts and about 25 watts on 10 meters. so I just live with it,
 73's Bud WB6TOM

Posts: 820

« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2014, 10:05:32 PM »

I have a 735, and it has a quirky feature where it will not output a steady carrier, which you need for antenna tuning, when CW is selected. The only way to get a steady carrier is to use AM mode, and there the carrier seems to be limited to 10 watts. PEP output on AM is 40 watts according to the manual. 80s Icoms generally had a PEP of 100w on SSB and CW. I would think that the only way to get a 100w steady carrier would be to hook up a key and key it on while in CW mode. My previous rig was a Kenwood 130, and that rig would allow one to select CW, flip the send/rec switch, and get 100w.
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