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Author Topic: Icom 7000 back, works for a few hours then dead  (Read 1345 times)
AB2MH
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« on: August 04, 2006, 08:08:31 PM »

I got my rig back today.  Icom replaced the finals.  

Works for a few hours, full power out.  I tune around try to make a few contacts etc.

While waiting for my wife at the RR station, I tune up on 20.  Turbo Tuner goes into park mode.

Oh no.

Checked the other bands, and the transmit is back the way it was.  DEAD and no output.

Looks like another set of dead finals.  Called Icom and they are going to send me a shipping label and bump the repair to priority status since it is going back so soon.

Has anyone else experienced reliability problems with the 7000?  Is there anything that I could be doing that would mess it up?  It's quite peculiar that it would come back then all of a sudden die again.  That is very odd.

Does anyone know if there are other rigs on the horizon from Yaesu, Kenwood etc that would be a suitable replacement for the 7000?  Yes, that's the point I'm at now.  I'm afraid I'll blow another set of finals when the rig comes back.
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K0BG
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 05:46:43 AM »

I have had my IC-7000 installed it two vehicles. It has operated flawlessly since the first of March, and I use it almost every day. It hasn't hiccuped once. I know of three other with whom I talk to on a regular basis, and theirs hasn't either.

I am aware that others have had problems with a high-pitched squeal emanating from the audio when using headphones, but I haven't experienced that. I did remove the diode to allow TV reception, but that in itself hasn't added any maladies.

If I experienced the problems you're having, I'd start looking for another problem area. My first foray would be too look at the antenna, and the way it is matched. An antenna analyzer (sans the TurboTuner in line) should tell you plenty. While the Icom easily takes up to 2:1 SWR without cutting back, opens and shorts are two scenarios that will kill it, and most other miniature radios.

To answer your question about any other radio, the answer is yes. Yaesu is coming out with a radio to compete with the 7000. But my bets are on it failing too, if you can't find the cause of the Icom failures.

In other words, contrary to popular belief, the Icom 7000 is not any more or any less prone to failures than any other radio you can name, under the same circumstances.
Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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AB2MH
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 07:20:41 AM »

As for shorts - there are none.  Checked that out thoroughly.  The antenna/tuner combo works fine with my Icom 746.  SWR tunes to 1:1 very quickly.  
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AB2MH
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2006, 07:30:19 AM »

I'm going to run the antenna analyzer on the antenna again today while driving too to see how much the SWR and impedance varies while driving.  I'll see what I come up with.

The radio has worked fine since May then died, then went to icom then came back then died.  I used my 746 in the car in the meantime and while that's no 7000 on the receive side it didn't have any problems.
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AB2MH
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2006, 09:30:24 AM »

I'm back from a test drive with the MFJ-259 analyzer.

Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.

SWR remained between between 1.2-1.4 on 20m, 40m and 80m.  It went as high as 1.5 on 80m(varying as I passed by vehicles and trees) but no higher when tuned to the resonant frequency.  

No spikes, no jumps, nothing.  Impedance was around 50-60 ohms.

Tuning showed nothing out of the ordinary. No jumps, no spikes. The SWR varied rather smoothly as I moved the screwdriver up and down, even when driving.  

An ohmmeter didn't show any shorts. I double checked.

My other radios (Icom 746, Kenwood TS-440s) don't seem to have a problem with this antenna.  

Oh well, it's back to Icom for the 7000, which means another few weeks with less mobile DX Sad .
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AD5X
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2006, 04:19:36 PM »

Hi Ryan - I doubt if the problem is due to your antenna system.  I can't tell you how many times I've transmitted accidentally into an open or short with my IC-706MKIIG over the past 7 years.  Even more recently, I've accidentally transmitted into a short with an IC-7000.  Maybe I've been lucky, but I've never had a problem. And if you think about it, many folks submit their transceivers to intermittant high SWR any time they tune at normal power using relay-switched autotuners.

Any chance that DC power transients are damaging your radio?  The IC-7000 has the finals connected to the incoming DC line all the time, whether the unit is on or off (like most other mobile HF radios on the market).  I always keep a voltage transient suppressor in-line when operating mobile.  See my "Voltage Conditioner for ham transceivers" article on my website at www.ad5x.com.

Phil - AD5X
 
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AB2MH
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2006, 11:40:21 AM »

I'm wondering about the power part myself.  Could be something to look at.  

As it is, it's connected direct to the battery.  About the only transients it would get is when the car starts.  But that's true of any radio anyway, so I still don't think that's the problem.
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AB2MH
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2006, 01:48:12 PM »

Anyway, Phil I ordered the parts to build the transient suppressor you described on your site.  It's worth a shot.

Thanks for the advice I'll let you know how it works out.
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KO1D
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2006, 07:08:26 AM »

Two items as I read this:

1) Can you mount a second battery and use an isolater between the car battery and the battery for the transciever? Limitations would be space in smaller cars so that could be a problem. This may help cut down on spikes if there are any.

2) Are you certain that the tune feature drops the power down to a safe 10-25 watts or less? If you have the thing cranking 100watts and it tries to tune a gazillion to 1 SWR it'll fry tuner or not as the tuner will not be fast enough to adjust.

Just my 2 cents.
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AB2MH
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2006, 10:34:57 AM »

> Two items as I read this:

>1) Can you mount a second battery and use an isolater
> between the car battery and the battery for the
> transciever? Limitations would be space in smaller cars
> so that could be a problem. This may help cut down on
> spikes if there are any.

I am actually going to do that and add a W4RRY battery booster so that I can operate for a long time portable.  I like to drive to parks and other places and operate portable.

What's puzzling though is that it worked fine in the car all along until a few weeks ago.  Then as soon as I got it back it died.

> 2) Are you certain that the tune feature drops the
> power down to a safe 10-25 watts or less? If you have
> the thing cranking 100watts and it tries to tune a
> gazillion to 1 SWR it'll fry tuner or not as the
> tuner will not be fast enough to adjust.

Yes it drops it down to a safe level.  It does not tune with the full 100 watts.  Most times tuning takes 10 seconds or less which is not enough to fry the finals at 10 watts.  The other radio that I use with this setup (the Icom 746) doesn't seem to have a problem at all.  Measured with the analyzer, the SWR at "park" position is about 9:1.  And in most cases I do not "park" the antenna so it is almost always ready to go.

I'm thinking I just got unlucky and maybe icom didn't replace all of the finals.  They replaced two transistors, and I don't know how many the radio has.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2006, 12:24:03 PM »

Have you checked the vehicle power? Corroded battery terminals, a weak battery, or a bad regulator could be presenting an over-voltage condition to the input to the radio. You might also check with a scope for spikes during starting. A weak battery or corroded connections can cause the starter "load dump" spikes to be higher than normal which might explain the radio having been okay when it was first installed.

Starting spikes can be eliminated by connecting a 25A relay's contacts in series with the plus radio lead. Connect the relay coil from the vehicle accessory line to ground. The ignition switch will cut power to the relay before engaging the starter and re energize the relay after the power to the starter has been removed. The radio won't be connected to the power system during starting.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2006, 12:29:13 PM »

Phil's protection circuit will protect the radio but you might find the fuse in the protection circuit blown from time to time if the overvoltage condition is bad enough. On the professional side I use the 1.5KE15 devices on mobile communications devices all the time. For relativly low power circuits I add a series choke as well.
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AB2MH
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2006, 01:52:43 PM »

Vehicle power is fine, I think.

My Yaesu FT-8900R has a volt meter built in and it reads within spec.  I even confirmed it with a DMM.

I have to try the scope to be doubly sure.  

Anyway, Icom said they're sending out a service tag today for me so I will be sending the radio back soon.  

Wish me luck.
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WA4MJF
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2006, 08:27:29 AM »

AA4PB's suggestion about the A relay
is good.  That certainly is poor design to
have anything connected direct to the
radio.  Makes cutting off the radio when
engaging starter useless.

My only mod would be to connect the relay
from a point on the car fuse panel that
is only on when the key is in the on
position THROUGH a SPST toggle switch
with a light, so that y'all have
visual indication when the radio is hooked
to the battery.  ALWAYS CHECK the switch/light
before engaging starter, jumping your vehicle/
another vehicle, or anything that puts spikes
on the battery to BE SURE your radio is disconnected
from the battery.  I have a pullable fuse
on the hot line to my in-car fuse block so
that I can pull it when jumping operations
are in progress.

73 de Ronnie
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AB2MH
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2006, 05:57:32 PM »

Got a new radio back saturday.

Decided not to use in the car.  Instead, I put it in the shack with a 20m wire dipole outside.

Worked a few stations in the WAE contest then BLAM.  Radio went up in smoke.  

Now it doesn't transmit at all, anywhere.

Grrrrrr.......
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