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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Icom IC-745 Help


Reviews Summary for Icom IC-745
Icom IC-745 Reviews: 40 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $650.00
Description: Old ICOM HF rig
Product is in production.
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N2MDV Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2017 21:16 Send this review to a friend
A great classic rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
After trying out my Bro-in-law's famed IC-R71, I knew that the IC-745 was the R-71 with a TX in it. So, when a friend of mine had his IC-745 up for sale, I jumped on it. This one came with the FM board. Love that big Icom S/RF meter, and still looks great with a white LED behind it now. This rig has pulled out so may tough catches whether it be HAM, utility, number, pirate, or TIS, stations. Yeah, I could hear tough catches with my Kenwood TS-2000X, but with the Icom IC-745 I could enjoyably listen to them. This has also been a great Field Day rig. Just with the stock mic and running barefoot, if you hear them, this rig works them. And the great RX sensitivity is spec'ed with the preamp OFF, unlike the specs of most of today's rigs. (That has always bugged me about today's rigs.) The RX preamp is an extra +20dB and it makes the difference. The minuses of this rig? While it doesn't sound bad, an Icom, sounds like an Icom, sounds like an Icom. You get AM RX, but no AM TX, and not many rigs around 1983 offered that anyway. This rig bottoms out power-wise to 10W. QRP 5W, or less would be nice. And yes, that Volatile RAM CPU has to be dealt with. I went with Piexx, and after getting two boards with the wrong CPU software, the 3rd board came with the JMP's wrong. That, I was able to fix and keep this classic rig rockin'. So, if you go the Piexx Boards way, put their noses to the fire and make sure you get the right software and JMP's correct. Oh!!! Another plus is you use WWV 10MHz to keep your main OSC FREQ correct with this rig in a FREQ procedure. Very nice!!!!!!
 
W1XYZ Rating: 5/5 Nov 4, 2016 07:38 Send this review to a friend
Superb even today  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned my IC-745 since it was new. I have the internal PS, the FM board, nonvolatile memory and the AM transmit mod done. The only problem I have had was a microprocessor failure that required swapping out one IC, which Icom provided for free. It was easy. I've worked over 315 countries with this rig on 10M and find the receiver is tight, easily and quickly optimized via front panel controls and it has an excellent noise blanker. Quick QSY is easy as is fast A=B to split operation. It outperforms the IC-746 on the ham bands with lower noise floor and better selectivity, and the IC-706MKII. If something fails I can easily fix it, since there are mostly discrete components with easy access and well laid out boards. The display is bright and easy to read, and the internal PSU makes no noise, is stiff, and easy to reconfigure to various voltages such as 115 and 230. I believe I will keep this one until the end of ham radio or of me, whichever comes first.
 
K5ZG Rating: 5/5 Jul 31, 2013 15:22 Send this review to a friend
REALLY NICE RIG  Time owned: more than 12 months
HAD ONE WHEN THEY FIRST CAME OUT...LOVED IT AND THEN SOLD IT AND MOVED UP TO IC751A..NOT MUCH DIFF. GOT ANOTHER ONE YRS LATER AND LOVED IT...USED AS IF STRIP ON 6 AND 2 METERS...REALLY GREAT FOR THAT WITH XVERTER...SOLD IT....NOW RUN THE PRO 3 AND SAW USED MINT 745 ON EBAY..GOT IT. PUT IN INRAD FILTERS AND PIEXX MOD...WAS AT KC0HH HOUSE FOR THE CQ 160CW TEST AND USED THIS RIG WITH HIS AMP AND ANTENNA...HAD FORGOTTEN HOW WONDERFUL THE PBT AND IF SHIFT WERE..REALLY TIGHT FILTERS WITH NO BLOWBY LIKE ON THE ORIGINAL 751 (NOT THE A). I REMEMBER PUTTING A 745 IN THE NOISY PICKUP TRUCK AND THE NOISE BLANKER TOOK OUT 20PLUS DB NOISE WITH NO DEGRADED SIGNAL. THINK ILL DO IT AGN. ONLY OTHER BLANKER THAT WAS ANY GOOD WAS THE DRAKE TR4 WITH PNB4 BLANKER. NO DEGREDATION OF SIGNAL. WOULD THINK WITH OUR TECHNOLOGY TODAY SOMEONE WOULD HAVE A REAL BLANKER THAT WOULD WORK AND NOT DEGRADE SIGS.
THERE IS NO ULTIMATE RIG AND FOR 40 YRS PLUS I CHASED IT WITH EFFORT AND LOTS OF MONEY..AM DONE NOW. SLICK LITTLE STRAIT FWD RIG WITH GREAT RX. IM 99%CW BUT FOLKS LIKE EVEN MY HORRIFIC MONOTONE BASE VOICE ON THE 745.
 
N6MYA Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2012 13:16 Send this review to a friend
Excellent radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Bought this radio with the internal power supply for $275.00 at a swap meet. Sold the internal power supply for $150.00. Bought a Piexx RAM board for $59.00. Had the VCO and 2nd LO trimmers replaced with ceramic units and rig aligned for $111.00. Did the 'brown wire mod' and the radio transmits anywhere, including the new 60 meter band. This radio is about the best i have used. Used to have an IC-740 that was excellent, but could not work the new 60 meter band. Used to have a Ten-Tec 'factory' OMNI VI+ with the roofing filter and ALL of the IF filters. This one WAS the best i've ever had, but again, could not work 60 meters.

Love this IC-745 and always get excellent reports with the SM-6 mic.
 
XE3LW Rating: 5/5 Dec 17, 2011 22:32 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 745 was my first Icom Rig.
I had mine with most of the accesories and filters.
Noisy synthesizer. But Very good receiver.
I really loved its military style.
 
KV6C Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2011 07:01 Send this review to a friend
Excellent rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned mine since new in the early '80's. Tremendously reliable, great performer, and simple to operate - you don't need to spend days in a manual figuring out sub-menus with this rig.

I've only used the stock filters and find that I don't need anything more than that.

Only had two malfunctions in 26 years, that are very easy to fix:
1) The stock HM-12 mic died. The compatible ICOM replacement mics are: HM-12, HM-14, HM-36 (get the Japanese HM-36, the Chinese ones are bad) and SM-6. I've also found that the SM-50 works well too.
2) The RAM board lithium battery got low and corrupted the RAM. When this happens your display with show all zeros, or in my case it will display frequencies that are not possible like 97.343 and such. Very easy to fix - just drop in a Piexx replacement ram board (about $60) and you're good to go.

One final note - it's easy to fall prey to the slick marketing and desire to get the latest and greatest DSP rigs. I know, because my XYL has the ICOM 7600. It's a beautiful rig, but at ten times the price of a used 745, it's not ten times better.

I love my 745 (XYL does too) - it's simple, reliable, and easy to work on. I'll never part with it.
 
WP3VV Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2011 09:00 Send this review to a friend
Bullet proof rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Long time ago, a friend of mine gave me a 745 all beat up. No mic and no power cord The radio had scratches all over the place. The back corner side on the top cover was bended. I use to have a small electronic repair shop. I thought that this rig could be good for parts. One day I felt like power the rig on with the silly idea it won't turn on...Silly me. That radio was in perfect working order. Unbelievable. 100 watts, perfect tuning. Excellent receiver. Unsolicited audio reports with a SM-6. The fan wasn't working so I put a replacement.

730, 740, 745 751 and 751-a are basically made on the same platform. There's some differences but in my opinion, other than general coverage, filters and memories, are simply minimal.

If you're in the market for an old icom rig, my advice is to get one with notch/IF shift and if possible passband combo. You won't need anything else to fight QRM.

Any Icom mic will work nice, but I prefer the SM-6. The Kenwood MC-50 sounds really good on any icon rig.

Get the Piexx board memory card. This is a must. Very easy to put that board on.
 
VA7MNV Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2011 14:47 Send this review to a friend
Pleasantly Surprised !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
New to the Ham radio world and looking for a good "first" radio to start out with. The local club lent me Kenwood TS-120V which is a low power output, 10W, so I was looking for something with a bit more punch to it, hence the IC-745. After reading over many of the e.ham reviews, I decided to keep my eyes open on e-bay for a used and decently priced 745. Paid $375 for this one and after a couple of hours cleaning it up have been very happy with it. It puts out full power of 100 Watts into my dummy load and all the switches and knobs work perfectly. I believe I'd have been a bit intimidated with a newer unit having many more bells and whistles than this one already has. A great starter unit to learn and become familiar with HAM RADIO. I've received reports of clean audio which seems to be one of the bonus' of this radio. I must admit that it seems quieter than the Kenwood that I have been using but with all the sun flare ups that are being reported lately , this may not be a fair analysis between the Kenwood and the ICOM. The notch filter and the band pass shift control have already become great additions. They enable me to clean up the receive audio quite a bit. I'm still trying to figure out if it has had some kind of battery update, which is a theme resonating thru out this era of ICOM radio, needing to be done. When I opened it up it appeared to have something other than what looked like a lithium battery in its' place. All memory functions work fine along with both VCO's so it's unlikely after all these years it is still sporting its original battery. All said and done I am loving this radio and am looking forward to the many years of contacts which other reviews about this radio are reporting.
 
KB9MRK Rating: 5/5 Nov 30, 2010 09:18 Send this review to a friend
Another Great Classic Rig!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My hat is off once again to Icom!! I have had a 745 for several months now and my first impression was the fantastic receive. I compared it side by side to several other rigs that where much newer and way more expensive and the receive on the 745 won every time. Nice and quite noise floor, Awesome filtering, no hidden menu's and built rock solid make this radio another classic to my collection. My audio reports have been fantastic running 100% stock. If you can find one of these rigs...BUY IT!!! the price for these rigs are usually between $300.00 and $450.00 depending on the radio and options, What a deal for this fine piece of equipment. Some people worry about the battery... replacement battery's last about 15 years today, or you can buy a Piexx board replacement, to me no big deal for such an outstanding rig!!
 
W2KV Rating: 4/5 Nov 5, 2010 15:30 Send this review to a friend
good general purpose HF rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had my IC-745 since buying it new in 1984 (my first new rig). It has served me very well as an HF rig and as a VHF rig with outboard transverters. My main beef with the 745 (and the IC-751 and R-71) is that the operating system is stored in volatile RAM with battery backup. If the rig is turned off and the battery goes dead the rig is kaput and no longer supported by Icom. This happened to me but fortunately Piexx Co in NH sells a replacement board with the OS in ROM for $59. I bought one and plugged it in- radio is back to life. The rig is still going FB after 25 plus years.
 
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