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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-720 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-720
ICOM IC-720 Reviews: 9 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $?
Description: HR transceiver
Product is not in production.
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DU1FV Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2016 20:50 Send this review to a friend
IC-720 and SM-8 a good match!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I tried my ICom SM-8 and was amazed at how good it sounds compared to the HM-7. The other Icom works great with the standard hand mic anyway, so the amplified (set on HI)is now assigned to the IC-720 which needs the amp. It is well matched. I am thinking of a rotary switch relay replacement but I am tempted to try my own version using signals originally intended for the receive band pass filters instead relying on the stepper relay pulses. This should result in a lower parts count conversion, if successful.
WA7DUY Rating: 3/5 Oct 5, 2012 21:47 Send this review to a friend
Klunk klunk  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my IC720 in the late 70's and received one of the first off of the production line (#1462). The rig took some getting used to. When turning the radio on it defaults to 40 meters and then the very loud stepper relay starts klanking. That relay is unobtainium now. I got it because of the general coverage receiver and general coverage transmit for Mars. Beside my Drake TR7 this radio was not as accurate. The relay often had to be keyed to burn off oxidation so the receiver was not dead. Also there was a 200 cps (remember those) difference between the dispay on upper sideband and the actual frequency. It was an ok rig but I would not buy another one for the almost $1500 that I gave for this one! It is getting hard to get the rig repaired. I only know of 2 mods to replace the stepper relay and I have not found anyone that has actually successfully made the mod to see if it actually works. The noisey relay was so loud that it would wake the dead!
AB8RN Rating: 3/5 Feb 16, 2005 19:06 Send this review to a friend
Good first radio but old now  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the 720 two years ago (for $150) right after I passed the code test. When it arrived, I found it had almost no sensitivity on some bands, including 20. This I traced to poor contacts on the notorious rotary bandswitch relay (radio probably had been in storage). I opened the radio and cleaned the contacts and that solved the problem. I also replaced the meter light. Since then, I've used it mainly for CW and RTTY (40m upwards mostly), WEFAX RX and SW listening. I find the radio quite good for CW and RTTY, except no QSK. Sensitivity is good but RX is a bit noisy. Passband tuning is nice. Stock AM filter perhaps too wide for crowded SWL bands. Noise blanker does not seem to make any difference. Attenuator is too strong, IMO. No AGC off setting.

This was my first HF radio and I made many many DX contacts with it on CW and RTTY, usually running <25 W into a compromise antenna. This would have been a 4 when newer, but now a 3. Still a good budget radio for the beginner, if you can verify operation before buying.
SM6XIN Rating: 4/5 Aug 28, 2004 14:16 Send this review to a friend
Klonk!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Quite OK rig, but with a really loud stepping relay for band selection. If the shack is next door to the bedroom, don't operate at night, hi!

I have worked SSB, RTTY and PSK31 with the rig without problems. Drifts a little in frequency though. It operates all 9 bands AM, SSB, CW, RTTY. The cooling fan is reasonably quiet.
If you will be using the original power supply pay good attention to the internal wiring inside the rig. The power switch can be worn out if heavily used through the years. The S-meter calibration can be a little different through the bands (Happiest on 3.5 MHz or so).

Overall rating 4, and a keeper if the rotary stepping relay is in good condition and the loud "clonk" while changing bands doesn't matter for you.
WB4BFO Rating: 3/5 Feb 23, 2004 15:43 Send this review to a friend
RX Sensitivity  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Rx sensitivity was poor. I corrected it by installing a wide band preamp in series with the one that is already in the swr box. Now it works as well as as any other rig! A wide band preamp like the one for sale at Ramsey electronics would be all you need.
KG8DV Rating: 4/5 Jan 5, 2003 02:25 Send this review to a friend
A real good radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had mine for three years. I gave $47.00 for it and matching power supply in original boxes. All I have had to do to it is clean the wafers in the tuner. I use it daily and have used it mobile also. For a bare-foot system I have worked the world and am very happy with the IC-720.
KA5YOW Rating: 5/5 Apr 27, 2002 19:33 Send this review to a friend
great radio as long as it works. parts & service are rare  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
this is a good radio when it is working. if something breaks you will probably have a hard time finding parts and service.

the mechanical band switching is very loud. makes it hard to operate if people are sleeping.

KF5JQ Rating: 4/5 Feb 1, 2002 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Good first radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned a 720A for 14 years. It was a great a radio that did a lot and contained many features in current radios.

The rotor relays never gave me a problem and the dual VFOs were a great feature. It was extremely easy to work split operation in band.

I also used this radio while mobile. It does not perform well in a noisy RF environment like a car. There was much interference from ignition noise that got in the way of the QSO but I was able to work over 300 stations in a single summer while commuting to and from school.

If you can find one, they make a great first radio or a back up radio.
W9DEW Rating: 4/5 Sep 7, 2000 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned a IC-720 for about 8 years. Never had a problem. Worked great for me. Very good receiver. It uses a mechanical motor driven rotor to change bands (similar to the old "click stop" TV chanel selectors.). From what I can learn, if it goes out, you are done. New parts are no longer available. Of course you could look for another, but they are kind of rare. I would not hesitate to by another, especially if you don't change bands every 2 minutes.

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