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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Icom IC-505 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-505
Icom IC-505 Reviews: 4 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: 6m all mode portable rig
Product is not in production.
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W0EAJ Rating: 3/5 Aug 28, 2011 16:35 Send this review to a friend
Good & Bad  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What everybody else says is correct - rcvr has about .1uv sensitivity - better than most, worse than some. I'm trying to find ALIGNMENT and/or SERVICE info on this one, as USB pwr is much less than LSB pwr. - DO NOT take the case off, unless you are a person of great patience - I totally reviewed my Nautical Vocabulary, getting it back together, as it requires 4 hands with very small fingers to align everything so you can get the screws back in the holes... Arghhh. it does however, spring from the days of "Strong" and "well built", so it works pretty well. The 706 & 706 MKII/G are better, but for the price ($10), it's hard to beat... don't waste your time with the whip - use a real ant.
N2NFG Rating: 3/5 May 20, 2006 21:39 Send this review to a friend
Fun, bare bones radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Even though I gave the rig a 3 rating, the 3.5 average it carries is more in line. Kepp in mind that my rating reflects on what this radio is now, not as a new rig. I've had this unit for a year and have had an absolute ball with it. No FM or tone board, but hundreds of SSB and CW QSOs are in the log, including a fair amount of DX. But, it's hard to find one in good shape with all of the pieces. Mine came without a power cord or microphone. Without either of both of these items, the value of it goes down dramatically. Power cords with the proper connection are really imposible to find. The way around this is to wire the power cord to the battery terminals. Not hard at all. But.. while you're in the battery compartment, check the batteries for the memories. I had a big mess from leakers to clean up before I could replace them. (Thanks for Dremal tools!) I tried several different ICOM mics but could not get enough drive from them. The two mics that are recommended are the HM7 hand mic or the SM5 desk mike. I got an SM5 and all was well, plenty of output, although I continually get reports of "Bassy" audio. I would think that a D104 or similar high output high impedence mic would work also. Someone had removed the whip antenna from my 505 and did a very poor solder job when removing it from the SO239. You might want to check this point if the whip is missing. Again, an easy fix.
THe 505 is fairly selective for SSB, absolutly horrible for CW. (Yes, there is a LOT of CW activity when 6 is open) Without using an external DSP filter, CW is a real grind when the band gets busy. With my Timewave 59+, CW performance is very adequate. There are 4 memory channels, and you can scan through these or scan preprogramed frequency limits. There is a call button and you can also lock the main frequency. Oh yeah, two VFOs, so split is not a problem either. As you can see, even for an older rig, it's still miles ahead of that overpriced 6 meter Mighty Fine Junk radio.
Overall, a pretty neat radio. Compared to the ICOM 706 MKIIG I used to own, the receiver is not that far off as far as sensitivity goes. I use a full wave horizontal loop hung at 35 ft. from an oak tree branch. I can work anything other locals can with similar antennas but much newer radios. That's the bottom line. 73, Bob N2NFG
K7VO Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2004 14:37 Send this review to a friend
Unusual looking, big for a portable, good but not great  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been involved in a discussion of the venerable Icom IC-505 and I quickly came to realize that my e-mails pretty much added up to a review of the rig, so...

I bought my IC-505 new at Portland Radio (long gone now) to replace my Yaesu FT-690R (the original version). I found that the receiver was better than a stock FT-690R but by no means spectacular. Unlike the previous reviewer I did manage some transcontinental contacts with it as the rig's selectivity was fine.

Output is 500mW or 3W on battery, or a built-in 10W PA can be switched in on external power. You could run 10W in battery power but the batteries sure wouldn't last long. I did it anyway when I needed the extra db or two to get over the noise. Pretty quickly the display would dim and transmit audio would deteriorate if I didn't put in new batteries. The rig came with a shoulder strap for portable opeation but it was an awfully big portable. It had a backlit LCD display which wasn't the best in bright sunlight. The backlight could be switched off to extend battery life.

I mainly ran SSB/CW with the IC-505. I did add the EX-248 FM board but there wasn't much FM activity where I lived and the lack of allowance for a CTCSS (PL) encoder made it all the more limited. I never bothered to add an aftermarket tone board. I had wanted to run it mobile but the lack of a bracket, the large size, and the odd shape of the rig made that problematic.

I did use the rig portable with the rather long telescopic whip and I never had a problem with it. It was the same whip the old IC-502A had and it worked perfectly well at 3W.

I eventually traded in my IC-505 on a shiny, new Yaesu FT-690RII. I ended up feeling that was a big mistake as the Yaesu receiver was essentially the same as in my old FT-690R, which meant pretty well deaf without a Mutek front end mod. The IC-505 was quite a bit better, though still definitely not the best.

I have noticed that the plastic cases for these rigs (done to save weight and cost, I imagine) didn't stand up well to the test of time and portable use/abuse. A lot of the ones I see on the used market are in really poor shape. A lot of them need a good alignment by now too.

All in all if you can find an IC-505 that's in good shape for not much money it really isn't a bad starter rig for 6m. Not a bad choice for anyone on a budget looking for a fairly versatile 6m rig, actually. For a bit more money or with a somewhat bigger case you can get a whole lot more radio.

Also, if you do get one, make sure you get the DC power cord with it. That three pin molded connector is about impossible to find nowadays.

G8MDG Rating: 3/5 Mar 4, 2004 10:08 Send this review to a friend
50MHz trans-Portable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this 6m radio many years ago as a simple way to get on 6. It was a "used" radio - sold second-hand by a dealer from a 'grey market' japanese import as it wasn't on general sale in the UK. The specs are 50-54MHz SSB/CW coverage (with the possibility of an internal FM module accessory) . My IC-505 does have this FM module and it seems to work OK. The transmit power is 3 watts@13.8V
with a little switch on the rear panel to boost this to 10 watts. I blew the PA up fairly quickly by possibly knocking this switch whilst using the built in (1 metre?) long whip antenna ; feedback ; bang! (I believe I was only using the 3W position-I'd say there's a possibility that ANY use of the internal antenna is prone to Rig destruction)
I confess to mostly using the IC-505 as a MUF scanner , monitoring the E2/R1 VHF TV transmissions for sporadic E.
I dont think the IC-505 front-end is up to much transcontinental DX - unless there's a megawatt or two of ERP coming through.
The Icom memory scanning and calling channel priority scanning work reasonably well, with Squelch on SSB proving useful for a quiet shack. For power it has an Icom mini 13.8V 3 pin socket and space possibility for 9 'C' cells or a 10 nicad pack. I must remember to check the state of the other 4 x AA memory backups cells as I haven't opened the rig for a couple of years!
I would sum up by saying it is an OK radio - transportable
- but not advisable to use with the over-long vertical telescopic whip for RF stability reasons - in fact I have disconnected the coax to the built-in whip , and there's now just the SO-239 socket.
David G8MDG

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