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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | ICOM IC-718 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-718
ICOM IC-718 Reviews: 408 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $750 1199 Cdn
Description: HF Transciever
Product is in production.
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Page 1 of 41 —>

W2DI Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2014 15:54 Send this review to a friend
5 stars-the 718 & G4RNI  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Let me say that the previous review of G4RNI gets Five Full Stars from me. Superb explanation!
And, timely for me. I've had the 718 for all of about 3 hours, so I don't qualify as an expert, but I'll give my first impressions anyway.
Yes, with the rf gain at max and the attenuator off, the rig picks up quite a bit of everything on a busy, already noisy band such as 40m. It seems almost too sensitive. But now I have a better idea of how and why those controls are there and I will make use of both.
The receive audio from the speaker and reports from other stations I contacted were all very good. I kept the alc within the suggested range and did have the processor on. This with the hand mic. I'll do some a-b testing with nearby stations when I have the opportunity.
The 718 looks and feels solid and I'm glad to hear there is some over-engineering in the electronic components of the rig.
I like the DSP also. I can't say this about other radios I've had. One in particular, in a higher price class, had DSP functions that did very little.
The noise reduction on the 718 does really smooth out noise without adding distortion or digital artifacts.
The variable notch is truly amazing. It's fast and deep, eliminating all carrier tones it encounters. The shift is also effective in dealing with noise from the neighbors.
The menu isn't excessively daunting and very easy to learn. Many of the 'set and leave' settings are in the start-up menu.
Tuning is smooth and the rig doesn't have an excess of controls, which I like.
It appears to be a very good radio at a very reasonable price. And, with the information so clearly provided from G4RNI, I am happy with my purchase.
Thank you, George!
G4RNI Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2014 04:58 Send this review to a friend
Surprisingly good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Iím a (retired) comms and instrumentation tech and have been a licensed amateur since 1982. Iím quite at home with microVolts, the inverse square law, impedances and waggling a soldering iron about. This however is written in a ďreal worldĒ format, rather than just spouting a load of figures. Those measurements are available elsewhere.

In a nutshell, I found the IC-718 to be a very capable performer but it helps if you take time to understand a little of whatís going on, under the lid, especially about receiver architecture. If you do then youíll find you can achieve great results with this baby. Far better than some may lead you to believe.

I compared the IC-718 alongside my IC-9100 and IC-7600 on quiet, moderately busy and crowded bands. The 9100 and 7600 are fairly similar in performance. That said, although the 9100 can exhibit marginally better close in strong v weak signal results than the 7600 you have to actually hunt for these better results and so Iíll restrict this review to 718 v 7600.

Applying the standard plug n play techniques adopted all to often nowadays, the 718 RX did suffer from overload and excessive noise under busy band conditions. It became S5 to S6 noisy. The noise is due to lots of signals hitting the 1st mixer and the resultant reciprocal mixing products travelling throughout the receive chain. Thatís a posh way of saying if you go into a rock concert, your ears will probably whistle afterwards. The whistling isnít real, itís a product of your ears beaing overloaded. Radios do the same with lots of strong signals. They get overloaded.

Some think the answer to everything is a pre-amp to pull up the weak signals lost in all the noise but that often only makes things worse. Like putting in a hearing aid then going into the same rock concert in the mistaken belief itíll help you hear your pals trying to talk over the kiloWatts of rock. It wonít. Itíll only make the whistling louder.

In busy bands, use the attenuator. Yes, the S meter will drop but what the hell? Can the operator at the other end of the QSO SEE it? No! The noise vanishes at a much greater rate than the signals you want because the 1st mixer isnít being beaten senseless and youíll actually hear weaker signals than with the pre-amp on.

Use the RF gain control. Back it off and the noise will diminish. Thatís why they put the thing there. Itís why itís on so many radios yet most operators run it at max. Iím sure some wish it went ďall the way up to elevenĒ!

So with sensible use of the attenuator, pre-amp OFF switch and RF gain youíll find you can hear the vast majority of stuff that a rig costing five times as much can hear. I certainly could. Oh, the audio is nice too but you'll need an external speaker to appreciate that. Even a Cambridge Soundworks 2" speaker sounds most pleasant.

Next, the transmitter. Itís 100 Watts and 100 Watts is 100 Watts is 100 Watts whether theyíre Watts from a ten grand rig or a five hundred rig. Every Watt is the same size as every other Watt. You donít get better quality Watts with more dollars, euros or pounds.

The 718 tx uses the same power devices as many, many other far more expensive radios. In mine, an earlier version itís 2SC2904ís. A pair of them. Theyíre the same as Icom used in the IC-751A which gets a solid 5/5 rating right here. Theyíre the same as Icom use in many of their 150 Watt marine radios. Theyíre capable of developing a lot more and the manufacturer rates them at 100 Watts out, EACH, but running them at just 100 Watts out of a pair means theyíre well within spec, running at less than half of their maximum capability and giving a good, solid, reliable and clean 100 Watts out. 2SC2904ís have been in use in gear for over 30 years without excessive failing. Theyíre by no means indestructable but they are extremely reliable and way over-engineered for 100 Watt ham radio transmitters.

Later versions use the 70 Watt RD70HHF1 power fet in a pair. At 100 Watts out, your signal is again nice and clean, well within device spec and from the same PA components as used in many, more expensive radios. Like its RX, the transmit audio is very nice.

So, if youíre happy to save many hundreds of dollars, euros or pounds and you can summon up the energy to press the attenuator button, switch off the pre-amp or turn that ever so heavy RF gain control then you can have a very capable radio and not fall foul of the bank manager.

Itís basic, has no frills, doesnít have fancy screens but will perform quite admirably.

If you want better performance then by all means go for a higher spec radio but you donít get 5 x as much radio for 5 x the price.

Itís not really a 5 but I canít give it 4.5 and itís worth more than a 4. If I could score out of 10 Iíd really want to give it 8.5. Sometimes there just isnít a size that fits. Because of this Iíve offset giving it a 4 by considering the value for money of the IC-718 and itís a ďlow fiveĒ.
DF2AR Rating: 5/5 Oct 27, 2014 10:49 Send this review to a friend
Very good for this price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is my second 718, I used one already some years ago and then I sold it. Now I have a new one (used).
For this price (used 330 Euro) its a very good HF-Rig. I'm only QRV in CW and if you do CW, you absolutely need the FL-52A (500 Hz) oder the FL-53A (250 HZ)-Filter.
Disadvantage: These filters are very expensive: New between about 190 and 260 Euro (!!). I got a used one at ebay for 50 Euro and it works fantastic !
During the last 10 years I used a lot of other RIGs from Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom, but for this price, the 718 is one of the best !
K3SFK Rating: 5/5 Sep 18, 2014 13:47 Send this review to a friend
718 works better than anticipated with attention to details.   Time owned: more than 12 months
I own two Icom 718s with DSP. They are used for an emcomm HF net (80M-40M-20M)and my budget is limited. BUT, when the 718 includes DSP, internal extra filters, and an LDG antenna tuner, good antennas and excellent coax, the results are excellent in my opinion. One 718 has the twin CW-SSB W4RT filter and the second 718 has the Inrad 2.1Kz SSB filter. These filters combined with DSP and properly tuned antennas give dependable performance. All microphones were sent to Bob Nagey so that he could upgrade the H-36 Icom microphones which perform with stronger SSB punch and clarity. LDG auto tuners are excellent and work easily with the Icom 718 units. Just buy the correct LDG for Icom (AT7000 and IT-100). Lastly, if you add a separate, larger, speaker, the final '718 rig' results are 4.8 to me for dependability, ruggedness, low budget, and SIMPLICITY. P.S. I purchased both Icom 718's 'used' from and received excellent results.
KD5NDU Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2014 09:57 Send this review to a friend
very good radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got two ICOM 718 radios I use one noble and on digital modes. One in the house I had for 6 years now and works good still. I run it 24/7 on RMS program. It been good little radio so far.
KB2SEO Rating: 5/5 Jun 25, 2014 07:15 Send this review to a friend
Owned for 6 years, my experience...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned a few HF rigs, from the tempo-one , the FT 101ZD,TS-440s, My Beloved icom 725 and 737a. So I got around some of the best and worst (read my FT-100 experience) I wanted to be sure to give a warts and all accounting of the Icom 718. IT BARELY makes all 5's. the pluses are:
* PRICE- c'mon gang, My wife got this radio with the DSP for 550 at HRO. We went to the ATL HRO to window shop. she saw the 718, and when I was walking to the car, she was buying it (I guess spending over 20 minutes on CW can help?)
* Versatile- I run PSK, CW, SSB on her. It has taken some real beatings on key downs and not missed a beat. Currently I am using it for NCS work on the 28.390 North GA Laryngitis net. It has done pretty well!
*SIMPLE-I agree with a few others, switching from Straight Key to Paddles is a bit of a pain in the Seat interface, but the rest of the menu stuff is not a big deal.
**AUDIO OUTPUT**- the rig has very good Audio output. I have used everything from the stock hand mic to a turner super side kick mic. the Only Mic I had any critique that was negative was the TUG-8/D104 was too brassy and loud, no matter the settings. I needed a setup where I can continue to wrap fishing poles (my sideline business)and run the net. I finally settled on a 9 dollar computer head set which I added a foot pedal or the VOX, it sounds like bob Heil set it up!

* NOISY RX*-I have NOT had any issues with Static discharges hurting the radio. BUT I do notice that she can pick up a lot more static and beecuase of the DSP, its harsh to listen to. a minor adjustment to the IF shift makes it a lot more tolerable. I would love to hear from Hams who were able to clear it up.
*ERGONOMICS*- I believe that the Contol knobs could have stood to be a tad bigger for us guys who have Kielbasa for fingers. the tuning knob is fine.
*ANL/NB* Its a Menu driven affair, it could be "tighter"
**RECEIVER**- IF you are as unfortunate as me to have a CB'er running illegal and dirty rig, EXPECT TO HAVE YOUR RIG SPLATTERED. He's about a 1/2 mile from me, His wife has a shrill voice which bleeds between the local 2 meter repeater and WWV. my Poor 718 gets blasted, My ears are burnt.

But overall, for what it is, and the warts and all, I was impressed when Conditions are "normal" (the CB'er is sleeping off the Jack Daniels and Old spice, and the static isn't overly bad)- I can hear stations that my 725 does not. Its been great for the Net duties and its compact without needing tweezers to get to an adjustment.
Overall, I have had good experiences dealing with tech and customer support, the radio looks nice, it works well and compared to the FT100, and the awful customer care I had with Yaesu, its hands down a winner!
KF5GOI Rating: 2/5 Jun 20, 2014 09:17 Send this review to a friend
Prcblem needs addressing  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was just like the majority of the folks on the reviews. I had not written a review yet, so I figured I should.
You will only find a few people who have taken the time to address this in different areas of the internet. You have to go fishing for it.
This has to to with what appears to be static electricity. I got agreement from one of the Icom techs on the phone. I told the tech. I actually thought it was possible that I shorted out the resistor on one of the 718's from static build up building up in my body as I carried it accross the room.
I thought he would disagree. He told me it was a possibility. Since this was the new one that had not even been tried.
I simply removed the radio that was my daily gear and installed the new IC-718. Problems immediately (yes I had shorted before connecting)
Took it apart and the same 270 ohm resistor was bad as other.#271 on main Board.
Got to go. Emer.
VE7REN Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2014 11:55 Send this review to a friend
excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one new in 2003 and posted a 5 review here on eham.. 11 yrs later I decided I would invest in a new one for the shop/garage..i replaced a ts480 I had in here for 6 yrs. it was a good radio too,although I didn't really like the body/head configuration.. the 718 has been around for 11-12 yrs I believe,but it truly is a workhorse. doesn't have any major issues as crapping out like some other model of hf gets excellent audio reprts,hears well,and is reasonably priced..i recommend the 718 for a conscious minded buyer
NP4DD Rating: 5/5 Apr 15, 2014 20:33 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT!!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The IC-718 was a workhorse. You cannot beat this rig with the price, performance & the name Icom. Very good compliments from my audio & excellent receiver. Im very Satisfied so I would recommend the Icom 718 to anyone , its really easy to work & operate without even getting the manual. My 718 is my primary base station. There is an AGC mod that can be found online, addition of an Inrad #124 2800Hz filter. Good things do come in small packages!!!

K4TXI Rating: 5/5 Feb 20, 2014 19:07 Send this review to a friend
Very Satisfied 10+  Time owned: more than 12 months
You cannot beat this rig as far its performance , With the price & the name Icom I knew it had to be good . I have had a couple of these 718's in the past and always very good compliments on signal & my audio right out of the box and easy to use ! It may not be a $5,000 dollar rig, but it satisfies me & is in my eyes and experience .
Again Im very Satisfied with all Icom products so I would recommend the 718 to anyone , its really easy to work & operate without even getting the manual out . My 718 is my primary base station & anyone I hear I can work them running 100 watts of Icom punch power ! You cannot go wrong on having 1 of these radios and they will hang right up there with the bigdogs so to speak . Very Well Done Icom !
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