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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-718 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-718
ICOM IC-718 Reviews: 423 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $750 1199 Cdn
Description: HF Transciever
Product is in production.
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M0GNA Rating: 5/5 Feb 1, 2016 05:26 Send this review to a friend
Old faithful.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Second time around for me with 718.Had one a few years back and should never have got rid of it.It looks like a radio should look and performs like a radio should perform.If your not into bells and whistles and unfathomable endless menus and Technicolor screens etc then this is for you.It costs nothing compared to most other rigs out there and does the same job.The fact that Icom are still producing them speaks volumes for its popularity.Its also a great general coverage receiver.I'm keeping this one I love it.
K7DXT Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2015 07:25 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio. But it's a Matter of Perspective!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The venerable Icom 718Öitís all a matter of perspective. This is now my third IC-718 that Iíve owned. Donít ask me why I got rid of the first two, but I reckon itís a matter of just the enjoyment of trading around and trying something new.

So why do I keep coming back to this radio? Maybe the more pertinent question is why I keep getting rid of the ones Iíve had. There have been several radios Iíve owned twice, including the Kenwood TS-520 and the Yaesu FT-840. I love both of those radios, and as a matter of fact, own both now along with the 718.

SureÖI could sell all three and buy a Ďrealí radio I suppose. But I enjoy the simplicity of the 718. Iím an old fud and I donít like menus, but this radio doesnít intimidate me at all. Itís easy to set up, easy to program, easy to operate. But itís nothing specialÖjust a radio. It doesnít open a can of beer, and it canít really bust any pileups better than any other 100 watt radio.

How many times have I heard a report back that says, ďThat 718 is doing a good job for youĒ. I have no doubts. Actually, pretty much any radio that isnít broken is going to do a good job for me. Iím sure the transmit audio is good enough, and the receive audio isnít bad. No, itís not an FT-1000.

So why do I, and hundreds others give it a Ď5í? Maybe we like the Ďunderdogí nature of this little radio. Itís small, doesnít make any outlandish claims, and does the job. Itís handsome in appearance, and doesnít take up much space. Iíve always like a Ďfront firingí speaker on a rig.

But there are better radios out there. I think my TS-520 has better receive audio. I thought the Kenwood TS-570 I owned many years ago was much better overall in most, if not all areas.

So why a Ď5í for the 718? Itís all a matter of perspective, as they say. And the key factors of perspective are two thingsÖreliability and dollars. Performance is okay. Actually, I think the review from G4RNI is extremely well-written, and he makes some excellent points to pull better performance out of this rig.

No one can really challenge the 718ís reliability, so letís talk about money. When people compare this rig to other $500 or $600 used rigs, it will generally fall short. But I donít see this as a $500 rig on the used market. Brand new, with warranty, free shipping, and a free catalog, they can be found for right at $600. Why would I pay $500 for a used one? To me, this radio should be priced between $300 and $375. My first 718 I bought new, but the next two were purchased for less than $350 each and they looked and smelled great.

There is little else that can compare to that, except maybe the FT-840 which is a bit older in technology but still a great radio. But the FT-840 you buy may be 15 years old, while there are plenty of much newer 718 rigs around. Given that itís still being made, getting it serviced may be easier.

Over the years, Iíve owned some more novelty rigs like the MFJ 94XX, etc. Those are still selling for near $200 used, and only have one band and very limited features. If you can find a 718 for $300 to $350, the difference in capabilities and quality is incomparable.

So as a second rig, as a mobile or camping rig, or as your main rig if you donít spend all day on the air, itís an absolute wonderful radio IF you can buy it at a reasonable price.
K3SFK Rating: 4/5 Oct 27, 2015 13:02 Send this review to a friend
Powerful and easy upgrade for 718s.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review for Icom 718s (I own two 718s). I hope that it is helpful for exiting 718 owners and new purchasers.

Much is known about the hardy design of the 718 which was developed from a previous Marine grade radio. The DSP module which is now free also added to its value.

However, when the INRAD 2.1KZ SSB filter ($170) was added to the 718, its performance on SSB was improved substantially. I personally believe it outperforms the Icom 7200 when using the Inrad filter. If the Bob Nagey microphone upgrade ($45) is made to the standard microphone, the SSB 'punch' is very noticeable and improves performance during QSOs.

If CW is also a desired mode, the W4RT 'TWIN' CW and 'Collins' SSB (2.3KZ) filter (about $250) is a great addition for both modes. When I compared the improved performance, it was greatly appreciated.
I also added the frequency stabilizer which appears to be unnecessary for most conditions.
An inexpensive, larger speaker ($25 Cobra) was added to provide more robust sound with satisfactory results for very low cost.

Bottom line: If you want an inexpensive, easy to operate, no firmware concerns, robustly designed HF transceiver that performs very well, consider the Icom 718, but also consider adding high grade filters (INRAD or W4RT-Collins) and microphone upgrades.

This fine radio may perform like a Toyota Corolla with HIGH dependability, easy to use, inexpensive to purchase and maintain, but it does lack some 'fun' bells and whistles. An upgrade Icom 718 may also be ideal for Emcomm due to hardy design and simplicity, small size, etc.

If money was freely available, it would also be pleasant to own an Icom 7600-7700-etc. with all of the bells and whistles for extra enjoyment.

There are many 718s in use today and some may be working for many years. These easy, inexpensive upgrades can greatly improve your enjoyment and satisfaction for users who like the 718 simplicity, solid performance, and dependability.
N2PH Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2015 16:33 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio for the Price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Recently purchased the IC 718 with the w4rt cw filter as a back up rig. The radio is a joy to operate, simple and the receiver is selective and sensitive enough for me to enough working CW. This radio does the job whether working DX or rag chewing on 40 meters. I would definitely recommend it.
IU0CXU Rating: 5/5 Mar 25, 2015 13:42 Send this review to a friend
What a performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
Fantastic radio for its price.
Good receiver and top audio quality.
Remarkable audio report obtained from my contacts
I wouldn't miss it for the world!!!
KG5ARD Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2015 14:15 Send this review to a friend
Love my 718  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this radio as my first HF radio because of the price. I haven't looked back or looked at buying a "better" radio. The radio is a challenge sometimes but after studying the manual it is becoming easier. I have had contacts all over the world and with my homemade antennas it has been a blast. I bought it right before I got my General ticket and it was my incentive to pass my test to talk on all of the bands. I have to get my Extra so I can top out my band limits.
BH4AEN Rating: 4/5 Feb 27, 2015 01:43 Send this review to a friend
A great rig for receive and transmit  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had purchased my Icom IC-718 transceiver from a leading Icom dealer in Beijing before I got my first ham license and call sign " BH4AEN " in Shanghai. Since my ham license and call sign are for VHF/UHF, I have mostly used my Icom IC-718 for radio listening and digital decoding of RTTY, HF Fax, PSK31. In the first decade of the 21st century, when the international broadcasters either cut down on their broadcast hours or faded out from shortwave all together, American Forces Radio, or AFN ( formerly known as AFRTS ) Guam on 5765 KHz and 13362 KHz, USB, became the only network of English broadcast 24/7 in Asia. At that time, I monitored AFN Guam on daily basis and followed the crisis like Hurricane Katrina in August, 2015, almost wave by wave, from hurricane devastation to its diedown, from CBS news updates via AFN Guam. For single side band reception of critical transmissions, Icom IC-718 excelled and with noticblely better result than many other radios. For digital decoding, Icom IC-718 did a fabulous job much of the time, using the popular TrueTTy and SeaTTY, for HF Fax and the weather maps.

Icom IC-718 was once advertised as used by the U.S. military for communications in the battle fields, as for me, I have yet to upgrade my ham lisense before I am able to enjoy QSOing on the HF spectrum.
KF5GOI Rating: 4/5 Feb 7, 2015 06:41 Send this review to a friend
3rd review trying to help inform  Time owned: more than 12 months
As you will see I gave two reviews already. There is a problem. As in past reviews. Just informing that I repaired both Of the IC718 that I have. I had to modify some of my gear and even though I had the components which I purchased from Icom, I am not equipped to install these miniature components. I used a standard resistor that was equal to the factory one and was able to install them on both 718's and they have been working great. One is used as a mobile unit. The other I use in multiple situations. I do take care to avoid static in every form.
For the money the performance is very good on transmit and better on receive.
May you all enjoy your experiences with this radio.
My favorite for my main station is the Yaesu FT-950 along with the Audio Technica ATR1300 microphone which you can find the mic online for about $30. I hope to purchase either the FTDX1200or the FT-3000.
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.
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