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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-740 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-740
ICOM IC-740 Reviews: 35 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $1099.00
Description: 160-10 meter 200-watts input HF transceiver, circa 1984
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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K7JOE Rating: 5/5 Jun 11, 2019 12:49 Send this review to a friend
Very solid mid 1980's radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had several over the years. As others note, very good receiver. Has all the WARC bands. Lacks 60 meters. No general coverage receiver. No funny lithium battery backup for everything. Very dependable. Only made for 3 years, so they are a bit rare. Nice CW radio.

Help Help: My only issue is that I have installed the 9Mhz IF CW filter and one must set jumpers to get the filter to engage. Yet, the service manual is WRONG on how to set the internal jumpers to activate that 9Mzh cw filter. SO, the radio has the filter installed but does not switch in when CW is selected. The radio came out pre-internet era, so am sure there was addendum to the service manual but can not find the info. Maybe someone can post the updated jumper settings here.

The radio also requires a special microphone. A simple modification these days is to add a small audio pre-amp board into the radio on the internal side of the mic plug (pins 1 and 7 are audio). One can buy a simple audio preamp board for under $10 and install. Then can use with any mic. WARNING: These very early "zero series" Icom radios DO still have phantom voltage on the audio line (pin 1) of the mic connector, so, there is a need to add a 4.7 uF or a 10 uF blocking capacitor to the mic audio line if you use a separate pre-amp board, or use an amplified dynamic or other non-electret condensor style microphone. Blocking cap of 4.7uF or 10uF (value not critical) prevents the micrphone element from getting damaged or damaging the 8V regulator in the radio as a dynamic mic element would put that 8V DC directly to ground through the mic coil.

Would be perfect if I could figure out how to get the cw 9 mhz cw filter to engage.

Another common SSB mod is to remove the ceramic SSB filter in the 455 IF and replace with the mechanical filter that is found in the IC-730. A swap-transplant is all that's required.

The final mod that I did is to install an internal keyer board. The one I use is not the EX243 as I couldnt find one. Instead, I found a $25 board made by MFJ that's small and actually sold as accessory / used on their QRP radios 90XX series - It's an easy install/ requires modifying the board (speed pot removal) and then soldering it into the 740. Now it uses power from the 740, connects internally to the 740, and speed is controlled from the front panel VOX GAIN/ELE-KEY SPEED pot. Neato - for $25 bucks .
W0BKR Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2016 14:55 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio even today!  Time owned: more than 12 months
THe 740 has a very sensitive and quiet receiver. Quite a good radio for weak signal and DX work. Dual VFOs, filter options, PBT, really makes this old girl a good investment. Compressor switch problem? Simple fix, the addition of a resistor across the backside.

I have enjoyed this radio off and on for some time and any newbie, would be hard pressed to find a radio in the 300-400 dollar price range with the performance of this older ICOM.
PB0ANT Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2014 02:46 Send this review to a friend
great rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this transceiver in 1992 and used it without problems for 10 years. Then I lost interest in ham radio and it was unused for about 11 years.
Last December I started using it again but it had some problems. After cleaning the pots and contacts and replacing the pre amp relay it worked FB again.
I once compared it with a ft 757 because I wanted a general coverage receiver.Listening on the same antenna and switching between the receivers for 5 minutes was enough. The ft had much more noise and the weak stations I could hear on the 740 could not be heard on the ft. A good notch filter and PBT makes this rig a pleasure to work with. Another great thing about the 740 is his modulation. Always good reports with the standard
mic.It has some known weak points as all rigs have when they are 30 years old.But these problems are easily tof fix. I gave it a 5 because for its value its a great rig. If you can find one in good condition you won't be disappointed. In Holland they are rarely but sometimes one shows up in the price range of 350 euro.
OK1FIG Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2013 03:57 Send this review to a friend
It depends...  Time owned: more than 12 months
If you get a fright when something goes wrong with our RIG, don't purchase. If you need a bunch of bells and whistles to astonish someone, don't purchase.
If you have some technical background & skills, purchase. If you like to study the service manual, puchase. If you look for amazingly hot and quiet receiver, purchase.

o- Final AF amplifier a bit noisy. Can be easily replaced with TDA2003, though.
o- CW side tone slow - can be modified as well.
o- Side tone controled together with AF gain - not much convenient.
o- Slight audible "click" each 1kHz when you tune (can be minimized by a trimmer on MAIN board).
o- Classical quiet and hot analog receiver. Amazing quiet paradise for people used to DSP only.
o- ACC connector. For example, supply 8V to a pin to switch completely off the PA to use it with a transverter.
o- Extra input/output for RX (behind the antenna relay). Usable for preselector, preamplifier, another antenna, etc.
o- Understandable and modifiable design.

My IC-740 will have finally 8 xtal filters (standard 2 on 39MHz, FL-30/FL-45 on 9MHz, FL-44A/FL-222, FL52A/FL53A on 455kHz).

I belive it does make sense to get/keep one. RX/TCVR without DSP is unmarketable these days. Nobody will return to this simple (but excelently working) analog design.
KA4DPO Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2013 09:10 Send this review to a friend
Much better than you think  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought my IC-740 from Juns in 1985, one of the last in stock. Mine has the filters in it, I got rid of the ceramic filter, and the internal supply. I also got the FM mod for it since this rig did not come with FM installed. There was a roumor that the IC-740 was a flawed design but that is simply not true, At the time the radio was brought out all of the other manufacturers had general coverage receive, attenuators, and several other features that the IC-740 lacked so it was only produced for three years.

Since 1985 my IC-740 has operated flawlessly and the reciever is actually one of the best of that era but it required the filter upgrades to make it great. The fact that it did not have general coverage was a plus since being a down conversion receiver there were no spurs or birdies in the passband on any of the Ham bands. The noise blanker is one of the best ever produced and the IF notch really works under crowded band conditions on CW or SSB. The passband tuning is superb and once you learn how to use the notch and passband tuning there is almost no QRM that can not be dealt with, and remember this is an analog rig.

It was and still is, an excellent CW rig even by todays standards and while it would be difficult for an inexperienced operator to operate in a contest, I have done so many times over the years with good results. The IC-740 has withstood the test of time and is still one of the best deals out there on the used equipment market as long as you can do without general coverage receive. But if you are looking for a very good performing amateur transceiver don't pass this one up. They are a bit rare because of the short production run but they do show up on the used market. Even though I am several generations ahead with my latest rig being an IC-7600, I still have the IC-740 in my collection and plan to keep it because it is still a very competent radio.
KB9MRK Rating: 5/5 Feb 9, 2011 05:54 Send this review to a friend
Great Classic Amateur Band only Rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
What else can be said about this rig!!?? It is built like a tank, simple to operate, and has a great receive with a very quite noise floor. I bought my rig with every filter slot filled, so I cant say anything bad about the filtering, its quite good, as good as my Icom 751A. It does not offer AM, but it does has FM which I think is a bit strange, probably my only complaint. However The very good receiver and good audio reports make up for this. I rate this a great rig for someone looking for a dedicated Ham band only rig. That it does very well, however if you want the extra advantage of general coverage this rig does not offer it, it is strictly made for amateur bands only. This could be one of the reasons this radio performs so well. All and all a very good radio with awesome receive. The price on these rigs today is very reasonable, making it a good first time HF rig, or a very good addition to anyone's shack.
WL7BDO Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2010 16:52 Send this review to a friend
Work horse keep delivering  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my ICOM-740 from the time it was on the market in the early 1980's. Used it living in J8 land for 6 years (salt spray rusted one top off), Israel and now back home in Alaska for 7 years. My unit has the FM unit. 7 years ago on returning to the US I purchased a new radio thinking my ICOM was on it's last leg. Have been abused by salt breeze, my using in a car trip bouncing around my vehile for 10,000 miles, tropical conditions, desert... Really show some wear. Well just before a contest last month my new radio lost 50% of it's power. So fired up this old rig and let it run for a day or so. I am falling back in love with this old radio. Has a better receiver, buttons on the front of the radio for all the controls you need. Always get great reports on the great transmit signal on SSB.
DJ5PJ Rating: 4/5 Feb 11, 2009 08:41 Send this review to a friend
fine old TRX  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got it 30 years ago - and I am very happy with it - troublefree - ok ! DJ 5 PJ
N8YQM Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2008 09:37 Send this review to a friend
Excellent radio, especially for beginners  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this one used while I was still new to amateur radio. Good receiver, easy to use, and has some nice features when you consider the age. The internal power supply is a big plus. My only gripes as others have mentioned is that there's some hum from the AC cooling fan that couples into the audio, and the speech compressor switch got flaky. The hum was fixed by replacing the AC fan with a 12 volt brushless fan, and when running the 12 volt fan off the 8 volt supply inside it's plenty quiet. The compressor switch started showing up when the output power dropped off and the ALC meter was still way low. Took me a while to track it back to that, but I repaired the switch. If you have the CW and SSB filters, the FM unit, and the electronic keyer, it makes the radio even better. Wish I had picked up the keyer while Icom still sold it.
NG9D Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2008 09:54 Send this review to a friend
great "investment"  Time owned: more than 12 months
This rig is worth about $4200.

Why did I assign that value? Well that is what I would have today, approximately, if I had not spent the money on the radio. When I bought it 25 years ago, I spent about $1000 on it and an ATU. But if I would have invested that at a (conservative) interest rate of 6% compounded annually, I would now have $4200 or so.

But I would have no IC 740! And I still think it was a good use of the money.

I would rather have had 25 years worth of flawless use from this rig (with the promise of more to follow) rather than $4200 in the bank.

Whenever I buy ham gear, I consider the consequences of spending the money. $1000 was a lot of money 25 years ago. And in my opinion, purchasing the IC740 was a great investment.


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