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Reviews For: ICOM IC-706 - All flavors

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-706 - All flavors
Reviews: 420MSRP: IC-706MKIIG
Ultra Compact HF/6 Meter/2 Meter/440MHz Transceiver
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KF4KQS Rating: 2019-11-04
MkiiG Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Used one for a time while I was an OTR truck driver. Antenna system for HF was a short Hustler mast system with a set of resonators, VHF/UHF was an MFJ 3/8 mount dual band whip. Had a lot of great DX and local contacts with that radio. It stood up very well to the bumpy ride up in the cab of that truck and never once failed. It’s a shame Icom had to stop producing these radios.
SQ2TAC Rating: 2019-11-03
Good equipment for home and outdor Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Hi there! I've had ic706mk1 before, and now I use ic706mk2G. Both of them are very good TRX for partly home/mobile usage. However power consumption is quite big - 2A on RX comparing to FT857 which is 0,7A. In RX and TX quality both ic706 and ft857 they are pretty much the same. In my opinion Icom's buid quality is a bit better and I like menus much more than in FT857. IC706MK2G is not the best radio ever, but i like it. I would buy it again:-)
N0YXE Rating: 2019-05-30
ANOTHER ONE! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had sold my first hf radio, the IC 706, several years ago. Now that band conditions are terrible, I thought I would set up a two meter SSB station. So, I purchased a used one from Ham Radio Outlet (where the original was bought years ago). The radio works well, but the band is dead. I'll keep trying. I believe these radios are miniature gems, and I am sorry that I ever sold my original radio! If you have a IC 706, KEEP IT. It's a perfect back-up and/or mobile. I believe that someday these radios will become "museum classics" and should be kept forever and passed down to the next generation! Honestly, they are great radios for what they can do!

Earlier 5-star review posted by N0YXE on 2012-10-03

I'm so glad I re-purchased another 706 a couple years ago. I should not have sold the first one. It does a very nice job overall and I use it primarily as a backup HF unit and for two meter FM and SSB. I keep thinking that someday I'll go mobile in a van or yacht, but it probably won't happen. I bought a HEAR IT external DSP speaker for it on a lark, and it works great. Together with the Icom DSP on, they produce a cleaner audio. Whatever you do, don't ever sell it. It's a classic and besides, it works well with about every feature you could ask for in a small rig. It's powerful because of it's many features.
Earlier 5-star review posted by N0YXE on 2009-06-20

This is my second 706. I should never have traded in the first one! The present rig is next to my Pro III and is used as a dedicated Ten Meter FM base and as a Two Meter SSB unit. It works great! This rig is a fantastic classic that does it all very well. It can function as a base or portable unit and will fit in and do just about anything you want to do. It belongs in a museum along with other masterpieces of design. The radio is a bargain considering how versatile and small it is. If it is a first rig, KEEP IT, and never get rid of it, even it you move up. You WILL find a place for it not only in your heart, but for your car, boat, trailer, airplane, motorcycle, wife, child, field day, DX expedition, doomsday survival kit, attic room, ect. Call John Thompson at Ham Radio Outlet in Denver and he'll take of you.
W8NIC Rating: 2018-02-06
Great rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
10 years and 2 months of normal use and still performing like new. Added a cw filter since new and just a pleasure to operate. I also have an ic-7700 and an ic-7300 but I always play with this wonderful radio from time to time.
To bad no longer in production.

Earlier 5-star review posted by W8NIC on 2012-03-16

i've had maybe 3-4 of these rigs and wish i kept them all, when i get bored, i sell what i have and try out another rig. still have one though.
i still give it a 5 even if the dsp isn't the greatest, my ft-857's dsp2 works better. however, with the fl-232 installed, cw is a real pleasure on this radio. with any kind of noise im able to bring in weak signals.
it's a real keeper.
Earlier 5-star review posted by W8NIC on 2008-08-12

I love my mk2g so much i bought another one. first rig for mobile and the other for portable use (camping, picnics, etc.....). hm-103 works really well, radio performs very well on all the bands and in any mode. maybe that is why it's is still in production.

so what are you waiting for? go get yourself one and enjoy.

W9MT Rating: 2018-02-02
Balanced performance for base or mobile use. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own two examples of this radio. My first was an IC-706Mk2G that I bought new at Dayton in the year 2000. The 2nd is an IC-706Mk2 that was purchased as a tech-special basket case at the "late" Williams Arizona hamfest back in 2014 or 2015 (the last year this fest was held).

The Mk2G has never caused me a hint of trouble. I fitted it with the 1.9KHz (FL223) narrow SSB filter and the 350Hz (FL232) CW/RTTY filter. I believe these two filter provide the best balance of performance on receive for the modes for which they are intended. I do own an FL100 500Hz filter that I bought on eBay for about $50, just to see how it compares with the 350Hz unit. I don't like it as much. It tends to really ring on receive. I'm told the 250Hz does not do that, but I have no personal experience with it.

It is true that VHF/UHF multimode operation is a bit of a compromise with this Mk2G radio. No, it won't work as well as a radio intended for 10m to "blue light" operation (e.g.: FT-847). But 706 series radios do work, and well enough to wet your feet to see if you want to acquire radios more optimized for VHF/UHF weak signal work. Others have complained about the CTCSS encode performance. ALL VERSIONS of the 706 series have a design problem with subaudible "PL" tone encode level. It's set with a resistor feedback gain pair across the op amp that injects this tone onto the audio path...and it's set TOO LOW. (There is NO PL-level adjusting pot.) Typical deviation levels will be found to be 200-400Hz with the fixed amplification settings across that op amp. (It's a differently part numbered one on each version of the 706 radio series, but the circuit configuration is the same.) If you solder another chip resistor across the input resistor to make the gain higher (I used 1 MOhm.) You'll get something in the sweet spot between 700Hz and 1KHz of subaudible tone transmitted. That's enough to open and keep open the tone squelch of your target repeater. I used a leaded 1/10th Watt resistor on one of these upgrades. It looked like a giant log with fire hoses coming out of both ends. Use a dab of RTV holding the resistor body to the top of a nearby surface mount IC and you won't mechanically stress any solder connections.

The Mk2G also had a bit of RF interference with my external LDG tuners. This can be tamed with using a shielded cable between the two Molex connectors on the tuner and radio.

When mobile, the Mk2G also seemed to have a feedback loop getting RF into the microphone speech amp's, but only on 40m sideband. Winding about 8 turns of the mike's coil cord around one of those brute force square ferrites fixed this problem. (It was amusing that the mike for the basket case Mk2 already had its mike cord wound 8 times around a large circular toroid coil form. I already knew why....)

So, my Mk2G was a great unit to buy and I still use it as a backup radio at my IL QTH. It easily drives a Gonset GSB-101 (4x 811A) amplifier to 700-800W dead carrier.

The Mk2 was bought with the radio not powering up nor the 2m band receive not working at all. It was a puzzle I wanted to solve and it took me several months worth of evenings to sort things out.

The power up problem was due to Icom using foam backed tape between the PLL board and the chassis to prevent shorting of componentry to ground. After about 10 years worth of heat and humidity, the adhesive eats thru the solder resist of the PLL board and then proceeds to open the copper runner that carries the "goosing signal" from the front panel power switch to the Main Board (where the processor lives). Icom Service in Belleview WA was useless in providing guidance on how to fix this. I jumpered a length of Kynar wirewrap wire from the connector where the signal comes into the PLL board and found a topside thru-hole on the Main Board on the same circuit node as the processor's goosing pin.

Viola!!! The radio now powered up and was working great on 160 thru 6 meters. 2m was still a problem.

Here's where things get really interesting. 2m transmit and receive were 15 KHz apart. There is a pot that zeroed them back on top of each other. Receive was still very, very deaf. I suspected the preamp (very necessary on 6m and 440 on the Mk2). Icom Service was very useless again and further informed me that replacement parts were NLA from them. So, I was on my own.

Figuring that the problem was one or more of four part types in the preamp, I did an internet search and found that these generic parts were available from a Hong Kong company on Amazon !!! So, I bought five of each when I only needed one. (A wise move if you've never worked with SMT that small.)

I learned very quickly that this kind of work needed 1)a lot of time, 2) a steady hand, 3) "ant burner" magnifying visor, and 4) lots and lots of illumination. I replaced the parts and the radio's receiver sprang to life.

Then I made a mistake. Probing around to assure everything was as it should be with a VOM probe, I accidentally shorted a probing point to a shield and saw a spark and let some smoke out of a component somewhere. Deafness returned.

I tried replacing all of the 4 part types again, to no avail. I finally realized two things. I blew an RF switching diode with my probing. (Radio power was turned OFF at the time, but the 706 series still has Vcc applied to the output board when powered down. So to TOTALLY kill power, for real, you have to remove your DC power supply's connection to the radio. Replacing the 4 part types was not necessary EITHER TIME. I really didn't need them at all, it turned out. There was simply BAD FACTORY SOLDERING in the 2m pre-amp circuit.

So, by replacing the switching diode, everything was working again. Receive on 2m is back to original spec's...not as good as for a single band FM 2m xcvr, but "good enough" and multimode, too.

BTW, the same CTCSS level mod needed to be done to this radio, too. There's another 1MOhm resistor in the op amp circuit in this one too.

My Mk2 is fitted with the same 1.9KHz and 350Hz IF filters as my Mk2G. I love both radios. Both are keepers.

The only thing I don't like about them is the DSP board both of them have. The ANF function works great on carriers, but the DSP noise reduction stinks. By the time one turns the attack level high enough to do decent noise reduction, the audio pumping and weird DSP artifacts make the voice sound very unnatural.

So I run both of my radios with an external audio DSP device. A standard ClearSpeech Speaker works great. So do the BHI DSP boxes. These make the 706 series radios a joy to operate without the annoying hiss and white noise that makes many weak signals uncopyable.

I applaud Icom for the cleverness of integration in the designs of their 706 series radios. Sure, they made some faux paus, but these are easily fix-able, given some time and patience.
WA1MAD Rating: 2017-10-28
Perfect mobile rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After looking and looking for a small, yet featured rig, I found a guy in Maine selling his 706mk2g. Since I was visiting near him and we were going to the same town on the same day, it was meant to be (mine) He had upgraded to the 7300 and his 706 was in fantastic condition...with the separation kit. Easy to operate mobile, good audio reports and just a nice rig to work with. I matched it to my LDG auto tuner, my Hustler verticals and off I go. Mobile contacts to Europe in my Jeep while on the highway, is fun. I just ordered the FL223, 1.9 filter to tighten up SSB. If you see one, get it. Prices on this gem may be going up as supply dwindles. I'd use it as a base rig, but it is really best suited for mobile IMHO
N9MXY Rating: 2016-12-18
Million mile radio? Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own a MKII bought new in 98 with the DSP module. Put 270,000 miles on my S10 then moved to to a blazer put 160,000 miles on it then moved it to a Buick Century put 170,000 miles on it then pot it in a Subaru outback and put 80,000 miles on it. Currently it's sitting on my dryer at my 2nd home as a backup base. Other than installing a 1.9khz roofing filter the case has not been cracked! I did some side by sides a couple years ago when I got my IC7000. The S/N on the recieve was not as good and the selectivity fell a little short but I doubt that the 7000 would stand up as well to about 700,000 miles mobile!
ZL1BAK Rating: 2016-10-21
Great compact hf rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have the original 706 and i use it as my main rig. It puts out 100 watts on hf and 10 watts on 2m, i use a computer headset with it and always get good reports.
The menu system is very easy to use compared to some other compact rigs i have tried. The receiver is very good and i rarely need to use the preamp. The only thing missing that would be nice to have is a notch filter. All in all a great compact radio.
VE8AP Rating: 2016-05-17
706MKIIG great radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own two ICOM 706MKIIG's I love them been dependable no issue's what so ever in the 5 years of owning them. I find them easy to use menu's are great easy to make adjustment when needed with out revisiting the owners manual.I am going to try on on the boat this summer Marine Mobile should be fun 73's all take care
NA5XX Rating: 2015-12-19
Using it mobile 706 original Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I bought this radio to install as a mobile rig and it is great. It does all I want when teamed with an LDG auto tuner and 102 inch whip antenna. I got it with the separation kit with is a plus when mobile. If you find one at a good price go for it.