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Reviews For: AB5N - Icom HM-151 - IC-7000 mic. modification

Category: Microphones for ham radio

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Review Summary For : AB5N - Icom HM-151 - IC-7000 mic. modification
Reviews: 161MSRP: 39.50
Modification to the Icom HM-151 hand microphone that comes with the Icom IC-7000. This mod fixes the poor FM audio that this microphone and radio combination has from the factory. The modification replaces the mic element and a capacitor, adds a shaped acoustic foam shell, widens the mic opening, adds a wind screen (pop filter) and a 1oz weight to the microphone shell.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N2HUC Rating: 2011-11-23
Great Audio at a Great Price! Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I purchased an Icom IC-7000 last summer and read all the reviews on the radio and the stock microphone audio issues prior to my purchase. Those poor audio and drive reports were all true. The radio is absolutely fantastic with all those useful features and bands, so much so that I’m having trouble finding a matching base rig to beat it, but the audio and drive on the stock mic was really poor to the point that no one really wanted to QSO with me. No radio settings or advised adjustments helped much at all, if any. I stopped operating until I could get a chance to do the AB5N microphone modification. The wait was killing me!

AB5N gave many good examples of audio improvement on his site and on YouTube, so I felt confident it was well worth the price and decided to give it a try. He was on vacation for that month when I was ready to order, and I wanted to operate very badly. I contacted him and he was willing to sell me a kit due to my experience with SMD component level repair. He provided overkill video instructions on an included CD, but I welcomed that over nothing. No questions should be left after those thorough instructions. The mod was easy to do and the kit was complete with ballast for weighting the mic, if you so desire. I used a few of the supplied BB’s and shot the rest (hi hi).

(Now for the moment of truth.) "You are mobile?" "You sound like a home station.(many bands)" "That is the best mobile I have ever heard! (75m)" "Are you running extra power?" "100 watts, really? (75m/40m)" "What microphone are you using?" "Sounds as good as all the studio mics and external EQ’s and compressors around here (40m ragchew net)." "I wish my mobile did that well (10m DX into Ireland)". "Where can I get that mod? (too many to list)" These unsolicited reports are very common from my contacts on all bands from 75m to 10m. People go out of their way to ask me what I am using and where they can get it. I went from zero to hero overnight (hi hi). I can now hang on 40m and 75m with just my 100 watt mobile and High Sierra HS-1500 antenna! DX is also very easy. If I hear it, I can work it. Ragchews for hours on 10m down to 17m. HK3C (formally HK3OZ) immediately picked up on the sound of the mic mod and knew I did the mod. His comment was, "Everyone with a 7000 should do this mod. It sounds great." Signal reports also went way up, as every watt of the 100 watts is being used throughout the passband. No audio spectrum dead frequency areas...just full and robust audio. My previous S6 reports became the very common S9 reports I now get. I heard a couple of recordings someone made on their station and I could not believe that was my station I was hearing played back. Strapping "broadcast quality" audio on my wide setting and clean balanced punch on my compressor setting.

About settings...I set my three TX BW filters for full, punch and contest or pileup buster operation. I adjusted the mic gain to what many people reported as "right there". A few times I lowered it slightly without announcement and that drop was noticed, so it went back to the sweet spot. Compression is really not needed, but a touch gets you "to 11 for that extra push over the cliff" when you need it (on average, 1 S unit higher). It picks up a bit of road noise, so I don’t use it while moving much. It is a pileup buster with my voice keyer callsign memory recorded at 16" away from the mic on the MID setting transmitted with the processor on. The voice keyer recorder has forced compression while recording and also uses the TBW setting you select, so saying "check" a couple of times prior to recording, and recording at some distance produces clearer keyer recordings. If you record set on MID TBW, then you get MID audio on playback. Here are my stored settings that have proven successful:

WIDE 100-2900 gain = 80 comp off
MID 200-2900 gain = 80 comp 1 12" away
NAR 300-2900 gain = 80 comp 1 12" away

NOTES: The NAR setting doesn’t work better than the MID setting because too much voice fundamental is cut off on the low end. I rarely use it. Most stations report the WIDE setting sounds best, and I talk across the front of the mic about 2" away, and not directly into the mic. The power out meter really nails a full 100 watts with this setup, without distortion or unnecessary breath noise. ALC is well in the zone. Many also report the MID setting sounds good too, but prefer the WIDE setting for full robust audio. Using the MID setting with compression set to the lowest level above zero (1), and talking 12" away from the mic produces less "broadcast" quality low frequency, but adds great punch. It still has plenty of fullness. NAR is too thin. One other thing I discovered about the radio is that it saves the last used TBW filter selection for COMP on and COMP off, so I selected MID for COMP on and WIDE for COMP off. The F2 button on the mic has been programmed to toggle between comp on/off. (F1 for TONE selections) I’m done with microphone setup, and operating with a strong clear signal. Nothing left to adjust. Just perfect!

A big thanks to Bob Nagy (AB5N), who did a great job engineering perfect microphone audio for the 7000. No need for us to try hundreds of combos to see what works. I would buy a mic mod for every one of my radios if Bob engineered them (come on can do it!). And the price is very fair with top-notch support and service. You will like it. :)
VE3BDE Rating: 2011-10-31
Outstandig A++++ Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Super Fast results,outstanding service I highly recommend Bob's modification for the HM-151
Now all my reports are 59+20db super clean audio everybody ask me what kind the radio and mic I use.
Bob you are a genius my friend.Icom should reward you!!!God Bless you and 73'Gabriel VE3BDE
K5KNM Rating: 2011-10-02
EXCELLENT MIC! EXCELLENT SERVICE! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
What a difference in audio quality and feel. The extra weight makes the mic feel like a good quality mic instead of some cheap cheesy stock mic. All the reviews on this mic mod say it all! The service Bob provides is first class. I had the mic shipped out, modified and returned in 4 days! If you have an Icom 7000 and are thinking about doing this mod, don't hesitate and do it now!
ND5T Rating: 2011-08-15
Above and Beyond Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I sent a non working mic to Bob, he repaired the Mic, preformed the upgrade, and shipped everything back to me before I could send my email about the Mic not working. he included a note on the work and cost of the repair, with an option if I wanted to pay him for the repair. I put a check in the mail the same day. This is one of the good guys who will go above and beyond
VE7HJ Rating: 2011-07-08
David Clark Headset Mod Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I modified a David Clark Headset to use with an older Icom radio. I asked Bob if he would install the microphone mod so I could use them with my new IC-7000. He said send them to me with the Heil Adapter without the Cap. What a great job he did and they were back to me in time for Field Day. The microphone really makes the IC-7000 audio sound great and drives the radio way better than the stock microphone.

Thanks Bob!!
DB1ULI Rating: 2011-05-22
Pure Ham Spirit! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bob did a wonderful job by inventing this mod, my audio is now 1A. Thanks for this and his support like answering to all my mails very fast, a superb video manual an a really good price for all components incl. shipping to germany. This is what I call a real Ham Spirit.
This modification is a must have for all IC-7000 owners! I recorded my audio before and afterwards, what a difference!
73 from Germany - Uli
WR7A Rating: 2011-05-08
Excellent results Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Bob provides a very quick turnaround for the HM-151 upgrade. Used to get 'sounds flat' while operating AM and low audio on SSB even with the mike gain almost all the way up. Only need 25% with compressor on now. Getting good audio reports now. Don't know why ICOM doesn't fix this problem! A great upgrade, thanks Bob......Ed
AE5XN Rating: 2011-05-02
Excellent mod, excellent service. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Sent my HM-151 to Bob via 1st class mail on Monday, received an email on Wednesday that he'd received, modified it, tested it, and shipped it back out by 4pm Wednesday. I received it back on Friday. Works great. Anyone who owns the IC-7000 should have this modification done ASAP. You won't regret it. It finally has good audio. Excellent service and communication from Bob all the way around. Keep up the great work.
KQ8P Rating: 2011-04-30
Better than Advertised Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Super fast turnaround,have had good reports using this mic thanks for a great product Bob
Highly recommended
N2HOT Rating: 2011-03-25
Outstandig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Fast results outstanding service excellent report I highly recommend Bob's modification for the HM-151