Icom IC-7600 Page

Description and notes

The Icom IC-7600 has been unveiled at the Tokyo Hamfair in August 2008. The DSP based HF/50 MHz 100W transceiver keeps the best of IC-756PROIII with the look and convenience of IC-7xxx series rigs.

My MIC Settings

I am using the SM-50 and also the original “Japan” HM-36 with the 3-pin mic element. Both work approximately the same good way with this settings. Only the equalizer has to be changed for SM-50, because it has much more bass.

I do use the compressor, mostly in “wide” setting. Compression level is 7. Both “comp on” and “comp off” setting is wide (for both mics).

My audio settings on the image below. Change SSB TX Tone (Bass) to +2 on HM-36. You can also change it to 0 with SM-50, but then press the “LOW CUT” switch on it.

Frequency calibration

First, let the transceiver warm up in your usual conditions. Then, go to menu and choose:

Menu -> ACC -> scroll all way down -> REF Adjust

Change to WWV to zero-beat on best receivable frequency, or get an external calibrated signal generator. Use the widest filter in SSB with headphones, then adjust the setting for slowest beat. If you can’t zero-beat with the menu, you will have to open the transceiver and coarse adjust the internal reference oscillator first.

Noise blanker

This transceiver has a very good noise blanker, but the standard setting is not blanking enough and disturbing the signal at the same time. You can easily fully wipe out over-horizont radars having signals about S9+20dB, resulting in quiet S4-S5. To get my settings, long-press NB, then set following:

  • NB Level: 80%
  • NB Depth: 3
  • NB Width: 100

With this settings, there will be no distortion, but many QRM will be filtered, and that even very good.

Noise reduction

I do use the NR functionality, together with NB. My NR pot is set to 9 o’clock. That’s enough to lower the noise, but not to change any voice.

Videos of the NB with my settings

Icom IC-R30 Page

Introduction

The Icom IC-R30 is a dc-to-daylight-and-beyond portable receiver and scanner. It is also waterproof, has Bluetooth and many memories sorted in banks. Black and white display, not very best, but it’s OK. Dual receive, dual recording and rudimentary spectrum analyser complete the range of functions.

Frequency calibration

I found out, while receiving SSB on shortwave (for what I mostly use my IC-R30), that the receiver is somehow off-frequency. All stations had to be tuned near the frequency they were on other calibrated receivers. Mine was 140Hz too low on 40m. If yours is also off-frequency, you can adjust it easily. So I searched for service manual, but found none. Anyway, I found a way to align it without service manual. The way is as follows.

  • Put an empty mono jack plug into the SP connector.
  • While holding down MENU, QUICK and SQL, turn the power on.
  • Adjusting values with DIAL, then ENTER confirms.
  • You should be in the service menu.

REF1 and REF2 are the only items to change. Don’t change anything without special equipment. First, WRITE DOWN the values for REF1 and REF2, mine were:

REF1: 71(old) 86(new)
REF2: 8B(old) 8B(new,unchanged)
(yours will vary!)

Find a strong (broadcast) station on shortwave, tune on VFO A, frequency as high as possible. Switch to USB. Notice the frequency offset.

Go into the service menu, adjust a small step of REF1 (for VFO A). Then switch off, switch on, tune again to the frequency and check. Repeat until you are exactly on frequency. I used my IC-7600 for this purpose, connected to a dummy load. After that, you should have your IC-R30 exactly on frequency.

It is only possible to adjust VFO A / REF1 without any measure instruments. VFO B / REF2 should be adjusted, if you have a strong signal source above 30MHz. The procedure is the same. Again, write down the values BEFORE you begin.

Video of my IC-R30 before the adjustment

Icom IC-718 Page

Description and notes

The Icom IC-718 is a nice, relatively small and compact transceiver. It may have some sick things, like bad AGC in SSB, big steps in volume control at low levels or very noisy receiver. But overall, it is a very nice transceiver for it’s price.

Prerequisites for adjustments

Check, that the voltage is 13.8V even when transmitting. Measure at the external DC input at transceivers back. Open the transceiver carefully, and put it on the side, so you can access both sides, top and bottom.

Power adjustment (all)

On the main board, locate the R1707. It is responsible for the output power. You can, but should not, go up to 200W out on SSB/RTTY/CW. But you should keep things cool and the DC voltage stable. At some point there may be a saturation point, you can raise up the DC voltage up to 14.4V to get more power or to overcome the saturation.

Power adjustment (AM)

Also on the main board, locate the R1730. Set it for no more than 50W AM carrier. More will not only work badly, but also produce much more splatter.

First IF-Mixer balance

Turn the transceiver to the frequency of 100kHz. Connect RF voltmeter to pin 12 of ACC connector for TNC and adjust the resistor R1104 until the minimum level on the voltmeter scale. This resistor is located inside a soldered box on the main board.

IF-Gain (more dynamic)

On the main board, there is R1614 which controls the overall IF amplification. Locate an very weak station on 80m. Switch the preamp and ATT off. Then adjust the R1614 for the best signal to noise ratio.

Speech compressor adjustment

To adjust the speech compression level adjust the R2220 on the main board. This adjustment is not described in the service manual, so have something to check the compression levels and also maybe an spectrum analyser to check for unwanted splatter.

Final S-Meter adjustment

After all adjustments, there is need for realignment in the service menu, at least the S-Meter. You should have a standard signal generator for this, or any other signal source able to put out signals in 20m band with the levels of S0, S9 and S9+60.