John, W3ULS' IC-746Pro User Review


W3ULS Rating: 2/5 Jan 16, 2004 15:38 Send this review to a friend
Avoid Six-Digit Serial Nos. Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I own an ICOM 746PRO serial # 012131, bought new from Texas Towers in May 2003. I have had zero problems with it.

Nevertheless, a number of IC-746PRO owners have experienced transmit failure, which has been traced by perceptive owners to a diode that tends to overheat. The IC-756PRO II uses the same diode but has circuitry that reduces voltage to the diode when not in use, and thus doesn't overheat. By contrast, the IC-746PRO's diode apparently is "on" continuously.

After much backing and filling, ICOM recently began repairing this circuit anomaly for radios under warranty upon the owners' request. And some sellers, like Burghardt, have been making the fix for new ones as they are sold.

Now comes along, from ICOM, unannounced, a new series of IC-746PROs bearing seven-digit serial numbers, as reported below by KB8GFF and others. These radios, which really should be designated IC-746PRO IIs, have had the fix done at the factory during production. It is too soon to know whether these radios will avoid the failure rate hassles of the six-digit-serial-number ICOMs. But it is safe to say that anyone considering the purchase of one of these radios--which, by the way, are excellent in all key aspects--should consider only the later seven-digit model.

Hopefully, the ICOM factory fix will place this radio back where it belongs as one of the best deals going.

John, W3ULS