I used an Icom 746 at FD last year. I didn't appreciate a couple of its
features. With other stations close by (tens of feet) there was often a
low frequency rumble in the headphones as if a train was approaching.
More than once I lifted them off my ears to see how close that train
was. I knew we were more than a mile from the nearest tracks but it was
like being at home 200 yards from a track.
The other thing that annoyed me was that while going up and down the
lower 75 KHz of 40 meters doing hunt and pounce on CW, every time I
moved about 40 KHz it stopped receiving and tuned the antenna tuner,
just when I was ready to pounce on a signal.
Then there's the annoyances I've had with IC-211 that is unsalable
because Icom did a really bad job on the synthesizer PC board and they
rarely work. To say nothing of the fact that synthesizer is used as the
world standard for having the worst phase noise in a VHF radio. Still
when it works it sounds better on receive than anything newer. Besides
which I paid more for it used and broken that Icom charged for the newer
IC-251 the next year and Icom STILL can't fix the IC-211.
Then there was a later Icom HF rig that had no effective AGC. Using one
at another single transmitter FD, to copy the signals one layer down
from the strongest signals I had to turn up the gain and let the strong
signals blast away at the barn doors (and my years). Now I understand
why Icom advertisements of the era showed the receiving operator being
blown back from the radio when the other end of the conversation turned
on the PA. The IC receiver didn't have AGC good enough to hide the added
power. Unlike other radios of the era like the Kenwood TS-440.
So I have a few things that bias me against Icom. They may have learned
to make better radios, but that IC-746 didn't make me think so.
According to QST articles about the rumbles in similar radios, Icom
claimed there was no problem.
73, Jerry, K0CQ
Entire content copyright Dr. Gerald N. Johnson, electrical engineer.
Reproduction by permission only.