The ICOM IC-735 is a beautiful example of 1980's craftsmanship. This transceiver packs a 100 W of power into a compact housing and gives HF coverage from 160 up to 10 meters in CW, SSB, AM and FM. Receiver coverage spans 100 kHz to 30 MHz. 12 digital memories, dual VFOs, RIT, Speech compressor, full QSK and a Noise Blanker add to the user-friendliness of this model. Antenna is connection through an SO-239 jack on the back. Operates on 13.8 V DC and requires an external PSU (20 A max).
Bought my IC-735 used and I have owned it since 2007. This radio is a little different in design in that it has a small smoke colored plastic "door" on it's face that covers lesser used controls such as mic and rf gain. It has AM /FM /CW /SSB operation modes and FM operation is one that a lot of the newer rigs don't have today. Unfortunately, there is no inboard DSP, but coupled with a W9GR DSP III it has been a superb CW rig. Overall this is one of Icom's workhorse HF radios. It is built solid and has exceptional receive audio for a non-DSP radio, transmit audio is very loud and steady, and the VOX control allows use with most headset or boom mikes. The radio works well on the new digital modes with the 8 pin din ACC jack. Conversion to 60m transmit is easy but does require removal of the PA unit. Overall I love this rig, but it does have some drawbacks. First on the back of the radio Icom uses a RCA jumper cable to achieve audio input from the main board. Over time the RCA jacks can come loose from the circuit board if the jumper is bent or frequently removed. Second, Icom used PLASTIC carrier reference and VCO trimmer caps. THESE WILL FAIL! They are easily replaced by CERAMIC trimmer caps if you are technically skilled at soldering, otherwise it requires sending the radio off to Icom for repair. Third, the power switch is prone to failure. It is a special switch made by Icom and is expensive to replace. Last, as with all radios built in the late 1980's to mid 1990's Icom no longer carries parts for these radios, so a parts rig would be helpful if something goes bad. I have had to replace the trimmer caps, repair the RCA jacks and power switch, do a complete realignment of the radio, and replace the face plate. So after all the repair work, my rig is like new and should last me a life time. These are good rigs for the money and usually go for about $400 on the used market.
From the right age. No fancy useless gimmicks.Straightforward , well built, easy to use Transceiver.Excellent transmitted Audio reports.A real pleasure to use.
Had this rig for about 2 years as of Jul 2013. Good quality transmit and receive. Has some useful features but not many bells and whistles like rigs of today. I prefer the simpler rigs and this rig fits that bill. My primary rig is a Yaesu FT-840. Although very similar to the IC-735 in features, the FT-840 has a slightly better receive quality. The memory battery in the IC-735 is challenging to change.
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