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Old 27-03-2014, 12:42   #1
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Icom M710

Hi there,

As some of you might have read in another one of my posts, I'm currently on the lookout to get my first SSB rig on the boat. At the moment I have the option of buying an Icom M710, a dedicated marine SSB unit, but I have some concerns I was hoping you might be able to help me with.

First of all there's the issue of the HAM bands. Is it possible to access all HAM bands with this transceiver? Or at least to open them up? I know the well known "MARS mod" won't work on this one, but it needs some sort of reprogramming, but I'm unsure wether this is DIY or has to be done by an expert.

Then I'm a bit worried about the ease of use on the HAM bands. It's said that VFO is not possible with this transceiver, making it very hard to efficiently use the HAM bands unless you've actually made an appointment with another HAM to meet on a certain frequency. Again, I've read somewhere that reprogramming can be done to make this possible, but very little extra information was given.

Thirdly I'm a tad worried about the GMDSS capabilities of this machine. Does this properly work? Do the old frequencies this machine is programmed to use still work? The manual also states a DSC module can be installed, but it doesn't state this being a hard/software module and wether it's necessary.

Does anybody have any experience with this machine in general or any of the above issues? My goal is to use the machine for emergencies, for email, for weathercharts and to talk to other sailors and hams on cruising nets.
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Old 27-03-2014, 12:59   #2
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Re: Icom M710

I recently purchased an M710 from Btrayfors and have looked into the ham band issues. It came already opened up for ham bands so cannot say how difficult the process might be but from the discussions it isn't too difficult.

As far as the lack of a VFO, Bill showed me a work around that is very reasonable. Not as convenient spinning the tuning knob on a ham but workable for me.

Have not yet installed on the boat and talked to anyone but have set it up in my office and done some listening.
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Old 27-03-2014, 13:26   #3
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Re: Icom M710

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post

Does anybody have any experience with this machine in general or any of the above issues? My goal is to use the machine for emergencies, for email, for weathercharts and to talk to other sailors and hams on cruising nets.
I have both an M710 and an IC-706 Mk2G on my boat.

The M710 came in three versions, GMDSS, Marine and General. Mine is the Marine version and has been opened up for the Ham bands.

The GMDSS version , which I have never come across, needs an optional unit attached if it is to be used for DSC.

The one I have was opened up by using a 'cloning cable' and some software so its not just a diode snip.

Its a pretty bullet proof radio, excellent for weather fax and email via Sailmail but a bit of a pain for general Ham use. OK if you want to come up on regular nets where you just dial up the frequency but not for just seeing who and what is out there. That said I guess most would just use it on asssorted nets. Thats all I did before getting the 706.

Also clunky for HF broadcast reception but OK once you have all the ABC, RNZI and BBC frequencies that you may want set up on it.

So.... if you want a radio for wefax, sailmail and cruising nets a good buy.
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Old 27-03-2014, 13:39   #4
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Re: Icom M710

You can get software "The Ham Radio Integrator program available at yahoo group N3ZH_software" which will allow you to control the radio from a computer.

Chuck
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Old 27-03-2014, 13:51   #5
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Re: Icom M710

Thanks for the replies guys!

@Skipmac
What "trick" did you pick up to overcome the VFO issues?

@ El Pinguino
Of your two transceivers, which one do you use most and are you most happy with? The 706mkIIg is the non-marine transceiver I was looking at earlier . How does the M710 preform compared to the 706?
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Old 27-03-2014, 14:24   #6
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Re: Icom M710

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Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post
@ El Pinguino
Of your two transceivers, which one do you use most and are you most happy with? The 706mkIIg is the non-marine transceiver I was looking at earlier . How does the M710 preform compared to the 706?
Performance wise I think they are much the same.... both through similar Icom tuners, the 710 into the backstay, the 706 into a whip. One is 150W, the other 100W but in the real world that doesn't seem to make any difference

I tend to use the 706 most of the time as I have the remote head mounted directly in front of me at the chart table and it is just easier to use.

The electron polis will probably jump on me here but I have used it for Sailmail with no problems.

The 710 is on a shelf above my left shoulder so simply not so convenient.

If I had to choose between the two I would stick with the 706 but I muck around a bit with digital modes n stuff....
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Old 29-03-2014, 19:32   #7
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Re: Icom M710

With the field programming software EX1726.exe you can program the ITU simplex channels 18-1 thru 18-9 with the ham bands. These channels are usually blank on the M710. Once radio is opened up and programmed with the ham bands, it's a simple matter to select the ham band you want with the group knob, and then just press the CE button and use the channel knob as your VFO to change freq in 100hz steps. When you get to the freq you want to use, press and hold RX and freq will be locked in and you can begin communication. The EX1726 software is very finicky about com ports so you may have to use an older computer to make it work. You can also take the channel control apart and modify the detent wheels so that the knob is smoother to rotate. More like the M802.

Eric
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Old 29-03-2014, 19:47   #8
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Re: Icom M710

Search threads here re EX1726 software and its use. Biggest pain is finding an old PC with a physical COM port and running native MS-DOS (not emulation under Windows).

Ive had an ICOM710RT for many years. Good rig for general marine use. Not ideal if you plan to get heavy into HAM as a hobby.

I can provide the EX1726 software if you go that route.

Also a Yahoo group just for 710s.
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Old 29-03-2014, 22:43   #9
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Re: Icom M710

If you have a PC with a serial port but it has windoze on it, you can install a bootable DOS partition on a thumb drive and install your software on that. Just go into the BIOS and set it up to boot from the USB port.

You can use Rufus to make the thumb drive a bootable DOS drive.

How to Create a Bootable DOS USB Drive
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Old 30-03-2014, 03:09   #10
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Re: Icom M710

Thanks for the input guys!
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