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Old 21-03-2019, 01:37   #1
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Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

I admit I am completely new to ham or SSB radio. I have a ham ticket, got a great mark, but have next to no experience with using a radio.

My wife acquired a M710 for almost free through friends. My question is can I use an M710 for ham bands? Would I have to get it opened up or modified in some way? I have no idea if the radio has been modified already.

Also, the radio came with an Icom AT-130 tuner. If I added a ham radio to the mix, could it work with the Icom tuner or would I have to get another tuner?

Thanks
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Old 21-03-2019, 13:09   #2
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

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Originally Posted by jimbim View Post
I admit I am completely new to ham or SSB radio. I have a ham ticket, got a great mark, but have next to no experience with using a radio.



My wife acquired a M710 for almost free through friends. My question is can I use an M710 for ham bands? Would I have to get it opened up or modified in some way? I have no idea if the radio has been modified already.



Also, the radio came with an Icom AT-130 tuner. If I added a ham radio to the mix, could it work with the Icom tuner or would I have to get another tuner?



Thanks


There was a pre July 2002 version that was not Ham band transmit capable. Versions built since are. I don’t know what steps one could take to make the non-Ham version function in Ham bands.

The AT-140 tuner worked fine with my Icom IC-7000 ham transceiver. Maybe with other ICOM units as well. As for the AT-130, seems likely but no first hand experience.

Chip
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Old 21-03-2019, 13:15   #3
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

To make the AT140 work with both my IC-7000 and an M802, I put an antenna switch for the coax, and put a 4 pole double throw switch in a small project box to switch the 4 conductor control cable between the two rigs. If your only ham interest is SSB then you IC-710 May be all you need.
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Old 22-03-2019, 00:40   #4
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

Thanks for that. I have no idea how old the M710 is. It came to us via a circuitous route. I do know it glows and the dials work if I put 12v on the power cord.

I wasn't thinking of buying an SSB, was looking for a used Icom IC-718 or something similar. Still am. The M710 just happened to us. Perhaps we will find someone who knows if it can be opened for other frequencies.
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Old 22-03-2019, 04:16   #5
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

Borrow or buy a dummy load and see if it transmits on a ham frequency. Easy.
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Old 22-03-2019, 04:31   #6
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

I have a IC-m710 on my boat and use it near daily on both ham and marine frequencies. If your radio is not now opened for non-marine frequencies, it can be with software and advice that is available at the Yahoo Icom ICM710 users group.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ICM710/info

Spend some time with the conversations and files areas.

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Old 22-03-2019, 04:48   #7
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbim View Post
My wife acquired a M710 for almost free through friends. My question is can I use an M710 for ham bands? Would I have to get it opened up or modified in some way? I have no idea if the radio has been modified already.
iCom America used to modify iCom M710 and M710RT sets on request if and only if the owner could present a General or better Ham license. The modifications include giving access to the 10 metre band.

Dealers can also program the frequencies you're likely to use for fast access. Dealers used to sell software that allowed owners to reprogram channels for fast access. The software may still be around (used to be sold on floppy discs, if memory serves me right).

Even unmodified, an M710 should be able to receive Ham bands.
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Old 22-03-2019, 06:33   #8
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

The Icon M-710 is a workhorse radio and the AT-130 ATU is the tuner that was usually paired with it. Either the AT-130 or the AT-140 will work with the M-710.

I had an M-710 and AT-130 config on my boat and it worked on Ham bands; and also had it config'd for CW. As mentioned, you can check to see if it is "open" or not by getting a dummy load and seeing if you can Xmit on a ham freq.

I recently removed my M-710 and AT-130 in favor of an Elecraft K2/100. Slightly less output pwr, but much easier to use IMHO, and weighs a lot less.

The M-710 or M-802 are fine radios for marine SSB channels, and pre-programming the cruiser nets. They get a little more cumbersome if you are more active in ham radio.

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Old 22-03-2019, 07:23   #9
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

Discovery 15797 - I found the M802 a PITA for typical Ham activity, though it could certainly do a great job once past the ergonomics. For CW, though I could do it, it was not so much fun.

The K2 is a great little radio, particularly for CW. It is my primary radio on land, and makes using the IC-7000 "less fun" in comparison. Which was still easier than the M-802. I'm sure the M-710 is similar in that respect.

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Old 22-03-2019, 15:14   #10
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
I have a IC-m710 on my boat and use it near daily on both ham and marine frequencies. If your radio is not now opened for non-marine frequencies, it can be with software and advice that is available at the Yahoo Icom ICM710 users group.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ICM710/info
Hi Bill,

Someone told me about that group after we got the radio. Couldn't figure out what anyone was talking about so decided it wasn't for me. Clearly I should try again
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Old 22-03-2019, 15:46   #11
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

There are threads here on the 710 as well.

Programming:

Icom M710 Channel Programming
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Old 22-03-2019, 16:17   #12
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

There are many threads over at the M710 Yahoo Group, as mentioned above. The software is available to do the change but that is the least of your problems. Computers that were used years ago, running DOS, are far and few between. So a sudo-DOS package is available, called FreeDOS. But that still doesn't solve the problem. Modern computers do not have the 9-pin serial port. They have USB. So the control lines needed by the radio for programming must be invented.

But not to worry. The solution are on the Yahoo Group. I recommend you join and read all the posts. Go to the files section and get the software and the configuration files. It is not difficult to do. The process has been spelled out. The real issue is getting the computer to talk to the M710 and getting the M710 to accept the new configuration files.

Good luck!
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Old 22-03-2019, 16:53   #13
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

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Originally Posted by Brian.D View Post
There are many threads over at the M710 Yahoo Group, as mentioned above. The software is available to do the change but that is the least of your problems. Computers that were used years ago, running DOS, are far and few between. So a sudo-DOS package is available, called FreeDOS. But that still doesn't solve the problem. Modern computers do not have the 9-pin serial port. They have USB. So the control lines needed by the radio for programming must be invented.

But not to worry. The solution are on the Yahoo Group. I recommend you join and read all the posts. Go to the files section and get the software and the configuration files. It is not difficult to do. The process has been spelled out. The real issue is getting the computer to talk to the M710 and getting the M710 to accept the new configuration files.

Good luck!

Thanks Brian, and Bill before you.

Did go back, and found some great reading, interesting software and offers of help.
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Old 22-03-2019, 16:54   #14
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Re: Icom M710 SSB as a ham radio

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
There are threads here on the 710 as well.

Programming:

Icom M710 Channel Programming
Thanks, missed this one.
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