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Old 11-06-2012, 22:06   #1
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Recommendation For Icom 706 Auto Tuner To Be Mounted In Damp Location?

I've got an advanced ticket, but have been off the air nearly ten years.

Due to lack of space, to put a HAM rig in my boat is going to take a rig with a removable face such as the IC 706 or 7000.
I can mount the radio using the faceplate extension cable without any problem, but it looks like the auto tuner will have to live in an ama, driving an insulated cap shroud and grounded with a rather easily installed plane below the compartments via access hatches.
It's an unvented location without any leaks, but an inflatable kayak, sail storage and fenders also have to live in the compartments.

The AT 180 is often listed as a companion to these radios and looks to be for mobile use, or at least a dry location, as it's got vents on the back with a fan option which, in my case may be the cause of its early demise.

If that is the only option, I would open it up and spray it with conformal coating and mount it as high as possible.

My previous rig was an Icom 735 with a AT 120. It was waterproof.
Does anyone have a recommendation for such a sealed unit for the 706 or 7000?
I rather doubt I'd be using anything higher freq than the HF bands, but you never know.
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Old 12-06-2012, 17:33   #2
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Re: Recommendation for Icom 706 auto tuner to be mounted in damp location?

The Icom AT-140 works fine with my IC-7000 in the same way it does with the M-802 in the boat. I suspect the Icom AH-4 would also work well in that role and be a bit cheaper. The AH-4 reportedly works well up to and including the 6 meter band.

For tuners which don't require a control cable in addition to the RF coax, the SGC-230 gets a lot of recommendations on these forums and should also work fine. It does require a power connection. MFJ makes a remote tuner which requires only a coax connection. It has a bias-t adapter to provide the tuner's power via the coax, so a separate power cable into the tuner is not needed. MFJ is known to make very effective automatic tuners, I have a 993 which works well in the shack and portable, but it is not sealed. The sealed units reportedly use the same components/algorithms. I have not encountered anyone who has used that MFJ remote unit however.

Lots of options, good luck!

Chip
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Old 12-06-2012, 18:32   #3
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Been ham since 1971...currently using single band dipole hauled aloft by spare halyard, exceptional performance on 20M for DXing and the 14.300 Maritime Mobile Service Net.....also load a 33' wire with a Kenwood AT50 thru a 4:1 balun for 40M...works so-so... I brought my MFJ 993B auto tuner to boat this weekend thinking I'd make the 33' wire a random wire with end feed,, but decided the MFJ auto tuner really wasn't suited for marine environment.
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Old 27-06-2012, 21:06   #4
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Update; I'm using the MFJ 993B to direct feed a random wire hauled aloft. Estimate about 45' total length. Seems to work throughout HF spectrum; on 28Mhz I'm getting RF into engine alarm buzzer...probably not going to bother with ferrites to choke of the RF. Just not use 10m ham freqs. Still not as effective as single band dipoles, but let's receive from 500khz to 30Mhz and transmit where authorized. counterpoise is simple 1" tinned braid in bilge....random.
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Old 28-06-2012, 12:05   #5
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Re: Recommendation for Icom 706 auto tuner to be mounted in damp location?

Suggest you go with the AT-140 AND the 7000. The 7000 is programmable via pc software where the 706 is not. The 706 is no fun to program by hand if you have more than one frequency to put in the radio.
Good Luck,
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Old 28-06-2012, 16:41   #6
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Re: Recommendation for Icom 706 auto tuner to be mounted in damp location?

Thanks guys.
I wound up with a 706 and a AH4.
I'm going to put the tuner in an aft ama locker, driving a cap shroud with an insulator aloft.
The ground plane is going to be my own version of a KISS system.
Copper wire braid in a plastic hose, sealed at both ends with an end fed 10 gauge short lead to the tuner ground which will be laid in the bottom of the ama for nearly its full length.
Wish me luck.
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Old 02-07-2012, 14:32   #7
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I'd be interested in your KISS counterpoise design.... Lengths, intended freqs, results. Tnx.
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Old 02-07-2012, 15:50   #8
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Re: Recommendation for Icom 706 auto tuner to be mounted in damp location?

Bob,
I intend to use HF freqs, 80, 40 and 20 meter bands.
I'll post about it when it's done, but it won't happen for a month or so.
Meanwhile, Desolation Sound is calling...
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Old 02-07-2012, 16:04   #9
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Gracias Seņor...

Bob 73 de K4RCG
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Old 03-09-2012, 15:24   #10
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Re: Recommendation for Icom 706 auto tuner to be mounted in damp location?

The 706 is quite handily computer-controllable via the RIGblaster Advantage, optimized for digital modes but also useful for all the more traditional operations. There are also cheaper models without internal sound cards.

Cheers!
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Old 03-09-2012, 19:34   #11
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Re: Recommendation for Icom 706 auto tuner to be mounted in damp location?

I finally got everything installed.
The homemade counterpoise works great on all bands.
It consists of $5 worth of new but cut to short lengths of copper braid about 1" wide, soldered to a total length of about 25'.
I then soldered a couple feet of #8 stranded wire to that and encased all the braid in clear vinyl tubing.
I sealed both ends with 3M5200 and laid it in the ama bilge from bow to the aft locker, connecting the 8 gauge terminated end to the AH 3 tuner.
The bilge is totally dry, but if water ever does get in there, the counterpoise will never corrode.
My first contact was on 80 meters in Southern Oregon.
He said I was very readable with S-8 signal strength.
The power output reads right to the top with 1.1 or better SWR on 80, 40 and 20 meters.
Total cost to build the counterpoise, about $9.

Thanks for the RigBlaster link.
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Old 08-09-2012, 20:29   #12
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Tnx Senormechanico...
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Old 11-09-2012, 19:19   #13
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I had an Icom 706 MkII G fitted but I can't use it

The manual is incomprehensible. While its supposed to be a VHF and UHF combo the manual doesn't say "VHF" anywhere

How do I get a grip on this ?

Is there any recommended reading ?

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Old 11-09-2012, 19:43   #14
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Re: Recommendation For Icom 706 Auto Tuner To Be Mounted In Damp Location?

Icom 706 is ham radio HF VHF and UHF radio. The manual is clear how to use on the ham bands. Unfortunately, the 706 can only be programmed manually...no pc software available.
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Old 11-09-2012, 22:14   #15
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Re: Recommendation For Icom 706 Auto Tuner To Be Mounted In Damp Location?

I just need someone to talk me through how to use in VHF mode as a starter - truly, the manual is incomprehensible to me and it does not use the term "VHF" once , throughout the entire document

Any additional reading i might find or would someone be willing to talk me through how to use in VHF mode ?

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