Up one level
Back to Home
  ICOM Information
By Thomas Reynolds KD7SGM

This page was developed by Kevin Custer W3KKC from an email posted on the repeater-builder mailing list by Thomas Reynolds KD7SGM
Thanks go to Tom for permission to present his work.
  Print this Page

I use Icom products exclusively in my business and I am also a ham so 
I have had an opportunity to experiment with various models in placing 
them into the ham bands. All commercial Icom products that I have used 
are capable of operating in the ham bands with programming alone, no 
modifications are required. All of the commercial equipment is also 
capable of being field programmable via "dealer only" software commands 
which there are very few people I have encountered that aware of. I will 
forward a copy of the field programming procedures if you wish. 

Icom also has a small repeater they make out of 2 mobiles IC 221 or 121's 
and a connecting cable, the radios are then programmed in the expert 
portion of the software to be a repeater. They are sold on eBay and are 
available from Icom however Icom will not sell just the cable because 
all of the radios have the expert commands that can turn them into a 
repeater. The cables are available aftermarket and the finished product 
works quite well. I have also used a IC F121 and IC F621 as a link radio 
for the IRLP Western reflector in which it was transmitting almost 100%. 
The radios were set at 25 watts and worked flawlessly for over a year
until I moved the node. 

Icom portables are also field programmable and are capable of ham band 
The relevant model numbers are as follows:
IC F320 vhf 420uhf low power 25 watts
IC F520 vhf 620uhf low power 25 watts.
A 1 at the end of the model number means it is a 50 watt model the 320-420 are older 32 channels radios and the 520-620 are 256 channels the 121 and 221 are 128 channel frnt firing speaker models and are my favorite due to their very compact size and high performance. A s after the model number means they a basic channels models 4 for mobiles and 2 for portables. The S models are not capable of being field programmable but will still operate in the ham bands. The commands to turn the mobiles into repeaters are under the common settings and then choose the expert button and then radio functions. The new Icom repeater IC FR3000 and IC FR4000 repeaters will also operate in the ham bands without modification and are actually 100% duty cycle. I am currently using two of them in very difficult mountain top conditions and they both work without flaw with one exception. The whole chassis is basically one very large heat sink with two air intake grills in the front of the repeater and the rear fans that pull the air thorough the chassis and exhausts it out the back. The fans run continuously and will fill the unit with dust and dirt. I know this is poorly written but I wanted to contribute my little portion if someone has a use for it. I use the information on your site all of the time maybe someone can use what little bit I have to contribute. I have a lot of reference a service material including software and field programming manuals that I would be happy to share if someone would like it. Some of the field programming material is stamped confidential by Icom so I do not think it would be good to publish on your website but anyway thank you for the great source of information you have acquired and made available, I have found that it is generally listed on your site or, there is a listed link that will have what I am looking for. Great job. I can be reached at kd7sgm at yahoo dot com

Back to Home

Original text (the white background) © Copyright June 2005, Thomas Reynolds KD7SGM
HTML by Kevin K. Custer W3KKC
this page last updated January 21, 2006

The information presented in and on these conversion pages is © Copyrighted 1995 - Present, by Kevin Custer W3KKC and multiple originating authors.