i7410
HF/50MHz Transceiver
QST Product Review
QST Magazine is owned and published by
the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
Icom America expresses its gratitude to the ARRL for the
permission to reprint and post this review on our Website.
This product review remains the copyright of the ARRL.
To join the ARRL, please visit www.arrl.org
©2012 Icom America Inc. The Icom logo is a registered trademark of Icom Inc.
Key Measurements
Summary
PRODUCT REVIEW
144*
ICOM IC-7410 HF and
6 Meter Transceiver
143* 140
20 70
20 kHz Blocking Gain Compression (dB)
111
2
111
70
140
2 kHz Blocking Gain Compression (dB)
107
,
106 110
20 50
20 kHz 3rd-Order Dynamic Range (dB)
,
2
88
50
110
2 kHz 3rd-Order Dynamic Range (dB)
28
,
29 +35
20 -40
Reviewed by Rick Lindquist, WW3DE
NCJ Managing Editor
ww3de@arrl.org
— that have been showing up in offerings
preceding the IC-7410, such as the IC-7600.
The ICOM IC-7410 is the now discontinued IC-746PRO writ larger — at least
physically, since this radio does not include 2 meter capability. In nomenclature
it follows the IC-7400, never marketed in
North America but which served as the
IC-746PRO in other parts of the world,
including Europe. 1 ICOM continues to
capitalize on this excellent and popular radio
foundation with the nearly simultaneous
release of the IC-9100, a higher tier model
that does include 2 meters, 70 cm, an optional
23 cm module, satellite features and a heftier
price tag. So, you could say the IC-7410 is
the IC-9100 for the rest of us.
ICOM’s description of the IC-7410 as
“an excellent balance of technology and
performance” may suggest some measure
of compromise, but it’s quite capable. Keep
in mind, too, that ICOM has incorporated
the incremental technological improvements
— faster signal digital signal processing, no
waiting for the radio to “boot up,” for instance
Given its slenderized form factor you
could find yourself doing a bit of juggling to
fit the longish IC-7410 comfortably on your
operating desk. It’s narrower by about an
inch from the IC-756PRO series or IC-7600
models, but it’s certainly deeper. I managed
to perch it atop my IC-756PROIII, so I could
do some side-by-side (so to speak) comparisons, but I ended up using a mirror to locate
rear-panel connector since the newer radio
extends about two inches beyond the edge
of its older relative.
The ’7410 offers a pleasing countenance,
with a 10.25 × 6 cm monochrome display
window, accented on the left and bottom
edges with an inset ogee-style half frame.
This is not the more commodious color display of the IC-7600 or even of the PROIII,
but it is quite sufficient. The IC-7410’s
frequency readout seems larger than life
within the slightly smaller display screen.
The metallic F-1 through F-5 buttons immediately below the display window are easier
to differentiate from the MODE buttons that
I am always pressing in error on my PROIII.
ICOM slightly offset the function buttons
from the five MODE buttons, to minimize
this possibility on the ’7410.
The hefty main tuning knob possesses the
sort of solid counterbalanced feel that puts the
1R.
Lindquist, N1RL, “ICOM IC-746PRO
HF/VHF Transceiver,” Product Review, QST,
May 2002, pp 72-78. This review and reviews
of the other ICOM transceivers mentioned
here are available to ARRL members online
at www.arrl.org/product-review.
20 kHz 3rd-Order Intercept (dBm)
,
What’s It Like?
Mark J. Wilson, K1RO  Product Review Editor 2
5
-40
+30
2 kHz 3rd-Order Intercept (dBm)
,
TX -20
-30
Transmit 3rd-Order IMD (dB)
-35
,
-61
TX -20
PR064
-70
Transmit 9th-order IMD (dB)
Key: * Off Scale
Dynamic range and intercept
values with preamp off.
Intercept values were determined
using -97 dBm reference
80 M
20 M
Bottom Line
The IC-7410 replaces the
IC-746PRO and adds an improved
receiver, much faster DSP performance and new features to the mix,
but drops 2 meter coverage. Although
the new radio does a lot, the ’7410
user interface will be familiar to
users of current ICOM radios.
 k1ro@arrl.org
Reprinted from October 2011 QST © ARRL
operator in the driver’s seat. The knob has a
substantial, easy-to-grip, rubberized outer
ring plus the now customary tuning dimple,
and I preferred it to the PROIII’s main tuning knob. It’s possible to manually adjust the
tuning dial tension with a slider beneath the
knob — no screwdriver needed! ICOM followed through elsewhere on the front panel
with larger knobs that offer a more positive
sense of control. Even the inner concentric
controls are easy to maneuver.
The front panel’s bold lettering contrasts
nicely with the dark, smooth (easy-to-clean)
finish, making legends easy to read. This is
a welcome improvement from earlier ICOM
designs, which sometimes sacrificed utility at
the altar of style. I especially appreciated the
conspicuous round XFC and TS buttons, which
are much easier to access than on the PROIII.
(Press XFC to listen to your transmit frequency
when split; TS changes the tuning step.)
The four “stem” controls on the front
panel’s lower lip are shorter and sturdier
than on earlier ICOM models, although it
can be a bit difficult to discern the unpainted
pointers on these shafts. The stem controls’
legends are above the shafts and much easier
to read than the ones on the PROIII. These
make available adjustments for (L–R) KEY
SPEED , BK-IN DELAY , COMP and MONI
GAIN. I appreciated not having to dig to adjust
the keyer speed.
None of the front panel buttons on the IC7410 are illuminated (for example, to indicate
that a given function is enabled). I missed this.
You must rely instead on smallish text legends
along the lower portion of the main display
(below the frequency readout) to determine
if a function is enabled. That display can get
pretty busy once you’ve switched on a few
things. This forces the operator to pay pretty
close attention. I found it extremely easy to
neglect to disable the NOTCH feature, for
example, after having used it earlier.
The menu system on the IC-7410 hearkens back to the system ICOM introduced
with its revolutionary IC-706 series in the
mid 1990s. IC-706 and ’746 users will feel
nearly immediately at home with this interface, although it is easier to use than the
initial incarnation. In fact, the radio itself is a
bit of an amalgamation of the PRO and ’706
series — not that there’s anything wrong with
that — and some of its finest features remain
hidden until you need them. The menu text
consists of light, segmented characters.
These are serviceable but not always easy to
decipher. I found the similar menus on the
IC-706 series more readable.
There are actually three menus, all accessible via the front-panel MENU button: Press
it quickly, and the M1 and M2 menus allow
selecting a few common parameters using the
F-1 through F-5 keys. These F key selections
are mode dependent. For example, in SSB
mode M1 has a TBW (transmit bandwidth)
Reprinted from October 2011 QST © ARRL
Table 1
ICOM IC-7410, serial number 02001081
Manufacturer’s Specifications
Measured in the ARRL Lab
Frequency coverage: Receive, 0.03-60 MHz;
transmit, 1.8-2.0, 3.5-4, 5.33200, 5.34800,
5.35850, 5.37300, 5.40500, 7-7.3, 10.1-10.15,
14-14.35, 18.068-18.168, 21-21.45,
24.89-24.99, 28-29.7, 50-54 MHz.
Receive and transmit, as specified.
Power requirement: 13.8 V dc ±15%;
receive, 3 A (max audio); transmit, 23 A
(100 W out).
13.8 V dc; receive 1.9 A (no signal, max
audio), 1.7 A (backlight off);
transmit, 18 A (100 W out). Operation
confirmed at 11.4 V dc (89 W output).
Modes of operation: SSB, CW, AM, FM, RTTY. As specified.
Receiver
Receiver Dynamic Testing
SSB/CW sensitivity: 2.4 kHz bandwidth, Noise Floor (MDS), 500 Hz DSP filter,
10 dB S/N: 0.1-29.99 MHz, 0.16 µV; 3 kHz roofing filter:
50-54 MHz, 0.13 µV.
Preamp off 1
2
0.137 MHz
–129 –135 –136 dBm
0.505 MHz
–134 –141 –142 dBm
1.0 MHz
–134 –141 –142 dBm
3.5 MHz
–135 –142 –144 dBm
14 MHz
–134 –141 –143 dBm
50 MHz
–131 –140 –142 dBm
Noise figure: Not specified.
14 MHz, preamp off/1/2: 13/6/4 dB
AM sensitivity: 6 kHz bandwidth, 10 dB S/N:
0.1-1.799 MHz, 12.6 µV; 1.8-30 MHz, 2 µV;
50-54 MHz, 1.6 µV.
10 dB (S+N)/N, 1-kHz, 30% modulation,
6 kHz bandwidth:
Preamp off 1
2
1.0 MHz 1.27 0.56 0.51 µV
3.8 MHz 1.15 0.49 0.43 µV
50.4 MHz 1.84 0.68 0.57 µV
FM sensitivity: 15 kHz bandwidth, 12 dB SINAD: For 12 dB SINAD, 3 kHz deviation,
28-29.7 MHz, 0.5 µV; 50-54 MHz, 0.32 µV.
15 kHz bandwidth:
Preamp off 1
2
29 MHz
0.54 0.21 0.18 µV
52 MHz
0.56 0.25 0.20 µV
Spectral display sensitivity: Not specified.
Preamp off/1/2: –94/–101/–109 dBm.
Blocking gain compression: Not specified.
Gain compression, 500 Hz bandwidth,
3 kHz roofing filter:
20 kHz offset 5/2 kHz offset
Preamp off/1/2 Preamp off
3.5 MHz 144/138/136 dB 118*/111* dB
14 MHz 143/140/135 dB 117*/111* dB
50 MHz 139/139/134 dB 117/111 dB
Reciprocal mixing (500 Hz BW): Not specified.
20/5/2 kHz offset: –101/–88/–78 dBc.
ARRL Lab Two-Tone IMD Testing (500 Hz DSP bandwidth, 3 kHz roofing filter)**
Measured Measured Calculated
Band/Preamp Spacing Input Level
IMD Level
IMD DR
IP3
3.5 MHz/Off
20 kHz
–28 dBm
–14 dBm
–135 dBm
107 dB
–97 dBm
+26 dBm
+28 dBm
14 MHz/Off
20 kHz
–28 dBm
–13 dBm
0 dBm
–134 dBm
106 dB
–97 dBm
–64 dBm
+25 dBm
+29 dBm
+32 dBm
14 MHz/1
20 kHz
–34 dBm
–20 dBm
–141 dBm
107 dB
–97 dBm
+20 dBm
+19 dBm
14 MHz/2
20 kHz
–40 dBm
–27 dBm
–143 dBm
103 dB
–97 dBm
+12 dBm
+8 dBm
14 MHz/Off
5 kHz
–36 dBm
–24 dBm
0 dBm
–134 dBm
98 dB
–97 dBm
–28 dBm
+13 dBm
+13 dBm
+14 dBm
14 MHz/Off
2 kHz
–46 dBm
–97 dBm
0 dBm
–134 dBm
88 dB
–29 dBm
–23 dBm
–2 dBm
+5 dBm
+12 dBm
50 MHz/Off
20 kHz
–23 dBm
–12 dBm
–131 dBm
108 dB
–97 dBm
+31 dBm
+31 dBm
QS1110-ProdRev01
Receiver Dynamic Testing
Preamp off/1/2, +65, +65, +65 dBm.
52 MHz, +77 dBm.
DSP noise reduction: Not specified.
Variable, 20 dB maximum.
Notch filter depth: Not specified.
Manual notch: 52 dB, Auto notch: 55 dB,
attack time 100 ms.***
FM adjacent channel rejection: Not specified.
29 MHz, 77 dB†; 52 MHz, 79 dB.†
FM two-tone, third-order IMD dynamic range:
Not specified.
20 kHz offset, both preamps on: 29 MHz,
77 dB†; 52 MHz, 79 dB†.
10 MHz channel spacing: 29 MHz, 115 dB,
52 MHz, 114 dB.
S-meter sensitivity: Not specified.
S9 signal at 14.2 MHz: preamp off, 50 µV;
preamp 1, 23.4 µV; preamp 2, 8.9 µV.
Squelch sensitivity: SSB, <5.6 µV, FM, <0.32 µV. At threshold, both preamps, SSB, 0.63 µV;
FM, 29 MHz, 0.1 µV; 52 MHz, 0.1 µV.
Receiver audio output: >2 W into 8 W at
10% THD.
2.04 W at 10% THD into 8 W.
THD at 1 V RMS, 0.85%.
IF/audio response: Not specified.
Range at –6 dB points, (bandwidth):‡
CW (500 Hz): 280-795 Hz (515 Hz).
Equivalent Rectangular BW: 509 Hz.
USB: (2.4 kHz): 197-2770 Hz (2573 Hz).
LSB: (2.4 kHz): 200-2770 Hz (2570 Hz).
AM: (6 kHz): 165-3138 Hz (5946 Hz).
AM: (9 kHz): 163-4496 Hz (8666 Hz).
First IF rejection: 14 MHz, 105 dB;
50 MHz, 81 dB. Image rejection:
14 MHz, >144 dB; 50 MHz, >141 dB.
Spurious and image rejection: HF and 50 MHz, (except IF rejection on 50 MHz): >70 dB.
Transmitter
Transmitter Dynamic Testing
Power output: HF and 50 MHz: SSB, CW, RTTY, HF: CW, SSB, RTTY, FM typically
FM, 2-100 W; AM, 2-27 W. 1.2-102 W, AM, 0.27-27 W;
50 MHz: CW, SSB, RTTY, FM,
1.2-95 W, AM, 0.2-24 W.
Spurious-signal and harmonic suppression:
>50 dB on HF, >63 dB on 50 MHz.
HF, >70 dB; 50 MHz, >70 dB.
Meets FCC requirements.
SSB carrier suppression: >40 dB.
57 dB.
Undesired sideband suppression: >55 dB.
>70 dB.
Third-order intermodulation distortion (IMD)
products: Not specified.
3rd/5th/7th/9th order (15 m, worst case):
HF, 100 W PEP, –30/–35/–54/–61 dB;
50 MHz, 100 W PEP, –31/–34/–43/–59 dB.
CW keyer speed range: Not specified.
6 to 48 WPM.
CW keying characteristics: Not specified.
See Figures 1 and 2.
Iambic keying mode: Not specified.
Mode B.
Transmit-receive turnaround time (PTT release to 50% audio output): Not specified.
S9 signal, 85 ms at speaker, 16 ms at
accessory jack.
Receive-transmit turnaround time (tx delay):
Not specified.
SSB, 45 ms; FM, 8 ms.
Composite transmitted noise: Not specified.
0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08
Time (s)
Figure 1 — CW keying waveform for the
IC-7410 showing the first two dits in full
break-in (QSK) mode using external keying.
Equivalent keying speed is 60 WPM. The
upper trace is the actual key closure; the
lower trace is the RF envelope. (Note that
the first key closure starts at the left edge
of the figure.) Horizontal divisions are 10
ms. The transceiver was being operated at
100 W output on the 14 MHz band.
fc-4
fc+2
fc
Frequency in kHz
fc-2
QS1110-Prodrev03
See Figure 3.
Size (height, width, depth): 4.6 × 12.3 × 13.5 inches; weight, 22.5 pounds.
Price: $2000; FL-430 (6 kHz) and FL-431 (3 kHz) roofing filters, $125 each.
*No blocking occurred up to threshold of receiver overload.
**ARRL Product Review testing now includes Two-Tone IMD results at several signal levels.
Two-Tone, 3rd-Order Dynamic Range figures comparable to previous reviews are shown
on the first line in each group. The “IP3” column is the calculated Third-Order Intercept Point.
Second-order intercept points were determined using –97 dBm reference.
***Single beat note. Reduces two beat notes up to 55 dB with attack time depending of separation
of signals, typically 400 ms.
†Measurement was noise-limited at the value indicated.
‡Default values, sharp setting (smooth setting is available). Bandwidth and cutoff frequencies
are adjustable via DSP. CW bandwidth varies with PBT and pitch control settings.
fc+4
Figure 2 — Spectral display of the IC-7410
transmitter during keying sideband testing.
Equivalent keying speed is 60 WPM using
external keying. Spectrum analyzer resolution
bandwidth is 10 Hz, and the sweep time is 30
seconds. The transmitter was being operated
at 100 W PEP output on the 14 MHz band. This
plot shows the transmitter output ±5 kHz from
the carrier. The reference level is 0 dBc, and
the vertical scale is in dB. Note that the keying
sideband level rises slightly at the edges, to
the –60 dB range.
Response in dBc/Hz
0
Reponse, dB
Receiver
Second-order intercept point: Not specified.
[ [ [ [ Frequency in Hz
[ Figure 3 — Spectral display of the IC-7410
transmitter output during composite noise
testing. Power output is 100 W on the 14 MHz
band. The carrier, off the left edge of the plot,
is not shown. This plot shows composite
transmitted noise 100 Hz to 1 MHz from the
carrier. The reference level is 0 dBc, and the
vertical scale is in dBc/Hz.
Reprinted from October 2011 QST © ARRL
choice on F-4, while in CW mode, the same
key opens one of two selectable KEY menus,
and in RTTY mode it opens the decoder
screen. Pressing and holding the primary
MENU button takes you into SET MODE, letting you enable or adjust those parameters
less-traveled. I found menu scrolling to be
counterintuitive. You press the ∨ key to ascend the menu tree and the ∧ key to descend.
The power supply connector is not compatible with earlier ICOM gear, so if you’re
upgrading from a previous model (such as
my ’756PROIII) you’ll need to change some
station wiring. The ACC (accessory) socket
is a 13 pin DIN connector. ICOM included a
compatible DIN plug with color coded pigtails, obviating the need to solder directly to
the connector. The SEND jack to key a linear
amplifier is an RCA phono connector. The
contacts are rated for a maximum of 16 V at
0.5 A, compatible with any modern power
amplifier. The rear-apron ground connection
uses a fairly short Phillips head screw with two
flat washers and one lock washer on its shaft.
A wing nut would have been easier to manage.
Two SO-239 coax antenna ports are available on the rear apron. If your station setup
only requires a single coax connection to your
transceiver, you can disable the unneeded port,
so you don’t inadvertently transmit into an
open load. Very thoughtful! The IC-7410 does
not provide the means to connect a separate
receive antenna, such as a Beverage.
How Does It Play?
If I had just one word to describe the
IC-7410 it would be competent, and the
numbers from the ARRL Lab support this
impression — not the best but very good. In
reciprocal mixing testing for two-tone IMD
(see Table 1), the IC-7410 stacks up as essentially identical to the IC-7600, and blocking
gain compression was superior. The ’7410
pretty much blows away the IC-746PRO’s
much older technology, but it’s right on par
with the higher tier IC-7800, at least in terms
of two-tone IMD on 14 MHz. The numbers
are even very good on 50 MHz.
ARRL Lab Engineer Bob Allison,
­WB1GCM, noted an oddity while testing
the ’7410’s blocking gain compression at
5 kHz and 2 kHz spacings. “I experienced
receiver overload at the point when the blocking signal caused the audio to drop by about
0.5 dB, such that strong noise jumps up at this
threshold and the desired signal becomes absent,” Allison recounted. “Raising the level of
the blocking signal further caused an unrelated
audio tone to bleed through.” For example, he
said, if the radio is tuned to 14.020 MHz (preamp off) and a 50 dB over S-9 signal shows
up at 14.018 MHz, the receiver will overload.
“Needless to say,” Allison added, “the blocking figures are still very good.”
Allison reports that he was unable to detect any receiver images during lab testing.
Reprinted from October 2011 QST © ARRL
Figure 4 — The
uncluttered rear panel of the IC-7410.
He further notes that the receiver actually is
usable down into the VLF range — 30 kHz
(–99 dBm minimum discernable signal).
“Many receivers tested are pretty dead down
there,” he said. “This receiver is very sensitive at 137 kHz and 505 kHz — spots where
some nations already allow amateur activity.
You may think that that doesn’t matter much,
but it does if you’re using an active antenna
or a small loop antenna.”
Flexible DSP IF filters and twin passband tuning (PBT) with a graphical display
of passband setting have become hallmarks
of this generation of ICOM transceivers. The
IC-7410 augments these with optional narrow filters for the 1st IF (64.455 MHz), which
install easily. Each has a unique socket, so
you cannot inadvertently install them incorrectly. While ICOM does not refer to these as
roofing filters in the Instruction Manual, the
display does show an R ahead of the current
filter setting. This appears to be a “rose by
another name” situation, since the net effect
is the same. Narrower filters at this point in
the circuit will reduce the impact of other
in-band signals on the signal you’re trying
to pull out, especially when the band is busy
(think Field Day or pileup).
Pressing and holding the F-5 button
changes the optional 1st IF filter selections —
stepping through the default 15 kHz (roofing
filter passband), 6 kHz and 3 kHz settings.
Quickly pressing the F-5 key changes the
second IF (36 kHz) DSP filter contour from
“sharp” to “soft.” It takes a little practice to
make this button do just what you want, and
you may have to squint at the display to see
the setting itself.
The sharp and soft contours did not make
much difference to my ear on CW signals,
although narrow filter settings seem more
likely to sound “ringy” in the sharp profile
as opposed to the soft. You may detect a
smoother, even more pleasing sound with
SSB audio by enabling the soft contour on
a given DSP filter setting. The soft setting
also seems to ameliorate some noise profiles.
By the way, the IC-7410’s noise reduction
(NR) appeared superior to the PROIII’s NR.
That makes sense, since the IC-7410 is more
closely related to the IC-7600 and its more
advanced DSP technology.
I thought a few things could be improved.
The IC-7410 offers two levels of RF preamplification but just one level of attenuation. I
missed having multiple levels of attenuation
to deal with noise and interference on the low
bands. The AGC attack, at least at default
settings, seemed a bit severe. Static crashes
actually killed the audio momentarily until
it recovered. The speaker crackled a bit at
higher AF GAIN settings.
Worth Mentioning (or Repeating)
The IC-7410 retains the most useful
features of its predecessors. Take the voice
squelch control (VSC), for example, introduced with the IC-746PRO. The VSC checks
all signals for “voice components” before it
breaks squelch. This feature is ­really cool,
especially if you tend to monitor an HF frequency for activity (for example an emergency
or traffic net). This means, too, that while
scanning, the radio does not stop on every
carrier, cable birdie or kerchunker, and it’s
available on AM and FM, as well as on SSB.
The automatic antenna tuner is excellent.
It uses variable capacitors instead of clacking
relays, and it works essentially as advertised
— quickly and quietly. It can be set to auto
start on HF or to start when PTT is activated
on a new frequency. You can even set “band
edges” for an especially narrowband antenna
system. A rear-apron jack allows connection
of an external ATU as well.
While the ’7410 does not have a spectrum
scope, it does have what ICOM dubs a simple
band scope (SCP). At first glance, this might
not seem a very useful operating aid, but it
certainly came in handy during the ARRL
June VHF QSO Party. I was expecting it
to operate much in the same manner as the
similar utility on the IC-706 series, but it’s
way faster. At any of the available settings it
scanned the given swath of spectrum nearly
instantly, leaving “blips” on the horizontal
line representing signals detected (the receiver is muted during scanning). The scan
limits depend upon how closely you want
the band scope to check for signals — every
1 kHz, 2 kHz, 5 kHz etc. You then tune to
the blip to hear what’s there. You can use this
tool to seek activity on one of the three band
stacking registers, then swapping to a second
band register to dial up the signal without
tuning away from your original frequency.
You can monitor SWR and relative
power output (there’s no level or percentage readout) at the same time, although I
still prefer a “real” meter or at least a digital
representation, such as the virtual meter on
the IC-7600. The IC-7410 has an LCD bargraph style meter, which can be set up to hold
peaks for 0.5 second. Speaking of SWR, the
IC-7410 lets you read and graph your antenna
system’s SWR curve, right on the screen.
You can plot up to 13 points in various steps.
Transmit briefly to plot the SWR on each
step, and when you’re done, the screen will
graphically display the SWR profile of the
antenna system under test.
As with the IC-7600, the IC-7410 offers
a single USB connection to your computer.
This link may be used to control the radio
from your logging program or other software
and/or to route audio to and from the radio or
decoded RTTY to your computer. To make
use of it you first must download and install
the USB-to-UART bridge driver from the
ICOM website, where you select the driver
that’s appropriate for the radio and your
computer’s operating system. This is a reasonably trouble free process. It did take a bit
of juggling and tweaking to get the software
to recognize the radio, however.
I was able to use the USB interface to
control the radio (I checked it out with
N1MM Logger and Ham Radio Deluxe —
N1MM has a specific IC-7410 driver, but
HRD does not) and to play “canned” contest
audio files from my PC at the same time
(sorry, phone contesters, but the IC-7410
does not have a voice-keyer). As with the
IC-7600, however, you cannot set the USB
interface to route the audio from your contesting software and from the microphone
at the same time. The menu lets you pick
one source or the other (or ACC, which lets
you feed audio to the radio via the accessory
jack on the rear apron, or MIC, ACC, which
lets you route audio simultaneously via both
inputs). It’s possible to work around this
by programming some rather clumsy CAT
strings. As we suggested in the IC-7600 review, however, this appears to be a software
issue, not an ICOM issue.2
Various and Sundry
Transmit bandwidth is adjustable, but it
sounded good to other ops at the default settings when I was using my Heil ProSet Plus!
headset. There are adjustable NAR, MID and
2R.
Lindquist, WW3DE, “Product Review —
ICOM IC-7600 HF and 6 Meter Transceiver,”
QST, Nov 2009, pp 54-59.
WID ranges plus ESSB. You also can adjust
high-pass and low-pass filter settings for
received audio.
While the IC-7410 does not have a voice
keyer, it does have an excellent CW memory
keyer that is similar in implementation to
those in the ’746 and ’756 series radios. You
can set the menu to display either the memory
keyer “root” menu first or the “send” menu
first. As with other ICOM radios, CW keyer
memories are loaded by using the function
keys and tuning knob to select and enter characters one at a time. This takes some getting
used to. As with past ICOM transceivers of
this heritage, you still must roll your own
external keypad to access your CW memories
without going through the menu.
The radio is capable of full-break-in
(QSK) CW, although as a veteran CW
operator I didn’t find it much better than
semi-break-in.
The radio can decode RTTY signals, but it
needs an external encoder to transmit it (FSK
or AFSK). The IC-7410 makes it a bit easier
to use sound card based data modes, and you
can use the USB connection to pass baseband
audio between the radio and your computer.
One thing you cannot do, however, is use the
terrific twin-peak RTTY filter system when
running AFSK. (This filter boosts the MARK
and SPACE frequencies for better copy.) You
can only use it when operating true FSK, accessible via a rear-panel connection.
Press the SPEECH key, and a pleasant, digitized female voice announces the
frequency, mode and S-meter reading. The
menu gives you a choice of hearing these in
English (default) or Japanese. Voice speed
and volume are adjustable. In addition you
can set this feature to announce the mode
each time you press a mode button, and you
can disable the S meter announcement. This
is a terrific feature for visually impaired
operators! For the North American market,
ICOM may want to consider adding Spanish
and French to its list of available languages.
ARRL Lab testing determined that the
dial accuracy was dead on. The SET MODE
also offers a means to tweak the radio onto
the calibrator’s frequency to keep it honest,
but you shouldn’t have to do that. The manual
says this factory setting differs for each radio.
In this same vein the IC-7410 has a built-in
calibrator. Somehow I had managed to switch
it on while fumbling thorough some menus.
Hearing the calibration signals made me
wonder if I’d broken the radio.
I had to engage in a delicate dance between the MIC GAIN and COMP settings. You
don’t want to use too much compression —
good advice with any radio — since there’s
plenty to go around. The compression metering puzzled me, though, as I never could get it
to kick up into the higher reaches of the scale
at any combination of settings. The COMP
control is one of the little “stem” controls,
while the MIC GAIN is a genuine front-panel
knob (this is a stem control on the PROIII
and similar radios).
Other observations:
 You can set “user band edge” frequencies — a total of 30 band edge frequencies.
These may come in handy in households
where not all operators hold Amateur Extra
class tickets.
 The radio includes a transmit time-out
timer (a la your handheld VHF-UHF transceiver) with a choice of 3, 5, 10, 20 or even
30 minutes if you’re especially long-winded!
 There are separate “Quick Split” menus
for HF and for 50 MHz.
 The main tuning dial has two settable
rates making rapid frequency excursions.
These are essentially “fast” and “faster.”
 The SET MODE lets you lock out either
the manual or automatic NOTCH (there are
separate settings for SSB/CW and AM). This
eliminates the need to toggle through both
when you really only use one notch mode,
as I tend to do.
 If the power amplifier temperature
gets too high, the IC-7410 will cut its output
power in half and display LMT above the TX
icon on the display. I never saw this happen.
 A look at the rear apron reminded me of
the times I’d purchased a new vehicle without
some of the features of the top-of-the-line
model. On the dashboard and elsewhere
were “blanks” to plug the spots where the
controls for the optional luxury features, such
as heated seats or mirror defrosters, would
go. Similar blanks are prominent on the
IC-7410’s rear panel, since the radio shares
a chassis with the IC-9100. These blanks
cover the spots where you’d find interfacing
connections for VHF and UHF accessories
available on the IC-9100.
Beating the Heat
ICOM took pains with the IC-7410 to address problems of semiconductor failures that
some IC-746 series transceiver owners have
reported. For the driver, the IC-746, including
the PRO, employed a µPC1678G (330 mW
dissipation at a supply voltage of 5 V dc).
These were said to run hot, making them more
subject to premature failure. The finals were
2SK2975s. As does the IC-756PROIII and its
successor IC-7600, the ’7410 uses a pair of
RD15HVF1 HF MOSFETs (12.5 V and rated
at 15 W typical output with 0.6 W maximum
input) as the driver and a pair of RD100HHF1
HF MOSFETs for the power amplifier. These
units can put out 100 W apiece.
The upgraded device complement in the
IC-7410 coupled with a much larger heat
sink, copious vents on the top of the case, and
a quiet, efficient blower ought to minimize
significantly the possibility of heat-related
component failure. The design of the heat
sink is the primary reason why the IC-7410
is longer, although a bit narrower, than its
Reprinted from October 2011 QST © ARRL
predecessors in the IC-746 series and the
IC-756 series. ICOM does advise users not to
place anything on top of the IC-7410.
And Furthermore . . .
Where does the IC-7410 fit into the larger
Amateur Radio transceiver market? While
the IC-7410 occupies the middle ground in
terms of price, its performance definitely
trends toward that of higher-tier transceivers.
An IC-7410 goes for approximately
$2000 at the big outlets, and the optional 6 and
3 kHz filters are about $125 apiece. In the
end, parsing the feature sets of ICOM’s
Reprinted from October 2011 QST © ARRL
similar models will be part of anyone’s
buying decision. Do I want 2 meters and
UHF capability? Would I rather have a
subreceiver? Should I go with all the filter
options? At its price point — even factoring
in the optional filters — the IC-7410 would
prove a worthy choice for value-conscious
casual and serious operator alike, or as a
second radio. An ARRL staffer who used
the radio may have summed it up best: “Very
impressive performance and looks!”
Manufacturer: ICOM America, 2380
116th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004; tel 800872-4266; www.icomamerica.com.
ICOM
IC-7410
If you own a tablet or smartphone with
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the IC-7410. You can also watch this
video on your computer by going to:
http://youtu.be/jLa7kizlAYM