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ICOM IC-706 MkII GThe Icom ’706 series covers the original IC-706, the 706 MkII, and the MkII G. The Icom 706 is a compact HF,VHF and UHF transceiver designed for mobile and portable applications.

The ’706 series is iconic, representing one of the most popular commercial transceiver lines in ham radio history. Although they are now discontinued, the radios still command fairly high prices on the used market.

In addition to being compact overall the radio features a detachable control head that, when combined with the separation kit, allows the for the location the body of the transceiver out of the way with just the controller to mount at the operating position. This features made the radio especially popular with mobile operators and pilots.

With its compact size, the ’706 lacks in internal automatic antenna tuner, but there is a control port for direct interfacing with tuners such as the AH-4. With a long wire antenna, this becomes the perfect setup for the aeronautical mobile operator.

See the following table for some comparisons of the ’706 series feature set:

Feature Original ’706 MkII MkII G
Receive Coverage 30Khz – 200Mhz 30Khz – 200Mhz 30Khz-199Mhz 400 – 470Mhz
Power at HF & 6M 100W 100W 100W
Power at 2M 10W 20W 50W
Power at 70cm n/a n/a 20W
Memories 102 100 100
AF DSP n/a optional standard

Some of the issues hams report with these radios arise directly from the compact size of the rig. With so many features to include and limited front panel real estate, ICOM settled on what turned out to be a fairly complex menu system for adjusting the rig’s settings. Navigating a deep menu tree is something better left to do while not mobile.

Another problem arising from the rig’s compactness is that of heat management. This is a small radio, that runs 100W on HF and 6M, the engineering for heat dissipation must be first class. Given many reviews, it does seem that overheating is problem. This issue has been addressed by aftermarket fan systems and mods to help keep the rigs cool. Heat problems are especially pronounced for high duty cycle modes such as PSK.

There have been a few reports of frequency stability and self oscillation issues in some of the MkIIG units, but these problems don’t seem to be systemic.

Overall, this is a radio series that gets generally high marks and the radios are still sought after even though production by ICOM has ended.

So the question everybody wants the answer to is “How much should I pay for or sell an IC-706?” As of June 2012, the original 706 had an average selling price on the used market of $465. The 706MkII sells for an average of $575, while the MkIIG goes for about $730.

These are average prices and your mileage may vary depending on condition and options.

Find an ICOM IC-706