IC-9700 Reference Board Installation Party

A small group of Icom IC-9700 owners got together this past Saturday, August 6 at Kerry NH2A and Anita’s KH2FX house to make a small modification to their radios. Andrea N8VBN dropped by to observe, and Robert KO4YFE and Kadi KO4YEN also came by to get his mobile antenna checked out with Dave N4MW’s antenna analyzer.

John W5JMC, Dave N4MW (with Cissy N4ZRW), Steve KO4ENU, Kenzie KO4GLN, and Kerry NH2A all purchased a reference injection board, specifically designed for the IC-9700, from Leo Bodnar Electronics in England. The IC-9700 tends to drift slightly off frequency, particularly on the radio’s 1296 MHz band. A 10 MHz reference signal can be input but the radio checks this signal infrequently and the radio will drift slightly between checks. The injection board, combined with an external GPS, allows the radio to stay on frequency. The installation did not require any serious modifications to the radio other than screwing the injection board into place and changing the 10 MHz ref SMA connection on the back of the rig. No soldering. The radio’s warranty, if still covered, remains valid. Modifications were checked against the 1296.280 beacon signal that Dave N4MW has up in Kerry’s attic. All in all, the modifications were completed under two hours…30 minutes for the modifications and 90 minutes for kibitzing, coffee and donut breaks, and checking Robert’s antenna SWR.

The IC-9700 is a fabulous tri-band radio. The drift becomes a potential issue only when doing weak signal work on the upper bands.

Per time honored club tradition, coffee and donuts (Krispy Kreme!) were offered and, also per club tradition, devoured.