Many on here should be familiar with Icom’s IC-735, a classic 100W rig from the mid-1980s Icom lineup. Well, what this is is an IC-735 in QRP rig’s clothing. With 10W PEP on phone, one might be tempted to think that radio like this is sort of…silly? Why not just get a 735 and “have it all”? No one can POSSIBLY hear you with that lousy output…right? Right?
Wrong. The IC-731S is a QRP rig that can walk the walk. Given that it has the same mic processing that its beefier sibling has when paired with a suitable mic the IC-731S can hold its own. Since SSB is all about the modulation quality, when you have a radio that has the same excellent speech processing as the IC-735 but with 1/10th the power, you’re apt to find that you’re not losing all that much even with the lower output.
But it never really has that QRP rig feel. The IC-731S is a full-coverage ham rig with the bells and whistles of a meat-n-potatoes mid-80s Icom, and unless you missed the IC-731S on the front panel, you wouldn’t know otherwise. Created for the Japanese Class D license OPs, this radio allowed for operation under those constraints, but with the ability to “unlock” the rig for all HF bands once the OP had jumped up in class. After all, if you’re used to the rig and you like the feel, ergonomics, and performance, why bother going through learning a whole new radio?
Plus, with the all-mode operation (yep, even FM for that segment of 10m as well as AM operation [4W max] that benefits from that excellent speech processing), the rig definitely is one that most any OP would want to keep around. Not that there’s an equivalent upgrade path, really; you could either opt for something like an Elecraft K2 ($800, and about the closest thing I can think of), but as for something else in the used price range of this with the same feature set? Nope.
Note: This radio is supplied without any accessories. It’s a used item and it does have a few scuff marks due to normal wear and tear but is in good cosmetic condition. All the images listed here are used for illustration purposes only, they don’t show the real radio for sale.
|Type||Amateur HF transceiver|
|Frequency Range||TX: 10-160 m + WARC|
RX: 0.1-30 MHz
|Tuning Steps||10 Hz, 1 KHz, 1 MHz|
|Frequency Stability||±30 Hz @ 25°C (77°F), after 1 hr warmup|
|Modes||AM / FM / SSB / CW / RTTY|
|Channels/Memory Management||12 regular|
RAM storage with lithium backup battery
|Repeater Shift/Offset||No dedicated. Use VFO A/B split|
|Power Supply||13.8 VDC ±15%|
|Current Drain/Power Consumption||RX: 1.2 to 1.5 A|
TX: Max 20 A
|Antenna Impedance/Connector||50 Ohm / SO-239|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||241 x 94 x 272 mm|
|Weight||5 Kg (11.02 lb)|
|Other Features||NB. PBT.|
|Receiver System||Triple conversion superheterodyne|
1st IF: 70.45 MHz
2nd IF: 9.01 MHz
3rd IF: 455 KHz
|Sensitivity||AM (10 dB S/N)|
0.1-1.6 MHz: 6 uV
1.6-30 MHz: 1 uV
FM (12 dB SINAD)
1.6-30 MHz: 0.5 uV
SSB/CW (10 dB S/N)
0.1-1.6 MHz: 1 uV
1.6-30 MHz: 0.15 uV
|Selectivity||AM: 6 KHz (-6 dB), 18 KHz (-50 dB)|
FM: 15 KHz (-6 dB), 30 KHz (-60 dB)
SSB/CW: 2.3 KHz (-6 dB), 4 KHz (-60 dB)
|AF Output Power/Speaker||±5 KHz|
|RF Output Power||10W|
|FM Deviation||±5 KHz|
|Spurious Emissions||Less than -50 dB|
|Microphone Impedance/Connector||600 ohm / 8-pin (Metal locking ring connector)|