706: New Setup

© 2003-2011 by Harold Melton, KV5R. All Rights Reserved. Rev.06/11/05

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Brand New 706 Setup

The 706 comes with some power-on factory defaults that you will want to change. The recommended changes make the radio easier to operate. First, let’s set up the power-on defaults.

Go to Initial Set Mode by power off, hold Lock button and power on. Refer to the initial setup items on pages 50-55.

Item 1: You can turn off modes that you don’t want the Mode button to select in its rotation: Unless you have an external FSK RTTY system connected, turn off RTTY mode. Most of us on RTTY are now operating AFSK RTTY via a computer, where you’ll be running on SSB.

Items 2 and 3: When you get tired of hearing it beep, turn beeps off.

Items 4 and 5: When operating the radio in the house, Low lighting is sufficient. Daytime mobile operation will benefit from High lighting of the display.

Item 7: RF/SQL: This requires some explanation! Set to RF/SQL, the knob will act as RF gain from 7-12-O’clock, and Squelch from 12-7-O’clock. Set item 7 to RF/SQL and set the knob to about 12:30 and you’ll never have to mess with it again. If set to Auto, you’ll have to crank it around every time you switch from SSB/CW to FM modes. The “RF/SQL” setting is the most convenient.

Item 8: Sub-dial: Set it to RIT if you operate HF. This makes the Memory Channel knob operate as a RIT while in VFO-A/B modes. Regardless of where you set this setting, the knob will still operate as Memory Channel while in the MEMOry mode.

Items 9 and 10: Optional Filters: Set to “No” if you have not purchased optional filters. If you add one filter, I recommend the FL-232 in slot 1, and set the “Opt. Fil 1” setting to FL-223. This will (1) give you an effective CW filter and (2) let you select “N” (narrow) while on SSB, giving you the 350 Hz filter for digital modes like PSK-31. Installing the 232 but selecting the 223 fools the radio, so you can use it on SSB. See the Section below on Filters.

Item 20: Auto Repeater: This should definitely be changed from the default. Set it to “On 2” and the 2 meter band will automatically set the right offset when you are in the range of the usual repeater bands — 600 negative below 147, and 600 positive when above 147. This will save you a lot of extra offset-setting while you are programming your repeater channels. Also sets the usual +5.00 MHz offset for 440 repeaters.

Item 24: AM NB: Set to “off” and the Noise Blanker will be disabled on AM reception, where it will otherwise cause distortion to strong AM signals.

Item 30: VSend Sel: Set to “off,” the HSend line on the Acc’y jack will key the radio on all bands; Set to “on” (the default), HSend will key the radio on HF/6, while VSend will key it on V/UHF bands. “Off” is useful if you will key the radio from a computer interface for all bands. “On” is useful of you will key the radio with a computer on HF, but with an external TNC for V/UHF. You’ll need to study the book and do some fancy wiring on the 13-pin DIN plug…

To operate the computer digital modes, see the interface section below, as well as my big article on the digital-modes.

The rest of the initial settings are usually OK — by preference, or as-needed.

Now power off, and on, and go to the Q menu, by holding in the Display button.

Set the mike gain to 4-5: i.e., just where it changes from a 4 to a 5.


  1. The supplied HM-103 hand mike contains a 1″ broadcast-type condenser element designed by Bob Heil for Icon, and has excellent quality — better than most HF radios. Never talk flat into the mike — talk across it, about an inch away. This large-diaphragm mike element is too sensitive to use flat against the mouth. The HM-103 hand mike, and the Heil iCM series, are the only mikes you should use with a 706. Do not attach other mikes to the 706, or you will be disappointed!
  2. The mike gain setting is the same for all bands and modes Mike settings are NOT stored by band, modes, nor memory channel.
  3. Setting the mike gain at 4-5 and talking across it is sufficient for all bands and modes.
  4. Do not use the processor (CMP) except in extremely marginal conditions! The supplied hand mike is so clear that the added “punch” of the processor is rarely needed. Also, the processor will add substantial bandwidth and splatter on SSB, drawing complaints form nearby QSOs.
  5. The output power level is NOT stored in memories. There is one setting for HF and one for V/UHF. Output power will need to be adjusted manually as you move from nearby to distant repeaters, or from strong to weak SSB stations.
  6. Icon radios seem to use the ALC circuit to control power output. When you are at high power, you’ll see little or no ALC meter indication; when at low power you will see full ALC indication. This is normal operation! Do NOT adjust the mike gain to set ALC levels, as with most other radios. Leave the mike gain at 4-5, set the power as needed, and don’t worry about the ALC meter.
  7. If you do install a different mike, you’ll need to determine a new “best” mike gain setting.
Setting up your memory channels

It is important to set up your memory channels in a table before committing to fully programming the 706. I recommend you:

  1. Group all your FM channels together, from 50-99 (or so);
  2. Group all your other non-FM channels together, from 1-49 (or so);
  3. Use a Word table to develop your channel list; sort it by frequency, then install it.
  4. Take your time! The better your list, the less fragmentation will develop over time.
  5. If you perform the Frequency Expansion modification (below), it will erase ALL settings and memories and return the radio to factory settings. If you REALLY want to use 60 meters and/or MARS, do it NOW and save the long process of programming everything twice.

Disclaimer: The author assumes absolutely no responsibility, under any circumstances, for what the reader may do with this information. Building and connecting circuits, and performing adjustments or modifications, may damage your radio, void your warranty, and/or cause it to operate in violation of FCC rules and Type Acceptance, etc, unless you are very careful.


4 thoughts on “706: New Setup
  1. Bonjour
    Je suis a la recherche d’un kit de separation facade pour IC-706MKIIG
    si vous avez des infos pour acheter merci d’avance.
    Jean F4EFL

  2. “The supplied HM-103 hand mike contains a 1″ broadcast-type condenser element”

    This is a copy of the above description.
    In my HM-103 the condensor element is 1/2″ not 1″.
    What mike are you using? It would be interresting to know.
    In this matter I´m not fascetious.
    73 de
    SM0KFR op

    • I used an HM-103, the stock hand-mic. I opened up the mic’s case and measured the back of the element, which is glued into the front of the case. I suppose the diaphragm could be smaller, like half-inch, but the back of the mic capsule is about 1 inch.
      Anyway, I found it to be the best-sounding mic for the 706, which was surprising, since hand mics are usually rather mediocre.

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