icom ic-718 problems

Icom Ic-718 Problems and Their Solutions

The Icom IC-718 is a well-regarded transceiver in the world of amateur radio. Its straightforward design and reliable performance make it a favorite among both beginners and seasoned operators. This transceiver offers a range of features that cater to the needs of ham radio enthusiasts, making it a versatile choice for various communication needs.

Despite its popularity and robust build, the Icom IC-718, like any electronic device, can experience technical issues. These problems can be frustrating, especially when they interrupt your communication activities. The purpose of this blog post is to identify some of the most common problems encountered with the Icom IC-718 and to provide practical solutions to these issues. Whether you’re a new user or have been using the IC-718 for years, this guide aims to help you troubleshoot and resolve these common issues efficiently.

Power Supply Issues

Problem: Radio Not Turning On or Intermittent Power Loss

One common issue with the Icom IC-718 is that the radio sometimes doesn’t turn on or experiences intermittent power loss. This can be frustrating, especially when you are in the middle of important communications. Several factors could cause this problem, but the solutions are often straightforward.

Solution: Check Power Connections and Ensure Cables Are Secure

First, check all the power connections. Make sure the power cable is firmly connected to both the radio and the power source. Sometimes, the power cable can become loose over time due to movement or vibrations. Tighten any loose connections you find. Inspect the cable for any visible damage, such as cuts or frayed ends. If you notice any damage, replace the cable immediately. Properly securing and maintaining your power connections can prevent many power-related issues.

Solution: Inspect the Power Supply for Faults and Replace if Necessary

Next, examine the power supply itself. A faulty power supply can cause the radio to lose power intermittently or not turn on at all. If possible, test the power supply with a multimeter to check if it is providing the correct voltage. The Icom IC-718 typically requires a 13.8V DC power supply. If the voltage is off, the power supply might be the issue. In this case, replacing the power supply with a new, reliable one is a good idea. Investing in a high-quality power supply can ensure consistent performance.

Solution: Test with a Different Power Supply to Isolate the Issue

Finally, to confirm that the power supply is the problem, try using a different power supply. Borrow one from a friend or use a backup if you have one available. Connect the alternate power supply to your Icom IC-718 and see if the issue persists. If the radio works fine with the different power supply, then the original power supply is likely the culprit. Replacing it should resolve the power issue.

Read More: Icom 705 Reviews: The Ultimate Guide

Audio Problems

Problem: Distorted or No Audio Output

A common issue with the Icom IC-718 is distorted audio or no audio output at all. This can be very frustrating when trying to communicate. Luckily, there are several simple steps you can take to troubleshoot and solve this problem.

Solution: Check the Speaker Connections and Volume Settings

First, check the connections of your internal or external speaker. Make sure the speaker is properly connected to the radio. A loose or faulty connection can cause audio problems. Inspect the cable for any damage or wear. Replace the cable if you find any issues.

Next, check the volume settings on the radio. Sometimes, the volume might be turned down too low, or even muted. Adjust the volume knob and see if this resolves the issue. Additionally, make sure the squelch setting is not too high, as this can also affect audio output.

Solution: Replace or Test with an External Speaker or Headphones

If checking the connections and volume settings does not solve the problem, try using an external speaker or headphones. Connect the external speaker to the radio’s external speaker jack. If the audio works with the external speaker, the problem may be with the internal speaker. In this case, you might need to replace the internal speaker.

Alternatively, you can use headphones to check the audio output. Plug the headphones into the headphone jack and listen for clear audio. If the audio is clear through the headphones, the issue is likely with the speaker, not the radio itself.

Solution: Verify Settings in the Menu for Any Audio Configuration Errors

Another step is to check the radio’s menu settings for any audio configuration errors. Sometimes, incorrect settings can cause audio problems. Go through the menu and verify that all audio-related settings are correctly configured. Look for settings related to audio output, filters, and modes.

For example, ensure the audio filter settings are appropriate for the type of communication you are using. Incorrect filter settings can distort the audio. If you are unsure about the correct settings, refer to the user manual for guidance. Resetting the radio to factory settings can also help if you suspect a configuration error but cannot identify it.

Read More: Icom 705 Review: The Ultimate Ham Radio Companion.

Transmit Issues

Problem: Unable to Transmit or Low Transmit Power

One common issue with the Icom IC-718 is being unable to transmit or experiencing low transmit power. This problem can hinder effective communication. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to resolve it.

Solution: Ensure the Microphone Is Properly Connected and Functional

First, check the microphone connection. Make sure the microphone is securely plugged into the radio. A loose or faulty connection can prevent the radio from transmitting. Inspect the microphone cable for any signs of damage or wear. If the cable is damaged, replace it with a new one.

Next, test the microphone to ensure it is working correctly. You can do this by speaking into the microphone while pressing the transmit button. Listen for any audio feedback or response. If the microphone does not seem to work, try using a different microphone to see if the problem persists. Replacing a faulty microphone can often resolve transmit issues.

Solution: Check the Antenna Connections and SWR (Standing Wave Ratio)

Another important step is to check the antenna connections. Make sure the antenna is properly connected to the radio. A loose or damaged antenna connection can significantly affect transmit power. Inspect the antenna cable for any damage and replace it if necessary.

Additionally, check the Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) of your antenna system. A high SWR can indicate a problem with the antenna or its connections, leading to poor transmission. Use an SWR meter to measure the SWR. Ideally, the SWR should be as close to 1:1 as possible. If the SWR is too high, adjust the antenna or its placement to achieve a better match. This can improve transmit power and overall performance.

Solution: Confirm That the Transmitter Power Settings Are Correct in the Menu

Finally, verify the transmitter power settings in the radio’s menu. Incorrect settings can cause low transmit power. Access the menu and navigate to the transmitter power settings. Make sure the power level is set to the desired output. For the Icom IC-718, the power output can typically be adjusted between low, medium, and high settings.

Additionally, check for any other settings that might affect transmission, such as modulation settings or frequency selections. Resetting the radio to its default settings can help if you are unsure about the correct configuration. Always refer to the user manual for detailed instructions on adjusting these settings.

Read More: Icom Id-52A Review: The Ultimate Guide

Frequency Drift

Problem: Frequency Not Stable or Drifting

Frequency drift is a common issue with the Icom IC-718. It can cause the radio to lose its tuning, making communication difficult. Fortunately, there are simple steps to address this problem and ensure stable performance.

Solution: Allow the Radio to Warm Up for a Few Minutes Before Use

First, allow your Icom IC-718 to warm up for a few minutes before use. When you first turn on the radio, the internal components might be cold. This can cause the frequency to drift until the components reach their operating temperature. Letting the radio warm up helps stabilize the frequency. Turn on the radio and wait about 10-15 minutes before you start using it. This simple step can often prevent frequency drift.

Solution: Check for Firmware Updates That Might Fix Stability Issues

Next, check if there are any firmware updates available for your Icom IC-718. Manufacturers often release firmware updates to fix bugs and improve performance. Firmware updates can address stability issues, including frequency drift. Visit the Icom website and look for firmware updates specific to your model. Follow the instructions provided to download and install the update. Keeping your radio’s firmware up to date can help maintain stable frequency performance.

Solution: Ensure the Environment Is Not Too Hot or Cold, Affecting the Electronics

Finally, ensure that the environment where you are using the radio is not too hot or cold. Extreme temperatures can affect the electronics inside the radio, causing frequency drift. Try to use the radio in a controlled environment with moderate temperatures. If you are operating in a very hot or cold area, consider moving to a different location or using the radio indoors. Maintaining a stable temperature can help keep the frequency stable.

Read More: Icom 7610 Review: Unveiling the Ultimate SDR Transceiver.

Display Problems

Problem: LCD Screen Not Displaying Properly or Is Blank

A common issue with the Icom IC-718 is the LCD screen not displaying properly or going blank. This can be a major inconvenience, as the display is essential for operating the radio. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to troubleshoot and resolve this problem.

Solution: Adjust the Display Contrast Settings

First, adjust the display contrast settings. Sometimes, the contrast might be set too low, making the screen appear blank or hard to read. To adjust the contrast, refer to the user manual for specific instructions on how to navigate to the contrast settings menu. Increase the contrast level gradually until the display becomes clear and readable. This simple adjustment often resolves minor display issues.

Solution: Check for Loose Connections Inside the Radio If Comfortable Doing So

Next, check for loose connections inside the radio. If you are comfortable and have experience working with electronic devices, you can open the radio’s casing to inspect the internal connections. Look for any loose or disconnected cables that might affect the LCD screen. Be careful when handling the internal components to avoid causing further damage. Secure any loose connections you find. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, consider seeking help from a professional technician.

Solution: Consult Icom Support for Possible LCD Replacements If Necessary

If adjusting the contrast and checking internal connections do not resolve the issue, the problem might be with the LCD screen itself. In this case, consult Icom support for further assistance. Contact Icom customer service and explain the issue you are experiencing. They can provide guidance on whether the LCD screen needs to be replaced. If a replacement is necessary, Icom support can help you find the correct part and provide instructions on how to replace it.

Read More: Icom 718 Review : The Ultimate Ham Radio Transceiver?

Squelch and Noise

Problem: Squelch Not Working or Excessive Background Noise

A common issue with the Icom IC-718 is the squelch not working correctly or excessive background noise. This can make it difficult to hear clear audio, which affects communication quality. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to resolve this problem.

Solution: Adjust the Squelch Control to an Appropriate Level

First, adjust the squelch control to an appropriate level. The squelch control helps eliminate background noise by muting the audio until a signal reaches a certain strength. If the squelch is set too low, you might hear constant background noise. If it is set too high, you might miss weak signals. Turn the squelch knob slowly until the background noise just disappears. This should help you find the right balance between eliminating noise and receiving signals.

Solution: Check the RF Gain and Noise Blanker Settings

Next, check the RF gain and noise blanker settings. The RF gain controls the receiver’s sensitivity. If set too high, it can amplify background noise. Adjust the RF gain to a lower setting to reduce noise. Similarly, the noise blanker helps reduce interference from impulsive noise sources, like electrical motors or car ignition systems. Make sure the noise blanker is turned on. If necessary, adjust its settings to find the best level for reducing noise without affecting signal quality.

Solution: Use an External Noise Filter to Reduce Interference

If adjusting the squelch, RF gain, and noise blanker settings do not resolve the issue, consider using an external noise filter. External noise filters can help reduce interference from various sources, providing clearer audio. Connect the noise filter between the antenna and the radio. This can significantly reduce background noise and improve the overall listening experience.

Read More: Icom ID-4100A Review: The Ultimate Dual Band Transceiver


In conclusion, maintaining your Icom IC-718 is crucial for ensuring its reliable performance. By addressing common problems and implementing the solutions provided in this article, you can keep your radio in top condition and enjoy uninterrupted communication.

Regular maintenance and troubleshooting are key to keeping your Icom IC-718 running smoothly. Whether it’s adjusting settings, checking connections, or seeking assistance from Icom support, taking proactive steps can prevent issues from escalating.

Remember to consult the user manual for guidance on operating and troubleshooting your radio. Additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to Icom support for expert assistance when needed. They are there to help you resolve any issues and keep your radio in optimal condition.

We also encourage you to share your experiences and any additional tips you have for maintaining the Icom IC-718 in the comments section below. Your insights can benefit fellow users and contribute to a thriving community of amateur radio enthusiasts.

Thank you for reading, and happy to communicate with your Icom IC-718!

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