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skippydiesel

ICOM-ICA20

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To all my trusted advisors:

 

I have a fully functional (that is until very recently) ICOM-ICA20 airband transceiver, carried as emergency backup (not yet required), to get local AWIS before start up and very occasionally, as a ground to air comm .

 

Compared with the new handhelds its a bit on the "clunky" side but has always done what I wanted. I "inherited" the radio with my purchase of the aircraft about 9 years ago. I have no idea how old the radio is but the aircraft is 18.

 

Enough of the background - the problem is the battery (an ICOM BP-7, 13.2 volt) - gone kaput! Radio still works fine when I connect it directly to a 12 volt source

 

Tried to do a deal with ICOM - exchange museum piece for new unit - they didn't even see the humour in my pathetic attempt.

 

Spoilt for choice. What to do?

 

Replacement OM batteries do not exist.

 

Replacement aftermarket battery (this is battery & case) does exist. Best price to date $86.20 (inc GST) + postage for a 1000 mAH Ni-MH (QLD supplier)

 

OR

 

A replacement battery pack insert. In the region of $70.00 (inc GST) for a 600 mAH NiCD (NSW supplier). I think the original battery was a NiCD however I dont have the original charger & use an off the shelf 12V unit or ship power..

 

OR

 

I could purchase a brand new ICOM IC-A15 for $330 (inc GST) + postage (supplier Clear Prop). Smaller, lighter, no idea how it performs but assume = or better than the old unit.

 

OR

 

Whatever you might sugest

 

What think you?????

 

 

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just run it with 12V plugged in. If you want it as emergency backuo get a 12V "power bank" or AA cell holder with the right plug.

 

if you must use battery pack, refurbish it or get the AA cell holder that clips in place and use rechargeable NiMh cells.

 

they are a really good radio with good noise blanker and easy to operate. newer models not so.

 

 

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just run it with 12V plugged in. If you want it as emergency backuo get a 12V "power bank" or AA cell holder with the right plug.if you must use battery pack, refurbish it or get the AA cell holder that clips in place and use rechargeable NiMh cells.

they are a really good radio with good noise blanker and easy to operate. newer models not so.

Thanks Jetboy - my aircraft is small two seater. Space is at a premium, so carrying additional power packs, although possible, is not really a good option (the IC - A20 when fully functional,

 

was only just tolerable).

 

I am very interested in your comment regarding newer radios - care to expand on it?

 

 

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A number of replacements come up on Ebay etc, the following is one example, freight price takes the shine off it a bit.BP-7 CM-7G Battery for ICOM IC-A20 IC-A21 IC-02AT IC-03AT IC-04AT | eBay

Thanks Birdseye - I thought the two battery options I mentioned were okay regarding price & availability but I really dont know the pros/cons if 1000 mAH Ni-MH versus 600 mAH NiCD or if a new radio would be a better investment (see jetboys comment)

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Thanks Birdseye - I thought the two battery options I mentioned were okay regarding price & availability but I really dont know the pros/cons if 1000 mAH Ni-MH versus 600 mAH NiCD or if a new radio would be a better investment (see jetboys comment)

NiMH is the better option, but nothing wrong with NiCd other than that they run down much quicker when not in use. As a user of various aernautical and amateur radios over the years, I think Jetboy is saying that the A20 is a sound and simple radio, whereas later versions have added bells and whistles which are really just unnecessary complications for the basic use that you describe. If the radio is otherwise OK I'd shell out for the new battery rather than spend the $300 on a new one.

 

 

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NiMH is the better option, but nothing wrong with NiCd other than that they run down much quicker when not in use. As a user of various aernautical and amateur radios over the years, I think Jetboy is saying that the A20 is a sound and simple radio, whereas later versions have added bells and whistles which are really just unnecessary complications for the basic use that you describe. If the radio is otherwise OK I'd shell out for the new battery rather than spend the $300 on a new one.

Thank you for your sound advice Birdseye.

Perhaps I might trouble you for a little more.

 

I have been using a generic 240/12 volt charger (or ship power) to charge the battery on my hand held. This seems to have worked quite well, however I am aware that some batteries require/prefer/respond better to certain types of chargers (or is all this just marketing noise?).

 

So my question is - should I invest in some sort of special, charger for my new NiMH battery??

 

 

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I re-batteried my A20 years ago using ten individual nicad cells bought and wired up into the original battery case. Quite easy really.

 

In the A20 there is also a button cell backup battery buried deep in the guts, spot welded in place, very tricky to get to, but possible. I fitted a new button cell wired in and moved to a more convenient location.

 

When backup battery expired, my squelch stopped squelching. The new battery fixed that.

 

 

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Thank you for your sound advice Birdseye.Perhaps I might trouble you for a little more.

I have been using a generic 240/12 volt charger (or ship power) to charge the battery on my hand held. This seems to have worked quite well, however I am aware that some batteries require/prefer/respond better to certain types of chargers (or is all this just marketing noise?).

 

So my question is - should I invest in some sort of special, charger for my new NiMH battery??

Answer unfortunately is maybe, depends on what your current charger is. This reference explains it quite well:

 

NiMH Battery Charger FAQ

 

 

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Answer unfortunately is maybe' date=' depends on what your current charger is. This reference explains it quite well:NiMH Battery Charger FAQ

Read the reference - thanks - very helpful.

 

So! looks like it may be advisable to get a proper charger, that will fully charge, within a reasonable time span and shut off when battery at max charge.

 

Sorry it seems that I must take up your time once again - any charger recommendations??

 

 

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I've never bought one myself, its always been an included item. Perhaps once you have the battery try Jaycar (or maybe Batteryworld) to ensure you have the right connector etc. mentioning Batteryworld, they do sell all sorts of proprietary style items, I bought a battery for my Dyson vacuum from them, but its probably a long shot that they do anything for Icom.

 

Incidentally the repacking option suggested by others is certainly a viable one, just copy the existing connections meticulously.

 

 

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I have an Icom A22E which I think is similar. The NiCad batteries failed and I had new ones installed. They failed even quicker and I have been using the radio on ships power for about ten years. I also had a small lead acid battery which I mounted in a case complete with a flashlight and wiring for the radio. That was used at many fly ins, but now I need to replace that old battery. I would think an external battery pack of LiFePo would be the way to go.

 

 

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I re-batteried my A20 years ago using ten individual nicad cells bought and wired up into the original battery case. Quite easy really.In the A20 there is also a button cell backup battery buried deep in the guts, spot welded in place, very tricky to get to, but possible. I fitted a new button cell wired in and moved to a more convenient location.

When backup battery expired, my squelch stopped squelching. The new battery fixed that.

Well I went looking for your "button cell" thinking that I might as well replace it at the same time as the new main battery - BIG MISTAKE. Removed the only thing that looked like a button cell, turned out to be a triode of some sort (3 legs) - will have to make a visit to JayCar in the hope of finding & fitting a replacement. Hope I can get it all back together again.

 

Take this as a cautionary tale to all others - This is what happens when a fool is given a little information. If it works leave well alone.

 

 

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To all my trusted advisors:I have a fully functional (that is until very recently) ICOM-ICA20 airband transceiver, carried as emergency backup (not yet required), to get local AWIS before start up and very occasionally, as a ground to air comm .

 

Compared with the new handhelds its a bit on the "clunky" side but has always done what I wanted. I "inherited" the radio with my purchase of the aircraft about 9 years ago. I have no idea how old the radio is but the aircraft is 18.

 

Enough of the background - the problem is the battery (an ICOM BP-7, 13.2 volt) - gone kaput! Radio still works fine when I connect it directly to a 12 volt source

 

Tried to do a deal with ICOM - exchange museum piece for new unit - they didn't even see the humour in my pathetic attempt.

 

Spoilt for choice. What to do?

 

Replacement OM batteries do not exist.

 

Replacement aftermarket battery (this is battery & case) does exist. Best price to date $86.20 (inc GST) + postage for a 1000 mAH Ni-MH (QLD supplier)

 

OR

 

A replacement battery pack insert. In the region of $70.00 (inc GST) for a 600 mAH NiCD (NSW supplier). I think the original battery was a NiCD however I dont have the original charger & use an off the shelf 12V unit or ship power..

 

OR

 

I could purchase a brand new ICOM IC-A15 for $330 (inc GST) + postage (supplier Clear Prop). Smaller, lighter, no idea how it performs but assume = or better than the old unit.

 

OR

 

Whatever you might sugest

 

What think you?????

I have the same radio Skippy. WELL, the Mk 1 radio without the frequency change knob on the top panel. . . The battery pack Nicds died, so I had them replaced with Nickel Metal Hydride cells of the same voltage value. This pack has worked continuously with that replacement pack for over ten years. The advantage with NmH cells over nicads is that they do not have the charge 'Memory' problem, where if you charge them from half exhausted, too often, you lose the rest of the capacity completely. I bought the cells and soldered the pack together myself. I've no doubt that if you find a source of these NmH cells, the supplier might be able to suggest someone to replace them if you are not into fiddling yourself. ( Friendly local Radio Ham ? ) At the time I did this, the Icom UK replacement pack was over £95 GBP. I paid less than £30.00 for my pack of NmH cells. No doubt they will be slightly more costly 10 years later ! Fully charged, the pack lasts ages,. .far better than Nicads. Charges the same way with a 'drop in' or wall socket charger.

 

Good fortune with the project.

 

 

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I did say the button cell was buried deep in the guts and tricky to get to! CR2032 size cell it was, maybe not that exact number, but that size - ten cent piece but thicker. It's there, and clearly not meant to be a user replace item (being buried so deep and spot welded in - not soldered). Replacing the battery fixed my squelchlessness, I have no idea why, but it did. The radio was useless so I had nothing to lose by taking it apart bit by bit and keep on going til I found that battery. Radio was probably 20 years old before that battery died.

 

 

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Hello, I have the same radio and a few months ago I bought an aftermarket BP7 battery from the US via Ebay for $70.00 including postage, Unfortunately I don't have the sellers details any more but I'm sure you'll still find them on Ebay.

 

 

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18 volt 2 amp hour $18 lithium battery pack from ALDI used to repack old Icom Nicad battery, 3x3.6 volt lithium-Iron cells fits in the original Icom battery pack, 2 years later still works a treat

 

 

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I re-batteried my A20 years ago using ten individual nicad cells bought and wired up into the original battery case. Quite easy really.In the A20 there is also a button cell backup battery buried deep in the guts, spot welded in place, very tricky to get to, but possible. I fitted a new button cell wired in and moved to a more convenient location.

When backup battery expired, my squelch stopped squelching. The new battery fixed that.

Ah, the old Button Cell. . . . been so long since I stripped down an A-20 that I'd forgotten about that. This was to maintain the 16 channel memory feature, as I never noticed an Eprom chip in the original circuit diagram, the thing would have a volatile memory, ie, powered down, it forgot them all. I have not had to replace that in any of the A-20s I've repaired in the past. Should have no effect on the mute / squelch circuit though. ( I realise that YOU didn't mention that. . ) I have never had to break open one of the more compact Icom A-3 or A-24 sets, both of which have an alphanumeric channel display feature, so I dunno if those models use Eprom or Button cell for mem backup.

 

 

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More news from The Fool -

 

JayCar tell me the "thingy" I took out of my A-20 is in fact an RF JFET Can (which they dont supply).

 

A quick Google search reveals there are several different "values" for this little device and wouldn't you know, the one I have has its markings obscured by saulder.

 

Can anyone help positively ID my JFET Can?

 

 

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More news from The Fool -JayCar tell me the "thingy" I took out of my A-20 is in fact an RF JFET Can (which they dont supply).

 

A quick Google search reveals there are several different "values" for this little device and wouldn't you know, the one I have has its markings obscured by saulder.

 

Can anyone help positively ID my JFET Can?

Don't know if I can offer solution Skippy, but it would be useful to know which Model you have. Is it a Mk 1 or 2 ? The Mk 2 has a frequency adjust knob on the top panel, next tp the Vol / Squelch controls.. . .the Mk 1 doesn't.

 

If worst comes to worst, in the next few months there will be a few tons of useless 25Khz Icoms going begging in the UK when the 8.33 Khz voice channel spacing regs are fully implemented. I realise that these rigs will NOT be type approved for use in Australia, this was discussed on this site a couple of years back, BUT I don't think there would be a problem if you changed a chassis like for like ?. . There are still plenty of those models around, being ( Almost ) Bombproof and very reliable.. I am already sending Three Icoms to the states, to a Gent on this site actually. . . for shipping cost only as they have no value in the UK since they will be illegal to use. Ping my email if you want me to look around for a freebie for you !

 

<[email protected]>

 

 

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Don't know if I can offer solution Skippy, but it would be useful to know which Model you have. Is it a Mk 1 or 2 ? The Mk 2 has a frequency adjust knob on the top panel, next tp the Vol / Squelch controls.. . .the Mk 1 doesn't.If worst comes to worst, in the next few months there will be a few tons of useless 25Khz Icoms going begging in the UK when the 8.33 Khz voice channel spacing regs are fully implemented. I realise that these rigs will NOT be type approved for use in Australia, this was discussed on this site a couple of years back, BUT I don't think there would be a problem if you changed a chassis like for like ?. . There are still plenty of those models around, being ( Almost ) Bombproof and very reliable.. I am already sending Three Icoms to the states, to a Gent on this site actually. . . for shipping cost only as they have no value in the UK since they will be illegal to use. Ping my email if you want me to look around for a freebie for you !

 

<[email protected]>

From your description my radio will be a Mk 1

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it might help if you post a picture.

 

a common RF final transistor for airband AM - used in the Delcom 960 "clone" was 2SC1972

 

RF Transistors, ELECTRO BROADCAST RF SHOP

 

Icoms in the VHF band often used 2SC1947 which is a metal can transistor

 

Semiconductor: 2SC1947 (2SC 1947) - TRANSISTOR SILICON NPN / 35V / 1A / 4W / 175MHz... - UK (GBP)

 

but you cant just put anything similar in, and it would depend how you "removed" the thing in the fist place, you might be able to just put it back?

 

 

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........................................................................................................................................but you cant just put anything similar in, and it would depend how you "removed" the thing in the fist place, you might be able to just put it back?

Fool that I am I have broken off two of the tree little wire contacts (legs) so I doubt that returning the can to its nesting place is an option. Going to try to remove the solder on the top of the can in the faint hope that all or part of a code might be revealed.

 

I have asked Icom Australia for help - either ID the JFET or send/direct me to a circuit diagram. So far no response.

 

 

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Its not a JFET so dont go asking the techs at icom for that. You could request a replacement final RF power transistor for the IC-A20 if you are sure that is what you removed.

 

From what you describe so far it might be the 2SC1947 I described earlier, does the size match?

 

 

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