View Full Version : Icom 737

September 27th, 2009, 08:58 PM
anyone have experience with this rig?

I am looking at one with a nice desk mic and 20a power supply for 400.

I have no experience with HF at all, actually going to take my upgrade ticket test soon. wondering if this will get me running, or if I should save up some more pennies.

probably would run a simple dipole coax fed in the yard, no fancy schmancy tower antenna for this guy. I know this radio has internal antenna tuner which seems cool. all the trimmer's have been replaced recently as they were dropping out on a few bands....


October 1st, 2009, 08:27 AM
Built in the mid to late 90's. 100 watt, 10-160 meters with WARC bands, AM/FM/SSB/CW/(no native Digi Modes, not a big deal if you have a computer), built in antenna tuner (which you knew).

Retailed for close $1800 new and would make a outstanding starter rig for HF if its in good shape.

Read the reviews here they give it 4.6 out of 5....


Make them fire it up into a dummy load on all bands and all modes to make sure the finals are still up to snuff. Also check that all the buttons and switches function cleanly especially the VFO (main Tuning knob) watch the dial there should not be any skips or hesitation as the freq displays moves.

Sticky switchs can be cleaned up with a shot of contact cleaner (the electronic variaty not the stuff for your eyes)

Oh and dont expect the antenna tuner to work wonders on a bad match. Its designed to clean up a poor match. It wont tune 40 meters on a 15 meter dipole. You will need to tune your antenna to be flat on SWR at the center of the band WITH OUT the tuner and then it should flatten the swr to the band edges.

When you get your ticket consider building a "Fan Dipole", Google it you will get the idea...simple to make and cheap. I have one made for 10,15,20,40 meters all on one coax feed with no need to switch between antennas. The signal naturally radiates from the right section. I have worked the South Pacfic( Marshall Islands), Eastern Europe, New Zealand and Japan at 100 watts with that antenna.

If you don't buy let me know who has it.

October 1st, 2009, 11:11 AM
I am going to buy it. Going to meet the guy half way since it is pretty far. guess I will bring some jumper type cables to fire it up off a car battery or something....

I will see if he has a dummy load, and other than that I honestly wouldn't even know how to make sure works well, but they guy seems up and up. His call is legit, proper for his gear and all.

He had the trim's replaced a few months ago since they dropped out on a couple bands. I have read that is pretty common for this radio. I will look up your antenna you mentioned. have been looking at triband dipole as well. Still haven't figured out the electronics of how a single feed point will operate all the bands....

also, being cheap, will the 45 dollar SWR meter from radioshack work? it is 3-30mghz since it is mainly CB designed. 300watt.....

I am new to HF world, so this is new territory for me... Maybe if I get it up and running with a solid antenna we will have to try and hook up on a freq sometime.

October 1st, 2009, 11:17 AM
either way I am not sure I am going to have enough room to put one of these up, as erecting poles in the backyard is probably a "no go" in my rental home.

might have to trim it down to 1/2

October 1st, 2009, 01:05 PM
I would not trust a RS SWR meter for anything but a CB.

If space is a problem look at one of these a Alpha Delta DX-EE 10,15, 20 and 40 meters


Page three will help you understand the way all are fed from one coax.

It's 40 ft end to end. I have it mounted between the peak of my house and tree

October 1st, 2009, 01:10 PM
40ft end to end is easily doable. been looking at some that were 200+ feet long.

Space is not a concern, having it sooner and cheaper is a concern

October 1st, 2009, 01:11 PM
Oh and on the SWR meter..save up a little cash and get a cross needle unit. No setting it or calibrating it to take a reading...One needle reads output and the other reads the reflected power....Where they cross is your SWR


Thats a MFJ unit but it gives you the idea of what it looks like.

October 1st, 2009, 01:16 PM
I picked that one up for about $100 by the time I would have bought the center connector and the wire it was cheaper to buy it pre-made

October 1st, 2009, 01:20 PM
Oh also to use the tuner in the radio you need a balanced feed antenna such as a dipole.

Its not going to match a random wire, inverted L or something like a Windom antenna. Basically if the antenna is using
the Ground as one antenna leg your not going to match it with that built in tuner in most cases.

October 1st, 2009, 07:33 PM
radio is mine now..

drove all the way there to see it in operation...

runs good, pristine condition, so...

guy had a nice ham shack, yaesu 950, nice kenwood rig, etc.. dude lives in the country gots about 10 antennas running. think this radio will be in good shape...

mars capped as well as all trim caps replaced with ceramics. we will see once i get my ticket punched for general

October 2nd, 2009, 05:48 PM
well, simple G5RV antenna built and hung from some tree's.

I can hear people. one from PA. off to a good start. the built in tuner is impressive, and the radio self limiting in the case of bad SWR. no built in SWR meter, but it seems to know what it is doing.

antenna tuned up in 2 seconds and I am listening... Once I get my ticket punched maybe I can talk to someone.

EDIT: maybe antenna not tuned up quite as well as i thought.... receives well but i dont think it is good to transmit yet.

October 9th, 2009, 09:22 PM
well, going to take element 3 tomolly.

wish me luck... think I am good, but some of the electronic stuff I don't understand fully.

PhantomD AKA Zach
October 10th, 2009, 02:18 AM