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Icom IC-24AT

Icom IC-24AT Internal

Icom IC-24AT Internal

I know the title doesn’t mean much to most folks. It is the model number of a dual band amateur radio VHF/UHF hand held transceiver. I used it a lot well before cell phones became popular. It is at least 20 years old, probably more.

After the Field Day visit I decided to dig this “rig” out of the dust and spiders at the back of my junk shelf. It’s really not junk. As far as I remember it was working well when I “retired” it. Surprising is that it is still pretty much state-of-the-art in size and function. Newer Handheld Transceivers (HTs) do have a lot more “features” mostly do to the advances in cell phone technology.

As an FCC  licensed Amateur Radio operator, I am authorized to work with the internal components of my transmitting equipment. In the Pic you can see I put my current call sign inside my HT. That must of been 17 years ago when I first acquired the call sign with the 5. It had an 8 when I lived in Ohio and I had this radio back then. It looks intimidating inside but I understand what most of the components are and do.

Icom IC-24AT and BC-72 charger

Icom IC-24AT and BC-72 charger

I was looking for general condition such as corroded parts and any dirt, etc. I don’t want to invest money into something that isn’t worth bringing back to life. I did find a stray mounting screw lodged in the PL board that must have been there since new. There were no empty holes where it might have come from.

The “rubber duck” dual band antenna (shown) needs replaced as the old rubber has cracked. No original parts are available for this old radio but the antenna can be replaced by a generic antenna.

I took the charger all apart too. It had some serious problems. One of the battery contacts was corroded and two of the five micro switches that sense what battery is being charged  were stuck. I cleaned and fix all that up. A new charger is around $55.00 so it is good I am not afraid to dig into my equipment.

I am sure the battery is history. I stuck it in the charger but I have no expectations it will take and hold a charge. I can easily get a new battery. Actually a small but more powerful battery than the one shown is available. Unfortunately the new battery cost is around $30.00 – $40.00. My biggest concern is if the radio is capable of coming back from the dead. I’ll have to name it Methuselah if it does…

This kind of radio is used for many public service events. Hams use them for storm spotting, search and rescue support, public events like Special Olympics and even hot air balloon fests. The are faster and easier to manage than cell phone in this duty. Radio nets constantly practice staying in constant contact as a group. Everyone is aware and can hear what’s going on. This is not easily possible with cell phones.

1 comment to Icom IC-24AT

  • Dan'l

    The battery turns out to be beyond recovery. No load it reads 10 volts (should be 12) and under load of just powering the receiver, it drops to 5 volts. Not good for a 12 volt Ni-Cad pack. After 25 years it is not unexpected. 🙂 New 7.2 Volt (standard battery for radio) Ni-MH with 2200 mAh is on order. So is a replacement RD antenna.

    Update 4/2/15 Fresh new battery arrives and reveals fatal flaw in radio. On receive only the radio gets very hot to the touch. Some kind of short or thermal run-away in receiver section. No display whatsoever on screen. I think I will cut my losses and look for a replacement HT.