Road Trip

Ok, this is going to be another SSB post, sorry.

Once we figured out the radio wasn’t opened up, I started looking for someone who could do the job. As I mentioned before, this became a process on its own. First we found a local radio shop that swore they were icom service techs but after several conversations and emails later we weren’t feeling confident. They were confused about the fact that the m710 and the m710rt are different units (different guts and different software) not just one with a remote head, one without. On top of that, they were planning on just clipping some internal diodes and not manipulating the software. I emailed icom directly and they reassured me NO physical components needed to be touched, it’s just a simple software adjustment (cloning). They gave me the number of two service shops in Florida that could do it (and confirmed that my guy was not an icom service repair tech/dealer). I called the first one. Sure, they can do it-it would be 5-6 hours service time at $100.00 an hour. WHAT?!?? Wholly Crap! Nope. I called the second one. Super nice guy, spent over a half an hour troubleshooting with me to make sure that was my problem. It was. So, the big question, how much? Fifty bucks- OK, now that’s more reasonable!

Instead of mailing the unit, Keith and I played hookie from work and drove the unit down to his shop in Fort Lauderdale. About a three hour drive each way. The theory behind driving the unit down was that he was so helpful on the phone that maybe being present would result in several helpful pointers. It took the guy all of 30 minutes. All you need is an old computer with a serial port, an old version of windows, the correct cloning software from icom, and a special cable. Done. (Theoretically this could be done by having a service person come out to the boat, we weren’t so lucky)

We had dragged everything down with us, all the cables, the modem, the computer in hopes of trying it all out while there but that didn’t happen. Oh well. Still super pleased with the experience. Thanks Mikes Electronics in Fort Lauderdale!

Now we just have to reinstall everything and give it another go. So be prepared, there will be at least one more radio post (hopefully a very, very happy one).

Besides getting several hours of family time in with the drive, we stopped at marine salvage/surplus warehouse on the way home (and didn’t even buy anything). We also discovered Kai gets motion sick. Uh-oh. Hopefully it was only because he had been looking out the side window for a while 😦 Doggy Dramamine added to the provisions list.


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