Tuesday 2 July 2024



Doesn't everyone hate Micro-USB?? Wouldn't we all love to have just one type of USB connector? Well I would for sure. I think that USB-C should be the only type out there and all variations should be banned, lol.

With that in mind, I was very interested to see the introduction of an upgrade from iHelpUTech for the Icom IC-705 which swapped out the Micro-USB and replaced it with the far handier USB-C. Now let's make it clear from the get-go that this 'upgrade' does not upgrade the USB connector's functionality and does not allow for any USB-C charging benefits - it merely gives you the convenience of having a USB-C socket.

So is it worth changing the control board just for that?? Well that's a personal choice, but with this new control board you also get a vast improvement in protection for the radio when using an external amplifier. That alone is worth swapping out the board!

The tiny transistors inside the original Icom control board can only handle a very small amount of current and in some cases they could easily be destroyed with just a few mA whereas the new control board has transistors which can handle around 1A, so that's a HUGE safety margin, should there be any spikes.

The board cost £68 and I think that's a reasonable price to pay for this convenience and protection. The actual fitting of the board is an absolute doddle and all you need is a screwdriver to complete the job.

First of all, remove the battery, followed by the four screws on the back of the radio. Then you remove the top and bottom screws holding the front panel on and gently pull apart, noting that there are a couple of ribbon cables connecting the two halves together. 

I left the ribbon cables in situ and simply rested the two halves next to each other. You can see that the control-board is held in place with 3 screws, so remove those and gently lift up the control board and remove the ribbon cable once you've lifted the tiny black release-tab.

Then connect the ribbon cable to the new control board, close the release-tab and screw the board back in place, but before tightening, insert a USB-C cable into the port to make sure it's aligned properly.

Join the two halves of the radio back together and before inserting the screws, refit the battery and make sure everything springs back to life. Insert a USB-C cable and plug it into a charger to check that the 705's charging light comes on. If it does, you can screw the radio back together. Job done!!

Below is a video from iHelpUTech covering the whole installation....


This installation was super easy but the previous owner of my radio (for whatever crazy reason) decided to Loctite the upper and lower screws in the front panel which resulted in me totally stripping one of the screws 😡😡😡 If the screws don't come out easily, make sure that you have the absolute correct screwdriver or the same will happen to you. These radios require a JIS type screwdriver.

73, Tom, M7MCQ


VE9KK said...

Good morning Tom very nice run down of the installation of the board. As you said the up grade of 1 amp protection is well worth it. As for loctite on the screws I am at a loss for that idea.
73 and have a good week,

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Tom, did you get the screw out? That can be something very difficult as I know since I encounter that almost every week in my job. Normally a screw that has locktite on needs to get a bit warm/hot before you can screw it out. But you can't see if locktite is on from the outside of course. Makes it extra difficult. I never heard of a JIS type screwdriver. They should mention that in the video. About the board, I'm not an IC-705 user but with so many failing micro USB connectors on tablets I had I can imagine that this is a really nice upgrade. 73, Bas

MadDogMcQ said...

@VE9KK - Hi Mike, I’m at a loss too! There’s some odd people around I guess. Hope you’re well, 73, Tom.

@PE4BAS - Hi Bas, JIS stands for Japanese Industry Standard. I have a set of JIS screwdrivers but the screw was pretty soft and the Loctite was pretty darn hard! I eventually got it all the way out with a pair of long nose pliers, but caused some marks to the surrounding plastics. Because I’ll never sell the radio, it doesn’t matter, but it’s still very annoying. Hope you’re keeping well. 73, Tom.