This Icom IC-3210E is in a sorry state. It likely saw many owners, some of which were convinced they could improve the factory alignment. My test equipment proved that they were wrong. This however isn’t the main problem. The thing refuses to lock on 70 cm, but after a while (when the inside temperature rises) it will come to life. RX audio doesn’t sound too good either.
The first thing you would normally do is check the VCO voltage and make adjustments if needed. Well, you can, but only for VHF. The UHF VCO is a closed metal box, and both schematics and service manual reveal that inside this box there’s nothing you can adjust. Apparently many things are derived from the VHF circuitry, and UHF frequencies seem to be generated by a tripler. I’m not 100% sure about all of this yet, I have to look into this more closely.
What I did so far is replacing a few usual suspects – mainly old electrolytic capacitors – and performed an official Icom mod to improve UHF sensitivity. The latter works like a charm and only involves the replacement of one capacitor and the addition of a resistor.
This particular radio might seem a far cry from today’s modern radios, but the receiver is superior to everything else on the market. Old fashioned band filters keep out all the crap, and selectivity is second to none. Let’s see if I can make the current owner happy; until now the locking problem persists.