Icom sent out a letter to their customers regarding a worldwide recall of their new flagship, the IC-7100. At first the reasons for this recall were unclear, until I got hold of Chris Lougee.
Chris, Icom America’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, explained:
There proved to three problems with this model which escaped our attention during development. The most urgent matter on our agenda is replacing the touchscreen by an upgraded model.
What’s wrong with the current touchscreen?
Under normal circumstances, nothing. However, when a ham radio operator is picking his nose – and believe me, many do – the dried-out nasal mucus remains will be devastating.
I don’t follow.
Nose-picking is the act of extracting nasal mucus with one’s finger (rhinotillexis). Some hams will automatically ingest the mucus (mucophagy), but many don’t. Once dried-out nasal mucus is stuck onto the touchscreen, it is impossible to remove it without severely damaging the screen. We will replace the screen by a scratch-proof one. A mucus-proof one, if you will.
The second problem we need to know about?
To attract customers who never mastered the art of attaching an N-connector to a coax cable, we decided to use SO-239 for VHF/UHF. This decision also proved to be a bad mistake.
We initially assumed that users would still use a good quality coax cable, but instead they used low quality, high-loss RG-58 which they salvaged from the time they were on CB. Immediately complaints rolled in about bad reception and bad signal reports. We will exchange SO-239 for N, and hand out a free instruction set on how to attach these connectors properly and which cable to use.
Sounds like a good idea to me. You mentioned that there were three problems. Did I miss one?
Yes, the design. Many owners complained about the fact that the radio looks almost identical to an alarm clock. On a few occasions this resulted in the total destruction of the control head.
Sorry Chris, but this sounds a bit implausible to me.
It sounded implausible to us too at first. The problem only occurs after many hours of contesting. Contesters generally fall asleep in their shack, hear the alarm clock at 6.00 am, want to silence it, but hit the Icom control head instead. Not much was left of the ones we got back for repair.
I hope D-Star still works as advertised?
Yes, D-Star works great. You still sound like a Dalek, but that’s a feature, not a bug, haha!
Any idea how much time all of this will take?
All radios will be sent back to Japan, refitted and tested by our nasal mucus experts. The control head will be encased in stainless steel. Turnaround time will be up to three months. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused.
Apologies accepted. Thank you for all the information, Chris, and hope to meet you again.
Thank you too, Hans. I love your blog! Have a great day!