Pimp up your transceiver control unit display!

The Icom IC-E2820 and Kenwood TM-D710 have a control unit with backlit LCD display that is not very clear to read ....  Their LCD backlight can be changed from orange to green, but is really too faint to be well readable, even when set to maximum intensity,  in particular under medium lighting conditions.  The display face is slightly rounded, thereby there is always something being reflected, this is not adding to a clear readout.  Compare this to the excellent display of an IC-7000 and understand what I mean ;o) 

So I decided to replace the backlight LEDs by high intensity (380~550mCd@20mA)  cool white SMD LEDs in package type 1206 which I found on Ebay... 50 pcs for 4 � !  Off course, the intensity can still be adjusted, but the color is cool white  !

SMD high intensity LED 1206

IC-E2820 Control Unit PCB

'IC2820 Display PCB - Click to zoom)

In the IC-2820 display there are seven LEDs to replace, in the TM-D710 33 pcs  (ough! but results are well worth the effort ... ) . These can be soldered on the extreme pads of the original location, 'jumping' over the middle pad. Use a soldering iron with fine tip and avoid excessive heat - white LEDs life is adversely affected by excessive temperatures, even during soldering ... I did not check the forward current through the LEDs, but this should be less than 10mA to ensure a long life.

The results ...

IC-E2820 display cool white

A highly visible LCD display of IC-2820


A clear and  'daylight bright'  visible display for TM-D710 !