These were notorious to fail after ten to fifiteen years due to faulty surface mount electrolytic capacitors. Not only did the capacitors go low in value but they leaked conductive goo onto the circuit board and this caused other problems in addition to the motor boating that was the first signs of trouble. I managed to keep it going when I was out in the bush with GAA for a few years by replacing the batteries almost every night I used it but when I turned it on a few weeks ago after putting it in the "too hard basket" for five or six years, there was almost no volume and all sorts of noises that should not be there.
I almost bought another one (NOS), the last model made was made about 2002, there are a few left out there if you hunt for them. I decided to have a try at fixing the 1984 model I have and now I don't have to spend $200.00 to listen to stuff while travelling. These things are quite exotic, even have SSB detector and fine tuning, works quite well on the HF Ham bands. As soon as I put it back together I was listening to Hams on the 20M band using Upper Side Band and comming in from Europe quit well mid afternoon.
I took out 23 surface mount capacitors and replace them all. Four of them I used Tantalum capacitors becuse I could fit them in and it was easier to solder them to the pads than the SMT stuff. Some of the pads had suffered damage from the goo but I managed to clean these up with quite a bit of effort. There are also three "real" electrolytic cpacitors so I replaced them also. I am amazed I did not break something else in the process, all those tiny three legged things called FET and Transistors, coils and chokes, not to mention the tiny tracks and through hole links.
I soon discovered the fancy SMT work station was of little use for this repair, as was the pair of soldering tweezers I had also bought. They could do too much colateral damage. The web sites I had found concerning fixing the 7600 all suggested it was best to chop the capacitors as low down as you can and then carefully remove the remains and clean the pads.
With the experience gained fixing my 7600D I was then ready to have a look at another and when a friend asked me what he should by to replace his, silly me offered to fix that one also. I had some difficulty getting at the solder pads for some of the SMD caps so I decided to use more Tantalum capacitors in this one. If you compare the photos below with those above you will see which ones I replaced with these caps rather than SMD's. You will notice I had to file a small notch in the supporty frame to fit one Tantalum capacitor.
Now I should have another look at this radios little brother, the SW1 !
Back to the Communication Receiver page
Back to the Ham Radio Shack Equipment pages
Back to the Ham Radio pages
Back to the Domestic Radio pages
Back to opening page
Written by and Copyright, Phil. Storr © Last updated 16th September 2013