ICOM IC-746/756/PRO Series CCFL-to-LED Backlight Conversion

Notice: I’m not selling any kits. I offer this option for customers that actually need their backlights repaired, and are willing to ship the entire radio in for service, not just the front-panel.

April 2018: I’m now able to convert backlight circuits from CCFL to LED in the following radios:

IC-746
IC-746PRO
IC-756
IC-756PRO
IC-756PROII
IC-756PROIII

If the original circuit is in bad shape, or the CCFL tube is very dim, I can replace the CCFL tube with a 12-volt LED strip. (Scroll down to see pictures.)

  • I add a simple circuit (shown below) that allows the rig’s dimmer function to work as intended.
  • No inverter or regulator circuits are used. So there are no RFI issues, and there are less components to fail.
  • A regulator circuit is not required to prevent “flicker” when transmitting. It’s a non-issue. The original CCFL driver circuit was not regulated, nor does the LED circuit need be. (If you experience flickering while transmitting, you’ve got bigger problems, such as a marginal power supply, or voltage loss through your DC power cable.)
  • The circuit is so small, it can be built inside the original CCFL circuit’s shielded enclosure. But I find it best to mount the components on the back-side of the circuit board, where they can be easily accessed, without having to remove the board.
  • The LED strip is “cool white”, so the display looks as close to original as possible.
  • I use the Flexfire UltraBright Slim Series LED strip, which is only 3.5mm wide, and fits perfectly in the IC-756PRO series displays.
  • In the IC-746/PRO displays, there’s a wider opening, so I add a spacer.
  • The IC-746/PRO series requires 3 sections of this LED strip. And the IC-756PRO series requires 7 sections.

IC-756PROII with LED conversion at 100% brightness:

IC-746 with LED conversion at 100% brightness:

Comparison of an original Pro2 CCFL tube (bottom) and a new LED strip (top): 

An LED strip all lit up: