Converting the SONY ICF-2010 to AM STEREO

The information below on how to convert the SONY ICF-2010 shortwave radio receive AM STEREO was kindly sent to me by Fredric Einstein.  This information originally appeared in an article entitled "Experimenter's Corner" by John Albert on page 56 of the June 1987 issue of Monitoring Times.  (Volume 6, No 6)  Frederic notes that, "The SONY ICF-2010 is one of the best portable shortwave radios ever made, and is still listed in SONY's catalogue after 12 years."


The Sony ICF-2010 uses a chip as a "synchronized detector" for AM shortwave reception.  This essentially allows the ICF-2010 to receive AM STEREO using two radios.  However, there is a way to use only one ICF-2010 as a stereo tuner by adding a stereo jack and two pieces of shielded cable.

Note:  It is highly recommended that you be a skilled technician before attempting to do any modification to the ICF-2010.


With the radio lying face down on the workbench and the radio bottom towards you, carefully examine the main PC board.  At the right end of the main board you will see a metal shield. Below the shield, you will see a cluster of surface mount components and traces.  By examining the main board, you will see the two pads to which the shielded cable will be connected.  Look for the designation "PSN" just below the pads.


Prepare the two shielded mini-microphone cables with shrink tubing on the braided (shield) wire. Connect one end of the cables to the mini stereo jack.  Connect the center conductor of the other ends to the pads.  The two pads that you want to solder to are the left-most pad which is located right next to resistor R-187.  Then, skip the next pad and solder the other center conductor to the third pad of the four.  There are "Z" shaped solder traces coming from the Sync Board RF shield to these two pads.  The letters "PSN" are just below and between pads 3 & 4.  Solder the braids to the metal shield.  (This is the ground.)


Drill a hole in the plastic case of the ICF-2010 and mount the mini stereo jack.  Use a 1/4" bit. As well, use a countersink to taper the hole so that the jack will mount on the plastic case.


Re-mount the back cover of the ICF-2010.  Plug the jack into a stereo system.  You will notice that the level from the "stereo" jack is lower than usual.  (You can compensate for this by using a higher volume setting.)  Next, switch the ICF-2010 into the "sync" mode and select either upper or lower sync.  You will hear then be able to hear AM STEREO on ONE of the two sync positions.  If you don't hear stereo, simply switch to the opposite sync position.  Congratulations!! You are now listening to Motorola C-QUAM AM STEREO!

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