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Author Topic: Icom ID-51 (ID-51A) First Quick Review  (Read 9165 times)

Posts: 25

« on: April 14, 2013, 11:19:55 AM »

Here is a quick side by side comparison of the ID-51 Icom Dstar Radio next to it’s predecessor ID-31a as well as a surprise appearance from the 92-ad. I am very happy with the ID-51 at this point and really like the programing as well as the other features it has. The size is just a little bigger than the ID-31a and in my opinion worth the extra price. I want to do a more indepth review with some deeper audio testing as well as side by side programming options. I have found a few things it does better than the 31a in programming ability and I wanted to point those out.

Posts: 43

« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 06:51:48 AM »

I am a new ham and made the leap to this model for the D Star capability and the brand name reliability. I still have two inexpensive (won't say cheap yet) HTs as backups and loaners for Emcomm. i got an after market whip, a AA battery case, and a PL 259 connector so I can use it with a mag mount antenna. I did not bother with a case or the extended life rechargeable battery (a big blister pack of AAs will serve as well)

The radio is solid feeling and puts out a good signal. The receiver audio is very impressive. With hundreds of channel positions I could program the entire Western U.S. if I wanted, but have limited myself to the dozen we use here locally.

Programming memories is not particularly intuitive, but once I learned the system, it goes pretty fast (now to remember it). For computer programming there is a CD (Windows only) with software for which you need either a proprietary cable or a micro SC card (not included) and connector (not included, but both available at an office supply store for less than the cable). I got the micro SC card and connector and they worked the first time. When I first got an HT I went crazy and programmed in dozens of channels. Now I know to program my local ICS 205 channels and just be prepared to add channels as necessary. It's good practice. The micro SD card is good to record QSOs and voice memos if you want.

The text display for the frequencies and memory channels is big and long and easy to do without the computer.

The big mystery now is D Star and GPS, the real reason I got this model vs. a much, much cheaper model. Apparently you have to register with D Star administrators, but mine seems to be on vacation. I would like the radio to work with APRS (form Emcomm and public service) and am told that it will, but the instructions (200+ pages through your printer) don't quite tell me how to do that. I am confident that an Elmer will help me solve that.

I like the ID 51a.

Posts: 1732

« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 09:52:34 AM »

I tried D-Star, had the ID-31a. The only 440 D-Star repeater in range that I could hit with the HT wasn't networked with anything, so I wasted $300 on basically an overpriced 440 HT.  I don't get the thrill of talking through the internet through a repeater. I could talk through my computer, but whats the point? But more power to those that have D-Star linked repeaters and enjoy D-Star.

The internet and cellphone networks are great until they go down, what then? Find out here.,111948.0.html

Using Windows 98 For Packet...
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