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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | ICOM ID-31 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM ID-31
ICOM ID-31 Reviews: 22 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $340
Description: 70cm handheld FM/D-Star transceiver with built in GPS and micro SD slot
Product is in production.
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PE1GP Rating: 5/5 Oct 10, 2012 07:33 Send this review to a friend
Great radio, really a step forward  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got this radio for its main intended use, D-Star. I was dissatisfied with my IC-E80D, which was too clumsy to really benefit from this new digital mode.

The ID-31E fulfilled my expectations and more. It's nice and small, especially the flat form factor is much nicer to hold than the previous D-Star HT's from ICOM. It's feature-packed, with a great display, great menu-driven controls which are self explanatory, and very handy features to use the digital modes to the fullest, such as GPS, call history log, call recording and several quick-keys for functions you use a lot while operating D-Star.

The one drawback is that it's 70cm only but I won't detract points for this as it was never intended to do 2m. Here in Europe most D-Star repeaters are on 70cm anyway, the only ones I've seen on 2m are private hotspots with limited range.

I love the way the the display was redesigned, there's a special mode for working repeaters that shows exactly what you're interested in when operating them, and for simplex there's another mode which suits that well. ICOM was clearly thinking outside of the box here and it paid off.

Because of all the features it requires a lot of programming but this can be done by removing the microSD card so it's not a burden, no expensive cables are necessary.

One thing I really like is the easy way to check the last heard log so you can see who's been active on the repeater/reflector you're on. It can even record everything that's going in and out. It can say the received callsign out loud if you like (or only for short 'kerchunk' calls if you prefer).

One thing I miss is an easy way for text entry, rotating the dial to go through the letters is a bit cumbersome. It could have a small keypad to enter text like a text message on a mobile phone. But there was no space by the looks of it.

The 'nearby repeaters' list based on GPS position is super when travelling. The 70cm limitation doesn't really bother me for its intended use although the ID-51 will be better and I'll most likely upgrade to that.

I like the way this radio brings out the best from D-Star, rather than just having an extra modulation mode tacked on. Finally some innovation.
ZL1TAP Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2012 20:54 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I give it 5 easy radio to use gps is great audio out of the its little speaker is good .Have used this hand held 70cm and put my ic2820 in crossband going though my dvap. Have had some good coments about the audio on dstar
G7UFJ Rating: 4/5 Sep 5, 2012 13:41 Send this review to a friend
Good radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Agree with most of the other reviews, only things I'd add are the supplied antenna is totally useless. A repeater which would normally give me 5/7 was not coming in at all, swapped antenna for my Watson SM270 which whilst not great has served me well, and signal was back to normal. With the Icom aerial on my Kenwood F7 (F6) it was also non existent.
Also the speaker is enough but not as good as the Kenwood.
It should have been dual band though, shouldn't have to wait for the ID-51
K5ND Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2012 17:39 Send this review to a friend
Perfect blend of high tech and simple operation  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my first D-STAR rig and only my second HT (previously IC-P7A). Very easy to program for both D-STAR and Analog FM Repeaters. Got the GPS-A fired up this weekend. What fun to see my route on Wonderful HT that I heartily recommend.
KI4GTJ Rating: 5/5 Aug 31, 2012 20:16 Send this review to a friend
Excellent   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
What a great D-STAR radio easy to use got alot more Your Room to keep all your fav REF. Even if it's UHF only It's a great all around radio. There is nothing that I can find Wrong with this HT
W6AAJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2012 17:16 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I really like this radio. The GPS is VERY fast and once you have a GPS link, finding the local DSTAR repeaters is a piece of cake. This is so convenient! Transmit and Receive audio have been fine. The display actually tells you something you can understand as it displays much more detail than other radios I've owned. Most of them limit you to a few characters. I'm a happy camper and I am glad I made this investment. I recommend this radio. It's great fun when the HF bands have turned to white noise.
KC0VOE Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2012 17:08 Send this review to a friend
Awesome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Best Dstar radio Icom has ever made. There is nothing bad I can say about this HT. The speaker is weak but the usability of the radio makes up for it. Best Dstar radio ever!
M0HPB Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2012 07:23 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This was at first the most odd radio to come from icom, when I saw it I was disappointed, not only from the interface perspective, but the fact its only 70cms. Once I handled the radio I realised that in fact its a nice handheld with nice audio.

So what? Well that's what I thought until I got into the software of the radio and this is where icom have really stepped it up a gear, the software on board this radio is simple, intuitive and most of all powerful. It comes pre-programmed with all the icom dstar repeaters world wide and tie that in with built in GPS (fast to acquire SAT lock too) and you can find the nearest dstar repeater to you, now that has just got to be cool for the avid dstar user on the move.

Also the software makes the icom 92D look old and tired, even though the 92D is by far old and tired. The 31 comes with a 2gig sd card that if you so desire you can record all of your QSO's and then listen to them back, record your GPS routes and much more.

For me the software was by far the most advanced feature of the radio.

OK enough about software, what about the radio itself? Well it pumps out 5 watts, I have been told the audio is warm and clear and this is evident on both RX/TX, OK it might not have the Yaesu audio quality, but audio is subjective and each person has their own view on the matter, but I like it.

Also it doesn't get anywhere near as warm when using for long QSO's (unlike the 92D, which gets really hot).

So all in all a cracking radio, with software that really has put icom in front of the competition by years.


Darren - M0HPB
W6IWW Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2012 18:23 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant Plug and Play!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been playing on the fringes of D-STAR for over a year with a ID-880h but couldn't get too deep into it. I understand it but it is a cumbersome operating mode. Even with great RT Systems programming software it's a task to pre-set everything you need for the full experience. Not any more! The tiny but mighty 1D-31A makes full world wide D-Star operation a matter of two button pushes. Every digital repeater and reflector in the world is pre-programned and the internal GPS immediately locates those nearby. All functions are preset on a simple menu. The dark art of unlinking and linking to reflectors and call routing to other users is transformed into a snap operation. The micro SD makes it possible to easily program as many analog repeaters as well, and with no expensive cables. Just a $5 card reader for your computer. The GPS is sensitive and can usually be used indoors. RX audio is fine. Some reviewers claim that TX audio is cruddy but I have never gotten a poor report.

This radio makes playing with D-Star fun instead of a chore. An example: I have mine in the car with an external speaker/mic and 6 inch NMO whip antenna on the rear deck. On a recent trip between LA and Sacramento, HF conditions were poor so I turned on the ID-31. As I sped along I could easily switch to the next local repeater with the push of one button. If the repeater was quiet, a couple of other button pushes and I was hopping from reflector to reflector holding Q5 QSO's with operators from Europe to Australia and across the U.S.

D-Star has better range than basic FM and w/ the 5 watt output (probably more like 3.5 to the antenna) I was hitting high level repeaters 75 miles away. I've been a ham for 45 years and have never bought a single piece of equipment that was so much fun, so powerful in its functionality while being so small and user friendly.
KE7TR Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2012 15:25 Send this review to a friend
The ID-31 Is a Game Changer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just picked up an ID-31A this week. I have had about three days of use so far, but I have a lot of DSTAR radios- ID-1 1.2 GHz radio, IC-800, as well as an IC-91AD. I can tell you this radio makes DSTAR set up a BREEZE!!!

I have seen some comments that people dislike the transmit audio, but their experience runs counter to my own. I have spoken with several DSTAR users in my local area (Phoenix, Arizona), and have heard nothing but compliments on the transmit audio. Receive audio is also crisp and clear. I am using my radio with default audio equalizer settings (yes, this radio has TX AND RX audio equalization features). I have actually heard my own voice via a friend's U92 and have to say my voice sounds like me. Perhaps those who are complaining about audio being muddy have inadvertently modified their TX equalization?

The radio's GPS is used to search through the ENTIRE world's DSTAR repeater list and will display the repeaters closest to your current location. Bearing and distance to each repeater is shown, so one can select the nearest repeater. This is quick and easy to do, and is not very distracting. I hope ICOM quickly brings mobile radios with this feature set to market, as I think it will make mobile use of DSTAR for the traveler a practical reality. No frustration with routes, entering CQCQCQ, or other endpoints. The radio contains the complete database of all DSTAR repeaters, so no matter where you get off an airplane, turn on the radio, get a GPS fix, and pull up the nearest repeater list, hit the blue button, and you are ready to transmit on the local repeater. Selecting a distant repeater endpoint can be performed in exactly the same manner. The radio has a Micro SDHD card slot, and all the radio's features can be customized with the included CS-31 software, and the card plugged into the ID-31A. The configuration is loaded into the radio from the SD card, and in a minute or so, you have fully configured the radio.

I'm a real rag chewer, so I appreciate the fact that the ID-31 does not build up heat as fast or as greatly as the IC-91AD I previously owned. Also, I have yet to have the radio refuse to transmit after a few minutes of talking on high-power, as the IC-91AD would.

All in all, I'd say ICOM has hit the ball out of the park with this radio. It is so much better than the previous generations of DSTAR radios, it is definitely worth your time to consider adding to, or replacing some of your DSTAR radios.
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