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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF+UHF models) | ICOM IC 7100 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC 7100
ICOM IC 7100 Reviews: 125 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $1600
Description: A new Mobile HF,VHF and UHF Tranceiver from ICOM,.
Product is in production.
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2E0WPZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 10, 2016 03:20 Send this review to a friend
Does what it says  Time owned: more than 12 months

After owning the 7100 since it was launched and having a touch screen failure the complete radio was replaced by Icom with no fuss.As things happen other equipment comes along and the older gear gets pushed back and collects dust and cobwebs. The main radio that took it`s place was to be the final large radio purchase as I am getting older and being on a fixed income. It was the Yaesu FTDX 5000, having re-inforced the working desktop to take the extra weight it became the main rig.There are so many options on the 5000 that I think sometimes we get blinded with science, it is a good radio but IMHO a bit more complicated to get the best from.I could never get the RX audio to get anywhere near matching my ageing ears after spending lots on external speakers, headsets etc.Anyway, in desperation I turned back to the 7100, purchased a Heil icm mic, plugged in a mediocre external speaker and voila! started to be able to hear all the differing audios that were coming into my rig.Want more treble? click on tones,rx and then treble and away you go, simple.I`m not saying that the 5000 is a bad radio, far from it but the 7100 is just so easy to use and configure and takes up almost no room on the desktop.Easy to understand menu system with 95% of what you need on the front of the rig or touch screen.As you can see by my callsign I`m not a long term old timer but having been an engineer most of my life I know how to construct and install an antenna to get the best out of and after listening to some of the people on the bands that have been licensed for many many years I sometimes wonder if they miss the point about the most important aspect being the antenna.I use mainly homemade single band dipoles, not up high but always cut and tuned to perfection. I run around 55 Watts from the back of the radio to make sure of my 50Watt allowance at the feedpoint and get a regular 59+10-15 on 80mtrs with the 7100. The passband tuning and filtration is superb, it`s just so easy to configure and fine tune when the need arises. I`ve got mine connected to a Icom AT-180 tuner.To be able to use the 7100 for everything I need be it hf, 4mtrs, 2mtrs, 6mtrs etc etc along with setting it up to record when I`m not around makes this a one stop pony.There are a few friends on nets that I go on that have added a 7100 to their shacks after talking to me on the air and they are more than satisfied with the results.Enjoy your radios but make sure you keep the fun aspect high on your list.
N0FQN Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2016 19:47 Send this review to a friend
A Good Entry Level Rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
As an entry level rig it does a fine job. You can't compare it to the top end rigs and expect it to perform the same way. I had a IC-7000 and compared to it they are the same in performance. I did perform the #1 mod, put a jumper to ground from the 3 resistors and also updated the firmware to version 5. It talks as well as the 7000 does now. Yes, the SSB output was down until the mod was done.The only issue I have is the 7000 has dual manual notch filters and auto notch filter that can be turned on at the same time. The 7100 has a single manual notch and auto notch and you can only select between one or the other. They cannot be turned on together. Minor difference to say the least. I've had the rig for just a couple days over 4 months now. I'm not sure about running the 7100 as a mobile rig. I guess it would work but, not for me. Getting used to the white screen took some time. The color screen on the 7000 was really nice. Other than these minor problems I like the rig as a replacement for the IC-7000.
EA5IGO Rating: 5/5 Jun 8, 2016 11:25 Send this review to a friend
Soy propietario del equipo 3 años ya. Estoy encantado.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Solo puedo decir que estoy super contento con el equipo. Super práctico y con unas prestaciones realmente buenas. Calidad precio inmejorable.
WA3RSL Rating: 4/5 Apr 16, 2016 07:44 Send this review to a friend
Selectivity poor  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I like everything about my IC-7100 except the selectivity is poor. Only having a 15 kHz roofing filter doesn't cut when you have large wire beam antennas on 40 meter SSB where I like be. All else about the IC-7100 I like. I upgraded to a Kenwood TS-590SG. 73 all.
RADIOMANN Rating: 1/5 Apr 11, 2016 13:45 Send this review to a friend
Receiver Overload  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
A s9 signal in the same band produces a higher noise level with an altering noise sound including a crackling scratchy noise all over the same band and the desired signal itself becomes disturbed too, although the desired signal is strong and well above the noise level, even more when the noise blanker (nb) is switched on at whatever nb-level. what the icom ic-7100 is missing to stop that noise is a roofing filter, its not even optionally available. with a roofing filter the big signal immunity would increase, that means the receiver wouldnt overload that easily and the nb then wouldnt make the overload problem worse, if there was no overload to begin with due to a roofing filter. there is a fifty khz wide noise here in a hf-band like a phase noise the nb couldnt filter and when the band noise is high, the dsp doesnt do anything to reduce that noise either. the nr is usefull only to a degree but at higher level the audio sounds muffled as the higher tones are attenuated much, increasing the rx-treble in the menue doesnt compensate. nb and nr work good together, good thing is, they never make the voice sound like talking through a waterfall like kenwood and yaesu.
the antenna that is used here is a 1/4 full size vertical for the 40m band, the powersupply used with the ic-7100 is a linear powersupply, not a switchmode powersupply.

the icom ic-7100 has an ip3 of 3dBm in 5khz distance. the yaesu ft-991 has an ip3 of 32dBm in 5khz distance.
the 7100 has an ip3 of 13dBm in 20khz distance. the ft-991 has an ip3 of 31dBm in 20khz distance.
(ip3 = third order intercept point)

the bdr of the icom ic- 7100 is 90dB for 5khz, the imd for 5khz is 70dB.
the bdr of the yaesu ft-991 is 123dB for 5khz, the imd for 5khz is 100dB.
(bdr = blocking dynamic range; third order intermodulation distortion dynamic range)

these bdr, imd and ip3 values as mentioned above are from the arrl test-lab. so, hard data FACT only confirms what i am writing here about the receiver overload problem of the icom ic-7100, the most expressive value of these test-lab values in regard to the receiver overload problem of the icom ic-7100 is (in my opinion) the poor ip3 of the 7100 and compared to the ip3 of the yaesu ft-991, there are WORLDS in between these two radios, yet the yaesu ft-991 costs about same. the ic-7100 has a noise floor of -140dBm, the ft-991 has a noise floor of -143dBm. the receiver overload problem in the 7100 is worse than in the icom ic-706mk2g i had, because at least the receiver of the 706mk2g didnt produce that crackling sound, despite the overload, although one would expect transceivers to get better over the years . . .

what i noticed in comparison with my old icom receiver is, that the 7100 doesnt reproduce the details in a rx ssb signal that much, the rx ssb audio is more faded (wishy washy) and not crisp & clear like on the old icom and i even had a hifi stereo amp with 2 x 5 speakers attached to the 7100 and then my good headphones, that didnt help it either. really, its no pleasure to use the receiver of the 7100 with that overloading noisy receiver with its crackling and faded wishy washy audio. i tried the digital voice transmission on 40m, a few words were intelligible but because of ther other signals in the 40m band the transmission was very distorted.

if there is no other s9 signal in the 20m band and accordingly no higher noise level including that crackling noise accross the same band, then the nb can be set to the max level, the nr to a high level and despite the faded rx ssb audio quality, very weak dx signals which get lost in the noise in the ol' icom are then due to the effective nb and somewhat nr audible and more often continously intelligible (rs 4/1) with the icom ic-7100.
in the 40m band there is almost always some other s9 signal that produces that noise across the band as explained in the beginning, and when the nb then only increases the crackling noise, that means on 40m the nb is almost always useless despite for and by itself the nb of the 7100 is very good as the effectivity of the nb proves on 20m, although if the band noise is high, the nb cant filter the higher band noise on any band.

an odd thing about the 7100 is, the voice recorder makes a clicking sound while recording, the ferrit-cores that came with the 7100 package were on the control units cable. the recorded voice from the mic has a low quality but when recording ssb, the record sounds identical to the receiver. the recorder in the 7100 records fm broadcast too but the recording sounds nothing like fm broadcast, it sounds like as if it was recorded in am mode, a much less quality.
the ic-7100 doesnt get warm at all in receive mode, unlike the ic-706mk2g, in transmitt mode the 7100 gets hot but if the transmitter is switched off, then the 7100 cools down quickly again, the heatsink and fan seem to work well. the control unit is convenient to have on a desktop, it has a good angle to view and stands alone without an extra mounting-bracket.

the treble level in the ssb transmitt is very very low, i had the latest firmware (e4) already installed. i thought the very low tx treble level is a firmware problem and wrote an e-mail to icom asking them to make a firmware update to solve that problem with the very low ssb transmitt treble level, they wrote back claiming it wouldnt be a firmware problem but a hardware issue and said to me to send the 7100 back to them. the modulation needs an external equalizer to increase the treble level alot, to not sound to muffled but then the transmitted modulation sounds well modulated throughout the whole transmitt bandwidth and smooth with a studio mic, very clear and well intelligible, that is the strong point of the 7100. the compressor adds a good strength to the modulation, it doesnt distort the modulation, further increased the modulation gets a HARD PUNCH. to get higher transmitt power in ssb, the powersupply needs to be set to the standard 13.8volt, at 12v like on a cars battery the ssb transmitt power is notably lower. in fm the transmitt power on hf is 107watt.

with the receiver overload problem the icom ic-7100 is all in all not ok anymore to rate in even 3/5 but poor as in a 1/5 rating, to keep it real with the review considering arrl test lab data and own experiences with the icom ic-7100 over here.
N0ZNJ Rating: 4/5 Apr 5, 2016 07:11 Send this review to a friend
USB Power Output   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After being strictly a Yaesu guy for 15 years, I bought the 7100 due to wanting to get into D-STAR and also for it's all-band performance. I use it on a ham desk as my main radio and love the looks and the slanted touch screen. But I too was very disappointed with the SSB performance on 10 Meters. For those wishing to "fix" what ICOM apparently won't, there is a simple fix that was performed and tested by a Ham in Athens Greece who also happens to work on ICOM and other radios. NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL ICOM FIX AND WILL LIKELY VOID THE WARRANTY. However, to my understanding, many hams have tried this and it does fix the anemic output power on SSB without any harm to the radio. This is done after you do the latest Ver E5 update. You simply add a jumper between the collector of Q1504 to ground. One mod shows a 0 ohm chip placed between some caps on that collector and ground. However, you have to scratch off some of the resist on the board ground. I prefer to use a small jumper from the caps to the nearest ground point which is very close anyway, and not have to scratch the board in any way. There is also a second mod for adding a cap to change the ALC timing, but after emailing the mod author Mario, he suggested doing the E5 update, and the jumper ... and not bothering with adding the tantalum cap to the ALC timing circuit. The jumper does indeed fix the low power output on SSB. And once this was done, there's no complaints about the radio in my mind.
KC4ZVA Rating: 2/5 Mar 29, 2016 14:59 Send this review to a friend
Low power SSB  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just purchased a new IC-7100. I set it up beside my IC-7000 to do a comparison test. The first thing was to check power out due to all the previous complaints.
Settings on both radios were: 20 meters, Mic and Pwr gain at 100%. 50 ohm dummy load and external watt meter set to PEP. Compression off.
I got 100W on FM. On USB while finding that sweet spot of a whistle tone I got about 80W. Using my normal loud talking voice I only got about 15 to 20W. I then performed the same test on my IC-7000. It got about 110W while whistling and about 75W while using my normal loud talking voice. Back to the IC-7100. Set compression to full, middle, low all without increase in observed power. I then connected my IC-7000 to my Ameritron 811H amplifier. With my normal loud talking voice I regularly hit about 700W. I then connected the IC-7100. Same voice loudness and only averaged around 250W on the external amp.

I love the design, touchscreen, and menu system, but the anemically low output on sideband was a deal breaker. Thank goodness my local ham store took it back in full.

The think-so after having played with it for a day is that the transistors have the ability to pump out the fully advertised 100W, but it appears that the ALC circuit is limiting it. That's just a guess because you can see the ALC peaking just as it tries to go above about 25W when speaking in a loud normal voice.

I am disappointed in Icom for not fixing this issue as I think the radio could be a winner. It's sad.
G0SCX Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2016 01:15 Send this review to a friend
Firmware Update  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
For those not happy with the output on SSB there is an update available
This was issued on 15th Jan this year
I like my 7100 it is a jack of all trades and master of none but it works for me.
N5RL Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2016 17:49 Send this review to a friend
works well !  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this radio several months ago for occasional mobile operation and back up fixed station use. Since unpacking it, it has yet to make the mobile and I've used it almost exclusively for my HF, VHF, and UHF operation. I work SSB, FM, CW, digital (JT9, JT65, & PSK31) and though I have yet to use it on AM it sounds good on another local receiver. Unlike some others, I have not experienced problems with weak modulation or low power out. PEP output on my array solutions power master II is above 90 watts and with a CW carrier, 100 - 105 watts. It has been replacing a Icom 756 Pro II, FT-100D, and a TS-140S I keep for back up as well. Noise reduction and noise blankers have been very effective in this noisy radio world of today. I did not buy the radio for D-Star, nor was it a heavy interest for me .. but I have used it locally and it does work. This was not my first exposure to digital voice as a matter of fact and its not something that enthuses me really .. I'm happy with the noise of analog operations and standard FM. okay, so the bottom line is I like this radio and I have no gripes. I get good reports on SSB, FM, and CW .. digital works well with little power. I've checked the receiver using an Elecraft XG3 signal source and the receiver is at least as good as anything I own, and that includes the VHF/UHF bands. On VHF/UHF I've used it to monitor the satellites (AO-29 for one) and even with my mediocre antennas .. I'm able to hear some good downlink signals on SSB and CW. FM operation has worked well for me on both simplex or with a repeater. The lower output (50 watts on 2 meters/35 watts on 70 cm) is not a factor in any way. Sometime we doubt what we have done but in this case, I'd buy another if I needed one.

K4PVA Rating: 2/5 Jan 11, 2016 16:13 Send this review to a friend
Rig 5 ICOM 0  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After 2 months I really have a love/hate relationship with my new IC-7100. It is a beautiful work of electronic engineering. It is small, covers all of the hf/vhf/uhf bands and modes that I wanted plus built in D-STAR. I love the filters and the ability to set your own bandwidth in the transmit mode. The speaker is great with excellent fidelity. The rig also works digital modes without an extra interface between the rig and your computer. Sounds like a dream, right?

It is until you use ssb. The ssb output is anemic at best. Peaks of 50-55 watts are common with my rig even though I had the microphone modification. This is not a new problem. It has been repeatedly identified in reviews here and on line. This problem has been cussed and discussed on many social media sites and forums.

The low ssb output is a definite problem for me. If you read through the forums you will see anecdotal references to ICOM technicians, engineers, and management being aware of this problem and that they are working on it. No one at ICOM seems to know or openly acknowledge for sure. One of the You Tube videos introducing the IC-7100 is presented by N9JA who heads ICOM North America. I sent N9JA an e-mail about this issue 2 weeks ago and asked him to clarify what ICOM was doing about this. To date I have not received a response.

Those of us that have spent a kilo$ or more deserve attention and correction of this issue. I hope that this is not the usual corporate BS of ignoring and denying a problem while still manufacturing this rig.

ICOM fix your problem.
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