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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC 7100 Help


Reviews Summary for ICOM IC 7100
ICOM IC 7100 Reviews: 144 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $1600
Description: A new Mobile HF,VHF and UHF Tranceiver from ICOM,.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/hf/7100/default.aspx
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<— Page 2 of 15 —>

AD0AR Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2017 13:03 Send this review to a friend
Great radio, don't do the capacitor mod  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Had the radio for a few months now and while HF is relegated to another radio, this ic-7100 works great on VHF/UHF! It has much better sensitivity that my IC-7000 this replaced.
I did do the HF SSB mods for higher average power on SSB and I'll tell you this- It's not really needed and the capacitor mod actually messed up my FM mode.
Anything FM had a buzz in it- Apparently the portion of the transmitter that varies the carrier power is adversely affected installing the capacitor.
Adjusting the transmitter power down to drive my vhf/uhf amp stack led to hardly any contacts on repeaters. It made me think my radio or amp was messed up. Also to note the power bargraph looked like it was strobing (flashing) when transmitting. I thought it was odd.
Soooo.... I set up my IC-7000 in the car as the 7100 is in the home shack and I parked the car up the street and set the radio to record 146.520 while I executed some voice checks.
Then I listened to the recording. It sounded like the transmitter was turning on and off about 20Hz making my voice very choppy.
I removed the capacitor mod and all sounded good.
I did leave the soft mod in there jumping over the transistor collector to emitter to test the mod as that was more than enough to peg the meter at 130 watts PEP. I removed that mod too because there is a mic gain problem.
I don't care what your argument is, if you do these mods, you are going to mess up the FM/SSB mic gain balance no matter what. So if you do not plan to use the FM mode all is good.
Now this is what you mess up and no mod will balance this that I know of:
FM modulation gain will be way down versus SSB modulation will be through the roof so doing these mods you will effectively have to manually change the gain on the submenu whenever you change modes. I could not hear myself on 146.520 when I would talk it was so quiet. By the time I had the mic gain up enough (40-50% on FM) that when I switched back to HF SSB I was transmitting about 10W of ambient room noise the gain was so high. I had to turn the mic gain all the way down to about 4-6% to keep my HF mic gain normal.
If you know how to solve all the above issues, GREAT! But as it stands now, inputting 14VDC with a 25A power supply and NO mods with the default settings with the mic 3 inches from my mouth I do get 70-100W PEP with the compressor.
Your mileage may vary, but this is my experience.
Also to note others have mentioned the 15khz roofing filter is way too big for HF activities as it causes the AGC to pump whenever someone else is in the 15Khz passband. Playing with the PBT and setting BPF filter settings to the SHARP shape greatly reduced this action when PBT tuning is properly executed and was much better performing than my IC-7000.
Also don't expect the auto notch to block any agc action, it is after the agc whereas the manual notch and PBT IS in the AGC loop for maximum effectiveness against AGC pumping
Nothing is going to fix this perfectly other than a more narrowbanded roofing filter, I just miss the dual notch the 7000 had as it was much easier to "brick wall" QRM/QRN with the radio Macros in Ham radio Deluxe/ DM 780.
Obviously the roofing filter is stuck at 15Khz to allow FM ops with a simpler circuit so for what it is, it is a slam bang shack in a box with a integrated sound card with included DSTAR functionality.
As an afterthought, if Icom offered a optional color screen upgrade control head, I would not hesitate to buy as I am sure other owners would also jump on such a super option!
 
VE6DZ Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2017 02:37 Send this review to a friend
Great radio with updated firmware  Time owned: more than 12 months
Lots of controversy over that hack and slash solder job #90 on YouTube.
Icom America says don't do it.

"Thank you for contacting Icom America.
I would strongly advise against performing that modification because:
It voids your warranty
Highly probable that you will introduce ALC overshoot
What I can recommend is add 5-10db of Compression to bring up your average power"

When I took YouTube guy to task he didn't have an intelligent answer.
My radio with new firmware works perfect 98 watts
with a condenser Icom microphone.
If I need more I will buy a solid state amp and not over stress and over heat the radio
 
WX4O Rating: 4/5 Feb 23, 2017 20:06 Send this review to a friend
Pretty Good  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've owned mine about 6 weeks. Haven't had any of the problems mentioned. I need to reprogram it to add 2 and 440 meters and Dstar. Still getting used to it. So far so good.
 
N5OFQ Rating: 4/5 Dec 15, 2016 10:55 Send this review to a friend
Very nice radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I would rate this a 5 if it were not for the SSB power output issues. The latest firmware didn't help my power output much. I was outputting around 60-70 watts. After adding the 10uf capacitor mod, I regularly output around 120-130 watts now and audio is nice and clean. I use this radio a lot for digital modes and the audio capability in the USB cable eliminates any need for Signalink/sound card interfaces. I use D-Star occasionally. The IC-7100 is my base now, replacing my Yaesu 857D (which I put in my car). The Icom has more and better features. The IC-7100 does like 13.8v but will run down to 11.9v or so. As of 12/2016, it can be had for $869 with rebates. A steal for that price.
 
KD9CDF Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2016 16:02 Send this review to a friend
Very Happy with my IC-7100  Time owned: more than 12 months
I love my IC-7100 and would buy it again--especially considering the price (currently under $900US after rebate). It has become an easy reference with which to compare other radios I use.

And, overall, it is superior to any radio I've had the chance to compare it to in the price range (and even some nearly double the price). For example, I had a Yaesu FT-991 which was an o.k. radio (and solidly constructed). But in my experience, the IC-7100 consistently received HF signals at a higher level and more clearly than the FT-991.

I should clarify that I mostly use my IC-7100 for HF in the car (the control head at shifter-console level works out very well in my case). At purchase time a couple years ago, the D-Star feature wasn't a draw for me. But, I have used it more than I thought I would on VHF/UHF.

Not experienced enough to know what characteristics old Icom, Yaesu, or other radios had, I can observe the IC-7100 has a nicely sensitive HF receiver. However, I have never needed the built-in pre-amp on HF. And, I often use the attenuator. But, that's not a complaint. At least I'm getting an abundance of good clear signal.

It's not fair to compare the IC-7100 to all features of an expensive base SDR like a K3S or Flex 6300 which I've used, but I have at least been receiving almost all of the same signals--well. And, for me, the internal speaker works out really well.

As far as TX goes, I have great success (usually can work what I hear) with incredulous DX contacts often finding it hard to believe my signal comes from a mobile with 100w and an 8' antenna. I should note, from the beginning, I had sent my stock mic off to Bob Nagy (AB5N) for his mic upgrade improvement. I also use an outstanding antenna which automatically tunes itself (usually in about one second, sometimes faster).

Pros:
- the control head orientation (for desk or mobile)
- HF RX & TX performance
- Incredibly easy & efficient touch screen interface (wow, have I seen the opposite in other radios)
- S i n g l e cable from control head to unit (even a CW key can be plugged into the control head without another line running back to the radio)
- Icom menuing for easier menu navigation
- Built-in SWR meter
- HF, VHF, & UHF in one small radio (with D-Star to boot)
- The LCD seems to work just fine during Chicago winters for me (though, like all LCD it seems, response to changing displays are slightly delayed in very cold temperatures)

Cons:
- No built-in antenna tuner
- With extremely strong signal, volume up very high, RF gain up too high, and no-attenuation, my radio will infrequently freeze or reboot.
- Ancient mic hanger method (old CB's and marine radios have better button-style mic hanger systems)
- No dual HF receiver (I'm getting too picky here: What unit at this price class does?)
- No color display (which would be nice, but not really needed)

 
WP4O Rating: 5/5 Oct 26, 2016 08:15 Send this review to a friend
12 volt booster need for mobile operations  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hi Gang, I have had the ICOM 7100 in my Car for a couple of years. and every now and the when I key the radio the radio shuts off. after trouble shutting down issue and re reading the manual I found out the reason for shutting down, the Radio needs 13 volts anything less it shuts down when you key it at 100 watts output, I have always like my IC 7100 especially set up in my 2015 Acura TLX, I did some more research and found a Power booster by TG Electronics. I placed it in line and NO MORE shutting down and I get the full 100 watts out.. its call the N8xkj booster, and you can get it at stores.tgelectronics.org
they are not cheap but worth every penny I spend on it. it even cleaned out all the Noise on receive. Regards de Kk4x, Ed Tampa Fl GOOD LUCK
 
KC3HJP Rating: 5/5 Oct 2, 2016 10:42 Send this review to a friend
Great all around radio!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
When I purchased this I was a new ham but as an Electronics Technician not new to the technology or amateur theory. I purchased this radio because I wanted something that I could do 2m/440 and HF. I received my radio with the E5 firmware already installed from the factory so I can't comment on anything about the radio prior to that firmware.

On 2m/440/6m I'm using a Comet GP-15 Tri band antenna. On 2m and 440 it performs as expected. On HF I'm using this with a Utimax 100 end fed antenna modified to 44' installed as a sloper. Within minutes of connecting my HF antenna I made contacts is France and Croatia with 75w. I continue to do very well with the radio on HF. I may not win in a pileup but my antenna is only about 16' off the ground at its highest point. My furthest contact to date has been to Serbia which is 4783 miles from my QTH.

To get full power out of the radio on sideband you have to pay attention to how you set your mic gain and compression. What I do is be sure that compression is off and set the mic gain so that your peaks are about in the middle of the ALC range. Then I switch the compression on and try to stay between 10 & 20 db. That seems to allow the output meter to peg while talking on sideband at 100 watts.

Now if I had to pick a few cons, here's what those would be. The display is not as sexy looking as the IC-7300 but I knew that going in. Again, I wanted something that was an all band radio and the 7300 is not. Another issue that's taken my some time to sort out is that the SWR meter is not very accurate on 2m/440 and Icom openly admits that in the manual. I've found this to be true more on 440 than 2m. What tends to happen is that you may have great SWR with an external meter but the radio doesn't calculate it correctly and after some head scratching its because of the length of coax you are using. The radio can limit the power because it thinks it has high SWR and it does not. There is away around this though. I used a Bird meter and plotted the SWR over the entire 440 band using various lengths of short coax between the Bird and my Comet duplexer. Once I found the right length of cable that gave me maximum output across the band while maintaining good SWR on the Bird and the radio, I removed the Bird and used a coax length that equaled the length of the short coax jumper and the length of the Bird in the line. For me that ended up being a 2' piece of coax. Now the radio does not limit the power output on 440 and the SWR seems to be pretty close to what I was reading on the Bird. That sounds a little shady but I've heard that other all band radios from different manufacturers can have this same issue.

To address some of the cons listed in the two reviews below me, my VFO knob is solid. It works fine. As far as the display getting garbled, I have not had this problem. They do give you a ferrite core in the box with the radio that is meant to correct that exact complaint. I have not had to use that on my radio.

This is a great all around radio that I would highly recommend to any level of operator.
 
N1CY Rating: 2/5 Sep 10, 2016 10:25 Send this review to a friend
Wobbly Main Dial  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm giving this radio a poor 2 because the main tuning dial feels cheap and flimsy, in addition; there's a slight wobble in the dial when turning it and it even makes a noise. The feel is cheap and I'm quite disappointed. I even filmed a video and may put it on Youtube. They should have paid a lot more attention to the main tuning dial. I'm going to call HRO and see if I can get an exchange... I hope not all have this issue! Aside from that issue, I like the radio.
 
K1ZH Rating: 3/5 Sep 9, 2016 14:47 Send this review to a friend
I am seeing the exact same problem as W2JAF  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like the radio. However, the radio can go bonkers or completely shutdown if the volume is turned up to a high setting and a strong signal is received - especially a CW signal. Maybe the audio is coupling onto the other control wires within the control-head cable. Has anyone else encountered this issue? Have you found a solution to this problem?
 
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.
 
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