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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Icom IC-910H Help


Reviews Summary for Icom IC-910H
Icom IC-910H Reviews: 74 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $1,500 (Street)
Description: VHF/UHF Satellite Tranciever
Product is in production.
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VK3NJP Rating: 4/5 Mar 8, 2009 07:07 Send this review to a friend
Good radio for SSB work but time for an upgrade/refresh  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased this radio new at a local Icom dealer in Melbourne, Australia. My main use for this was for home and field-day use on SSB for 2m, 70cm & 23cm work. It's been on the test bench and runs 96w on 2m, 80w on 70cm and 9.5w on 23cm. All other specs are spot on. I've been very happy with this radio although it's probably time Icom updated this radio - it's been around for a while. This is not a radio to waste just performing FM & repeater duties all day long. It's excellent as an SSB rig though. Lack of PC programming isn't a show-stopper but it would be nice to have. It's scanning facilities are very basic. But then you don't buy a rig like this just to scan with. It's a rock solid performer, has a great display, runs full rated power easily and easy to use.

It just needs an update... like 30w on 23cm and standard, D-Star option, PC programmable, colour screen would be nice like most new Icom's now and better hand mic - even though current mic is fine.
 
GM1FLQ Rating: 1/5 Feb 17, 2009 07:03 Send this review to a friend
Single conversion rx on 2m !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
1000 pound radio and only single conversion rx on 2m - another one of Icoms rip-off radios.
 
M1IFT Rating: 2/5 Jan 10, 2009 03:49 Send this review to a friend
Average performance, many needed features missing  Time owned: more than 12 months
Where do we start?
If you are serious about 2m 70cms and 23cms don't buy this radio, but don't entertain the others either, A good Hf radio with transvertors are the best solution.

Whats wrong with this radio?
Poor I.f on 2m especially, it's noisy on receive, even with big signals there is still noise present. 70cms and 23cms are not as bad.

Lack of PTT outputs, there is only one, although I have produced a Mod so that the 910 has 3 outputs. This was much needed.
The original PTT output is weak and has a tendancy to blow the switching transistor.

As mentioned lack of alpha tags in memory.

Overstated power output, although all the other radios are the same too, It isn't 100w but 70 watts (rms) on 2m and lower still on 70. some large amps require 100w rms. On the other side the lowest power setting is too high for some transvertors.

There is no separate rx and tx for 2m , several have asked for this so I have produced a mod to enable tx from the radio and rx from either the radio or a transvertor.

Lack of band modules available, only 23cms, I have produced an onboard 4m module that uses the 2m receive, problem is you loose 23cms as there isn't any space inside for both. I don't think there any need for 6m as most hf sets now have this, although there could be a 220mhz? for the USA market?


I have produced several different screen illumination mods, the best is amber or the original.
The original UK/EUR model hase 1750Hz toneburst and no ctcss encode, A simple mod can swap this, I came up with this solution when the radio first came out, many have copied it on the internet and claimed it as their own, BE CAREFULL, most of the mods are wrong. Above all do not adjust the IF gains, this will give the impression that signals are greater BUT will increase the noise dramatically, and If you use the DSP the audio will distort.
A low noise mathead amplifier will be far better.

The Dsp units are not worth getting and dont help a great deal, especially on noisy 2m, the CW narrow filters are however usefull.

I have lab tested this radio against a new ft847 and ts2000, The ft 847 is a terrible radio for 'sprogs' and the ts2000 had a slighlty cleaner tx but weaker receive, although this sounded more natural than the 910.

The 910 doesn't perform as well as expected against some of the older icom 2,70, 23 radios of the 80's. There isn't much between 910,847 and ts2000 so i think its personal choice.

Regards Andy M1IFT / G0TTR
 
AE5EH Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2008 20:19 Send this review to a friend
REV 1-Great for what it was designed for.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
One of the stupidest things I've done in a while was to sell the 910H in order to try the TS2000.

Big, big mistake!

For VHF/UHF SSB, CW & satellite modes, the 910H is definitely my radio. Even with the extra expense of the CR293 TXCO, & UT106's, I still don't mind paying for it. I just got my brand new replacement from HRO this week. I'll be hanging on to this one for a while. The extra power for VHF & UHF is great too. I hate the 2m/70cm FM CB bands, and could care less how it operates there. I seldom use FM on any band least of all 2m/70cm. I wish the radio had IF level DSP like the PROIII & 7000, but it might not have been possible when this radio was first released. Even though I bet these do not sell that well, I'm glad at least Icom makes this special model radio. And I'm sure other folks that appreciate what this radio does appreciate it too.

If you are a echolink/2m/70cm FM CB space cadet weenie, go buy a Yaesu 7800R w/the cutesy little red back-lit DTMF hand mic. Don't have your mommy waste her money on this radio for you.

If you want a serious 2m/70cm all mode radio for satellites, SSB and CW, w/100W 2m/75W 70cm, and don't mind spending up to 2 grand for the radio plus accessories, have a long look at the 910H.

Terry-AE5EH
 
CHRISGM Rating: 4/5 Sep 27, 2008 21:47 Send this review to a friend
Works as advertised  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased from AES in Las Vegas. Got the base unit, plus the UX-910 1200 MHz band unit, a pair of UT-106 DSP units and the UT-102 voice synthesizer, and the CT-17 level converter. Put it all together, and it worked without a hitch. Would have appreciated if AES had assembled and tested, but there were no issues. Also got the AG-25, AG-35, and AG-1200 pre-amps. The AG 1200 was purchased overseas, and may have been the last one for sale anywhere. Due to shipping issues it was three month getting here. CR-293 High Stability Crystal Unit, and two filters ( FL-132 and FL-133 were purchased on Ebay, and shipped from a vendor in Japan. Installation was challenging, as the original crystal unit had to be removed, and the new one soldered to the PLL board, the filters required the complete removal of another board, and without the assistance of a Hakko desoldering unit would have been nearly impossible. Instructions on the addition of all the options were less than clear,and more than once I wondered if I was in over my head. After all of this when the unit was reassembled, the LCD screen started blanking out. The manual forgot to tell you after all the changes that a CPU restart was necessary. All in all, it has been worth it, I would now like to find a AG-2400 down converter. Antennas are all M2's, as well as a tri-bander from Diamond. Have not been disappointed, but this is a specialized unit, not your everyday FM-vhf/uhf unit. Not for those on a limited budget, as the options make it happen!
 
IZ2OBY Rating: 5/5 Sep 10, 2008 06:09 Send this review to a friend
Fantastico !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Possiedo l' IC-910H da circa un'anno utilizzandolo in QSO locali, SSB dx ma specialmente con i satelliti orbitanti Oscar e ISS. L'apparato si e' sempre comportato divinamente offrendo le prestazioni di tutto rispetto dichiarate dal costruttore.
Abbinato al microfono da tavolo SM-20 ( unidirezionale )o al SM-8 ( omnidirezionale )ho ottenuto una modulazione invidiabile, nonche' incredibilmente pulita e fedele.
Utilissima ed efficace la funzione AFC nelle operazioni satellitari: una vera "volpe" nell'inseguire la frequenza che shifta per l'effetto doopler !!
Un apparato di questo calibro e' sprecato per QSO su ponti ripetitori: andreste in Ferrari a fare la spesa ?
Grazie Icom per questo gioiello !!

 
W9VNE Rating: 5/5 Sep 7, 2008 15:33 Send this review to a friend
great rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have owned it now for 3 weeks. I have made 300 QSOs on the OSCAR satellites. I have used SSB, FM and CW. 90+ Grid Squares and 6 countries as well as 35 states. I have made a local QSO on 432 mhz SSB. Everything works as advertised. I have the DSP and CW filter options along with the High Stability crystal. It plays as advertised. It does take a fair amount of attention to detail to manage its operation. Being fairly intelligent and possessing the ability to read helps. Read the operating manual. I still refer to the manual but that is part of the learning curve. It gives the operator a lot of features and that requires learning the manual. Not impossible. Too many lazy people want everything done for them. Ask questions of other owners and you will find this rig to be be a 5. I have 56 years of on the air experience with just about every kind of rig. This is a good value and delivers what it promises in my opinion.
 
W4MAA Rating: 5/5 Aug 24, 2008 10:19 Send this review to a friend
Alot in one package!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a very expensive rig for 2 meters and 70cm but there is a difference. The receiver is perfect for weak DX signals on both bands. I use this rig for all VHF contests. The power output is very high for both bands and saved me a lot of space in the shack without have external amps/pa's for both bands and 2 more power supplies which would have added another $400-$500 if not for the IC-910H. I like the SSB operation for both bands and like the large display. Seems the sensitivity is much better being only a 2 band rig. The speech compressor also goes along way for high average PEP levels. I work the Oscar 51 when I get the chance and always have a great copy on the bird when its in the area. The ability to track with the satellite control puts both offset frequencies together to track the birds as they come and go. Another lice feature to factor in the doppler effect. A+ rig by all means. Never needed a DTMF mic so not needed.
 
KW6T Rating: 2/5 Aug 7, 2008 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Unstable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I hate to "dis" this rig after reading such great reviews, but the frequency is not stable during transmit and does drift noticeably on receive. I get numerous complaints during 2 meter SSB QSO's that my TX frequency suddenly changes though no change is noted in the indicated freq. Maybe this is how Icom justifies the $379.00 price tag for the high-stability oscillator?

My 706MkIIG is a better performer--sadly.
 
N1LF Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2008 13:42 Send this review to a friend
Best V/U Weak Signal rig on the Market  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
On the very good advice of several "big gun" VHF Ops, like Jimmy Long, W4ZRZ, I purchased an Icom IC-910H with the 1.2ghz module installed.

First of all, I'll echo others comments about the purpose of this rig. It's made for weak signal VHF/UHF operations and satellite work. While it has FM mode, it's not meant for that kind of operation and will be lacking a lot of features that you could find on dedicated FM rigs.

Not to be harsh, but 2M FM attracts some who see it as glorified CB..and are interested in working DX in that mode. No problem with that, I work a lo of simplex myself...but if your goal is to see if you can "light up" a repeater three states away during a band opening, save yourself some money. Buy any FM rig and the biggest Mirage brick amp you can afford. Stack some beams and go to town. This isn't designed for that kind of operation.

If however, you're serious about weak signal and satellite work, you'll quickly love this rig. It's easy to operate, allows you to "move" stations up the bands rapidly, and hears great even without pre-amps.

I purchased the Icom pre-amps, which are fine, but their noise figure is a bit high. I upgraded to Advanced Receiver Research pre-amps which work much better. AAR will install optional RF chokes if you want to use the IC-910H to power them. Hard keying is better and saves the relay contacts, but the RF keying works fine too.

If you're running heavy duty cycle modes like WSJT you might want to add an additional muffin fan to the heat sink. I did and it keeps my 910H nice and cool.

Yes, it lacks serious IF DSP---and that is a shame. It also lacks a 222 module, which would be worth it's weight in gold. It could also have some features to make it work better as a transverter rig, but all in all, it's the best V/U weak signal rig on the market.

Expensive, and worth it.

Note to Icom. Add a 222 module, and I bet you could sell them for $1,000 bucks a piece here in the US. Please?

Or maybe some after market company?

73,

Les, N1LF
 
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