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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Icom IC-821 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-821
Icom IC-821 Reviews: 16 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $2000
Description: uhf/vhf allmode
Product is not in production.
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DL1MEV Rating: 4/5 Jun 10, 2015 07:48 Send this review to a friend
Not perfect  Time owned: more than 12 months
The well-known contact-problem of the ribbon-cables occured here too. When not terminated properly the 70cm-rx-frontend oscillates.

It is useable but not great for the lot of money it had cost.
NX7U Rating: 4/5 Sep 6, 2007 18:11 Send this review to a friend
A better modern satellite rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Written purely from a satellite users perspective:
- Nice front-panel controls (TX power, Preamp power in particular)
- Normal and Reverse-tracking VFOs
- Internal CW keyer
- Good TX IMD performance
- Doppler tuning via computer is full-duplex! Which means, if you turn the VFO, the frequency change is transmitted to the computer. Gives great flexibility in satellite tuning, and I believe the only radios with this capability are the '821 and the IC-910.
- Speech compressor
- Jacks on rear are unmarked. There is a sticker on the side (?) that serves as the legend.
- Have to put it into satellite mode manually--computer can't do it for you.
- My 70cm TX stopped working too (see PE3 review at the end). The offending Q42 on the MAIN board can be replaced with a MOSFET switch fairly easily.
- Runs pretty hot. No fan and not much heatsinking for a 45W radio.

When I was shopping to upgrade from my FT-726R, my main 2 criteria were TX IMD and computer control. My research showed the '821 to be superior to all others on offer in these two categories.

Would I buy again? Definitely yes. In fact I might get a 2nd one, to drive a set of mode L/S transverters.
G0NIG Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2006 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Terrific piece of kit.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Admittedly I've only owned the radio a few months but it is a delight to use. The quality of receive is excellent with no strong out of band signal breakthrough (I live close to a hospital paging system) which totally trashed the VHF frontend on a IC7400
Reports on the transmitted audio have always been very complemetary. Mine started live as a Euro version with the 1750Hz tone but a simple internal mod enabled the CTCSS encoder. If you do this mod ensure that you turn the tone deviation down to 600Hz or you'll receive some dreadful reports.
I have two small critisms as to the features, or lack of them:

1. No RF/IF Gain control. On a radio like this I would have thought that this would have been a given.

2. No VOX. I'm a keen contestor on HF and would like to start with VHF/UHF contesting and for SSB operation I consider a VOX facility essential.

I have fitted the UT-84 tone squelch board and intend to fit the CW narrow filters into both the main and sub rx'ers.

Some comments have stated that it can be a little fiddly to setup for satellite use but I didn't find it too much of a hurdle.

Used prices do vary quite considerably, I purchased mine for 360GBP from a local operator but have seen them on dealers shelves for in excess of 800GBP.

For me this one will be a keeper for some time to come.


Nidge (G0NIG)
KC5BG Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2006 10:38 Send this review to a friend
good radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Picked up the 821 used in excellent condition 5 months ago. Never a problem, rig is great
KC0KKI Rating: 5/5 Nov 12, 2005 15:14 Send this review to a friend
Best I have Owned  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
After reading the reviews I was skeptical about buying one of these but I placed my faith in Icom and took the plunge. I am glad I did. I have experienced none of the problems some of the other reviewers have experienced. I have owned Yaesu's FT-726 and a Kenwood TS-711A and I believe this Icom 821 is superior in nearly every way. I would prefer a built-in supply but those days are practically gone from base radios so I cant really deduct anything for that. If money is not a concern for you then buy a new 910H, but if you want a good solid radio with good ergonomics that does what it says it does then by all means consider an IC-821. The combination of the IC-821 with my IC-736 radio gives me all the bands I need for very little money. I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone who wants to get into sattelite work or just cant stand using a mobile rig as a base any longer.
K9KJM Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2005 22:11 Send this review to a friend
An OK Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned an Icom 820H since right after they came out and had good luck with it, So figured that the 821H is simply the 820's newer brother, Which for the most part it has turned out to be.
A very good working radio. The 821 has more memory channels and easily adjustable power output, Which can be important running into an amplifer.
For what these radios are selling for on the used market nowadays, I feel they are a great deal!
K5ADF Rating: 5/5 Oct 12, 2005 19:36 Send this review to a friend
OK transceiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought the IC821H in March 1998. I have used it mainly in FM mode on VHF and UHF and SSB mode on 2m. I have not had a problem with the transceiver and believe the SSB sensitivity to not be an issue, but I have not tried weak signal SSB or satelite. Power output seems to be according to the published numbers. It is not as fancy as the IC910H and is hard to program but the manual is accurate.
G7VIG Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2005 02:20 Send this review to a friend
Does What it Should Do.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the radio from new, over 4 years now. It works as the makers say it should, every time in all modes. No problems at all with it. Excellent sensitivity and good audio reports every time. Nothing to complain about at all. The radio is easy to operate once you have read the manual two or three times. The only alteration from new is the Icom CTCSS module I have installed. Should I feel have been standard fit.I shant part with mine. I am a non smoker, perhaps the absence of nicotine and tar drawn into the radio could be why I havent had any faults ? Ask an engineer about this if you dont already see the significance of this !
IH9GPI Rating: 1/5 Jul 31, 2005 01:21 Send this review to a friend
terrible radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
terrible radio, noise noise and noise.
Best 73 de IH9GPI
N7FAE Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2004 15:03 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great little rig, although I confess I use it primarily for weak-signal and not satellite work. Excellent sensitivity, even without preamp, and good compromise TX power. This was an upgrade from the IC-275 (I had to hold my breath when trading that one in, the best 2m multimode I ever used, and I've used a lot of them in the last 20 yrs) - up until the 821! I am fully satisfied with this rig, it's great, and love the capability to monitor 432 and 144 ssb at the same time. I have not experienced any of the display / connector issues as of yet, but will update if I do. (You should realize that the 820 is essentially the same base radio, less more bells and whistles, and it has a very good rating - don't sell this one short).
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