eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Icom IC-T81A/E Help


Reviews Summary for Icom IC-T81A/E
Icom IC-T81A/E Reviews: 50 Average rating: 3.7/5 MSRP: $290
Description: Quad band handheld transiever
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.icomamerica.com
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Icom IC-T81A/E.

Page 1 of 5 —>

AA1PR Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2012 19:41 Send this review to a friend
1.2 GHZ or 23cm !!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I go this back in 2003 or so for the 23cm capabilities

like everything on this radio except the toggle button

just wish it had 220 in it from the factory
 
KF5CGM Rating: 5/5 Sep 28, 2010 10:11 Send this review to a friend
Great little thing  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Besides the battery, and the antenna, I like this radio.
I got it used as my first radio and after upgrading to a MFJ-1720 antenna, I could improve the range greatly.

The batteries I got with it were almost death, but I got the AA pack with it, so I could use my own AA rechargeable with it.

The BP-200xl I got works great too, besides the fact that the clip broke of to easy.
 
KD0GCH Rating: 4/5 Jul 5, 2010 13:22 Send this review to a friend
nice rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
just got one in a trade.this is a upgrade from my vx 170.the rx could be wider for all the tx.other than that i get good reports.if you plan to buy on you will need a aftermarket whip for it.
 
KD5SPJ Rating: 5/5 Feb 28, 2008 09:04 Send this review to a friend
A lot better!  Time owned: months
So, after dealing with the non existant battery life I bought a Batteires America BP-200XL for the T81A/E, and sat the stock rubber ducky on the mantle and bought a (2M) Diamond SRH77CA.

On the battery, After a full night on the charger, I left the radio on to see how much time I got. After about an hour of talking the first day on high power, a I left it on all night, next day still working! Talked for about 15 minutes on high, left on all night again still working and finally dies that day.

The antenna worked great on 2m and even works well on 70cm! It IS only a 2m ant but dies hit the fringe 440 repeaters better than the stock antenna. It really improves the reception and transmit capability on 2m over the stocker by quite a margin.
 
N0VKG Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2008 09:20 Send this review to a friend
Programming thru the keypad is the weakness/flaw...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this radio since about 2000 or 2001. I know why this radio gets its bad reviews. Its because this is an aweful radio to program using the keypad. Made worse by the poor instruction manual. I have found the solution. Get your hands on the iCOM OPC-478UC cable and download a copy of the CS-T81 software. Install the software, and program the radio thru the computer. Problem solved. Its makes a world of differance in this nice little radio. My whole view (review) of this radio changed once I programmed it for the first time using this software package. It makes a differance... A big differance. Try it... You won't be sorry... Its military spec toughness is awesome. Before the software, I was going to give it a poor 2/5 rating due to aweful keypad programming steps. But now, the IC-T81A is going to get what it truely deserves: 5/5
The software is truely the correct way to program this radio reliably.
 
VR2XMQ Rating: 3/5 Feb 21, 2008 21:57 Send this review to a friend
Love and Hate Relationship!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Can't live with it and can't live without it.

Hate Side:
The operation of the unit is a proverbial pain in the butt and a ham's worst nightmare. It is entirely non-user friendly. The battery is next to useless (a wet rag would probably be about the same) and you really need to buy a high capacity battery from third parties. The cigar looking ducky I think is just for looks and does not perform very well at all, it's really not a keeper - just get the Diamond SRH-999 and now your talking.

Love Side:
Quad bands, what more can you ask for? Best thing before I got the FT-817ND, but the ND does not have 23CM. Great wide band receiver. All the functions you could ask for are there.

It's not bad, just the issues on the hate side gave it a 3 rating otherwise it would have been a 5.

Steve, VR2XMQ
 
KD5SPJ Rating: 5/5 Nov 6, 2007 10:42 Send this review to a friend
Love hate...well dislike  Time owned: more than 12 months
I do love most about the T81A/E. I love it's size, reliability, ergonomics, power, the fact that it is a quad bander in a HT, and it's overall performance. The only things I don't like is the battery consumption or performance cycle or life. My stock battery is finally dying after owning this radio for about 5 years, but it never lasted very long cycle wise.

I never got more than an hour out of it, even on low power. I did just order the BP220HL which is twice the amperage than the wimpy stock 700mah unit. And at only 60 bucks it is a great deal. I'll write a review on it after I have had it a while.

On the radio, the only thing I only sort of dislike is the funky multi function switch.

Sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn't, but that is operator related and due to my inattention or thick fingers. I only wish they would have done either directional separate buttons, or a toggle, as it is easy to make a choice that wasn't the one you wanted to make on the round multi function switch. Other than that mentioned, it is a GREAT little very function rich radio I would recommend to anyone who needed all four bands in one unit.
 
K5LDL Rating: 3/5 Nov 2, 2007 09:38 Send this review to a friend
Ummmm... Not so hot  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had my T81a for a little over two years before it died a fiery death in my truck when it caught fire. To be honest, when I could get it to work, it worked flawlessly. When it didn't work, it just was frustrating.

Oh hell, the radio worked fine; the features were all there, even the 4 bands it worked on were worked in great fashion. I loved this rig, except for three issues...

This radio is really a techie radio nut's dream: 4 bands, wide receiver, good audio, loaded with features, power levels...

It's also a radio operator's nighmare. Icom's battery pack for this radio didn't last at all, power shuts down in the middle of a QSO... and that infamous rocker switch. Mine was a little 'loose' to begin with and getting it to hit and land on the band or feature I needed was always a 'hit or miss' proposition. Arggggh!

I give it a solid 3 for it not for its shortcomings, and I really tried to love this radio.

Pros: 4 bands in one rig! 6m, 2m, 70cm and 1.2GHz! Good power levels, good audio, good fit in my hand.

Cons: that damned multi-position-multi-function rocker switch, Icom's poor battery performance, 50 watt dummy load for an antenna, and no Icom software to program this rig. All told, the best things for this radio came from third parties.

Luis KD5KJD
 
KO0KY Rating: 3/5 Sep 17, 2007 08:42 Send this review to a friend
An OK radio, but needs some work  Time owned: more than 12 months
First off, due to some wierd circumstances, I got this radio for free, so the value-for-the-money factor is high for me. It was literally a discarded piece of equipment where I worked, along with a PCR-1000, which were both given to me. At that price, I can live with a few problems.

The main problem I have is the multi-control. I'm 6'4" and have the clumsy hands to match. To be fair, I have that problem with all handheld radios made nowadays, as smaller is the trend. Hitting the 'sweet spot' in the center of the control is really hard for me.

Secondly, the original battery is too weak. I got the Batteries America 1400+ mah upgrade, and I am very pleased. Like one reviewer above said, who buys a handy to rag chew?

One problem I have, which is probably not the fault of the radio design, is the center conductor of the charger input broke off. This was before I got it, and it happened in a shop floor environment being used by non hams, so I don't blame Icom for that one. However, I had to get a drop in charger. With the larger battery, the drop in charger doesn't work, so I have to take the battery pack off and drop it in with a rigged up spacer. This is every time I charge!

The multiple bands are great, but I live in the sticks where only 2M is available, and we're getting a 440 repeater soon. The ability to listen to an FM station as the mood hits is great as well.

Knowing what I know now, I would probably not buy this rig as an original purchase. However, it seems to be rugged, I have it now, and I couldn't beat the price, so I'm sticking with it for the duration.
 
K8APS Rating: 3/5 May 14, 2006 08:27 Send this review to a friend
Some great features...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had my T81 for almost four years and then sold it. Overall I liked the radio a lot. It had plenty of alphanumeric memories and operation I found to be easy. I really liked the little rig. However, the battery issues kept me from using it all the time.

The batteries were a pain. They would loose their charge fairly quickly and the radio would shut off and there would be no warning. Also, the clip holding the battery to the radio could break, rendering the battery useless unless you had some method to hold the battery onto the radio (either tape or the radio soft case could hold it together).

Other than the battery issues, I'd have given this radio a rating of 5!
 
Page 1 of 5 —>


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.