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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | ICOM T8a Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM T8a
ICOM T8a Reviews: 23 Average rating: 3.1/5 MSRP: $419.00
Description: TRI-BAND HT
Product is in production.
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KG7LEA Rating: 3/5 Sep 15, 2014 12:37 Send this review to a friend
Short battery life  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this radio used and had to buy replacement rechargeable batteries, after market parts since iCom doesn't offer the batteries any longer. I am disappointed at the short time between charges. I don't know if this is a function of the batteries or the radio. I have learned to use low power whenever possible and to always have a spare battery on hand.

I also bought the programming cable which came with a disk in Chinese. The Chirp software will work, but doesn't offer a label in place of the frequency.
VE3PWR Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2013 14:39 Send this review to a friend
Great Tri - Band Handheld  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased this handheld used off Ebay and it works GREAT !!!! The only issue I had when I got it was the internal speaker wasn't working well... The audio coming out of the speaker was distorted... Changed the internal speaker and WOW... That's Better...Nice Receive Audio... I also purchased another battery for it so I can have longer usage time by switching the batteries back and forth as the battery that came with it ( which is actually an Icom battery ) only lasted a few hours off a Full charge.... I also have had Great transmit audio reports as well...
I printed off the manual from the Icom Website so I could program memory frequencies into it and had no problem... The factory antenna works well on ALL 3 bands...
Finally.... The Best for Last.... I only paid $ 70.00 for it and it came with the desk charger too and everything is in Mint Condition !!! If you have a chance to purchase one of these handhelds in Good condition used Go For It !!!
W4KVW Rating: 5/5 Jul 14, 2009 17:17 Send this review to a friend
EASY OPERATION  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First I must say I do NOT see what all the fuss is about the battery clip.I NEVER have a need to REMOVE the battery so it's a NON ISSUE for me.I must also say this HT is SO SIMPLE to operate it's like I feel like I am forgetting something but I'm NOT.It works GREAT on ALL THREE BANDS & changing bands,adjusting the volume,adjusting the squelch or whatever in MOST cases is just a ONE BUTTON deal & NOT a bunch of MENUS.I got a GREAT deal on mine & just like ALL of my ICOM gear LOVE IT.The ICOM drop in charger & Batteries America high capacity battery work GREAT together & the stock antenna is NOT a total wasted effort either as is the case with MOST HT antennas.I would buy another one should I need another one.I'm sure the new model is even BETTER but I'll keep this one for now. Thanks again ICOM for a GREAT little HT. }:>) I almost forgot that it has GREAT audio both on transmit & receive as well as I expected afer all it's an ICOM. }:>)
EX_AA5JG Rating: 4/5 Jul 13, 2008 22:47 Send this review to a friend
Good simple to use HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I first bought an Icom T8A in April 2000 and it was my first dualband/multiband HT. I ended up selling it because I wanted to try something else, which is pretty common for me to do.

I recently picked up a T8A again off of ebay, and had forgotten how good this HT is. I have owned almost every HT out there and this is one of the easiest multiband HTs to use. You can do almost everything off of the front keys. The menus are pretty much set and forget items with the exception of the CTCSS frequencies, which are in the menus.

The receive audio sounds good on it also except at extreme values, which is gets a little distorted. I am listening to the classical music station as I type this and it sounds just fine. You also get TV audio (won't be good for much longer) and wide receive with the T8A.

This HT does what you need, without a lot of useless gimmicks like the VX7R and such. Don't get me wrong, the VX7R is a great HT, but I didn't use 75% of the stuff on it. The only drawbacks to the T8A are the lack of a backlighted keyboard, and the lack of a LiON battery, but the Nimh batteries aren't too bad.

Two pieces of advice concerning this HT:

1. In the menus, there are separate settings for the transmit and receive CTCSS tones. RT is the transmit tone frequency, and CT is the receive tone frequency. This will let you use split tones for the same frequency.

2. If you need a replacement battery, get on ebay and you can find one for $17 or so.

Overall, if you want several bands, like to listen to FM broadcast bands also, and hate menus, this HT is for you!
W8ILP Rating: 2/5 Mar 18, 2007 07:55 Send this review to a friend
was good for awhile  Time owned: more than 12 months
Yeh, blown finals, apparently caused by some cars excessive voltage spikes while starting if you happen to be charging the same time you are starting your car. Been retired to a dresser drawer for a couple years now.
KD7TDA Rating: 2/5 Jul 9, 2006 08:56 Send this review to a friend
Problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have used my T8A very little. Overall I didn't mind it too much, but the finals blew on it so now it is just sitting in a drawer. The receive was ok, but not as good as my W2A. Maybe someone who knows more about fixing radios will want to buy it cheap.
DS5PXJ Rating: 3/5 Feb 11, 2005 16:47 Send this review to a friend
Good HT but Ant.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using this HT for morethan 2years.
I replaced Ext. Power Jack once. receiving is great for aerial to 900Mhz.
but no satisfaction on antenna. : SWR on 6M and 70Cm got some high.I suggest you buy another tri-band ant. to use T8A for long. without antenna, on its feature I think it is great I would like give 5. but with antenna I don't think so.
the TX Power level has just two selection. We need one more between them like 2.5W or something. 5W running with 12VDC, it is OK in the Winter time outside else remember Final goes out not by some high SWR but Heating !!! TNX.
NE0P Rating: 4/5 Jul 17, 2003 02:19 Send this review to a friend
Great HT even by todays standards  Time owned: more than 12 months
It has been awhile since I owned this HT, but look back on it with fond rememberances. Hoping to find another one at a good price. This was the first HT to come with a NIMH battery, and the first tribander to include 6 meters. WOrked great on 2, 440, and 6 with the stock antennas. One of the better stock antennas I have seen, and it didn't come in pieces like the VX5R. This HT also has great wideband receive. FM and TV audio are excellent. Much better than what my Kenwood F6A does in those areas. Modding it was also easy, do it off of the keyboard. None of this remove this and that things. Also the perfect size for the hand. One downside was the short battery life. However, you can now get a 6 cell case from and fill it with 2100mah NIMH cells. Those ought to last awhile. You can charge the whole pack if you have a C777 type univeral charger. Wish this would have been out when I sold the HT. The only other downside (hence the 4 rating) is Icoms typical all or nothing on power level. Either you get 5 watts or 0.5 watts. No reasonable medium power choices. GET WITH IT ICOM AND KENWOOD! If Yaesu and Radio Shack can figure out how to have medium power, you can also.

If you are looking for a do it all HT where you don't need AM BC or Shortwave receive, this is it. I have never had any of the battery clips break, either on the T8A or T81A. Wonder what the others are doing wrong to keep breaking their clips?
NO7OR Rating: 5/5 Mar 17, 2003 14:15 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This has been a great little radio! It was my ONLY radio for over 3 years. I have had extraordinary success with it using an Anli telescoping antenna system. I own two iCOM battery packs for it, and I've never had any of the problems experienced by other users. The only thing I would have changed - if I had designed the radio - would be to incorporate a BNC antenna connector instead of that SMA thing.
KC8LTL Rating: 2/5 Nov 1, 2002 17:18 Send this review to a friend
Not what I hoped for  Time owned: more than 12 months
The IC-T8A was my first ham radio and has been my primary HT since I got it in 1999. Unfortunately my experiences have not been always positive.

First of all, it went into the shop three times within the first year. First I burned out the finals. Then the 12V jack went bad. Unfortunately, while ICOM was able to diagnose this, they sent it back to me still broken, and so I had to send it in a third time. Since then it has at least worked.

As others have mentioned, the battery tab is not the greatest. Mine broke when the battery was wearing out, so I can't really complain, but since I charged it in the radio for a long time, I can certainly understand how this could be a problem for others.

In addition, the Battery pack is just plain too small. There is no real high capacity pack, and so you will have to change packs every couple of hours.

The wide frequency coverage is great, but having this in such a small unit means that selectivity is not as great. It is a trade-off - neither good nor bad. I had bad intermod problems when I ran it with an external antenna, but then again, the radio is not really designed for this.

The included rubber duck could be better, but this seems to be a common HT problem.

On the other hand, it is a very small radio which produces 5 watts. It has been quite convenient to throw into a backpack... I know that I would be interested in a battery pack that made the radio deeper if it allowed me to use the radio for a reasonable amount of time.
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