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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Icom IC-T7A & T7H Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-T7A & T7H
Icom IC-T7A & T7H Reviews: 112 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $200
Description: Transmit 144 - 148 MHz and 440-450 MHz
5 watts out of the box with standard battery pack, 6 watts @ 13.5 V DC
Dimensions: 2.3 (W), 4.8 (H), 1.1 (D) inches, 14.3 oz
One-touch band switching - CTCSS tone encode/decode
Product is in production.
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KC9CFM Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2003 21:20 Send this review to a friend
Great All Around HT  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This was my first amateur radio transceiver. It was a great buy for the money and perfect for me. It is a solid, dependable dual-band HT for operation on the amateur bands. I consider the one unforgivable problem with this HT to be the battery. The capacity is horrid. You either need at least two batteries, a quick charger, the Alkaline pack, or all of the above.

I sold this HT in January in order to buy an ICOM T-90A. I did some tests with the local repeater and discovered that my old T7H had a much better sensitivity to signals than the new T90A. I believe it just has a better antenna... Plus I miss the feel of my T-7H, so I just bought a new one. I'm going to keep them both now!
K1SMM Rating: 3/5 Feb 25, 2003 02:21 Send this review to a friend
One major shortcoming.  Time owned: more than 12 months
A great operating radio. I programmed and used it withour even opening the manual. I agree with most of the other reviews, but must stress that this not a rig for the occasional user because of poor battery life. The stock battery is very weak and even with the excellent replacement from W&W, the battery will be dead in a few days unless kept on trickle charge. This situation comes to us as a result of the "intant on" mentality, whereby there is no real on/off switch. I haven't measured the current draw with the rig "off", but it has a significant effect. I can leave my old Ic-02 and micro 2 rigs for weeks and pick them up and go. Don't even think about this with the T-7H unless you pop the battery off every time you set it down.
W1SJ Rating: 4/5 Dec 16, 2002 15:37 Send this review to a friend
Great no-frills HT for the price.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This radio was purchased at for my wife. I required a no-frills duobander which was EASY to use and CHEAP. The T7H meets both requirements easily. There are fewer controls on this HT and no "Function" key to worry about. Where most HT's are scary to operate, this one is fairly intuitive. As this is a no-frills radio, there is only one receiver and one VFO. For what this radio is used for, this is fine. The battery is adequate, but there is a trick! The radio draws power from the battery even when off! So, the battery will drain down in a week or so. I would call this a design flaw, but it is easily remedied: detach the battery when not in use! Otherwise, on a fully charged stock battery, the T7H had no trouble lasting all day for use during the NY Marathon. Two other negatives: I prefer an analog squelch. The squelch is otherwise hard to set. Also, the radio does not have the most robust receiver I have seen. Normally, this is no problem, however, you will hear a good deal of junk in a dense urban environment. It worked out OK in NY, but I would prefer better. For simple, low-tech use, you can't go wrong with this one.
Likes: Inexpensive, easy to use, cheap, 5w power
Dislikes: Squelch setting, some intermod, battery drain when off.
For simple
K8OSU Rating: 4/5 Dec 16, 2002 14:41 Send this review to a friend
Good, no frills radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a good radio for someone to get who wants a radio without a lot of bells and whistles, or someone who's just gotten into the hobby and wants something good but inexpensive.

My first impression about the radio is that it's built like a tank. I would agree with other reviewers in that it seems like you can drop the thing and it will still work. I can imagine this would be an especially good radio for younger hams or anyone else (or just clumsy like me) who are likely to give the radio a beating.

The T7H is fairly sensitive off the OEM whip. I can hit my club's main machine 30 miles away with it. Adding on an aftermarket antenna, like the Diamond RH77, makes the radio perform even better.

The radio is fairly straighforward to operate, and it's easy to change things like PL tones and such on the fly. I recommend getting the computer control software. That makes it easy to load lots of frequencies in, and you could also come up with different loads for different areas if you travel much.

Two annoyances about the radio, one minor and one major. First off, it lacks two VFOs, which makes working satellites with the HT impossible. I can hear them on their downlink frequencies, but I can't talk to them. Oh well, I should have spent the extra $75 on the W32 anyway! :-)

The other, major gripe is battery use. With the standard BP-173 pack, the radio lasts a day on standby, and a couple of hours with regular use. Definitely not good if you use the radio for ARES work like I do. I have a Maha aftermarket NiMH BP-180 clone that does well. I would strongly recommend getting an aftermarket NiMH battery to use with this radio. The Maha battery also makes the radio lighter, which is good, since it's pretty heavy with the Icom stanard pack.
KG6JFT Rating: 4/5 Dec 3, 2002 00:16 Send this review to a friend
Nice HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my first HT, but for the price it seems like quite a bargain. The only things that irked me where:
A) Its really tough to read the LCD display in the dark. Its backlit but I wish that you could keep the backlight on for more than 1/2 a second or something
B) No manual squelch.
Nethertheless, I'm holding onto it. Constuction feels like I could drop it ten times over,
KF9Z Rating: 3/5 Nov 10, 2002 07:55 Send this review to a friend
The rig is just OK  Time owned: more than 12 months
I like the radio and all but it has two very serious drawbacks. I live in a city full of pager/cellular towers and this radio has a tendency to overload very easily. Do not even think of using a better antenna than the stock antenna or every time you drive near a data tower your radio becomes unusable. This is my second Icom IC-T7H and both showed signs of severe overload. The imaging of UHF frequencies out of the ham band in a negative as well. If you would like to listen to FRS/GMRS while someone locally access the UHF repeater...forget about it. The second issue I have with this radio is the stock battery pack. 9.6VDC @ 650mAh and it is NiCad. It does not even make it a full day on RX. At the price this radio sells for I would expect a better battery pack. I have the BP-170 Alkaline pack that I placed (4) 1800mAh NiHMi batteries in and it works very well and last a long time. I also own the W&W 7.2VDC @ 1100mAh battery pack and it shows good results as well. This is a nice radio that is very easy to use. The layout is good, the audio is good and most of all it is dependable. I have been rough with the radio at times and it still keeps going. I have owned far better dual-band HT's but for $189 the radio is a fair priced, moderately equipped radio. Unfortunately Kenwood no longer makes the TH-79. That was a great radio. The best I ever owned.
KK2E Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2002 00:18 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned this Radio for 6 months it is easy to use. Easier than the old Icom O2AT. All the stuff I had with O2AT fits this radio.I like it better than the new small Kenwoods, Yaesu and Alincos as I want an Ht I can handle . I just can't handle these small hts with to many bells and whisles. They are just not necessary .This is the Ht every ham wants if you want to just attache it to yourself and turn it on 2 meters or 440and talk. With the other HTs I need a refresher course every time I use them.
Thanks for making this one Icom I love It.
N3WVV Rating: 4/5 Nov 2, 2002 13:55 Send this review to a friend
One tough little radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Mine was stollen out of my car, and recovered two days later. It had been ran over by a car and laid on the side of the road for two days in the rain. Looks a little rough, but still works perfectly.
I have to agree with the complaints about the battery. Verry poor.

Great radio for the money A+++
KG4VTQ Rating: 4/5 Nov 1, 2002 14:28 Send this review to a friend
A great radio spoiled  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The IC-T7H is a remakably good HT that is simple to use, tremendously robust and features few of the bells and whistles that most people really don't need anyway. Rx reports are excellent, tx is good and to cap it all, it fits easily in most pockets. The lack of sophistication and full dual-band simulatenous receive doesn't detract from the unit to any great extent and in itself the T7H would rate a near 5/5.

Unfortunately, what lets this little gem down rather badly is the battery, because the BP-173 pack supplied is not only woefully inadequate for the radio, but Icom have seen fit to price additional packs at level that would be laughable if it weren't for the fact that most owners will have to bite the bullet and get at least one. Allowing for the cost of a second pack, this radio is no longer the bargain it otherwise appears.

For those in the market for a fine dual band HT, who don't need sophistication or good battery life, but do need excelent build and design quality, the Icom IC-T7H is very hard to beat. For those who hope to use it away from external power for lengthy periods, and who have an eye to a tight budget, keep saving and look elsewhere.
KD7RQH Rating: 5/5 Oct 30, 2002 03:26 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great dual-bander for the money. I bought this radio after deciding to give 440 a try (I've only been licensed for 6 months) and am quite happy with my purchase. Audio reports are great, the chassis has a decent heft and feels solid, unlike some of the other reviews, I find the automatic squelch a definate plus, and the CTCSS scan is big help. I only wish it had 3 power settings. Battery life has not been an issue, either. I can get around 12 hours when I don't spend too much time transmitting. Might have opted for the W32 if I were willing to spend more money but hate the two knob layout and am usually only on one band at a time anyways. Next handheld will be another ICOM...
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