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-T90A Help


Reviews Summary for Icom IC-T90A
Icom IC-T90A Reviews: 114 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $319.95
Description: Tri-ban FM transceiver, Wide-bad 495Khz - 999.990 Mhz, Dynamic Memory Scan, Lithium-Ion technology, Rugged palm sized, weather-resistant construction, DTCS & CTCSS ton squelch. Simple to Operate !
Product is in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Icom IC-T90A.

<— Page 2 of 12 —>

K3DAV Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2009 19:28 Send this review to a friend
Mine works great.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had this T90A HT for a little while now, and it has performed flawlessly for me. With the rubber duck antenna, I can hit VHF/UHF repeaters 40 miles away with good audio. There are a few 6 meter repeaters in my area. My buddy owns one of them, and is 25 miles away. Again, with the rubber duck antenna and the 6M stub added, I can talk into his repeater with no problems. Keep in mind that I live in central PA where there is no flat land anywhere. This state is mountains and valleys only.

Recently I took it to a local hamfest, and used a 2M machine 9 miles away to keep in touch with the others with me, and a few friends that didn't come. I used the HT on 5W all day. That was 2 weeks ago, and the battery still has enough juice to work the unit. And it's the original battery. One of the tricks to good battery life is to never use the quick DC charger. Always use the slow AC trickle charger. It gives a better charge, and last a long time between charges.

I found the menus easy to follow, and programming the memory channels was a breeze. The features are great, and I have used the HF rec to listen to SW stations from around the world on the RD antenna, and it works great. I know 4 other local guys with the T90A, and they are as pleased as I am with it.

I have to say this is a great little HT. I have been told by everyone that the audio is equal to any mobile radio. Clean and strong. It's just a 5 watt HT with a little coiled wire antenna. You can't expect top performance like with a base or mobile and a big antenna. When I connect my T90A to my base VHF antenna, I can key repeaters in Maryland 55 miles away.

For what it is, it's a quality HT, and I love mine. Kudos to Icom for another quality product.
 
VE2MNC Rating: 1/5 Mar 9, 2009 17:55 Send this review to a friend
Looks good, but that's it...  Time owned: more than 12 months
The only good thing I can honestly say about this radio is the body is solid, and the wideband ability of it is awesome...

That said...

The body of it is horrible because the metal body also doubles as a heatsink. You NEED either an external mic or an oven mitt to hold this thing when you're TXing for more than a 2 minute conversation... And the wideband is good, if you can tolerate the absolutely HORRIBLE intermod. This thing sucks in anything and everything. I've given up relying on the frequency display when I'm just scanning around because who knows what I've actually picked up. This thing is as selective as a brick.

The antenna is terrible, but easily replaced with a decent one, but then you find the connector is flimsy and you could very well break it by sneezing. The battery is plain garbage. 12-14 hours to charge, and it doesn't last worth anything.

Programming this thing from the keypad has got to be one of the most mind numbing chores to think of. I take great pleasure sitting in a dentist chair instead of having to program 10 memory locations with proper split and CTCSS/NAME/BANK settings.

After this little kick in the face I'll never buy another Icom again. Go and get one of those 50$ Chinese radios on ebay and it'll have 10x the performance quality than this thing. You think those radios are tricky to program, then you've never tried to use this unit.

As for the accessories, overpriced isn't even the word. Nope, no sir, never again!
 
W4JHC Rating: 3/5 Jan 24, 2009 08:23 Send this review to a friend
Nice try, ICOM  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my first hand-held and I will keep it.
I get good reports working the local 2M and 70cm repeaters. There are no 6M FM repeaters in my area. However, I would not buy another.

The negatives mentioned in previous reviews are accurate. Inter-mod on 2 meters is bad but only occasionally annoying in my area. The stock antenna is poor and the battery life low when transmitting at 5 watts. A LOT of power is dissipated in the case, making it very hot. (If you live in a cold climate, it makes for a good hand warmer.)

The small size of this radio is great. If you like small, you're going to have to put up with a small battery and short life. Buy the AA battery pack and keep LOTS of AAs on hand.

Accessories are expensive but I do recommend the rapid charger. This is a small radio and will tip over easily. The charger holds it upright very nicely, especially if you have a longer antenna.

I'm not sure why the low frequency bands are included in the wide band RX. The radio is AM/FM only - no SSB. Unless you connect it to an external antenna, you won't receive much on HF anyway. The circuitry here is wasted and would be better spent on better filtering that would eliminate the 2 meter inter-mod.

I work near an airport and I can listen to the ATC talk the planes in. When the US Air Force Thunderbirds were here, I used this radio to listen to their cockpit chatter.

The NOAA weather channels are convenient and so is having the local TV audio and AM/FM radio bands. I use these from time to time.

Scanner features are nice. I recommend buying the software so it can be programmed from a computer.

Have an extra copy of the manual available - the menus are not self explanatory. ICOM's web site has it:

http://www.icom.co.jp/manual/external/transceivers/IC-T90A.pdf

I bought a cheap external speaker/microphone from Radio Shack and it works very well.

The charger included with the radio is junk. It takes too long to charge and eventually, mine quit working. It was a bad soldering job on the plug so I tore it apart and re-soldered it. It now looks bad but works fine.

ICOM is very close to having a great handheld radio and they will eventually get it right. They are a few years away however.

73's one and all.
 
N4UMJ Rating: 4/5 Jan 15, 2009 10:37 Send this review to a friend
NOAA & PS VHF images were evident  Time owned: more than 12 months
I must say first off the ergonomics of this handheld are great and it fits in your hand like a glove with easy one handed operation like no other hand held I have used before. The volume is switchable between the top knob and the UP/DWN key --- CW can be enabled to sound out the key presses/frequency for those visually impaired or one wishing to practice up on their code. The display is switchable between green, orange or red backlighting. The receiver is very sensitive but...

On the negative side the imaging(some refer to this as intermod) on VHF was very bad unlike any ICOM Handheld I had ever owned before. This was a new radio out of the box so I contacted the ICOM dealer/seller immediately. I was told the owners use that very Handheld daily and have never had the problem that I described. They referred me to ICOM warranty & ICOM USA advised me to send my radio in. I did not..

Fast forward several years & I found a deal on a 2nd T90A and it was brand new in the box from a dealer. I thought just maybe being a newer version it would not have the problem but was disappointed to discover it was still there and that was enough for me to reach a conclusion........

A previous T90A eham review mentions NOAA WX images and that was what I experienced along with some Public Safety imaging in the 145.500 Mhz area as well. 6M and the UHF seemed fine with no images. I would not call this intermod technically as it was constant and not random (two signals mixing)in nature.

I will say the Attenuator function would get rid of the undesired image and unfortunately the desired signal and that was not acceptable to me. Note: I was using the supplied stock antenna.

I now own an ICOM 91A and it has no images whatsoever but the T90A was a better fit sizewise.

Ed
N4UMJ

 
VE3LZQ Rating: 1/5 Sep 19, 2008 18:36 Send this review to a friend
disapointing  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 2 meter transmitt has failed for the third time .I have spent $100 to have it repaired two times previously and was told by dealer that did the repair it was a protection diode?radio was only used with stock antenna .AM broadcast recieve selectivity is very poor.Battery takes hours to charge and lasts for a short period, around 10 minutes of transmitt and an hour on recieve.Accesories are very expensive and requires an 11 volt power supply that cost about 60 bucks
 
VE2MNC Rating: 2/5 May 18, 2008 17:04 Send this review to a friend
Not what I expected from Icom  Time owned: more than 12 months
While the unit looks great in the specs and on paper, I have to admit I've had very mixed opinions on this one.

PROS
-Wideband RX (One of my big lures to it)
-Many good features
-Easy to use

CONS
-Battery charging and life is plain BAD
-Intermod is horrible on any band
-You need to wear gloves or have external mic it gets so hot
-Stock antenna seems to be terrible, loads better into coat-hanger (LITERALLY)
-SMA connector is very flimsy although haven't broken it yet
-Accessories are way to expensive

I do know that after this unit I'll be moving onto a different company. My other HT is an Alinco, and while not being as feature rich and lacking wideband, it far out-performs this unit. Sorry Icom but this thing is a dud in my book.
 
KB3MMY Rating: 4/5 Apr 5, 2008 13:05 Send this review to a friend
Awesome HT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had this unit since last fall, and I've had nothing but good experience with it. The unit operates exactly as advertised, and it pretty rugged. I was out at sea for two months and I had it on deck with me listening to marine VHF and time tick transmissions, as well as operating on VHF and UHF ham bands when we were close enough to land. It had no problems. I really love the wideband receiver feature. The only complaint I have about it is the battery life. I got my unit (barely) used, and it came with a spare battery, which I've come to realize is a must with this unit if you'll be doing a lot of field work, or can't charge your radio readily.
 
NU0C Rating: 0/5 Jan 19, 2008 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Totally useless for intended purpose  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just spent an afternoon programming this radio for a friend who is "programming challenged". What I discovered was that it receives our local 162.475 NOAA weather radio very well on 146.76.

Further, reading here I find that at least one other user has found the same problem (thanks Hal, N8HSD).

The problem? Our primary Skywarn repeater is (and has been for around 30 years) 146.76. The owner is a Skywarn spotter, and that makes it useless for the purpose it was purchased for. Furthermore, it appears no fix is available or forthcoming.

Congratulations, Icom, you have lost a good portion of a well populated area. Even the infamous RS HTX-202 .76 birdie problem was fixable - this situation is totally unacceptable. I've been using, repairing, and tinkering with VHF gear in this area for over 28 years and have never encountered a problem like this before. It's just plain poor design.
 
KI6EFA Rating: 4/5 Dec 17, 2007 10:27 Send this review to a friend
Still going strong  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've owned this radio since Christmas of last year.

My enthusiasm for it has only decreased a little since my review from last year. The only problem I've had is that the AC adapter seems to have become finicky in the connector, and it often refuses to charge the radio unless I wiggle it right.

I can hear many, many things all over the spectrum, and hit a repeater about 80 miles away (not quite line-of-sight) and the WIN about 100 miles away (up in the hills) with no problem.

I still like it!
 
KC2HMF Rating: 5/5 Aug 2, 2007 11:43 Send this review to a friend
Hasn't failed me yet  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I received this rig as a gift for christmas. Having a warranty on it, I decided to test its limits. I carried it around through the harsh winter weathers of Northern New York, and it held up just fine. After about 1 month, it stopped Txing. I returned it to ICOM and they had it back to me in about 2 weeks, better than new. Was very impressed. I have done the MARS/CAP mod and have depended on this rig for SEVERAL uses, and it has yet to fail me... Battery can take a while to charge if it is COMPLETELY dead, and has lasted me as long as 8.5 hours of heavy use at events. ICOM accessories are fairly expensive, but I have found many generic accessories that match up perfectly for mere dollars... Like the features, simple operations, goes anywhere and everywhere. Hit local repeaters from next town over, about 10-15 miles as the crow flies.
 
<— Page 2 of 12 —>


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