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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Icom IC-208H Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-208H
Icom IC-208H Reviews: 137 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $319.95
Description: 2M / 70cm mobile with 55 watt VHF and 50 watt UHF xmtr. CTCSS/DCS encode and decode, tone scan, detachable and remotable control head, 500 ALPHA-NUMERIC memories, etc
Product is not in production.
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W4KVW Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2009 22:27 Send this review to a friend
GREAT AGAIN!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I think for the money this rig is GREAT.High power on both bands,EASY to program,operate, & no problem with intermod.I run mine with a Diamond dual band antenna on my DODGE RAM Quad Cab & that small little control head fits really nice onto the mount I made for it.The mike staying connected to the main body is NOT an issue for me either.I do NOT need dual receive in the pickup & it's VERY simple to change bands if & when needed.ANOTHER fine little radio by the fine folks at "ICOM"!

VK3NJP Rating: 5/5 Mar 8, 2009 06:46 Send this review to a friend
Rock solid rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
Can't fault this radio at all. I purchased new in Feb 2008 from a local Icom dealer in Melbourne, Australia.

This rig has a great reputation and now I know why. Although it does get hot after a while, it's a very tough rig and has survived a tough life in my 4WD. Its display is very easy to read and the radio is simple to use - which is handy for using whilst mobile. Soon after buying one, I bought another. They're both working very well - they're a great workhorse rig.
N0YK Rating: 5/5 Aug 20, 2008 08:17 Send this review to a friend
Great Dual Bander for the Price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own two of these radios, one in the mobile and the other is a base, both work great. The radio has very good RX and I love the attenuator feature on the squelch for in the mobile. If you look at TX power output for radios in its class, you will find the 208H as the power house, 55 watts on VHF and 50 watts on UHF. Also love the DTMF mic that comes with the radio, backlight and everything. Once you learn your way around with the remote mic, it becomes very handy. A must do like others have said is to set TX narrow mode Off and the microphone gain to High. On my base, I also use this to listen to a local airport traffic on 118.150 AM and also Kansas City Center's RGAC on 125.200 and 269.400, works very well for this. Iím using a Diamond x-300na at 40 feet with LMR-400 coming into the house, works great.

If youíre looking for a mid-priced VHF/UHF radio, this is the one for you.
Overall a great radio for VHF/UHF
KI6PDQ Rating: 4/5 Jul 11, 2008 18:50 Send this review to a friend
You'll like it.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Great mobile/land dual band FM transceiver. Before using the radio you MUST set the TX narrow mode OFF and the microphone gain to HIGH. They don't come as a default from the factory as they should and that's in part why you read some many complains by other users about the audio. ALWAYS ALWAYS cross talk you microphone. Learn how to use the radio before you start saving frequencies into the memory banks that will give you the option (easy way out) of executing a "Full reset" if you mess it up without being affraid of losing your prior savings. I never give a radio a 5.
KE5JBE Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2008 19:32 Send this review to a friend
Great first radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got this after I passed my test. I was attracted to the detachable control head and supplied control cable. I read about how loud the fan ison the base unit, I cant hear it with it mounted under my driver seat. I was also attracted to the supplied external speaker that came with it, love it. Yes if I want a better one I can always buy a different one when I so choose to. I was also attracted to the hand mic and how all the functions, except power on/off can be done by it as well as the buttons on the control head. Lots of extra features, easy to set up to hit repeaters, easy to install in your truck. Great price for all the features this radio has with it. Yes, you can spend allot of money on other dual bands with more feature, BUT, if your not sure you are going to be interested in the hobby, or just want a radio that is above middle class, then this is the radio for you. I bought this as a first radio and have stayed with it. I think you will agree, give it a try.
W5SDC Rating: 5/5 May 30, 2008 08:02 Send this review to a friend
Advisory on this Rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
If you live in a hot climate like I do in Texas the mobile gets pretty hot inside when parked in open sun. The IC208H fan kicks on and runs needlessly once the vehicle gets toasty inside.

The radio will activate on a 2 minute timer anytime you transmit and also when the external temperature exceeds a certain amount.

I had to get used to turning it off before I depart the mobile.

Otherwise, I really love this rig and think it's the best dual band value on the market today.
KJ4AGA Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2008 14:07 Send this review to a friend
I love this radio already!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this radio at the Birmingham Fest in 08 along with the programing cable. It's a great radio so far. I found the software was easy to use. The only problem I had was the remote mount head cable was screwed onto the face and I lost the screw. I emailed Icom about a replacement, and guess what? They are sending me some extras free of charge! How about that! I'll even say I cut my teeth on Yaesu but Icom is coming up there and I like both brands now. I don't believe I'll ever regret this purchase. Thanks Icom.
GM1EXK Rating: 4/5 Mar 30, 2008 15:23 Send this review to a friend
Solid High Power small rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
+ Small size
+ The main radio is very heavy duty and solid
+ Very High power (50W on UHF!)
+ Very sensitive receiver in band
+ Large range of receiver frequencies

- The front attachment is not so heavy duty (wobbly knobs)
- Very complicated menu and programming setup
- I get a lot of engine noise when used mobile
- Separation cable screws on to the front attachment (Can't easily be removed for security)
KD0BEP Rating: 5/5 Mar 23, 2008 07:04 Send this review to a friend
This baby's been cooked and still works!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got this radio about 6 months ago from a group of hams that wanted to solve my vx-2r problem. so 2 nice hams got together on this one. one of which the origanal owner cooked the radio by using too much power through the wrong antenna (at least that is the guess) and melted all the solder connections. the other ham that fixed it up told me that the solder had receded so there were no improper connections. Personally i find no problems with the radio and ive been told by non hams that it is a sleek radio. well it is quite nice no problems after 6 months and i enjoy it. i had only one problem when i got it i heard that i was a bit hard to hear through the mike but i solved that by changing the mic gain. Personnaly i love yaesu but ill make an eception to this one.
KC0RRS Rating: 5/5 Mar 22, 2008 12:59 Send this review to a friend
nitpicking aside, an excellent choice  Time owned: more than 12 months
The IC-208H was my first piece of amateur radio gear. I paid $349 for it back in March of 2004. I liked the single VFO, because as a new ham, I could only understand one QSO at a time anyway. Additional reasons for selecting this particular model were many, including that I would be mounting it in a Honda Civic DelSol, and no other mobile radio has as small a remote control head.

Double stick tape and Velcro failed miserably, and in the end, I hand-carved a wooden block to match the contour of the dash, and epoxy glued the control head to an aluminum bracket, which was epoxy glued to the wooden piece, then epoxy glued to the dash. So much for easy removal, but now it stays put all year around.

Yes, there was a lot to learn at first, and the manual was far from perfectly translated into comprehensible English.

Yes, I would have liked to receive the 1.25 meter band. While coverage on mine extends through the military aircraft band, it only receives FM there, so it will not receive the AM transmissions of military aircraft.

Yes, I wish the programming software was free, like Kenwoodís software. Better yet would be open source, so we could write our own to download off a common database.

Yes, my fan was very noisy whenever below about 50 degrees F, and I never got warranty coverage for that, because it was always warmer than that whenever I could try to demonstrate the noise for my dealer.

This radio is used nearly every day, often for over an hour at a time, during a long commute that forces me to high power settings for extended periods of time. The main unit is mounted vertically between the two seats behind me, so the bottom firing speaker actually fires forward. The unit does not ever get noticeably hotter than ambient. If I leave the windows up, I can hear even with my roof stored in the trunk, so obviously I have not bothered with a remote speaker. The radio is mounted right behind me, so the mic cable is long enough.

Except at great distances with my $16 quarter wave antenna, I never get complaints about my signal, and generally if I can hear the other station, the other station hears me with no complaints. Reading what others have written, perhaps I am a loudmouth? I do hold the mic to my lips.

I didnít know what inter-mod was until I bought an IC-2720 for my XYL.

I have had to replace the PTT switch in the HM-133 microphone about every 10 months, but after the first time, this became routine, and all my other Icom radios have had exactly the same trouble with the PTT switches.

All radios have their proís and conís.

After three years, the main unit has finally failed Ė it will not power-up. The control head, mic, and cable are fine. There is no apparent cause for this failure. It will cost me nearly $100 to have it repaired. I may instead decide to buy another IC-208H, now that the price of a new unit has dropped to less than $260, and have spare parts after the new warranty expires.

In hindsight, this has been the best performing mobile radio Iíve ever used, period.
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