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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Icom IC-901A/E dual band VHF/UHF Transceiver Help


Reviews Summary for Icom IC-901A/E dual band VHF/UHF Transceiver
Icom IC-901A/E dual band VHF/UHF Transceiver Reviews: 5 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $929.00
Description: 2m/70cm FM dualbander, expandable to include: 10m/6m/1.25m/23cm, and an extended receive module to cover 520kHz-950MHz
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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You can write your own review of the Icom IC-901A/E dual band VHF/UHF Transceiver.

VE7WV Rating: 5/5 Sep 16, 2013 13:43 Send this review to a friend
Bought more than 20 years ago, still going strong  Time owned: more than 12 months
I give this radio a 5/5 even though it doesn't have every bell and whistle found on contemporary radios because it a) was built to last, I bought mine in the 80's b) it has never given me a lick of trouble, c) the remote head is fabulous (and wasn't common back then).

This radio lasts longer than the vehicles it goes in!
 
KD6ANF Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2007 12:49 Send this review to a friend
A keeper!  Time owned: more than 12 months
A good friend purchased one of these radios when it was new and has completely outfitted it with all available accessories, lacking only the six and ten meter band modules.

Many trips in his truck allowed endless opportunities to become familiarized with the operation and overall performance of the Icom IC-901. Of particular interest was being able to operate two-meter SSB while out and about. I want one no matter how much it costs!

An IC-901 which became available on eBay about three years ago was purchased with a non-functional UHF section then immediately sent to "MTS" for repair, which was handled very efficiently.

This radio was stored for almost two years waiting for an installation. Then a decision was made to part with it and purchase a new radio and make this one available on the used market. A buyer was eager to purchase the radio, however when it was being tested prior to shipment, the radio had developed a weak VHF receive preamplifier problem and again sent to "MTS" for repair.

In case you're not familiar, MTS stands for "Malcom Technical Support", owned and operated by Mr. Scott Malcom, who provides EXCELLENT repair services, primarily for Icom equipment.

Once this fantastic radio returned from "MTS", it was promptly installed.

The 901 is limited with only twelve available memory locations "per band" compared to today's newest radios offering upwards of a thousand. However, of particular interest, this radio accommodates optional "band units" as already mentioned in previous reviews, offering a lot of flexibility for the enthusiastic FM mobil operator.

Having audio gain and squelch controls for each band, including individual audio outputs is convenient for those discriminating installations. Even though knobs are preferred when operating a motor vehicle, IMHO there is no radio available today which has such a nice remote display as the IC-901, and, it is the main reason for purchasing this radio.

Cross-band repeat function is a great feature especially with all of the band modules installed. This radio has also been used in the radio room with various microphones with satisfying results. This is an older unit however the functionality and performance is most acceptable.
 
KA6LPM Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2004 02:11 Send this review to a friend
Upgraded from IC-900 to IC-901  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I, too, recently purchased a used IC-901. I have/had an IC-900 and loved it. Unlike the 901, the 900 was never a dual-band or non-remote radio. It only came with the remote control head and fibre optic cable and, usually, the 140MHz (2meter FM) module (IC-UX29).

Over about a year, I originally purchased and began using the 440MHz (IC-UX49), 220MHz (IC-UX39), 1200MHz (IC-UX129) and 50MHz (IC-UX59) modules lacking only the 28MHz band unit (IC-UX19).

(There was also a high-power version of the 140MHz FM unit called UX-29H which output about 40 watts instead of 25. It works on the 900, as long as you installed the optional cooling fan. I assume it works on the 901 as well, but there's no reference to a cooling fan among its accessories.)

Widely-published, simple modifications to both control heads, 900 and 901, allow a much wider receive range on most of the band units. (Interestingly, it appears that, for Asian versions of the IC-900, a 950MHz band unit must have been planned or perhaps sold overseas which replaced the 220MHz module -- useless outside of the U.S. and Australia -- because the mods for that one displayed either 220MHz or 950MHz with the use of a single diode "switch".)

Anyway, it has been an incredible experience especially over using other existing dual-banders (and later tri-band radios).

The 901 is everything the 900 was PLUS!

First, visually, it has a more readable orange backlit LCD (as opposed to the softer green one on the 900). All of the main (primary) band functions are on the top half of the display and the buttons are easily reached. The sub-band (providing simultaneous receive on any one of the other modules) data in the lower half of the display is larger and clearer than it was on the 900's control head.

It has multi-band scan on the sub-band so that you can transmit and receive on your main (primary) band (say, 440MHz, for example) and have it scan the memory channels that you have NOT locked out on one or ALL of the other band units installed. (The 900 could only scan memory channels on the two active, main and sub, band units.)

Where the 900 had ten channels per band, the 901 has twelve and those two additional channels can be used for "band limits" in a programmed search or scan from one frequency to another. The 900 did not have band scan limits.

In addition, there are two band units or modules which were not available for the 900: the wide-band receiver which is pretty much a scanner with AM and FM broadcast band (IC-UXR91) including stereo using the main- and sub-band speakers; and, as indicated above, a 140MHz (2 meter SSB and CW) radio.

Cross-band repeat, a trick custom modification on the 900, is already enabled and ready to be used on the 901 (although it's still a little tricky to engage).

The IC-901 allows both DTMF encode/decode using an option plug-in circuit board (UT-48) and CTCSS encode and decode on both bands by utilizing one or two plug-ins as well (UT-40). (Using a second UT-40 requires disabling or removing the original tone circuit on the motherboard.).

The only drawbacks to the 901 over the 900 are:

1) remote kit purchased separately (IC-EX766)

2) multiple (more than 4) band unit kit purchased separately (IC-EX767)

3) taller and deeper base unit (the IC-900 "B" unit has the exact same size, shape and appearance of a band unit so they stacked much more easily)

4) the 140MHz and 440MHz modules are built-in so there's no need for separate band units thus no indicator on the "stack" when either of those two bands are engaged (the other band units have a red LED so you expect to see two on at any one time)

All in all, though, this is an awesome radio. The advantages over its predecessor greatly out-weigh the [Iíll admit, nit-picky] disadvantages. Iím sure, from a marketing aspect, it made a more saleable dual-band mobile and allowed the expandability for those who wanted it. Unfortunately, it seems as if the 901 was in production for a shorter period of time and it never sold as well as the 900. During the 900's "life", other manufacturers began competing with nice tri-banders. The ultimate desire for all of the additional bands was never supported by the purchases of all the additional band units.

However, the versatility, convenience and mounting options of this radio led me to buy one even though newer -- less flexible, I think -- transceivers are readily available on the market.

73s,

Michael
 
K7VO Rating: 5/5 Jan 14, 2004 00:42 Send this review to a friend
Versatile rig, a pleasure to use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
OK, I'll admit I am writing this review earlier than I normally do, but I have been very impressed with an Icom IC-901A I picked up recently. I wanted a 2m/222/440 tribander and found an IC-901A in that configuration at a reasonable price. I ran it in the shack for a bit before installing it in my car and find it a great choice for FM operation in either environment.

The basic IC-901A is a 2m/440MHz dual bander with a remotable head. The head is connected to the main unit by a fiber optic cable if the EX-766 is installed. In my car the radio is under the seat while the head is up front and the speaker is between the two front seats. It works out really well and makes the radio easy to install even in a limited space environment.

With the EX-767 you can stack up to six modules on the rig. Mine came with the UX-39A 222 module. If I ever find other modules at a reasonable price I'll certainly add them. Other options include the UT-40 tone squelch board and the UT-48 DTMF decoder. Mine came with both. If you are considering one of these on the used market you really probably want to make sure it has all the bits you need as finding options and additional modules seems to be a bit of a challenge.

The only drawbacks to the rig I've found so far are the fact that you can only monitor two bands at a time and only scan the memories from those bands. The rig is also limited to 12 memories per band. While that's fine on 222 where I live it's a bit limited on 2m.

I've received excellent transmit audio reports on all three bands I have and the receive audio is excellent as well. You can mute the "sub" band or else listen to the two chosen bands. This is the same as the IC-2330A 2m/222 dual bander I had before this rig. It's sometimes disconcerting for the receiver to be going while you're transmitting if you forget to mute the other band, but OTOH it's nice if you're waiting for someone to come on frequency.

I was able to pick up my rig for a lot less than a similarly equipped Kenwood TM-742A or TM-741A goes for and this rig does everything I need. I'm quite pleased.
 
KB7RGT Rating: 5/5 Jan 1, 2004 18:57 Send this review to a friend
Excellent!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A very good radio, easy to operate, well thought-out, very expandable.

An additional add-on module not listed above is for 2m SSB/CW
 


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