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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | ICOM ID-800 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM ID-800
ICOM ID-800 Reviews: 21 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $629.99 USD
Description: 2M/70CM Dual Band Mobile Transceiver. 55W VHF, 50W UHF. Receives 118-173, 230-549, 810-999 (Cell Blocked). Modes: FM(analog), AM(analog RX), and GMSK(digital). Digital Voice + up to 950bps data capability with the optional UT-118 installed.
Product is in production.
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W4DXL Rating: 4/5 May 25, 2014 16:29 Send this review to a friend
Works well but hard to program without software  Time owned: more than 12 months
The radio works well but is hard to program without software and a computer. As a mobile Icom should simplify some of the programming. I expect D-Star to be more complicated but even standard FM with a split and tone is difficult to do via the front panel. I gave it a 4 because I keep thinking maybe I need to put more time into it. I have no complaints about performance although I was hoping for a little more from D-Star like fewer R2D2 noise which I seem to have even on strong signals. I also think I should have held out for the ID-880 which has a wider display. Other than those gripes it does the job fine.
VA6DAH Rating: 4/5 Mar 23, 2014 15:02 Send this review to a friend
Ok...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this mobile unit off of a fellow ham for 2 bills, and at that price I really couldn't argue. With about a 12 hours of PTT time on it, it has served me fairly well, though haven't played around with dstar to much.

The build quality can be better, the font panel does feel like I could break it accidentally with a good strike.

As for programming it, that was the biggest pain. I can only recommend buying a cable and using chirp to program it.

Things to be desired: The mic cable is very stiff even in warm condition and the manual could use a lot of work.

tl;dr - The Icom ID-800H is a decent rig that performs well on both bands, but the overall build quality could be improved and so could the documentation.
KB2FCV Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2012 23:03 Send this review to a friend
Reliable rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased this rig when my old 2m mobile shack rig finally gave out after 20 years. Our club had just had a presentation on D-star so I decided to pick up a "gently used" ID-800 to see what d-star was all about.

First I programmed in my local analog repeaters. I used it for a while on just analog and it worked fine. I was pleased with how it operated.

I found some D-star repeaters in the area and tried to program them in from the rig controls. One reccomendation: Get the software and cable if you're going to program D-star stuff! I was never successful with programming from the front panel but it was a breeze with the software.

D-star is still a learning process for me but I'm having fun with it. I got my friend to pick up a d-star rig and we have been doing some simplex tests. It is interesting to compare analog and d-star with various signal strength. File transfer with d-rats is fun also. HF still accounts for the bulk of my operating but D-star is a neat technology to play around with.
W0WFX Rating: 2/5 Jul 31, 2011 20:49 Send this review to a friend
Needs Help  Time owned: more than 12 months
Maybe I got one built on the end of a holiday weekend. Been back three times in three years. First time was problem with no high power on 440.
Second time was bad eternal speaker jack. Last time was audio issue with internal speaker.
I gave up.
N9RLR Rating: 3/5 Jan 22, 2010 20:08 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic radio for the car  Time owned: more than 12 months
Its a terrific radio that I enjoy having in the car. The face portion is mounted on a Lido gooseneck mount on the passenger/middle section. The radio is mounted in the trunk. I created my own cables with flat-ribbon cat5 cable and Belden 8451 for the speaker. I am using the ICOM seperation for the control cable.

Programming was done with the CS-D800 software program, I wish it was a little more Excel where cells could be modified/sopied/pasted for modification to the programming.

The radio has had a persistant signal level of 5 units or more the entire time I owned it while it the car. In the house 2 S units are always on the meter. I contacted Icom and they suggested I move the radio or antenna. The other radios I own and switched out do not have this problem.

At this point the radio will be going into Icom for service.

The biggest sticking point, I wish the *.icf files could be swapped between radios ie, the IC-91AD or other D-Star radios.
Please make all the files compatiable with all the radios for ease of programming. PLEASE!!!!

W2MB Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2009 20:56 Send this review to a friend
Evolving Technology  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased mine on closeout at a final cost of $380 including programming software. The build quality is really no different from any other contemporary dual band transceiver. It works as well as any other dual band mobile transceiver, and it has the benefit of an additional mode, that is D-STAR. Now D-STAR is clearly a work in progress, but, at least it is an advancement over the antiquated technology that most use for FM repeater communication in our hobby. Hanging on to the old technology will just increase the speed at which this aspect of our hobby continues to die. I find D-STAR to be far from perfect but fun to use and experiment with and the ID-800H to be a more than acceptable all around dual band mobile rig. I can't imagine programming it without the software.
N1IRL Rating: 0/5 Sep 8, 2009 09:48 Send this review to a friend
Terrible!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Icom's D-Star tecnology is so bad, no wonder no other radio manufacturer wants to buy into it! The ID-800 is another example of a cheap Amateur Radio design using the terrible D-Star digital technology. When using this radio, I had people with very strong signals start breaking up and sounding like R2D2! D-Star has no error correction built in on voice mode! Plus the fact that the ID-800 is built very cheap, the PTT switch on the mic failed and the radio overall has a cheap feel to it. Very bad performance for a radio that is over $600.00!

Also, D-Star repeaters (nothing more than 2 ID-800's in an aluminum box sold as a repeater with only a 50% duty cycle, which means they burn up a lot!) can only run on digital mode only. This means whatever frequency pair they are put on, they lock out the analog FM user from that repeater.

Now look APCO 25 radios made by Icom as well in their commercial land mobile division. They are truly built like tanks and APCO 25 repeaters are dual-mode..., meaning you can use both FM & Digital on the same repeater so that people that don't want to go out and buy a digital radio don't have to!

Icom doesn't advertise to the amateur radio community about their P25 radios because if the hams knew about this choice (touted by Icom as "The North American Digital Standard, APCO 25") then they would never sell another D-Star radio again. Check out the info on the APCO 25 gear, the choice of professionals everywhere! Here is the link on Icom's site:

Use what the professionals use and leave "Death-Star" to Icom in Japan!


VK3NJP Rating: 4/5 May 14, 2009 19:46 Send this review to a friend
Good solid D-Star mobile rig  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought this rig from Strictly Ham (in Melbourne) for use in the work car travelling between Geelong and Melbourne. It's much easier to use and read whilst mobile compared to the IC-2820H's. The recovered and transmit audio in DV mode is better than the IC-2820H too. It hasn't got anywhere near the amount of functions & features of the IC-2820H but then it hasn't got the high price tag either. If you don't need the DPRS and dual mode functions and are using it mobile, then this is the rig for you to use D-Star. The CS800 software is also ok to use. The ID800H handles QRM like pager transmitters a bit better than the IC2820H. Great solid rig!
AB8CL Rating: 4/5 Apr 4, 2009 07:40 Send this review to a friend
Not a bad little rig.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I can't bring myself to call this a "great" rig yet.
It has a couple of hitches I think. But all in all it is a very good 2m/440 rig. First thing I noticed is that the knobs all feel wobbly, it's like they are loose or something (maybe the are!). The second thing is the manual programning functions of the rig are NOT intuitive at all. Though I was able to program a channel without the manual. Programming is a snap with the PC software that is available (a little pricey) but worth it. A couple of times the programing software has hung up on me and it was necessary to re-boot the PC to get rid of the dead process. I plan on making up a data cable this weekend and trying out the 9600 data mode. Would have been nice if Icom included one of the 8 pin mini din plugs with the rig like they do for the ACC plug of their other rigs. Did I mention how much I hate the programming cable plugging into the external speaker port to program the rig and you can't monitor the frequency while programming if it's plugged in. That one gets to me a bit because, I like to leave it plugged in so I can upload/download stuff to the rig while I am sitting around killing the day playing radio. Constantly plugging and un-plugging the stereo plug is going to wear the port out I'm sure. Probable after a few weeks though it won't be necessary as...most....things should be programmed. Would have been nice if the mic would plugged into the faceplate when remotted, but a CAT5 cable will take care of that. Finally figured out that to get rid of some R2D2 like when the repeaters drop was to tighten up the squelch. And I don't like the Ideal that BIG BRoTHER or who know's who can basically shut you down from ANY Gateway access if they choose to ( I hadn't really thought about that until I started playing this rig, just a thought). I am enjoying this new DV mode now and I do like it. Hopefully more repeaters are installed in the area in the future. Looking forward to trying out some of the freeware out like D-Star TV I really enjoyed running Easy-Pal on HF. This will be a nice add on when the bugs are all worked out. Ok I'm off my soap-box. In closing I give the rig a "thumbs up"!
Keith AB8CL
W8VI Rating: 5/5 Mar 6, 2009 23:08 Send this review to a friend
Very Nice D-Star or Analog  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Our local and most popular Cincinnati 2 meter / 70 cm repeaters just upgraded to D-Star. To get on this new mode I purchased the ID-800H. I have not purchsed or been active on VHF or UHF in over 14 years. Just sold my Kenwood TM-733A to give you an idea of my level of inactivity.

D-Star reminds me of how much fun I used to have on VHF and UHF. The newer radios like the 800H have major improvements in reducing intermod and unwanted noise.

I believe D-Star at least here is attracting a better group of Ham's. Everyone is a lot more polite and friendly.

The 800H is an excellent rig. From the factory the FM is set for Narrow and sounds a little tinny. You can switch it to normal bandwidth and also switch mic volume from low to high.
It does get hot if you talk a lot and run high power. Keeping the power at mid range even with long QSO's will barely warm the case.

If you like linking to other repeaters or stations on the Gateway I would suggest purchasing the Icom programing software. I found an aftermarket USB programing cable on Ebay for $5.00 and it works fine.

The base unit works so well I decided to get a second 800H for the mobile. It also works great with the included remote head cable. The base of the rig is under the passanger seat with the head attached with Velcro. The very light 800 display is just below the car radio display. A CAT 5 internet cable with a male to male plug works well as a microphone extension cable.

With two ID-800H's I can easily clone the memory from one radio to another or use the laptop and upload or download as needed. Icom uses the speaker connection on the rig for programing and cloning. Any standard 1/8 inch stereo cable (Male to Male) works fine for cloning 2 ID-800's.

I was also looking at a IC-2820 and the ID-92AD and am very satisfied with my 2 ID-800H's.

The enjoyment of D-Star and how well the ID-800H converts this new mode along with ease of use is why I give this rig a 5 raiting.

73, Gary W8VI
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