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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Icom IC-P7A Help


Reviews Summary for Icom IC-P7A
Icom IC-P7A Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $296.00
Description: Icom IC-P7A VHF/UHF Dual Band FM Transceiver.
Ultra compact, lightweight body—47×81×28 mm*, 160g**
* 127/32×33/16×13/32 in, projections are not included.
** 5.6oz, including BP-243 and antenna
20 hours of operating time* or 15 hours of continuous TV/FM receive capability with slim Lithium-Ion battery pack
* Tx:Rx:Stand-by=5:5:90 with power save on
Wideband receiver (0.495—999.990MHz*) allows you to listen to FM, TV (audio) broadcasts and other service communications
* Receiver range differs depending on version
VHF/UHF dual bander with 1.5W/1.0W output power (One band at a time).
Minimum number of buttons for simple operation
CTCSS and DTCS tone for repeater access and quiet stand-by
1000 alphanumeric memory channels with flexible memory bank system
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.icomamerica.com/products/amateur/p7a/
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N5ACM Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2006 10:49 Send this review to a friend
Remarkable Performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The P7A is remarkable for its ease of use and performance.

The menus are straightforward and easy to learn, the display is large and very easy to read, and the transmit performance is fine considering that it is a 1 to 1.5 W radio.

The interesting aspect is the reciever performance across the available bands. I added a Maldol AS-20 antenna, which resulted in impressive rx considering the size and overall handiness of the HT. (The AS-20 has a small enough profile that it fits well given the small profile of the radio). For example, it is common to pick up AM SW broadcasts using the AS-20, a length of wire is even better. The radio is AM, FM, WFM only, no CW, USB or LSB modes. The VHF/UHF Rx is excellent on the Ham, Aviation and other included bands.

The audio output is fine in normal use. Outdoor use while walking in a noisy envronment calls for an earphone as most of us don't want to bother people with the aggravation of a blaring radio. At full output, the speaker will distort, but the earphone negates the need for anything above a mid range setting. I really have no problem with the audio output in my usage of the radio, which includes both indoor speaker, and outdoor earphone use. The OPC 782 adapter cable allows for the use of any earphone for casual listening, or if tranmitting is in order, the HM128 earphone/lapel mic plugged into the aforementioned adapter works fine for me.

Keeping the size and intent of the radio in mind, it is a remarkable little HT that serves well across a variety of interests. It isn't a do all end all HT, but the overall fun factor is very high.
 
N9EWO Rating: 0/5 Jun 15, 2006 10:44 Send this review to a friend
Unacceptable Receive Audio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Icom IC-P7A has a number of pluses going for it over the Yaesu VX-2R. Larger 1800 mah battery. Does not have the CTCSS delay bug that the Yaesu has. Better receiver performance (MUCH better in the 800 Mhz area). Neat drop in charger that works properly (unlike the hot drop in BC-164 charger for the IC-91/T90). Is also easier to use overall too.

The first sample of the IC-P7A I had the battery cover latch could only be opened with a (plastic) screwdriver. Also the PTT button had a very loose feeling. Icom replaced the sample and the new unit corrected these 2 ills. But the replacement did NOT clear up the major problem with the IC-P7A .

In my view all of the pluses are totally killed with the IC-P7A's unacceptable receive audio quality. In any outdoor situation you cannot get the audio loud enough to be of any use. It breaks up into distortion so badly to be totally unusable. You might think that using a speaker mic that has a larger speaker element would clear this up ? Think again, it doesn't. I believe the problem has to do with the audio amplifier circuit.

I have owned the Icom IC-Q7A ,Yaesu VX-1 and VX-2R's in the past. None of these suffer from this problem. Words might be used, "well the speaker is too small to provide loud audio" does not wash with me.

Also how about a real case that protects the front panel and buttons while in ones hand (being used). Icom's LC-161 Chinese case for the HT does not. One other little minor note is that "FM Wide" mode does not work over 850 Mhz, USA version only.

Yes, to me Icom blew it bad with the IC-P7A. Try again.

Dave N9EWO
 
KB2VBY Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2006 18:25 Send this review to a friend
Awesome radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my Icom IC-P7A about 2 weeks ago and I am more and more in love with it every day. It has a very sensitive receive and I am able to pick up a ton of public service frequencies in the area, some being a good distance away. I am also impressed with the reports that I have gotten while talking on 440 and 2 meters. I was getting into a repeater at least 15 miles from my house DFQ.
I love the small size as well as the solid case that the radio is in. The battery life is great too, lasts a few days for me doing mostly receive and some short QSO's.
All in all it's a wonderful little radio that you can truly put into your pocket and take with you anywhere and everywhere!
 
RICHARDTW Rating: 4/5 Mar 14, 2006 18:15 Send this review to a friend
Compare p7a , vx-2 with r-2 ( VHF & UHF )  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Compare p7a , vx-2 with r-2 ( VHF & UHF )

I compare the sensitivity of p7a , vx-2 , r-2 (and ft-26) in VHF
( yaesu ft-26 is the most sensitive rig I have ever owned , even better than ft-530)

If the amount is less the senstive will be.

Mhz--------p7a-------vx-2--------r-2------ft26

138---------24--------40----------33---------6
140---------21--------42----------20---------4
142---------20--------43----------19---------1
144---------20--------43----------19---------4
146---------21--------43----------23---------4
148---------22--------41----------24---------5
150---------25--------40----------23---------10
152---------27--------38----------25---------12
154---------29--------38----------27---------14
156---------42--------37----------28---------15
158---------41--------38----------35---------14
160---------45--------42----------34---------15
162---------46--------44----------35---------15
164---------45--------44----------38---------17
166---------45--------44----------41---------18
168---------46--------43----------41---------19
170---------41--------42----------40---------21
172---------42--------43----------41---------24
174---------44--------44----------39---------30



And next I compare the sensitivity of p7a , vx-2 , r-2 in UHF band with the help of AX-400 . AX-400 has a IF 253.35Mhz , so if I tune AX-400 to 146.65 Mhz then AX-400 will emerge a small radiation in 400 Mhz (400=253.35+146.65) .
Testing method is using a same handhold sma short whip antenna , hold radio with left hand with steady angle and position, and stand in front of AX-400 with a distance . By measuring the S-meter of the 3 radios .The result is showing the S-metert strength .
So if the amount is less the less senstive will be.

Mhz--------p7a-------vx-2--------r-2

400---------0--------0----------8
405---------3--------0---------10
410---------3--------3---------10
415---------7--------4---------+10
420---------7--------5---------+10
425---------10-------6---------+10
430--------+10------7---------+10
435--------+10------6---------+10
440--------+10------6---------+10
445---------10-------5---------+10
450----------9-------4----------+10
455----------7-------3----------+10
460----------5-------3-----------10
465----------3-------2-----------10
470----------0-------2-----------5
475----------0-------0-----------5

If p7a can be as goog as R2 then I will be happier , so I get a 4 score this time .

Also be aware that :
my p7a is a brand new product, and my vx-2 is a 2 years rig , and the r-2 is a radio of 6 years old .So there will be some products individual difference , the testing result is just for reference's using .

 
RICHARDTW Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2006 19:28 Send this review to a friend
Compare p7a , vx-2 with r-2 (0.7-60 Mhz)  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Compare p7a , vx-2 with r-2 (0.7-60 Mhz)

I compare the sensitivity of p7a , vx-2 , r-2 aroud 0.7 Mhz to 60Mhz by my old SSG.
Testing method is using a same handhold sma short whip antenna , hold radio with left hand with steady angle and position, and stand in front of SSG with a constant distance . By tuning output of SSG to make radio's squelch open .The result is showing the SSG's output strength in db measures.
So if the amount is less the more senstive will be.

Mhz--------p7a-------vx-2--------r-2

0.7----------6--------14----------1
2.0----------1--------2-----------7
4.0----------7--------6-----------1
6.0----------13-------1-----------15
8.0----------14-------1-----------23
10-----------10-------1-----------3
12-----------11-------11----------1
14-----------3--------2-----------1
16-----------7--------1-----------4
18-----------10--------10---------1
20-----------10--------12---------1
22-----------7---------1----------5
24-----------5---------1----------5
26-----------1---------3----------4
28-----------2----------1---------3
30-----------5----------2---------1
32-----------7----------11--------1
34-----------7----------4---------1
36-----------10---------7---------1
38-----------11---------9---------1
40-----------13---------13--------1
42------------9---------14--------1
44------------9---------14--------1
46------------7---------14--------1
48------------7---------14--------1
50------------5---------13--------1
52------------6---------13--------1
54------------5---------11--------1
56------------4---------10--------1
58------------5---------10--------1
60------------5---------10--------1

By the way , my p7a is a brand new product, and my vx-2 is a 2 years rig , and the r-2 is a radio of 6 years old .So there will be some products individual difference , the testing result is just for reference's using .

p.s. in the air band 120Mhz p7a is very superior than vx-2
 
RICHARDTW Rating: 5/5 Feb 26, 2006 20:56 Send this review to a friend
my new micro lover !better than vx-2!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Althoug I loved my vx-2 very well , yet I finally have purchased this radio (ic-p7a) after 4 months ago when I first saw a preview of ic-p7 (Japan version ) in a Jananese magazine . Since then I was really anticipating for this great new compact rig from ICOM comparing to YEASU's VX-2.

There were several things that I do like and some I did not like , so I made some change for those I don't like in this ic-p7a . And now this ic-p7a becomes my belover better than vx-2 .

The thing I like :

1. vx-2 has a problem with its 11.7 Mhz internal radiation which block many stations , luckly ic-p7a does not has 11.7 Mhz radiation , this is the primary reason I purchased another micro rig (small like vx-2)for myself .

2.With some more convenient functions ( such like: can change scan bank with one touch , can link memory channel , can change dial with up-down keys , .....) ic-p7a is much better than vx-2 in this field .

3.more solid looking than vx-2 , feels more fishion than vx-2 .

4. Comes with base to recharge is a diffient feeling to use like cellphone not like vx-2. with a DC 12-16 V input , can be used in door or in car , fine and fun with me .

5. It has a fairly fast band scan rate than vx-2 . but somewhat memory scan slow just like VX-2

6. The speaker is clear and crystal than vx-2 , but some distort at max output .

7. better reception 10-55 mhz , 350-400 mhz , AM boardcast than vx-2 .

8. Good and large display size, easy to read.



The things I do not like , but I fix it all !

1. Only could charge from the rapid charger. I can overcome this by easily change the battery , what kind of battery ?, the same like vx-2's ( I will explain lately.)

2. P7a is bigger than vx-2 , but if you have a ic-4077 rig , this ic-4077's backcover is suitable for ic-p7a too , and can put in the slim battery like vx-2's , and then all together = P7a is the same size like vx-2 . But if you don't have this ic-4077 or its slim backcover , you can try to make one for yourself . I can not wait for friend to come to Japan to buy me one . So I used one piese of black plastic board , cut and grind , heaten and bend it , after 1 hr trying , I have this slim backcover that can fit the vx-2's battery . It can be put into base charger and charge without any question .

2. I also tried many antennas I have , but every aftermarket antenna and DIY antenna that I tried , they did not fit p7a's SMA connnector. There was always about a 3mm gap between antenna and radio , I have two ways to solve this problem , first you can put a rubber ring between them , second you can grind the sma connecter down for 3 mm .

3. some operations must use two fingers to hold on F key and dial , this can be solved some by switching up-down key with dial .

4. I find p7a somewhat difficult to use than vx-2 , but I am getting used with p7a very soon.

The things I do not like , and I can not fix it all !

1.Cost. Significantly higher than VX-2 at this time.

2.Cannot run directly off DC as VX-2

3.Still have no keypad - why they (icom & yaesu) cannot work out like cellphone's keypad . .

4. does not have counter fuction and other fuction like vx-2.

All together, I think p7a is almost worth the extra money over the VX-2R. In the final analysis, I would say that if you compair the P7A with the VX-2, the p7a is a higher coster. Performance is about the same but the VX-2 has some fuction that p7a does not get .

After all , with a slim battery and backcover , and with a suitable micro antenna ( Maldol As-25 ) , this ic-p7a is my new lover , well , vx-2 i
 
W2KRP Rating: 3/5 Feb 25, 2006 16:47 Send this review to a friend
This one baffles me.......  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this radio from Gigaparts about 1 month ago and was really anticipating a great new compact from ICOM. Man what a letdown. ICOM said they asked operators what they (we) wanted in this radio at Dayton. I would LOVE to know who/how many hams told them they wanted what I list as my 1st disapointment! :)

There were several things that I did not like:

1. Only could charge from the rapid charger. Even if you buy the car charger you still need to take the rapid charger with you!?! WHAT?????????

2. Every aftermarket antenna I tried did not fit the SMA connnector. There was always about a 1/8 to 1/4 inch gap between antenna and radio.

3. Buttons that did light were a lime green with white writing. When backlit, you could not read the buttons.

I have other small items I don't (I should say didn't as this radio was sold on eBay ASAP)like but they were minor.

I did like the build of the radio as it felt solid and it was actually a very nice looking radio. Battery life was great and audio on TX/RX was very nice. But at around $80 more than the VX-2R I can't justify the purchase of this radio. And in truth, I don't know if I would take the P7A over the VX-2R even if the price was the same.

Thanks but no thanks ICOM, I'll keep my VX-2R........

My 2 cents (US), your results my vary!

Mark / W2KRP
 
VA2LEX Rating: 5/5 Feb 11, 2006 22:54 Send this review to a friend
I recommend It!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Really good radio, for the compact usage,
it's confort and really simple usage are the many reason's why I adopted this radio.
Again Icom surpas themselves in the making of a solid portable radio (IC-P7A).

It's true that many people are going to say that it's a copy of the (VX-2R) of Yaesu,
I'm not going to argument that point of vue but I ratther say that it's the (VX-2R) but better.

Ever Yaesu Radio that I but had problems after one year of usage.
In compareness of Icom realiability first and for most.

I Realy love my (IC-P7A) and I recommend It!

(+)
- Nice design
- Good battery life
- Bouble Band
- Rx 0,459 to 999.990 Mhz
- Ultra compact
- Comes' with base to recharge
- Easy to use

(-)
- Antenna not very good
- No weist clip (sold separatly)
- Bigger than the (VX-2R)

 
N5EAT Rating: 4/5 Feb 8, 2006 14:35 Send this review to a friend
Nice little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Giving it a 4 because I find it somewhat difficult to use, but agree that almost all functions have the same basic keystrokes and i'm getting better at it.

I purchased this over the VX2 because of the battery. It really is 1.8 amp and really does charge in 3 hours. The antenna that came with the rig works fine on 440, is just passable for semi-close repeaters. The receiver is quite good.
The rig looks really nice and has a really good feel to it. It has a fairly fast scan rate.
I actually copied some foreign broadcast AM shortwave the other evening with the stock antenna and almost fell out of my chair. However, I 'stole' the antenna from my VX-5R and it works much better on 2 meters. The more I use the rig, the better I like it.

I've had the rig only 9 days, but it's replaced my other handies as my carry to work rig. I've only had to charge it once in that time. That in itself is almost worth the extra money over the VX-2R. I may have to get one of those just to see what the differences are:)
 
W2DI Rating: 5/5 Feb 8, 2006 13:01 Send this review to a friend
Nice little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just picked up this Icom mini dualbander. I had a VX-2 before and the P7A will most likely be compared to it in most reviews, being a similar class radio. Having had both, let me give my 2 cents:

Pros:
-Good size. A little bigger and heftier than the VX-2. Feels better in the hand and somewhat more solid.
-Plenty of memories and good memory management with bank set-up.
- Good display size, easy to read.
- Easy to program once you get the hang of it. No need to always have the manual.
-Nice sounding audio on receive and transmit for such a small unit.
-Great battery life. This is where the radio has a distinct advantage over the VX-2. It really lasts long on a 3 hour charge. 1800 mAh Li-ion battery.

Cons:
-Cost. Significantly higher than VX-2 at this time.
-Cannot run directly off DC as VX-2 can (and VX-2 gives higher output when running at 13.8 V.)
-Somewhat slower scan rate than VX-2. VX-2 is fast. P7A is medium but ok for my use.
-Supplied antenna is marginal. There are some frequencies of poor reception, like NOAA WX. But it is ok for ham bands and TV. Adding an after-market antenna improves performance but the longer antennas defeat the purpose of it's 'pocket' size. I would say the antenna performance is on a par with the VX-2 for the most part.
-No keypad - but you really don't miss it. At least I don't.

In the final analysis, I would say that if you compair the P7A with the VX-2, the YAESU is a better value. Performance is about equal but the VX-2 has more flexibility and is certainly less expensive.

So, why the 5? The most important thing to me is the long battery life and the quick charge. That characteristic is what I want most in this category of handheld.

Just my humble opinion :-)

Joe -- W2DI
 
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