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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Icom IC-32AT Help


Reviews Summary for Icom IC-32AT
Icom IC-32AT Reviews: 11 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $Unknown
Description: 2 Meter/70 CM HT. 5.5 W on VHF/ 5.0 W on UHF with 1w low power on both bands. Will crossband UHF/VHF or VHF/UHF has CTCSS board built in.
Product is not in production.
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WE0E Rating: 5/5 Jul 8, 2017 19:51 Send this review to a friend
The Best HT I've Ever Owned  Time owned: more than 12 months
Won't make this lengthy other than to say I have now owned my 32AT since 1989 and it just keeps on going. I have used it as my primary mobile radio as well as my portable for years and it just keeps going. Easily programmed without having the need for a college degree in HT programming. Is it heavy? Heck yes it is. This radio was built back in the day when real plastic, not recycled margarine tubs was used as well as metal. If you ever find one of these used, don't even hesitate to buy it.
 
K8SWD Rating: 5/5 Feb 12, 2015 13:27 Send this review to a friend
Like a Rock but Ford Tuff!  Time owned: more than 12 months
About the time I purchased my IC-735 that I still use regularly, I obtained my IC-32AT serial #019xx new in the mid to late 1980's on the recommendation of a couple area hams who still use theirs as well. I don't know how many batteries I have gone through over the years and I have rebuilt a few as well. I need to get a couple more 13.2v packs as I am down to just an old rebuilt BP-8 and an 8 Cell AA pack--these do work fine but you need the 13.2v packs to get the full 5.5 watts output on VHF (5w on UHF). 13.2v 1100 mAh packs on-line are in the $25.00 range--cheaper than inserts! I use this HT almost daily--it is my "office" rig. I wore out one vinyl case and was lucky enough to find a couple more new ones a few years ago. The CM-35 desk charger and HM-46 speaker mic, a "battery eliminator" bottom cap and a couple of larger antennas are the only other accessories I have or need for this HT. This unit has a BNC antenna connection that is very robust, unlike the SMA on newer HT's. This unit can operate as a mobile and there is a 12v jack right on the top. With the battery eliminator cap on the bottom, it makes a nice basic mobile rig that fits in a cup holder, and with an amplifier, a loud mobile! Icom got it right their first try with this HT--very rugged, heavy, big, and easy to use especially for aging eyes! I do have a VX-5R and VX-7R from Yasue and I like them very much, but I have to constantly refer to the manual or cheat sheets and the displays are very small. The 32AT is simple to operate and very intuitive. If you can find a good used one at a decent price--snatch it up. Battery packs and inserts are still very plentiful and the battery packs are screwed together, not glued. Battery technology has greatly improved and now there are 13.2v 2700 mAh packs available for this radio, but it is 4.24" tall and won't fit into the cases and must be desk charged only. The BP8 pack is now also available in 2700 mAh capacity and is great for "all-day" use and does fit in the case. If you don't need a 1,000 memory channels, computer programming, LED flashlight and multi-color strobe lights and a plethora of other whiz-bang bells and whistles, alerts and alarms--this HT is a great choice if you can find one.
 
KB6XU Rating: 5/5 Dec 6, 2014 11:51 Send this review to a friend
Best HT I've ever owned  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this as a IC-23 S/N 14643 in Akihabara when I was in Tokyo on a business trip in the late 80's, I'm not sure the exact year. It's worked solidly ever since, outlasting any number of other HT's I've owned. When I bought it the sales guy struggled to get it modified for North American operation but he got on the phone with Icom, and got it set up as USA mode. He warned me that it didn't have DTMF, but considering the price break I was glad to get it at nearly half price. I have added the UT-40 tone squelch accessory and I've moved a diode to open up the band coverage. I paid the equivalent of $350 for it (and no tax), it was going for $600 or so in the US at that time. Some of the best ham radio dollars I've ever spent.
 
KB6XU Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2014 02:06 Send this review to a friend
Best HT I've ever owned  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this as a IC-23AT S/N 14643 in Akihabara when I was in Tokyo on a business trip in 1985, and it's worked solidly ever since, outlasting any number of other HT's I've owned. I just this evening put some alkaline batteries into the battery holder after the HT had been on my bookcase unused for the last 5 years and it fired right up. When I bought it the sales guy struggled to get it modified for North American operation but he got on the phone with Icom, and got it set up. Since then I've moved a diode to open up the band coverage I think it was. I paid the equivalent of $350 for it, it was going for $500 or more in the US at that time. Some of the best ham radio dollars I've ever spent though in today's dollars it was probably double the equivalent of $700, but in this case I got what I paid for.
 
AA8XR Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2012 20:19 Send this review to a friend
excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Best handheld ever for me! I have owned 6-7 of them over the years, still my original handheld from 1988. SPent over 1000 for it with all the accessories, best money spent. Still working after all these years. Other handhelds I have had have come and gone, broken. 32at still going in spite of those poorer made radios. Glad I kept it, bought a new nattery and charger for it that is 4x more battery than those old ni cads. Gave two of them away to disabled hams. Best handheld ever, still wotking since 1988. 2nd best radio: Icom 448A UHF mobile. Also still working since 1989.
 
WR2I Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2011 12:14 Send this review to a friend
Purchased new in 1989. The benchmark for all dual band HT's.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This was the first dual band HT offering from Icom, and my first dual band radio. I bought it with leather case LC-32, speaker mic HM-46, drop in charger CM-35, extra battery BP-7 and CTCSS decode board UT-40. The cost of the radio and accessories was over $1000.

The build quality and performance of this radio is so superior to anything else I have ever seen in the amateur market, that it is worth every penny spent. I have owned dozens of different dual band radios (including numerous Icom's). None of them compare to this one. I have more hours on this radio than any other radio I have owned.

It is tough. It has a solid front end that does not overload. It works. It takes a beating.

There was, and will never be a radio made by an amateur radio manufacturer, that will match the quality that went into this classic masterpiece.

I NEVER give 5's. But this radio deserves it. It walks on water.

Icom IC-32AT, THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE!!!
 
M1BPT Rating: 5/5 Mar 16, 2010 04:48 Send this review to a friend
Superb Responsive HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have 2 IC 32E and after being in the box for some considerable time , put on a new BP8 and powered them up managed to hit on the Duel band Rubber Duck
GB3KY on 5w from my home in Hunstanton some 13 miles and GB3KL in Kings Lynn some 17miles my V82 on 7w cant reach KY. So much for modern design, I true classic every shack should have 1. best 73s from East Anglia UK Paul M1BPT JO02FV
 
KD4HGR Rating: 5/5 Jan 19, 2009 13:20 Send this review to a friend
BEST ONE EVER MADE  Time owned: more than 12 months
THESE ARE BUILT LIKE A TANK..I HAVE HAD MINE FOR ABOUT 16 YEARS NOW AND WORKS AS GOOD AS THE DAY I BOUGHT IT..ALSO MINE HAS HAD A REAL GOOD BOUNCE FROM A 50' FOOT TOWER AS I WAS WORKING ON ONE AND IT FELL FROM MY BELT AND BOUNCED OFF THE GROUND..DID NOT EVEN PUT A DENT OR A CRACK IN IT. ONLY THE BATTERY CAME OFF.I PUT THE BATTERY BACK ON IT AND KEYED UP THE REPEATER AND IT WENT BACK UP THE TOWER WITH ME..WHAT A RADIO..DID MISS A BEAT..
 
KB4TPP Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2007 21:30 Send this review to a friend
Excellent classic dual band HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I finally after 17 years of wanting one, found one at a great price on Ebay and thanks to the prior owner keeping it in good shape, it's like I am 16 again. When the Icom IC-32AT first appeared back in 1989/1990, it had a street price of what some HF rigs sell for today. Fully equipped with the tone board, extra batteries, CM-35 rapid charger...you could have probably bought an HF rig for the cost back then.

And it lasts as long as an HF radio. The 32AT is built on the classic chassis from the 02/03/04/12AT series and uses the same series of batteries, it just has an updated "90's" look that Icom went to about that time. While it doesn't have 1000 memories, alpha tags, or DCS, what the 32AT DOES have is performance, durability and quality and a robustness not found on today's sub-200 dollar wonder box dual band HT's. RX audio is incredible and one look at the speaker size and you'll understand why these close to 20 year old HT's fetch upwards of 200 dollars on Ebay. They truly don't make them like this anymore.

The radio has 20 memories (40 if you don't use offsets), 2 call channels, a programmable band scan with priority scan, CTCSS encode (optional decode board), a stout 5.5watts of power on VHF, and 5 watts on UHF at 13.2VDC. One nice thing is the top mounted jacks for antenna (BNC), mike and speaker as well as DC in 5-15VDC. The radio will also charge a battery pack attached when powered from DC. Accessories are plentiful and new batteries as well as inserts for the battery packs are inexpensive. This is a well designed radio with a large display and keypad that fits well in the hand. It is well laid out, easy to operate, with big knobs that a gloved hand can use.

I strongly recommend picking one up, especially if you want a rugged, commercial grade HT that will probably last another 20 years. This rig is quality through and through.
 
KQ6UP Rating: 5/5 Feb 13, 2007 14:27 Send this review to a friend
Great Brick  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I love this radio. It is built like a tank, and has some pretty awesome features for a radio of its age (cross band repeat / full duplex HT). I love ICOMs robust build quality.

Pros: Large size hard to drop/loose Incredible battery life with a re-built BP-8 (12hrs with long QSOs). Solid construction. Strong front end (decent image rejection). Great for working the LEOs. Loud audio.

Cons: Large size hard to find accessories for it. Squelch range not great enough (some strong static can still break in even with the squelch all of the way up).
 
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