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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | ICOM IC-W21A Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-W21A
ICOM IC-W21A Reviews: 1 Average rating: 3.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Dual Band HT
Product is in production.
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KM5VI Rating: 3/5 May 13, 2009 23:03 Send this review to a friend
Reliable but terrible menus  Time owned: more than 12 months
The IC-W21A is an early generation 2m/70cm dual band (true dual receivers), dual-watch transceiver. The unit is similar to the IC-W21AT, but without the full function keypad controls on the front face of the transceiver. My unit was acquired new in the early 1990ís and is still in service, so my experience with reliability has been very good. The unit was purchased for a very attractive price on closeout, about $250 as I recall. Maximum power output is 5W. This model may be modified internally for wide band receive. This model can also be key programmed for cross-band repeat. Email me at QRZ address if you would like instructions. The radio casing has a bit of a weak point at the right side near the battery connection so check carefully for damage before purchasing a used model. The circuit design also has an internal battery that annoyingly runs down when the unit is not used regularly. When the internal battery discharges, the unit will not switch on without a reset. This condition could be commonly mistaken for a broken radio, if unknown to the owner. To reactivate the CPU, hold down the [FUNC] key as you attach a charged battery pack, then try turning the power on. If the CPU is alive the radio should start up. It may also be necessary then to reset the transceiver. To do this, turn the power off, hold down the [MONI] key and the [LIGHT] key, the push and hold the [POWER] button for a few seconds. This should restart and reset the CPU.

As this transceiver lacks the full keypad of the W21AT model, maneuvering though the menu system is anything but intuitive. To complicate matters, there are multiple menu modes: EASY mode and MULT-FUNCTION mode. To access most of the features within the menus, the transceiver must be switched into MULT-FUNCTION mode, to do this, hold down the [V/M MW] key and the {LIGHT] key while turning the power on. The menu access is such an issue that if you use this radio regularly you will likely want to either memorize the menus, or carry a cheat sheet. One final note, the original battery pack has a built in microphone, which is redundant with the microphone in the radio head. The battery mic was an idea (whisper function) that never caught on, and I donít think any of the aftermarket batteries include the microphone. Not to worry Ė the unit will work fine without it.

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