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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-9100 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-9100
ICOM IC-9100 Reviews: 59 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $3599
Description: Base Amateur HF/VHF/UHF Transceiver
Frequency range 10-160 m + WARC / 6 m / 2m / 70cm
23cm + D-Star optional
Product is in production.
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AA0FO Rating: 3/5 Sep 12, 2017 19:31 Send this review to a friend
Follow-up Review  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
In my last review, I noted that the IC 9100 is susceptible to internal spurious harmonics in the FO 29 Sat band. Tonight I found the 3rd harmonic of the transmitting frequency. Receiving on 436.800 and transmitting on 436.800/3. This time I was transmitting in FM mode with about 10 watts. I thought I might be working SO 50 Sat way off published frequency. Sad.
KD0ZV Rating: 4/5 Jul 19, 2017 05:38 Send this review to a friend
Decent all around rig  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this to consolidate my 2 meter rig and Icom 8500 receiver into one rig. Figured it would make a great backup HF radio and assumed it would be a Icom 7410 with extended bands.

It does and OK job on HF but think it falls short compared to the 7410. If it was my main rig I would not be happy as the fan noise is excessive. Transmit on 2 meters for 10 minutes and you can plan on the fan running for hours.

Its hard to rate. If I was rating it for an HF receiver, it would score a 3. But I think all multifunction rigs HF/VHF/UHF are a compromise. I would much rather have this over the TS2000.
KB8DGC Rating: 5/5 Apr 14, 2017 07:55 Send this review to a friend
She's got it where it counts, kid...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Star Wars quotes aside... as an owner of a TS-2000x, FT-847, and IC-756 ProII, as well as the IC-9100, it is my firsthand experience that the 9100 outperforms all of them on the air. Ultimately, getting me on the air in the best way possible is why I buy radios, assuming I can afford them. I've had unsolicited comments about good transmit quality, the receiver is better than the others with weak signals, even in a metro area, and the radio does not limit me in any measurable way. If it takes cutting off a couple creature comforts and re-using some prior product family ergonomics to move a great radio into a (comparatively) affordable price point, I'm willing to live with a few minor inconveniences.

Yes, a spectrum scope would be great, but no other 160m-23cm radios have one either, and there are DIY options out there. The 756's soft button layout was nicer, but I'm sure more costly, relying on a good graphic LCD.

V/U band selection is odd but not difficult. Direct entry or CI-V can be used if pushing a button 1-4 times is too inconvenient. On the other hand, you can immediately jump to any HF band except 60m with one button press, unlike the TS-2000 and FT-847 (which aren't designed for 60m at all, by the way).

Yes, you need to remember to adjust your power on a new band (or have CI-V do it), and deal with tiny mic gain and keyer speed knobs, as with other Icoms of similar vintage/family.

I use SatPC32 for frequency tracking on satellites and I've had no trouble with frequency tracking on the several sat QSOs I've made. Whether "kludged" or not, it seems to get the job done, maybe not as seamless as the 847, but I find it to be a lot less finicky than the 2000.

Memories are indeed name-able - see manual page 143.

I do agree the TS-2000's "both VFOs on the same band" trick (which only applies on 2m or 70cm, only in FM/AM) doesn't have an equivalent on the IC-9100, but I don't miss it. FM use cases usually don't require the same sensitivity or quality as SSB/CW, and they benefit from a different (vertical) antenna, so it's better performed by a cheap separate 2m FM rig anyway.

Regarding VHF modes, it should be pointed out that the 9100 doesn't support AM on 2m or above. Not that I know of many people using 2m AM any more, but if you're supporting SSB, is it really that hard to support AM too?

The USB control and audio ports work well for me. The headphone jack is "real stereo" and lets you send one band to the left ear and another to the right. How it does so can be controlled via the menus. If you have really good quality hi-fi headphones you may notice a slight mid-frequency DAC-sounding whine which stays at the same (quiet) level at any volume position, including 0. I didn't notice it until I got a really good headset. This does not show up on the USB audio.

Reliability has been good for me so far, though I hear there are some display inverter issues.

I appreciate the front-panel keyer jack and rear-panel jack that supports a mechanical key for those SKCC moments. No reconfiguration is necessary and I can grab the paddle and run if I go off to rove.

True, there's no RX-only antenna connection, but unless you're doing QSK on 80m nets a coax switch can be driven to do the same thing. Likewise it's strange to me that, being targeted at V/U/EME operation, there wouldn't be a transverter jack... but one can always go the old-fashioned route of using an attenuator and paying attention to the power.

To recap, if you find certain cross-band repeater use cases or an RX antenna vital to your needs, maybe a different (and probably a cheaper) radio will work well for that, at the expense of performance. On the other hand, if you are looking for a good 160m-23cm radio that outperforms its peers and you can live with a few minor quirks, consider the 9100. I'd agree it's more of a 4.5, but given how much it does and how well it does most of those things, I can't in good conscience give it less than a 5.

I welcome PM feedback/questions if there's anything I missed.
TF3ARI Rating: 1/5 Mar 12, 2017 01:52 Send this review to a friend
Review as Satellite station  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi all , I got this band new IC-9100 with all option.
Review as Satellite station

I am still learning.
In this review I will only say fact I know and not user error. Later I will give more details.
Negative fackt.
No 1 there is only one power settings for HF-VHF-UHF-23cm. if I run radio on 100W on HF it will be 100W on 2m and 75W on UHF. Power level is in % settings not W. No memory on power settings on band.

No 2 There is no mic gain on FM and DV.

No 3 for satellite work you need to correct freq for dobbler effect. It is not possible to write in to VFO B (Work around is to swap VFO and write new settings. Until now useless satellite station.

No 4 Memory have no name, only number.

No 5 in Sat mode VFO B will not follow A if correction is done from PC.

No 6 ICOM charge $$$ for software to program the memory (Free from Kenwood)

No 7 there is only one VHF , UHF and 23 cm radio. you canīt have VHF on VFO A and VFO B same time. Kenwood TS 2000 can do that.

No 8 No crossband repeater from HF to VHF,UHF,23cm (kenwood 2000 can do that)

And now I will stop with 9 My new radio was 760 hz off new out of box.

Positive part.
Radio is sensitive on all band
AL7PX Rating: 5/5 Mar 4, 2017 19:26 Send this review to a friend
Radio does it all!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was thinking about a new HF rig for some time and also got into Satellites about the same time. I originally used two separate Icom HF radios (706,746)and spoke to other operators and many were using Icom 910's but found they were getting hefty prices around $1000+ which I thought was high for just a VHF/UHF rig. The 9100 is a complete HF/VHF/UHF radio. It has some very nice features and is a great radio. I bought a new one and have been very pleased. Rig is terrific.
VE3WGO Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2017 19:44 Send this review to a friend
A Great All-Band Radio  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have had this radio for nearly a year, and itís my first Icom. I bought it new, with the 3 and 6 kHz optional roofing filters installed. The receiverís DSP filtering is very flexible and works great. I found the Noise Blanker and Reduction functions to be easy to adjust and very effective on my local QRM. A bonus discovery (for me, at least) is the built-in 13-step SWR analyzer that scans the antenna SWR on the display and works for all bands up to 450 MHz.

The main display is actually 2 separate displays in one: the upper part is for main and sub frequency, modes, and radio functions like S-meter, SWR/ALC meter, etc. Although itís monochrome (or perhaps because it is), the display is very crisp and the backlight works very well even in outdoor sunlight. The lower part is a full-pixel display for the basic spectrum scope, IF and audio filter settings, SWR sweep graphs, and displaying the menu options. The menu system is very well organized. It didnít take me long to figure it out, even though there are about 70 parameters that can be adjusted, and the more frequently used ones are in two direct menus right under the screen.

I get a bit better than the spec sheet CW transmit output power: 114 watts on 6m, 110w on 2m, 78w on 70cm, and 11w on 1296 into a Bird 6154 meter. I like the receive audio sound, and the Rx and Tx variable filters are a breeze to adjust. Transmit audio reports have been very good too. I plan on getting a satellite antenna set up soon, to try out the full duplex satellite modes of this radio. With 2 completely independent receivers, it is a highly capable machine.

This rig is a solid one, and thatís no surprise when you see the amazing cast chassis it is built on. I had a close look around the interior of it while installing the 1200 MHz and D-Star modules a few weeks ago.

Iím very happy with this radio. It covers a lot of spectrum, can put out a lot of power, and it does a great job. I was convinced to buy it because several of the local club members have been very satisfied with their IC-9100ís that have been used in VHF nets and several recent contests and they all said itís a rig that stands up well under multi-Tx contest pressure. I recommend it too, for anyone looking for a serious HF-VHF-UHF all-mode radio.
W9VS Rating: 5/5 Jan 16, 2017 14:45 Send this review to a friend
It's a Keeper. Great radio. A total Ham station all in one unit  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just recently acquired a mint Icom IC-9100 with the D-Star board and the two roofing filters already installed. It is truly a great radio. I've been using it ever since I unpacked it. The performance is unbelievable. It may not have the colored screen and clock like lot of people have complained about. My thoughts on that are if you want a colored screen with a clock, but a radio that has them. For the money this radio is well worth it. The antenna tuner is very fast and works extremely well. I've used it on most of the bands with ease. The menu is very easy to setup. If your have the opportunity to pick one of these radios, please do so. You won't be sorry. I'm very glad I purchased this radio.
WB8LBZ Rating: 4/5 May 26, 2016 11:47 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought this radio used from a user off eBay. The previous owner put the D-Star and front end filters in. I have added the 1.2 GHz module. I was spoiled by owning a Flex 3000 so I know how a user friendly radio is. Switching from HF to 2 meters is a convoluted sequence of buttons. My biggest fault is the lack of a display clock. All of the color display Icom radios have a clock in the display. This would be an excellent radio with a color display, VHF/UHF and 1.2 GHz and a waterfall color display. Maybe next generation..

73, Larry WB8LBZ
N4IJS Rating: 5/5 May 7, 2016 11:36 Send this review to a friend
Excellant radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have owned the Icom 9100 for 5+ months at this point (it was a Christmas present). I have owned almost exclusively Icom radios over my 35+ years in Ham Radio, with my most recent ones being the 746Pro and 7410.

I have both of the optional roofing filters and DStar board installed on the radio. I had no issues installing them, but I took my time doing it as well (based on others' experience with especially the DStar board).

The menu system is easy to navigate, but, again, I am very familiar with the Icom menu setup. It is easy to get to the commands you may need to change and the thought put into the placement of knobs, buttons, and menus are top notch.

The radio is awesome - excellent receiver. I compared this radio to the 7600 before purchasing and found that the 9100 has at least as good receiver and, if you read the technical reviews, has a slightly better receiver than the 7600.

Transmit and working digital modes are also excellent. I have worked all modes on the radio and have received very positive feedback on voice, tone, etc. (I am using a Heil microphone and the built-in USB connections for digital).

The radio does everything I want and has easily replaced by other radios in the shack. The dual receive is very nice and works very well. I have not tried the satellite mode yet, but want to soon. It is nice to have that option!

The one negative I have found is the lack of markings on the MIC GAIN, HF POWER, CW PITCH, and KEY SPEED knobs. It is a minor complaint, but can't easily see where the setting is.

I would highly recommend this radio to anyone that is considering it. The receive is excellent and the overall use of the radio is very flexible.

K4EA Rating: 2/5 Feb 27, 2016 11:37 Send this review to a friend
Missing needed features  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been eyeing this radio for some time, including following the reviews here. I had an opportunity to play with one today and discovered one minor, one major, and one serious issues. I think the location of the notch/nr control and the M-CH/SUB DIAL should have been swapped. This is minor and not a deal breaker. With the likelihood of using external amplifier, each connector should have it's own independent "send control jack". Again not a deal breaker as I can use my PC to accomplish this. Finally, there is no independent receive antenna connection. For low band enthusiasts this is a "must have". There is probably some way to use the alternate HF, but even if there is, it would be extremely inconvenient at best. As an avid contester on by HF and VHF/UHF this looked like a great 2nd radio. Unless someone has a solution to this, I will pass on this radio. :(
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