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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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W1PDG Rating: 4/5 Feb 19, 2016 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Good all around radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I would have rated this 4.5 if it was a choice. I love this radio however it is a big change from the ft-1000d and the ft-736r it replaced. The dual receive and vfo set up is great. Very good receiver and the transmit audio even with the stock mic is good and wonderful with my bphs1 headset. Stock filters work well and the dsp nr is good. I'm a voice operator so can't say a lot for the other modes. I like being able to calibrate the frequency from the menu system. Very handy. Maybe this is a standard feature on modern transceivers.
Why do I rate it 4.5 instead of 5? So far there are these things I don't care for.

The memory management. I really wish I was able to scan VHF/UHF memory channels on the sub frequency display at the same time while using hf on the main display. You can scan either VHF or UHF but not both at the same time on the sub display. If there is a way to do this I haven't figured it out. Please feel free to email me with the procedure. This seems like a large oversight in this rig.

The vox sucks with my headset. Perhaps it would be better with electret Mics instead of dynamic. The ft-1000d had a wonderful Vox.

I'm having a blast with this and if it wasn't for the memory scanning issue it would be a 5+ in my book. I purchased this used for $1800. I don't think I'd pay the full price for a new unit but feel I got a good deal.
KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 7, 2016 11:31 Send this review to a friend
Major Improvement on the "Shack in a Box" Concept  Time owned: more than 12 months
This would be a great radio even if it didn't have the VHF/UHF operation (oh wait....) The addition of the optional roofing filters makes a considerable difference in crowded band conditions, but does not come into play on VHF and above... still, they're worthwhile. The "generic eBay equivalents" seem to be as good as the Icom brand, and cost WAY less. The USB control function is great with HRD and digital modes, and you still have the old-fashioned Icom CAT interface to work with if you need to as well. On VHF and above, well, I've had several Kenwood TS-2000 radios, of several vintages, and the IC-9100 stands head and shoulders above all of them - easy to listen to, easy to use, and mucho power on 2m and 440. Interfaces well with Ham Radio Deluxe. Price has come down a LOT since they were introduced, and are now pretty much a bargain compared to the old design of the TS-2000. Color display? Sure, I wish it looked like my IC-7600, but wow what a radio !
W8KX Rating: 3/5 Jan 7, 2016 09:42 Send this review to a friend
Good Station in a box  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this radio mostly for contesting, satellites and evolving digital modes on the VHF/UHF bands. For this applicaton I think the radio works well with some nits that I'll
subsequently pick...
VHF/UHF receiver performance is very good and audio quality is excellent. For HF the receiver is basically the same as the IC-7410 and IC-7600 (+/- features) and is basically
mid pack as born out by the reviews. I've so far detected no issues with transmit audio quality or CW performance. The filtering system is nicely accessible and very flexible.
AM transmit is not available on VHF/UHF and the receiver preamps cannot be turned off on these bands. No accessory ports are available for transverters.
Idling current for this radio is high at 3+ amps. This needs to be considered if operating mobile or (as I do) with a PV/solar power system.
If you like the way Icom handles radio configuration you will of course like this radio. The menuing has similarities even to the IC-706 series. There are 4 small pots on
the bottom of the radio which handle common functions: mic gain, power, CW speed and shift. They are too small and poorly marked but at least they aren't buried in a mega
menu somewhere.... The markings on the front panel are poorly contrasted. Personally I have never cared for the way Icom handles microphones, preferring to use my vintage EV and Shure specimens.
They can be adapted, more or less.
This radio works very well for RTTY. The twin peak filter is effective and it has a useful tuning indicator. The internal decoder can send characters out through the USB port.
For CW I would prefer if there was a tuning indicator and a digital readout of the selected carrier shift.
My biggest beef is with the USB functionality and interfacing. The relevant Yahoo group is filled with complaints and questions about this interface and I've found it much harder to get
this feature going than on recent offerings by other manufacturers (Flex, Signal Link, Kenwood, Yaesu). The radio will only tolerate a short cable (3' or less) and even with
this the recovered audio in the codec has S/N issues. The port has two USB data channels. How well these work depends on the software that uses them and perhaps on the
computer itself. There is no USB functionality available for PTT or FSK nor is there a digital VOX. This has to be handled via a separate serial port. This of course is very
poorly explained, if at all in the manual (a general trend toward poor manuals I've noted among the Japanese manufacturers). It should be noted that PTT seems to be context
sensitive... For example switiching into transmit from the data2 socket will only allow you to use audio from that jack.
Anyway, it's been fun figuring this radio out. I think if I were only to use this radio for HF work I'd choose a different model. For my intended application
it should work adequately.
KH6TA Rating: 5/5 Oct 25, 2015 10:29 Send this review to a friend
Love this radio!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I like that it functions/menus same as my 7600, my biggest complaint is Icom's failure to put setting marks on the Mic Gain, RF Power row of controls. The one's on my 7600 were marked very well.

Mine has all 3 Roofing Filters and I think Icom should have included all 3 instead of 2 for a radio in this price range. I also had the DSTAR option added, but haven't used it yet.

Operating HF is great, not really much different than the 7600, but I wanted VHF/UHF/SAT ability and the 9100 is awesome!

I actually like the 9100 display better than the 7600, call me crazy, but has much better contrast & readability.

W5PFG Rating: 4/5 Apr 1, 2015 08:29 Send this review to a friend
Best Choice for Satellite Operations  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My review is geared more towards amateur satellite use than HF. It is my belief this is the best all-mode VHF/UHF+HF radio for working the amateur radio satellites available on the market. Your only other option is the Kenwood TS-2000 which is old and has a notorious birdie on one of our satellite sub-band frequencies. The IC-9100 performs well with a variety of satellite rig-control software. This radio combined with a Heil Pro Set Elite 6 headset, I have received excellent audio reports frequently. In the past, I have used a combination of Yaesu Radios, the Icom IC-910h, and IC-821 for satellite operation. I believe the IC-9100 incorporates the best of the older rigs plus modern improvements.
ON5CQ Rating: 5/5 Mar 10, 2015 23:41 Send this review to a friend
ON5CQ  Time owned: more than 12 months
hallo here ON5CQ philip i'am the owner for two and a halve year without any problems of heathing and other bugs in this radio i'le can say nothing than good things about this radio it have's just the same thinks as filters and settings as the 7600 maybe one- is the display wy not the same as the 7600 also the tx quality is superb only good respons from other hamstations i'le use it thogetter with my heilset pro elite 6 also if you wan't to work on 2 m you have 100watt so it is a compleet chack in one box so far so good for it is a big performer enjoy the icom 9100 and 73's ON5CQ philip in belgium.
N1GMV Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2015 17:39 Send this review to a friend
Big and bold  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I have only had my 9100 for a few short days but here are my operation observations. Comparing it to my IC-7600. This rig is much "Brighter", super sensitive and has better performance than my previous Satellite rig which was the Yaesu FT-847. But the Yaesu FT-847 was much much easier to use!

What I like
- 100 Watts on 2 and 75 on UHF.
- I can work satellites with ease using HRD
- Integrates with my Computer with a single USB cable.
- I like that I can click tabs on Ham Radio Deluxe and switch back and forth between the IC-9100 and the IC-7600 with no problems.
- Same Microphone and filtering settings as my IC-7600
- The autotuner works very well
- I use the MFJ-1263 so one headset and one desk mike is switchable for both rigs
- I get great reports over the air and people cannot tell the difference in my TX between it and the 7600.

What I don't like

- The very small Mic Gain, Power, CW pitch, Key Speed buttons that do not press in like the 7600
- The TX relay is noticable, although not obtrusive it is definately noticable when using CW.
- Such a large display and the Frequency readout is large and easy to see but all the other information such as the S Meter, AGC, Filter, Compressor etc is very small, I need to put my glasses on.
- This rig is big, heavy, and complex she is more deep then wide. Icom really should provide some operational videos on it. Reading the manual can be daunting especially when they get to the DStar stuff which is like page 2.
- She might not be a good fit for those that have a shallow desk. From the VFO and room for the 90 deg elbow that I use for my coax is 18". I was just over a friends place who has a IC-910H, the 9100 is almost twice the overall size.

But the 9100 is extremely nice and well built. It has outstanding TX audio and very cool to operate. Although the internal speaker is not bad, if you buy this do get a pair of the Icom SP-23 External speakers as well. Yes, you will want two of them. The USB interface is a Godsend. I will never own a radio without one. I have had enough of those rig blasters, audio cables, RF in the microphone, loose connection. Nope no more. USB is the way of interconnecting both control and audio to your PC allowing you to run FreeDV, HRD, PSK31 and all other sorts of computer modes easily.

There are a lot of very nice radios out there, the 9100 is no execption.
W4RAA Rating: 5/5 Dec 24, 2014 14:32 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Did a lot of research and comparing of other radios to the IC-9100 before I purchased it. A friend of mine has one and every time I went over to his HAM Shack he would let me operate it. The more I used it the more I was sure that this is the radio I wanted. I already have an Icom 756 Pro III that is a great radio so I have something to compare it with. The 9100 has excellent receive sensitivity on all bands but it really seems to stand out on the HF bands. The ability to monitor/scan two separate bands at the same time is a great feature also. The Antenna Tuner works flawlessly and is fast. The built in filters do the job just fine for me as I do not need to install any additional filters.I have not had one problem at all with this radio, everything works just as advertised.
If you are looking for the "All in One", "Shack in a Box" radio then take a serious look at the IC-9100
N2DY Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2014 14:51 Send this review to a friend
Pleased  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the 9100 for over a year and have not had any problems with it. I bought it primarily to use on VHF, UHF and 1.2GHz, but I also use it as a backup HF radio to my Yaesu 9000D. I wanted a radio that was a bit more sensitive than my TS-2000X on the higher bands. The 9100 does indeed live up to my expectations in that regard. It has a hotter receiver than the 2000X and that is not surprising. I love the 2000X, but receiver technology has advanced quite a bit since it was designed in the late 90s. On HF it works quite well. It is sensitive and received audio reports are excellent. It does not have the same full-bodied tonal quality that my 9000D has, but it cost a third as much. Overall, it is a solid rig.

As for the many problems other reviewers have experienced, none of those have surfaced with mine. No over-heating, no strange control issues and no receiver problems have popped up. That being said, I do sympathize with others as it does seem that Icom more than Kenwood and Yaesu seems to have quality control issues. I have experienced them with the IC-7000 (over-heating and bad driver) and the 746Pro (another bad driver circuit). Even the venerable IC-7800 has experienced many transmitter failures. I love Icom and their ergonomics, but they need to be consistent with quality and design.

As for my 9100, I am among the lucky ones thus far.
K7NG Rating: 5/5 May 19, 2014 14:46 Send this review to a friend
Almost perfect  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Yes, only a few weeks' use of the IC-9100. I compare it to my Orion II where it can properly be compared. I also have done on-air checks. I'm trying to be objective.

Except in the most extreme conditions the receiver doesn't give anything up to the Orion.

CW send is just great with internal or external electronic keyer.

My TX audio reports are uniformly good, when I feel like it I'll tweak around with the equalizer and see if I can make it better, but I sure don't feel any urgency.

The VHF and UHF performance is spot on the specifications.

I don't know under what conditions the rig heats up, running digital modes at 40W or SSB at full power for 3 minutes or less at a time, I don't think I ever heard the fan unless I put my ear right at the vent slots.

There are only two things I ran into I'm less than thrilled about: (1) the USB audio device receive always max'es out any of the digital mode applications There's a USB TX level menu, why isn't there a RX menu item? I work around this by using a US Interface Navigator and make use of the Navigator audio device instead of the one in the 9100. (2) The RF power control stem (knob) affects all bands. I'd surely like to see a menu item to set 'upper power limit' for the VHF and UHF bands so I wouldn't be twiddling the control for different amplifiers / different bands.

The 9100 replaces a FT736R, and it's not just a step up, it's a leap! Also my 2nd HF rig. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a station in one box.
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