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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Icom IC-T70A Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-T70A
Icom IC-T70A Reviews: 25 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $272 ($219 street price 3/2010)
Description: The Icom IC-T70A is a capable and robust 2 meter / 440 MHz amateur handi-talki. It is splash and dust resistant (IP54 standard). Enjoy three levels of RF power on both bands: 5, 2.5 or 0.5 watts. Receive coverage is 136-174 and 400-479 MHz. You get built-in CTCSS/DTCS Encode and Decode. 302 memory channels with 50 scan edge and 2 call channels. Multiple scan types are available. The easy-to-use controls are very intuitive. There are also DTMF memory channels. Other enhancements include: large speaker with up to 700 mW of audio, backlit alpha display, weather channel alert (USA version), keypad, repeater lock-out, auto-repeater function, internal VOX, time-out timer and auto power off. Please note that only the BP-264 may be charged inside the radio and optional items are needed to charge the radio from an external 10-16 VDC source.

The Icom IC-T70A comes with: BC-167SA trickle NiMH wall charger, BP-264 NiMH Battery Pack (7.2 VDC 1400 mAh), SMA flexible antenna and Owner's Manual.
Product is in production.
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AD1ET Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2013 08:28 Send this review to a friend
Great Radio for $  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just got this radio to supplement a Yeasu VHF hand held I have had for years. Some of the previous comments I think could use some updating. The non sport model now ships with a 2000 mah Li Ion battery and fast charger. The specs on the battery pack are incorrect in the HRO catalogue. I find the manual excellent it just has to be read. The power button is smallish probably because of its placement right adjacent to the keypad. It is flush mounted and requires a one second press to activate the radio. It works flawlessly so I do not notice the relatively small size. It might be nice once in a great while to have a lighted keypad but mostly no issue. The radio is a bit challenged in the cuteness department but the transmit and receive sound quality is excellent. I can only activate one repeater in my area (on VHF) but I hear conversations from all over an adjacent four state area on UHF. I think this is a great radio for the money and would recommend it to anyone interested.
PU1RYM Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2012 19:16 Send this review to a friend
perfect, robust and simple  Time owned: more than 12 months
excellent product that i own for more than 1 year, in almost diary use. very solid and rugged, have been extensively used in mountains, boats, forests, cycling, rain, wind, cold/hot and humid weather, very resistant on fallings and rocky ambient. the size is very small and can be conditioned in small spaces or in the belt.

the transceiver is perfect with much eletronic quality, working very well in any kind of transmission (vhf or uhf). have reached more than 300km repeater distance in top of mountains (5w), and about 100km in simplex (2.5w) with little obstacles. in long distance with a beam antenna (yagi 4el), reached almost 800km (5w) from high altitude (2200m). inside the city local limits (less than 60km), RF power of 0.5w is sufficient in open sight of view. using a better aditional antenna with more gain/size make it works much better, but the original one is sufficient for every common needs.

scanning functions works perfectly and very quickly. audio quality is superb. the only thing that was a bit difficult is programming directly in radio keys; the programming cable and software could be included for free or easy way.

the battery lasts well (option to use 6 AA cells), and this choice was perfect to me; the best dual band analogic HT that I have ever used; simple and just do very well what it proposes to do. it attends all my needs, i recommend.
KJ6ARL Rating: 5/5 Jul 4, 2012 11:22 Send this review to a friend
Good HT for the money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I love this radio. It is easier to program than they Yaesu FT60 or VX7R models in my opinion. That said I bought RT-Systems software for it to use on Windows 7 64-bit PC. The programming software from Icom didn't work on the new OS. Otherwise, the rubberduck antenna works well and the radio mates easily with other dualband antennas. Power output is good and receive sound quality is great. I've found the NiMH battery sufficient for general use and bought a spare to keep charged just in case.
K8ERV Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2012 11:29 Send this review to a friend
Good solid dual-bander  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like the T70. Instructions could be better.
Will only comment on the very difficult battery clip.Dumb idea. With a razor knife and small file I have cut down the ledge on the battery packs so I can open with my finger, but still sturdy enough. I did not modify the hinged part.

TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
N0YXE Rating: 2/5 Dec 29, 2011 09:58 Send this review to a friend
Nice, but I'm selling it!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I never had an Icom HT before and since most of my radio gear is Icom, I decided to get one. This HT is the perfect size, weight and has a great feel to it. The audio is loud and clear for me and it just looks nice. But, it has two problems that I do not like and I will sell this unit very soon. First, the keys do not have any light behind them and it is very difficult to turn the radio on and off, as this button is mico-sized and almost impossible to push. Second, I find that the menu is hard to program. I have had many HT's before and never had any problem with memory channels and keeping information alive on the display. The instruction book is not very helpful, except to blank out all the data and keep starting over. I will either return to Yaesu or go to the new Kenwood single bander HT that just came out.
2E0JTP Rating: 5/5 Sep 19, 2011 16:05 Send this review to a friend
A solid performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the Icom IC-T70E (the European version) and it's a solid performing dual band transceiver. It has all the features you need in a 2m/70cm hand held. No gimmicks or unnecessary fluff, just the features you actually use day to day. The audio from the speaker is loud and strong and reports of my transmitted audio have all been good.

The alphanumeric display for memory names uses mixed upper and lower case characters which can take a little getting used to, but it's always perfectly clear and readable.

It has 300 memory channels and two separate 'call channel' memories, more than enough for general ham use unless you are an absolute scanning obsessive! However, it does have pretty extensive memory bank and scan facilities. Allowing you to assign memory channels to memory banks and then allowing you to link memory banks together in scans.

Battery life (with the 7.2V 1400mAh Ni-MH battery pack) is very good, I haven't recorded exact performance criteria, but it lasts as long or longer than any HT I've owned before.

The SMA antenna that comes with the radio is the pretty standard dual band Icom FA-S270C 'rubber ducky' type, and it performs pretty well considering its small size. Receive and transmit performance are excellent.

Overall, it's an excellent dual band transceiver with a great ruggedly built feel to it. It kind of reminds me of my old VX-150 (in a very good way!). I know everyone seems to rate the products they review at 5/5, but I honestly can't think of any reason to rate this radio less than 5 out of 5. It's worth every single rating point.
AE4SE Rating: 3/5 Sep 17, 2011 13:34 Send this review to a friend
Ok But ....  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The radio has a nice feel in your hand. Not heavy as the my previous HTX 202, WA 32. Has very good receive, transmit is nice with 3 choices of power. This comes in handy when out using just battery power. Sometimes .5 watts is all that is needed. Battery pack to me is marginal, for its price it should come with LiPo types.

It is not a dual receive, something for this price should be standard. The antenna is typical with limited range. An after market greatly improved my reception and transmit. The SMA connector does not bother me, it is quit small compared to older BNC type and with a Diamond after market antenna it screwed down onto the connector more securely.

I dont care for the clunky software ICOM uses. I find it some what like Elecraft. Odd at times, weird and not easy to follow as it could be. I cant tell you the numbers of people that have stopped me at hamfests and asked if I knew what this or that ment. I do like the amount of channels. Great for an HT. It scans at nice clip, but I do wish there was a way to speed up. My Bearcat scans faster, which I now use to scan 2 meter.

The the audio on transmit is problematic. It is low and I cant find a way to turn it up. I have had the radio for 10 months and did a number of resets, changed the wide/narrow, still cant get the audio on transmit up. I am about out of warranty and need to make a decision about sending it in. Someone told me the problem can be fixed in the software, but if you know please contact me about it.

All in all the radio is OK, but does not live up to the QST review. It should have dual receive, not just dual band, it should come with a better battery, display is odd at times, software is odd ball as well to remember, could be much easier, transmit audio has never been great. I am not the only one with this complaint. I would compare this audio to that of a childs walky talky, poor. Nice over all, generally good feel, but short on acc for the price range in my opinion.

If you are thinking of getting this as your first radio after getting your license, dont, you would be better off with a straight 2 meter radio with better audio, and battery life. An you would be spending to much for it as well. If someone does know the code to open up the audio transmit or how to adjust it please contanct me at I am in QRZ.
N1KSN Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2011 09:47 Send this review to a friend
Good basic dual bander  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my IC-T70A at a reduced price from a ham who won it in a hamfest raffle. I separately purchased a NiMH quick charger and a second battery, in spite of their rather (in my opinion) inflated costs. Fortuanately, a few years ago I standardized on Icom handhelds and I already owned a compatible headset, speaker mic, etc.

I am very satisfied with this rig. It has a rugged, solid feel to it and performs flawlessly. I especially like the banked memory and bank scan features which allow more flexible scanning than my older Icom HTs. The audio is good on both RX and TX.

Several months ago I did a return loss (SWR) study of many HT antennas. One discovery was that "dualband" when applied to an HT antenna (other than perhaps a telescopic unit) is something of a myth. All the tested dualband antennas were well matched either on VHF or on UHF, but not both.

After my purchase I tested the stock antenna of the IC-T70A and was pleasently surprised at a strong return loss dip in the 2m band and a moderately decent dip in the UHF band. It is the best non-telescopic dualband antenna of all I tested (including some pricey and popular aftermarket units). I've used the stock antenna with both VHF and UHF repeaters in my area and have not been disappointed.

So I give the IC-T70A two big thumbs up on performance. My only real disappointment with it is the cost of the computer programming software. A very pricey Icom accessory that I decided to do without. Programming by the front panel is tedious, but I'm retired and have plenty of time.
N6DXX Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2010 22:53 Send this review to a friend
A Fine Basic HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted a good basic handheld with Alpha/Numeric capability & got it with this rig. The IC-T70A has a solid feel & I get good audio reports. Plenty of volume on receive too.
Easy to program
A 6 AA cell battery case available as an option
10 NOAA WX channels "built in"
Long battery life with supplied NiMH battery
Strong audio output
300+ memory channels
No aircraft band coverage on receive
Alpha characters are a mix of upper & lower case. The
letters K, N and T are strange looking
Antenna connector is SMA type

All in all I'm quite pleased with the overall product.

Tony, N6DXX
AH6RH Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2010 11:25 Send this review to a friend
I love it!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had the radio for a couple of days, and I really like it. Rugged, fairly small. It's like a mini-Motorola. It's somewhat heavy, but most of that weight is the NiMH battery pack.

As Dan, AB0RE notes, the RX audio is excellent. There's also a soft TX level adjust in one of the menus. Puts out low, medium and high power with a max of 5 watts.

In a way, it's similar to the T7A, but it's ruggedtized and not some flimsy plastic or metal casing. The volume knobs are also rugged and larger, which I like instead of the small, cheesy knobs on the T7A and W32A. The center knob is the tuning knob,and the outer ring is the volume control.

Some things to note. The antenna connector is an SMA, so you'll need SMA antenna accessories or an SMA to BNC adapter. Also, if you use a right-angle Icom microphone/speaker accessory (such as the VS-1L), note that the right angle will go into and interfere with the antenna connector -- so you'll need to get the straight accessories. That explains why Icom uses the OPC-2006 for headsets such as the HS-95 (which I like).

The stock battery is the BP-264, and with the standard charger takes about 6 hours to charge. There's an optional drop-in charger that does a rapid charge, and you can get the BP-265 Lithium-Ion batter (and additional drop in charger).

The alkaline battery pack (BP-263) does not come with a belt clip (MB-124), so inquire about extra belt clips for your extra battery packs.

I replaced my stock dual band antenna with a soft Maldol MH-209SMA for close-in HT work, and will see how it holds up.
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