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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Icom IC-V80 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-V80
Icom IC-V80 Reviews: 23 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $129.95 street price
Description: VHF Transceiver
Product is not in production.
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AA4MB Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2012 11:13 Send this review to a friend
Built like a tank - keeps running like a Timex  Time owned: more than 12 months
I know several people that have these. Yes, the 'on/off' button is recessed - but in my mind, that's better than having it so that it may be accidentally turned on/off. (Is that enough even to knock a point off of a review? As far as I'm concerned, this is a valid and huge issue if you're turning the doggone thing off once a minute - other than that, fuggetaboutit.)

The Icom quality is all there on this inexpensive radio and I've personally dropped mine so many times that I've lost count. And not onto soft ground, either ... I'm talking asphalt and tile floors. No cracks in the case at all - and an all but imperceptible dent in a corner of the case is what resulted. (that happens to Motorolas in the same circumstances, too)

I've never found it necessary to purchase programming cable and software, because it's simple enough to program after checking the user's manual for instructions. This is no different from my Yaesu VX-5R or VX-7R, as in my opinion any of these radios are different enough from each other to require you to check the printed or easily available online documentation when you want to change something after simply 'using' it for a few weeks/months.

Even peaking over $100 since the tsunami hit Japan, these radios are a good value. I also own a Wouxun and a TYT VHF handheld and I'd never attempt to put these physically through what my IC-V80 has been through in my work with a state defense force . Battery life seems exceptionally good and I love having a good old BNC connector for the antenna, too. Accessories for these radios will set you back a bit more than with the previously mentioned Chinese radios, but they are similarly well built and perform well - in particular, the Icom branded speaker/mic.

If you want reliability without a bunch of bells, whistles and complicated features that you may not need, give this unit a look.
KC9RGW Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2012 21:32 Send this review to a friend
Simple to use  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned my V80 Sport for about a year and a half now. It is honestly one of the easiest HTs I have ever used. It has one knob which controls the volume, and while the squelch doesn't command a knob it works fine with the buttons. During the summer I work at a camp, so this thing gets pretty abused. It has stood up to rain, falls, sand, and pretty much everything else. The weather function is really nice, and the receiver is perfect.

I have also used this radio during the Chicago Marathon, where I was a ham volunteer. The CM is about the closest thing you can get to ecomm without being in a storm. It ran all day long, picking up repeaters and simplex from all over the city. I have never had any problems with overheating, and I find the battery life to be excellent.

Programing in super easy, (no cable needed) and any super-duper functions can be found easily in a great and through manual. One of the best things about this rig is the easy switching between mods. One button will switch you between VFO/Mem/Call/WX. This is defiantly a time saver, and also very easy to use!

In terms of the power button everyone likes to talk about; I kinda like it. There is no way it can be accidentally pressed, and my fingers can press it just fine (full disclosure: I am 17.)

Another thing I love about it is that it is compatible with the HTX202 sk/mic. I used that with it in the marathon and it worked great.

W8GND Rating: 2/5 Jun 24, 2011 04:39 Send this review to a friend
OK -- Miserable on off  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It's a nice radio. Alas, there is no good way to turn it on or off. The button is tiny and hard to reach.

That wouldn't be so bad, but if you want to do a reset you have to push that button and the one next to it. It can't be done. (it can with a little wooden jig).

Apart from that, it's a nice radio. I got a V70, and no probems at all with that.

73 jerry w8gnd

N6BOB Rating: 4/5 Oct 23, 2010 14:39 Send this review to a friend
Sturdy radio but difficult to turn on/off  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Had the radio for 5 months but decided to sell it and get the Yaesu FT-250. The Icom is sturdy and has very good transmit and receive audio. I bought the extra cup charger and it worked great.

My main issue for taking off one point is with the on/off switch. It is recessed and difficult for me to push in. I just got tired of struggling to turn it off in the dark or shady areas.
A second minor but annoying issue is the radio but has no squelch control knob or if you chose to have squelch then you lose the volume knob. One must toggle the control by pressing another button...hard to do in the dark.
AE6ZW Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2010 10:28 Send this review to a friend
good price  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Good radio
I used only on 1 frequency simplex with Tone Squelch, and most of time keyboard locked.

I also placed O-ring under volume knob, to keep volume knob tighter, so it will not change volume while in pocket.

KK4AH Rating: 5/5 Aug 26, 2010 09:12 Send this review to a friend
Tuff as nails  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This little HT (not too small) is really a very nice radio. I wanted a HT that did not have too many bells and whistles and the IC-V80 is just right. No menus to go through and I have found that it is not too hard to program in fact it is quite easy. It is built like a tank and has great auddio on transmitt and the receiver is as good as I have heard. (Been a ham over 25 years). I bought the li-on battery and charger and the hand mic and they work as specified. The extras are a little costly but what can you expect. The only negitive thing I think of is it does not have a manual squelch and the buttons are quite small to operate the squelch but with a little pratice it's no problem. Overall great rig at a pretty good price. I would buy another one in a heart beat.
KU4UV Rating: 3/5 Jun 21, 2010 18:01 Send this review to a friend
Maybe I spoke too soon.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
O.K. I purchased a new V-80 the week they first came out earlier this year. The radio had problems almost from the beginning. The problem that the radio had is that the transceiver would get very warm after only being left on for a short time. The radio also seemed to go dead after a short time, even after the battery had been fully charged. I suspected at first that maybe I just a defective battery, so I purchased the AA battery holder and tried using the radio the radio with a fresh set of new Duracell batteries. Same problem. The radio would be one for a while, and then it suddenly shut off abruptly. I took the radio with me on a trip to Florida in early April to see the shuttle launch so that I could monitor the mission control audio comms. I had the radio in my hotel room in Daytona one evening and it suddenly shut off abruptly. Whenever this problem would happen, the back of the radio would also become very hot, almost too hot to touch. I contacted Icom about the problem, and mailed the radio to SARTS Icom service in Michigan with a description of the problem. The radio was tested at SARTS in Michigan, and I received a note back from them stating that everything checked out o.k. with the radio. I get the radio back, and of course, same problem. I took the radio with me to the Dayton Hamvention to show an Icom rep firsthand what the radio was doing. The radio presented the sdame problem in Dayton. The Icom rep talked with someone SARTS in Michigan again, and apparently told them about the problem I was having. I contacted Matt Adrian with SARTS in Michigan again, and once again shipped the radio to SARTS. After several weeks, I called Mr. Adrian and asked about the radio. Mr. Adrian informed me that the battery was apparently the problem with the radio, and that they were in the process of replacing the battery. I told Mr. Varian that the problem with the radio wasn't the battery, and that I had tested the radio with anohter battery pack, and the problem occurred again. I told him to please replace or repair the transceiver, but don't send it back with simply a new battery because it will still have the same problem. Mr. Varian agreed to just send me a new trasceiver. After about 3 weeks wait time, I now have a new IC-V80 that appears to be working o.k. I guess I can say that I have a love-hate relationship with the IC-V80 now. I really like the transceiver, and it seems to be a nice radio that is durable, has a lot of features, and should work well for years to come. I hate the fact that I had to go through the headache of sending the radio off to Michigan TWICE, for what I what I thought should have been a srealtively simple problem to fix. I have no idea what SARTS checked on the transceiver, but am rather disappointed that the radio wasn't fixed right the first time, and I had to send it back to them to ultimately be replace with another radio. I usually send all my Icom gear to MTS repair in Washington State, and Scott Malcolm always does a great job. I even contacted Scott via e-mail and he gave me a few suggestions as to what the problem might be, such as a bad or shorted component. Hopefully, this radio will work o.k.

KD0JBN Rating: 5/5 Jun 21, 2010 12:15 Send this review to a friend
Great little inexpensive HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
In the short time I have really enjoyed it. Having had some Icom products before, it wasn't too hard for me to program it. Most of the buttons are fairly intuitive. I also like having receive beyond the 144-148 range, especially being able to receive NOAA Weather Radio.

The speaker-mike price seems kind of steep for a $100 radio and since the radio is so new to the market, there really aren't after market speaker-mikes being marketed for this radio yet. So, last might I took a good look at the sockets for the speaker-mike and saw that they looked about the same size as the ones on my HTX-202. So I figured I would give it a try and see what happened. IT WORKED! So, if you have one of these V-80s and didn't feel like forking out the extra $35 for the speaker-mike, try finding an old HTX-202 speaker-mike.

K8DXX Rating: 5/5 May 22, 2010 20:46 Send this review to a friend
Great Value - No Compromise  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
7 - 10 years ago, a friend and I both purchased Icom T2H-Sport model HT's at Dayton; the ones with the 8 cell AA packs. We both enjoyed the 7 watts out, the economy of either alkalines or NiMH rechargeables and the noticeably superior performance we got from the supplied rubber duck antenna. Being hams, we both opted to get more expensive complex handhelds, in my case the Kenwood TH-D7A(G), Yaesu VX6R and a Kenwood THF6A. These radios did more stuff but never provided full quieting signals into local repeaters while walking our dog through the neighborhood. Isnít that what people buy HTs for?

Recently, I noticed the V80-Sport and W2DIís comment that the supplied rubber duck worked like the one from the T2H. Previously, I had used rechargeable AAs in the T2H and an FT-817 without incident (despite warnings in both radio manuals). A fellow ham and electrical engineer opined that these warnings against using NiMH rechargeables was probably the manufacturersí protective legalese. In the event that an unfused NiMH pack was shorted, it could explode. Vowing not to short the BP 263ís terminals, I purchased some Sanyo Enveloop AA cells. They are supposed to retain 85% of their charge over 1 year on the shelf. Standard NiMH cells loose 1 - 2% per day. The Enveloop power retention is rated to be as good as a LIon pack and are a lot less expensive. The Sanyo factory charge (how long ago?) lasted 2 days at Dayton plus a week of casual TX/RX around the house. Only on 5.5 watt TX did the batteries show any sign of dying. RX and mid - low power TX were still fine.

So, how does it work? Running full power (5.5 watts), I can hit more repeaters with a full quieting signal than any of the more expensive HTs could, even after adding a $30 aftermarket antenna. The radio seems rugged. The seal between the battery pack and case is good and tight. However, it does take a coin to unlatch it. On air use indicates that moving mic gain from the default 2 to 3 (4 being highest) improves the transmit audio. The RX shows no intermod when sitting next to my IC 7000 running 50 watts on 2 meters. I found it necessary to spend perhaps an hour in the manual to program memories and become familiar with other set and forget items. The one button access to 10 marine WX channels is a nice touch.

IMHO, the V80-Sport provides the best bang for the buck in terms of hand held 2 meter communications.
W2DI Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2010 20:14 Send this review to a friend
Solid, basic HT  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have the sport model of this radio but purchased the LiO battery and quick-charging stand.

The V80 has a very solid and comfortable feel. It is a 'commercial quality' type radio feel.

It doesn't have many of the extras you may find on other radios, but the performance is outstanding. Receive audio is loud and full while transmit audio is also robust (there is an adjustment for trans audio, #2 working great on the 1-4 scale).

Power choices of 5.5, 2.5 and 0.5 watts are very convenient. I can hit nearby repeaters with 0.5 watts inside my steel and concrete work building.

The supplied antenna is the same having been used on the T2H and the V8 and leaves nothing to be desired. Plus, it's a BNC connection.

Battery longevity is good. I purchased the LiO battery and quick charger, the prices not being all that bad for the extras. The original alkaline holder is now a convenient back-up.

On the downside, there is no DC connection (which I personally never use anyway - it's a handheld), and the alpha tags are somewhat strange looking, some upper case letters, some lower case, giving the name an odd look.

As with some of the YAESU handhelds, the battery holder clip is very, very tight. It's a solid grab with no looseness but often you need a coin to pry it open! What I did with the YAESU radios (ie. FT-60) and with the V80 is carefully file the catch point on the BATTERY and/or ALKALNE HOLDER, a little at a time, until latching and unlatching the battery case is still tight, but capable of being done with your thumb. Now, it is just right; but this must be carefully done a little at a time and on the battery, NOT the latch itself.

So it isn't perfect, but nothing is. I rate it a 5 for performance (especially audio both ways), good RX sensitivity and TX range, and very solid construction... and that's why I got it.

Thanks for reading.

Joe -- W2DI
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