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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Icom IC-211 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-211
Icom IC-211 Reviews: 16 Average rating: 3.1/5 MSRP: $250
Description: 2m all mode base rig
Product is not in production.
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KW2W Rating: 4/5 Apr 13, 2017 11:29 Send this review to a friend
good for its day  Time owned: more than 12 months
i bought my 211 new, other than the center meter going off a little, its been a good operating radio, used it for ssb, fm and satellite work.... by the way... the rig is still going at least 12 to 20 hours per day .... its like anything else, you get a good one, your fine, get one with problems, well, ya got trouble
WA7KGX Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2014 06:10 Send this review to a friend
Update on previous review  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The problem with the master oscillator was caused by a cap added to the underside of the circuit board. Restoring the circuit to factory configuration solved that problem. At any rate, the master oscillator is hardly that; other oscillators are involved in generating the final frequency.

The IC-211 has one characteristic which will keep it in my shack. The 211 has a "scope output" for use with a panadaptor. The internally generated FM appears on the scope output when transmitting. This allows me to record both sides of a contact by feeding the scope output into another FM receiver. Last Wednesday I did this with my FLEX-1500. I then used CamStudio to record the audio and modulation spectrum. Additionally, I was able to switch modes with the 211' VFO switch to record signals on the repeater input frequency.

The 211 has its limitations. If you run a net or repeater, it might justify its upkeep.
K9MHZ Rating: 0/5 Apr 2, 2013 09:01 Send this review to a friend
What a miserable experience owning the 211  Time owned: more than 12 months
This rig was TERRIBLE. One board, I think the PLL board, was flexed so hard that the copper traces developed micro tears which opened the circuits. It would start as partial segments on the LED readouts along with jumpy and random tuning, then eventually lead to the PLL just going stupid and the rig was a brick.

The PA board was also a poor design, and the heat generated relative to its rated output was very inappropriate and excessive.

It seemed as though Icom just didn't have their production methods in order when the 211s were built, especially with their circuit boards and soldering.

Don't buy this thing, it's a real loser.
AE6TI Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2011 22:33 Send this review to a friend
tickled with it!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I inherited mine from K6VW, now a silent key. I love the old style meters and LED, and first 2m rig I've had with a RIT. Just installed a TE-32 tone generator and got great reports on the local repeaters... not too shabby for a 40 year old rig! Not terribly portable, but so delightfully solid, it is a delight to operate in my shack! My PC board reads R62 rather than R162 next to Q13, if that assures anyone installing a TE-32. Ran the wire to the RCA plug in the back and the TE-32 plugs into that and gets its power from the 4-pin molex in the back... nice and neat!
N7WS Rating: 0/5 Jan 5, 2010 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Simply awful  Time owned: more than 12 months
I haven't owned one of these in years. But at one time both I and my late friend Ellis, W7LFX, each had one. We were constantly working on them and I remember once deciding to wick the solder off of a couple of CMOS ICs and resolder them to fix an intermittent. To make a long story shorter, I eventually discovered that there was a circuit trace missing and Icom used a solder bridge between two pins to make the Vcc connection. When I sucked to solder off I broke that connection.

I finally gave mine to Ellis and often commented that it was a measure of his character that after I gave him the radio we still remained friends.

I vowed to never own another Icom transceiver and so far I've kept my word.
W3DBB Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2007 07:01 Send this review to a friend
mine runs 24/7  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I picked up my IC-211 at the 2006 Frederick MD hamfest for $90. It came with the original hand mic, operating manual, service manual, and addenda. It was very nice of the seller to include all of the service documentation. The rig is in very good cosmetic condition but was giving it's owner fits.

The previous owner correctly diagnosed faulty electrolytic capacitors in the PLL compartment, affecting alignment and causing phantom signals to appear. Initially I had trouble with the oscillator dying, resulting in no receive or transmit. It was beginning to look as if I had invested in a $90 doorstop.

I had done my research and learned about ICOM's use of double-side PC boards using staked nickel bushings in lieu of plated through-holes to connect top and bottom of the circuit boards. I did an exploratory and removed the top and bottom covers and blew the dust out with Aero-Duster. I noticed at least one modification had been done to the IC-211 in years past. I reinstalled the top and bottom covers and turned the rig on.

My next move was partly intuitive. I had noticed sometimes with the rig powered on and no oscillator action, after being left on for a period of time the oscillator would start running and the rig would work. I also recalled when I initially brought the rig home from Frederick MD to Lewistown PA in a Kia Sportage (one rough riding son of a gun, excellent vibration test!) the rig performed flawlessly. Even the alignment was perfect and there were no phantom signals on receive. I was beginning to wonder what the previous owner was talking about, but as the days and weeks went by I noticed the problems he referred to, and then some.

As the title of my review says, the fix for my IC-211 was to let the rig powered up continuously. I have no issues with excessive heating of the power transformer. I have the transceiver plugged into a cheapie surge supressor. If lighting comes up, I disconnect the antenna and screw in one of those Japanese-made Radio Shack dummy loads. Only if the lighting gets very close will I pull the plug on the IC-211, and that has yet to occur.

This 'fix' has cured nearly all of my IC-211's ills. Alignment is still 20 kHz high 146 to 148 mHz and 40 kHz high 144-146 mHz. No biggie, I just compensate by subtracting the appropriate number of mHz, depending on which PLL range I'm on, to know the correct frequency. Following this method I have no problem being 'on frequency', even on SSB. There is some 120 cycle hum in the receive audio. I've solicited reports and have yet to receive a report of hum on my transmitted signal. This hum, and the remaining alignment issue, probably goes back to the bad electrolytic capacitors in the PLL compartment. If I get bold I may change those someday, but it isn't a major issue for me.

I use the rig 95% on FM and occasionally on SSB. I have yet to try the IC-211 on CW. On FM I run the power at 50% (5 Watts) and the audio gain control at about 10 o'clock position. I use the stock ICOM hand mic.

I enjoy the receive audio of this transceiver, even with the 120 cycle hum, which is pretty low- probably modulates the receive audio approximately 5%. It is more enjoyable to listen to this transceiver than my ICOM IC-2100HN25. I use external bookshelf hi-fi speakers on both rigs and the audio from the 30 year old IC-211 is superior to the receive audio from the 3 year old IC-2100HN25 mobile rig.

If you are having problems with your IC-211, try leaving it powered up continuously, with the proper safeguards of course!



N6KYS Rating: 0/5 Jan 29, 2007 22:09 Send this review to a friend
What a nightmare  Time owned: more than 12 months
I am a diehard Icom fan....(Pro III, V8000, 2200H, V82, A24), so it pains me to be so negative about the 211. It was the worst rig I've ever owned...intermittent power, problems with the PLL, you name it. I think it was developed and produced during a time when Icom was cutting its teeth on the technologies that went into the 211. DO NOT casually buy this rig....make sure you first know what you're getting and only then take the plunge with your eyes wide open. Otherwise, buy something newer....the aggravation you save yourself will be worth it.
W6PMR Rating: 2/5 May 31, 2006 21:31 Send this review to a friend
Great, Not.  Time owned: more than 12 months
These had a number of problems, the biggest was the through-the-board eyelets that Icom used on this vintage. They became intermittant and you had to chase your tail fixing all the failed solder joints.
When it worked it was OK for it's day and it is a cheap radio now because of the well deserved reputation of these radios to start failing afer a while.
I think if you want to go old and cheap in a 2 meter SSB radio you are MUCH better off with a Kenwood 700 or a Yaesu 221, they go for about the same money and if they work they usually stay that way.
KE7AAQ Rating: 5/5 Nov 15, 2004 16:33 Send this review to a friend
cheap excellent multimode  Time owned: more than 12 months
I received my 211 well before I received my ticket. After fixing a few broken switches, cleaning pots, etc, it is a great performing radio. After the well published mods and a tone board, I use this rig daily without a problem. The only shortcoming with the unit is it's vulnerability to intermod in congested areas. While it only has about 10 watts of output, (plenty for repeater use) it is plenty to drive an amp. The receiver is sensitive, but slightly noisy (phase noise?). Overall, for about 100 bux, you can't beat this multi mode rig, even if it spends it's life on FM and not on the other modes.
VA3MJ Rating: 2/5 Sep 24, 2004 16:41 Send this review to a friend
Worked great until the soldering became intermittent  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased this radio back in 1978 and it worked well until the darned soldering opened up and became intermittent.
Traced the problem to the VCO board and the through board eyelets were the cause. I re-soldered everything in the VCO to no avail so I did it again!! Finally worked for a while then quit again. (Guess I only got a couple of bad soldering joints and missed some elsewhere.)

Ended up trading the unit on another 2 M all mode unit. I just couldn't spend any more time soldering and re-soldering this radio as I wanted to operate it for a change. Pretty poor show for ICOM.
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