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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | ICOM IC-7100 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-7100
ICOM IC-7100 Reviews: 160 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $1600
Description: A new Mobile HF,VHF and UHF Tranceiver from ICOM,.
Product is in production.
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Page 1 of 16 —>

WB7EPQ Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2019 22:14 Send this review to a friend
A relative bargain with little current competition  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This radio was $1600 when it came out in 2014 but now is a relative bargain with discounts and special pricing. Its closest current competition is the Yaesu FT-991A which is significantly more expensive but doesn't offer much more functionality besides a real time bandscope, limited antenna tuner, and color display.

The IC-7100 also has most of the same functionality as the well reviewed IC-7300 but you also get 2M and 70CM which the IC-7300 inexplicably lacks. And the IC-7100 is in a smaller and more versatile package. Icom has gone backwards in some ways with the IC-7300 over what they had with IC-7100.

The IC-7100 got some early bad reviews due to a few design issues Icom has since corrected. The most well known was low power output on SSB. That was was corrected years ago and is no longer an issue. Some have also complained about the audio quality of the supplied microphone but I've received a lot of unsolicited praise for my transmit audio quality with the supplied mic. So perhaps Icom improved the stock mic as well. Like the Yaesu FT-991A you do have to upgrade the microphone if you want a DTMF keypad but ebay offers some reasonably priced options.

This radio is very easy to use with the touch screen and intuitive controls. It knows about amateur band plans and sets everything up accordingly. If you punch in a frequency for a 2 meter repeater it automatically applies the correct negative or positive offset for transmitting. If the repeater needs a tone that's a really simple option to apply. You can also program memories with the very popular free open source Chirp programming software as well as other software options.

It seems far more sensitive than my Yaesu and the DSP noise reduction works really well. You have the option of no preamp, preamp 1, preamp 2 and an attenuator. The RF performance is excellent including being very sensitive in the presence of strong adjacent signals and being immune to overload. The ARRL test also had good things to say about the RF performance.

The two piece design is wonderful. The "base" unit and head unit are WAY smaller than something like at FT-991A or IC-7300. The base unit is the size of a small basic single band VHF mobile radio. The "head" unit is brilliant with its angled design and touch screen. The design offers a much bigger screen and room for more and bigger controls than most compact mobile radios. Icom also intelligently put a speaker and microphone jack in the head unit which is a point of failure with many two piece mobile radios. The two pieces are linked with a simple RJ45 shielded Cat 5/6 cable that some have reported extending beyond the generous supplied length.

The base unit does have a cooling fan but it's very unobtrusive and isn't needed at lower powers. It also has an SD card slot allowing audio recording which is a great feature. Power drain during receive is impressively low. The IC-7100 isn't designed for portable battery use but it's very efficient and battery friendly.

There are not that many choices for current "shack in a box" HF/VHF/UHF radios. If you don't need a color waterfall real time bandscope the IC-7100 provides 95% of the functionality of the significantly more expensive IC-7300 and also does 2M and 70CM which is a huge plus over the IC-7300. It also provides similar functionality, minus the color bandscope, to the Yaesu FT-991A for a lot less money. The IC-7100 is especially a great choice if you're space challenged as it offers the front panel and screen real estate of a much bigger radio in a very compact and versatile 2 piece package.

In summary I'm not aware of anything that offers 160M to 70CM transmit with similar power levels at anywhere near this price let alone with a touch screen, two piece design, great DSP, impressive RF performance, etc.
G8FEK Rating: 5/5 May 16, 2019 19:05 Send this review to a friend
The summary is WOW ..... what value for money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The 7100 was bought primarily for 10m and up for a modest home station with a Create log periodic antenna.

I've had about a month with the radio and I'm very impressed with the performance and ergonomics for my application. At the current price, this has got to be one of the best value HF through 70cm radios ever marketed.

The ease of operation courtesy of the touch screen is superb. I'm used to compromise menu structures, for example the excellent and technically superb AOR7030 HF RX, but the 7100 isn't compromised in this way at all. For 99% of the functions and there are lots, you don't need the manual.

Technically it appears to do everything it says in the data sheet and the ARRL review, I've measured most parameters. The RX audio is excellent through an external speaker. This radio has character in spades!
K6BSR Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2019 21:00 Send this review to a friend
Lotta fun in a lil box  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got this rig in 2014 and five years later I'm still impressed.
W3RX Rating: 2/5 Mar 8, 2019 10:03 Send this review to a friend
typical ICOM TX overshoot  Time owned: more than 12 months
Like other ICOMS before it, and after it, the 7100 suffers from an ALC design flaw unique to ICOM. For most 7100's, there is a brief (1/2 sec) overshoot, or spike, in the transmit power when you first key the mike on SSB. It is not really affected by the power setting, compression, or mic gain, In fact, if you set the power to 20 watts output (based on reading a dead carrier on FM), upon keying in SSB mode you will get a 100 watt spike! Most people do not notice this as they start talking right away. When you realize it is when you use a power amplifier, Search the web (key word overshoot) and you will see all the bad experiences, especially with amps that do not need a lot of drive.

With my Alpha 87a amp, initial keydown of the 7100 produces 2100 watts, when the power output is set on the ICOM at 25 watts. It then settles to 900 watts as expected. While that amp can take it, it is not goof for it, and not legal. FET-based amps can be ruined, or, go into fault mode and shut down. Modern high power amps have the same problem with the 7100, such as the ACOM amps, which often go into fault mode.

The ICOM ALC circuit needs a little time to properly set, and while doing so you get full power. If you really really turn the audio down to like 5/100, no compression, it helps sometimes, but that is not really useable once you are in steady-state.

As most people know, ICOM tried to compensate for this by having a very conservative ALC system. This results in low average, and PEP, output, for most stock 7100s, often with voice peaks no higher than 60 watts (lots of info on the web). The suggested mods work great, and you can get the full 100 watts+ on voice peaks if you do either one or both mods. This is great for use without an amp, and once this is done I really like the radio. But it seems to make the overshoot problem worse, so when considering the 7100 in conjunction with amplifiers, you should think twice. Obviously if your amp can take 100 watts input, then you are probably OK (like an old Drake or Heathkit). But for the big boy amps, and the modern solid state lower power amps, that need low drive to achieve their max rated output, this overshoot problem is a deal breaker.

If you look carefully at the experiences with other ICOM products, various degrees of overshoot are seen, including the 7300.
KQ4KK Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2018 20:50 Send this review to a friend
Best bang for the buck  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a great package for under $800. VHF,UHF, HF and all mode DSTAR voice on all bands. No filters to buy, no cards, modules to add. Ok, if you want GPS you have to plug in a $35 3rd party GPS. and you need a MicroSD card to keep track of everything.

This is almost a 6 year old design. Before waterfalls, color screens, touch screens, and SDR became popular in main line Ham product companies.

I would like a replacement for the 7100 that does all the current one does, but adds the SDR, color, and waterfall from the 7300/7610. And I was told are you ready, again for a $1600 7100. I said yes.
KD9CDF Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2018 00:23 Send this review to a friend
Very nice HF, VHF-UHF, and D-Star in a Well Evolved Package  Time owned: more than 12 months
In my opinion:

My IC-7100 is one of the best all around HF-VHF-UHF transceivers available--and even better for my use mobile.

What I especially like:
- Separate control head
- I need o n l y o n e c a b l e run from the radio to the control head
- Control layout
- Tuner knob rubber surface and adjustable resistance
- Touch screen, efficient use of on screen controls, and even(!) menus
- USB with internal sound card interface
- Icom receiver characteristics for HF
- Internal speaker in control head (I need only one cable from the radio box to the control head)
- Key and ext. speaker connection o n t h e c o n t r o l h e a d
- Optional, third-party BlueCat interface with Bluetooth-plus-the-android-app gives me easy, nationwide, on-the-fly repeater access when traveling with a touch
- Angled control and touch screen on the control head
- Voice Memories
- Twin Passband tuning
- Built-in SWR meter—for HF, VHF, & UHF!
- Screen & touch interface works fine for me in Wisconsin winters (when very cold, the LCD will be very slow to “refresh”--for a few minutes scan looks like a blur until the car warms a bit)

Some wish list and other things I would want you to know:
- No internal tuner
- No second receiver/transmitter
- No full duplex (would be esp. good for satellite communication)
- HF receiver may seem unusually “hot” to some who aren’t using RF gain and even attenuation much(but the receiver works very well in my opinion)
- Reportedly poor microphone included (I don't really know about this because I have the HM-151 and have had no troubles with voice quality or SSB power output)
- Screen could be a bit larger and in color
- No panadapter with waterfall (I’m being greedy here )
- Sometimes high power from nearby stations will overload the receiver before I can switch in the attenuator or dial down the RF gain resulting in the radio freezing (a quick power-off-on solves this, and the radio does boot up quickly)
- No internal GPS (Can be added with plug-in 3rd party offerings)
- As with any touch screen, you need to power-off and clean the screen periodically
- I tried an FT-991 but abandoned it as I much preferred the Icom HF receiver, the Icom touch screening, and Icom menuing interface even though the IC-7100 did not have color.

Given the strengthens and other things I list above, the IC-7100 is the best choice available for me for and my mobile needs. I would consider another IC-7100 for a go box, remote radio, or marine need. And, few if any HF radios can offer such good performance with a condensed operating panel like like the IC-7100.

Since I use it stationary mobile for HF, an internal panadapter/waterfall would be very nice to have. [Dear Mr. & Mrs. Icom, I would like you to make the control head a bit larger to substitute the touch screen with a color touch screen like the size of that in the IC-7300 please. Thank you.]

Because the radio has a well executed control head and cabling, an outstanding touch screen interface, very good VHF-UHF features, along with outstanding HF feature set, the IC-7100 beats out other mere dual-banders like the venerable TM-D710G for my needs.

Your use case may make a different choice better for you.

73 Mark

WB5OXQ Rating: 2/5 Nov 15, 2018 18:14 Send this review to a friend
Radio lost its mind  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My radio worked well for a few months mobile then the display goes blank controls do not respond had to disconnect power. Then I reconnect it and it no longer knows where band edges are and will not allow me to use it on most US bands rather cuts off and band edge beeps before you get into the phone bands and will not go above 146.000 on 2 meters. 3800 on 80 meters etc. Tried hard reset but did not help. What do I do now? Radio is unusable.
KC3EF Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2018 19:48 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased a couple of years ago to replace my IC7000. Primarily use it for mobile/portable operating. Like the front panel separation as it fits on the front cup holder of the min-van. Running mobile digital the ability to connect directly with the computer was a real plus and eliminated the need for an additional box. Receiver seems as good as my IC7410 and runs cooler than the 7000. Had no trouble setting up and operating and works with my AH-4 tuner. I found this to be a great radio for mobile/portable use.
VE7REN Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2018 23:14 Send this review to a friend
fantastic.   Time owned: 0 to 3 months
ive had this radio for a short time. I own a 7410 ,so this is not to hard to figure out. learning curve is very light. the audio sounds supurb. I overall find the receive selectivity on par with my 7410 and 7300. it performs better in receive than my 480hx kenwood,which I really enjoy. thewhat I thought "odd" face panel takes some getting used to,but after 2 days,it fell right into place,and made operating feel easy. I was hesitant at first,but it is pleasing. the cables to the faceplate are better in quality than kenwood and yaesu. better dimension,and nice metal fitting for the faceplate cable.i have no complaints. the touch screen is flawless,and the "whole package" was done well by icom. would I buy another...…… quite possibly.
K4SRQ Rating: 5/5 May 1, 2018 02:57 Send this review to a friend
Man, am I glad I got this rig!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First off, what I don't like about the IC-7100 - The Knob. Aside from that it is a blast of a rig. You will not, I repeat will not need a Rigblaster or Signalink or whatever Sound Card Interface you are using or plan to buy, this radio has it built in.(-$100.00 right there) With many of the digital modes you need a .5ppm oscillator oven, guess what, built in! The rig has a RTTY Demodulator with text scrolling on the screen if you need it in a pinch. I have had no problem interfacing this rig with HRD, N1MM and FLDIGI. Voice, CW and Data all working with the function keys in these apps. The rig supports memories for voice; and good sounding voice it is, and CW. You can record QSO's as well on the rig with an optional SD card. All radio settings and frequencies can be stored on the SD Chip too so if you need to reset, you can quickly reload the radio to your spec. What about all the goofy wiring with the serial ports etc.? No worries OM, just plug in the INCLUDED USB Cable to your computer and fire up your application. Yes, the applications require some configuring, but that is not the radio's fault. Once you got it down it works great. How about that touch screen? Easy Cheesey, the menu system is about an 8 on a 1 to 10 (10 being the best) scale for new user friendliness. Once you use it a few times, fogitaboutit, it is simple. Incredible separate audio settings for tx and rx. 32 bit DSP is amazing! The 3 built in filters are quite adequate. In SSB there is a 3, 2.4 and 1.4 selectable filter. CW, 1.2K, 450 and 250, all tweakable to whatever you want from your Dual IF PB Tuning. The display? Ok, so it ain't color, so what. The performance is excellent. After all, isn't performance our true desire on a rig? No need to paint the pig on this rig. This display is easily readable by these 60 year old eyes. It is a touch screen, resistive, not capacitive. With capacitive, you need rubber or a finger. With this screen you can use a tree twig! Of course the finger works best but for those who are physically challenged you can use most any pointing device. Simply pressing the SET button opens up the Menu for global or function specific options. I love Yaesu radios but this menu has them beat by a long shot. Very, very easy to use.
What about remote? Plug it in and run the software sold separately for around 90 bux and you got it. CW is a breeze, dual vfo's all the expected things like split operation etc. A neat touch is the Auto Tune feature that uses DSP to zero beat a CW signal. Built in pre-amps help with quieter bands.
What about this angled head? It has two adjustable angles. I thought that limiting...NOT, just my prejudice against the different. Simply put, this radio is a real deal at the mid $700.00's that you can get it for at this moment in its lifecycle. There were some output/modulation issues early on that gave the rig a bad name. Looks like ICOM is trying to reboot the appeal by lowering the price with rebates. It is April, '18 and the rig is selling at Black Friday prices. All I can suggest is you talk to the XYL, tell her that this rig has features found in a 1500 dollar radio and you can get it at half price. The knob is opto so it is not a smooth analog kinda feel. If design is to infer function, then this is the perfect feel for this digital wonder. I told my wife the other day it is a computer with a radio in it. Hey what about Old School, are you an OG OM? I was on AM the other night, 25 watts and spoke to NY from Florida with the crappy Sunspot numbers we have right now. So take advantage of this rig while it is hot, you won't be sorry. It fits great in a 4u portable audio rack for EMCOMM and with the separate head (sep kit included) it will mount well in your car. What it is missing is an ATU but the built in ones only tune about 3:1 any way and a mobile mounting bracket. Check Amazon, there is a lower cost bracket from a CB manufacturer. So there you have it. I have had the rig for about 3 weeks. Run one contest and played many hours on it already, still learning it. This rig just keeps getting better with each new piece I learn. By the way, that low power issue is long gone with a firmware update. This rig rocks out at QRO of 100 on SSB/CW.
Like I said, I love Yaesu, had a 450D for a couple of years, before that the 857D. Feature wise, receiver wise and size wise, this rig has them beat by a long shot for the same money. I was considering an 857D (it would have been my 2nd) and battled between the two for about a month. I am so glad I went with this rig. Though not as rugged, once again, performance, function, versatile communications options, the IC-7100 is a very cost effective addition to your arsenal or like me, as your only HF rig. Now with my luck, the 7100-a will be out in July! Ha, in my eyes and ears, there is nothing better they could do and keep the price point. I consider this to be a future classic rig. 73!
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