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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: 157 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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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.
KI4FH 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!
W7YC Rating: 5/5 Apr 30, 2018 20:58 Send this review to a friend
Great Mobile  Time owned: more than 12 months
Installed this radio in my work van in 2015 and it has worked flawlessly so far in 75,000 miles of driving. The separate control head is exactly what I was looking for to satisfy my mobile needs. While I leave the main radio unit permanently mounted in the van, I take the control head indoors when not in use, so it doesn't see the same temperature fluctuation as the radio unit.

Per the manual, the temp specs for this product are -10C to +60C, so the -30C extreme mentioned by the previous poster could certainly put some stress on the SMT solder joints.

I'd buy another 7100 in a heartbeat if I had need of a second work van.
VE3LNU Rating: 3/5 Feb 9, 2018 05:03 Send this review to a friend
Warning - can't handle extreme cold!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I wrote a glowing review of this radio about 3 years ago, just after I purchased it. It has been a FABULOUS mobile radio, along with the remote control microphone that you can purchase as an option. Last month, after about 3 years of service, the radio died. I returned to my vehicle after a day's work to find that the display had lit up but with no information showing on the screen, and the radio was still powered off! It would not power on after that. My local dealer inspected the radio and reported that the "sub-CPU" appears to be damaged. They could not fix it. Icom Canada advised me that when there is CPU damage, they just replace the entire board at a cost of approximately $700. Since this is about half the purchase price I paid in Canadian dollars, I will not be fixing this radio. I have lost it after only 3 years of use!

Several of my ham friends are suggesting that the most likely cause of this failure was the extreme cold we experienced this past winter, with temperatures approaching minus 30 C at night. With the rig in the truck all the time, they surmise that the extremely dense surface-mount construction of the IC 7100 simply couldn't take the temperature extremes.

So I am throwing this out there for those of you who live in extremely cold environments: this may not be your best choice for a mobile radio!

G4VVQ Rating: 4/5 Jan 18, 2018 04:48 Send this review to a friend
Power goes off on TX  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Actually this belongs to a friend of mine, he says when he TX's after awhile the radio turns itself off, he has tried everything, Icom cant find anything wrong with it, i suggested high vswr or power supply under par, or dc lead...i dont think its the TOT as that would just take it back to RX, this actually goes off, i dont think he has the inactivity timer on, he is reluctant to do a full reset as it will delete all the D star settings, any one had this problem i wonder...seems like a radio internal fault to me..from Fred in England g4vvq.
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