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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Icom IC-T90A Help

Reviews Summary for Icom IC-T90A
Icom IC-T90A Reviews: 119 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $319.95
Description: Tri-ban FM transceiver, Wide-bad 495Khz - 999.990 Mhz, Dynamic Memory Scan, Lithium-Ion technology, Rugged palm sized, weather-resistant construction, DTCS & CTCSS ton squelch. Simple to Operate !
Product is in production.
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YD1LPS Rating: 5/5 Jul 24, 2010 21:53 Send this review to a friend
nice ht  Time owned: more than 12 months
This my first multiband HT from Icom,frist icom owned is ic-02AT and still work until now...
I use T90A just for RX and almost not use for transmit ( I dont want damage the final cause is dificult repair hehehe),good rx and no intermod or intermitent in wfm and fm cause i'm not use the original T90A antenna, so i use ic-V8 antenna and for listenig sw and BC band i use 45 cm HT antenna. battery still good until now i'm use for more 1 years,wall charger use.
simple program and use,all band is working good.

N1FDX Rating: 5/5 Mar 21, 2010 09:27 Send this review to a friend
Good All Around  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I rated this unit a 5 because it's simple. It's a multiband tranciever and does one thing at a time and does it reasonably well. It can be operated with one hand, no function key or hold this and turn that. Once you've gone through the radio you really don't need it any longer. The software really helps in seting it up the way you like. 18 banks help the organization. You can re-program the TV memories for FM broadcast, nice.
As for performance I owned one of these when they first came out and sold it a few years ago to buy a IC-91A, still no D--Satr I could hit from my house. However after make the change I began to notice things I could hear with the old T90 I could not with the 91A, stock antenna to stock antenna. For some reason otherwise I did not like the 91A. Vol & tune knob together seem to be an issue with big finger. Anyway sold the 91A and got another T90 and it's like an old friend came home. This radio is not perfect but which one is, it's just a nice simple package for all around use and a real good price. General coverage is great.
K9XXX Rating: 3/5 Mar 19, 2010 07:21 Send this review to a friend
nice toy,but...  Time owned: more than 12 months
My first handi was a TA90, and I should have studied other models and perhaps made a better decision.
"The stock antenna is crummy"!!!
Users should decide whether they want to transmit on transmit bands or receive 4 to 6 bands. That applies equally to the TA90A, my VX7R, and my IC_92AD. If you want to transmit, buy yourself a $16.00 Smiley or 1 for 2M and 1 for 440 and stop complaining about the transmit performance of a scanner antenna.
My biggest beef is the 5W/.5W power range. My VX7R is perfect with 5,2.5,1,and.5W .
I almost never need more than.5W on a repeater less than 5 miles away on level terrain(with a righteous antenna). When signal reports indicate more is needed, I go the next level as required.
I always use speaker/mics with the my handi on my belt, but I never use 5W unless I genuinely need it.
As with any other, check the spec and decide if you can live with the things you don't like before you buy it. I know a lot more about what I don't like now than when I bought it.
I've gotten over "Aww, what a cute little radio" and love my VX7R and my 92AD. 3.5
W4KVW Rating: 5/5 Dec 29, 2009 15:32 Send this review to a friend
GREAT SO FAR!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just picked up my T90A used at Christmas & then bought the BC-139 drop in charger NEW from HRO. The HT works GREAT but the supplied antenna from my ICOM T8A works BETTER than the supplied antenna for the T90A.ICOM should have stayed with the T8A antenna in my opinion since it does NOT require you to keep up with the EXTRA piece that is NOT being used until you need it.Just like other brands when you put the 6 meter tip on the HT it drops the signal on BOTH 2 meters & 440mhz.I may repace the stock rubber duck with an aftermarket antenna at ORLANDO HAMCATION 2010.For what I need it for it works GREAT & is SIMPLE to PROGRAM & OPERATE. }:>)
N1RIK Rating: 4/5 Aug 1, 2009 06:27 Send this review to a friend
Good for the price, but not perfect  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is an ok HT. I bought it because I am setting up a 6 meter repeater and the only 6 meter HTs that I can find on the used market our over priced. So finding this HT, hardly ever used for $150 was a pretty good deal to me. I popped out the diodes for the extended transmit the first night I got it, which gives me the 220 MHz band on low power, however I haven't used it there yet. The major flaws with this radio is that it's not quite as sensitive as my chinese FD-450A transciever or my Kenwood HT-77A. Also the electronic squelch clamps down kinda high even it's lowest setting. If it wasn't due to the squelch or the sensitivity, I would of ranked it a 5. The bottom line, if you need 6m besides 2m/440 and you can get one of these radios for under $200, do it. 73 ~ Bill
K3DAV Rating: 5/5 Jul 25, 2009 19:28 Send this review to a friend
Mine works great.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had this T90A HT for a little while now, and it has performed flawlessly for me. With the rubber duck antenna, I can hit VHF/UHF repeaters 40 miles away with good audio. There are a few 6 meter repeaters in my area. My buddy owns one of them, and is 25 miles away. Again, with the rubber duck antenna and the 6M stub added, I can talk into his repeater with no problems. Keep in mind that I live in central PA where there is no flat land anywhere. This state is mountains and valleys only.

Recently I took it to a local hamfest, and used a 2M machine 9 miles away to keep in touch with the others with me, and a few friends that didn't come. I used the HT on 5W all day. That was 2 weeks ago, and the battery still has enough juice to work the unit. And it's the original battery. One of the tricks to good battery life is to never use the quick DC charger. Always use the slow AC trickle charger. It gives a better charge, and last a long time between charges.

I found the menus easy to follow, and programming the memory channels was a breeze. The features are great, and I have used the HF rec to listen to SW stations from around the world on the RD antenna, and it works great. I know 4 other local guys with the T90A, and they are as pleased as I am with it.

I have to say this is a great little HT. I have been told by everyone that the audio is equal to any mobile radio. Clean and strong. It's just a 5 watt HT with a little coiled wire antenna. You can't expect top performance like with a base or mobile and a big antenna. When I connect my T90A to my base VHF antenna, I can key repeaters in Maryland 55 miles away.

For what it is, it's a quality HT, and I love mine. Kudos to Icom for another quality product.
VE2MNC Rating: 1/5 Mar 9, 2009 17:55 Send this review to a friend
Looks good, but that's it...  Time owned: more than 12 months
The only good thing I can honestly say about this radio is the body is solid, and the wideband ability of it is awesome...

That said...

The body of it is horrible because the metal body also doubles as a heatsink. You NEED either an external mic or an oven mitt to hold this thing when you're TXing for more than a 2 minute conversation... And the wideband is good, if you can tolerate the absolutely HORRIBLE intermod. This thing sucks in anything and everything. I've given up relying on the frequency display when I'm just scanning around because who knows what I've actually picked up. This thing is as selective as a brick.

The antenna is terrible, but easily replaced with a decent one, but then you find the connector is flimsy and you could very well break it by sneezing. The battery is plain garbage. 12-14 hours to charge, and it doesn't last worth anything.

Programming this thing from the keypad has got to be one of the most mind numbing chores to think of. I take great pleasure sitting in a dentist chair instead of having to program 10 memory locations with proper split and CTCSS/NAME/BANK settings.

After this little kick in the face I'll never buy another Icom again. Go and get one of those 50$ Chinese radios on ebay and it'll have 10x the performance quality than this thing. You think those radios are tricky to program, then you've never tried to use this unit.

As for the accessories, overpriced isn't even the word. Nope, no sir, never again!
W4JHC Rating: 3/5 Jan 24, 2009 08:23 Send this review to a friend
Nice try, ICOM  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my first hand-held and I will keep it.
I get good reports working the local 2M and 70cm repeaters. There are no 6M FM repeaters in my area. However, I would not buy another.

The negatives mentioned in previous reviews are accurate. Inter-mod on 2 meters is bad but only occasionally annoying in my area. The stock antenna is poor and the battery life low when transmitting at 5 watts. A LOT of power is dissipated in the case, making it very hot. (If you live in a cold climate, it makes for a good hand warmer.)

The small size of this radio is great. If you like small, you're going to have to put up with a small battery and short life. Buy the AA battery pack and keep LOTS of AAs on hand.

Accessories are expensive but I do recommend the rapid charger. This is a small radio and will tip over easily. The charger holds it upright very nicely, especially if you have a longer antenna.

I'm not sure why the low frequency bands are included in the wide band RX. The radio is AM/FM only - no SSB. Unless you connect it to an external antenna, you won't receive much on HF anyway. The circuitry here is wasted and would be better spent on better filtering that would eliminate the 2 meter inter-mod.

I work near an airport and I can listen to the ATC talk the planes in. When the US Air Force Thunderbirds were here, I used this radio to listen to their cockpit chatter.

The NOAA weather channels are convenient and so is having the local TV audio and AM/FM radio bands. I use these from time to time.

Scanner features are nice. I recommend buying the software so it can be programmed from a computer.

Have an extra copy of the manual available - the menus are not self explanatory. ICOM's web site has it:

I bought a cheap external speaker/microphone from Radio Shack and it works very well.

The charger included with the radio is junk. It takes too long to charge and eventually, mine quit working. It was a bad soldering job on the plug so I tore it apart and re-soldered it. It now looks bad but works fine.

ICOM is very close to having a great handheld radio and they will eventually get it right. They are a few years away however.

73's one and all.
N4UMJ Rating: 4/5 Jan 15, 2009 10:37 Send this review to a friend
NOAA & PS VHF images were evident  Time owned: more than 12 months
I must say first off the ergonomics of this handheld are great and it fits in your hand like a glove with easy one handed operation like no other hand held I have used before. The volume is switchable between the top knob and the UP/DWN key --- CW can be enabled to sound out the key presses/frequency for those visually impaired or one wishing to practice up on their code. The display is switchable between green, orange or red backlighting. The receiver is very sensitive but...

On the negative side the imaging(some refer to this as intermod) on VHF was very bad unlike any ICOM Handheld I had ever owned before. This was a new radio out of the box so I contacted the ICOM dealer/seller immediately. I was told the owners use that very Handheld daily and have never had the problem that I described. They referred me to ICOM warranty & ICOM USA advised me to send my radio in. I did not..

Fast forward several years & I found a deal on a 2nd T90A and it was brand new in the box from a dealer. I thought just maybe being a newer version it would not have the problem but was disappointed to discover it was still there and that was enough for me to reach a conclusion........

A previous T90A eham review mentions NOAA WX images and that was what I experienced along with some Public Safety imaging in the 145.500 Mhz area as well. 6M and the UHF seemed fine with no images. I would not call this intermod technically as it was constant and not random (two signals mixing)in nature.

I will say the Attenuator function would get rid of the undesired image and unfortunately the desired signal and that was not acceptable to me. Note: I was using the supplied stock antenna.

I now own an ICOM 91A and it has no images whatsoever but the T90A was a better fit sizewise.


VE3LZQ Rating: 1/5 Sep 19, 2008 18:36 Send this review to a friend
disapointing  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 2 meter transmitt has failed for the third time .I have spent $100 to have it repaired two times previously and was told by dealer that did the repair it was a protection diode?radio was only used with stock antenna .AM broadcast recieve selectivity is very poor.Battery takes hours to charge and lasts for a short period, around 10 minutes of transmitt and an hour on recieve.Accesories are very expensive and requires an 11 volt power supply that cost about 60 bucks
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