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Reviews For: Icom IC-V8

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Icom IC-V8
Reviews: 78MSRP: 179.95
Rugged, 144 Mhz HT that boasts 5.5 Watts out of the box.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
9M6WST Rating: 2009-01-11
Good Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Own this HT for almost 7 years. Well one of my favourite HT that I carried around. Very sensitive receiver. I can receive repeaters from 310KM away from my home. Great HT.
VA2MBA Rating: 2008-12-08
puissant Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Si vous voulez un portable vhf robuste et puissant, n hésitez pas, le ic-v8 est fait pour vous. Je suis très difficile envers mes apareils (sous la pluie, la neige, le froid) et le v8 n a jamais failli a la tâche. Il est extremement robuste et est le plus puissant rayonnement de tous mes portables vhf. Le seul bémol que je peut lui donner, est le fait qu'il n'a pas d indicateur de baterie. Cependant cela ne m'a jamais causé de problème car on devine que la baterie est basse lorsque l éclairage diminue beaucoup lorsque l ont active le ptt.
KD8AJY Rating: 2008-11-10
Amazing Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
OK, so I have two radios. An IC-V8 and a VX-5R. Honestly I use the IC-V8 more because I'm scared I'll break my other radio. I know that whatever I do to the Icom, it can be un-done, fixed, or the casing is so durable I won't do anything to it. I love it! Right now I am on a local repeater with it! It is on all my packing lists, both with a suitcase and with a backpack (I love backpacking). It is easy to use and it is reasonably priced! The only drawback to it is the display. It is too little and if you don't look at it head on, you can't see it. But that is a little con. I love it otherwise! Go get one, you won't regret it!!!!!!!!!
KC0ZZT Rating: 2008-02-03
My 1st radio ever Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Nice rugged hand held radio. Take it with me on hikes and can hit lots of the 2m repeaters from the mountain tops on low power. Battery life seems great, my batteries are not new and I'm still impressed.

Cons, seems hard to view display under certain light conditions and back light doesn't do much, but this isn't enough to sway my going away from a 5/5.

I also own a Kenwood TH78A which I will put up a review of some day.
KE5JPS Rating: 2007-10-01
Great 2m HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This little HT is built to standards of industrial use. It seems almost indestructable. It has a well buily feel to it, a solid 5 watts of output and the receiving end is just awesome. The display is like others have said, small and hard to see at times and the manual is a little hard to figure out when it comes to programming to features that are available in the radio. Simple features like scanning with frequency edges are hard to do as I have yet to do it. I was going to give a 5 of 5 for this radio, which if you want a very nice radio this is it, but after writing this review and considering the complex manual and programming, I have decided to change my rating to a 4.
N4MWY Rating: 2007-08-20
It is a great little 2 meter ht! Time Owned: N.A.

The Icom IC-V8 is a great little ht.It has plenty of power to work the local repeaters.

I bought the rechargable battery pack and the desk charger for it. It comes standard with a battery pack for non rechargable batteries, which is quite likely the reason that there is no indicator as to the battery charge.

Mobile, AL

KF4ZMT Rating: 2007-08-20
Nice HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a really nice little hand held. I bought one for myself and one for my daughter when she passed her Technician exam a couple of years ago. The only reason that I didn't give this radio a 5 is the fact that there is not battery indicator on the display. There is no way to tell if the battery is fully charged, almost drained, or somewhere in between. With this small exception, I think its a great device.
AK2F Rating: 2007-02-28
Good solid HT Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Does a great job as a 2 meter HT. Full power with direct keypad entry. Great price too. Nice feel as HT and even comes with drop in charger, standard.

At last year's Dayton Hamvention, I went around looking at all the HTs. Came to the conclusion that many are just too difficult to program, with all the bells and whistles. You end up paying a premium for dual-band, and I just don't use 440 much. The mini HTs need to be shipped with USB interface and software before I would even consider one.

Only reason I gave it a 4 is the display is difficult to see. The LCD size should be increased, especially with the increasing average age of the ham population.

Earlier 5-star review posted by AK2F on 2006-05-22

Went HT shopping at Dayton 2006 hamvention. Decided to "keep it simple" and that "less is more" in this case. Liked all the features at a very low price. Good speaker, 5 watts, BNC antenna, direct keypad entry, and all the basics like PL decode, and memories. This HT is easy to use unlike my VX-5 which I hardly use. The V8 reminds me a lot like the IC-02 series from years back. Kenwood K-2AT was close second choice. Price difference and Icom support helped make the decision. Representative at Dayton told me this was build on their commerical HT chassis platform. It feels it. Nice solid feel!

PL scan is a nice new feature. Included drop in charger with standard +12 volt wall transformer and plug is also a plus. Bi-color LED indicating battery charge would be nice improvement. Agree with other posts that higher capacity battery for the size/weight would be desirable if it didn't drive the cost up too high. Receive signal bars is a bit small to read. Similar to cellphone. These are small suggestions, not major complaints.
KI4PGS Rating: 2007-01-22
very good 2M HT Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
the IC-V8 is a good, durable radio that is fairly simple. the manual is not clear in several places but overall, it's, fairly strait forward, and durable.
K4MWL Rating: 2007-01-19
Follow-up review Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I stumbled across my previous review of the V8 and after almost five years of use I felt an update was in order.

My previous gripes (battery charger, manual, backlighting) are still valid, but I have learned to live with those. The service this radio has given me warrants a rating better than the 4 I gave it previously. I have used this rig for ARES work, while camping, and as my primary mobile rig and it has never let me down under reasonable circumstances. (Asking the rubber duck to get me into a repeater 15 miles away when there is a significant terrain change between us is not exactly reasonable.) I have not abused it, but I certainly haven't babied it either and it is still SOLID. I alternate between the stock NiCad pack and rechargeable NiMHs in the battery case and still prefer the NiMHs. Yes, the instructions say alkalines only in the case, but I have had no problems at all with NiMHs. I am an accessory junkie, so I have a battery eliminator (which gets as hot as a firecracker), speaker mic, and an aftermarket rubber duck for my V8, but with the exception of adding the AA case, this rig is good to go straight out of the box.

I am about ready to procure another HT to fill the expanded receive void I have now, but I will definitley hold onto my V8. They are cheap enough new that they aren't good trade bait, and besides, why should I toss a radio that has been so good to me? For the new ham with a limited budget or the seasoned veteran who wants a simple 2M unit, the V8 is the way to go.

Earlier 4-star review posted by K4MWL on 2004-04-06

I bought my IC-V8 based on the reviews on this site, and the fact that HRO had them for about $110 at the time. (Smitty, W4MMS, at HRO Atlanta was very helpful to this new ham, btw.) The size of the rig is perfect for me. I would have liked for the placement of the antenna and the tuning knob on top to have been swapped when the thing was being designed, but I have adjusted to this. I was concerned about it not having an external power jack, but I have not been affected by the lack of this feature. DEFINITELY buy the AA battery case. With Rayovac NiMH's (1800 mAh) I can scan and transmit intermittently on my 1.5 hour commute for 5 or 6 days. I haven't really given them a workout with steady transmitting, but they have a better life than the NiCad that came with the rig. I bought an MFJ 1724B mag-mount to get my signal out of the cab of my truck.

Four gripes from me (but only two actually concern the rig itself).
1: The backlight on the LCD doesn't stay on long enough after a volume/frequency/keypad change.
2: Likewise, the resume scan kicks in too quickly after a control change. This might suit someone who is scanning many frequencies and doesn't want to miss anything, but I only scan 2 to 5 at any one time.
3: The battery charger for the NiCad pack that comes with the rig needs a "charge complete" indicator. I still don't know if I have ever fully charged the thing.
4: My 18-month old daughter could have written a better instruction manual for this thing. I am a new ham, so programming a rig is not intuitive for me. I still have to read the instructions. I could supply terms to describe how bad the manual is, but I don't want to get e-mails from the parents of young hams who have read this review and asked what (insert word here) means! It is the most user-unfriendly work I have ever read.

I bought a Smiley SLD-2 antenna to replace the stock duck. Results were only marginally, if any, better.
Also picked up an MFJ 295I speaker mic. Results were better here. After using it, I found myself a bit dissatisfied with the tone of the internal speaker on the rig. The speaker mic seems to have brighter tone which suits my hearing (or lack thereof) better than the lower pitch of the internal speaker.

Bottom line is this: If you are a new ham who wants a real workhorse at a good price, I do not believe you will be disappointed with an IC-V8. There are other rigs with more bells and whistles, but not for the price!