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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
WB9NXY Rating: 2004-10-02
Very Dissappointing Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased an IC-V8 recently and am very dissapointed with both the radio itself and Icom's technical support group in WA.

My radio appears to exhibit a "birdie" or other internally generated spur on 147.20MHz. Additionally, when I operate the radio either at home or in the car and attempt to scan from from 145-148MHz, the squelch opens with every 15-25kHz step and I am unable to close the squelch by increasing the squelch setting. The effect is extremely annoying and dissappointing.

I contacted Icom tech support in WA and was told that Icom has never received any complaints about such an issue. Icom's support person ("Mike") asked if I happen to have a home computer and I indicated that I did. He continued on to say that such a problem is "to be expected" if this is the case. He also said that ignition noise and the engine computer in my Honda Accord would likely be the causes of such a problem. He continued on to say something about Ford vehicles being notoriously bad in this regard.

What dissappoints me the most is that the Icom webpage states that the IC-V8 intermodulation performance is rated at 75dB, typ (see: "Download the IC-V8 PDF brochure"). Such performance is comparable to commercial grade Motorola equipment and influenced my decsion to buy the radio.

I am former Motorola design engineer and routinely use Motorola land mobile equipment without experiencing the problems that I do with the IC-V8. After buying the IC-V8 and carefully examining the owners manual, I was most displeased to find that, in reality, the IC-V8 intermodulation spec is actually only 65dB. This difference is very significant from a performance standpoint. Unfortunately, Icom does not specify the method they employ to measure intermodulation performance (e.g., using the standard EIA method?) and I'm unable to validate their claims in the lab one way or the other. Lesson learned: do your homework before buying. If it looks to good to be true, it probably is.

The problem I experience is probably not necessarily an intermod problem alone. The notoriously inadequate filtering associated with broadband amateur VHF radios is likely to be a major contributor. But, I had hoped that the IC-V8 would not perform this poorly - especially because it is a single band radio.

As it stands, the radio operates magnificently for me when I go out into the surrounding mountains for weekend hikes or sit in the backyard 50-100' away from the house. But, in the house and in the car, the radio is effectively useless for me.
KJ7YL Rating: 2004-09-16
V8 Accessories Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Also you can use the Accessories for the ICOM F3GS/GT. The F3GS/GT radio uses the exact same case as the V8. Also the HM131L is a great speaker Microphone!

The LCF3G Swivle carrying case fits the VW like a glove. You can also use the BP209 (1100 MAH), and the BP210 Batteries (1650 MAH) on the V8. The radio will last up 12 to 15 hours. The BC119N with the AD101 adaptor cup installed will let you charge the batteries off the 12 volt car lighter adaptor.

The radio also has cloning software the CS-V8 which uses the OPC478(DB9) and the OPC478U (USB) cloning cables. The software is easy to use!.

WA6IPD Rating: 2004-09-16
Very nice Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a solidly built and easy to operate radio. Let me cover some areas that others have not.

1 Military Rugged Construction (Icom web site)

No it’s not, no where close to being military quality. The unit is constructed with surface mount technology which inherently permits the unit to pass military vibration tests. Icom did not spend extra money on this unit to make it any better than any other, after all they are trying to sell this thing to you and you have a reputation as being cheap.

2. The manual is horrible!

I didn’t find it that way; I thought it was easy to use. After all this unit has extensive features and anytime you have a ton of features the manual tends to be complex. Anyway, you memorized the test so you should have no problem memorizing a few simple procedures.

3. Buy the BP-208 battery case so you can use AA Ni-MH batteries.

Yes do. They want too much money for replacement battery packs and some day they will likely stop making them but with the BP-208 you will be set forever. But alas, Icom specifically states that you should not use Ni-MH in the BP-208 battery pack, use alkaline only. They give no reason but I suspect it is because the BP-208 does not have any type of over temperature safety devise built in as they do with the normal battery packs. So let your conscience be your guide, but for me not only will I use Ni-MH batteries but I will modify the case so it will work in the drop in charger. All AA Ni-MH batteries should have the same capacity, don’t mix um up.

4. Drop in charger

This is a neat little device, in the past we had to pay extra for this feature. There is a 12VDC 200 ma plug in power unit with a 6 ft cord, which plugs into the base. The radio comes with a BP-222A battery pack rated capacity 600mAh which is rather small. Fully charged the battery in the charger draws 40ma which is not all that bad, a rule of thumb is 5% of capacity for trickle charging. So setting it in the charger for overnight charging is fine but take it out in the morning, you will reduce the life of the battery pack if you keep it on trickle charge.

5. Belt clip

The radio comes with a nice belt clip that just snaps on to the battery pack and works quite well.

6. The rubber duck

The bigger an antenna the better and this one is about optimum at 6.5 inches. I have no trouble hitting a repeater 20 miles distant running .5 watts and the repeater antenna is facing away from me.

7. Should you buy one?

Well the price is right, you get a lot for your money but one should always look around, just because I like mine doesn’t mean you will like yours. I got mine at HRO $120.00 free shipping and a $10.00 mail in rebate.
KC9FKN Rating: 2004-09-15
Great radio! Simple to use! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had this radio for 8 months and I love it. It is very simple to operate. Great for new hams like myself. I like the size and the dark green color. This is a great radio for you if you just want to operate on the 2 meter band.

NH7AF Rating: 2004-07-29
GOOD Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
N7XTO Rating: 2004-07-05
Awesome tough little radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is one sturdy, solid handheld. The extended Tx/Rx capability is useful for search and rescue, fire/rescue participants, or just an emergency radio for those "one in a million" situations. It is easy to program, a great size, good sound, a great little rugged radio. I would buy another if I ever lost this one. Jim
W4SK Rating: 2004-06-17
Good Value Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This little radio is one of the few about which I can truthfully say "if it were somehow lost to me today, I would get another just like it."
FORMER_W5UC Rating: 2004-06-17
Looks Good Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have reviewed both the Yaesu VX-150 and the Icom V8 using this forum, and the V8 wins. They both appear to be good rigs, but thanks to the info here, I learned that the Yaesu has a SMA antenna connector rather than BNC. BAAAHT. I will buy a V8. HamCom 2004 dealers get ready with your best prices. Thanks to all who posted information on e-ham about these HT's.
EMSCRAZY001 Rating: 2004-05-03
Excellent, No Doubt about it Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is the first radio I bought, and 1 word, EXCELLENT. I am an EMT, and needed this radio for operations in three seperate counties. With 109 channels, and full field programability, this was one that I wanted. I have had this for over a year, and have been very impressed. It is durable, to say the least, and I recommended this radio to my supervisor at one of my ambulance companies, he went out and bought 5 with the gang charger. This is great for a minimal budget, and you don't have to get it reprogrammed when freqs. change. Would recommend this to anybody. Only bad part was that the belt clips broke a bit to easy for rugged use, however Icom introduced a new one that is much better.
W0NQ Rating: 2004-04-26
rx is great Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased a V8 from YV5, good price at $115.00
I found I had no automatic repeater function when I went in to set up. At first I thought I had been sold a non-US version but after talking to the guy there he was thinking it was a defective set. He offered to air ship another upon return of this unit...can't ask for more than that I guess.

The manual is probably the poorest excuse for instructions I've ever seen. If anybody finds an easier instruction sheet on the web, pass it along. I'm a new ticket and probably more out there are just plain programing impaired like me.

It sure seems to recieve well though & I like the heft of it and larger buttons better than a VX150 I had before. Looking at your reviews I'm sure it's going to be a great ht for casual use.