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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
KB0VYJ Rating: 2002-02-11
Great unit. Docs need help. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I love the unit. Once it is programmed it is very easy to use. The kaypad isn't backlit and that is a problem, but not a big one. My biggest problem was the documentation. It was very difficult to follow and worded strange. The sections on programming the memory was no help. I figured it out by playing around with it and it is not hard, just don't expect the book to be much help. I also wish Icom included the cloning software or had it as a free download. It would make programming much easier. Otherwise, it is a great unit. I love Icom equipment. I have the IC-2800 and it's a great rig.
KB7NTL Rating: 2002-01-27
Nice tough rig! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I found this to be a sturdy and functional radio right out of the box. With a minimum of effort, I set up all local repeaters and tones (about 12 of em) indide 1/2 hour. Am impressed with the 5.5w output off the battery. I am a die-hard Yaesu fan, but feel that a lot more would have been spent to get the same durability.
HRO has a special on now worth checking out. They have an aftermarket battery avail with 2700maH storage at a reasonable cost. Works with RS mics also. Would recommend this as a great 1st radio for new hams, and a good outdoors rig for clumsy ones. Surprised there is no mil-spec rating. The only downside is a birdie at 147.205 on this rig, which poses no problem here so far. And a dc adapter would be helpful. Take time with the manual and you wont be dissapointed.
Rating: One thumb up, and one thumb on the PTT!
KB1HPP Rating: 2002-01-21
Nice HT So Far Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'll come right out and say that I'm a new ham and that the IC-V8 is my first radio (other than scanners and shortwave receivers). So far I'm pleased with this HT. Once the included battery was charged up, it only took an hour or so to set up and understand how the IC-V8 worked. It fits nicely in my hand--not too big or too small. I also like the fact that the controls on the rig are kept to a minimum and are easy to use. I haven't had any problems reaching any of my local repeaters. The rig has several other bells and whistles that I haven't explored yet.
Most of the reviews I've read on this and other HT's and also most of the hams I've talked to have recommended purchasing a better antennae than the included rubber ducky, so I'm in the process of doing that. Also, I'm going to buy another NiCad and/or an AA alkaline battery pack to supplement the NiCad battery that came with the HT.
Here are my cons. I wish that the rig had a cigarette lighter jack for use in a vehicle. That is why I'm definitely getting a least on spare battery pack. Also, it would be nice if the display screen were just a little bigger. Lastly, I'd like it if there was a medium power option. The HT has only has a high and low power option. I don't know what is standard for power options for most HT?s.
In summary, I'd say the IC-V8 would be a nice HT for any new ham (and possibly old hams-I'll tell you when I get there). It's simple and gets the job done.

K2KOH Rating: 2001-12-17
Excellent HT! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
All I can say is that I wish the NYS Courts had gotten us these radios instead of Motorola's GP350's. It's durable, loud, and puts out a fantastic signal. The only reason I rate it a 4 is because of the tiny display on the rig. Other than that, it's easy to operate.
K5NT Rating: 2001-11-26
A great value for the money! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The IC-V8 is a small, sturdy talkie loaded with features. A giant step up from my old Kenwood TH-215. Good power output, CTCSS tones, and over 100 memory channels. The antenna connector is a BNC, allowing the talkie to easily connect to other antennas. Large capacity batteries are available for those needing them, and there is even an accessory battery pack that accepts AA cells. The manual does require careful reading, but once the memories are programmed and the other features mastered, it is easy to use. A terrific rig for emergency communications on two meters.
AL1F Rating: 2001-10-19
Solid Unit Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a solid built unit that preforms well. The keypad is large and easy to use. Programming the memory channels proved to be a little difficult and the mannual was a bit confusing.
W7RY Rating: 2001-10-02
Junk Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just purchased the radio from HRO. This radio (and all of the others that were in stock at HRO) has a receiver “birdie” on 147.200. This makes the radio unusable in the Pacific Northwest. This is a very popular repeater in this area.

I phoned Icom Tech Support, and the fellow I spoke to said that the radio that he had did not have the birdie.
Overall, the folks at Tech Support were NOT very helpful.

General impressions of the radio:
Just 1 knob is a real pain! You need to use the up/down keys (that are to small to be usable) to scroll through the memories. Keypad is large and easy to use however, it is not lit. The IC-V8 having a “set-in” type charger is not very useful when you charge the radio in a vehicle. Having a plug on the side of the radio makes much more sense!

I exchanged the IC-V8 for a Yaesu/Vertex VX-150. (even got $ 20.00 bucks back!) The VX-150 looks and operates like a REAL radio.

I am no HUGE Yaesu fan, I had lots of problems with my VX-5.

If you are going to buy one of these radios, please check it out fully!

WV7R Rating: 2001-09-21
Solid, well thought-out HT for many uses. Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I saw the Icom IC-V8 in QST. Funny was actually in stores! Amazing thought I, Icom actually advertising a new product that had been type-accepted and was actually available. Will wonders ever cease!! I am involved as a volunteer emergency worker. I prefer rugged radios that can take some amount of abuse. THIS radio appears more than up to the task.
Out of the box, the radio exudes functionality. The battery clicks in firmly. There is no shimmy or looseness. A snug, secure, SOLID feel. Once the NiCd pack is charged, the radio comes to life effortlessly. The supplied rubber duckie antenna is okay for near-by repeaters, but in the Icom tradition, it is mostly an air-cooled dummy-load. You would be wise to pick up a real HT antenna for added sensitivity. The display is functional, but SMALL. The keypad on the other hand, is huge! Easy to operate but tough to see. The logic of that escapes me. It would also have been nice if they had back-lit the keypad.
The programming is easy. Has all the bells and whistles that hams demand these days... tone encode and decode, DTMF memory dialing.... pretty much the works. Excellent audio. For a good, abuse-taking radio, I do not think you can go wrong. Would have given this radio a 5 had the display been larger. If you are looking for a monoband two meter HT, I do not think you can do much better for the money.