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Reviews For: ICOM IC-2720H

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-2720H
Reviews: 147MSRP: ???
2M/440MHz Dual Band Mobile
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
K4TDS Rating: 2004-07-10
Intermod! Intermod! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Intermod on this radio is AWFUL! I own four other VHF/UHF (Yaesu,Alinco,Kenwood,ICOM)mobile units and this 2720 is trash. I have a Kenwood TMV 7 in one car and put the ICOM 2720 in my new car. The ICOM 2720 is contantly breaking the squelch, squealing, and blowing intermod tones out of the speaker traveling the same routes I do with the Kenwood which is perfectly quiet. I know now why they put the attenuator on the squelch control. It helps dampen the intermod signals but then you can't hear the signals you desire unless they are really close. I am going to take the radio out and sell it to someone who lives in the outback(the land where there is no other RF).

W1FEH Rating: 2004-07-08
Not as bad as some say but could be better! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I have had this rig for almost a year now and yes it does have its problems. First and foremost is the inter-mod problem. It is present and it is worse than many radios. The radio does have the option of reversing the I.F. frequencies. This trick does move the interference around but in areas where it is severe that’s all it does, move it. In areas that it is not as severe it does help. The squelch can also work as a 10 db. attenuator if you set it up to do it. A positive note is I receive less adjacent frequency bleed over with the Icom the big bucks Motorola’s I use at work! The receiver is hot and has wide coverage.

The other biggie is the output driver failing. The earlier production rigs had this and I found an interesting note about this on the net. “The earlier units needed R102 changed from a 100 ohm to a 39 ohm & a thermal pad placed under the board beneath D36 (main board). This is being implemented from manufacturing now. The "unofficial fix" done in Icom service is to re-solder all the TX/RX diodes with silver solder and add a 16V Zener diode to the driver transistor (across C93). A bulletin from home company states their fix is improved soldering practices on the driver transistor. This is being implemented from s/n 0505701 on”. My radio quit after about 5 months. I sent it to Icom and they turned it around quickly and it has been fine since.

Some are complaining that it is designed as remote rig. They designed it that way because today’s cars just don’t have room for an entire radio under the dash. It is also a good theft deterrent. I bought this radio because I wanted to remote mount it. The display and the few buttons are big and lighted which is important in a mobile. I used a Panavise Pro-mount to mount the head and its angled perfect and solid. I have no problems seeing the display. All of the functions are controlled through the lighted Microphone and the more common functions on the head also. It would be nice if the head attached to the main unit like most others but then it would loose the cooling capabilities. I bought it for what it is, a two piece rig.

The transmit audio is low audio because it is set that way from the factory from production testing and aligning. One of the things that are actually spelled out in the imposable to understand manual is to do a reset at first power up. Then in the back it also has the menus and one is to set the output deviation to high. I did do the microphone mod that is simply opening up the hole in the little rubber thing over the element but no one noticed a difference. The audio was fine from day one. To say the manual stinks would be a serious understatement. But to get the most from the many tricks this rig has you will need to read it, many times and very carefully. It would be nice if the “mute” function would remain active while transmitting. Other than that I like the features of the radio. On the subject of not having an alpha display, I have other rigs that have it and I don’t use it. We are Ham’s; it’s all about the frequency.

N0RKX Rating: 2004-06-26
Decent Radio, Bad Details Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I've had the rig a month and all of the problems mentioned by previous reviewers have failed to show up. Icom must have fixed them on later production runs. Still getting full output on the original finals, etc.... General operation and programming of the rig is just what I've come to expect from the new generation of dual banders. It's just not that tough.

I'm knocking the rating of the rig down for two reasons.

1. You can't snap the control head back on the rig. My old Yaesu 5200 was a 30 second job to bring the rig in from the truck or 5 seconds for just the head. Not so on the 2720H. It's two small screws that hold the head to the remote mounting bracket, they will get lost if you do it enough times and these aren't your average run of the mill hardware store screws.

2. Because you can't snap the head back on the radio you get to basically disassemble your fancy hidden cables install job to use the CS-2720H programming software. A shorter data cable for the head should be standard. A 20 cm length of CAT3 and connectors costs about a buck. If you've got a laptop then you can take the computer to the radio. If you don't you get to spend God knows how much more to get a bracket you'll never use and a 20cm data cable so you can turn the rig on to program it. Tell me there wasn't an engineer involved with this!

AK2F Rating: 2004-06-18
Good radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Thank you for the bad reviews! Bought mine off of eBay with no other bids at a great price. Tested and programmed it in the shack and then installed real nice in the car. Mounted the body behind the stereo and the head on the dash. I like the split head config.

The wideband receiver is very sensitive resulting in some overload from paging transmitters in the 152-156 MHz range. Have only one spot in my 1 hour commute where I experience this, and have seen it on plenty of other rigs too. May build up a coax stub notch filter just as an application note. Perhaps a future model can have a switchable attenuator.

Having 220 receive is a real tease. If 220 transmit was available these would be a hot item, especially in the metro areas.

Icom has always been pretty good with their tech support and parts. Hopefully their next version can include an attenuator, 220 transmit and a control head that snaps onto the main body with the remote kit as standard. All-in-all, I love the rig and think it is getting over criticized.
N0LOM Rating: 2004-06-16
Excellent Mobile Rig Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Some reviewers are using the wrong antenna -

I recommend using a Comet NMO mount SBB5
Dual-Band 146/446MHz
Gain & Wave:
146MHz 3.0dBi 1/2 wave
446MHz 5.5dBi 5/8 wave x 2
VSWR: 1.5:1 or less
Max Power: 120W FM
Length: 38"
Gold-Plated NMO Style

With this antenna combo this rig is fantastic with no Intermod problem.

This radio is well designed, rugged, and intuitive in its operation. The wide band receive capability works quite nicely.

The operation of the handheld mic allows the operator to keep their eyes on the road while completely controlling the radio and its sophisticated features.

N8WED Rating: 2004-06-14
OK, but could have better ergonomics. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've had many Icom items in the past: 4 HTs, 706mkIIg, R7100, and now the 2720H. Given how well I like my 706 Icom 706mkIIg and friends' positive commnets about their Icom 2710s, the 2720H seemed like a smart choice. I bought my 2720H at the 2003 Dayton Hamvention.

I was planning to upgrade from my old Yaesu FT5100 mobile I've had since about 1994. The FT5100 is has overload and intermod in the front end.

Alas, the 2720H also has some intermod, due to the wide reciever. I don't desire 810-999 MHz reception on my ham rig. A narrow receiver would be better. The RF attenuator is a good idea, but I wish it weren't automatic, triggered by squelch knob position. I would like the attenuator also have an always-on/off setting. Changing the local oscillator injection frequency between high side and low side may help intermod, but isn't easy to do while driving.

Getting full power out requires full 13.8 volts; this ins't surprising. If you use the 2720H in a base station application, make sure other stuff on the same power supply isn't upset by having to live with 13.8v. (For instance, the 706mkIIg is nominally 12.6v; the fan runs a lot more when powered at 13.8v.) If you are going to run with 12.6v storage battery, you'll only get about 35 watts out of the 2720H.

The ergonomics of the 2720H are quite limited. "Spartan," is definitely the watchword with only a 7-segment LCD display. The front panel feels like a mid 1980s radio. The operation of the 2720H is not similar to other Icom equipment I own. It was more of a learning curve than I expected. One thing I like about my old Yaesu FT5100 is the buttons make differing audio feedback tones and had unique home tones, so you can cycle through settings by hitting the buttons without looking at the radio. I think I'd pull off to the side of the road when making more than simple adjustments on the 2720H. The HM-133 hand mic, with many buttons, picks up some of the slack of the sparse front panel.

The audio punch with included HM-133 mike is low. The set-up option should be on the high AF gain setting. The HM-133 controls just about everything from its array of buttons.

I haven't tried packet mode, so I can't comment.

The rig's cooling fan is a bit loud, especially when used in base station operation. The fan can be configured always on, or cycling. Cycling is on for two minutes solid, even if you key up for 100 milliseocnds at the lowest power setting. Icom probably saved a $0.30 in parts by using a fixed speed and fixed time-out.
(I talked to the Icom rep at Dayton this year about the fan, and several people standing next to me said, "Oh yeah, that irritates me too!")

The audio mute doesn't seem to be exactly what I wanted. The sub band can be configured to mute when the main is receiving, but the sub isn't necessarily muted when transmitting.

I wish the front panel could just clip to the front of the radio (like the 706mkIIg, does, for instance). You have to use an optional bracket and a short cable to make the radio into a unit, and it isn't good looking (yes, I have the official Icom bracket and jumper cord).

Over all, I'd say the 2720H is pretty rugged. The die cast aluminum hosuing and sheet metal cover are pretty tough. The hardware has a quality feel and the plastics used in the front panel and microphone feel nice and are quite resistant to rough service. I've seen remarks here about finals going dead - mine are still OK, but the radio only gets light use.

I was surprised that crossband repeat on the 2720H can't be activated by DTMF from an HT. The old 2710 has remote enable. It would be nice to be able to trigger crossband when needed, not having to worry about the radio keying unnecessarily.

The instruction manual is reasonably clear, but lacks full schmatic diagrams that would have been found in older Icom manuals.

In summary: The 2720H receiver is wide band and very sensitive, but may be bothered by intermod. The frequency synthesizer is very accurate, and the TX packs advertised power at 13.8v. In ergonomics, the 2720H may be a step back from the 2710. The 2720H would be a good first rig, given the modest cost.
KG6VFX Rating: 2004-06-12
Awsome radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is my first Ham radio so I can't really compare it to any other radio but I am extremely happy with this radio. I purchased the programming cable and software for it and although I think those items were way overpriced, it makes it easier to program the radio and store different configurations on my PC. I'm using a Comet dual band mobile antenna (on my house) with 100' of RG-8. I don't have any problems using any of the local repeaters (N. San Diego County). I opened the mic hole of the keypad on the HM-133 as I took it out of the box. Comments regarding this radios sound and signal, from other amateurs have been very, very good. I'm surprised Icom hasn't done anything about the keypad hole. I can only hope the finals don't burn up, as I seem to read about this problem all over the place. I plan on installing it in my truck after I pickup an HF rig, after I pass element 1.
KC0IOG Rating: 2004-06-03
Don't waste your money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Icom really messed up on this one. I've been an Icom fan for awhile. I think they make quality products. Then I bought the POS 2720H. By now you've probably read the reviews about the intermod problem. Yes, I understand it's a drawback to wideband receive, but why is it specific to this radio? My commute to work is about 10 minutes, and I hear intermod once or twice each way. It's not enough to make me return the radio, but it shouldn't be there.

Tonight, for no reason at all, the radio has ceased to function. The power button does nothing. I've tested all the cabling and hooked it up in several locations (cars, shack, etc). Nada. Stick a fork in it, it's done. Oh, did I mention it's only a week old? This POS is going back to the store. Thanks to Icom, I'm buying a Yaesu FT-8800 tomorrow.
KE4AWM Rating: 2004-05-13
CRAP RADIO,NICE FEATURES Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
KC8YED Rating: 2004-05-11
Never again w/ ICOM Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Well most of these comments hit so close to home. I purchased the ICOM 2720 in the fall of 03 and was able to used it for 3 months before the tx power fell off completely. I sent it to ICOM service center, was gone for 2 weeks, they replaced the driver and few diodes and updated the firmware, no charge. Well 4 months later, my highest power is 15 watts 2m and slowly drops from there. Well its going back, and under warrenty. I own a radio shop and never really liked ICOM in the commerical side, now I know they are not any better on the ham side. I will stay with Yaesu, better products and much longer warrenty.