Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Icom IC-208H

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

eMail Subscription

Registered users are allowed to subscribe to specific review topics and receive eMail notifications when new reviews are posted.
Review Summary For : Icom IC-208H
Reviews: 137MSRP: 319.95
2M / 70cm mobile with 55 watt VHF and 50 watt UHF xmtr. CTCSS/DCS encode and decode, tone scan, detachable and remotable control head, 500 ALPHA-NUMERIC memories, etc
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KEOWRU Rating: 2023-03-19
bought it use for $35. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
all i can say is it works very well. used it on base just fine.
this 1 came from a pawn shop no mic.i happened to have a mic so got it home n set it up n so far its doing fie
KC3NHE Rating: 2021-12-09
Not what you think it is Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This thing is an absolute sleeper. Very impressive front end and extremely hot receiver. It was very easy to navigate from the beginning. Within 5 minutes I was making contact into our club repeater from 30 miles out mobile with great reports. Clean audio reports and an epic transmitter even in low power simplex. At 5w I made a 15 mile mobile to base contact with no issues. Bench test revealed a full 55/50 output as rated.

Pros: Massive heat sink, continuous fan that also pulls across the heat sink, easy to read with large display, very small remote head.

Cons: Fan is a bit loud and annoying but not overpowering, no mount for the head out of the box.

If you find one even in the $150-200 range buy it, it’s a winner
K4ROC Rating: 2020-12-25
Performs great after years of use Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was my first rig that I got when I got my tech ticket in 2006. My former manager (and the man responsible for getting me into this hobby, W8AER (SK)) sold this to my dad back in 2006 brand new. Dad gave it to me as a Christmas present that year. I ran it as a dual band base for a while, then made it my mobile rig a couple of years later. It has been in my car until this month when I brought it back inside for my main UHF rig (I run a V8000 on VHF). I mounted it under the seat and used the remote head up front along with a small RadioShack speaker. It has been exposed to all kinds of temperatures, dust, and humidity. I pulled it apart and it wasn't dirty or corroded in any way. It is easy to program once you get the feel of it. The fan isn't overly loud, but that's not a big deal for me anyway. Very good receive and great signal reports on simplex. I'll use it until it dies.
VK5OHR Rating: 2016-07-23
Least distracting car mobile Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Programming is not intuitive but once done it's only great TX/RX from then on. Coupled with a quality car audio speaker for superior sound and the usual Icom mic mod the unit is the best for mobile installations due to the small control head and minimalist display. If kept clean and dry it will last for a decade of quality use. If you can find one that has only lived on a desk and from a particle free environment then grab it and begin having fun. (The only other unit I would recommend above it is the ID-880H which has better features and faster performance if you need more than 500 memories.) All the issues mentioned in previous reviews are from users who were expecting too much from this radio. It does what it does really well, is of high quality and performs at the best level in it's class.
KG4ERE Rating: 2016-04-29
Great Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own two of these radios and love them! They are a well built, sturdy radio that keeps on ticking. The remote head is small but large enough to read without any difficulty at all. I will continue use this radio in a mobile environment for as long as it will last.
W9OS Rating: 2016-02-27
New Module Report Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The new Mitsubishi VHF module has been running great for the last three months.It appears I ate the original Toshiba module driving it into an old KLM brick with high return loss. I have since Valcro mounted the remote head in the sun glass holder in the roof of my Navigator.It closes for security. The fan can be heard under the passenger seat. It's not that loud..I do run an external speaker on the pillar in back of the drivers seat.

Earlier 4-star review posted by W9OS on 2015-11-26

I replaced the VHF module with a Mitsubishi version.
It now works to spec 5-15-50 watts out
We will see how it plays.
N4DCT Rating: 2015-10-14
Great Rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This was my first radio that wasn't an HT. Bought back in 2007. Has served me well and has been in 2 different vehicles and 2 different shacks. Audio quality is good, easy to program, scans fast and great receiver. Would buy again.
GM1EXK Rating: 2015-10-14
Fan is LOUD! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Good RX sensitivity
Average or slightly better than average selectivity
Good output power (55W/50W)
Good Scanner range including AM
Nice compact size and detachable front
Control all features from the mic

Controls wobble (but work fine)
The Fan comes on regardless of TX power and temp and is LOUD!
TX Audio is Low (apparently the FM Deviation is only set to 3.5khz from factory)
Can't set it to auto repeater shift in the repeater block. (UK version)

Earlier 4-star review posted by GM1EXK on 2008-03-30

+ Small size
+ The main radio is very heavy duty and solid
+ Very High power (50W on UHF!)
+ Very sensitive receiver in band
+ Large range of receiver frequencies

- The front attachment is not so heavy duty (wobbly knobs)
- Very complicated menu and programming setup
- I get a lot of engine noise when used mobile
- Separation cable screws on to the front attachment (Can't easily be removed for security)
VK2AAF Rating: 2015-08-16
Great performer, durable, hard to program Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I picked up a 2nd-hand 208H a bit more than a year ago with the intent of using it as the main shack 2m/70cm rig, but it has been pressed into service as an impromptu mobile on a few occasions. This one has survived a few knocks and getting rained on briefly without complaint.

I agree with several other posters that the volume & squelch pot shafts have a excessive amount of lateral play, but this doesn't appear to affect their smooth and noiseless operation. At worst, they contribute a 'cheap' feel to the rig which is wholly undeserved considering the brick-solid construction of the rest of the rig.

The transmit audio is always complimented in simplex service- the local 2m & 70cm repeater has comparatively poor audio fidelity. The internal speaker is quite good considering its small size.

The rig makes rated max power on both bands, but it'd be nice if it had a 4th, extra-low power selection, perhaps 500mW, to conserve battery power in extended mobile/portable operation.

As has been noted by others, the receiver is prone to intermod, but in most cases the attenuator function engaged by advancing the squelch control into the last 1/4 of its rotation is sufficient to suppress the intermittent intrusions of extraneous noise. I'll suggest this is the price paid for the extremely broad receiver bandwidth, which may be a nice feature on a spec sheet though I suspect is rarely used by most owners.

I have just two complaints about the 208H. The worst of them is the general difficulty in basic operation. It's the first rig I've owned where I've had to consult the manual to set the op freq and use the scanning feature. Programming memories, whether from the front panel or mic buttons, is cumbersome. It is far easier to use a PC, data cable and programming software to perform this function. The second complaint is the noisy cooling fan which activates upon transmitting regardless of the temperature of the heatsink. It's surely necessary considering how hot the chassis becomes when using high power, but it'd be nice if it was activated by heatsink temperature alone and were variable speed to reduce noise when in operation.

Lastly, it is far too easy to mod the rig for out-of-band transmit operation, which requires only the removal of a couple of diodes from a matrix. This has contributed to a number of Australian 4WD enthusiasts taking up the 208H as a VERY high power UHF CB transceiver (Aus UHF CB power limit is 5 watts, yet the rig will put about 45 watts into a dummy load when programmed to transmit in the 476-477MHz Aus UHF CB band). Would be nice if Icom would hardcode a 476-477MHz lockout into the main CPU of future 70cm capable rigs. Icom make some very good quality UHF CB rigs for that market segment.

In sum, I very much like the 208H and would like to buy another for permanent mounting in my ute but they very rarely appear on the 2nd-hand market. If you have one, let me know!

73 de VK2AAF
SM3WEO Rating: 2015-07-23
The little radio that could. Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Having had this radio since it came out new, i have never had a problem with it. I have used it mobile on field days, had it installed in several cars and it just keeps on going. It's a breeze to program and it has great reception and transmit audio. Works perfect as a scanner too it that's what you want to use it for.

If i were to say something at all negative about it, it is that it can be a bit too sensitive at times and you wish that the squelch could be a bit harder.

To conclude, i'll never sell mine.
It will stay until it dies.