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Reviews For: ICOM IC-2820H

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

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Review Summary For : ICOM IC-2820H
Reviews: 48MSRP: 768
The ICOM IC-2820H 2M/440 dual bander has all the features you would expect and some you would not! You get: separate front panel, wideband receive, 3 power settings, built-in CTCSS decode/encode, selectable amber/green display, PC compatibility and 522 memory channels. V/V and U/U receive is available. The rear panel has two SO-239 antenna jacks to support diversity reception (two antennas required). The diversity function compares the receiving signal strength from two different antennas, ANT1 and ANT2, and automatically selects the strongest signal. This feature is useful when you are listening in a moving vehicle or the transmitting station itself is moving. Diversity receiving is available in 127 MHz, 136 MHz, 146 MHz, 375 MHz, 440 MHz and 500 MHz bands only.

The IC-2820H is D-STAR upgradeable with the optional UT-123 Power output is 50/15/5 watts on 2 meters and 50/15/5 watts on 440 MHz. It is 9600 BPS packet ready too (6 pin DIN). This radio comes with full function backlit HM-133 remote DTMF hand mic, mounting bracket, power cord and spare fuses. Main unit size: 5.9 x 1.65 x 7.4 inches 3.3 Lbs (150x40x188 mm 1.5 kg). Controller size: 5.9 x 2.6 x 1.25 inches 7.4 ounces (150x58x32 mm 210g). This model requires 13.8 VDC at 12 amps. This radio is supplied with the OPC-1663 and OPC-1712 separation cables.
Product is not in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WB0EGR Rating: 2021-11-12
Great Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my first 2820H in 2012 and really liked it so when I found out a friend was looking to purchase an ID-5100, I gladly (and rapidly) purchased his 2820H to add to my collection of D-STAR radios. I have had zero trouble with the radios.
WM4RB Rating: 2015-07-03
Nice Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own 3 of these radios. I purchased the first radio in 2007. I have NEVER had any problems at all. I use on Dstar and FM.
KO1C Rating: 2015-07-03
Junk Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Strike one: After the warranty had just expired, I was in an FM QSO on a local repeater when suddenly the radio started switching back and forth between memory and VFO modes. I contacted the repair center in Michigan, they suggested a reset. It appeared to fix the problem.

Strike two: Fast forward a few months. I tried to access a local D-Star repeater that was about a mile away. I assume I got into the machine ok, according to the S meter it replied but I received it in normal FM mode, not DV mode as the radio was set to. I tried with a D-Star HT, the machine was working perfectly. Immediately back to the 2820, same as before. Tried another repeater and raised another ham. Everything seemed ok until I realized I was only receiving every other transmission of his. We were BOTH in direct sight of our respective repeaters.

Strike three: Tried to do a soft reset per the instructions in the manual, hoping to fix the radio AGAIN. A soft reset should not erase the memories according to the manual. This time it wiped the radio completely. Thanks Icom! Several hundred memories and several hours of work lost.

With accessories I spent over $500 for this radio. I would certainly expect it would have lasted much longer before such serious problems came to light.
K4IED Rating: 2014-03-11
So far I love it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Awesome radio. Features for days. Mag mount control head is awesome. Xband repeat is as simple as pushing 3 buttons in at same time. One of the small things that I love the most is that you can display both freq and alpha tag at same time. Yes this radio does have an extensive menu system which does require some learning but to me that is all part of the fun. In all fairness I have only had the radio a few days so hopefully I will still feel the same a few months down the road. Will do a follow up review in the future but as of now this is by far my favorite rig.
KC7NYI Rating: 2014-02-21
great dual band Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
second one, first review years ago. returned yaesu 400 last week because of intermode. no problem with 2820. beautiful radio, well built.only dislike programing. 79 years old, like the lage readout. extra year warranty is nice, hro!!!

Earlier 5-star review posted by KC7NYI on 2007-04-10

i returned the 2720 the same day. Live next to an airbase, no intermod so far. Love the magnets that hold the head. Like having a lot of memory
W4KVW Rating: 2013-10-21
GREAT FOR MY NEEDS {:>) Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Well again I can see from the reviews I've read that many people should just start their own company because nothing that anyone builds is good enough for them.I must say that I LOVE my ICOM 2820H & wish I had purchased it sooner.I am using it as my VHF/UHF & D-STAR Base Radio.It is the perfect choice for my shack needs.50 watts of output on both bands is more than enough.I get almost 60 watts on some portions of both bands.I still enjoy D-STAR more every time I use it.Love the large bright display & the receiver is very good but like any rig has a learning curve but not to bad once you just pay attention to what you are doing.The 2820H is a keeper for me along with my ICOM 91AD.They make a nice combo package & should serve my needs for many years! GREAT rig again ICOM just as I expected! {:>)
NZ3Y Rating: 2013-03-11
Lots of features - not user-friendly. Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This radio is very solid and well made with a large array of features. When paired with a Diamond dual-band mobile antenna, selectivity and sensitivity are excellent in my locality. Transmitted audio is good. On the downside, the controls are small and difficult to use while driving. Also, the cost is somewhat high when you consider that to add D-star, you need the UT-123 module - an optional extra. Next time I'll get the ID-880, which includes the D-star capability at the expense of dual-watch, for considerably less money.
GI0ZGB Rating: 2012-12-24
Regrets, I Have A Few Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I recently bought the Icom IC-E2820 with UT-123 GPS/Digital Adapter.
Straight out of the box it became self-evident that the mic is typical Icom quality, Chinese junk.
The TX audio is tinny and pinched, devoid of low frequencies and must be modified to address the problems.
The capsule mic element hole must be enlarged to help enhance the passage of low voice frequencies.

Some mods advocate removing the felt cover from the capsule, and it's been found the capsule may be clogged with Chinese glue, a new capsule is required. After modifying I use gauze and sponge to cover the capsule input as advocated by Bob AB4N in his Icom IC-7000 mic mod.
The addition of a 3u3 - 4u7 capacitor is pretty much mandatory and the capsule type, experimental perhaps.
I used a modified Icom HM-154T mic and it produced excellent audio, but Icom should have sorted this problem long ago as it degrades many models.

Mic problems sorted, D-Star provides superb audio, but it requires ideal conditions to deliver the goods.
Once the conditions fall below a certain level, D-Star is sucked into a black hole, not a flaw, just the nature of the system.
For me the most damming weakness was intermod performance and susceptibility to paging systems interference.
Here it was simply outclassed by the Yaesu FTM-350R, the Kenwood TM-D710 and the humble Yaesu FT-480R, red face Icom!

This is a complex rig and it takes a while to get your head around the menu systems.
D-Star is unnecessarily complex requiring you to travel through various wormholes to get to your destination; it could and should be simpler.
It is a seriously overpriced rig, and I think the price hike puts the rig beyond the budget range of many hams.
I would recommend this rig if you live in the sticks but not in the city as I find intermod renders it unusable at times.
ZL2UFI Rating: 2012-12-22
Good but a better radio is now needed from ICOM Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Good but a better radio is now needed from ICOM as this one is showing its age, but here's my spin on it:

I was lucky enough to be loaned a IC-2820H for about 6 months at the same time I purchased the ICOM ID-880H,
so a compare between to the two was a good thing to do. While I like the larger display of the 2820H, I find that
dual band dual receive is a pain, as I was always turn up one band and turning down the other to listen to the
audio when mobile.

I have 'channellised' the memories for D-STAR usage, with memories set for CQCQCQ, Linking, unlinking, plus
non-gateway usage (means you can talk locally without your transmitted signal going out on the gateway).
So while mobile I can easily switch between various memory positions and link/unlink to repeaters/reflectors with ease.

The local club put up a VHF and UHF ICOM repeater stack, with a gateway so we quickly found that poor audio
in produced poor audio out on D-STAR. We tracked this down to the microphone and did a mod to fix this.
( refers)
This improved the audio to almost as good as FM. FM transmission is not affected by this mod.

To work D-STAR you need to add the D-STAR board (additional cost) and you also get the external GPS Antenna.
As noted elsewhere the GPS plugs into the front of the main radio unit so is a real pain when the headunit is attached as well.

Also as there is only one D-STAR board you can only receive one D-STAR signal at a time, so you cannot have D-STAR
on board sides of the radio (so to speak). This is not new as all the D-STAR radios are the same in this respect.
It would be nice is you could add a second board for this to work.

One upside of the 2820H is that it has more screen real estate, and is easier to use and programme directly from the
screen as opposed to the ID-880H.

One final comment, having been on D-STAR (and I suppose any digital format) I would not like to return to FM analogue
- for mobile use it is the best, audio is great regardless of the signal strength, no picket fencing, it just works.
There is of course the "falling off the cliff" and R2D2 sounds when on the fringe of repeaters but once you know the
limits of the local repeater it is great. Great mode and worth the effort.
ZL1TAP Rating: 2012-09-19
Good radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
It works as a radio should i have it meanly for dstar.I do use it in crossband mode it easy to do and works well.