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Reviews For: Icom ID-880

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

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Review Summary For : Icom ID-880
Reviews: 36MSRP: 500 USD
The ID-880H provides VHF/UHF dual band capabilities (one band at a time) via a simple band switching system. The ID-880H has a wideband receiver as a standard feature and covers 118–173.995, 230–
549.995 and 810–999.990MHz. Listen to aviation, marine, weather channels and other utility communications.
*Receiver range depending on versions. The CS/880 free download cloning software is available from the Icom Inc (Japan) web site. Used with this software, various settings can be made from a PC and the memory channels and other settings can be shared between IC-80AD and its matching mobile unit, the ID-880H. The ID-880H has a total of 1052 memory channels (including 1000 regular channels, 50 scan edges and 2 call channels) with 26 memory banks. All memory channels and the program scan can be named with 8-character channel comments. Also each memory bank can be named with a up-to 6-character bank name comment. The ID-880H supports various scan types for maximum reception and ease of use.

* Full scan
* Selected band scan
* Programmed scan
* Memory scan
* Memory mode scan
* All bank scan
* Selected bank scan
* Bank link scan (DMS)
* Program scan link
* Skip scan
* Priority scan
* Tone scan
* Access repeater scan
Built-in CTCSS and DTCS tones are used for accessing a closed repeater or ton squelch operation. the pocket beep alerts you with a beep sound when the transceiver receives a preset tone. 1750Hz tone is also available. The 4-direction cursor buttons on the keypad give you quick and intuitive access to many settings.
And more…

* 50W* output power both VHF/UHF band
* Built-in noise filter (AM/FM) mode
* Data and 9600/1200bps packet jacks on the rear panel
* ±2.5ppm frequency stability
* Adjustable microphone sensitivity
* Monitor function to listen to a weak signal
* 14 variable tuning steps
* Auto repeaters function* automatically turns on/off duplex operation and tone encoder
* Weather channel receive with weather alert*
* 16 DTMF memory channels (24 digits)
* Drip-resistant construction, equivalent to IPX4
* Auto power save, power off and power on
* 10dB (approx) built-in attenuator
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W4FID Rating: 2023-05-13
Liked it so well I got another Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I had one when they were new on the market and enjoyed it for several years. Then for some reason I sold it. Missed it so found one and got it. It will be staying. Does everything any analog rig can do -- very well. Plus the D-Star capability is nice/fun at times. And the remote head, good power, and easy to read and use display make it a winner. On the desk at home or in the car I really like it. HOWEVER I DO USE THE R T SYSTEMS PROGRAMMING. The rig -- especially in D-Star -- takes a lot of inputs and their stuff works much better than the Icom programming stuff that comes with the rig. R T Systems with a spread sheet on the laptop and it's easy. Enter what I want -- proofread -- load the rig. Slick.
VE7REN Rating: 2023-05-13
fantastic performer Time Owned: more than 12 months.
update may 13/2023-

i have aquired another 880 to use as a dedicated base radio for local fire,rescue,etc,etc,and these radios perform flawlessly.the screen is highly visable,the speaker is amazing and the overall build is well above many other manufacturers. if i find another for a buying it. i also have owned the 4100 icom,which is the replacement of the 880, but i like the colour of the screen more on the 880,and the 880 is more of a bargain. i recommend this radio.

nov 11/2018-
ive owned this radio for 2 years. was lucky to have got it brand new in the box for 320 bucks. I only use it on fm,not dstar,and I can tell you it works flawlessly with local and long distance repeater talking. does not get to warm,and has a beautiful display and 3 colour choices. the build quality is excellent,and the viewing angle of the radio is superb..whats not to like? if you are looking for a dualband single receive radio,this is the beast. it is discontinued now,and the 4100 is the replacement with a built in gps,so ….if you find a 880 for a reasonable price...go for it.
ON4KVK Rating: 2017-06-14
Excellent D-STAR transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Used it mobile for years, did not use it due to new QTH. Now back in the car, still a strong performer. Use a PC to program it ! Considering to pûrchase the
ID-4100 for mobile use. In that case the ID-880 will move to the shack as main D-STAR/D-RATS transceiver.
If the ID-4100 was not released last month, I would have bought another ID-880 !
KC6KNL Rating: 2017-05-11
Best D-Star Bang for your buck Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this Radio from HRO about 3 weeks ago. They registered me on D-Star Network.

I installed a Diamond X50 Antenna in the backyard, mounted it to the DirecTV Satellite Dish pole and ran TWC4001 50ohm coax back to the bulkhead connector that came into the basement.

Initially, I programmed this radio using RTSystems software and cable. I first programmed the local FM Analog Repeaters.

I was getting awful audio reports. My audio sounded tinny and low.

The radio has a default mic setting of low, which causes your audio level to be low. When I changed it to high, my audio was louder, but very tinny.

I bought an SM-50 mic and an Icom 8-Pin to RJ45 Cable Adapter. I had to change the 880h Mic Level back to low to use this mic. I got great audio reports with the SM-50 mic.

I read the postings of how Icom first shipped the 880h with an HM-133 mic from Japan. These mics were great. Somewhere down the line, Icom started shipping the 880h with “Made in China” HM-133 mics, which sounded very tinny.

My HM-133 mic did have the “Made in China” embossed stamp on the rear.

There are online postings on modding the HM-133 mic to improve the performance.

I did not want to replace surface mount mic components. It was easier to replace the mic.

I found an eBay auction for ICOM HM-133V mic by eBay Seller “Bargain Brothers Electronics”.

This seller had sold a bunch of HM-133V mics with good reviews.

I figured that he had a bunch of good reviews and $20 with Free Shipping was a good gamble. Plus the stock was shipping from within the US.

I ordered the mic, tested it out, and got great audio reports.

So to recap, the 880H came with an Icom branded HM-133 mic that was also labeled “Made IN China” and had poor tinny audio quality.

Another Chinese mic that resembled the HM-133V, had no Icom markings, and did not even have the Made In China stamp on it, had much better audio quality than the Icom supplied HM-133 mic.

I believe the eBay HM-133V mic was either a generic mic or a counterfeit Icom HM-133 mic that we are being warned to not buy.

Well, the generic/counterfeit unbranded mic works better than the genuine mic that came with the 880h.

On to the D-Star Review.

D-Star works great. I would highly recommend using a computer to program the radio.

Here is what I did to get on DStar. Using RTSystems software/cable, I programmed every D-Star Repeater in Georgia. I kerchunked every DStar Repeater that was programmed.

If it responded, I made note. If it did not respond, I did nothing.

After I finished, I identified 6 DStar Repeaters that I could hit and programmed those six into the 880H.

When I programmed them, I programmed to memory channel locations, the T, I, E, and U Commands. For each DStar Repeater, there were four memory locations programmed. The DStar Calculator in RTSystems will automatically generate the four memory channels for each Dstar repeaters as you pick the repeater from the dropdown menu.

I linked to Reflector 30C and had a few QSOs with great audio reports.

The radio has a great audio amplifier and a great speaker. DStar and FM Analog sound really good with the new mic.

The stock mic is horrible. I was ready to return the radio, but buying the eBay mic really solved the problem. It was also stocked in the US so I received it within 5 days.

I would rate the radio a 5, and the original HM-133 mic a zero.

This radio is truly the best bang for the buck for getting on DStar.

VK5OHR Rating: 2017-01-29
Great radio on U-VHF/DV Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Absolute pleasure to use and hardy unit.

Bought new and kept on desk. Connected to high gain dual band Flower Pot home brew antenna at 35 feet. Hits repeaters at 270 miles on mid power. No intermod issues experienced!

Mike needs to be altered in the same fashion as the Icom IC-7000 mic to work well, desk mic better suited. Audio Q5 and no "boing boing" sounds from this Icom mic.

Heat issues of 208H solved in this model, unit runs cool and has advanced fan and power saving settings. Hits 50 watts easily on each band!

This one is a keeper and you can still buy them new on Amazon even though they are discontinued!

Advice: grab one while you can... ;)

Earlier 5-star review posted by VK5FPAC on 2016-07-23

Excellent UHF/VHF/D-Star TX/RX performance and audio.
Once set up to how you want it you can effortlessly use this radio while driving. It has an extra feature set that adjusts both the audio and display to match your driving environment and comfort ergonomics. The performance is outstanding and the usability is best in it's class. Still selling brand new, rush out and grab two as you will want to keep using it well into the next decade... 10/10!

*** HM-133 hand mic audio mod used in review and is recommended.
WA0ZZG Rating: 2016-11-26
Avionics Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This radio is an updated design of the IC-208H. If you know the '208, you will have no problem with this one. Like the '208, it is built like an avionics radio. There are no internal alignment points. None! Alignment is done from the front panel and pre-loaded software. Receiver design is much better. This is to properly pass digital modulation. Does make alignment more critical. Distorted audio could indicate off frequency or a bad filter. The PA modules are actually rated at 60W. Suspect they are derated to maintain spectral regrowth in digital mode. All kinds of internal memory options. A bad PA module may be caused because the mounting screws work loose over time. Digital audio is like listening to a FM broadcast station. Use a nice external speaker. Have fun
W4KVW Rating: 2016-09-20
Pretty Good But...... Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Well I purchased my 880H used in February 2016 & here it is September 2016 & the UHF finals have failed.I am using it as a base radio & the SWR in around 1.5.1 across the band on UHF where it failed.Not sure the issue but another local friend had the same issue with his? I have had few issues with ICOM transceivers & have not seen a topic where these rigs have issues with failing finals? Not sure the issue but I'll have it repaired soon though I still get into the local 440 repeater 1 mile away just fine so I may not rush getting it repaired since it's about the only 440 usage it gets.It has a good receiver & other than the final failing it has performed well on analog & D-STAR for me.If it had dual receive it would be much better but I knew what it had when I purchased it.
N8YQX Rating: 2014-10-19
Economical D-Star Radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought this radio on a whim, wanting to try out a new mode. Overall, I'm very impressed with the D-Star technology, and I commend Icom for taking a chance on a new open-standard mode. As for the radio, it's a good economical radio, but it does trade up some features for the price.

1. Very economical radio for getting into D-Star.
2. Compact size, and remoting is possible using common cables. No expensive proprietary cables needed.
3. Decent audio for mobile radio with hand-held microphone. Excellent audio on D-Star, especially simplex.
4. Decent TX/RX. So far, I've been able to talk out to 120 miles with a simple vertical on simplex. Looking at my log, this appears to be the typical range on a good day.
5. Lots of memory and features packed in a small package.

1. One line display is insufficient for working D-Star. I should have opted for a multi-line display, so all D-Star info can be displayed simultaneously.
2. Need better way of inputting info on-the-fly. For example, would it be possible to implement multi-tap keyboard, like most feature phones?
3. Loud fan. Why can't it ramp up gradually based on the temperature? It has three speed settings, but they're basically loud, louder, and loudest.

I see some commenting about the poor analog sound quality. I've never experienced that personally, and no one has complained about my sound quality during my simplex rag chews. The radio can transmit in FM and FM-N, and transmitting in FM-N will degrade the sound quality. I wonder if other hams are accidentally switching over to FM-N.
W2UIS Rating: 2014-07-21
DStar Base Station Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is a digital voice (DV) and data transceiver designed to operate DStar (Digital Smart Technologies for Amateur Radio).

If you want to operate fm repeaters or simplex purchase a different radio.

I have mine installed as a base station with an outside antenna (Diamond X50) and a DVAP (Digital Voice Access Port). The DVAP is connected to a Windows laptop. Using this setup I talk to amateur operators world wide via the internet.

I use the Icom SM-30 desk microphone because the stock mic stopped working. The stock mic works well in DV.

The closest DStar repeater in my location is 30 miles away on the other side of a mountain therefore I can't alway connect to this repeater. The DVAP solves that problem.

The entire station cost over $1000 but in my opinion worth every penny. I'm having so much I'm selling my hf equipment.

Many people claim DStar is not radio, I disagree, DStar is the next level of radio.
N0RRS Rating: 2014-07-19
OK, but lacking on FM Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
In May of 2014 I fell for the "DSTAR TRAP" and purchased an ID-880H. Let the DSTAR contacts begin! Or so I thought. As mentioned by other reviews, programming without the software is a pain, so I spent the extra bucks for the cable and software. After set up was complete I discovered that my antenna and coax was in need of being replaced. After doing the replacement I discovered that I STILL could only hit our local repeater intermittently at best. So, after a month of frustration I sold it. Here is my review of the unit:

PROS: Great Price, Ergonomic design, 50W power on both 2m and 440 bands, Quiet fan, Sounds good on DSTAR, Comes with separation cable for display. Easy to read display.

CONS: A real pain to program without using the software, Mic sounds too "tinny" on FM. No back light on function buttons along the bottom of the display. Mic plugs into main body and not the face plate which is a pain when using the separation cable. No dual band display, single band mode only, no cross band ability.

Overall it is an OK radio, but there is a reason it is the lowest priced DSTAR capable ICOM dual band mobile. For me I found it to be lacking in too features that I used a lot. Also, I found DSTAR to be too robotic like, so I sold mine and bought a Kenwood TM-V71A. I would rate it only at 3 stars, unlike the 5 star ratings seen on the other reviews.