Manager - NA4M
Manager Notes

Reviews For: Icom IC-80AD D-Star ready 144/440 MHz HT

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur 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-80AD D-Star ready 144/440 MHz HT
Reviews: 11MSRP: 449
The IC-80AD can transmit and receive D-STAR format digital voice and 950
bps* data communication, simultaneously. Analog FM mode is also available.
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
VE7REN Rating: 2016-03-09
i like it!!! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought this radio brand new from a dealer with a 2 yr warranty.. its small,backlighting ,great receiver,and lightweight with a lith ion battery.. it does everything I want from a handheld for dual band purposes.. its wayyyyyy better built than any boafeng,wouxon or tyt I have looked at and tried.. very well built in comparison.. would I buy bet,but they are discontinued now,and I'm happy with the purchase..
PE1GP Rating: 2012-10-10
Does the job but nothing special Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I got this one (well, the European IC-E80D version to be precise) for cheap on an offer.

It works, but to be honest nothing to write home about. What bothers me most is that it's a D-Star radio but built by standards from the '90's, with a segmented display with a few characters, it's fairly bulky, and has many double-feature buttons.

D-Star is a digital mode which requires a lot of configuration (every call has 4 parameters) which are a bit clumsy to view because every one of them has to be brought up individually (the screen doesn't have enough characters to show them all at the same time). It has a basic repeater database but it's very basic and clumsy to fill up without the data cable.

D-Star messages can only be programmed in uppercase characters as the screen doesn't show lowercase. Volume control is with up/down buttons which I find annoying, and the keys are hard to press except the PTT/Moni which are fairly light.

When the D-Star codec chip is active (e.g. receiving DV) a buzz can be heard which is fairly noticeable at lower volumes (it doesn't get louder with the volume setting). With earphones it's downright annoying because they need a fairly low volume setting so the noise level is relatively high.

On FM it's ok, but it doesn't have auto repeater shift in Europe so it's a bit clumsy there too. It does have wide receive and AM which is nice.

The main reason for getting this rig is D-Star but then I'd recommend the ID-31 for UHF D-Star work instead, I've got that too and it's really much more user friendly and has more features that go well with D-Star. The upcoming ID-51 should offer the same on dualband but it's not available yet. The IC-80 works with D-Star but it doesn't really take this new mode to a new level.
KA8BYU Rating: 2012-08-11
great radio for dstar Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I am very pleased with the 80ad, transmit audio is great on analog and dstar the recieve audio on mine is good,I have a spare pack and drop in charger plus the AA battery case as well. I have the 880h as well for mobile use. Progamming is not difficult, I have the free software but all programming on both radios was done without it. it's good to know how to do by hand if your out in the field without your computer and cables
KI4GTJ Rating: 2012-06-19
cant go wrong with this HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm giving this radio a 5/5 b/c is just great even if the speaker is WEEK,speaker mic works wonders and use them on all HT's so is fine with me the the speaker is week on the radio. program radio is not bad (free software from icom) not to bad to program on the go. Just an FYI the stock antenna is ok but replace it. I went with the Maldol AS-20 its better than stock and not TOO long
KC0VOE Rating: 2012-04-25
FAIL Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I sold off this HT. What a failure from Icom. I had an IC-92AD and it was the best HT I have ever had. This one is junk. It gets really hot! the screen needs to be a dot matrix type to be useful with Dstar. The speaker is really weak. and its not very customizable, like the back-light timer and what not. Do not buy.
N8NNX Rating: 2011-05-03
Very happy Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I decided to get the ic-80ad over the ic-92ad only due to cost. I really don't need dual receive and waterproof ht either. For the cost of the ic-92ad i was able to purchase the ic-80ad, programming cable, an extra battery ( ebay) and desktop charger ( ebay). All this came out to $540 which is what the 92ad costs. I think the 92ad is a great radio but for what I need the 80ad is perfect.
I really like the bright display and backlit keypad. The incoming text (d-star) is really easy to read on the 80ad and programming with the free software is a breeze.

If I had to choose again I would get the ic-80ad.

Earlier 5-star review posted by N8NNX on 2009-12-20

Icom did this one right. I think it is a bit costly compared to the other d-star hts. Without the dual rx and the dot-matrix display I thought it would be alot cheaper. It is nice that Icom is giving away free cloning software so you can clone your ic800 and your 80ad to the same frequencies for easy programming.

I have owned the 91ad, and the 92ad, and with those they have their short falls. The 91ad needed some improvements and the 92ad got them but has the display issues. The 80ad is the best yet.
K4OFC Rating: 2011-05-02
Good/Bad Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
As always, I like the ICOM rock solid quality construction. But what a disappointment in the audio quality. I have an old W32 ICOM that is great. But, being a bit on the hearing challenged side, I can't use a product that you have to turn the audio level down to "whisper" mode. I will be returning it to the vendor to trade it in on another IC-880H which I L-0-V-E. My old W32 will continue to be my HT. Shame on ICOM for fielding what should be a great radio with such poor audio. Overall, I give the radio a 4.5, but on the audio I give it a zero. I really expected better
KC9AXZ Rating: 2010-09-02
Its a Keeper Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
The radio works flawlessly. The programming should be done with a PC. D-Star really is nice and easy to use after messing around awhile. As I put it my last review the aduio needs more punch. It's kind of quiet and tinny. The antenna I added made a huge difference.

Earlier 3-star review posted by KC9AXZ on 2010-07-02

I bought a 80AD at Dayton. It's solid and built well. The audio is a little tinny and not real loud. This isn't just a fluke though. I'm on my second 80AD right now. The first one the SMA center socket dropped into the rig. Luckily I bought the radio new from a known dealer. The problem occured less than 2 weeks after buying it. The dealer exchanged the broken rig for a good new one. I was going to buy the 92AD but they were out of stock. Not sure If I made the right choice yet. As far as D-Star operation, it's great. I only run the HT on SL power setting, and haven't killed a battery yet. I typically charge the HT at night, and it runs fine all day.
WB8NUT Rating: 2010-02-17
Nice affordable radio for D-Star Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It was suggested that I purchase the IC-92 since it had better receive audio. It did. I listened to the 80 and the 92 side-by-side. But the 80AD was more affordable. That being said, I am happy with the 80AD. Nice feature set, free programming software (you need the software to make it easy to program and don't forget to buy the cable), plenty of memory, good display, easy intuitive menu system. Here is what I do not like. Receive audio sounds tinny (sp?). Too many highs only and not enough lows. But it's OK. Also, why these manufacturers use SMA connects for the antennas is beyond me. It needs a BNC to make swapping of antennnas, connection to a car antenna easy. SMA are not that durable in comparison to the BNC. Icom provided duck antenna is not that good either. Looking for a replacement. That being said, the 80AD is a good handheld transceiver for D-Star and classic FM.
KB8WDV Rating: 2009-07-18
good dstar entry radio Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I have a id800 dstar.I see many improvements in this generation.easier to program.more memories,Its nice to have the lithium ion battery.other improvements are small but welcome.I am looking forward to getting a Id 880.