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Reviews For: Icom IC-V80

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Icom IC-V80
Reviews: 26MSRP: 129.95 street price
VHF Transceiver
Product is not in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N2HAM Rating: 2021-11-18
Great radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Great little radio, well built and very sturdy. Loud speaker, has small buttons but its fine, small power button but after using it for a while its fine.
VE7REN Rating: 2019-08-15
whats not to like ! solid Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
this radio does have a small power button,but makes up for it by battery length and performance.. solid radio,loud speaker,and seamless performance. excellent receiver.... ive had many newer handhelds in the last 10 years,and this one is a winner.
KI7IQK Rating: 2019-03-29
My first, best and only HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is the only HT I have ever owned and only one of two I have ever used, so consider that as you read my review. I have the "sport" model which means AA batteries only. 1) I regularly hit a repeater that is over 50 miles as the crow flies, with the stock rubber ducky. 2) To hone and preserve my ability to operate, I never use memories. It is easy to switch between simplex and duplex, change PL tones, adjust offset, and switch between +/-. 3) I borrowed a Chinese radio for awhile. The Icom is easier to figure out by an order of magnitude. 4) Last year on a volunteer event I was teamed with a fellow who had a Yaesu HT. His had great receive and reports were it had great transmit, but he was plagued with an annoying tone that would turn itself on and was difficult to turn off. Never had that happen with the ic-V80. 5) I can participate in nets (about an hour a week) for weeks and then do an event on Saturday and get through most of the day on one set of AAs. 6) It annoys me that the manual says only use alkaline, not NiMH. But I knew that when I bought it so I accept it. 7) Amazingly the stock rubber ducky actuall seems to work better than the cheapest-I-could-find 19.5 inch whip. So I just run the rubber ducky, usually with a tiger tail.
OE5VJO Rating: 2017-01-25
I like this rig very much! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I am fully satisfied with the transceiver.
It is the best one I ever had. By the way, for me the small ON/OFF button is an advantage.

I would be happy to give all 5, but I believe I have a problem with a rapid Li-ion charger BC-193.
It takes 5-6 h, instead of 2-3 h to charge a BP-265 battery. When I plug the charger (without the rig) LED blinks three times orange and goes OFF. I do not know what do these blinks means. Is this correct function?
Local ICOM did not even answer my mail and I have not found any information on these blinks.
May be somebody give an advise?

Therefore, I used to un-clip the battery BP-265 and charge it properly via output terminals from another charger.
WB5LFV Rating: 2015-01-26
very well built Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
solid radio works very well and is rainproof with the jack covers installed! I don't have trouble turning radio on/off as I use the fleshy part of my finger to push in part way and it works the on/off button. it has very strong receive and excellent audio on transmit. this radio hears repeaters in my house 50-70 miles away at times on the stock antenna! battery life is very very good and it has a solid feel in the hand!! so get one and you'll see how good it is!!
M0GNA Rating: 2015-01-26
Solid performer. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I love this handheld.Its has a solid feel in your hand.The volume it produces is excellent and audio reports are excellent.Its a rugged easy to use solid quality radio.Unless your hands are like a bunch of bananas then using the on off switch is no problem like some reviewers suggest.
KD5FLN Rating: 2014-02-23
Awesome Radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
First off, I just don't get it why people are complaining about the size of the on/off buttton. How often do you plan on using this button? once or twice a day, right? I have medium sized fingers and I have no problem turning the radio on or off, just use the fleshy part of your fingertip, Icom engeneers designed this radio to be used outdoors in all sorts of situations and the last thing you need to to accidentally pwr off your radio. That said, this is a great, feature packed radio that is relatively easy to program and easy to use on the go. I bought the HD version to compliment my IC-T70a so now I have two 1900 Li-po batteris and a spare rapid drop in charger, in addition I purchased the AA battery case for emergencies. Sure the AA case is about 28 bux however it is made of thick sturdy plastic that has a rubber gasket that runs along its outer edge just like the li-po's that came with the radios. Well worth the extra $$$. The V80 is a very robust radio with a good solid feel, almost commercial grade quality plastic and should handle yrs of daily use and abuse. The BNC connector is something you dont see too often on modern HT's nowadays however it is a strong proven design in its simplicity, the stock rubber duck antenna is effective and I am able to hit repeaters up to 10-15 miles away. The audio output is the best in the industry and I have walked along a busy street with the HT clipped to my belt and with the audio turned up about halfway I was easily able to make out what was being said. TX reports blow away my Alinco DJ-V57, much fuller richer output, not as tinny sounding as the alinco and the 1900 Li-Po battery is worth the extra cost!
KF2YD Rating: 2014-01-25
Icom IC-V80 Review Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I should have read all of reviews about the extremely small ON OFF button before I purchased my ICOM V80. My hands and fingers are medium sized and not that large and I found it very difficult to turn the radio ON or OFF. I can not believe that the ICOM engineers could not design this radio with a a normal sized ON OFF button. Were these ICOM engineers thinking we were all petite females or small children ? The one that I received also seamed to have less RX sensitivity as compared to my older ICOM IC-T7H. I was so disapointing that I ended up returning my ICOM V80 and quickly started searching for a HT that had a normal sized ON OFF switch and also had proven reliabilty and performance. After searching for a better HT I ended up buying the very popular Yaesu FT-60R that has a nice sized ON OFF knob on the top of the radio and also had the UHF band for $149 which is hard to beat.
N0AH Rating: 2013-09-11
Can't get past hello- Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I've read a number of reviews, and can only assume I have lemon- I could not get it out of programming mode- Now it is unstuck, it still has a mind of it's own going into various modes. It does have a great feel, excellent concept with the AA battery pack- Really disappointing as I have had several pieces of Icom equipment that have worked well- Even if this rig worked, why Icom did not put an squelch control knob is mind blowing- this rig was designed for newbies, right? I consider this radio a project for a rainy day- I am glad most reviews show very happy users-
SMAUG Rating: 2013-07-03
Simple design, easy to program Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This is a great little HT. Better than my old Yaesu FT-10R I had back in the early 2000s. The construction feels commercial grade; like the Motorolas from the 80s. Tough, thick plastic.

The character display is not hi-tech. Sometimes, it takes a bit of head-scratching to figure out letters. (especially 'k') The simple display is part of why this radio is so affordable though.

I especially like how there is only the one initial set-up menu. All the most common features to be changed can be accessed by pressing the F (function) button, then the key that has the function as a second feature. For example: repeater offset direction, sub-audible tone, scan, keypad lock, squelch (through the 'MONI' button) and transmit power are all easily accessible without going into a menu.

The BNC antenna connector is much easier to find external antennas for than SMA, though SMA is starting to catch up. For example, just try to find a 5/8 wave, 2m mag mount for SMA.

The speaker/mic is the old two pin design; nice and rugged. It comes with a cover screwed on. (two #0 phillips screws)

I have the Sport model, which cost $40-50 less than the regular model, as it only comes with a battery case, instead of the factory NiMH pack and charger. This is the way to go. Spend that money on a couple sets of Sanyo Eneloop AAs and don't look back. (it takes six)

The belt clip is very rugged, and has a hook to keep from being pulled off the belt easily.

The height of the radio is about right: not as tall as an HTX-202 with battery pack, but tall enough to get a big hand around. It's not unwieldy for smaller hands either.

The power button is small, but a firm push with a thumb (doesn't even have to be the tip of the thumb) is all it takes, and it is not easy to turn on or off accidentally. Good design, in my opinion.

The 'MONI' button is small too though, and it takes two hands to adjust the squelch. One hand to hold the 'MONI' button in, and the other to adjust the squelch with the arrow keys. This can be re-programmed, so that squelch is on the main knob, and volume is moved to the arrows instead of manual tuning.

The display has a green backlight, and is of high contrast.

I have not tried the stock duck antenna, but bought four accessory ones to try:

- MFJ 5/8 wave mag mount
- MFJ 1/4 wave slim mag mount
- MFJ 1/2 wave telescopic
- Smiley 5/8 wave duck

The MFJ 5/8 wave mag mount is a great performer on my car. Kind of tall, but if you're going to really get out there with 5.5 W or less of power, then the antenna needs to be good. Watch those low-hanging branches. ;)

The MFG 1/4 wave slim mag mount is great. Really compact. I use this for my home antenna. Just slap it on the window air conditioner, and it does remarkably well, for the repeaters that aren't blocked by the building. If you want a good mobile antenna for this radio, but can't tolerate the height of a 1/2 or 5/8 wave, this is the one to get.

The telescopic one, I haven't tried too much yet.

The Smiley 5/8 wave duck is great. Remarkably strong into local repeaters for a duck. Since it's mounted to the radio, and I can get in a better spot, it is often stronger than the 1/4 wave mag mount in a less ideal location. Yeah, it's tall and slaps me in the back as I walk, but I don't mind. It is a good way to increase performance of a rubber duck antenna without going to something really fragile or unwieldy like the telescopic.

Some guys are disappointed that there's not a hard knob for squelch. I don't see the big deal. For me, I adjust the squelch for reasonably strong signals; I keep mine at 4. If it is too weak to break that squelch, then dialing the squelch down doesn't help. I have to use MONI (0 squelch) to hear it, and that is just a button press away.

I'll either update this review later as time goes by and I get more hours on it, or write another one, if I'm not allowed to update this one.

Lastly, here is a performance description, with the 1/4 wave mag mount on the air conditioner. Conditions: average.
Distance from repeater: 4.8 miles
Repeater height above ground level: 100'
I'm at ground level, in my ground floor apt.
5 W and 2.5 W are full-quieting. 1/2 W is not full quieting, but just a bit of fuzz and 100% readable.

If you are in the market for a simple, inexpensive, intuitive, and rugged 2m HT, with great antenna compatibility, look no further.

I'd like to see maybe an 'IC-V90' radio like this. Same feature set, but maybe with the old battery configuration, where the battery pack goes on the bottom of the radio instead of the back, with support for a bigger battery pack and an honest 10 W worth of output. Maybe it would use 12 AAs to achieve this, instead of 6?

All the old powerhouse HTs are extinct now. It's a shame. I think there's a market for a slightly bigger HT, with lots of power, basic features, even if it is slightly less "handy."