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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
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
AA4AJ Rating: 2013-05-13
No Problems Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My first V80 is just over a year old. My second is about a month old. Both work as the manual says. I have used the cloning cable to program the second V80 and that function works fine. The V80 has a solid feel and is a good weight. They are great single band HT's and an excellend value. That being said, I have had absolutely no problems at all. I am very pleased.
2W0NNN Rating: 2012-12-04
Excellent rugged radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Having used other HTs I was always put off buying one myself. Too many buttons, too fiddly, too many menus. The V80 - rugged, straightforward and 2m only - sounded perfect. I use it exclusively in the mountains, mostly for SOTA but occasionally just to see who's about too. I've dropped it twice - no damage. It's been rained on, snowed on, frozen, sat on, bounced around in the bottom of a rucksack and it's still going as well as the day it was new. You can't ask for more than that!

A couple points - firstly the on/off switch. It's brilliant. It's recessed so it's not going to turn on by accident draining the battery in your rucksack, yet I can still turn it on even wearing gloves. That's one thing I hope Icom keep.

Secondly the batteries. The NiMH battery it came with drove me up the wall. I'd use it at home and it'd do the job fine. Then I'd take it up a mountain and it'd be dead to the point where the radio would power off within 5 minutes. I bought a second and that was the same. They really don't like temperatures approaching or sub-freezing. I then replaced them with 2 Li-Ion batteries and they're a world apart; excellent battery life despite me almost permanently using high power and without any noticeable drop in capacity or voltage in sub-zero temperatures. They also take much less time to recharge. I'd highly recommend them and advise anyone using this radio to get them also.

Initially I had some reports of very quiet audio, something I tested myself and found to be accurate. I think this is a result of the waterproof speaker / mic (the same effect is found with the optional waterproof mic). The solution is to turn up the mic gain (I find 3 works fine) and talk with your lips almost touching the speaker. This may have been intentional from Icom since having done some experimenting this technique also cuts right down on wind noise.

To make this radio perfect the one thing I'd change is to also add a socket to allow use plugged directly in to a car cigarette lighter socket. That would make it ideal for EMCOM too.

In short though I love this radio; it's so light, simple and reliable I take it mountaineering even when I have no intention of doing SOTA. Pair it up with a SOTAbeam multi function dipole or similar and it's one cracking lightweight /P setup.
KE5NYS Rating: 2012-06-24
Good Quality Name Brand Unit... Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This V80 Sport unit is built like a Sherman Tank in my opinion. Very rugged, with typical iCom good quality, excellent audio and great toll free tech service if needed. I wanted a spare 2 meter radio that did not require the typical long recharge times, and this model seems to run and run and run on 6 AA alkaline batteries. Granted, the on/off button is somewhat small and semi-recessed, creating a degree of operational difficulty for us big fingered Texans, but no extra charge for that :-)
AA4MB Rating: 2012-05-21
Built like a tank - keeps running like a Timex Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I know several people that have these. Yes, the 'on/off' button is recessed - but in my mind, that's better than having it so that it may be accidentally turned on/off. (Is that enough even to knock a point off of a review? As far as I'm concerned, this is a valid and huge issue if you're turning the doggone thing off once a minute - other than that, fuggetaboutit.)

The Icom quality is all there on this inexpensive radio and I've personally dropped mine so many times that I've lost count. And not onto soft ground, either ... I'm talking asphalt and tile floors. No cracks in the case at all - and an all but imperceptible dent in a corner of the case is what resulted. (that happens to Motorolas in the same circumstances, too)

I've never found it necessary to purchase programming cable and software, because it's simple enough to program after checking the user's manual for instructions. This is no different from my Yaesu VX-5R or VX-7R, as in my opinion any of these radios are different enough from each other to require you to check the printed or easily available online documentation when you want to change something after simply 'using' it for a few weeks/months.

Even peaking over $100 since the tsunami hit Japan, these radios are a good value. I also own a Wouxun and a TYT VHF handheld and I'd never attempt to put these physically through what my IC-V80 has been through in my work with a state defense force . Battery life seems exceptionally good and I love having a good old BNC connector for the antenna, too. Accessories for these radios will set you back a bit more than with the previously mentioned Chinese radios, but they are similarly well built and perform well - in particular, the Icom branded speaker/mic.

If you want reliability without a bunch of bells, whistles and complicated features that you may not need, give this unit a look.
KC9RGW Rating: 2012-04-05
Simple to use Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned my V80 Sport for about a year and a half now. It is honestly one of the easiest HTs I have ever used. It has one knob which controls the volume, and while the squelch doesn't command a knob it works fine with the buttons. During the summer I work at a camp, so this thing gets pretty abused. It has stood up to rain, falls, sand, and pretty much everything else. The weather function is really nice, and the receiver is perfect.

I have also used this radio during the Chicago Marathon, where I was a ham volunteer. The CM is about the closest thing you can get to ecomm without being in a storm. It ran all day long, picking up repeaters and simplex from all over the city. I have never had any problems with overheating, and I find the battery life to be excellent.

Programing in super easy, (no cable needed) and any super-duper functions can be found easily in a great and through manual. One of the best things about this rig is the easy switching between mods. One button will switch you between VFO/Mem/Call/WX. This is defiantly a time saver, and also very easy to use!

In terms of the power button everyone likes to talk about; I kinda like it. There is no way it can be accidentally pressed, and my fingers can press it just fine (full disclosure: I am 17.)

Another thing I love about it is that it is compatible with the HTX202 sk/mic. I used that with it in the marathon and it worked great.

W8GND Rating: 2011-06-24
OK -- Miserable on off Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
It's a nice radio. Alas, there is no good way to turn it on or off. The button is tiny and hard to reach.

That wouldn't be so bad, but if you want to do a reset you have to push that button and the one next to it. It can't be done. (it can with a little wooden jig).

Apart from that, it's a nice radio. I got a V70, and no probems at all with that.

73 jerry w8gnd

N6BOB Rating: 2010-10-23
Sturdy radio but difficult to turn on/off Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
Had the radio for 5 months but decided to sell it and get the Yaesu FT-250. The Icom is sturdy and has very good transmit and receive audio. I bought the extra cup charger and it worked great.

My main issue for taking off one point is with the on/off switch. It is recessed and difficult for me to push in. I just got tired of struggling to turn it off in the dark or shady areas.
A second minor but annoying issue is the radio but has no squelch control knob or if you chose to have squelch then you lose the volume knob. One must toggle the control by pressing another button...hard to do in the dark.
AE6ZW Rating: 2010-10-23
good price Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Good radio
I used only on 1 frequency simplex with Tone Squelch, and most of time keyboard locked.

I also placed O-ring under volume knob, to keep volume knob tighter, so it will not change volume while in pocket.

KK4AH Rating: 2010-08-26
Tuff as nails Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This little HT (not too small) is really a very nice radio. I wanted a HT that did not have too many bells and whistles and the IC-V80 is just right. No menus to go through and I have found that it is not too hard to program in fact it is quite easy. It is built like a tank and has great auddio on transmitt and the receiver is as good as I have heard. (Been a ham over 25 years). I bought the li-on battery and charger and the hand mic and they work as specified. The extras are a little costly but what can you expect. The only negitive thing I think of is it does not have a manual squelch and the buttons are quite small to operate the squelch but with a little pratice it's no problem. Overall great rig at a pretty good price. I would buy another one in a heart beat.
KU4UV Rating: 2010-06-21
Maybe I spoke too soon. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
O.K. I purchased a new V-80 the week they first came out earlier this year. The radio had problems almost from the beginning. The problem that the radio had is that the transceiver would get very warm after only being left on for a short time. The radio also seemed to go dead after a short time, even after the battery had been fully charged. I suspected at first that maybe I just a defective battery, so I purchased the AA battery holder and tried using the radio the radio with a fresh set of new Duracell batteries. Same problem. The radio would be one for a while, and then it suddenly shut off abruptly. I took the radio with me on a trip to Florida in early April to see the shuttle launch so that I could monitor the mission control audio comms. I had the radio in my hotel room in Daytona one evening and it suddenly shut off abruptly. Whenever this problem would happen, the back of the radio would also become very hot, almost too hot to touch. I contacted Icom about the problem, and mailed the radio to SARTS Icom service in Michigan with a description of the problem. The radio was tested at SARTS in Michigan, and I received a note back from them stating that everything checked out o.k. with the radio. I get the radio back, and of course, same problem. I took the radio with me to the Dayton Hamvention to show an Icom rep firsthand what the radio was doing. The radio presented the sdame problem in Dayton. The Icom rep talked with someone SARTS in Michigan again, and apparently told them about the problem I was having. I contacted Matt Adrian with SARTS in Michigan again, and once again shipped the radio to SARTS. After several weeks, I called Mr. Adrian and asked about the radio. Mr. Adrian informed me that the battery was apparently the problem with the radio, and that they were in the process of replacing the battery. I told Mr. Varian that the problem with the radio wasn't the battery, and that I had tested the radio with anohter battery pack, and the problem occurred again. I told him to please replace or repair the transceiver, but don't send it back with simply a new battery because it will still have the same problem. Mr. Varian agreed to just send me a new trasceiver. After about 3 weeks wait time, I now have a new IC-V80 that appears to be working o.k. I guess I can say that I have a love-hate relationship with the IC-V80 now. I really like the transceiver, and it seems to be a nice radio that is durable, has a lot of features, and should work well for years to come. I hate the fact that I had to go through the headache of sending the radio off to Michigan TWICE, for what I what I thought should have been a srealtively simple problem to fix. I have no idea what SARTS checked on the transceiver, but am rather disappointed that the radio wasn't fixed right the first time, and I had to send it back to them to ultimately be replace with another radio. I usually send all my Icom gear to MTS repair in Washington State, and Scott Malcolm always does a great job. I even contacted Scott via e-mail and he gave me a few suggestions as to what the problem might be, such as a bad or shorted component. Hopefully, this radio will work o.k.