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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
KD0JBN Rating: 2010-06-21
Great little inexpensive HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
In the short time I have really enjoyed it. Having had some Icom products before, it wasn't too hard for me to program it. Most of the buttons are fairly intuitive. I also like having receive beyond the 144-148 range, especially being able to receive NOAA Weather Radio.

The speaker-mike price seems kind of steep for a $100 radio and since the radio is so new to the market, there really aren't after market speaker-mikes being marketed for this radio yet. So, last might I took a good look at the sockets for the speaker-mike and saw that they looked about the same size as the ones on my HTX-202. So I figured I would give it a try and see what happened. IT WORKED! So, if you have one of these V-80s and didn't feel like forking out the extra $35 for the speaker-mike, try finding an old HTX-202 speaker-mike.

K8DXX Rating: 2010-05-22
Great Value - No Compromise Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
7 - 10 years ago, a friend and I both purchased Icom T2H-Sport model HT's at Dayton; the ones with the 8 cell AA packs. We both enjoyed the 7 watts out, the economy of either alkalines or NiMH rechargeables and the noticeably superior performance we got from the supplied rubber duck antenna. Being hams, we both opted to get more expensive complex handhelds, in my case the Kenwood TH-D7A(G), Yaesu VX6R and a Kenwood THF6A. These radios did more stuff but never provided full quieting signals into local repeaters while walking our dog through the neighborhood. Isn’t that what people buy HTs for?

Recently, I noticed the V80-Sport and W2DI’s comment that the supplied rubber duck worked like the one from the T2H. Previously, I had used rechargeable AAs in the T2H and an FT-817 without incident (despite warnings in both radio manuals). A fellow ham and electrical engineer opined that these warnings against using NiMH rechargeables was probably the manufacturers’ protective legalese. In the event that an unfused NiMH pack was shorted, it could explode. Vowing not to short the BP 263’s terminals, I purchased some Sanyo Enveloop AA cells. They are supposed to retain 85% of their charge over 1 year on the shelf. Standard NiMH cells loose 1 - 2% per day. The Enveloop power retention is rated to be as good as a LIon pack and are a lot less expensive. The Sanyo factory charge (how long ago?) lasted 2 days at Dayton plus a week of casual TX/RX around the house. Only on 5.5 watt TX did the batteries show any sign of dying. RX and mid - low power TX were still fine.

So, how does it work? Running full power (5.5 watts), I can hit more repeaters with a full quieting signal than any of the more expensive HTs could, even after adding a $30 aftermarket antenna. The radio seems rugged. The seal between the battery pack and case is good and tight. However, it does take a coin to unlatch it. On air use indicates that moving mic gain from the default 2 to 3 (4 being highest) improves the transmit audio. The RX shows no intermod when sitting next to my IC 7000 running 50 watts on 2 meters. I found it necessary to spend perhaps an hour in the manual to program memories and become familiar with other set and forget items. The one button access to 10 marine WX channels is a nice touch.

IMHO, the V80-Sport provides the best bang for the buck in terms of hand held 2 meter communications.
W2DI Rating: 2010-04-09
Solid, basic HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have the sport model of this radio but purchased the LiO battery and quick-charging stand.

The V80 has a very solid and comfortable feel. It is a 'commercial quality' type radio feel.

It doesn't have many of the extras you may find on other radios, but the performance is outstanding. Receive audio is loud and full while transmit audio is also robust (there is an adjustment for trans audio, #2 working great on the 1-4 scale).

Power choices of 5.5, 2.5 and 0.5 watts are very convenient. I can hit nearby repeaters with 0.5 watts inside my steel and concrete work building.

The supplied antenna is the same having been used on the T2H and the V8 and leaves nothing to be desired. Plus, it's a BNC connection.

Battery longevity is good. I purchased the LiO battery and quick charger, the prices not being all that bad for the extras. The original alkaline holder is now a convenient back-up.

On the downside, there is no DC connection (which I personally never use anyway - it's a handheld), and the alpha tags are somewhat strange looking, some upper case letters, some lower case, giving the name an odd look.

As with some of the YAESU handhelds, the battery holder clip is very, very tight. It's a solid grab with no looseness but often you need a coin to pry it open! What I did with the YAESU radios (ie. FT-60) and with the V80 is carefully file the catch point on the BATTERY and/or ALKALNE HOLDER, a little at a time, until latching and unlatching the battery case is still tight, but capable of being done with your thumb. Now, it is just right; but this must be carefully done a little at a time and on the battery, NOT the latch itself.

So it isn't perfect, but nothing is. I rate it a 5 for performance (especially audio both ways), good RX sensitivity and TX range, and very solid construction... and that's why I got it.

Thanks for reading.

Joe -- W2DI
WB8SCT Rating: 2010-04-08
Good radio, but room for improvment Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased my V80 three weeks ago, and I really like this radio. However, there are a few items that do concern me. I got the model with the BP-263 AA Battery pack. When I opened the package, the BP-263 specifically states only use Alkaline batteries. It further states not to use NiMH or NiCad batteries. I got this to use with rechargeable 2700 MAh AA NiMH batteries, so that was my first disappointment. Icom should have indicated this in their literature (or maybe I should have done more research before buying). They do advertise the V80 with Alkaline batteries, but knowing this is for the Ham Market, I felt a little misled. I find the power button difficult to use, it is extremely small. Also to set the squelch you need to hit the mon button and the UP or DOWN button sequentially. The mon button is also extremely small and located just above the UP button which makes this task difficult (fortunately this does not have to be done often). The battery is held in with a clip on the bottom of the radio. I am concerned about how many times this clip can be cycled with before it breaks, because of the pressure it takes to install and release the battery. Time will tell. I am counting on the fact that Icom typically has always designed good equipment and this clip won’t be a problem. Also if you have an Icom rechargeable battery, this clip won’t be cycled nearly as much as if you are exclusivity going to sue the BP-263. Now for the good news: The radio performs very well, lots of audio and as mentioned previously, it has a BNC connector for the antenna. I have several other handhelds and I am primarily carrying this radio now. For the money (I paid $99) this is an excellent value. From a price performance perspective I give this radio a 5 and for design, functionality and layout I can only give it a 2.5. Overall it is a high 3.
WV7R Rating: 2010-03-22
Rugged HT - Good value Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I think this HT is a definite improvement over the IC-V85. Though it is a watt and half less out-put, it is very ruggedly built. Love the BNC connector. The factory rubber duck is adequate for general operation. Easy to program. Relatively large fonts for those of us with diminishing eyesight. Good value for the money invested.
AB1II Rating: 2010-03-21
Great HT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This rig does what it’s advertised to do. It’s loud, rugged, and simple to program. It comes with an alligator belt clip. I purchased this radio to take along for cross country bike rides. It’s first trip out, the radio preformed as expected. Through mud, water, rocks, etc. The radio stayed secured on the belt, and it survived.

There is a bit of extended receive, if you live near the water, it’s nice to program a few marine VHF channels. For example Channel 16 can be interesting to monitor

The rig also has pre programmed WX band channels with Alert. This feature will also be handy for the bike riding season.

To sum up, I’m happy with the radio, it’s fit’s the bill satisfactorily.