Icom IC-7100

A fully-featured tri-band radio that also offers amazing D-STAR compatibility? Who could say no? The Icom IC-7100 may be a little bit expensive, particularly for new ham operators. But it justifies its price tag with robust features, excellent sound quality, and a surprisingly small learning curve, especially for those who have already used Icom products in the past.

Good

  • Great display with excellent touchscreen – It may not be full color, but the LCD touchscreen is large and responsive, making for an excellent user experience. It even functions while wearing gloves, which makes it ideal for use while working outdoors in cold conditions.
  • Intuitive detached control head – The angled control head may look a little bit funny at first, but it’s got great ergonomics. And, despite its light weight, durable rubber feet keep it from moving around during routine use.
  • Excellent D-STAR capabilities – The IC-7100 is an excellent choice for any ham looking to dabble in digital radio. It supports both DV mode digital voice and low speed data communications. While it doesn’t come with a GPS, it can be expanded with a variety of compatible units for further functionality.
  • Tri-band design with plenty of power – Maximum transmit power is up to 100W in HF bands, 50W in VHF, and 35W in UHF. Paired with the proper antenna and accessories, this powerhouse will have you reaching repeaters and base stations worldwide.
  • Powerful DSP for clear audio – The proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) uses a 32-bit, floating point architecture to provide clean, crisp audio on both digital and analog bands.
  • 500+ memory channels – The IC-7100 supports 495 standard channels, 4 call channels, and 6 scan edge channels, as well as 900+ DR mode repeater channels for D-STAR users.

Bad

  • Lacks a few features compared to the competition – Some comparable radios in this price range have features like a GPS, color screen, and built-in antenna tuner, which the IC-7100 lacks.
  • Touchscreen quality control – A handful of users have noted that they’ve experienced malfunctioning touchscreens or complete touchscreen failure. You may want to keep this in mind while shopping.

Bottom line

This is a great mobile transceiver, particularly for newer operators who may have mostly used HTs, but are now familiar with the basics and are ready to set up a home base station or a mobile vehicle station. It’s not cheap, but the Icom IC-7100 has tons of amazing features and is built to last, making it a good overall investment.

Product Specs

Frequency coverage (MHz)
Receiver
Transmit
0.030 – 199.999*
 
400.000 – 470.000*
 
 
1.800-1.999

3.500-3.999

5.255-5.405
7.000-7.300

10.100-10.150

14.000-14.350
18.068-18.168

21.000-21.450

24.890-24.990
28.000-29.700

50.000-54.000

144.000-148.000
430.000-450.000

*Some frequency bands are not guaranteed.
ModeUSB, LSB, CW, RTTY, AM, FM, WFM (Rx only)
No. of memory channels505 (495 regular, 6 scan edges and 4 call) ; 700 (D-STAR repeater channels
Antenna connectorSO-239×2
(one each for HF/50 MHz and VHF/UHF bands, 50Ω)
Temperature Range-10°C to +60°C;
+14°F to +140°F
Frequency stabilityWithin ±0.5 ppm (+0°C to +50°C; +32°F to +122°F)
Power supply requirement13.8V DC ±15%
Power consumption
(approx.)
Tx Max. Power
22.0A
Rx Max. Audio/Standby
1.5A/1.2A
Dimensions (W×H×D)
(projections not included)
RF Unit          167x58x255 mm
Controller      165x64x78.5 mm
Weight (approx.)RF Unit          2.3kg
Controller      0.5kg
Output power (at 13.8V DC)SSB/CW/RTY/FM/DV HF/50MHz
2-100W
144MHz
2-50W
430/440MHz
1-35W

AM
HF/50MHz
1-40W
Spurious emissionsLess than -50dB (HF bands)
Less than -63dB (50MHz)
Less than -60dB (144/430MHz)
Carrier suppressionMore than 50dB
Unwanted sideband suppressionMore than 50dB
Intermediate frequencies
SSB, CW, RTTY, AM, FM
WFM
124.487 MHz, 455 kHz, 36kHz
134.732 MHz, 10.70 MHz
Sensitivity (Pre-amp: ON)SSB/CW/RTTY
1.8-29.9 MHz
0.16µV
50-54 MHz
0.13µV
144/430 MHz
0.11µV

AM
0.5-1.8 MHz
13.0µV
1.8-29.9 MHz
2.0µV
50-54 MHz
1.0µV
144/430 MHz
1.0µV

FM
0.5-1.8 MHz
0.5µV
(28-29.7)

1.8-29.9 MHz
0.5µV
(28-29.7)

50-54 MHz
0.25µV

144/430 MHz
0.18µV

DV
0.5-1.8 MHz
1.8-29.9 MHz

1µV(28-29.7)

50-54 MHz
.63µV

144/430 MHz
.35µV

WFM
50-54 MHz
144/430 MHz
10.0µV (76-108MHz)
Selectivity
  SSB (BW=2.4kHz, sharp)
 
CW (BW=500Hz, sharp)
 
RTTY (BW=350Hz)
 
  AM (BW=6kHz)
 
  FM (BW=15kHz)
 
  DV (12.5kHz spacing)
(representative value)
More than 2.4 kHz/–6dB
Less than 3.6kHz/–60dB
More than 500 Hz/–6dB
Less than 900 Hz/–60dB
More than 360 Hz/–6dB
Less than 650 Hz/–60dB
More than 6.0 kHz/–6dB
Less than 15 kHz/–60dB
More than 12 kHz/–6dB
Less than 20 kHz/–60dB
-50dB
Spurious and image
rejection ratio
More than 70dB (HF bands)
More than 65dB (other bands)
(except 144MHz IF point)
AF output power
(at 13.8V DC)
More than 2.0W at 10% distortion with an 8Ω load

Expert reviews

  • In a video review, Eric from Ham Radio Concepts reviewed the Icom IC-7100, which he purchased for his personal ham shack. He called it a “great radio” for anyone wanting to get into HF, VHF, UHF, and D-STAR all in a single radio. He mentioned that it was a great radio both for new amateur radio operators, and for veterans who are looking for more advanced features in a desktop or mobile radio.
  • Jarrad from Rate My Radio did a “mini-review” of the IC-7100. He called it “quite well priced” and noted a few other highlights, including the angled and easy-to-store remote control head, the intuitive mounting design, and the design that uses shielded RJ45 connectors to prevent RF interference. Overall, he said he has “loved the radio” ever since he bought it, saying it’s “very well made.”
  • British blogger Tom McQuiggan reviewed the ICOM IC-7100 in a blog post, calling it a “fantastic option” for people who are looking for their first radio, particularly when purchased second-hand. Among other features, he had good things to say about the intuitive, touchscreen-enabled control head, the “shack in a box” HF/UHF/VHF/D-STAR capabilities of the unit, and the excellent noise reduction features of the IC-7100.

User reviews

  • Reviewers on eHam.net have given the ICOM IC-7100 a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars across 165 total reviews. On the positive side, users noted that this mobile radio “performs very well,” and has a good “price/performance ratio.” Another user called it “durable, reliable, and well worth, plus more for the cost.” However, a few critical reviews noted issues with the touchscreen and occasional spotty output power on HF bands.
  • On DXEngineering, customers have given this mobile transceiver a rating of 4.84 out of 5 stars across 49 total reviews. Users called the sound “remarkably clear,” noted that the radio is “not complex to use,” and is a “little powerhouse of a radio.” Multiple reviewers praised its portability and ease of use, too. However, a few users criticized the “mediocre” touchscreen responsiveness and noted that the screen can be hard to see in some lighting conditions.
  • On GigaParts, the IC-710 has a rating of 5 out of 5 stars, across 7 total reviews. One user called it the “best radio in its class, bar none.” Another called it a “decent radio for the price,” and a third reviewer said that there are “few limits on what you can do with it,” and “few rigs can match it capability for capability.

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