Icom IC-V80-Sport Review

It’s back! After being briefly discontinued, Icom announced that the Icom IC-V80-Sport was being revived in late 2021. Despite being superseded by the Icom IC-V86, this radio is still one of the most economical, durable, and simple 2-meter band radios on the market. Get all the details in this ham radio overview now.

Good

  • Amazingly economical – The Icom IC-V80-Sport packs a ton of power and features into an affordable package. It’s a no-frills radio that really delivers amazing value.
  • Rock-solid performance – Despite its low cost, the IC-V80-Sport delivers 5.5w of transmission power. According to some users, that’s enough to reach repeaters up to 50 miles away with the standard “rubber ducky” antenna.
  • Durable build – This HT is built to handle abuse. Drop, dust, and moisture are no problem with the IC-V80-Sport’s simple, robust build. It’s even rainproof as long as you install the jack covers – about the only thing it can’t handle is total immersion in water, since it’s not IP waterproof rated.
  • Can be powered with AA batteries – This is the difference between the standard IC-V80 and the Sport model. The Sport comes with a tray that holds 6 AA batteries, allowing you to easily power up this radio without worrying about recharging. This makes it an excellent emergency unit.
  • Simple to program – While you can buy a programming cord and use software, you won’t have any trouble programming this unit manually. It’s simple in a way that few modern radios are these days.
  • Easy to learn – Grab the manual and start reading. Even if you’re a new ham, you’ll get all the information you need to use this 2-meter radio to its fullest potential, and it’s an excellent mobile HT for learners.

Bad

  • Small on/off button – Some users like this, and some don’t. The power button is small and recessed, and some people report having trouble accessing it. However, this also means it’s hard to accidentally turn the radio on and off, which could be a good thing depending on your use case.
  • No manual squelch – There’s no manual squelch knob. You have to press the “Mon” and “Up” or “Down” buttons simultaneously, which can be a touchy operation with the small size of the buttons. Still, this works well enough once you get used to it.

Bottom line

The Icom IC-V80-Sport only does one thing – 2-meter radio – but it does it exceptionally well, and for a really low price. It’s a great option for total newcomers to the 2-meter band, and it’s also a good choice for more experienced hams who may want a “beater” or backup radio. The fact that the Sport model lets you power it with 6 AA batteries also makes it particularly good for emergency situations.

Product Specs

Frequency coverage

TX
U.S.A.
AUS

CHN
EXP

EUR
UK
KOR

RX
U.S.A.
AUS

CHN
EXP


EUR
UK
KOR



144–148


136–174*




144–146




136–174*


136–174*



144–146
ModeFM, FM-N
Number of memory channels207
(incl. 6 scan edges and 1 Call channel
Usable temperature range–20°C to +60°C; –4°F to +140°F
Tuning steps5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 25, 30 and
50 kHz
Frequency stability±2.5 ppm
(–20°C to +60°C; –4°F to +140°F)
Power supplyIcom specified battery pack/case
Current drain (at 7.2 V DC: typical)
Transmit at 5.5 W (High)
at 2.5 W (Mid.)
at 0.5 W (Low)

Receive standby
power save
max. audio



1.4 A
0.9 A
0.6 A

65 mA
20 mA
310 mA (internal speaker)
180mA (external speaker

58(W)×112(H)×30(D) mm
29⁄32(W)×413⁄32(H)×13⁄16(D) in
Antenna connector
BNC (50 W)
Dimensions
(projections not included)
58(W)×112(H)×30(D) mm;
29⁄32(W)×413⁄32(H)×13⁄16(D) in
Weight (approx.)
(without battery pack/case and ant.)
140 g; 4.9 oz
Modulation systemVariable reactance freq. modulation
Output power (at 7.2 V DC)High 5.5 W, Mid. 2.5 W, Low 0.5 W
Max. frequency deviationFM (wide) ±5.0 kHz
FM (narrow) ±2.5 kHz
Spurious emissionsLess than –60 dBc
External mic. connector3-conductor 2.5 (d) mm (1⁄10˝)/2.2 kΩ
Receive systemDouble-conversion superheterodyne
Intermediate frequencies1st: 21.7 MHz, 2nd: 450 kHz
Sensitivity (at 12 dB SINAD)–0.14 μV typ.
SelectivityFM (wide) 70 dB typ.
FM (narrow) 50 dB typ
Spurious and image rejection75 dB typ
IntermodulationFM (wide) 70 dB typ.
FM (narrow) 65 dB typ.
Audio output power (at 10% distortion)
Internal speaker
External speaker
0.75 W typ. with a 16 Ω load
0.45 W typ. with a 8 Ω load
External speaker connector3-conductor 3.5(d) mm; (1⁄8˝)/8 Ω

Expert reviews

  • Ed from Ham Radio Comms reviewed the Icom IC-V80-Sport, and called it a “really good radio” overall. He praised the quality of the built-in antenna, as well as its 5.5-watt power output. He called it a “great value” and he also liked the rugged design, long battery life, and easy-to-use belt clip.
  • In a quick review, Eric from Universal Radio took a look at the Icom IC-V80-Sport. He liked the affordability of the radio, the accessories available on the aftermarket, the backlit display, and the clear and loud speaker, as well as the 5.5 watts of transmission power. He also called it “one of the most rugged and durable handhelds out there,” and said that “it will last any ham radio operator a long time.”

User reviews

  • On eHam.net, reviewers have given the Icom IC-V80-Sport a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars across 26 total reviews. Users said that this radio is “a rugged, easy to use, solid quality radio,” “simple, inexpensive, and intuitive,” and “an excellent value.” Users liked the simple display, loud speaker, and ease-of-use of this radio, though some did mention disliking the smaller buttons and the tiny on/off button.
  • As of publication time, the Icom IC-V80-Sport has only a single review on DXEngineering. This user gave the radio 5 out of 5 stars, and said it’s a “nice quality, well-built handheld, that it has “loud and clear audio,” and that it’s a “great backup radio to have around the house or keep in your vehicle.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.