Icom IC-208H

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Radio IC208H.jpg

Opinion

I really like this radio. The head is pretty small and fits nicely in the little bit of space in my Subaru Impreza. I installed the RF deck under the front seat, and I have a small speaker mounted on the console in front of the shift stick, when the head stuck on top of it. I routed the microphone cable to come out of the blank switch plates on the console behind the shift stick. Very clean, cables are out of the way.

The audio on the radio is good. Generally I can remember how to program a memory without the manual, but setting an alpha tag is next to impossible. I *really* wish I could assign the 'Memory Skip' function to one of the PF keys on the mic. Not since my Kenwood TM-741A have I been able to skip a memory for a frequency that's in use with the single press of a button. There's a few people on the local 2M machine that are just annoying, and when they're on, I don't want that memory in the scan list.

The display is quite readable, particularly the green backlight mode set.

One feature that this and the Icom IC-207H has that I don't like is the squelch knob that turns into an attenuator once you go past the 12 o'clock position. I really just want the squelch to get tighter. Unfortunately, the radio is prone to breaking the squelch on my favorite repeater frequency because of... something. No idea what, but there's a number of areas I go through that cause the squelch to open. Update: Duston (N9DS) pointed out to me this can be displayed in the initial setup menu. Overlooked that one, to be sure.

This is probably the best single-band radio I've owned, in terms of overall performance, usability, etc. I liked my Yaesu FT-8100R's a little better, both for the user interface and being true dual-band radios, but they just weren't going to fit in the Impreza.

Important tuning note: On 2010/01/17 I had to go into the adjustment menu and tweak the Fr parameter. I was transmitting about 1.7Khz low at 445.000. The original adjustment value was 0x09, I moved it to 0x14, which seemed to put it dead-nuts on 445.000. You can do this without the use of additional test equipment, but do NOT use the 'BAND' key to step through the menu. Any items that require the signal generator to be attached are EXPECTING it to be attached, and automatically read values. As a result, the radio will use values it reads from the antenna rather than the signal generator. This will mess up the tracking, S-meter and squelch settings. Use the 'SET/LOCK' and 'S.MW/MW' keys to step forward and backwards without overwriting existing values.

Notes

The speaker jack on the back is a 3.5mm stereo jack. The OPC-474 cloning cable uses a stereo jack, while the SP-7 and SP-10 external speakers use a 3.5mm mono jack. For a stereo jack, the sleeve is ground, the ring is data and the tip is audio. For a mono jack, the sleeve is ground (and shorts the ring position to ground) and the tip is audio. The speaker is driven by a Sanyo LA4425A 5W amplifier that can drive a 2 to 8 ohm load (4 ohms is recommended). The data line can safely be shorted to ground because it's a bi-directional open-collector bus.

Information Pages

Accessories

Manuals, Schematics, Etc

Notes

  1. The service manual has a mis-print on page 5-2. The resistor for the jig should be 22K, not 2.2K as indicates. From QRZ Forums