Icom IC-2820H vs Yaesu FTM-350R

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KB1EMT, Apr 5, 2010.

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  1. KB1EMT

    KB1EMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey all. I have been out of the ham radio look for a while. Dusted off my HT a few months ago and am ready to pick up a mobile unit. These are the main two that I am deciding between (the Kenwood TM-D710A is third on my list).

    The plus for the Icom are the D-Star (not yet in my area, but seems pretty interesting).

    The pluses for the Yaesu is the APRS and the bluetooth (been hearing a decent amount of talk about people being pulled over b/c of using the mic lately).

    I think I am leaning towards the Yaesu, but just want to make sure I am not making a mistake by not getting the D-Star capable radio. Spec'd out how I want them the cost is exactly the same (Icom with D*/GPS unit and the Yaesu with the GPS and bluetooth units). I just want to hear opinions from other people before I spend the money. Also going to need an antenna (mag mount preferred).. any opinions on that would be great also.

    Thanks in advance!!!!
    Brandon
     
  2. KJ6EPH

    KJ6EPH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can only talk for the FTM-350R since I never checked the IC or Kenwoods so far. I have it installed in my JK and I like it that I have the radio mainbody sitting in the trunk and just the control head at the dash. In a car which is a little louder than a Mercedes you will need the additonal speaker since the I think it's not loud enough to understand easily while driving.
    Look that you get one with the green dot on the box since that is one which was back at Yaesu for firmware update.
    The menu is OK, the soft buttons are good programmed which makes it easy to program the unit and also handle the rest of it.
    Since I have it only for three weeks now I need to get more hands-on work done to say more.
     
  3. KB1EMT

    KB1EMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info on the 350R. Good to know about needing the speaker, my truck is pretty loud.
     
  4. KB9NHA

    KB9NHA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Same situation here. I'm been away for long & recently came back to the hobby. I just purchased an Icom IC-2820H more than a month ago. The main selling point of the radio is D-STAR. It's really a very expensive dual band radio if you factor the D-STAR addon module. It won't do native APRS but D-PRS via D-STAR network (can't do it if you're not connected to a D-STAR gateway). The radio by default setting is very noisy. The fan will turn on by just a press of the PTT. You can adjust the fan setting but you compromised the cooling efficiency. The crossband repeater function will only do VHF to UHF only & not the other way around. You can attach the controller to the main unit only if you don't plan connect a D-STAR GPS antenna, packet cable or a data cable (the connections are located not in the back but in front of the main unit). It doesn't have a built in TNC. For you to use the the diversity receive capability of the rig, you got to use to antennas for it.

    Thing to look forward in D-STAR... You can now set up a local D-STAR hotspot at home as opposed to only being able to access it only via a D-STAR repeater in your area or via gateway access using a DV Dongle. A new toy by INet Labs released last February makes this possible.

    http://radio.kdsanders.com/amateur-radio/new-toy-on-the-shelves-at-the-candy-store-dv-access-point

    If I know before what I know now about the radio, I probably buy the Yaesu FTM-350R instead. I mainly used the radio to make contact with some folks in Asia via EchoLink.
     
  5. KB1EMT

    KB1EMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Excellent information. Thank you for thoughts. I seem to be leaning toward the Yaesu.

    As much as I want to play with D-Star, there aren't repeaters around my house right now and I'd only get to use it a couple times a month when I am in CT.

    Thanks for the info again. If anyone else has any more please let me know. I am going to purchase next month most likely. Just ordered an antenna for the truck and will use my HT for a few more weeks with that before I purchase a mobile rig.
     
  6. KB9NHA

    KB9NHA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Further info about D-STAR, the voice quality is superb (1st class). It's like talking to someone just across the street even it that someone is in another country.

    I'm almost finish setting up my D-STAR shack (only thing I don't have is the DV access point). I tried D-STAR yesterday & was very impressed with what I heared. The voice quality of D-STAR is not weird sounding as other hams said.

    I'm looking forward setting up a D-STAR hotspot at home. Hopefully I got money to buy it next week.
     
  7. KB9NHA

    KB9NHA Ham Member QRZ Page

    You don't need to access a D-STAR repeater to use D-STAR. You can now access D-STAR using a DV Access Poit at home. The DV Access point is different from DV Dongle.
     
  8. AA6RA

    AA6RA Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is an excellent tool if there are no D-Star repeaters in your area but it does require that you have a D-Star capable radio to access it.
     
  9. KB1EMT

    KB1EMT Ham Member QRZ Page

    That does look neat, but it seems to be more for the home. I am usually on the radio when in the car (to/from work and errands) and don't talk much at home (I live in a building with strict antenna rules and such). It does open up a ton of doors though, and I can see its usefulness but I mostly talk within a 75 mile area through a few local clubs/repeaters.

    Again, thanks for the info! I am learning a ton about D-Star.
     
  10. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I live about 59 mi from the nearest D-Star repeater and I have 2 IC-2820's one base and the other mobile I use both daily for DV and FM. It's great to work Malta, Japan and who knows might sign in you can see their callsign and the country and usually the name. I have many other radios and several for aprs but stopped using them at all and have sold all but one. Most all of my main HF gear is Yaesu but Icom has it spot on with D-Star and growing every day.
     
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