Icom IC-7100 as a mobile solution

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by N6YW, May 1, 2017.

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  1. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Although I am primarily an AM operator, I am considering installing an HF rig in my truck
    and am interested in having all mode capability at my fingertips.
    After reading about the Icom IC-7100 , it appears that it has a lot features that would be useful.
    I would like to hear from owners of this radio who have used it for mobile operations.
    I am also interested in how well it performs on AM.
    The ergonomics of the control head seem to make it very easy to install and use in the mobile
    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.
    Billy N6YW
  2. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Billy, I just sold my 7100, which was used in fixed-station operation, so I can't help you with the mobile aspect of the radio. However, I did run it a bit on AM, and always got good audio reports (using the stock mic). It's also an awesome CW rig, and performs well on VHF/UHF. However, I could never get it to perform well on HF SSB. My old TS-50 was a much better performer there. I would call and call a station on the 7100 with no reply. I'd switch over to the Kenwood and would get an answer right away. As always, YMMV. But like I said, I was very happy with its performance on AM.

    One caveat - the 7100 does not play AM on 2m or 70cm. It receives just fine, but no transmit in that mode on those bands.
    N6YW likes this.
  3. N6YW

    N6YW Ham Member Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Thank you.
    I spent the evening reading reviews and downloaded the manual. Still on the fence but it does have much of the modern enhancements like D-Star which I have never used and according to many, is an awesome way to go. Many of the D-Star repeaters currently listed in the USA are already programmed into the radio or perhaps in the software, I don't recall which.
    I am also considering the TS480-HX. The Kenwoods, especially the TS-2000 typically have very good sounding AM.
    Thanks again.
    Billy N6YW
  4. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Billy, glad to help. If you have any questions, my contact info is good here. Best 73!
  5. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You would think so, but not really. I have a 7100 in my truck right now, and it's not the best mobile solution.

    When you are parked somewhere, it's not difficult to operate. When you are trying to operate while driving, it's another matter entirely. The reasons:
    1. Touchscreen -- this isn't a good mobile user interface. You have to look at the screen to operate the correct control, and you have to touch the screen in exactly the right place or you will operate something you don't intend. You can't operate touch-screen controls by feel while watching the road, because there is no tactile feedback to tell you that you are on the right portion of the screen. Radios that use buttons and knobs have an advantage that once you know where things are, you can operate largely by touch.
    2. Layout -- many controls are buried in menus or "pages" or whatever abstraction you want to use. Many of these require use of both the buttons and touch screen actions. Many simple actions require more than one screen touch (e.g., changing bands, changing modes, selecting and enabling a scan, ...).
    The radio is certainly capable, but it is by no means the ultimate mobile radio. There are others with ergonomics that are more suitable for mobile operation. One of those is the TS-480, which I have also used in this same vehicle.
    N6YW likes this.

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