ID-4100A First Hour

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by W2JKT, Aug 7, 2017.

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  1. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recently "upgraded" from the ID-880H to the shiny new ID-4100A from ICOM. Here are some of my first impressions of the radio, pros and cons - it might be considered instructive that I found things I didn't like about the radio at a higher rate than I found things I liked about it. I'll follow up with more as I get more familiar with the radio. Any other good first impressions to share?

    Pros:

    LCD has more information, being a dot matrix

    More graphical menus are easier to follow

    Internal GPS, Location-Aware repeater lists (this is one of the best things ever)

    Entering data works just like the Garmin GNS-430 aircraft GPS! That was a nice touch.

    Cons:

    New menu system is haphazard - three different buttons can activate three different menu systems (Menu key, Pushing the tuning knob, and the "quick" menu button). I see the utility in this but it will take some learning

    They got rid of callsign lists! This is a big deal. Now you can only get to a pre-programmed UR callsign if it is in the recents list. Otherwise you have to re-enter it manually.

    LCD is very slow, and I can only imagine how much slower it will be when it gets cold. The contrast is terrible, and the "White" and "Blue" color selections may as well both be blue. They really cheaped out on the display quality - not something you like to see on a $400+ radio.

    The squelch circuit in FM mode leaves a LOT to be desired. It opens when you let go of PTT, it opens even when you have receive tones enabled, and it opens when you drop a hat.
     
  2. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    OKay, so I figured out the callsign list. In the cloning software there's a section called "Your call sign," which to me is not the same as "UR Call Sign," but it does in fact have 300 slots in it. Minor issue now.
     
  3. QRZFAN2

    QRZFAN2 QRZ Member

    Did you buy the 100 dollar Bluetooth or the 75 dollar data cable? Kinda expensive that add to the price of it. Tried out Terminal mode and access point mode? You would still need a computer/tablet for each mode correct? Plus Bluetooth or the cable if I understand it correct. Thanks for the write up and info.
     
  4. K0OKS

    K0OKS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice in that we 430 owners are familiar with it... but gee, the 430 is not exactly known for a good UI! When you are bouncing around in turbulence it can be nice to have that little knob to hold onto, until it breaks off in your hand :eek:
     
  5. W2JKT

    W2JKT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought a $9 data cable on Amazon.

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N3CM5EX

    I have not tried terminal or access point modes yet, but that's a good point. I should try them out hah! I am not sure how they work but I'll look into it.

    Shhhh... :D
     
  6. QRZFAN2

    QRZFAN2 QRZ Member

    Wow big price difference compared to the ICOM 75 dollar cable, yikes. I didn't know about it. Thank you sir. 73 Fred.
     
  7. K9CPO

    K9CPO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I purchased one of these a few weeks ago as the upgrade to my VHF/UHF capabilities in my shack. I bit the bullet and bought the programming cable. Glad I did. Programming the D-star settings was a pita doing it by hand.

    Besides having to buy the cable, you have to also purchase the radio mount separately too which will set back another $30. The Yaesu 7900 I use for my truck came with the mounting hardware.

    Anyway, I found the 4100A to be much easier to program regular repeater and simplex frequencies than my Yaesu.
     

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