Have you just wanted a basic HT
that is easy to program and easy to use?
How about adding durability and a great battery life?
I have had the pleasure to check out an Icom IC-
T70A that gives you everything above. http://www.icomamerica.com/en/produc...e/default.aspx
This review was done by me as a simple user who has no fancy test equipment.
This radio will be one of our give aways on WWDX.
My first impression of the appearance was that it looked like a commercial type HT
I was in Rock Island, IL traveling for work. I decided to try programing WITHOUT reading the manual, it's a guy thing.
Don't be fooled, I have had more HT
's in my life than underwear so I was quite familiar with basic programming. This HT
was no different.
Programing for simplex use and repeater use is easy. The keypad has 4 simple multi function menu selections on the top and 3 on the side. A quick tap or hold of the menu button is all that is needed to choose the function you want.
I programmed a local repeater and was able to key it from my hotel. Unfortunately there was no-one on the repeater or I was not making it strong enough and I could not be understood. I started scanning, (another easy task) and found a few guys on simplex. There location was about 8 miles from my hotel and they said the audio was strong and I was making a solid contact without dropping off.
The following week I was in De Pere Wisconsin (Suburb of Green Bay).
Again at the hotel I scanned for any stations. I came across a repeater net. So the auto repeater duplex set my plus or minus and all I had to do was get the PL. This is yet another simple task, scanning for the PL. Once it was programmed I heard the net controller ask for any other check ins. I tried and BAM, they heard me.
I did the standard check in with my name and call. Net control asked where I was and his response was, You're on an HT
After I replied that I was, they became more inquisitive as to the antenna I was using. Of course I was using the rubber duckie that came with the radio.
The net controller then told me he was shocked I was making it because the repeater was in Appleton, WI. This was about 20 air miles away!
I will admit I was on the third floor of the hotel and I am
sure conditions must have been favorable that day, but none the less, I was impressed, and so were they. They asked me to try the 440 machine and see if we had the same results. After programing it, sure enough, I had made contact with them, they did say it was a little scratchy though.
I got a hold of Moleculo by phone to try the local Green Bay IRLP. I was able to use the DTMF functions but I had to read the manual for that. DTMF was a bit more of a challenge, the manual gave directions but they were a little confusing to me. We were never able to make the contact because the repeater had a access code for the IRLP node and no one was on to tell us the code. Moleculo said the node also was not accepting any requests at this time. So I never got to connect to IRLP, but I was able to use the DTMF easily.
The display lights up and is timed which can be adjusted for battery conservation. For my vision it is a bit small, I can read it, just need it a bit close to my eyes. Getting old sucks!
One thing I do not like, the keypad does not light up. Couple that together with my poor vision and it being dark out when I tried to program it became a pain in the ass for me.
Battery life though is AWESOME with this thing. I charged it on a Monday and with light use was still using the HT
on Friday on my trip home from Green Bay.
While charging, the display blinks "Charging" and when finished, it disappears from the screen. Takes about 6-8 hours for a full charge with the stock wal wart charger. You can buy an optional drop in fast charger, but this is good enough for me. I just charge overnight while sleeping.
More to come,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,