The new Icom IC-
T70A has become widely available, so I picked one up to evaluate.
T70A is a no-frills, 2M/440 HT
that is Icom's obvious attempt at competing with the Yaesu FT
-60. The IC-
T70A is priced at $220, while the FT
-60 is $195. While there are many similarities between the two radios, there are also a few differences. Some of the similarities are: Both radios come with 7.2V/1400mAh batteries. Both are fairly rugged and simple to use. Both only allow operation on one band at a time. Here are some of the differences: The FT
-60R has 1000 memories available; the IC-
T70A has 302. The FT
-60R has wide-band FM
reception; the IC-
T70A does not. The Icom is water and dust resistant (MIL-STD 810 and IP54 rated); the Yaesu is not. The IC-
T70A has internal VOX; the FT
-60R does not.
Here are a few pics that show the size and dimensions of the radio:
Here is the radio next to a Yaesu VX-8r for size comparison:
Width of both radios shown. Note, the VX-8r has the extended battery installed:
Note the large battery:
The battery power in this radio seems to last forever. As a test, I gave the radio a full charge, and then decided to see how long it would last just monitoring before dieing. It has been monitoring my local police dispatch for 36 hours and it has not died yet. Keep in mind, that I have not used the radio during this period to transmit, and I've kept the volume at a comfortable listening level. I intend to keep it on, doing the same thing to see how long it will last. Whatever Icom is doing to conserve battery power while receiving is working well.
Icom boasts 7200mW of receive volume. I can attest to the fact that this is quite a bit of volume from a small radio. You definitely don't have a hard time hearing this radio from your hip!
Here is a close-up picture of the display and keypad of the radio:
The first test I always do with any new HT
is attempt to figure out the basic, necessary radio functions without reading the manual. I try to figure out how to change bands, activate duplex/tone/repeater settings, and switch between VFO and Memory mode. I also usually try to enter the Set menu and see how many options I can figure out. I do this as a barometer of how easy the radio is to use. I can honestly say that the basics of this radio are incredibly easy to figure out, especially if you've used any HT
prior to this one. I also figured out about half of the Set menu functions before looking at the manual.
You can see from this picture that the radio uses standard mic and speaker jacks, which is always good if you like wiring your own connections to save a few bucks:
And lastly, here is a pic of the supplied belt clip which snaps onto the battery:
It is strong and substantive, and you won't find it slipping off of your belt.
Next I'll cover some of the basic functions and later I'll go over the extended transmit/receive mod. Stay tuned...