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Icom IC V-86 2 Metre HT


WDX Club Coordinator
Staff member
Nov 5, 2008
The Great White north
First, let me explain intended use. Portable SOTA in Canadian Rockies, summer and winter.

Build, fit and finish: It fits well in the hand, it's really solid and small(ish). So far takes the abuse of being tossed around while strapped to the outside of a pack. It has suffered a few small drops with no problem or obvious scraps. The BNC connector is great for me as I switch from rubber duck to coax and back a few times per outing. The external mic socket is covered and requires removing a couple of fine screws (Don't try it in the field :() . Using older mic won't work on this, but you can get a waterproof external mic / speaker which for me is worthwhile. Speaking of waterproof-ness, there is a lot of misleading info on the web about that. I held off buying until I confirmed the rating with the dealer. It is rated as "IP54" which is good, but if you remove the external mic cover that rating is gone.

Performance: I got it for the power (Extra High 7 watts) for which with a fresh battery shows just over 8 watts on my meter. Partially used warm battery still shows just under 8 watts. With an aftermarket antenna and tiger tail I have had a 53 signal report with a range of 90Km, With a MFJ Long Ranger that improved to 59. My furthest contact so far was 265 Km with a home-brew EDZ to a mobile. In the cold so far the performance has not dropped off. Coldest to date is -15C, I was able to talk easily to Calgary from the Rockies to the west (mountain top) with rubber duck / tiger tail.

Mods: So far I can not find the Mars Mod (extended frequency) but there is 1 somewhere. The internal layout is similar to the V-80 including the SMT component to be removed but I'm not that handy to solder back on if its the wrong part. From Icom, out of frequency power out is 5 watts, ham band 7 watts. If I man up and do the mod, I will post here.

Final thoughts: Its a good basic powerful 2 metre HT that so far can take my abuse. It is easy to program with the supplied instructions Going from memory channels to simplex input is easy. If I could change 1 thing, bigger off / on button, the current 1 is a pain when wearing gloves.
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