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Icom ID-51A Review: VHF/UHF D-Star Handi-Talkie with GPS

Discussion in 'Product Reviews' started by Moleculo, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Mudfoot

    Mudfoot
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    Comet 24 should fit.


     

  2. rstrathman

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    Yes, but I was looking for a stubby anteanea like the
    Comet miracle baby type. Isn't the comet 24
    Longer? Thanks for the reply.
     
  3. Moleculo

    Moleculo
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    I have the Comet MH-209SMA and it fits on the radio fine.
     
  4. Moleculo

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    Now that I've modified the radio for out of band transmit, it's time to test the power output across it's frequency range. The following table represents the power output with a full battery charge and the GPS turned off, measured into a dummy load:

    Frequency (MHz)|Power (Watts)
    137-162|3
    164|2.5
    165|2
    166|1.5
    168|1
    171|0.5
    174|0.25
    400-410|3.5
    420-450|3
    460|2
    470|1.5
    479|0.75
    One thing of interest to note is that the power output on my radio never does reach a full 5 watts of output. I will have to try this same test out using a 12v power source to see if there is any noticeable change in power output.
     
  5. Moleculo

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    DTMF Capabilities

    While it's not obvious by looking at this radio, it does feature full DTMF capabilities even though there is no keypad. You can store up to 15 DTMF memory strings or enter DTMF strings on the fly. Here's how:

    The first way to key the radio with a DTMF string is by using the Quick Menu. While on the desired frequency, Hit Quick>Scroll to DTMF TX, then "Direct Input". Hit the center button on the 4 way control and then use the dial to select the tone and the right keypad to perform the sequence. While using this menu, you can also select from one of the 15 stored DTMF memories. Either way, use the center blue button on the keypad to trigger PTT and the DTMF sequence.

    [​IMG]

    To store DTMF memories, hit MENU>DTMF/T-CALL>DTMF Memory>Desired memory. The memory locations are stored as D0, D1, D2, etc. Scroll to the desired memory using the frequency dial, hit the QUICK button and then EDIT. You enter DTMF strings in the same manner as the on-the-fly method

    You send stored DTMF memories, you simply select QUICK>DTMF TX> and then scroll down to the DTMF memory (which also shows the string on the screen at the same time) and hit the blue center button. The radio keys and sends the string.

    Simple!
     
  6. Moleculo

    Moleculo
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    I've been using this radio extensively for quite some time now. My conclusion is that this radio does everything it is designed to do extremely well. The D-STAR functionality of this radio is second to none and it should take the complexity out of the protocol. The receiver of the little radio is fantastic and I never experience any intermod problems. The GPS has all of the functionality you would want, including the ability to output the data stream to PC apps. Programming the radio is a breeze using the SD-Card, as is copying saved audio recordings. Other than the price and the cost of Icom accessories, the only fault I can find with this radio is that the waterproofing causes the TX analog audio to be slightly muffled. Actually I don't really get that many complaints about it.

    In my opinion, this radio is a keeper and even though the price is a little steep, if you have D-STAR in your area, it's worth purchasing when you consider the GPS and SD-Card functionality.

    I really like this radio.
     
  7. Moleculo

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    Just a quick follow-up on this review: I continue to use this radio and it has become my favorite handy talkie. I especially like the quick, 3 hour battery charge time. The radio is really rugged and the waterproofing is hard to beat. Using D-Star on this radio is as easy as can be, especially with the included software and SD-Card.

    It's still a keeper for me.
     
  8. The-Hedgehog

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    Hi Moleculo, thank you for your sharing, have your tried the NMEA Streaming directly to Garmin Handheld device? what i want to do is display all stations in offline map On Garmin Devices, I have bought Garmin USB to Serial Cable, don't know whether I can use the Official USB data cable to connect Garmin Cable to the HandHeld device, please share your experience if you done these testing before, thank you
     
  9. The-Hedgehog

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    Another thing is about the output power, why the power output on your radio never does reach a full 5 watts? how to fix it?
     
  10. Moleculo

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    No, I have not tried that, but it sounds interesting.
     
  11. Moleculo

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    How are you measuring it? Are you using a fully charged battery?
     
  12. camaro1

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    I have the anniversary edition (+), it is a great ht,, I travel a lot and it is awesome to just be able to click near repeater, and the gps knows where you are and lists out the close repeaters to you FM or Dstar, no having to program pl tones and offsets

    its super easy to program and download complete repeater list online and put the files right on the mini sd card
     
  13. marcebrok

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    Hi I have an icom id-51E PLUS2 failed to open the bands removed the diodes D9, D10 and D11 but not funcina for me the legend goes off band. I know that version E is a bit different to version A. do you know how I can solve it?
     

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