Monday, November 23, 2009

Icom IC-2100 Amateur Radio Review

One famous Icom amateur radio is IC-2100. It's widely used around the world and many world radio amateurs use this radio inside their ham shack or mobile. Icom IC2100 equipped with final module SAV17 and resulting of 55 watts power output. And the most important thing is this radio designed to meet requirements between performance and price.

But read review from several sources, Icom IC2100 has unsolved problem. It will generate crackles noise when you transmit. Sometimes when the IC2100 crackles going so heavy, you can hear it also on your speaker while you go transmit it. Many IC2100 users reporting this crackles noise. Even it's very easy to fix, I believe this desease is reducing your QSO fun. If your IC2100 go crackling, just loos the screw on main board and tighten again. You have to open your IC2100 cover. Doing it carefully.

Another problem on Icom IC2100 is the ceramic base quality of final module SAV17. Different with previous Icom VHF radio, this time Icom not carefully choose SAV17. Because the ceramic base of this final module is too thin so make it too crispy. Excessive heat will broke that thin ceramic. So NEVER use high power output to your Icom IC2100 or the SAV17 will broke and stop working. If this thing already happen to your Icom IC2100, it's very easy to fix it. Just resolder it using silver solder or any solder with high temperatur. Also use glass magnifier to search the broken ceramic section. Solder on that section.

Some users reporting difficulties when they program this radio. Inserting memory and inserting repeaters with duplex function. Sometimes going harder with additional set like CTCSS and power output. But I believe programming is subjective. Some people may had difficulties but others don't. So it's depend on yourself.

The last review I got is intermodulation. Sometimes this radio catch intermodulation noise. But, again, it's subjective to users. It's very difficult to obtain clear sky free of noise on area where many RF signals transmitted. And I believe Icom has better receive filter than Alinco products. But the best filter is Yaesu. So if you already complain with this IC2100 intermodulation issue, you will had heart attack when you use Alinco radio.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Long Range Radio

I see people do a lot search about long range radio communication. Maybe they want to buy two way radio communication and make their own research before they buy the radio. But are they now, how long a communication radio can establish is depend several things?

Sure the most important thing is the radio capabilities itself. The two way radio equipped with high power transmission is had better opportunity of long range radio communication. But sometime this factor is not the key. Lower power two way radio communication in some condition possible to make longer range two way radio communication.

Second factor is the antenna used. A directional and higher gain antenna commonly will result longer range radio communication rather than non directional antenna. But higher gain also mean higher noise you will create and higher noise you will get also on your radio receiver unit.

Third is the antenna position. The success key is "higher is better". On VHF and above bands, when a pair communication radio must can "see" each other, place the antenna on high level will give best two way communication radio result. But please be careful if you place an non-directional antenna at hill top or mountain top, your transmission can spread very wide to whole area. It's possible to add unnecessary noise to other radio communicatio service. So it's best to place a direction antenna system on a high place.