John Martins'
Amateur Radio from near Empire Michigan USA

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Icom ID-800

The Icom ID-800 dualband DStar/Analog transceiver is quite a dandy radio.

Icom has discontinued this model and replaced it by the ID-880 which has a much nicer user interface relating to the use of DStar gateway repeaters.

For all practical purposes, the ID800 is an IC-208 with the DStar functionality added. Both radios have a really nice LCD display that is easily visible in any kind of light. The display can also be set to glow in green rather than yellow-amber.

While the ID-800 does not have the dual receivers or the diversity reception (or the GPS receiver built in) as a DStar equipped IC-2820, it does have a full feature set of the DStar protocol.

It's quite a pleasure to behold the big bold letters scrolling across the screen the callsign of the guy you're talking with-- and then whatever short text message he has appended.

Similarly, it's easy to observe the 'UR*' acknowledgement that the repeater sends back after it relays your transmission.


Out of the box the ID-800 can operate in both analog and DStar modes.

Setting up the rig for analog is identical to that of the IC-208 (very similar to the IC-207 earlier generation sibling).

Just like any other DStar radio, you MUST spend some time configuring a few settings before you start operating in digital.

One of the first settings you need to set is the 'MYCALL' setting.

The manual is your friend--- READ IT. If you have trouble comprehending written instructions may I suggest you take up the hobby of cycling or jogging.. they are both great for your health and longevity, without having to learn too many new tricks via 'book learnin'.

For proper repeater use you really should program in the details for your local DStar repeater system. The radio can do the 'automatic repeater config' for you, but if you select this method you will have to routinely kerchunk the machine a few times to get the radio to set things up-- forgetting to do that will mean lost transmissions. It's less hassle in the long run to set the repeater presets and not find yourself having to repeat transmissions now and then.

When you have the repeater programmed in properly (or the radio has automatically set things up for you to work through the repeater) your transmissions are acknowledged by the 'UR *' display after they are relayed by the repeater. If your local repeater has the internet gateway you should be seeing a 'RPT*' if everything is configured properly.

Since the ID-800 comes with DStar built in from the factory I have no internal photos to show of the unit as I have never opened it up for inspection.

IMHO for most people interested in getting on DStar, the best radio is the IC2820 by far, followed by the ID-880, and while the ID-800 is nice once it's setup, the user interface of the others is much nicer.

ver 8/08