The Pro's: Probably the most user friendly menu system in a handheld I have ever had. I have always been shy of this micro small type HT in the past but this little gem changed my mind. The wide band rx coverage and audio is great and the transmit audio(analog) is great also. With 1000 memories it will be tough to fill up unless you travel far & wide. The Dstar transmit audio is good also. The unit is made rugged with a solid metal case unlike many of the other manufactures plastic case models.
The Cons: If you like to yack a lot then the battery leaves much to desire. You will need another charged battery with you or better yet if you are in a vehicle use the battery eliminator to save your battery for when you really need it. I purchased the "Batteries America" brand BP-217 as a spare as this was more cost effective then purchasing the icom 217. Also if you yack a lot the radio heats up pretty quick. Its best to give it time to cool down so you do not reach the thermal power reduction point(yes the radio will reduce power output if it gets too hot).
Regarding the distance question: The digital mode does give a slight advantage in range but only if at both ends the rx'ed signal is noise free. Remember that your audio is converted to data and there is a problem on the rx end if there is a lot of ambient noise on a rx'ed signal as this increases the Bit Error Rate. If the BER increases high enough to a point that the errors can not be corrected you have problems rx'ing the other end. This results in whats commonly been called going "R2D2" or "digital noise" effect. If you or the person on the other end is in an area where there is a high ambient noise floor or poor reception it can cause rx problems.
I appreciate that & i have been reading the reviews on eham its seems people are very happy with the 91AD even on the reciving side and i also had a few chats with people in australia & they say that the D-star is very intresting its also seems that a lot of people are not happy with the 92AD.
The receive on the 91AD is very good.
Its amazing that even the Medium wave and Shortwave bands are received very well also.
The transmit audio is great both on analog and digital. (The 91AD sounds bassier then the mobile D-Star radios...)
Receive audio is nice also. I wish it had more audio power though.
In a noisy environment it can't cut it very well.
Since the radio only has 2 power levels (.5 watts and 5 watts), you end up using high power all the time which effects your battery life. I don't know what Icom was thinking with only 2 power levels. Maybe 2.5 watts and 5 watts would make more sense.... YA THINK......
Overall, it really is a nice radio with a great receiver in it.
The 2820 is an excellent radio.
I have no gripes about this radio at all... (Well maybe the price.. :lol:
The receiver is very good even is strong RF areas. Audio power is good also.
Transmit audio is very nice on both analog and digital.
Icom did a good job on the usability of this radio. Even when mobile, the menu system is easy to use.
The display is packed with information.
This radio is setup very nicely for D-Star use.
The ID-800 is a great radio also. Transmit and receive are very good also.
Since it has the smaller display, its not as easy to work with.
This radio was more of a first generation D-Star radio so it doesn't have all the niceties that the 2820 has. But it is a very capable radio.
As you would expect, software is is pretty much a necessity for both radios.
Tom thanks a lot for that and here in Australia both the 91AD/92AD/2820 have been very popular radios and people love these products and i look at it this way when people talk about there radios from around the world they all give a straight answer and is the case with me when asked about any of my radios,i got an amateur shop about 2 km away and bought the 91AD & today i have changed it for the 92AD because all the accessories are less expensive except the gps microphone at the moment i am studying for my foundation licence and already got the Yaesu-VX7R and the next radio i will be buying is the 2820.I also meant to say that people are very happy with the 92AD which is the same specs as the 91AD but its waterproof protection and u can connect the HM-GPS175 microphone.
I agree, all of these Icom D-Star radios are very nice.
One of the nice things about having the 91AD and the 2820 is that they both use the same programming cable.
Lino, I would be interested in hearing you comments on the receive audio on the 92AD versus the 91AD.
The 92AD also has the 4 power levels which should help the battery life.
Some friends of mine are using the Icom HM-75A speaker mic with the 91AD and they say it really makes the receive audio sound louder and better. I may be trying one of those out....
73, Tom/G, N1VVD