Icom 2300H Review

Have you ever thought about taking up the hobby of amateur ham radio? Maybe you are already an enthusiast.

There are 752,637 FCC licenses issued in the US for Amateur ham radio broadcasting. That's a lot of people broadcasting their thoughts.

Whether you are a newbie or experienced the Icom 2300H is a great choice. Keep reading for a review of the features that come with this small yet sturdy mobile transceiver.

Who is Icom?

Icom is a Japanese company that doesn't have a large presence in the United States. Their product line in the US consists of two-way radios and receivers.

Mariners, Airband, and amateur radio operators all use Icom's radios. They have a reputation for making solidly constructed radios.

Icom 2300H Basics

The 2300H is a 144Mhz mobile ham radio designed for amateur and hobbyist use. The output of power is an impressive 65 watts.

Those that are familiar with the previous IC-2200H model will recognize the interface. It passed testing for environmental engineering for shock and vibration.

Items Included

Included with the radio are the mount and hardware for set up. A handheld mic and mic hook for communicating.

The quick start guide, warranty, and programming software CD make up the paperwork included. Finally, buyers will receive an extra fuse and DC power cable.

MIL-Std 810 G specification

Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests are US Military Standards designed to test electronic devices. They test the expected extreme conditions it will experience throughout its life of use.

These tests are generally intended for military equipment. These days they are often used to test consumer products also.

Display and Functionality

There are over 207 memory channels in alpha-numeric already integrated into the radio. 200 of which are regular channels, 6 scan edges, and 1 call channel.

To the left on the front panel are MW and SMW buttons. Next to the buttons are two knobs.

These adjust the volume and squelch. CTCSS and DCS are also included for decoding and encoding.

In the center of the radio is a large three-inch screen. Owners can choose which color it is lit in, either amber, yellow, or green. Below it is a row of buttons to perform different functions.

The screen displays a large amount of information but doesn't look cluttered. To the right of the screen is a large knob with several small knobs under it.

Scanning Functions

Full scan, bank scan, memory scan, programmed scan, skip scan, tone scan, priority scan, and bank link scan are all options. Scan selected banks from ten memory banks by adding and deleting bank links.

 

Subaudible tones are detected with the tone scan function. Search programmed favorited channels with the programmed scan function.

Priority Watch

Users that want to watch more than one channel have three different options for priority channel watching. Choose from memory channel scan, memory scan watch, and call channel watch.

Child Mode

Child mode protects against accidental transmissions around children. This is becoming a standard feature on ham radios.

Repeater Modes

There are two repeater modes to choose from, duplex or simplex. Simplex repeater mode records what the receiver picks up for a certain amount of time.

Then the recording is played back over the same frequency. Duplex mode uses a single path for bi-directional communication.

Size

The 2300H is smaller than previous models. It measures 10 x 5 x 8 inches and comes in at 2.43 pounds.

Optional Accessories

Icom offers three different handheld microphones that have compatibility with this ham radio. The HM-209, HM-133V, and HM-154 are all compatible.

Owners can buy external speakers to pair with the radio. There is a choice between a 2m and 6m cable.

The Good

The Icom 2300H ham radio is stable and comes with the highest output of power that is available. It's compact design and body construction makes it durable to banging around.

Durable

It passed testing for the latest MIL-Std 810G specifications on vibration and shock. It will stand up to every bump and vibration caused by driving. Heat, vibration, and shock will not harm the aluminum diecast chassis.

Easy to Program

It is easy to program so owners can start using it right away. Most people who buy the 2300H are successful making contact within 5 minutes. Each channel name can be programmed with six characters to make recognizing it easy.

Functionality

There are 207 different programmable channels in alpha-numeric. There are also many different scanning functions programmed. It is quiet for standby and repeater access thanks to the built-in CTCSS and DTCS tones.

Squelch

The squelch control of this radio is effective. Users of this radio will appreciate the clear sound and ability to adjust the level of squelch.

Voltage Power Supply

An unusual and convenient feature is the voltage power supply display. When the radio is powers on, the screen displays the battery power level.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is clear and capable of being very loud. This ham radio works well with local repeaters. Audio output can be set to 4, 10, 25, or 65 watts.

Size

The smaller size makes it more convenient for portable use. It will fit well when mounted in a vehicle. Transporting it from one vehicle to another is easier with the smaller size.

The Bad

The user manual is not helpful. Unfortunately, this is a common problem for most ham radios.

The price for this unit is higher than comparable units produced by competitors. While this unit is rugged, Kenwood and Yaesu offer radios that are more durable.

The Verdict

The Icom 2300H is one of the best mobile ham radios on the market today. Its durable construction is going to withstand any punish an owner could put it through.

While the user manual is almost useless, the intuitive control makes programming easy. The small size will benefit owners who install it in a vehicle.

Then many functions will probably never see use by a majority of owners. The benefit of so many functions is that this radio has a high chance of meeting a wide variety of needs.

Read more ham radio reviews on our blog.

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