Icom ID-5100 – D-Star dual-band with touch screen

Osaka Hirano, president of Icom Inc., recently announced a new VHF/UHF D-Star transceiver, the ID-5100. Two versions will be released at the end of February 2014: a 50W version, the ID-5100, and a 20W version, the ID-5100D.

Icom ID-5100Dual-band, dual receive
According to the preliminary specs this will be true dual-band radio with two separate VFO’s. This makes it possible to receive two signals simultaneously, and it doesn’t matter if the signals are analog or digital – any combination is possible.

Touch Panel
First seen on the IC-7100, now migrating to other models too: a touch panel. In an era where color touch screens are default on almost any device, Icom’s black & white screen seems a bit odd, out of place even. Readability seems to be good though.

Nearest Repeater Search
An interesting feature is “Nearest Repeater Search”, which acts a bit like the roaming function we know from cell phones and DMR radios. Strangely, this only works in analog mode.

Android support
With the help of an Android app it’s possible to control this radio from your Android device and (if my limited Japanese language skills didn’t let me down) even use it to make QSO’s. No word on iPhone support.

Bluetooth (option)
You can use a Bluetooth headset to operate the ID-5100. The necessary UT-133 interface and VS-3 headset are options, not standard.

Suggested Retail Prices (without taxes)
Icom ID-5100D (20 Watt): $779
Icom ID-5100 (50 Watt): $828

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17 comments on “Icom ID-5100 – D-Star dual-band with touch screen

  1. Readability is great until you use it at night.
    Well, actually it’s great at night too but it kills your night vision.
    If it’s anything like the IC-7100 I’ve played with, it’s like driving with a flash light (torch for you ‘torch’ users) aimed at your face.

    • That’s what I thought. It’s like having white instumentation on your car (Peugeot 407). Night vision would probably be o.k. if you can invert the display like on Nikon cameras, white characters on a black background. Just thought. There’s another problem. you can’t feel your way around the buttons to change a settting. You have to take your eyes of the road.

    • Just got my IC-5100 and it has a “backlight” dimmer option in the menu..It is under “display/Backlight”
      NS0I

    • The radio has a backlight dimming feature… wide range of settings… plus an auto feature to automatically dim at various time periods so you can see the display when call are coming in then it darkens…

  2. Good that they dropped the weird limitations on Dual-band that really put me off on the ID-51 (only 1 AM receive, only 1 digital, only 1 narrowband FM etc..)

    But I agree with the big screen killing your nightvision, even my FT-7800 does this in a limited way (the minimal display brightness is still very bright). It should really have an ‘inverse’ mode. Or auto brightness.

    I wouldn’t miss the colour screen though. It’s a radio, not a TV.

    • Blogs don’t always get the facts right do they? The president, of Icom Inc which is located in Hirano-ku, Osaka, is Mr Tsutomo Fukui.

      Transmogrification1, I am not sure why you say you will stay analogue. The ID-5100 is both analogue and digital. Just as televisions have been upgraded over the years, so have radios. We get more for our money now than we did 20 years ago. Time to catch up with technology. D-Star is great but I use my ID-7100 in both analogue and digital. I’m looking forward to giving the ID-5100 a whirl.

      • I have nothing against digital, the problem as I see it is that there are no completely open standards that are being adopted by the major armature radio manufacturers. Each manufacturer is developing their own closed standard. Until a digital standard becomes as universal (or almost universal) as analog FM I’m staying away from digital.

        /rant

      • Yes that is another commonly held misconception. D-Star is an open standard that any manufacturer can produce. The JARL called for manufacturers to make a digital product and Icom were the first to take up the challenge so they chose the name D-Star. Any manufacturer can make D-star radios using the open (not proprietary) standard.

      • I know that D-Star itself it open. The issue is that Icom’s implementation of it uses the proprietary AMBE voice codec. I apologize for sounding like there were no open standards out there, I meant that there were no open standards that most manufacturers were adopting.

  3. We run a fleet of Nissan Patrols in the mountains of the Philippines and I am ordering 4 to replace our current 2820H, some old 2200 export models.The reason this radio is so good for me is that we link our 2820 to tough books running 32 bit windows. Now above it says or maybe will have android support and BT. We were just about to order more computers and 2820 but instead we have sent a advance order to Icom south africa to send us the units.

    • If you are in the Phillipines. Why do you buy from South Africa. Don’t they have a dealer in the Philippines who could look after you? Even Singapore or Australia?
      The IC-5100 looks like a really smart unit. I like the thought of Bluetooth while I am driving.

      • I work for major oil company so I visit SSA every 5 weeks 5/5 rotation. I purchase or order the export version and dont pay the tax so its a cheaper option. In regards to above. It must be same as ic7000 were you dim thw screen and back ground colors. There is also as we do use the 3m filters for the screen.

        South Africa is very cheap location to buy and we also get dealer price.

  4. Pingback: Pre-Order your new Icom IC-5100 Dual Band Radio | Grapevine Ham Radio

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