Icom IP100H WiFi hand-held transceiver

IP100HI got a few e-mails pointing out this system and wondered if I should write about it or not. After all, it’s not really ham radio related. Before I could shake off my indecisiveness, Brick beat me to it.

So, what is it? It sure looks and feels like the typical (ham radio) hand-held. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck, right? Wrong.

License-Free
The IP100H will serve as an alternative for conventional license-free radios, such as PMR (Europe) and FRS (USA). While conventional radios generally do a fine job, the bands they operate in are overcrowded. With only 8 PMR channels and 14 FRS channels interference is inevitable. Adding CTCSS or DCS will offer some relief, but can only do so much.

Instead this radio operates on 2.4 GHz and/or 5 GHz and makes use of standard WiFi channels. On one hand this will limit the range of a particular radio. It must be able to reach the nearest access point, and 100mW EIRP (NL legal limit) generally translates into 50 meters at best. On the other hand, when access points are plentiful, these radios can theoretically communicate around the globe, because roaming (seamless switching from access point to access point)  is a standard feature. Programming is done ‘over the air’ by use of a controller, the IP1000C.

ICOM IP Radio

Features from the digital world
  • SMS. The IP100H can send status and short data messages to other users. The radio will vibrate when receiving these messages.
  • Full Duplex. Half duplex at default, full duplex with optional headset.
  • Remote Monitor, Kill, Revive and Stun. If in an emergency, the IP100FS can enforce individual IP100H to transmit anything the microphone hears to identify the situation. The remote kill command disables individual IP100H, if the IP100H is used by an unauthorized person.
  • Extensive calling features. The IP100H/IP100FS can make individual call, group conference calls, ‘to all’ calls and area calls. The area call function allows you to call any user who is accessing a specified access point.
  • Mixing Function. The mixing function receives multiple user’s voices at the same time. One-to-many communication is possible and increases efficiency of information sharing.
  • Up to 100 users can be loaded on a system and all users can communicate at the same time.
  • Phone and transceiver interconnection. With a VE-PG3 RoIP gateway, the IP advanced radio system can interconnect with an IP phone, analog transceiver and IDASTM NXDNTM digital transceiver.

All in all this system could be very interesting for large companies: license-free, scalable, infinite range when configured properly, and listening secretly to their private conversations (eavesdropping) will be nearly impossible.

Any good for us hams, too? I don’t know, but wouldn’t be surprised — we have great hackers amongst us. Affordable? I seriously doubt it, this system won’t come cheap.

More information can be found at Icom UK.

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