Icom IC-228A – Review of the Popular Amateur Radio Transceiver

Icom ic 228a

The Icom IC-228A is a high-performance mobile transceiver that offers a wide range of features and capabilities. With its compact design and powerful performance, this radio is perfect for both amateur radio enthusiasts and professional users.

One of the standout features of the IC-228A is its impressive specifications. It operates on the VHF band, with a frequency range of 144-148 MHz. This allows for clear and reliable communication over long distances. The radio also has a power output of up to 25 watts, ensuring strong and consistent signal transmission.

In addition to its impressive specifications, the IC-228A also boasts a range of useful features. It has a built-in CTCSS encoder/decoder, which allows for selective calling and quiet standby. The radio also has a built-in voice scrambler, which provides secure communication and prevents unauthorized access to your conversations.

Furthermore, the IC-228A has a large and easy-to-read LCD display, which shows important information such as channel number, frequency, and signal strength. The radio also has a programmable memory, allowing you to store your favorite channels for quick and easy access.

Overall, the Icom IC-228A is a reliable and feature-packed mobile transceiver that is perfect for a wide range of applications. Whether you’re a seasoned amateur radio operator or a professional user in need of a reliable communication tool, the IC-228A is sure to meet your needs.

Design and Build

Design and Build

The Icom IC-228A is a well-designed and sturdy mobile transceiver. It features a compact and ergonomic design, making it easy to operate and handle. The build quality is excellent, with a durable construction that can withstand harsh conditions and rough handling.

The front panel of the IC-228A is laid out in a logical and intuitive manner, with all the controls and buttons easily accessible. The large and bright display provides clear and easy-to-read information, even in bright sunlight or low-light conditions.

The transceiver has a sleek and modern look, with a black and silver color scheme that is both stylish and professional. The compact size of the IC-228A makes it ideal for use in vehicles, as it can be easily mounted on a dashboard or console.

In terms of build quality, the IC-228A is built to last. It is made from high-quality materials that are resistant to wear and tear, ensuring that it will continue to perform reliably for years to come. The buttons and knobs have a solid feel to them, and the overall construction is solid and robust.

Overall, the design and build of the Icom IC-228A is top-notch. It is a well-designed and well-built transceiver that offers excellent performance and durability. Whether you are a professional radio operator or a hobbyist, the IC-228A is a reliable and high-quality choice.

Frequency Range and Channels

The Icom IC-228A offers a wide frequency range, making it suitable for various communication needs. It operates in the VHF band, covering frequencies from 144 to 148 MHz. This range allows for reliable communication over long distances, especially in open areas with minimal obstructions.

The radio also provides a generous number of channels, ensuring that users have enough options to communicate effectively. It supports up to 225 channels, which can be easily programmed and accessed using the intuitive controls and display.

Key Features:

Key Features:

Key Features:

  • Channel Capacity: Up to 225 channels
  • Easy programming and channel access

Overall, the frequency range and channel capacity of the Icom IC-228A make it a reliable and flexible radio for various communication purposes. Whether you need to communicate over long distances or have a wide range of channels at your disposal, this radio has you covered.

Output Power and Modulation

The Icom IC-228A is a powerful mobile transceiver that offers a wide range of output power options and modulation capabilities. With a maximum output power of 25 watts, this radio provides excellent signal strength and coverage, making it ideal for both short-range and long-range communications.

One of the standout features of the IC-228A is its modulation capabilities. It supports both AM and FM modulation, allowing users to choose the most suitable modulation mode for their specific communication needs. Whether you’re using the radio for voice communication or data transmission, the IC-228A delivers clear and reliable modulation performance.

Additionally, the IC-228A offers adjustable output power levels, allowing users to optimize their transmission power based on the distance and conditions of their communication. This flexibility ensures that you can always achieve the best possible signal quality and range, regardless of the environment you’re operating in.

Furthermore, the IC-228A features a built-in modulation monitor, which allows users to monitor their modulation performance in real-time. This feature is particularly useful for ensuring that your transmissions are clear and intelligible, even in noisy or challenging environments.

In summary, the Icom IC-228A offers impressive output power and modulation capabilities, making it a versatile and reliable choice for mobile communications. Whether you’re using it for personal or professional purposes, this radio provides the power and performance you need to stay connected.

Receiver Sensitivity and Selectivity

The receiver sensitivity and selectivity of the Icom IC-228A are two important factors to consider when evaluating the performance of this radio. The receiver sensitivity refers to the ability of the radio to pick up weak signals, while the selectivity refers to its ability to separate desired signals from unwanted interference.

The Icom IC-228A has excellent receiver sensitivity, allowing it to receive even the weakest signals with clarity. This is especially useful in areas with low signal strength or when trying to communicate over long distances. The radio’s high sensitivity ensures that you won’t miss any important messages or transmissions.

In terms of selectivity, the IC-228A also performs admirably. It is equipped with advanced filtering technology that helps to minimize interference from nearby signals or other sources of electromagnetic noise. This ensures that you can focus on the signals that matter and avoid distractions from unwanted sources.

Overall, the receiver sensitivity and selectivity of the Icom IC-228A make it a reliable and efficient radio for communication purposes. Whether you are using it for personal or professional use, you can trust that this radio will deliver clear and uninterrupted communication.

Display and Controls

The Icom IC-228A features a clear and easy-to-read display that provides important information at a glance. The display is backlit, making it easy to read in low-light conditions. The controls are well-placed and intuitive, allowing for easy operation of the radio.

The controls on the IC-228A are well-designed and easy to use. The radio features a large tuning knob, which allows for precise frequency selection. It also includes dedicated buttons for important functions, such as channel selection, memory channel recall, and power on/off. The radio also includes a keypad, which can be used for direct frequency entry or for entering alphanumeric characters for memory channel names.

Memory Channels and Scan Functions

The IC-228A has a generous number of memory channels, allowing you to store your favorite frequencies for quick and easy access. The radio can store up to 99 memory channels, which can be organized into multiple banks for easy organization. The memory channels can be easily programmed and edited using the radio’s controls.

In addition to the memory channels, the IC-228A also includes a scan function, which allows you to scan through a range of frequencies to find active channels. The scan function can be customized to scan specific memory channels or a specific frequency range. The radio also includes a priority scan function, which allows you to designate a specific channel as a priority channel that will be checked more frequently during scanning.

The scan function on the IC-228A is easy to use and provides a convenient way to find and monitor active frequencies. The radio also includes a scan resume function, which allows you to resume scanning after a specified time period of inactivity.

Memory Channels 99 channels
Scan Function Yes
Priority Scan Yes
Scan Resume Yes

Memory Channels and Scan Functions

The Icom IC-228A is equipped with a versatile memory system that allows you to store and recall up to 32 different channels. This feature is particularly useful for users who frequently communicate on multiple frequencies or in different locations. The memory channels can be easily programmed and accessed through the intuitive controls on the front panel of the radio.

In addition to the memory channels, the IC-228A also offers a variety of scan functions. The radio can scan through a range of frequencies to search for active channels, allowing you to quickly find and monitor conversations. The scan speed can be adjusted to suit your preferences, ensuring that you don’t miss any important communications.

The scan functions of the IC-228A are further enhanced by the inclusion of priority and skip channels. Priority channels can be programmed to receive priority scanning, so that the radio will stop on these channels even if other channels are being scanned. Skip channels, on the other hand, can be programmed to be skipped during scanning, allowing you to exclude channels that are not of interest.

Memory Bank System

To further organize your memory channels, the IC-228A features a memory bank system. This allows you to group channels into different banks, making it easier to navigate through your stored frequencies. You can assign different channels to different banks based on their usage or location, providing a more efficient way to access the channels you need.

The memory bank system also allows you to enable or disable scanning for specific banks. This means that you can choose to scan only the channels in a particular bank, while excluding the channels in other banks. This level of customization ensures that you can tailor the scanning function to your specific needs and preferences.

Memory Backup

In the event of a power failure or battery replacement, the IC-228A includes a memory backup feature. This feature ensures that your programmed memory channels and scan settings are not lost, allowing you to quickly resume communication without the need to reprogram the radio.

Overall, the memory channels and scan functions of the Icom IC-228A provide a convenient and efficient way to store and access your frequently used frequencies. Whether you need to communicate on multiple channels or simply want to monitor different frequencies, this radio offers the flexibility and functionality to meet your needs.

Antenna and Connectors

The Icom IC-228A comes with a detachable antenna that provides excellent reception and transmission capabilities. The antenna is designed to operate within the frequency range of the radio and can be easily replaced if needed.

The radio is equipped with various connectors that allow for easy connection to external devices. It features a standard BNC connector for the antenna, which ensures a secure and reliable connection. Additionally, it has a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting an external speaker or headphones, allowing for better audio output.

The IC-228A also includes a microphone connector for connecting an external microphone, enabling hands-free operation and better audio quality during communication. The microphone connector is compatible with standard 8-pin microphones, providing flexibility in choosing the microphone that suits your needs.

Furthermore, the radio has a data connector that allows for connection to a computer or other data devices. This enables the user to program the radio and perform various data-related functions, such as updating firmware or transferring memory channels.

Key Features:

Detachable Antenna: The detachable antenna ensures optimal reception and transmission capabilities.

Various Connectors: The radio is equipped with a BNC antenna connector, a 3.5mm audio jack, a microphone connector, and a data connector.

Flexibility: The microphone connector is compatible with standard 8-pin microphones, providing flexibility in choosing the microphone that suits your needs.

Overall, the Icom IC-228A offers a range of connectors that enhance its functionality and allow for easy connection to external devices. Whether you need to connect an external antenna, speaker, microphone, or data device, this radio has you covered.

Power Supply and Battery Life

The Icom IC-228A operates on a 13.8V DC power supply, making it compatible with most standard power sources. It can also be powered by an external battery pack, providing flexibility for portable use.

The battery life of the IC-228A is impressive, thanks to its efficient power management system. With a fully charged battery, you can expect hours of continuous operation, making it suitable for long outdoor activities or emergency situations.

The radio’s power-saving features, such as automatic power-off and low battery alert, help conserve battery life and ensure that you are always aware of the remaining power. This is particularly useful when using the IC-228A in remote areas where power sources may be limited.

Additionally, the IC-228A has a built-in battery voltage indicator, allowing you to monitor the battery level at a glance. This feature eliminates the guesswork and ensures that you are never caught off guard with a dead battery.

Whether you are using the IC-228A as a base station or taking it on the go, its reliable power supply and long battery life make it a dependable choice for communication needs.

Dimensions and Weight

The Icom IC-228A is a compact and lightweight mobile transceiver, making it easy to install and use in a variety of settings. It measures approximately 6.3 inches in width, 2.2 inches in height, and 7.9 inches in depth, making it a perfect fit for any vehicle or base station setup.

Despite its small size, the IC-228A is built to withstand the rigors of everyday use. It features a durable construction with a rugged metal chassis that can withstand bumps and vibrations, ensuring reliable performance even in harsh environments.

In terms of weight, the IC-228A is impressively lightweight, weighing in at just under 2 pounds. This makes it easy to carry and install, whether you’re using it in a vehicle or setting it up as a base station. Its compact size and lightweight design also make it a great option for portable operations.

Overall, the dimensions and weight of the Icom IC-228A make it a versatile and convenient choice for both mobile and stationary use. Its compact size and lightweight design make it easy to install and transport, while its durable construction ensures reliable performance in any situation.

Additional Features

Additional Features

The Icom IC-228A offers a range of additional features that enhance its functionality and make it a versatile and reliable communication device.

  • CTCSS and DCS Encoding/Decoding: This feature allows you to encode and decode CTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System) and DCS (Digital-Coded Squelch) tones, enabling selective calling and reducing interference from other users.
  • VOX (Voice-Operated Transmit): The VOX feature allows for hands-free operation by automatically activating the transmitter when you start speaking. This is especially useful when using the radio in a vehicle or when your hands are occupied.
  • DTMF Encoding: The IC-228A is equipped with DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) encoding, which allows you to send tones for remote control applications, such as activating repeaters or accessing certain functions on compatible devices.
  • Weather Alert: With the built-in weather alert feature, the IC-228A can receive and alert you to severe weather conditions, keeping you informed and safe during outdoor activities or emergencies.
  • Automatic Repeater Function: This function automatically shifts the transmit frequency to the repeater offset when you select a memory channel that is programmed with a repeater frequency. It simplifies the operation of using repeaters and improves communication range.
  • Backlit Display and Keypad: The IC-228A features a backlit display and keypad, allowing for easy operation and readability in low-light conditions. This is especially useful during nighttime or in dimly lit environments.
  • Priority Scan: The priority scan function allows you to designate one or more channels as priority channels, which are continuously monitored for incoming calls or transmissions. This ensures that you do not miss important communications while scanning through other channels.
  • Automatic Power Off: To conserve battery life, the IC-228A has an automatic power-off function that turns off the radio after a specified period of inactivity. This feature is particularly useful when using the radio for extended periods without access to a power source.

These additional features make the Icom IC-228A a reliable and versatile communication tool for a wide range of applications, including amateur radio, emergency preparedness, outdoor adventures, and more.

User Reviews and Ratings

Users also commend the excellent audio quality of the IC-228A. They mention that the receiver sensitivity is impressive, allowing them to pick up weak signals with ease. The selectivity of the radio is also highly regarded, as it helps to eliminate interference from nearby stations.

Another aspect that users appreciate is the intuitive and user-friendly interface of the IC-228A. They mention that the controls are well-placed and easy to operate, making it simple to navigate through the various functions and settings. The display is also clear and easy to read, even in bright sunlight.

Overall, the Icom IC-228A has received positive reviews and high ratings from users. Its solid build quality, excellent audio performance, user-friendly interface, and advanced features make it a popular choice among amateur radio operators.

Price and Availability

The Icom IC-228A is currently available for purchase from various retailers and online stores. The price of the radio may vary depending on the seller and any additional accessories or features included in the package.

It is recommended to check multiple sources to compare prices and find the best deal. Some retailers may offer discounts or promotions, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any special offers.

While the Icom IC-228A may not be the cheapest option on the market, its quality and functionality make it a worthwhile investment for those who are serious about their radio communication activities.

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