ICOM's LATEST HT
The ID-52E (ID-52A in America I believe) replaces the ID-51 and unlike the Yaesu FT5D, it's radically different to the previous model. Despite the differences between old and new, there's still a great deal of familiarity between both models, meaning that that there isn't a steep new learning curve. As with most modern Icom radios, they are extremely intuitive and jumping from one radio to another is a breeze, be it an ID-52, IC-705 or even an IC-7300.
The ID-52 feels quite large, like the Kenwood D74 - certainly one of the bigger handhelds out there apart from my Yaesu FT-550L Airband transceiver. It's a good thing though - it feels beautifully made and sits better in the hand than my FT3D, which in my opinion, is a bit stumpy!
The quality of this (rather expensive) radio is obvious to all. The plastics are good, the buttons are good, the rotaries are good and the 2.3" screen is fabulous! The radio also looks good. Appearance is obviously secondary to performance, but it's nice when a great radio looks as well as it performs. The FT3D by comparison is not very attractive at all (and with those dreadful tacky red buttons, the FT5D is even worse IMHO)!
Some people may be surprised to find that the screen is not a Touch-Screen, but personally, I don't mind that one bit! In fact, I prefer it not to be. The trouble with touch-screens like the one on my FT3D is that they are just too damned small to be practical. I often struggle to touch the correct option on the FT3D screen especially up in the corners and the fact is, you still have to use the keyboard for some selections and navigation anyway! I'd prefer to have a nice, solid screen with options selected from the keypad. Another thing I don't like too much with the FT3D touch-screen is that it seems to flex when being pressed. Hmmm.
The ID-52 is a Dual Band VHF/UHF transceiver with DSTAR capability. It can simultaneously receive VHF/UHF, VHF/VHF, UHF/UHF and can even receive DV/DV meaning, for example, you can listen to two DV Repeaters at the same time. Bear in mind, that some other handhelds declare the ability to monitor two DV frequencies at the same time, but the difference with the ID-52E is that you can hear both frequencies at the same time.
It can also receive Airband on both VHF and UHF, so Military aviation frequencies can be monitored! Coverage is basically 76-479MHz. The FT3D by comparison has a wider receive range of 0.5MHz – 999.99MHz which is pretty impressive but sensitivity across that very wide range has highlights and lowlights as you'd expect. Neither radio includes SSB modes like the fabulous Kenwood TH-D74. And that's pretty amazing when you think about it - the TH-D74 was launched 5 years ago and still leads the way!
One of the very best features of this new radio has to be the inclusion of a proper bandscope. It is really well implemented - much better than on my FT3D - the two are like chalk and cheese. The scope on the ID-52 reminds me of that on the IC-705. A major plus point for portable operation.
Speaking of the IC-705, it's worth noting that the ID-52 uses the same battery, so if you have a 705 you can take advantage of having a spare battery for either radio. In fact, now that I think about it, I bought the large capacity BP-307 for the 705, so I’ll be able to use that too with the ID-52.
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED!
very nice blog. I also own an IC-705 and now an ID-52E. For me the microphone and VOX work for the ID-52 in combination with the Airpods Pro. However, I have to set the BT headset type in the ID-52 to Microphone instead of Normal. Audio sounds very good, but the build in microphone is hard to beat.
VOX is working, but I don't use it, pressing the PTT on the 52 keys the rig and voice is picked up by the Airpods. I really love operating outdoor with these two radios in combination with the excellent Airpods.
Best wishes and take care!
Christian - DK5CH
Thanks Christian! I’ll try that.
73, Tom, M7MCQ