I have an ICOM ID52 here to review from a SOTA perspective. Does anyone know if there is some sort of bridge that allows spots/alerts to be sent from an ID52 using DStar into SOTAWATCH?

Also, the ID52 manual states that “when the temperature is around 0C or below…the transceiver disables power selection HIGH, Mid and Low2”. That means that the power drops to 500mW and cannot be overriden. That doesn’t sound very good to me.

The near repeater search seems to be limited to 40km? Not great if you are in a remote area perhaps?

Anyone else got SOTA-related comments on the ID52 (beyond its eye-watering price)?


Richard, back in 2009 I picked up an Icom IC80D DStar/FM dual band handheld .

It too dropped to low power when it was cold which was a bit rubbish to be honest. It was fine on 70cm FM but useless on 2m FM with an external antenna connected. The best thing I ever did with it was to cut my losses and sell it on eBay.

You could take a look at DPRS (APRS for DStar) and see if that can be used in the same way as APRS can be used to send spots.


Thanks for the review Richard, which gives me all the information I need. I’ll not be buying one.


I asked ICOM what features it has that might be especially useful for SOTA. They responded that the internal GPS shows your QTH locator square.


Hmm, my phone does that, without needing network connectivity… or costing £550…

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I have the EasyQTHLocator app on my phone already to do that. It was very useful on the cruise ship last year, especially for the avid wet square collectors (an EA station and an OH station) who were tracking me and working me every few minutes at times!

I suspect it’s going to be up to us to come up with the concepts, then devise and design how we can best utilise the features of digital voice technology for SOTA. The manufacturers won’t have a clue!


I’ve just read the IC-52 review in this months’ QST Richard; an interesting radio for sure, but nothing that made me go ‘wow, I want one/must have one’.

The current UK IC-52 price is £51 more than I paid for a brand new FT-818 last year. The 818 may not do digital voice modes, but boy does it deliver more radio fun for the money!



I’m still not quite sure why everyone doesn’t just buy a Yaesu FT-70D for £180. It has all the essential features for a DV HT, and, perhaps counter-intuitively, superior RX performance than most of the more expensive competitors.


I use two HT’s for SOTA

A Kenwood D74 (APRS) and also as a second receiver on 2m simplex while hiking to the Summit.

FT60 at the summit as it can handle High RF (intermod) environments rather well.

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Before I replied to Richard about DPRS I thought I’d better check and read a DPRS article on the APRS-IS site. When you mentioned the QST review I went and looked at the online QST and read the review. Gosh… the words in the QST article about DPRS would appear to have been lifted almost verbatim from the APRS-IS site :wink:

I don’t have use for most of what this handy offers and it is a little pricey. As Tom says, an FT70D seems to be a good deal at its MRSP of £180. Dual band, a digital voice mode and well made because Tom’s has seen considerable use in the field and he hasn’t broken it yet :slight_smile: I do kick myself because a hardly used FT70 was on advertised on my club’s website last month for £70 and I didn’t immediately buy it but waited till the next day to find it was sold within minutes of being advertised. As the saying goes, ‘you snooze you lose!’


Wow. If I’d known about that I’d have snapped it up as a spare without a second thought. Schoolboy error Andy.

I’m currently borrowing an Openspot which gives me the capability to use the FT-70D around the house and communicate worldwide by patching it into Fusion repeaters, Wires-X rooms etc. I’ve not really done much with it yet (this 24 hour limit on the day business is proving rather restrictive), though I did have a couple of chats with Richard @G3CWI when he was travelling through GM recently. It’s not “proper” radio I guess - but it’s still radio and it’s quite good fun.

I thinking of scheduled another social chat along the lines as we did back in Lockdown 1 via Peanut - but this time in a WIRES-X SOTA room. I understand it is possible to connect to a WIRES-X room through the Peanut app if you don’t have a Fusion radio.

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I had a GW-GD S2S contact with someone using an ID-52 a few months ago. The ID-52 seemed to work pretty well as a 2m transceiver and the audio quality was good although I’m not sure if it’s any better than other, cheaper HTs.

I’ve managed to send positions over DMR via a local repeater and they find their way to the APRS-IS system, but I’m not aware of a standard frequency to squawk on like there is for 2m APRS - I think this is more useful for SOTA because you will get picked up by anyone who can hear you rather than having to rely on a single station.

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I self-pontificated as I have a VX170 and a backup VX170. By the time I decided to buy it and sell a spare VX170, it was gone. Yes, a basic error made worse because I could have gone and confirmed it was a worker and complete without having to pay.

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My review of the ICOM ID52 is here.

ICOM’s ID52 - is it fit for the mountains? In this review I discuss the radio in some detail.


ICOM IC-705 Manual 1-1 (same “feature”).

• When the temperature is around 0°C (+32°F) or
below, the battery protection function automatically
sets transceiver power to 0.5 W, and disables
power selections (1 W, 2.5 W, 5 W, and 10 W*).

  • “10 W” can be selected only when using an
    external DC power supply.

I think that’s a reasonable review Richard. Did you try it with an external antenna on 2m as that is often a killer?

For me, the problem with all these digital handhelds is that at its core you have a transceiver capable of 4k8bps data and no way of accessing that to send your own data. It’s just the digital voice data (usually 2k4bps voice and 1k2bps FEC for the voice and a dribble of routing/ID info. The possibility of being able to squirt data through the various repeaters and internet links would be a useful feature. But no, that’s not an option. So instead of using amateur radio and bands for all kinds of data you are forced to use your mobile phone.