I’ve just put in play an ICOM ID-31A. I had been looking for a hand-held transceiver for use at the upcoming National Scout Jamboree. While even though cell phone coverage will be ubiquitous at the Jamboree, with AT & T as the Boy Scouts of America’s Official Telecommunications Sponsor, since I’m chair of the amateur radio operation I’d better be in touch with our repeaters, nets, etc.

I had been looking at the three ICOM D-Star HT’s: IC-92AD, IC-80AD, and the ID-31A. The ID-31A was particularly attractive as the software takes advantage of the built in GPS unit to locate the nearest D-Star repeaters and provide you a list to choose from for communication. That works for me as setting up all the offsets, tones, etc. has always been an annoying challenge for me.

At first I was a bit concerned that the ID-31A was only 440 MHz, but since most D-Star repeaters are on that band, and you’ve got the flexibility of communicating through the entire D-Star network, I got over my qualms. Comparing the three units and their prices along with all that is included with the ID-31A, finally helped me make up my mind. It felt to me that the ID-31A really provided the most features for the bucks and furthermore better suited my intended use — in a simple straightforward manner while using the most advanced technology available!

Now I’m learning lots about D-Star and getting everything set up. Of course, for me, that’s half the fun of getting a new rig and in this case venturing forth into an entirely new technology. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.


  1. […] you’ve noted from my previous write up, I’ve acquired an ICOM ID-31A. It’s a 440 MHz single band hand-held transceiver with D-STAR and FM modes with built in GPS. […]

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