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14 Reviews
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For reception, you can't beat it
I did a reception comparison some time back, and the A6 came out way ahead of the other scanners. Although the A6 is technically not a scanner, I am currently using it as a scanner. However, as the other commenter pointed out, the keyboard is somewhat cryptic and not so obvious how to use it. I didn't find the manual all that bad, but I can see how it can be difficult to...
Published on June 9, 2011 by Andrew Sarangan

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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Designed Radio
The IC-A6, in my opinion, is a poorly designed unit. I'll use my old Icom unit as a comparison to indicate how the IC-A6 is the opposite of new and improved.

The IC-A6 is my second Icom radio. I purchased my first Icom somewhere in the '90s. I regret that I don't remember the model number, but it was somewhat larger than the IC-A6, gave me 12 years of good...
Published on November 18, 2011 by Jadee


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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Designed Radio, November 18, 2011
This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
The IC-A6, in my opinion, is a poorly designed unit. I'll use my old Icom unit as a comparison to indicate how the IC-A6 is the opposite of new and improved.

The IC-A6 is my second Icom radio. I purchased my first Icom somewhere in the '90s. I regret that I don't remember the model number, but it was somewhat larger than the IC-A6, gave me 12 years of good service, and was superior in every respect, including the size. How can larger be better? Read on, I'll explain.

As I said, the IC-A6 is smaller than the old unit. This would be a nice feature, but Icom completely negated any size advantage with bad belt hook design. It's a huge alligator-clip device. To hold the radio in your hand with that monstrosity on it is awkward. The older and larger unit was much more comfortable to operate despite its larger size.

The next un-improvement I'll discuss is the battery. On the old unit, the port for the trickle charger is on the battery. So I could charge a spare battery while I ran the radio on a primary battery. On the IC-A6, the charging port is on the radio itself. I can still carry a spare battery, but I can't charge it unless it's actually installed in the radio. I think this is just plain stupid design.

Here's another un-improvement related to the battery: The old unit had a red light to indicate the battery was taking a charge. There is no such indication on the IC-A6 to indicate that charging is taking place. I have plugged the charger into the IC-A6 and left it overnight only to discover it was plugged into a dead outlet.

And, speaking of battery charge, when operating the radio there's no battery gauge other than an indication on the display that shows only when the battery is about to expire. Nothing to give any indication of how much operating time you might have left on the current battery. And if you do switch to a fresh battery, you lose the belt clip. The clip is held with two screws to the battery rather than to the radio case.

The next un-improvement--adding a lanyard: My old Icom radio had a lug on each side that would fit small metal key rings that made it easy to attach a lanyard. I usually used a camera strap or banjo strap, the kind with the clip on each end. Worked great for carrying the thing around your neck so there was no risk of dropping it out of a hot-air balloon or losing it on the floor of a cockpit. But the IC-A6 has only a tiny little hole on one corner that doesn't fit any kind of metal ring that I can find. It only accepts the flimsy little carrying strap provided with the unit, or a thin piece of string slipped thru this awkward tiny hole, which can then be tied to an appropriate lanyard.

So. . . after all that, how does my IC-A6 perform? In a word, inadequately. Reception is broken up far more than other radios when several hand-held radios are in proximity and receiving the same transmission. I do not know if this is only my unit or if all IC-A6s behave the same way. Another complaint is that when I have spent an afternoon programing the unicom and tower frequencies of several airports into the IC-A6 memory using the airport identifiers for the display, the radio loses the information within 24 hours. Time wasted programing, and time wasted looking up and setting frequencies while flying.

I would not recommend buying this, or the IC-A24 radio, which uses the same case. I have no opinions of other current Icom models, as I have no experience with them, but from first hand experience, I consider the IC-A6 to be a piece of junk.

Pros: The frequency lock stays locked when the radio is turned off.

Cons: Clumsy to hold, can't charge battery if it's out of the radio, no charging progress indicator, can possibly damage battery from overcharging. Difficult to add a lanyard, unreliable performance.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For reception, you can't beat it, June 9, 2011
By 
Andrew Sarangan (Springboro, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
I did a reception comparison some time back, and the A6 came out way ahead of the other scanners. Although the A6 is technically not a scanner, I am currently using it as a scanner. However, as the other commenter pointed out, the keyboard is somewhat cryptic and not so obvious how to use it. I didn't find the manual all that bad, but I can see how it can be difficult to follow. For product quality I would give this a 5 star, but for user friendliness may be 3 stars. My comparison of the scanners is here: [...]
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great handheld, August 12, 2012
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This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
It's a great radio. I use it as my only comm in a Champ with no electrical system along with a FlightTech ITC-401TC intercom. An LED or other indicator showing that the battery is really charging/charged when plugged into the wall charger would be a nice addition. Also, the manual is poorly written, especially the programming instructions. This radio has a reputation as being hard (impossible!) to program, which I shared until I found a couple of YouTube videos that showed how to do it. Once you understand the logic and key sequences, it's not that hard. Sarasota Avionics was a little slow getting the radio shipped, but it still arrived on time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good unit for general airport operations., January 5, 2012
This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
This radio has been a staple around our airport for some time now. We use them for airport operations, snowplow communications and lawn mowing equipment. In fact, the control tower people jokingly refer to it as their "number 2 com" (a monitor radio controllers can use while going "number 2"). It is a solid unit with a nice, big easy-to-read display. Reliability has been very good; I don't think I've ever sent one out for repair. When it wears out, you can use it as a wheel chock, but that won't happen anytime soon. Battery life is reasonable (not as long-lived as the Vertex but decent). Drop-in charger is a nice option to purchase. Be careful not to over-charge the nickel-metal batteries or they will not last. I would like to see a better battery meter on this unit but that's about my only complaint. Well... that and I wish it had a hi/lo power switch like some of its predecessors had. It's a lower cost alternative to permanently mounted equipment, especially if you are leasing, but an outside antenna on a vehicle ia a must-have accessory. This unit also has the headset adapter as a standard accessory (a $60 option which little brother A14 doesn't come with). Buy an A24 if you're going to use it airborne if VOR reception is important to you but the A6 fits the bill for me.

Jim K.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flyboy love his new radio, December 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
This was a replacement for a 15 year old radio same company. It is a big improvement, love it. Even though the other one lasted so long. ICOM makes great products.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Icom IC- A6 Com Radio, March 6, 2014
By 
Freck Martin (Eunice, LA, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
The I COM radio I purchased as a backup for my radios in my Comanche, was exactly what I needed. The radio is compact, easy to program, and is made to a high standard. I have not used it as of yet, but previous experiences with ICOM, have been great. I have no reason to believe that this experience will not be the same. The packaging and prompt delivery was exemplary, as always.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, even better price., November 25, 2013
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This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
It was exactly like the ad purported. It works great, even better than expected, I use it to get weather reports while I'm pre-flighting the aircraft, saves time and money.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very impressive, June 26, 2013
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This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
I was caught between the A6 and the Yeasu 310 and went with the A6 for two reasons. My instructor had an older (and better btw) ICOM and swore by it. I also chose the A6 as it has more accessories available. Now that I have tested it for a day I can say I am not impressed. For the money this is not worth it. I will back everyone else up with the two worst elements; no battery indicator for charging or anything else other than almost dead and a horrible manual. It uses a NiCad battery so it really does need a battery indicator ICOM. Also, the manual is useless. Just toss it out when you get the radio. Frustrating but I am considering returning this and giving the Yeasu a shot. Not cool ICOM! Way to aim low!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessarily Complicated, May 16, 2014
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This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
I had high expectations with this radio, however I found it very difficult to operate. Why the heck do these guys have to make something unnecessarily hard.

There is no battery charging indicator!!!!

Take a note Icom, as this is basic; every pilot would like to know exactly how much battery is remaining.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good radio but:, October 28, 2013
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This review is from: Icom IC -A6 Com Radio (Electronics)
Range appears to be OK to very good. No real time battery-charge status indicator (like my $10 cell phone has) until the battery is almost dead. No green/red light charging indicator on the radio nor the charger (like my $10 cell phone has) while it is being charged. The instruction manual is extremely complicated to follow and understand - obviously written by an engineer, not a user. Loading/adding of "frequency favorites" in your desired order is tedious. Aside from that, the radio is solidly built and meets my low time needs.
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Icom IC -A6 Com Radio
$499.00 $254.94
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