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Icom IC-M88 Handheld VHF Marine Radio Review

The Icom IC-m88 handheld VHF marine radio and found it to be a rugged handheld that will stand up to the typical salt spray, rain and bouncing around aboard.  However, by far the most notable aspect of the IC-m88 is its ‘fit in the palm of your hand’ size.  It fits nicely in your hand, pocket, bag or on your belt better than just about any other handheld VHF on the market.  All this without sacrificing on either the power or feature front. If you want a small VHF with lots of power, the IC-m88 is the one.

Icom has built a reputation as a reliable hand held VHF radios, The Icom ic m88 is a perfect safety device or back up for any boater. Or for smaller day boats, the Icom IC m88 can be relied upon to be the primary VHF.

The IC m88 vhf radio is comes with many great features, including:

  • easy-to-read backlit LCD display
  • easy to use intuitive six-button keypad
  • rugged waterproof housing that is submersible in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes
  • works with all 57 U.S., 61 Canadian, and 57 international channels
  • Can receive 10 weather channels from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
  • The IC m88 also offers 22 free channels (from 146 to 174 MHz) reserved for land mobile (commercial) use, making this an ideal unit for marine professionals who also work on the shore (requires FCC license).
  • lithium-ion battery pack that delivers up to 15 hours of talk time per charge
  • one touch access to channels 16 and 9
  • a key lock function for when you are scrambling about
  • includes a drop-in battery charger, swivel belt clip, and hand strap/lanyard
  • measures 2.44” by 3.81” by 1.53” (W x H x D)
  • comes with an Icom three-year warranty.

The IC m88 radio’s layout is intuitive and easy to use.  It has clearly labeled buttons on the front panel with the volume/power knob along the top. The rugged casing, meets military specifications for durability.  It’s a handheld VHF easily tough  to stand up to the marine environment and bumping about in your boat.

Other Icom IC m88 design details include:

  • 5 watts of output power for reliable communication over long distances
  • Compact form factor that fits easily in the palm of your hand or jacket/pant pocket.
  • two-step power saver that preserves the ic-m88 vhf battery life.

The IC-M88 offers several scanning modes, including:

  • ‘auto scan’ function that starts scanning if no signal is detected
  • ‘traditional scan’ mode that searches through all the tag channels in sequence
  • ‘priority scan’ mode that is similar to ‘traditional mode’ but also monitors the distress channel (number 16)
  • weather alert option that immediately switches the Icom ic m88 radio to the proper weather channel whenever a storm warning comes through.

The Dual Watch and Tri-Watch functions are other important functions of the Icom IC m88. The Dual Watch feature lets you communicate on the channel of your choice while also keeping an eye on channel 16.  The tri-watch function monitors two channels–channel 16 and another channel–while receiving a third channel.

What’s in the box?

IC-M88 VHF radio, lithium-ion battery pack, drop-in VHF charger, AC adapter, swivel belt clip, VHF hand strap, antenna, VHF user’s manual.

Technical Details:

  • Brand Name: Icom
  • Model: IC-M88 01
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Device Type: VHF
  • Radio Channels: 22-channel
  • Maximum Output Power: 5 watts
  • Display: LCD display
  • Battery Average Life: 15 Hours
  • Width: 2.4 inches
  • Depth: 1.5 inches
  • Height: 3.8 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 Ounces
  • [easyazon_infoblock align=”none” identifier=”B0000AXTDC” locale=”US”]

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