I will be buying an Icom radio in the next month, which one should I buy?
COM only? NAV/COM? Etc.?
either one, I am only a private pilot, would there be a need to get a nav/com vs a com
Personally, I think the days of combo NAV/COM handhelds are over since the availability of good handheld GPSes.
I’d get a COM only unit and put the money saved over a NAV/COM unit towards purchasing the best handheld GPS I could afford.
Be sure to get a headset adapter for whatever radio you wind up buying. Trying to have an intelligible conversation on a handheld’s 1" speaker in the cockpit of a small aircraft with the engine running is an exercise in futility.
I second JHEM. You won’t save a lot of money getting a COM-only unit, but a GPS is much more useful.
I’ve got an old iCom NAV/COM. I’ve never used the NAV in flight other than to test if it really works. I have used the COM one time when I had my radio out for repair. DEFINATELY get a headset adapter, it won’t be useable in a noisy cockpit without it.
okay so from the concensus
i will get a com only unit.
are there any really good ones versus a bad one
None of them are really “bad” AFAIK, but the Icoms are widely considered among the best.
I’ve got an Icom VHF-FM marine RT that’s given me years of service, although most of the time I’ve carried a Motorola or Standard/Horizon in order to meet non-explosive requirements.
I use a portable vhf/vor since i had a alternator failure it is a icom
with a headset adapter
My Viking has a GNS-430 / GTX-330 and a JPI feeding all kinds of info to each other. I then have the origninal Collins VIR 251/351 set as Nav / Com 2. which both work great still, followed by a Garmin 396 with a weather subscription.
Then I have a $200 all battery powered Icom A23 with back up Nav and COM. I use the COM at towered fields to get the ATIS before I get the engine running or at all fields to pck an IFR clearance before engine start to save a ounces of $4 avgas.
I found a hedset adapter for it and use the A23 as Nav/ Com of last resort. While my GPS would be 1000X more accurate, you NEVER know and the GPS does not have a localizer signal I could track and actually fly the approach if I had to. The difference in price is $50 for NAV and if you EVER need it, well, you’ll not regret the $50 and if you NEVER need it, well, if you own and fly an airplane, you’ll never miss the $50 either!