Com/Nav Transceiver Recommendations?

I’m looking at adding a Nav/Com transceiver to my flight bag in the event of radio/elec. failure and am looking at the ICOM IC-A22 and A23, as well as Sporty’s SP-200. There is a special on the A-22 for $375 with a NiMH rechargable and alkaline battery packs, headset adapter, etc. that looks pretty good.

Any recommendations for those of you who have used either of the above? Thanks. Tom.

I have the A23. I have actually used it only a little, mostly ordering fuel without turning on the aircraft master. Depends on whether you want the VOR capability on your handheld. In the event of a total electrical failure, the ability to navigate as well as communicate would be very helpful. Headset adaptor is important. I use the Bose Aviation X headsets and I am always amazed to hear the noise level in the cockpit when putting on an oxygen cannula or hood. I think the choice of Sporty’s is mostly how large of a unit you want. The Icom units are very small and fit nicely in the forward sidewall pockets on the Cirrus. The Sporty’s is too large to fit there.

I intend eventually to get an antenna connector installed so that the handheld can be connected to the aircraft antenna. Icom makes such a device which will transfer the aircraft antenna to the handheld when the plug on the handheld antenna cable is plugged in. Check Icom’s web site for information. Whichever unit you get will work much better with the aircraft antenna.

I have the SP-200. Got it years ago (so its not the new “enhanced” version) when I was a student and losing the only nav/com in the C152 trainer was SOP. Having the VOR/LOC CDI capability came in handy more than once! I like it. Haven’t used the others, but the ICOMs look like they would take up less space in your flight bag…

I’ve got the A23 and am happy with it, though I have to say I have used it mostly to call the fuel truck, but I have used it a couple of times in flight, for no particularly good reason.

In reply to:


I’m looking at adding a Nav/Com transceiver to my flight bag in the event of radio/elec. failure and am looking at the ICOM IC-A22 and A23, as well as Sporty’s SP-200. There is a special on the A-22 for $375 with a NiMH rechargable and alkaline battery packs, headset adapter, etc. that looks pretty good.

Any recommendations for those of you who have used either of the above? Thanks. Tom.


Tom,
I’m a very happy YAESU user. No matter which radio you get, it’s important to have a connection to an external antenna. Get the device that Steve Shirley mentioned in this thread - that will switch an external antenna from the Garmin 430 to your handheld when you connect it. I have such a gizmo (mine was made by King, but I believe it’s been discontinued). I had the jack mounted on the panel above my right knee - see attachment.

You’ve chosen a good time to raise the question, though. It’s AVweb’s “Question of the Week” this week, with over 100 responses and plenty of comments already. You can view it here.

Mike.