The radio bursts to life. Awake from dormancy, and awakening the memories of previous adventure.

Today we take a look at radios, or in particular, the Icom IC-450 UHF CB.

In this disposable era, we are always seeking gear that is well made. My first Icom radio was an IC-M23, a handheld VHF. We used them to communicate while four of us sea kayaked across the Bass Strait. They were soaking wet and crusted with salt for two weeks – yet they performed flawlessly. And in howling winds, splashing waves and rain (the times we wanted communications) they were still effective.

The Icom IC-450 mounted in our Prado is similarly off to a good start. It has covered 120,000km from the Gibb to Birdsville and the Bight – and I’ve no doubt it will far outlast our current 4WD, and quite likely the next.

My final note on build quality is weight. This unit, all up, comes in at over a kilogram. Metal is heavy, plastic isn’t, and it’s worth getting one of these in your hands (handset and transceiver) to get a true feel of the build quality.

Moving on to features, and like many modern units the transceiver is hidden away during install leaving only the removable handset visible.

The handset screen is clear to read, and the functions are intuitive. The volume buttons are well located and the channel changing operation comes with a helpful verbal read out of your new channel, making it easy to keep your eyes on the track “C B 14!”.

The speaker is crisp and the noise cancellation of the microphone shines when things get noisy.

The IC-450 works brilliantly, and if you’re looking for a radio to take with you from one vehicle to the next, the build quality of Icom will certainly take some beating.

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