The ICOM ID-51 (not plus) is my handheld radio for traveling and antenna work. I am not a big DSTAR or relais user at all, but I wanted a simple handheld on “just in case” basis.


Information in German on the ICOM IC-51A is available here: ICOM Europe ID-51

Here is some information on the IC-51A PLUS from ICOM America.

Extends Coverage, Display and Capabilities Without Sacrificing Size and Usability

ID-51A PLUS is an evolution of the ID-51A, Icom’s popular D-STAR Amateur radio. This model incorporates the original feature set including integrated GPS, an independent AM/FM receiver and V/V, U/U, V/U Dualwatch, as well as enhancements for digital operation and compatibility with the RS-MS1A free Android application.

Output power:

5.5/2.5/1/0.5 Watts

RX Frequencies:

A Band – 136-174MHz, 380-479MHz
B Band – 108-174MHz, 380-479MHz



Waterproof rating:





Black, Orange, Pink, Violet, Yellow
ID-51A 50th Anniversary Edition


RS-MS1A, Free Download Android™ Application

The RS-MS1A allows you to connect your Android™ device to the ID-51A*. You can see the location of repeater sites on a map application and set them to the ID-51A. Text messages and pictures can be sent and received with your Android™ device.

*The optional OPC-2350LU data cable is required to connect to an Android™ device.

Text messaging example

DR function setting example

Repeater map example

©2014 Google – Map data ©2014 Google

RS-MS1A Features

  • Send and receive pictures
  • Send and receive text messaging
  • Set transceiver’s DR functions from the RS-MS1A or a map application
  • See the location of repeater sites or other D-PRS stations on a map application
  • View and export received history of the transceiver
  • View detailed data in the transceiver’s Repeater list
  • Import and export the Repeater list and the Callsign list from/to the transceiver

DV Fast Data Mode*

By using data in place of voice frames, the ID-51A transfers data 3.5 times faster (3480 bps) than in the conventional DV mode (with voice). Pictures taken by an Android™ device can be quickly transmitted in the DV Fast Data mode.
*The DV Fast Data mode is not compatible with the DV mode low-speed data communication.

DV and FM Repeater Search Function

The repeater search function searches for nearby analog FM repeaters as well as DV repeaters using the repeater memories and the integrated GPS*.
*To use the repeater search function, the position data of the repeater is required.

Other features

  • Dplus reflector link commands
  • GPS position data can be sent simultaneously with the serial data communication
  • Enhanced D-PRS functions: receiving only Base/Object/Item/Weather formats
  • Altitude data added to the GPS memories
  • CI-V commands include GPS TX mode, DV data TX and GPS ON/OFF settings and can be sent through DATA connector
  • Callsign, repeater list and GPS memory import and export in the CSV format
  • D-STAR DV Mode (Digital Voice + Data)
  • Independent AM/FM receiver
  • MicroSD card (Up to 32GB)
  • TX voice memory (1 channel, 60 seconds)
  • SPEECH function announces the received call sign (DV Mode), frequency, and mode
  • QSO recorder function records incoming and outgoing calls. The voice recorder function can record an off-line conversation.
  • CSV formatted communication log
  • 10-step battery voltage indicator

ID-51A, ID-51A 50th Anniversary and ID-51A Plus comparison

Feature ID-51A ID-51A 50th Anniversary ID-51A PLUS
Fast DV Data N/A Yes Yes
Near Repeater DV Only DV/Analog DV/Analog
Dplus reflector N/A Yes Yes
Enhanced D-PRS N/A Yes Yes
RS-MS1A Android App* Data Only Remote control + Data Remote control + Data
Antenna(s) Simple Only Simple + High Performance Simple only
*OPC-2350LU Required

Source:  http://icomamerica.com/en/products/amateur/handheld/id51aplus/default.aspx