The Icom IC-R8600 shipping early 2017

The Icom IC-R8600 (Image source: Icom)

This morning, while browsing the latest ARRL QST magazine, I noticed an advertisement for the new Icom IC-R8600 wideband receiver.  If you recall, last August, Icom made the announcement that it was introducing two new receivers: The IC-R8600 and the IC-R30 handheld.

The IC-R30 is the successor to the IC-R20 compact handheld receiver, but will have advanced receiving capabilities and be able to decode D-STAR, P25, NXDN and dPMR digital (conventional) modes.

Icom IC-R8600 back panel (Image source: Icom)

The IC-R8600, on the other hand, is more akin to the IC-7300 transceiver in terms of design, but has much more functionality than the IC-7300 and covers a wide range of frequencies (10kHz-3GHz).

The Icom IC-R8600 is essentially a tabletop SDR receiver.

Here are a few features mentioned on the IC-R8600 pre-release brochure:

  • Ultra-wide frequency coverage with RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication) function
  • Fast moving, real-time spectrum scope and waterfall functions
  • Decodes multiple digital protocols, including D-STAR, NXDNTM, dPMRTM and APCO P25
  • Large 4.3 inch TFT color touch screen display
  • Clear audio quality using FPGA/DSP base architecture with superheterodyne circuitry
  • Optional RS-R8600 PC remote control software allows control of all receiver functions
  • I/Q signal output for use with third-party SDR software and/or external decoding
  • The SD card slot for received log, decode log and voice recording
  • Optional SP-39AD external speaker with integrated power supply

The back panel connections are pretty comprehensive (click to enlarge):

I will plan to review the IC-R8600 once it has become available. I have no clue yet what pricing will be.

I will post all IC-R8600 updates with the tag: IC-R8600

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30 thoughts on “The Icom IC-R8600 shipping early 2017

  1. Steve

    They’re not going to sell many at the present price…and for this price, you should be able to do wideband spectrum recordings like Perseus and other SDRs.

    Reply
  2. Hermanski

    Damit mein Kommentar kein Missverständnis erzeugt: Das Ding ist für das, was es leistet, einfach zu teuer! Wurde auch schon reichlich kommentiert. Diese Preispolitik wird bei echten RTX von Icom so nicht verfolgt. Deswegen mein Fazit, dass die “Nur-Hörer” schneller zugreifen, ohne nachzudenken, da es ihnen an Qualifikation fehlt – so denkt scheinbar (?) jedenfalls Icom. Über diese ehemals gute Gerätschmiede bin ich sehr enttäuscht. Ein RTL-Stick mit Downconverter und guter Software macht fast das selbe! Und genau das hat Icom nicht geschnallt! Die digitalen Betriebsarten sind recht selten, ja nahezu NIE hier zu empfangen. Mal sehen, wie viele darauf reinfallen, wenn das “Goldstück” entlich auf dem Markt ist…

    Reply
  3. Hermanski

    Äußerlich exakt ein IC-7300. Im Inneren ein erweiterter Frequenzbereich, den 90% der User mangels Antenne nicht nutzen können. Dann kann das Ding nur RX. Ist wohl etwas mehr für Personen, die mangels Kenntnisse der Technik an das Gerät “freudig erregt” ran gehen. Oder deutlicher: Für die technisch unbedarften…

    Reply
  4. James Brighton

    Well said, 13dka!

    Nonetheless, despite its price, it’s no doubt any of us would want one in their shack.

    BTW, if you know the channel to get this receiver direct from Japan, it’s currently selling at around JPY 219,000, which is equivalent to US$1,970 (excluding any potential custom tax, delivery, etc).

    Reply
  5. 13dka

    As much I love radio, and as much I’d love to buy the one receiver that fulfills all demands I may have ever had – considering that – no matter if I use a low-cost SDR or a cheap portable or this thing – these issues…

    – an ever decreasing number of AM stations

    – an ever decreasing number of SW BC stations, reducing my choice of daily (English) programming to CRI, RRI, CRI, VOG, CRI, RHC, CRI and (OK, they are great) RNZI, and sometimes even CRI and a lot of Brother Stairs

    – hams fighting, arguing, bitching and shouting on top of each other, otherwise…

    – hams making meaningless “you’re fivenine, 73!” QSOs, only topped by yet another contest on every goddamn weekend

    – hams whacking actually interesting DX stations by shouting their callsign 300 times per minute, while the DX station is talking

    – the solar minimum (besides whacko local regulations) makes it unlikely that much joy will come out of 6 and 4m

    – police, fire fighter and other utility radio has moved to encrypted TETRA trunked systems

    – FM stations are not much to listen to anymore, all having the same old sh..ongs in rotation, or the same old 4-hour news feature loops

    – VHF/UHF ham activities having decreased by 90%, the remaining 10% happening on crappy sounding digital modulation and internet linkage

    – the interesting things beyond 70cm being covered very well even by $10 DVB-T sticks

    …and all that jazz, make such a decision very, very hard, on top of the fact that no receiver can mitigate the limits created by a QTH not being of the ITU “quiet rural/remote” category, while this thing will probably not bring you more distant stations than much cheaper SDRs, even on “quiet rural” listening spots, makes shelling out 3000€ for such a radio sound like a rather stupid thing to do.

    Still, I want one. 🙂 But for that kind of money, it oughtta be one of the best, most stunning radios ever made, no glitches, no cheap parts, no shortcomings, no monkey business. Waiting for the reviews…

    Reply
    1. Terry

      Still waiting for the radio, let alone a review.. they initially said available early 2017… in the words of the Elton John song “I’m still waiting…”

      Reply
    2. Ray L

      I agree 100% with everything you said.
      My Drake R8, Grundig Sat 800 and SDRplay RSP1 is all I need to listen to anything I want. I have been a Shortwave listener since 1984. I would love to have this receiver, but it’s just a WANT thing and not a NEED thing. It probably wouldn’t do any better than my Drake, Sat 800 and SDR in the long run as far as what I listen to.
      My home is outside of a rural town on 30 acres. My antenna is the Alpha Delta DX-Ultra. It’s pretty quiet in my location. My radios perform well. That’s a lot of money as well for a radio.

      Good post, and good points.

      Reply
  6. Paul

    If the price point was what they sold the IC-7300 at, then they would sell tons of them. $2500 price tag is too much for the average listener.

    Reply
    1. nickcarr

      It’s too much for a serious listener as well… for what you’re getting. Who wants to listen to d-star chatter??? ICOM needs to wake up and realize that d-star is a niche product and always will be…

      Reply
  7. Pingback: A bit of news on the R8600 / R30 - The RadioReference.com Forums

    1. Thomas Post author

      Woah!!! Ouch! We’d have to assume a $2,500 price tag or more in US/Canada, then. That would place this receiver outside the range of most (not all) SWLs and DXers.

      Let’s see how this plays out.

      Thanks, Clint.

      Reply
    1. John

      In my experience Mike, touch screens have opposite polarity to the recycling centre, and start their service lives migrating towards it. While a quality touch pad has to be beaten, abused, and dragged there.

      Reply
  8. John

    Forgive my rookie status, but I don’t see any standard computer monitor output on the R8600? Even the legendary ICOM R9500 still has an ancient (circa 1987) VGA connector? I haven’t used a VGA output on a computer – monitor connection in well over a decade. Is there some reason why modern DisplayPort or HDMI output isn’t used in deca-kilo dollar recievers ?

    Reply
    1. Bruno

      It will have a keypad on the touchscreen…. exactly as your iphone has!
      The old times of phisical keys are gone. Nowadays everything has touchscreen keys: your mobile phone, your iPad, your laptop, and so on. Much more userfriendly and efficient (that’s why you don´t find hard keys in any mobile phone anymore).

      Reply

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