Tag Archives: Icom

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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Icom IC-7200 back in production

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), who writes:

Just FYI. Yes, the Icom IC-7200 is “Back in Production”

” The Icom IC-7200 HF DSP Transceiver is back in production once again (at least for now). Unknown if any part / design changes had to be made to make this possible ? Let’s hope they are using better quality Chinese fans ?? We TRIED 2 brand new samples near the end of the last run and it’s internal “Dual Mini Chinese Fans” BOTH squealed like a pig.[…]”

See my news page for the latest info on this (among other latest happenings including a bit more on the Sangean 909X saga).

http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/news.html

Thank you, Dave, for the tip!

I believe the Icom IC-7200 has one of the best general coverage receivers on the market under $1000. I pointed this out in my General Coverage Transceiver review from 2014. I should hope that ham radio clubs might take note about the re-introduction of the IC-7200 and consider purchasing it over the less expensive IC-718 for Field Day or club station use. I’m no fan of the IC-718 as it’s a miserable performer in RF-rich environments like Field Day and radio contests.

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NPOTA activation on the Blue Ridge Parkway

A crowd gathers as Vlado (N3CZ) works station after station in CW!

A crowd gathers as Vlado (N3CZ) works station after station in CW!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do after the National Parks On The Air event is over at the end of this year. I hope the ARRL organizes something equally as fun for 2017.

Truth is, I love playing radio outdoors and I love National Parks. The two are a perfect combo.

Vlado (N3CZ) on left, and me (K4SWL) on right.

Vlado (N3CZ) on left, and me (K4SWL) on right.

My buddy, Vlado (N3CZ), and I decided to do an NPOTA activation on Sunday. The weather was fantastic–a little foggy with mild temperatures and the HF bands were open!

We arrived at our site–the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area (PK01)–at 14:30 UTC or so.

KX3-PK01-NPOTA

We brought the following antennas and supports:

  • a self-contained  20 meter band telescopic fiberglass vertical (I recently purchased at the WCARS Hamfest for $40–!) and
  • a 31 foot fiberglass Jackite pole (the fluorescent orange on in the photos) which we used to suspend a homemade 40 meter doublet Vlado built the day before.

Setup was quick. We were both especially pleased the 20 meter vertical. It was so easy to install, even considering it was the first time either of us had used it.

I powered the LD-11 and the KX3 with my QRP Ranger.

The 20 meter vertical antenna.

The 20 meter vertical antenna (in foreground).

I operated SSB from a picnic table using the LnR Precision LD-11 transceiver, connected to the doublet on 40 meters, and the mono-band vertical on 20 meters.

LD-11-QRP-Ranger-NPOTA-PK01

Vlado started by operating CW with his Icom IC-7000 which was installed in his car, but later moved to the picnic table and logged a number of contacts with the Elecraft KX3.

N3CZ--NPOTA-PK01

We easily logged the number of stations needed to activate the site.

The 40 meter band was hopping and a good path was open into Ohio, Virginia and other surrounding states. The 20 meter band was serving up some excellent QRP DX.

Vlado-KX3

Vlado operating CW on the 40 meter band.

When I moved to the 20 meter band, the noise floor was so low on the LD-11, I thought perhaps the band was dead.  Not so!

LD-11-NPOTA-PK01

It’s hard to believe that with a mere eight watts in SSB  I worked Rhode Island, Texas, Montana, Manitoba, Washington, California and Slovenia from a picnic table on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Reports on the LD-11 audio were all very positive. I’ve used the LD-11 for eight NPOTA activations this year and can say with confidence that it’s a brilliant & fun little field radio. (FYI: I’ll be publishing a full review of the LD-11 in the October 2016 issue of The Spectrum Monitor magazine.)

Vlado and I are planning on several more activations together this year. Our next one will most likely be at the Carl Sandburg Home-. I can’t wait!

Any other post readers participating as an activator or chaser in the National Parks on the Air event?

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Icom’s announcement includes two new receivers: the IC-R8600 and IC-R30

The IC-R8600 (Photo source: QRZ Now)

The IC-R8600 (Photo source: QRZ Now)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dave Zantow (N9EWO), who shares the following info about Icom’s announcements at the Tokyo Ham Fair:

Well the cat is now really out of the bag now !! Icom announced 2 new RECEIVERS at the Tokyo 2016 JARL Ham Fair.

We can almost say for certain that the new IC-R8600 is a SDR based design.

[…]The new IC-R30 handheld probably is SDR too, but not sure yet. Pretty large bugger (no real good picture as of of me typing this). Will it be able to do at least P25 Phase one?

I’ll admit it: I was a little surprised to hear that Icom had announced new receivers. I’m happy to see that it’s an IC-R8500 replacement/update. I love the touch screen color display.

I also very much like the idea of a handheld wideband–possible SDR–receiver.  I did a little extra digging and found the most concrete details about the new models on Icom UK’s website:

After an online teaser campaign featuring silhouettes of mystery radio models, the secret is out and Icom Inc. has shown the very first samples of the IC-7610, IC-R8600, IC-R30 and ID-51 PLUS2 to the public at the Tokyo Ham Fair 2016 (August 20-21, 2016). Details are relatively scarce but here are the basic details we have so far on these models.

The new IC-7610 (Photo: Icom UK)

The new IC-7610 (Photo: Icom UK)

IC-7610 HF/50MHz Transceiver (Base Station)
The IC-7610 is the successor to the IC-7600 and will be a dual-watch capable HF+50MHz 100W base station with built-in antenna tuner. The LCD will be touch screen and you will be able to connect an external display.

IC-R8600 Wideband Receiver (Base Station)
The IC-R8600 replaces the IC-R8500 wideband receiver and will feature the technology incorporated into Icom’s best selling IC-7300. The IC-R8600 will be able to receive a wide frequency range from 0.01-3000MHz frequency in analogue and various digital modes (D-STAR, P25, NXDN and dPMR). The IC-R8600 will feature a larger 4.3 inch touch screen display which will feature fast moving spectrum scope and waterfall display.

IC-R30 Communications Receiver (Handheld)
The IC-R30 is the successor to the popular IC-R20 compact handheld receiver. The IC-R30 can listen to two signals under certain conditions (analogue + analogue or analogue + digital). The IC-R30 will be able to decode D-STAR, P25, NXDN and dPMR digital (conventional) modes.

ID-51 PLUS2 Dual Band D-STAR Digital Transceiver (Handheld)
The ID-51 PLUS2 handportable is a special edition model which will come in several colours/patterns. The new ‘Terminal Mode’ and ‘Access Point Modes’ enable you to make D-STAR calls through the Internet, even from areas where no D-STAR repeater is accessible.

More details will be available nearer to each product’s launch. There are currently no details about pricing and availability.

Stay tuned to this website and our social media pages for further announcements.

I can’t wait to learn what the price point will be for the IC-R8600. I hope it’s at least in-line with the IC-7300 or (its predecessor) the IC-R8500. I also hope that, perhaps, the new IC-R30 will have full-mode HF capabilities.

We’ll post news about these new rigs as it becomes available–so will Dave Zantow. Stay tuned!

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Icom IC-7300: Field Day reports?

Icom-IC-7300-Front

I’m curious: any Post readers use the new Icom IC-7300 on Field Day?

While I gave Icom’s new transceiver a very positive review, it was based on operation at my home QTH. There were no significant contests in progress during my review window.

Field Day has, arguably, some of the toughest receiver conditions out there.  If a transceiver/receiver performs well during Field Day’s dense signal environment, without overloading or distorting, it’s a good receiver.

I’m very curious if anyone tested the IC-7300. I assume someone took it out to play on Field Day!

Please consider commenting with your report!

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