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Author Topic: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?  (Read 764 times)

Offline Looking-Glass

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Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« on: July 07, 2018, 0639 UTC »
Just about given up trying to get a secondhand JRC NRD-535 or 545 comms receiver after near two years of looking.  However, I see one Australian amateur radio supplier still has new stocks of the now discontinued Icom R-75 comms receiver at AUD$900.00.

Google tells me, via reviews and comments posted,  that people either love or hate this radio, some say it's great, others say it's doesn't stack up for the money paid?

What do the team at HFU think of this radio in general?

Now what do I want to do with it you may ask?

*  NDB Low Wave band DXing (a priority this way).

*  Some MW band DXing, but not often.

*  HF Marine/Aviation/Clandestine comms receiving both SSB and CW.

*  General Shortwave, mainly 3-9MHz sector, or Tropical Band as some refer to it as.

Antenna to be utilised would be a multi band HF vertical and a random length of wire.

So if you own one, or have had one, what are your views, comments, expectations and short falls?  Be interested to know before I consider a purchase.

Thank you one and all... ;D
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 0202 UTC »
Hmmm...  odd that it costs less than the Alinco you were looking at in your other post.
Make sure that it is actually brand new and not a returned or repaired unit. 
Otherwise, the R75 enjoys a good reputation.
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 2221 UTC »
What Pinto said. One of the last HQ comm receivers built before the advent of SDR's. Highly thought of and you couldn't beat the Stateside street prices on them, in the mid-600$ range.

I think of Alinco's as a ham radio manufacturer , but they did crank out some nice receivers in the first decade of this century.

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2018, 2302 UTC »
Thanks gentlemen, swaying towards the IC-R75 at the moment, cannot work out why the transceiver version the IC-718 is cheaper though, around AUD$848.00 compared to AUD$900.00 for receiver.

Also been reading up on the AOR AR8600 Mark-2, lot of for and against.
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline GrahamC

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 2327 UTC »
I have an ICOM IC-R75 an am quite pleased with it.


Although the IC-718 looks a lot like the R75 their architecture is quite different.  The R75 uses a master oscillator of 30MHz and is quite easy to lock to a 10MHz reference; I forget what the 718 has but it is not 30MHz.


The speaker in the R75 is a bit tiny and sounds a bit "tinny" but otherwise is quite serviceable.


the add on filters are still available and quite common but are pricey.


I am hoping to find another but it will likely have to be used. the Alinco receiver is OK and that is a reasonable second choice. SDR's are nice but not always the best choice for some listening activities.




cheers, Graham near Ottawa Canada

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 0654 UTC »
Thanks a lot for the input and opinions gentlemen, have decided after reading more on Google, and here, to go for the R-75 from Icom, and yes, it's new direct from Icom in Melbourne.

Not having a lot of interest in VHF/UHF I have settled for the R-75.  Should be here by the end of the week, paid for it today... ;)
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline QRP

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2018, 1039 UTC »
Here are a lot of comments on R-75
https://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/427

//QRP

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 0233 UTC »
Thanks gentlemen, swaying towards the IC-R75 at the moment, cannot work out why the transceiver version the IC-718 is cheaper though, around AUD$848.00 compared to AUD$900.00 for receiver.

Also been reading up on the AOR AR8600 Mark-2, lot of for and against.

Perhaps the price difference is because the IC-R75 has been discontinued?
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 0303 UTC »
Thanks QRP, I read the eHam pages over the weekend, everyone has an opinion, so you must weight it all up carefully.  Overall, it stacks up well for what I want to do with it so it presents a last opportunity to purchase a dedicated HF comms receiver.

BoomboxDX, Australia has always been expensive compared to Europe, Asia and the Americas when it comes to amateur radio equipment, always has been that way.  Back in the 1970's I still recall the Yaesu FT-101 series were always much cheaper in Japan and the USA. Around AUD$150.00 which was quite a sum back then.
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline Josh

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2018, 1815 UTC »
The thing about eham and other reviews is if they report a issue arises often with a particular rig, well, you've been warned. I don't know of any issues with the r75 other than the synch detector was dismal enough they left it out of the later runs. me being the gluton for punishment I am, I'd be up to seeing if I could get a 75 synch working at least as good as my old r8 synch.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline Token

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 0241 UTC »
Thanks gentlemen, swaying towards the IC-R75 at the moment, cannot work out why the transceiver version the IC-718 is cheaper though, around AUD$848.00 compared to AUD$900.00 for receiver.

Also been reading up on the AOR AR8600 Mark-2, lot of for and against.

Perhaps the price difference is because the IC-R75 has been discontinued?

Even when both were still being made, the 718 was about the same price as the R-75, and often a bit less expensive than the RX only radio.

However, the 718 is not a "transceiver version" of the R75, although it is often taken as one.  The 718 came out of the same design house, and roughly the same time as the R75, so there are similarities.  But the two receivers (ignoring the transmitter section) are different.

Start with the fact the R75 is a triple conversion receiver, while the 718 is a double conversion machine.  Without even going to the schematics that should tell you there are some pretty significant architecture differences.  And the two radios have different tuning ranges. 

If you go to the schematics you will see that some of the individual sub-circuits are similar or identical, not uncommon with engineers being creatures of habit, if something works, and applies, use it again.  However, they are laid out differently on the boards, use physically different components, and things like noise and isolation are better controlled with the R75 configuration.  The R75 is just better (as a receiver) laid out and assembled.

I never owned the IC-718, however I did borrow a friends radio for a few weeks.  I have, and do, own a couple of R75s.  I have used the two radios (718 and R75) side-by-side.  I never did hard bench testing of performance, but in general I found the R75 noticeably the superior of the two.  With the two radios side-by-side I still reached for the R75 before the 718.  I found the R75 to be more selective and less noisy.  It appeared to have superior dynamic range.

Working from memory, there are a few feature differences.  I don't remember them all, but a couple stuck out.  For example I don't remembers the 718 having twin PBT (it did have IF shift, but not PBT), while the R75 does.  The added optional filter support is different, the 718 will only take a single added filter in the 455 kHz IF, while the R75 will take an added filter in each the 455 kHz and 9 MHz IFs.

Having used both, and considering only the want for a receiver, I would take the R75.

Really, I wish Icom would release an HF only version of the R8600.  I absolutely love my R8600, it is an excellent radio.  But at the price point I probably will not purchase a second unit.  However, if Icom could make it HF only (maybe call it the R-86?) and reduce the price by something on the order of 60% or more I would be really tempted.

T!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 0247 UTC by Token »
T!
Mojave Desert, California USA

Offline Josh

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 1810 UTC »
It helps greatly to have triple conversion for pbt/if shift in the analog world, if it was straight dsp you can fake it with numbers.

I presume the 718 was straight 45MHz to 455KHz conversion with the 75 being 45MHz to 9MHz to 455KHz (or 45/455/9) as per the usual Icom receiver architecture. Icom must have zillions of xtal filters for 9MHz and 455KHz on hand.

 I seem to recall finding hundreds perhaps of the R75 in a dusty deserted comms listening post in Iraq after the Iraqis left the area post haste, dunno if the door was left open for the sand storms or if the Iraqis just took pride in their equipment, they were filthy but worked. They're a tough and reliable rig, I suppose a lot of sigint agencies around the world employ them due the cost to performance ratio so you really can't go wrong with one. My fav thing about the r75 and other similar rigs is a single clean oscillator sets every other oscillator in the rig, align it to wwv or some other standard and you are golden.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2018, 0305 UTC »
Token and Josh, thanks for the input, especially Token with the IC-718 comparison, was tempted to run with the IC-718 and use it if need be as a spare transceiver, glad I didn't, price was getting the better with me at that stage.

Reliability is the key too as Josh pointed out, so looking forward to a good radio and retiring the troublesome Tecsun 2000 to the aviation VHF band, the Tecsun is not much good for anything else.

It was minus four degrees this morning so the R-75 will mean no trips out to the garage to confirm things heard on the Tecsun on the FT-2000D base set... ;D
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.

Offline East Troy Don

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Primary: Yaesu FRG-7700  Secondary: Grundig Satellit 750.  Alpha Delta  SWL Sloper antenna. Tertiary: Sangean ATS-909X: 1940 Mantola am/sw tube.   QTH: East Troy Wisconsin  USA.  Sea Level: + 320 meters

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Icom IC R-75 comms receiver, your opinion?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2018, 0912 UTC »
East Troy Dan:  Thanks, very expensive and at bottom of the page it says "no international shipping" which rules me out even if I was interested.

Just advised that the Icom R-75 arrives tomorrow, the JRC sets are very rare secondhand in Australia.  Was going to ask a radio amateur friend in Japan to source one but never got around to it, probably plenty over in JA. :)
Hermitage Flat, NSW.

Grid Square:  QF56dm.

Yaesu FT-2000D, ICOM IC-736 HF/50MHz, ICOM IC R75 & Tecsun S-2000 to 450 feet of wire, and a multi band vertical of dubious reliability.