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Author Topic: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?  (Read 651 times)

ToddV

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Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« on: April 22, 2019, 1557 UTC »
For those who do not want to look at a computer screen / SDR setup after starting at a computer at work all day....

Do you ever want to sell it all and get the Icom R8600? Maybe keep a portable scanner for DMR and P25 Ph II?

Trying to get wideband coverage with modern equipment is difficult (i.e., alpha memories and they still make memory programming software for the VHF / UHF end of the radio). Icom R8500? But that doesn't do any of the digital stuff, realizing the R8600 doesn't do it all....

Has anyone taken this leap?


Offline Ray Lalleu

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 1245 UTC »
The Icom R8600 has no numerical keyboard.
Is there a roundabout to enter frequency direct ?

I just saw bargain prices for used R-9500, one described as perfect state for €1600,
dating from 2010 (when the new price was around €12000 !).
D/E/F/G/It/Sp : Dutch/English/French/German/Italian/Spanish
Balanced wire antennas, wire lines and ATU
Ray, western France.

Offline Token

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 1326 UTC »
The R8600 is an outstanding receiver, no two ways about it.  I have  owned mine since release day, and am extremely pleased with it.  And, in my opinion, the R8600 is the best candidate for “having only one RX and doing it all”, but is that really such a good option?

I find that I always want more than one radio running.  For dedicated scanning I use the Uniden BCD536HP and just let it do its thing.  For HF I use multiple SDRs, often because I am looking at multiple chunks of spectrum at any one time.

I guess I could talk myself into, if required to downsize for space, keeping only the 536 and the R8600.  But it would take some convincing, I like my WinRadio G31 and G3DDC a whole lot, and my RFSpace NetSDR is my “go to” tool, the other HF SDRs here are mostly redundancy for monitoring many things at once.  I know this is the opposite of what you asked, but if there was a better computer tool to use the R8600 (not that HDSDR is bad, it is just not as clean as some others) I might be more satisfied with only the R8600 and the 536 combo.  I find it less comfortable today to use the front panel controls of a radio, despite having grown up with (and still owning a couple hundred) tube type boatanchors.  And without a large, high detail, waterfall I feel like something is missing today.  I have been using waterfalls since the early 1980's, and at home for more than 10 years, I feel almost like I have forgotten my glasses, or something, working with a radio with no waterfall today.

The Icom R8600 has no numerical keyboard.
Is there a roundabout to enter frequency direct ?
 

Direct frequency input is easy on the R8600.  You simply touch the frequency display on the touch screen, a number pad pops up on the screen, and you type in the frequency you want and touch the ENT soft button.

So while there is not a hardware numerical keyboard, there is a soft numerical keyboard on the display.

T!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 1624 UTC by Token »
T!
Mojave Desert, California USA

ToddV

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 1346 UTC »
Thanks for the input.  I owned a Yaesu FT-991 which has the newer style LCD touch panel and menu driven interface.  I didn't love it, but I didn't dislike it either.


Offline Ray Lalleu

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2019, 2015 UTC »
Thanks for the reply, Token.

Probably on a budget the good choice today is a SDR box with a PC (also a compact for travel and outdoor listening).

But can the SDR box really find the tiniest  signals in the mud when things are really hard ?
Side by side between the R8600 and the best SDRs, which one is the best to find the really weak signals ?
 
D/E/F/G/It/Sp : Dutch/English/French/German/Italian/Spanish
Balanced wire antennas, wire lines and ATU
Ray, western France.

Offline Token

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 0151 UTC »
But can the SDR box really find the tiniest  signals in the mud when things are really hard ?
Side by side between the R8600 and the best SDRs, which one is the best to find the really weak signals ?

I consider my G33DDC SDR to be my best SDR receiver, possibly the best receiver I have ever owned, the G35DDC might be a bit better, but I do not own that, I just have access to use one occasionally.  Comparing my R8600 to my WinRadio G33DDC it is hard to tell which is best, under some conditions the G33, and others the R8600.  The NetSDR and the G31DDC may not quite be up to the level of the G33DDC, but are still extremely good, this is splitting hairs.  I never have compared the R8600 to the Perseus (I got rid of my Perseus before I owned the R8600) but based on comparisons of the Perseus to the G31/G33DDC I suspect the Perseus would perform in the same class.

Really weak signals is not an issue for any of the better SDRs, SDR-IQ, Airspy HF+, RSP2Pro, Afedri, etc.  Most show adequate sensitivity for real world noise levels on HF.  The differences show up in specifications like dynamic range and wide/narrow blocking.  And the software, and how the software handles various aspects of operation.

A good SDR will deliver world class performance, no problem.  But then you also have to make sure your support systems are up to the same level of performance.

T!
T!
Mojave Desert, California USA

Offline Ray Lalleu

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 1543 UTC »

Really weak signals is not an issue for any of the better SDRs, SDR-IQ, Airspy HF+, RSP2Pro, Afedri, etc.  Most show adequate sensitivity for real world noise levels on HF.  The differences show up in specifications like dynamic range and wide/narrow blocking.  And the software, and how the software handles various aspects of operation.

A good SDR will deliver world class performance, no problem.  But then you also have to make sure your support systems are up to the same level of performance.

T!

Of course I was not thinking to sensitivity measured in laboratory, but to weak signals in the real world of strong signals. Also I'm aware that the receiving antenna is more important than the receiver. (But some unamplified low noise receiving antennas can give very low levels, and it would be useful to have a very sensitive receiver).

I went on the internet to browse about Winradio Excalibur receivers. I could not get any real price from a real retailer : everywhere, i was requested to be a candidate buyer, writing about the products I'm interested with, if possible in German, Portuguese, Greek, Danish... (for euro zone) or in English (for UK sterling pound zone, and what with the Brexit?). I don't like that at all, and it's clear that Winradio does not want to sell Excalibur to me. When I jump to SDR, I will look to other brands.

Also, reading a few advices, I doubt it that Winradio went far to make its software really useful on less than the higher grade PC's.

Another concern is more general (including the Icom IC-R8600) : many receivers today have to be supplied with 12V (or 13.6V...) and it becomes harder and harder to find DC power supplies not 'peppered' with noise either on the DC or on the AC line.
D/E/F/G/It/Sp : Dutch/English/French/German/Italian/Spanish
Balanced wire antennas, wire lines and ATU
Ray, western France.

Online sat_dxer

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 1300 UTC »
 "covers 0.01-3000 MHz (less cellular)"

Sell it all; no way!
Most times & frequencies posted are only an approximation.
Due to adulteration of the E.N.I.G.M.A. "designators" by others and not a match in the Conet Project they are never used.
-30-
秘密

Offline Token

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Re: Sell it all and get the Icom R8600?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2019, 0246 UTC »
I went on the internet to browse about Winradio Excalibur receivers. I could not get any real price from a real retailer : everywhere, i was requested to be a candidate buyer, writing about the products I'm interested with, if possible in German, Portuguese, Greek, Danish... (for euro zone) or in English (for UK sterling pound zone, and what with the Brexit?). I don't like that at all, and it's clear that Winradio does not want to sell Excalibur to me. When I jump to SDR, I will look to other brands.

That is very odd, I was able to buy WinRadio products directly off their web site, with prices advertised on the web page before ordering.  I know the G31DDC (and other receivers, like the 313) price is on the web page, and the G33 price used to be, but it seems you have to request a price for the G33 today.

To get the G35DDC I did have to go directly to Radixon, as that one could not be priced online.  But they responded with a simple price quote within 24 hours, and I had it on order inside a week, and most of that week took me deciding what options I wanted on it.

Also, reading a few advices, I doubt it that Winradio went far to make its software really useful on less than the higher grade PC's.

WinRadio recommends higher end PCs, that is true, however I run a G31DDC on a P4 HT machine, probably 8 or more years old.

My G33DDC runs on a 5+ year old Gateway SX2803, Pentium E5800 @ 3.2 GHz, and 6 GB RAM, running Windows 7.  This is a low cost box that I bet I paid less than $400 for when it was brand new, and it runs the software just fine.

Another concern is more general (including the Icom IC-R8600) : many receivers today have to be supplied with 12V (or 13.6V...) and it becomes harder and harder to find DC power supplies not 'peppered' with noise either on the DC or on the AC line.

That is why I run a high quailty Lambda linear 12 VDC supply for all the 12 VDC required at the listening desk.

T!
T!
Mojave Desert, California USA