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ICOM Receivers A forum for the discussion of all ICOM scanning radios and receivers. Please use another appropriate forum for transceivers.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2012, 2:26 AM
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I'm getting a little off track here, but will return shortly...

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Originally Posted by Token View Post
..That was in 1997, and today no operating system supports that hardware, in order to run it I must keep an old PC running an obsolete OS. A pain in the butt at times, and will I still be able to do it 10 years from now? Probably not, even if the receiver hardware itself still is functioning...
You may want to look at running a GNU/Linux, BSD os, and install DOSEMU. You just might be able to throw that 486 away as long as the cpu speed isn't an issue. Worth a shot. I'm not totally sure that there is a way to slow the cpu, or just add dummy wait states, but I would be surprised if there wasn't.

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Today there is no reason to think future SDRs need have the same lifetime/hardware/OS limitations.
You make a good point - while something like a Hallicrafters radio can be restored, would it REALLY be a main part of your monitoring shack, other than a cool restoration project? Would you really want to use today's SDR 30 years from now, other than from a cool project standpoint? Agree with you on this totally.

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These last are the SDRs that I say are going to be the future of radio. They can already be built to performance levels that exceed traditional superhet design for similar cost points, and in the future as the ADCs become cheaper they will be less expensive than traditional designs.
I'm with you on that too - I'll always want a box with knobs so if for some reason the gui controller fails, I can fallback to manually operating it at my choosing. Ideally though, the gui software should be GPL / OpenSource to make sure that security is handled properly - ie no processes running as root or administrator, no funny backdoor comms sending data back home, and that vendor-lock-in is avoided. As long as engineers run the show, and not the marketing department, it might be a nice future.

Last edited by hertzian; 07-02-2012 at 2:30 AM..
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2012, 6:37 PM
   
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Default R8500 in Canada

Just to confirm that the unblocked version of R8500 is still a current Icom model and for sale at radio shops in Canada. Street price is about $2100 in Toronto. No word here of this model being discontinued.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2012, 2:21 PM
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Exclamation R8500 Receiver

I recently purchased a used un-blocked R8500 and love it. Although I do use software to control it at times, I couldn't imagine having to solely rely on virtual controls to use it, as I'm also one of those people that really wants and NEEDS real controls on the front of the radio in order to effectively use it.

I would like to add that having an un-blocked version isn't any better than the blocked model because, at least in the USA, there's absolutely NOTHING you can hear in the blocked out ranges of the 800 MHz cellular phone band since everything has been digital for several years now. I have several "un-blocked" receivers and it offers no advantage whatsoever. It may perhaps have some value in other countries where this blocked out region is utilized for other services but in the USA having an un-blocked model means nothing. I would have been just as happy with it had my R8500 been the blocked version.

Many prior Icom receivers blocked the entire 800 MHz band, which IS a problem because it inhibits the ability to monitor non-trunked, conventional repeaters in the 850-870 MHz range (or even trunked systems). However, Icom fortunately changed the method of blocking and only chopped the cellular telephone portions of the 800 MHz band vs. the entire 800 MHz region as with some prior receiver models
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:40 PM
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I wonder if there would be as big a call for unblocked Icom's if the would fix whatever it is they need to fix so their receivers stop incorrectly blocking 867 and/or 868mhz. Same think with GRE and their 700mhz gaps.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:04 PM
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Thumbs up Blocked Icom R8500 . . .

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Originally Posted by bfperez View Post
I wonder if there would be as big a call for unblocked Icom's if the would fix whatever it is they need to fix so their receivers stop incorrectly blocking 867 and/or 868mhz. Same think with GRE and their 700mhz gaps.
Are you saying the "Blocked" version has the 867 & 868 MHz portion blocked out? I thought the upper register of the block started at around 869 MHz up through about 894 MHz. I haven't looked at the specs on a blocked R8500 but I just assumed Icom did it this way vs. the way you indicated.

Some older Icom models blocked the ENTIRE 800 MHz band. Talk about worthless. If you had any interest in the 851-868 MHz Public Safety region then you're just outta luck with the older Icom's. I guess when the ECPA took effect Icom took the quick and easy way out and just blocked *everything*, business repeaters, public safety . . . ALL OF IT was now blocked with those receivers. I was happy Icom began being a little more selective by including this formerly blocked-out range but from you're saying the top edge of it is still blocked out (on the blocked versions)?

And I know what you mean about GRE scanners blocking out some of the 700 MHz range. I have a PSR-600 and love it but the specs clearly show this model scanner does in fact cover it, there are areas it does NOT cover despite what the erroneous specs say. Not sure why they chose to print all the "nitty gritty" specs when you can't even rely on their data. Oh well . . .
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Old 12-28-2012, 2:06 PM
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Yes, many Icoms erroneously block 867 and/or 868. I checked my US R20 and it's block starts at 868 and not 869. I remember reading an angry post from someone here about the 9500 having a similar problem. Others have commented that their Icom started the blocking at 867 and I have no trouble believing that.

The next time I go to Seattle, I may do the drive into Canada and pick up an R-20 there and maybe a PSR-800 if I can find one and it doesn't have the cell block.

Last edited by bfperez; 12-28-2012 at 2:08 PM..
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2012, 2:27 PM
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When rebanding is concluded (if it ever is) these blocks won't have any relevance anyway. They certainly do now. I may have been one of the ranters at one point.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2012, 2:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfperez View Post
Yes, many Icoms erroneously block 867 and/or 868. I checked my US R20 and it's block starts at 868 and not 869. I remember reading an angry post from someone here about the 9500 having a similar problem. Others have commented that their Icom started the blocking at 867 and I have no trouble believing that.

The next time I go to Seattle, I may do the drive into Canada and pick up an R-20 there and maybe a PSR-800 if I can find one and it doesn't have the cell block.
Wow, that's a damn shame because there is still a lot of useful monitoring in this two MHz region. I'd be hugely pissed if I paid all that money for a receiver of this caliber only to have a non-cellular portion of it blocked out.

Speaking of the cellular band, blocking this portion out is utterly ridiculous to begin with because even using an unblocked receiver you can't hear anything there anyway so it's beyond me why the ECPA of 1986 is still being enforced. All it does is screw up a perfectly good (and in this case, EXPENSIVE) receiver. Could you imagine buying an R9500 and one little (but crtitical) piece of 868 MHz was blocked out? Oooooohhh boy.

I know if I bought a *new* Icom receiver and it had even so much as any of the 868 MHz band blocked out I'd return it in a heartbeat. I guess that's why I bought an unblocked, like-new R8500.

Last edited by KE4RWS; 12-28-2012 at 2:35 PM..
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2012, 2:33 AM
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I take that back, my R20 starts the skip at 867, so those two mhz are both blocked.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2012, 3:18 AM
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Cool That's a shame

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Originally Posted by bfperez View Post
I take that back, my R20 starts the skip at 867, so those two mhz are both blocked.
What's Icom's reason for blocking out a non-cellular portion of what is the very top part of the Public Safety trunked band? Do they admit to making a mistake or have they simply taken the "no comment" approach?

I realize this won't be as big of a problem once all re-banding is complete but even still that's gonna take some time for this process to be completed in all area's. However, even after this there could be instances where being able to monitor this range could be of use.

I remember all those older models which Icom blocked the whole 800 MHz region in some prior receiver models such as the R7100 and R100 but it appears they still haven't totally fixed things by what you're saying and I'm surprised they let this BS stand. I suppose if someone absolutely HAS to monitor this area they can always just buy an old scanner such as the venerable Radio Shack (GRE) Pro-2006, 2005, 2004, 2022, 2032 (among several other models where you don't have to worry about being limited at a certain point in the 800 MHz band), except in this case it would simply be to monitor 867-868 MHz. What a damn shame to have to resort to an old scanner just because Icom made a mistake or didn't bother to do their homework. Of course a scanner won't provide as good of receive as an R8500 does but at least you can still hear the area in question. I'm still confused as to *why* they still manufacture "blocked" models of anything anymore. Since cell-phones went completely digital you can't hear anything there anyway but this country has a lot of old-*** antiquated laws that should be removed from the books. Nothing new there...
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2012, 2:21 PM
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Hi i bought my Icom-R8500 in 2004 in australia all our receivers are unblocked and going back in my opinion these companies really aim to sell to goverment departments thats probably why they dont need to get a new model out every few years not like other companies and it is an excellent receiver its actually around $500 cheaper now then when it first came out..

Regards Lino..
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2013, 5:35 PM
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I would love to have a R8500 but can't spring for that much cash all at once.
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