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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2017, 3:00 PM
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Default IC-R75 and 8600

Plugged in my old IC-R75 in today beside the 8600 and while both performed well I didn't fully realize how capable the IC-R75 is until today. It was able to pull some faint and barely readable signals above the noise easily on several stations (especially with preamp 2) and was faster than the 8600 which on various AGC picked them all up but needed a little effort to get as clear.

With the 8600 AGC fast (for today's conditions\reception where I am, not suggesting this is a better or superior setting always) and set to 0.1s they were nearly identical and came down to audio difference only on most, with the 8600 being just as quick to lock up the signal and produce clear reception. Still says a lot for the IC-R75 and mine won't be going offline anytime soon.
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Old 08-31-2017, 5:38 PM
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Ditto here with my R75 (my R75 was from the last production run). Each receiver is connected to an Alpha-Delta DX-Ultra antenna. One antenna is NE-SW receiving orientation, the second is E-W receiving orientation. Both antennas ~20 above ground level. Yesterday evening (Thursday 30 Aug 0100 UTC) the R75 was able to receive WWVH on 10 MHz using the NE-SW antenna whereas the R8600 could not discern WWVH. Propagation strange though as WWV 15 MHz was not receivable on the R75 and was quite noisy on the R8600. WWV 15 MHz usually booms at my location at this time.

It's nice having the spectrum scope on the R8600; can quickly tune the R75 to a known signal to compare and contrast.

Last edited by escortz28; 08-31-2017 at 5:43 PM..
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Old 08-31-2017, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escortz28 View Post
Ditto here with my R75 (my R75 was from the last production run). Each receiver is connected to an Alpha-Delta DX-Ultra antenna. One antenna is NE-SW receiving orientation, the second is E-W receiving orientation. Both antennas ~20 above ground level. Yesterday evening (Thursday 30 Aug 0100 UTC) the R75 was able to receive WWVH on 10 MHz using the NE-SW antenna whereas the R8600 could not discern WWVH. Propagation strange though as WWV 15 MHz was not receivable on the R75 and was quite noisy on the R8600. WWV 15 MHz usually booms at my location at this time.

It's nice having the spectrum scope on the R8600; can quickly tune the R75 to a known signal to compare and contrast.
Nice antenna setup, do you hear a big difference between the two directions on the 8600?

Trying to decide between your setup or keeping the current PAR EndFedz and adding a loop like the Pixel or MFJ for lower noise. So far even on noisy atmospheric days or with local stuff (when the neighbor turns on his huge plasma TV at night) the 8600 reception is still excellent so leaning away from the loop.
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Old 09-02-2017, 2:05 PM
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The difference between the two antennas is only discernible on either receiver when the signal is almost in the noise - then the antenna orientation can make a difference. The advantage of the R8600 are the various filters that can be applied. Each receiver has a dedicated SP-23 speaker. A single Astron RS-12A powers both receivers (haven't found the need for isolation or filtering). BTW, antenna orientations were selected because of mounting locations and feed points. Both antennas use ~60 Belden 9258 RG-8X for the feed to the receivers, using high-quality Amphenol connectors.

Just started VHF/UHF testing. I have a Diamond D3000N with ~35' of a Belden RG-6U. Will report back to the forum after I get some time logged.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:56 PM
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Hello,

I put the 10.7 MHz IF Output on a Spectrum Analyzer. There is a 10 MHz spike about 15 dB above the noise from Reference Oscillator bleed through. The bleed through gets 5 dB worse if the reference output is turned on. The bandwidth is about 12 MHz and the spectrum is inverted.

73 Eric
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Old 09-03-2017, 9:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricCottrell View Post
Hello,

I put the 10.7 MHz IF Output on a Spectrum Analyzer. There is a 10 MHz spike about 15 dB above the noise from Reference Oscillator bleed through. The bleed through gets 5 dB worse if the reference output is turned on. The bandwidth is about 12 MHz and the spectrum is inverted.

73 Eric
I assumed this is at VHF/UHF and not HF?

I found the IF 3 dB bandwidth on HF to be about 8.7 MHz, and the 10 dB bandwidth was 11.5 MHz. Above 30 MHz the 3 dB bandwidth was about 12.7 MHz and the 10 dB bandwidth was about 15.1 MHz.

However, my 10 MHz ref spike was a bit taller than yours.

If I remember right the inverted spectrum is common among the Icom wideband radios.

T!
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Old 09-03-2017, 8:13 PM
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I noticed Pieter Ibelings of RFSpace mentioned 10 MHz leakage on the IF port of the UK 8600 and replaced the factory connection inside with a fully shielded coax cable while converting the BNC to SMA. Nice cable name - Taiko Stinky to SMA.

https://twitter.com/ibelings/status/891745111427739648

Last edited by oceans777; 09-03-2017 at 8:18 PM..
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Old 09-05-2017, 2:33 PM
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Hello,

I would like to keep a BNC connection for Ref IN/Out as BNCs are used on my other radios. Good to know a better cable will fix the problem. It looks like he rerouted the cable which likely helped.

The full bandwidth of the IF Output was on VHF/UHF. On HF I was basically seeing the bandwidth of the front end filters as the response shifted in step with the tuning and would jump back on a filter change.

I hooked up a scope to the aux output and did not see any output. So it looks like it really is a future feature.

73 Eric
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Old 09-13-2017, 4:50 PM
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Got my new R8600 today and so far I'm very pleased with its performance. Its nearly identical to my IC-7300 on HF and it seems it has a syllabic squelch which they call VSC.

Audio recovery on P25 is the very best I've heard and it sounds better than some Motorola HTs I compared. One of the first things I did was change the spectral display as mentioned here: http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/icr8600_scope.pdf

Looks like I won't be getting much sleep over the next few days playing radio.
prcguy
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Old 09-13-2017, 5:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
Got my new R8600 today and so far I'm very pleased with its performance. Its nearly identical to my IC-7300 on HF and it seems it has a syllabic squelch which they call VSC.

Audio recovery on P25 is the very best I've heard and it sounds better than some Motorola HTs I compared. One of the first things I did was change the spectral display as mentioned here: http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/icr8600_scope.pdf

Looks like I won't be getting much sleep over the next few days playing radio.
prcguy


Congrats!


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Old 09-17-2017, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
Got my new R8600 today and so far I'm very pleased with its performance. Its nearly identical to my IC-7300 on HF and it seems it has a syllabic squelch which they call VSC.

Audio recovery on P25 is the very best I've heard and it sounds better than some Motorola HTs I compared. One of the first things I did was change the spectral display as mentioned here: http://webpages.charter.net/n9ewo2/icr8600_scope.pdf

Looks like I won't be getting much sleep over the next few days playing radio.
prcguy
Congrats also! You're probably getting sleep by now
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Old 09-17-2017, 3:51 PM
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Hello,

I took off the top cover of my IC-R8600. There is some neat engineering.

I noticed they are using a ported speaker. There is a hole next to the speaker and a black plastic enclosure on the backside of the speaker.

There is also 4 mounting posts on the speaker panel. Maybe there will be a future option board. There are two populated unused connectors on the main board. I also noticed a number of places for connectors that are not populated.

The 16 bit ADC used to digitize the RF should give excellent performance.

RX-3818E is marked on Lattice chip. RX-3818 is likely a engineering or hardware identifier for the receiver, with E for Europe?

Some of the ICs on the main board
Renesas R7S721001VC Main CPU ARM A9
Spansion FL127S1F10 Serial Flash
Micron 48LC4M16A2 4 banks of 1MBx16 SDRAM 167 MHz
Analog Devices ADSP-21488 DSP
TI TMS320C55 DSP Likely the Digital Voice CODEC as DVSI likes this chip.
Altera Cyclone IV FPGA EP4CE55F2-317N (same as IC-7300)
CY7C68013A-56 EZ-USB FX2LB USB 2.0 controller used for IQ
Lattice LCMXO256C MachXO FPGA
Linear Tech LTC2208 16 bit 130Msps ADC

2 x TI PCM2901E Stereo Audio CODEC w/USB Interface (one for each USB port)
TI PCM1681 24 bit 192Ksps 8 Channel DAC
2 x Microchip USB2513B USB 2.0 Hub (one for each USB port)
4 x SiLabs CP2102 USB 2.0 to TTL UART (two for each USB port)

73 Eric
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:39 PM
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Hello,

While waiting for Icom to update their CI-V Manual, I figured out a couple of currently undocumented commands.

Code:
Cmd  Sub  Data
14   20                 Send/read the Resume Time (0000=0s, 0128=3s, 0255=HOLD)
15   06                 Read the S-AM SYNC Indicator ( 00=Non-synchronous, 01=Synchronous)  #Note: Change or typo in doc?
15   07                 Read the OVF indicator status (00=OFF, 01=ON)     #Note: Change or typo in doc?
1A   05   0182  00 ~ 02 Set/read Full Keyboard Layout (00=English, 01=German, 02=French)
1A   0C   00    00/01   Set/read Auto Scan Status Send (00=Disable messages, 01=Enable send of scan status on scan state change)
1A   0C   01    00 ~ 03 Scan status messages (00=scan off, 01=scan active, 02=scan paused, 03=resume pause)
1A   0C   02            Read Scan type (00=scan off, 01=memory scan, 02=vfo scan)
The interesting command is 1A/0C as the radio will send scan status when there is a change.

There are several additional commands that I have not figured out yet. I stumbled on the 1A/OC ones accidentally as the radio was doing a memory scan when I was testing.

73 Eric
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Old 10-10-2017, 9:51 PM
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Hello,

Service Mode for the R8600 is entered the same way as the IC-7300. You need to put a shorted 1/8" mono phone plug in the remote jack. Keep pressing both the Menu and Function keys when you press and release the power button. There is an opening display with version numbers.

Code:
F      1.10-000
M      3.71-U00
(u)    3.61-U00
(a)    1.60-000
DSP(P) 3.04(00)  17F1
DSP(D) 3.00(00)
FPGA   3.02(00)
DV DSP 3.04-000

The useful items are in the Front menu where the buttons and LEDs can be tested. There is also a touchscreen calibration. Most of the other settings are only useful with test equipment and should not be touched at this time.

73 Eric
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:57 AM
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Anyone using the IC-RS-R8600 Remote Control Software and if so would you share your thoughts about it? Performance over network?


And thanks Eric for sharing so much useful info on the 8600.

Last edited by oceans777; 10-12-2017 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 10-12-2017, 8:05 PM
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Initial observation from first evening https://forums.radioreference.com/ic...ustration.html

Screen shots https://forums.radioreference.com/ic...creenshot.html

I haven't operated via a network connection yet, been running local direct connect to PC. The two biggest detractors for me - no ability for full screen (especially when viewing the scope) and no ability to use a 'keypad' to enter/change frequencies (have to mouse click on tuning knob to increment/decrement). I do the RC-28 though I haven't had time to connect and try yet.
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Old 10-14-2017, 3:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escortz28 View Post
Initial observation from first evening https://forums.radioreference.com/ic...ustration.html

Screen shots https://forums.radioreference.com/ic...creenshot.html

I haven't operated via a network connection yet, been running local direct connect to PC. The two biggest detractors for me - no ability for full screen (especially when viewing the scope) and no ability to use a 'keypad' to enter/change frequencies (have to mouse click on tuning knob to increment/decrement). I do the RC-28 though I haven't had time to connect and try yet.
Thanks for the info!
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