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History on the Icom PCR1000 & PCR100 Receivers

compuscan

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#1
I've been reading a bit on the PCR1000 Receivers lately and want to share what I've found. I'm sure their is still a lot of people who use the PCR1000 receivers today.

Icom made the IC-R9000 advanced communications receiver that made radio enthusiast drool like a boy with a Lamborghini poster when it first came out. It had all the features anyone would want. The only problem was it's price that sold for around $6000. In the 1990's, you could buy a very nice used car for that but it wasn't really made for the general public, mainly business & government. Icom decided to build a lower cost communications receiver with similar specs as the R9000 for a little over 1/10th it's cost. They would save money by having the receiver 100% computer control to eliminate the switches and physical controls of the volume, squelch, etc. The computer monitor would also be it's CRT to display frequency, mode, band scope, etc reducing a large portion of the hardware needed.

The end result was the Icom PCR1000 & PCR100 computer control receivers. Both are very similar but the main differences have to do with the PCR1000 having CW/SSB and an option for a UT106 DSP. The PCR100 was designed to save a little more money by cutting features mainly used in the HF band but adds a few features more for VHF/UHF band like a wider range hardware band scope, ANL, stereo FM and a choice between mono or stereo 1/8 output jack.

Obviously these radios at 1/10th the cost will not replace a R9000 with a more complicated receiver design and also had some features like video output. They do give most of the features of the R9000 and a decent quality receiver. Sensitivity of the PCR1000 at least on paper is very close to the R9000.

Even today, the PCR1000 & PCR100 are very good receivers for conventional frequencies and can even do trunking &/or digital audio (DMR/NXDN/P25 Phase 1) with software like Unitrunker, TrunkPCR or DSDPlus using the discriminator output (simple mod for PCR100). What some people don't know is the original Icom software works with Windows 10. I know several people who originally stop using their PCR radios when they upgraded to Windows 10 believing the software would not work with the newer windows.

You have to install version 2.2 for the PCR1000 or version 1.1 for the PCR100. Once installed, you have to run as administrator or it won't work. Also for the PCR100, the rxdbase.dll won't work with Windows 10 so you have to download and install the PCR1000 V2.2 software from the Icom website, Copy/overwrite rxbase.dll from the PCR1000 software directory to the PCR100 directory in Windows. You can also use the PCR1000 software to control the PCR100 (they both use the same software commands) but the features of the PCR1000 controls won't work with the PCR100 like CW/SSB or VSC and the band scope won't do the full +/- 2MHz because the PCR1000 band scope doesn't go that wide.

The PCR1000 software can be downloaded from Icom's website and the PCR100 software is still available from several private websites.

These are very good communications receivers but work best with an outside antenna instead of the tiny back of set antennas commonly used on typical scanners. Also because the frequency coverage is continues or true wide band, one antenna will not do a good job for all frequencies. Best to get an antenna for the range your most interested in or a Disc-cone antenna that does a decent job for most VHF/UHF frequencies.

The last thing to remember about these radios have to do with the software. Their is already a lot of software around for them and depending on what you want to do with it, which software you choose is very important. The radios can continue to be upgraded by new software programs to add more features and decoding capabilities if people continue to add this model to new software.

A PCR1000 usually sell for between $150 & $300 while the PCR100 usually sells for between $100 & $200 but I have seen a few sell for around $75 with the cases either in poor shape or sold untested. Also the PCR100 is not as common as the PCR1000, some people are confused over this model plus many people believe the original Icom PCR100 software don't work with Windows 10 but it will with the updated rxbase.dll. I've been told Icom made 3 times as many PCR1000 receivers over the PCR100 models. If your mainly interested in VHF/UHF stuff, the PCR100 is a better deal. The PCR1000 is the better one for HF because you can buy a DSP option and it receivers CW/SSB with an extra filter.

The best thing about computer controlled radios is the possibilities are endless with newer and more advanced software. Some spec's of the 3 radios are below:

R9000

100kHz-1999.8MHz range
1000 channels - 10 banks
AM, FM, WFM, LSB, USB, CW, FSK
Filters 2.4kHz, 6kHz, 15kHz, 150kHz
10Hz to 100kHz steps
Spectrum scope
8-character alpha-tag
Analogue signal meter
AFC
AGC
Noise blanker (NB)
Attenuators
Autostore (100 channels)
10 search limits
Voice squelch control (VSC)
Computer control


PCR1000

10kHz-1300MHz range
1000 channels - 10 banks
AM, FM, WFM, LSB, USB, CW
Filters 2.8kHz, 6kHz, 15kHz, 50kHz, 230kHz
1Hz to 1MHz steps
Spectrum scope (+/- 500kHz)
alpha-tag
Analogue style signal meter
AFC
AGC
Noise blanker (NB)
Attenuator
Autostore (100 channels)
10 search limits
Voice squelch control (VSC)
UT106 DSP option
Computer control (full control of all features including power)
Sensitivity of the PCR1000 is very close to the R9000

PCR100

10kHz-1300MHz range
1000 channels - 10 banks
AM, FM, WFM, WFM-Stereo
Filters 6kHz, 15kHz, 50kHz, 230kHz
1Hz to 10MHz steps
Spectrum scope (+/- 2 MHz)
alpha-tag
Analogue style signal meter
Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL)
Attenuator
Autostore (100 channels)
10 search limits
Computer control (full control of all features including power)
Sensitivity of the PCR100 is almost identical the the PCR1000 with AM, FM & WFM
 
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#2
The one radio I drooled over was the Optoelectronics OS535. I'm most certain this came out before the PCR series. I had/have a Pro-2042 and so wanted that board. One day on eBay I saw a Pro-2042 with OS535 board and bought it. Still have the floppy disk of Probe and I still have a USB floppy drive and a Zip drive. I should plug that Zip drive in and see what's on my Zip disk.
 

kruser

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#4
Still have my ICR9000 and PCR1000. Both fine equipment.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
Same here! I also have an R2500 and two R8600s. I still use the R9000 and R2500 almost daily to this date. Something about the size and physical knobs of the R9000 are what makes it attractive to my old fashioned ways. All fine radios IMHO.
The R8600s are also used very much and are becoming my go to radios more than anything. The R9000 and R2500 are used more to sit on seldom used frequencies these days so I'll leave them sit on a frequency for days sometimes. If I need more, I include the R1000 in the mix.
 

ka3jjz

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#5
Not so good on HF, unfortunately. Most reviews- and this includes those in Passport - noted the lack of resistance to overloading and the rather poor selectivity. The TenTec RX320 series beats these 2 radios on HF, hands down. Mike
 

kruser

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#6
Not so good on HF, unfortunately. Most reviews- and this includes those in Passport - noted the lack of resistance to overloading and the rather poor selectivity. The TenTec RX320 series beats these 2 radios on HF, hands down. Mike
I agree with this. I quickly stopped using my R1000 for HF. Antenna choices did not help much either.
The R9000 on the other hand had good HF abilities but I still used other radios for HF work. Never had the R100 so can't comment on it.
 

ka3jjz

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#7
One way to fix the overloading issue would be to put a passive preselector, like the one MFJ sells, in line with the antenna. This adds another knob or two to twiddle.....Mike
 

Token

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#8
The PCR-1000 was released in 1997 I think? The WinRadio WR-1000 was a similar idea but several years earlier, I think around 1993 or so. I know I was using the WR1000i when the PCR1000 was released, so I skipped the PCR1000 and waited for the PCR1500 and 2500 before grabbing a copy. I still have the 2500, although I think I traded off the PCR1500 some time ago.

T!
 

EricCottrell

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#9
Hello,

I bought a surplus PCR-100 from eBay that was used for FM broadcast station logging. I also have a PCR-2500 and IC-R2500. I do not use the PCR-100 for HF and found the 2500s were deaf on Longwave. I also had to remove the filtering on the 9600 data jacks of the 2500s so it could be used for P25 decoding.

73 Eric
 

compuscan

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#10
I just found out Amazon has a small selection of Icom PCR-100's for a crazy low price of $39 plus free shipping. I paid almost that for just a dust cover on my PCR1000. A friend of mine ordered one and loves it. He bought it to listen to the airband or military air.

Amazon says it's "Excellent HAM radio monitoring receiver - radio only, no accessories" & sold as used but my friend says when he received it, it was in mint condition and didn't look used. He believes it may be new old stock originally from Icom missing the box, instructions, wire antenna and software or purchased for a project that was never completed. If it was used for anything it could pass as new.

Instructions can be downloaded from Icom, takes a standard 12volt ac adaptor and the original software is also availabile from a few private sites. Not sure where the software is on Icom's site.

I'm going to order one as a second radio to my PCR1000 and I may try it as a voice following radio for Untrunker or second radio in TrunkPCR.
 

ka3jjz

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#11
If you always believe what Amazon tells you...well. I wish you all the luck in the world. The 100 is probably OK for non-HF stuff, but I wouldn't even think of using it for HF Ham stuff. I *think* that was the AM mode only version - no sideband so practically worthless for HF Hams. The same could be said about trying to hear 6m / 2m or 420-430 Mhz hams using sideband, too.
 
Last edited:

iMONITOR

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#12
Hello,

I bought a surplus PCR-100 from eBay that was used for FM broadcast station logging. I also have a PCR-2500 and IC-R2500. I do not use the PCR-100 for HF and found the 2500s were deaf on Longwave. I also had to remove the filtering on the 9600 data jacks of the 2500s so it could be used for P25 decoding.

73 Eric
I remember those PSR-100's Eric! I bought several myself.
 

iMONITOR

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#13
If you always believe what Amazon tells you...well. I wish you all the luck in the world. The 100 is probably OK for non-HF stuff, but I wouldn't even think of using it for HF Ham stuff. I *think* that was the AM mode only version - no sideband so practically worthless for HF Hams. The same could be said about trying to hear 6m / 2m or 420-430 Mhz hams using sideband, too.
Agreed! Added to that the ICOM PSR's never made a great scanner either. Scan speed was quite slow, and the available software at the time left a lot to be desired.
 

compuscan

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#14
These weren't really made for HF because they can't do CW or SSB and the scan speed some what depends on what software your using. Scan speed was slow with the original software from what I read. The few reviews I've seen on this model have been positive despite not having CW/SSB and from what I gather, it really shines for VHF/UHF.

I think Amazon has it listed as "Excellent HAM radio monitoring receiver" because Icom themselves said it was excellent for HAM in their own literature but obviously that would only be for FM with a receiver that can't receive CW or SSB. It can receive 6m, 2 m, 1.25m, 70cm, 33cm & 23cm in the HAM bands with FM mode.

It doesn't really matter much now anyway about it's usefulness as a HAM receiver or utility receiver because they had 5 or 6 up earlier and they look like they are all sold now. I got my order in and I'll post how good or bad it is when I receive it.
 
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