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Icom IC-R1: happy 25th birthday, with review & mods

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TassieJay

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Joined
Apr 12, 2012
Messages
51
Location
Australia
Hello fellow RadioReferencers,
Did you know that the Icom IC-R1 is 25 years old this month? To celebrate, I've created a fairly comprehensive review, how-to-restore guide and detailed modifications for the IC-R1.
If someone could add this to the RR wiki on the IC-R1, I'd be most appreciative.

The Icom R1

Mods, please move/alter/delete as appropriate, no offence intended with my posting... just want to help other R1 owners get a little bit more out of their receiver.
 

bkantor

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
268
Location
Bay Shore, NY
Thanks for sharing the information - I still have two of these in my scanner collection. They don't get much use, but I still like to fire them up once in a while. I don't think any other scanner I own (over 20!) come close to being built as solidly as the R1!
 

commscanaus

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Joined
Jan 27, 2006
Messages
492
Location
Melbourne VK
Outstanding work Jason!

Your review and mods are just the thing to bring some enjoyment back into a great collectable radio.
I also wanted an IC-R1 when they came out, but made the silly mistake of buying an AOR AR-1000XLT, being drawn in by the huge 1000 memories and DC to daylight coverage.
The AOR purchase was a diabolical mistake, with that model being next to useless with it's random and constant CPU crashes and horrible front end.

Fast forward to 2009 when I finally managed to purchase an IC-R1 in near new condition with two batteries.
I also love the solid feel of the Icom, even though it is a bit too small for my fat fingers!

The performance is what I expected for a wide range receiver of this vintage, especially such a tiny size.
It does not get much use due to the problems you have outlined, especially selectivity on the 12.5Khz narrow band channels and overload on the AM Air band.

That said, I will replace the 2nd IF ceramic filter and see how that goes, as well as give the other mods a go. Might use a 110Khz filter, which I think might be in the parts drawers here somewhere.
The backlight on my IC-R1 is not that bad, but the RX LED can certainly do with a brighten up.

Thanks again for your work and for sharing it with the RR community.
Also a big thanks for the PDF version, which can be easily viewed on the iPad and referred to at the workbench with the radio prepped for surgery!

And I also have the restorers bug, with Armour All being a favourite restoration product to wind back the years on plastic cases and rubber parts.

Regards, Commscanaus.

Oh and a nice website too:)
 
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TassieJay

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2012
Messages
51
Location
Australia
Thanks for your kind feedback on this one.
@commscanaus, could you let us know how the 110 kHz filter goes? My main concern was to really hammer down that nasty 190kHz spur of the CFUM455E, and so chose the tightest available ceramic 2nd IF filter that would fit. There were others that had a sharper response and the same pinout, but were a lot wider and wasn't convinced they'd fit.
If you can, have a go at replacing the 3rd IF filter too. The CFUM455E actually desoldered much easier than the other filter, but gently bending the two PCBs apart enough to get enough space so you could the thing out was nerve-wracking... but I've done this on two IC-R1s now, and it is possible - and highly beneficial! The two filter changes together work much better than the sum of their individual improvements. The IC-R1 becomes quite a respectable little radio afterward.

Oh, that's not my website BTW, I'm just a regular contributor there. I'll pass on your kudos to the owner, he'll be chuffed.
 

Boatanchor

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
990
Hello fellow RadioReferencers,
Did you know that the Icom IC-R1 is 25 years old this month? To celebrate, I've created a fairly comprehensive review, how-to-restore guide and detailed modifications for the IC-R1.
If someone could add this to the RR wiki on the IC-R1, I'd be most appreciative.

The Icom R1

Mods, please move/alter/delete as appropriate, no offence intended with my posting... just want to help other R1 owners get a little bit more out of their receiver.
Jesus! I must be getting old :)

I recall selling those quirky little receivers new, when I was working in a radio shop as a spring chicken..

It's hard to believe a quarter of a century has passed already :(

Anyway, Happy Birthday little R1, you were ahead of your time, to be sure..
 
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