Should I purchase an ICOM-R6 for Air Band?

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#1
Thinking about buying a dedicated scanner for the air band. I live in Northern NJ, so lots of activity. Looking for selectivity and sensitivity.

So, I was thinking about an Icom R-6, but not really in love with it. No keypad sits poorly with me. I see some on ebay for as little as $100, but if the r6 had a USB port and a keypad, it would be a no-brainer for me below $200.

Any thoughts?

Side note: I remember seeing a brand of airband-only scanners. Had like 20-50 channels of storage. This was YEARS ago, maybe as much as 18 years, but I can't remember.
 

questnz

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Old Air Band dedicated you maybe thinking of was Yupiteru VT-225. I used R6 for sometime but found pain to program. Sold it NO regrets. Otherwise its a very good receiver. You may want to have a look to Uniden BC125AT as a dedicated Air Band Scanner it cover both Civ and Mil Air bands, good display, and easy to program + host of few other analog scanning options.
 

cru1242

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#3
+1 for the Uniden BC125AT

I use my BC125 for aviation monitoring. 9 out of 10 banks. Civilian and Military air. I use a Watson W-901 airband antenna. Best air scanner I have. Easy to program. Highly recommend it.

As for the Icom R-6, I use it as well. IF you can wade through its numerous idiosyncrasies and get it programmed the way you want it, it will perform well. It is a challenge though. I do not program it on the fly. And it won't even play nice with the Butel ARC-6 software I use to program it. The person at Icom who designed the method to program the R-6 was a very angry, bitter person from a dark place who hates people.
 
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#4
Air band

Sporty's JD-100 and JD-200 were air band only scanners. Don't know if they are still in production, see them on Ebay quite often

I was partial to the older Bearcat BCT100/200 series scanners. Solid recievers, battery packs easy to rebuild, etc


$.02
 

questnz

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Yes agree, a very disturbed individual with bit personality disorder design the menu structure. Unfortunately for Icom many people ditched or stay away from the R-6 because complexity of the unit and number of steps take to program on the fly. Otherwise it is a lovely receiver, small, pocket friendly, excellent battery etc. Lots going for it BUT !
 
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#7
Ok, going to close the loop on this. Decided to go with a BC125AT. Price and the keypad really pushed me over the edge on this. Wasn't sure how much I was going to like Close Call. I was disappointed that it doesn't save/sore frequencies the way I thought it did. But, I tested it with three different transmitters on three different bands, and holy cow, it found each within 5 seconds. Very Happy.
 
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#8
You may also try the BR 330T by Uniden. Currently out of production but ScannerMaster still has them for 195.00. Very nice unit......I bought one just for air and it is on par with my 396XT. It also has HF as well......have not tried that yet.

Eugene KG4AVE
 
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#9
I use my BC125 for aviation monitoring. 9 out of 10 banks. Civilian and Military air. I use a Watson W-901 airband antenna. Best air scanner I have. Easy to program. Highly recommend it.

As for the Icom R-6, I use it as well. IF you can wade through its numerous idiosyncrasies and get it programmed the way you want it, it will perform well. It is a challenge though. I do not program it on the fly. And it won't even play nice with the Butel ARC-6 software I use to program it. The person at Icom who designed the method to program the R-6 was a very angry, bitter person from a dark place who hates people.
You're a good writer, cru1242! That last sentence about the Icom designer is a classic . . . can't stop laughing!

I absolutely agree with your synopsis about the Icom R-6. I bought one two weeks ago, despite owning the R-1, R-2, R-5, R-10, and R-20. Fool that I am, I'm anxiously waiting to learn more about the R-30. Go figure . . .

My advice to the OP:
1. If you buy the R-6, don't EVER lose the owner's manual! Furthermore, download a copy of the manual into every smartphone, tablet, and computer you've got. (This advice also applies to any scanner/communications receiver you may buy that isn't made by Whistler, GRE, or Uniden.)
2. If you buy the BC125, buy some extra rechargeable batteries and a good charger. If the BC125 is anything like my BCD325P2, you're going to run through batteries very quickly. (Battery longevity in the R-6 is amazing!)

-Johnnie
 

cru1242

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#10
Programming the Icon IC-R6 on the fly is almost as bad as the old AOR AR-1000. I previously owned an R-2, an R-3, so I knew what I was getting into. It's tiny size and loudness and selectivity are what makes it worth it. So, for me, it's worth the headaches. Programming it is an acquired taste, though. If you own an Icom, you will never complain about programming your Uniden Bearcat again.
 
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#11
To answer your original question, I would say "Yes". The R6, like all Icom receivers, is a great airband receiver. As has already been pointed out, it is a pain to program in the field. The 125AT definitely beats it on ease of programming, but I don't think it is as hot a receiver on airband.

Just my thoughts as the owner of both :)
 
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