RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > Scanners, Receivers and Related Equipment Forums > ICOM Receivers


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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2017, 5:36 AM
Member
   
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 100
Default IC-R8600 Spectrum Scope 'vs' RSP2

Quote from Icom on their IC-R8600 ...

The high-resolution real-time spectrum scope provides class-leading performance in resolution, maximum 30 frames per second* fast sweep speed, 2.5 MHz wide scope span (display range) and 110 dB of dynamic range (at 2.5 kHz span). The waterfall screen allows you to find weak signals by showing the spectrum change over time. When tapping the spectrum scope or waterfall screen, the tapped area can be selected as the operating frequency. The peak search function finds several peak frequencies within the scope range, and helps you to select these.

Questions ...

How does the IC-R8600's real-time spectrum scope compare with the spectrum scope of the RSP2 using the SDRuno software?

What is the performance of the IC-R8600 on the HF frequency range (zero - 30MHz) compared to the RSP2?
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2017, 9:27 AM
prcguy's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,879
Default

The SNR ratio of the RSP2 and similar SDR receiver is only rated around 60dB at 8msps which tells me that's probably its maximum dynamic range compared to 110dB for the R-8600. There are a whole bunch of other important specs to look at that are available on the R-8600 but not on the little SDR receivers. Either nobody has measured them or they simply don't rate high enough to publish. Otherwise SDRs running various software like SDRuno will usually have a larger spectrum screen and wider span because that's what their all about.

SDR receivers like the RSP2 are based on circuits originally designed for portable TV reception plugged into a laptop using small antennas. Their performance would be near the bottom the list of any hardware based receiver because they are very hardware limited starting with an 8 bit A/D converter and limited front end filtering where the R-8600 has a 14 bit A/D, much better filtering and its designed to live in high level RF environments. I would guess a 35yr old Radio Shack DX60 would greatly outperform SDR HF receivers like the RSP2.

With that said I would say the Icom R-8600 would be about 1,000 times better as an HF receiver when it comes to performance. You are comparing a world class VLF/HF/VHF/UHF $2,500 receiver to a couple hundred $$ modified TV tuner. What do you expect?
prcguy



Quote:
Originally Posted by AOR-262 View Post
Quote from Icom on their IC-R8600 ...

The high-resolution real-time spectrum scope provides class-leading performance in resolution, maximum 30 frames per second* fast sweep speed, 2.5 MHz wide scope span (display range) and 110 dB of dynamic range (at 2.5 kHz span). The waterfall screen allows you to find weak signals by showing the spectrum change over time. When tapping the spectrum scope or waterfall screen, the tapped area can be selected as the operating frequency. The peak search function finds several peak frequencies within the scope range, and helps you to select these.

Questions ...

How does the IC-R8600's real-time spectrum scope compare with the spectrum scope of the RSP2 using the SDRuno software?

What is the performance of the IC-R8600 on the HF frequency range (zero - 30MHz) compared to the RSP2?

Last edited by prcguy; 12-26-2017 at 9:32 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2017, 10:07 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
...
SDR receivers like the RSP2 are based on circuits originally designed for portable TV reception plugged into a laptop using small antennas. Their performance would be near the bottom the list of any hardware based receiver because they are very hardware limited starting with an 8 bit A/D converter and limited front end filtering where the R-8600 has a 14 bit A/D, much better filtering and its designed to live in high level RF environments. I would guess a 35yr old Radio Shack DX60 would greatly outperform SDR HF receivers like the RSP2.
...
You are very wrong with the comparison to the RS DX60 and the statement about number of bits(Airspy and RSP2 are 12 bit ADC) as well as as performance (I have an AirSpy (2), RSP2 (2), IC-R8600, and IC-R9500). The AirSpy and RSP2 do remarkably well. I regularly compare them. Although the ICOMs certainly are better in many ways, in actually performance, the AirSpy and RSP2 are remarkable also and it is not easy to detect differences often in actual use. And there are things that one can do with those easily that due to lack of suitable hardware are harder to do with the ICOMS. Of course one can forget the cheaper dongle things. Even with the other radios, I often will use the AirSpy or RSP2.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2017, 2:01 PM
prcguy's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,879
Default

I do see the RSP2 does have a 12 bit A/D converter, sorry. I will order one today to test out but its advertised ADC dynamic range is still limited to about 60dB, which is not very impressive. You either give up lots of sensitivity or lots of strong signal headroom compared to the 110dB dynamic range of the R-8600. The 50dB difference between them is huge.
prcguy

Quote:
Originally Posted by dlwtrunked View Post
You are very wrong with the comparison to the RS DX60 and the statement about number of bits(Airspy and RSP2 are 12 bit ADC) as well as as performance (I have an AirSpy (2), RSP2 (2), IC-R8600, and IC-R9500). The AirSpy and RSP2 do remarkably well. I regularly compare them. Although the ICOMs certainly are better in many ways, in actually performance, the AirSpy and RSP2 are remarkable also and it is not easy to detect differences often in actual use. And there are things that one can do with those easily that due to lack of suitable hardware are harder to do with the ICOMS. Of course one can forget the cheaper dongle things. Even with the other radios, I often will use the AirSpy or RSP2.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2017, 3:59 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
I do see the RSP2 does have a 12 bit A/D converter, sorry. I will order one today to test out but its advertised ADC dynamic range is still limited to about 60dB, which is not very impressive. You either give up lots of sensitivity or lots of strong signal headroom compared to the 110dB dynamic range of the R-8600. The 50dB difference between them is huge.
prcguy
I think you will find it an interesting device. May be not up to being in the same league in some regards to the R8600 but useful in its own right. In my case, with a FM broadcaster on 104.5 nearby, I even have to filter out that on the IC-R8600 and IC-R9500 (and still see the 3rd harmonic on all receivers).

One thing to do also if you are interested is to feed the output via VBCable (free virtual cable software) into DSD+ and decode various digital modes (including DMR that the ICOMs cannot do) but of course trunking is problematical with all of these radios.

(I prefer AirSpy to RSP2 for reasons that do not apply to most people but keep an RSP2 at hand also and for a lot of people, having HF already onboard is a good thing.)

You can also put the RSP2 on the 10.7 IF output giving you an easy way (via above) to do DMR reception while tuning an ICOM.

By the way, myself, I prefer HDSDR to control the RSP2 rather than the other program.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-26-2017, 4:29 PM
prcguy's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,879
Default

I've played with other dongle SDRs and have used DSD+ for P25 and DMR and its ok for strong signal off local, but more complex and frustrating than using my various scanners. My main interest for the RSP2 would be making a remote receiver that I or others can log into when on travel. I read where the Airspy can do this but is there easy software to support that on the RSP2?

I will also run the RSP2 with my everyday big antennas and see if it crumbles from high signal levels.
prcguy


Quote:
Originally Posted by dlwtrunked View Post
I think you will find it an interesting device. May be not up to being in the same league in some regards to the R8600 but useful in its own right. In my case, with a FM broadcaster on 104.5 nearby, I even have to filter out that on the IC-R8600 and IC-R9500 (and still see the 3rd harmonic on all receivers).

One thing to do also if you are interested is to feed the output via VBCable (free virtual cable software) into DSD+ and decode various digital modes (including DMR that the ICOMs cannot do) but of course trunking is problematical with all of these radios.

(I prefer AirSpy to RSP2 for reasons that do not apply to most people but keep an RSP2 at hand also and for a lot of people, having HF already onboard is a good thing.)

You can also put the RSP2 on the 10.7 IF output giving you an easy way (via above) to do DMR reception while tuning an ICOM.

By the way, myself, I prefer HDSDR to control the RSP2 rather than the other program.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 9:54 AM
prcguy's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,879
Default

I ordered a RSP2pro and it arrived in 1 day. I've been using it for a couple of hours, mostly on HF and a little VHF/UHF and will say its a very neat receiver with lots of capability.

However, on HF with my 133ft offset center fed antenna and operating with the least amount of gain, most of the HF band is plagued with AM broadcast signals everywhere. I've varied the gain, tried the MF/FM broadcast band filter, etc, can't get rid of AM broadcast interference.

Every day I'm on an early morning 40m net where some DX chasing guys with huge signals park about 5Khz away from us. Receiving the net on my R-8600 or Elecraft K3 is like a dream with signals popping out of a nice quiet background even though 5KHz away on the band scope it looks like Mt Fuji. Switching to the RSP2pro I can still receive them but the signals are not clean and are cross modulated by AM broadcast, the guys 5KHz away and every other large signal on the band.

So, with my limited experience with the RSP2pro I will say its a toy in comparison to the Icom R-8600.
prcguy

Last edited by prcguy; 12-28-2017 at 9:59 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-30-2017, 8:02 PM
Member
   
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 100
Default

Thanks to all who took the time to reply. Much appreciated on the feedback.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-19-2018, 11:35 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 441
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
...

So, with my limited experience with the RSP2pro I will say its a toy in comparison to the Icom R-8600.
prcguy
I have both and AirSpy. Yes, the R-8600 is much nicer but hauling it when traveling is a no go. That is where the RSP2 or AirSpy shine.

If you used HDSDR with the RSP2pro, be sure to down loadthe .dll for the R-8600 for HDSDR so you can do that with it also. You can feed the signals from HDSDR via VBCable to DSDPlus or Unitrunker. I do that with the R-8600 in the house and the others in the car.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-19-2018, 12:55 PM
bob550's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Glenmont, NY
Posts: 586
Default

I've been using the RSP2 for several months, and also had found the AM broadcast overload to be an issue. To counter this, I've placed a RTL-SDR.com AMBC high pass filter in line with my 70' long wire antenna, and together with the RSP's broadcast notch filter, have eliminated that overload.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions