IC-R15 - First Impressions

xms3200

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Just updated the IC-R15 firmware to v1.02, we will see if there are any changes/improvements. Very straight forward & simple process...but then again, it is Icom, wouldn't expect anything less.
 

Wavicle

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Just updated the IC-R15 firmware to v1.02, we will see if there are any changes/improvements. Very straight forward & simple process...but then again, it is Icom, wouldn't expect anything less.
I don't see that firmware on the ICOM web site... unless it's on the ICOM Japan site and not the US web site?
 

devicelab

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It beats my Icom A25C hands down when it comes to air band. No comparison, I am hoping Icom’s next generation of VHF air transceivers will incorporate all the tech and features of the IC-R15
Did you try the R15 with the A25 antenna? It'll act like a BP filter since it's tuned to VHF Air.
 

xms3200

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Yes, I am using the A25C’s antenna, huge difference from the default antenna, slightly better than the signal sticks.
 

eorange

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A few years ago I bought a Icom antenna for their airband transceiver; can't remember which one. It did no better or worse than any other antenna I have. It sits in a drawer now.
 

Air490

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The FA-B02AR is the stock antenna for the IC-A25 series of transceivers.
Given it's length, it performs well when compared to commercially available airband antennas. It is outdone by the likes of the Diamond SRH-1230, Maldol AL-500H/Comet AIR-51X, or the Comet AB-35 series but the are all much longer.
For mine, I would love Icom to make a SMA version of the FA-B02AR. It would be great for the R6, R15 and R30
 

G7RUX

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To be honest it's not hard to make your own shortened monopole for VHF airband with a bit of calculating, soldering and a VNA for final tuning if you wanted to go mad!

The difference in performance between an antenna designed for 2m and one designed for VHF airband can be quite marked. I recently knocked up an airband-specific "signal stick" type antenna and the difference in return loss was up to 30 dB or so.
 

devicelab

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The FA-B02AR is the stock antenna for the IC-A25 series of transceivers. I would love Icom to make a SMA version of the FA-B02AR. It would be great for the R6, R15 and R30
Yeah it would be nice but not necessary. I found these on Amazon. They work quite well and make it seem like it's part of the antenna.

 

a727469

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From a non-airband person(minimal listening, not near any major airports) why is it so difficult to find and purchase some of the antennas mentioned above? Mostly available overseas. Is airband more popular there?
 

Air490

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From a non-airband person(minimal listening, not near any major airports) why is it so difficult to find and purchase some of the antennas mentioned above? Mostly available overseas. Is airband more popular there?
The Diamon SRH-1230 is the easiest to find. I bought mine from a local retailer here in Australia. The others mentioned, plus a few other like the Comet CMY-AIR1, I have bought from Japanese retailers. Airband monitoring is very popular in Japan, to the extent Comet has partnered with CQ Ohm (a Japanese ham retailer) to make specialised airband antennas.
 

Falcon9h

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The tuning steps question could be an important one if you are trying to monitor a U.S. VHF land mobile licensee. With the advent of "narrow band", VHF land mobile frequencies (roughly 150-173 MHz) are being assigned on a 7.5 kHz channel spacing. If your radio doesn't have 7.5 kHz or 2.5 kHz as available tuning steps, you may have difficulty tuning to the exact frequency of your listening target.

Most Japanese radios intended for the amateur radio market do not have 7.5 kHz or 2.5 kHz tuning steps. Looking at top of the line models:
Icom ID-52 5.0/6.25/10/12.5/15/20/25/30/50/100/125/200 kHz plus 8.33 kHz on the air band
Kenwood TH-D75 5.0/6.25/8.33/9.0/10/12.5/15/20/25/30/50/100 kHz
Yaesu FT5D 5.0/6.25/10/12.5/15/20/25/50/100 kHz plus 8.33 kHz on the air band and 9 kHz on broadcast AM

Which brings us to the IC-R15 which has 5/6.25/10/12.5/15/20/25/30/50/100/125/200 kHz plus 8.33 kHz on the air band.

Compare this to the IC-R30 which has 0.01/0.1/1/3.125/5/6.25/8.33/9/10/12.5/15/20/25/30/50/100/125/200 kHz.

I think that the IC-R15 misses the mark when it comes to tuning steps.
Plus too damn expensive. For $600 it better do every mode known to man including phase II. And the tuning steps? Pass.
 

eorange

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Does the R15 allow alpha tags on any memory channel? I've only ever seen pictures with an alpha tag on a freq when in "Simple Mode" (described here), meaning you see the little airplane (for example) when picking airband in Simple Mode.

So can you program alpha tags on any of the 2000 memory channels? If so, what's the alpha tag length? And do alpha tags display on both bands when in dual monitoring mode (although this looks like a no) ?
 

G7RUX

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Does the R15 allow alpha tags on any memory channel? I've only ever seen pictures with an alpha tag on a freq when in "Simple Mode" (described here), meaning you see the little airplane (for example) when picking airband in Simple Mode.

So can you program alpha tags on any of the 2000 memory channels? If so, what's the alpha tag length? And do alpha tags display on both bands when in dual monitoring mode (although this looks like a no) ?
The r15 allows alpha tags to be added to any memory channel, although what is displayed and in which order is configurable. Both memory channels can display the stored names when in dual watch, just as for the ID52.
Channel/memory names and group names can be up to 16 characters long.
 

G7RUX

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It does, depending on configuration. Note that the image you showed has the VFO on the B side.

1719324231690.png
 
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