ICOM IC-R6 Receiver

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Hmm... interesting. I was wondering when they were going to do an update of the R5. Form factor looks the same, and a quick look through the manual on the FCC site seems to show you can now link banks together when scanning? A little vague, though.

At least they are keeping the Q7-R2-R5-R6 legacy alive.
 

KE5TLF

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Wow, what a total non-event. LOL

At least they could have stuck D-Star capability in the thing if by no other means than as a separate option board.
 

hertzian

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As an R5 owner, the bank-link scan feature alone makes it a worthy upgrade. Imagine if all the handhelds you owned only allowed you to scan one bank at a time, or every single one, but no combination of banks that you want. :)

I hate to play the specs game, but it appears that there is a bit more selectivity. For airband monitoring, every little bit helps, as most filters are too wide for higher-quality airband am comms.

The AF filter (lowpass probably) helps yet again for airband. HF too, but I never use this for HF.

VSC - voice squelch - works ok and helps when monitoring a channel that has a carrier on it, like from your dsl box, etc. Not a perfect solution, but it helps when the system isn't using pl. Not useful when scanning as it slows down the scan rate to evaluate the signal, but for single-channel monitoring, pretty neat when it works. Nice on the RX-7 for sure for me.

About 100 more memory channels, but the big news is that on the R5, there were about 8 alpha banks that were reserved for the system, whereas it looks like this limit has been reduced in half to 4 reservations for the R6.

CI-V data link for those that need that kind of interconnectivity and control.

Backlight option now includes permanent on state when used from external dc supply.

Charger now has a "trickle" option in addition to the standard 15 hour timer for the spec 1400 / 1500 mah batts. I suppose this would be very handy to get those 2000 mah eneloops charged properly with an additional hour or two of trickling, rather than resetting the 15 hour timer and keeping an eagle-eye on it as you force another charge cycle. Also seems to have a bad-battery detector (ie won't take a charge, so you don't end up charging just one of the two required). Emphasis on NIMH with warnings about NOT using nicads or li-on rechargeables.

Then again, most of us probably just buy new AA's, or recharge outside the unit.

And still no REAL narrow-fm as defined by today's standard. C'mon Icom, do a last-minute surprise!

AND still a mono headphone jack! I don't know about anyone else, but a single-earpiece does not cut it under "noisy conditions". I have to carry around this mono-stereo adapter kluge that gets right in the way for using any form of stereo headset (yes, only mono, but I need mono in BOTH ears) that is now used in 99.999% of the world. The AF filter will do wonders to make the typical hi-fi earbuds at least tolerable with the R6 for communications use.

The big issue is how does it sound? If the audio is poor, then none of the above matters. I'm hoping it at least equals or even exceeds the R5. In fact, with today's battery capacity, I was hoping for even more audio output, but I guess we'll see.
 
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AORradiofan

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0.100–823.995, 851.000–866.995,
896.000–1309.995


800 MHZ Chopped to hell. That is why I N.B.I. (Never Buy Icom) :lol:
I agree, I never buy ICOM intended for the American market. Ebay is your friend.

Looks like they added some terminals on the bottom for a drop in charger option. Other than that aesthetically very little looks to of changed.
 

DaveIN

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Excellent receivers, but poor ergonomics. As usual the easy way to get around the "digital" cell band is to leave out other pieces of the 800MHz band. I'll pass. The more things change, the more they stay the same. :roll:

Not even an option for D-Star decode on their own model?!? :eek:
 

RHoy185

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No details on Icom's website yet, universal states scanning up to 100 channels per sec, that would probably be the only reason I would upgrade from the R5, that and bank-link scanning. Nothing great about scanning one bank at a time or everything slow. I am sure the data cable will work, hopefully there will be a patch for the CS-R5 software vs buying it again for a receiver that basically gets an aesthetic upgrade........but highly doubtful.
 

Tom_G

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Any reviews...

Has anyone seen a review of the R-6 yet ?
I have been looking but I have not seen any and I'm wondering how it performs.
 

DaveIN

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The fact that the US version has portions of the 800MHz band blocked beyond the cellular band is a big negative, however the scan speed is up to 100 CPS.

Frequency Range (U.S.A. version):

0.100-823.995 MHz
851.0-866.995 MHz
896.0-1309.995 MHz
 

northzone

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As stated earlier, no narrow fm mode. But also NO 7.5khz channel steps which is now the standard in VHF highband (non-federal). That kills it for me.
 

STEVIE39

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Oh dear not another Icom with a mono earphone socket.

What is wrong with you Icom? Don't you know that mono earbuds or earphones are EXTINCT!!!!

For those humans with only one ear they are just fine, but most of us prefer to listen in both ears, particularly those having a hearing impairment like myself. Buy a mono/stereo adapter is a curse as well because you have put the socket on the SIDE of the unit instead of on top. It sticks out and eventually starts to become loose and the sound quality deteriorates.

Anyone monitoring radios prefers to do so with BOTH ears.

Sorry I won't be buying another Icom receiver unless they fix this!
 

peo62

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Oh dear not another Icom with a mono earphone socket.

What is wrong with you Icom? Don't you know that mono earbuds or earphones are EXTINCT!!!!
Well... It may be true that most earphones nowadays use stereo plugs. But the "earphone socket" is also intended for connecting an external speaker, which quite often comes with a mono plug.

For those humans with only one ear they are just fine, but most of us prefer to listen in both ears, particularly those having a hearing impairment like myself. Buy a mono/stereo adapter is a curse as well because you have put the socket on the SIDE of the unit instead of on top. It sticks out and eventually starts to become loose and the sound quality deteriorates.
No problem using a mono/stereo adapter - the socket IS, in fact, located on top. (The socket on the side of the unit is for DC 4.5 V...)



The thing that bugs me about the IC-R6 is something completely else: scanning speed. Or, to be more precise, the poor scanning speed when scanning the memory banks. This is m-u-c-h slower than the 100 channels/sec that you get when doing a "band", "programmed" or "programmed link" scan. If you don't want to sweep an entire frequency range (but rather just a bunch of hand-picked frequencies) this is really annoying...

Also, it would be nice if one could combine "bank link" and "programmed link" scan types.

Other than that I'm quite satisfied with my little R6. I think it'll be a faitful companion to me during my travels :)
 

skanit

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Well, agreeing with the initial posts on the R6 and what's the difference from the R5 (R5 has been my companion all around receiver for many years) I broke down and got the R6. I'm very pleased. There are a number of improvements: better power consumption (less), much better audio, louder, when choosing banks to scan the bank name appears (regardless of what appears while scanning = less guess work). Sensitivity seems and is listed about equal, though I find it a bit better in the 900 range. Thank you butelsoftware for the programming software - why doesn't icom have this ready when the radio is released??? All the banks are linkable (any combinaton) rather than the single link option with the R5. The AF filter is nice for AM radio hiss! I've only had the R6 for a few day and I can tell I won't be disappointed! The FM/NFM thing isn't really an issue in a small receiver like this IMHO - the only difference would be in received volume. I think D-Star would have made this radio much bigger - I like the small factor; If I want listen to D-Star I'll use the IC-92. There are a number of other improvements too. Icom took the oustanding R5 and made it the same only better.
 
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hertzian

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I finally picked mine up today after retiring my worn out R5.

Very pleased with some small observations to add to the one month(s) earlier. :)

Amber display instead of green. I like the green on the R5 but can live with it.

Contacts on the bottom for the optional drop-in charger. Don't place in pocket on top of keys, etc. However, I think that if you do use the drop-in charger, you can set the R6 up for a constant display light since it is now operating from external DC, so that might be handy for bedside/tabletop use. I can't confirm since I don't have the drop-in charger.

The best new addition for me aside from the multiple bank links is the Low-Pass audio filter option, selectable globally or by channel. The audio from the speaker seems about the same as the R5, but with the low pass audio filter, I can now press hi-fi headsets and cheaper external speakers into use that really need the rolloff. Makes long-term listening much more enjoyable, even though the audio seems pretty good to me to begin with. They chose a wise cutoff so that it just takes the edge off the high-end without just muffling everything.

Volume up/down buttons larger and separated from the Band button! Makes a big difference to move them apart slightly and not group these together as on the R5.

Buttons all have a bit more silk-screened menu options on them to help remember functions just by looking at it. And, the function and squelch buttons are flat so that don't resemble a fake PTT switch anymore.

OH, my USA unit seems to cover up to 823.9875, then 849.000 to 868.9875, then 894 upwards to 1300 mhz. This was by display only, not sure if it will actually receive at some of those band-edges that some needed since I haven't listened too closely on the edges yet.

DC input takes 4.5 - 6.3 volts, although Icom cautions about using ONLY their adapters/chargers.

Overall very pleased, and seems like a nice evolutionary upgrade.
 
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