Icom R-75 - what a great receiver

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mtindor

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I just bought a used R-75 off of Ebay. It had the UT-106 DSP in it and it was a -02 model (so it has synchronous AM detection - not that I would know the difference). It announces when i change freq, etc. so I'm guessing it has the UT-102 voice synth in it.

I haven't gotten to play with it much since I'm in the middle of moving. My previous radio that I have used for years for listening to HF was a Yaesu FT-100 mobile. Boy, I tell you the difference between a Yaesu FT-100 and an R-75 receiver is like night and day. I couldn't believe how well it picked things up - and the only antenna I had on it when I was playing around was a 50-foot piece of wire run into the center of the SO-239. I'm not a shortwave broadcast listener, but I was amazed at how beautifully the broadcast signals came in. I tuned around for about 20 minutes. I can already tell I'll keep this receiver forever. I look forward to being able to really put it through its paces in a few weeks. I haven't even began to play around with things like passband tuning. I was amazed at how well the preamp works, boosting the signal without increasing the noise floor much.

Soon maybe I"ll be able to start hearing all of the 'good stuff' that many of you guys listen to on HF.

Mike
 

Shortwavewave

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Glad to hear you are excited!! I always am when people get into shortwave

Yep I love the R75, the only thing I wish I could change is the color of the display, theres a yahoo group for the r75 and people have done it on there, but I dont think i want to go that far into soldering, I mean im good with a gun but the instrustions for it were quite complicated, you would think it would be as easy as changing a bulb or color case:confused: :confused: , who knows.
 

mtindor

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Shortwavewave said:
Glad to hear you are excited!! I always am when people get into shortwave

Yep I love the R75, the only thing I wish I could change is the color of the display, theres a yahoo group for the r75 and people have done it on there, but I dont think i want to go that far into soldering, I mean im good with a gun but the instrustions for it were quite complicated, you would think it would be as easy as changing a bulb or color case:confused: :confused: , who knows.
Well, so far I the display color hasn't stood out as a problem for me. One of the first things I'll have to master is switching the VFO speeds - I see that just about every mode has its finer tuning on the VFO set at a different khz rate. I see that pressing TS will swap things around a little bit from mhz to 100 khz to 10 khz and onward, but the finer tuning ranges seem to change depending upon mode.

But I really really was surprised at how much I could pick up without having noise. I will admit that some [or a lot] of this is likely the fact that I fired it up at my new abode - and all utilities are underground. I used my FT-100 for 13 years in a subdivision with high tension towers right down the middle, distribution lines bordering two sides of my property, and umpteen transformers and other various power hardware surrounding. So I am sure the lack of noise has a lot to do with the new location. But there is no mistaking that the R-75 was designed as a receiver. I wish I would have learned this lesson a long time ago (to buy a receiver instead of a ham radio with general coverage).

I love it - I paid less than half the price for the R-75 than I did for my FT-100 when I bought it. That's gravy.

This is gonna be fun :)

I'll search for the Yahoo group and join. I definitely won't be doing any soldering. Years ago I had no problem diving into thigns like that. But my dexterity has decreased, components have gotten smaller, and my eyesight is nothing like it was when I was 20 rofl.

Mike
 

somme1916

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mtindor said:
I just bought a used R-75 off of Ebay. It had the UT-106 DSP in it and it was a -02 model (so it has synchronous AM detection - not that I would know the difference). It announces when i change freq, etc. so I'm guessing it has the UT-102 voice synth in it.

snip

Soon maybe I"ll be able to start hearing all of the 'good stuff' that many of you guys listen to on HF.

Mike
For the money there's not a better hf radio available. Especially for utes. When I got mine , quite sometime back , they offered the UT-106 as a option & I did not go for it. Kind'a wish I did now. Maybe you can post later what you think about it & if it helps alot in dx'ing ? Don't forget you have two optional plug-in crystal filter b/w choices with the R75. Did yours come with any already installed ? And I agree re its preamp. That's another thing that sets the R75 apart from other hf radios. Very few preamps add a decent boost without the noise included. Mine also has the AM sync. I didn't know they quit making it with the R75. I never use it as I use exalted AM tuning.
 

skip21

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Do you think you'll be getting some software to control it from your PC?
 

BMT

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I loaned my R-75 to a bud. He had it hooked up to a ( $6,000.00) beam antenna. Said it was a great reciever.

BMT
 

mtindor

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somme1916 said:
For the money there's not a better hf radio available. Especially for utes. When I got mine , quite sometime back , they offered the UT-106 as a option & I did not go for it. Kind'a wish I did now. Maybe you can post later what you think about it & if it helps alot in dx'ing ? Don't forget you have two optional plug-in crystal filter b/w choices with the R75. Did yours come with any already installed ? And I agree re its preamp. That's another thing that sets the R75 apart from other hf radios. Very few preamps add a decent boost without the noise included. Mine also has the AM sync. I didn't know they quit making it with the R75. I never use it as I use exalted AM tuning.

Mine did not come with any filters installed, unfortunately. Then again, if it had it probably would hvae come with AM filters - I'm not a big broadcast listener. Most of what I"m interested in would be in SSB, CW, or digital modes. I am sort of overwhelmed with the possible selections for the two filters and am not sure what i would like to get yet, but I do plan to populate with the filters once I figure out what I should get. If you or others have recommendations based upon what I said I want to listen to, feel free to share.

As far as the UT-106, based upon things I've read, it's useless. But, I have not been able to do any decent amount of listening to judge for myself. To me, it was already in the radio when I got it and I didn't specifically opt for it. So it's a bonus. If it makes a difference or not, it's not skin off my butt if you know what I mean.

I'm moved into my new house, but I don't have any antennas up and am not sure how I'm going to go about doing it yet. Unlike my old place, I have to satisfy the neighbors (i.e. I can't have any crappy obnoxious half-assed antenna setup - and I will have no tower). Directly at the end of my back yard (about 50 feet from the back of my shack) there is a tree that I'm guessin gis about 100 feet tall. Right now (in the spring, before the leaves come around) would be the optimal time for me to get a wire up into it. And that is what I am going to try to do.

From what very little monitoring I've done so far, I already know that I'm very glad I purchased this radio and feel it already outperforms anything I've used before. I'm very excited to have a decent outside antenna up and be able to actually give a good comparison of the difference between this and othe HF general coverage receivers I've had in the past (all ham transceivers).

When I get my antenna up and can actually start playing, I'll be sure to let you know what I think of the UT-106.

Mike
 

mtindor

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skip21 said:
Do you think you'll be getting some software to control it from your PC?
I was thinking I would. However, looking in the Wiki there wasn't a piece of software listed that I thought I would like. All of the software looked too much like it was written for and used during Windows 3.1 heyday. I was hoping for some very recent full featured software with a modern look to it. But I imagine I'll spend the money and get some sort of software in the near future for it.

Mike
 

mtindor

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BMT said:
I loaned my R-75 to a bud. He had it hooked up to a ( $6,000.00) beam antenna. Said it was a great reciever.

BMT
A $6,000 beam? Hmm. Well, If there is a $6,000 beam out there that is worth it's cost, it could probably make any receiver sound good. But I have no doubt an R-75 hooked up to such an antenna would be a helluva lot of fun!

Mike
 

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mtindor said:
I was thinking I would. However, looking in the Wiki there wasn't a piece of software listed that I thought I would like. All of the software looked too much like it was written for and used during Windows 3.1 heyday. I was hoping for some very recent full featured software with a modern look to it. But I imagine I'll spend the money and get some sort of software in the near future for it.

Mike
Windows 3.1??? I rather doubt it. There are many popular programs for the R75, such as Shortwave Log, RXPlus, TRX Manager, Callsign software (which despite it's rather misleading name, is a very powerful control package) and several others. When you're ready to get software, some have Yahoo groups that can answer questions before you buy it (if you need to - Shortwave Log is freeware...) 73 Mike
 

BMT

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The beam antenna I wrote about is in an area surrounded by dense pine tree's and is mounted about 20' high.

They make contact from Ft Bragg NC to Ft Lewis WA using 0.5 watts.

BMT
 

somme1916

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mtindor said:
When I get my antenna up and can actually start playing, I'll be sure to let you know what I think of the UT-106.

Mike
Please do.

Have a look @:

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/commrxvr/0175.html

to get an idea re your two filter options. I have two sets. One set , FL52A & FL100 , is for the narrow shifted utes (b/w is 500hz). The 2nd set (now better suited for the times) are the FL 222/223 crystal filters. They work great for noisy voice utes & are fine for the medium shifted dig utes.

FL222 = SSB Narrow 1.8 kHz Filter 455 kHz IF
FL223 = SSB Narrow 1.9 kHz Filter 9 MHz IF

I think an under rated item(s) on the R75 is the "Twin PBT". Once you get a handle on their use you can really do quite a bit of tweaking & even do b/w control , especially with the 455 kHz IF one. The wider the b/w used the less control but that makes sense as if the wider b/w filter is in play that means less interference anyway.

The R75 is , on one hand very easy to use out of the box. But the great thing is the way the R75 can be used in different ways to dig out that difficult ute as it has many different tweaks that can be learned from use. You have already discovered the preamp that comes with the R75 is rare in that it's very good re the noise equation.
 

mtindor

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ka3jjz said:
Windows 3.1??? I rather doubt it. There are many popular programs for the R75, such as Shortwave Log, RXPlus, TRX Manager, Callsign software (which despite it's rather misleading name, is a very powerful control package) and several others. When you're ready to get software, some have Yahoo groups that can answer questions before you buy it (if you need to - Shortwave Log is freeware...) 73 Mike
Well, first of all I looked at the interfaces of many programs and they do indeed look like they are Win 3.x vintage. I'm not saying the programs are actually Win 3.1 apps. I'm saying the "look" is that of Windows 10 years ago. I don't care to install software that reminds me of Win 3.1.

As for software, I don't mind reading Yahoo Groups for seeing what other people have to say about software before I buy it, but I'll never buy any software if the author uses Yahoo Groups for support. Yahoo Groups sucks in major fashion for support. A real forum board (if the author is depending on community-contributed support) or some simple support desk software is a plus. There is no excuse for any company to have their whole storefront / support for a product on Yahoo Groups. That's passe and inefficient.

I'll check out TRX Manager because I believe I've tried it out before with anohter radio and liked it.

Mike
 

mtindor

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Thank you. That helps tremendously. I think your choices are exactly the choices I would want.

Per your previous recommendation I've already fiddled with the Twin PBT and in many instances it has had a tremendous effect on my ability to understand the weak ones. Very nice feature.

Imagine a 100 foot dipole, just thrown out on the lawn. That's what I have for an antenna right now (I have to pull it in when I'm not listening), so it's very ineffective. I'm hoping to get some assist to get something deployed with the top end at the top of a 100 ' tree about 50' away from the house, which would then slope down to a point near the top of the single-story roof and attach for the coax.

I haven't done any research on the best receive wire configuration yet... just haven't had time. I don't have the room for a serious longwire, beverage, etc. But I think i definitely can find the room to get a decent wire up - A simple dipole may not be optimum and I'm going to look into that.

Mike

somme1916 said:
Please do.

Have a look @:

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/commrxvr/0175.html

to get an idea re your two filter options. I have two sets. One set , FL52A & FL100 , is for the narrow shifted utes (b/w is 500hz). The 2nd set (now better suited for the times) are the FL 222/223 crystal filters. They work great for noisy voice utes & are fine for the medium shifted dig utes.

FL222 = SSB Narrow 1.8 kHz Filter 455 kHz IF
FL223 = SSB Narrow 1.9 kHz Filter 9 MHz IF

I think an under rated item(s) on the R75 is the "Twin PBT". Once you get a handle on their use you can really do quite a bit of tweaking & even do b/w control , especially with the 455 kHz IF one. The wider the b/w used the less control but that makes sense as if the wider b/w filter is in play that means less interference anyway.

The R75 is , on one hand very easy to use out of the box. But the great thing is the way the R75 can be used in different ways to dig out that difficult ute as it has many different tweaks that can be learned from use. You have already discovered the preamp that comes with the R75 is rare in that it's very good re the noise equation.
 

mtindor

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ka3jjz said:
Windows 3.1??? I rather doubt it . . .
BTW, Mike, I do appreciate the input and assistance. Don't take my previous response as nonappreciation. I'm just not a Yahoo Groups fan or a fan of interfaces that don't look stylish.

M
 

mtindor

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WisconsinRailfan said:
Ham Radio Deluxe is a great piece of software for controlling that rig. Also picked up a Icom CI-V / CT17 / CAT Interface cable from http://www.g4zlp.co.uk/unified/IcomCAT.shtml it's the cheapest I found for hooking the rig to the PC.
Thanks. I have used HRD before - snazzy prog. I forgot all about the inteface. It didn't come with one (or maybe it did and I overlooked it). I'll have to make sure and get one if one isn't in the box - at the time I yanked the radio out of the shipping box I didn't bother to look for anything but the radio and PS :)

Mike
 

somme1916

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mtindor said:
Thanks. I have used HRD before - snazzy prog. I forgot all about the interface. It didn't come with one (or maybe it did and I overlooked it). I'll have to make sure and get one if one isn't in the box - at the time I yanked the radio out of the shipping box I didn't bother to look for anything but the radio and PS :)

Mike
The R75 comes with the serial (9pin) com built in. Icom has built it for todays radio control software pgm's.

It doesn't seem that long ago when you had to purchase the separate interface for a sizable cost increase. But then I'm old enough to have had to do it ! :)
 
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