R30 R30 - In 2020, what do you listen to the most with it?

David628

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
108
Im seriously considering an R30 purchase to add to my collection based on all the great reviews, dialog and positive comments here on it. I have it in my shopping cart and am ready to hit submit. As the title says what are you listening to with your R30 in 2020? I currently own the SDS200, 100, 325P2, G4 and a BCT15x. I live in Colorado. Thanks for your support in this buying decision :)
 

KM4OBL

Authorized Personnel
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
93
Location
Palookaville, USA
I listen to aircraft using the scan feature, more than anything else. It is very easy to scan a group of channels using the IC-R30.

One disappointment has been that the IC-R30 keeps telling me that there is a problem with the battery health, when I turn it on. I have done as the Icom tech specialists instructed, to calibrate the battery to the receiver: run down the battery until the unit will not turn on, then charge the receiver to capacity using the stand. However, as the battery is depleted, the same warning will eventually come on then the unit is turned on. You will probably not encounter this problem, as I was told it occurs in certain units that left the factory during the time I bought my IC-R30, but I can't guarantee you won't.
 

bearcatrp

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
620
Location
Central Mn
I listen to P25 police, fire, etc.., air and HF periodically. Thats the beauty of this handheld. No DMR sucks but its a great hand held receiver. With the right antenna, you can listen to just about anything. Some complain no trunking. I save all the frequencies in memory and have no issues listening to both sides of the conversation. Little bit of a learning curve but you will find out its worth every penny. Still considering selling my 436. Good luck with your decision. Just wish I could afford its big brother.
 

Citywide173

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,921
Location
Attleboro, MA
I have it programmed for public safety in the areas that I frequent. The scan speed is great and the receiver is hot. I have a bank with the air frequencies for my local airports and it does a great job there as well.

I took it on a cruise with me last year and sat on the uppermost deck late at night scanning the entire spread of the radio. I was able to listen to many HF/MF frequencies broadcasting from Europe and the midwest US from our position off of the East Coast.

Click the button, you won't regret it.
 

DeepBlue

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
170
Location
Columbus, Ohio
This is going to be my vacation go to receiver. Currently I listen to local PD, Fire and Air traffic. It is also good for almost all the Amateur bands I use including 1.2 GHz and eventually 2.3 GHz. It does SW pretty well and I can actually hear the Brazillian SatCom pirates on the old US military "birds" using just the included whip antenna (listen around 255.550). It is easy to program using any of several programming software kits out there, uses a standard USB cable. So far the battery life is good. I run it at least 7 hours per day at work listening to police and often Mil Air. It does a lot. I use the inexpensive Butel software. It does all I need it to do. YMMV.

With the demise of the AOR hand held (many threads on that beast) this is the best thing I have found. I have an R20 but the volume and digital capabilities of the R30 make it the only radio I need to carry on vacation now. I use it with a small but now unavailable Active Antenna from Apex, the MW115. Not sure why they quit making them. Works really well. Oddly, better on the ground than in the open air. I use that for SW and AM Broadcast.

The Bluetooth capability is also amazing. I can control it from my phone and listen on Bluetooth headphones at the same time. It's zipping through the MilAir frequencies on my desk right now.

It isn't cheap, but so far I like it a lot. I do wish Icom would have put the display into the 21st century however. Something like the SDS100 screen would sell a few thousand more I bet. Just remember - this is not a trunking scanner. It is a scanning receiver.

Sean
 

David628

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
108
Thanks to all of you who replied! Great info here. I really like the idea of being able to use the bluetooth headset to listen. I will be focused on SW/MW, CIVAIR/MILAIR, HF HAM, fire, some P25 and while traveling just scanning the bands like Citywide said above because you never know what you will find in the bands. I hit the submit button and purchased it :) Thank you all.
 

David628

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
108
I listen to P25 police, fire, etc.., air and HF periodically. Thats the beauty of this handheld. No DMR sucks but its a great hand held receiver. With the right antenna, you can listen to just about anything. Some complain no trunking. I save all the frequencies in memory and have no issues listening to both sides of the conversation. Little bit of a learning curve but you will find out its worth every penny. Still considering selling my 436. Good luck with your decision. Just wish I could afford its big brother.
Concerning DMR. My SDS100 & 200 have that so im good.

Question: Couldn't Icom add DMR via a firmware upgrade? Uniden added DMR to older radios as an add on, so why couldn't Icom do this?
 

Hit_Factor

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Messages
1,753
Location
Saint Joseph, MI
Question: Couldn't Icom add DMR via a firmware upgrade? Uniden added DMR to older radios as an add on, so why couldn't Icom do this?
Money, it's not a tech issue. Look at their product line as a whole. There are press releases you can search up on Icom and DMR.
 

DeepBlue

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
170
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Concerning DMR. My SDS100 & 200 have that so im good.

Question: Couldn't Icom add DMR via a firmware upgrade? Uniden added DMR to older radios as an add on, so why couldn't Icom do this?

Yes they could - no they wont. Politics sort of. Would you sell Ford parts at a Chevy dealer? Similar issue. Competing for their market space of digital communications formats. They have D-Star as thier chosen format. The others they do support are sort of not in direct competition except maybe on the commercial side, like P25. Like the MD-380 series amateur handhelds, it would be interesting if someone could reverse engineer the firmware and add in the other formats as a non-oem firmware. That happened with the MD-380 and a few other DMR radios showing it is possible. Will that happen with the R30, I seriously doubt it. Happens with cell phones too by the way. You can get a custom ROM to load in many smart phones.

Yes I would love to see the R30 or it's next generation be what AOR promised in the DV-10 but that may never happen. Would they sell more of them - yep. All my opinion and some conjecture.

S.
 

N1SQB

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
2,460
Location
Somewhere On Earth
David, I know you already hit the submit button but let me say a few words on the R30. I took the plunge a few months ago. After doing my research, I felt confident in my purchase. Once the radio arrived and I fired it up, I was hooked. Now without going to a full blown review, I'm gonna address some of the reasons you bought this receiver. Civil/Mil air: I was using the famous Uniden BC125AT portable to monitor air traffic at local airports and air shows. The R30 shines brightly in this area and adds new twists that the 125 cannot. First of all you have the Automatic Noise Limiter feature which quiets things down a bit. Second, dual receive. You can have military air on one VFO /Channel and civil air on the other. Dual volume settings: Again, you can adjust the volume separately for either vfo or for both vfos together as one. Dual record: Once you insert a micro sd card and set it up, you can record BOTH vfos simultaneously or you can go into single vfo mode and record that way too. I sue it a lot to record air traffic whenever I visit a new airport or go to an airshow. It records only when sound is heard so no having to stop and start the recordings unless you want to. At an airshow, you can set it and forget it. The audio on AM is great, no issues there. Now, with regards to Police/fire/EMS listening, there are no issues at all to worry about. Audio is loud n clear for a portable. Here too the dual receive comes in handy. You can have analog on one vfo and p25 digital on the other for example. As far as SW/MW goes, like everything else, it will vary depending on location and antenna used. Lots of different ways to listen to your programed channels with different types of scan possibilities.
There are only 2 things that disappoint me. 1. The display light. It is perfect for indoor use. Outdoors on a sunny day? forget it. 2. The AA battery case. If you are like me, you use a carry case when you take radios of this caliber outdoors. I purchased the leather carry case. It CANNOT be used with the AA battery case. You can squeeze it in if you try but it puts too much pressure on the leather and you risk stretching or ripping it. My advice is to get a second lithium battery pack or carry a wall charger/cigarette lighter power plug. On that note, you will also love something I discovered. I purchased a 9 foot charging cable from Best Buy for my Play Station 4 wireless controllers. I happen to notice that it has the same micro USB plug that is on the R30. Guess what? not only did it fit the R30 but it worked for charging AND programming. This comes in handy in the car and if you're not near a wall plug. The RS-R30I APP: Almost everything you can do on the radio keypad, you can do on the app via blue tooth. Works perfectly. Finally, if you travel as you say you do, you will love the Bluetooth feature. I loved driving down the road listening to all the action through the car stereo. Yes sir! nice feature that works well. That pretty much sums up my experience with it so far. I hope my words have helped you get a better understanding of this fine receiver you're about to receive. LOL

Manny
 
Last edited:

David628

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
108
Very outstanding assessment Manny!

I got mine yesterday and can't put it down. Im really blown away by its performance on all modes. An interesting thing to point out. I use to need 3 separate receivers to do what this one is doing now. My location helps at 6500 or so feet but I used the CCrane Skywave SSB with a home brew 80 foot wire antenna that I mostly used for short wave and HF amateur band listening. Its also good for local AM/FM radio Stations. The R30 just blows that away, and the CC SSB is an outstanding SW/MW travel radio. I used the my BC125AT, that I forgot to mention earlier along with my BCT15x with and external el-cheapo no brand name VHF Air Band only antenna mounted on my roof 20 feet up for all MIL & CIV AIR. To my surprise the R30 is picking up the same CIV & MIL signals at the same signal strengths and clarity as the 15x using just the included R30 telescoping antenna! Now I was surprised to experience this. I programed all my local Phase 1 P25 simulcast system frequencies (minus the control channels found here Colorado Springs Simulcast ) into one bank for the system. Guess what, when its running next to my SDS 200 its equally receiving the calls at sometimes even clearer then the SDS200 (if that makes sense?). I have zero issues receiving that P25 Phase 1 simulcast system. Its amazing! Im just getting to know this great receiver so time will tell, but its looking very promissing! I think I made an excellent purchase decision! Thanks for everyones help.

Dave
 

N1SQB

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
2,460
Location
Somewhere On Earth
Dave, I am happy for you with your experiences so far. On a side note, you can adjust the bass / treble settings on the digital side. So you can taylor your P25 to sound however you like. You will need to read not only the included manual but the extensive advanced manual found online.
If you have any questions, shoot me a PM and ill do my best to help you.



Manny
 

eorange

Secret Agent Man
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
2,492
Location
Cleveland, OH
Just got mine on Friday. This is definitely an uptick from my AOR8200 MK3; less noise and signals are much clearer. Airband is slightly more sensitive than my R6, and my R6 is an excellent airband performer. Waiting this week to evaluate mil air performance and utility Rx.

One thing I noticed: my R6 heard a pirate satcom station on 26x.xxx (forget the freq), but the R30 heard nothing, which was distressing. But they both heard a different station. I need to test this more.

Overall I love it. P25 decode is flawless in this simulcast area and does just as well as my Unication. The built in record and dual receive is very cool. It's pretty intuitive to use, but I also have my R6 operation memorized so that helps; they are similar in some respects. I do wish the backlight settings were available in the Quick menu.
 

eorange

Secret Agent Man
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
2,492
Location
Cleveland, OH
Yeah...the LCD display could stand to be a bit more black too. But overall I am steadily getting more impressed the more I use it. Just got the RT software and will get it loaded up. Did more side by side with my AOR8200, and the R30 does a way better job pulling the signals out! Anxiously awaiting mil air tests this week.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,438
Location
MACOMB, MI.
I listen to P25 police, fire, etc.., air and HF periodically. Thats the beauty of this handheld. No DMR sucks but its a great hand held receiver. With the right antenna, you can listen to just about anything. Some complain no trunking. I save all the frequencies in memory and have no issues listening to both sides of the conversation. Little bit of a learning curve but you will find out its worth every penny. Still considering selling my 436. Good luck with your decision. Just wish I could afford its big brother.
How does that work on P25 with no trunking?
 

eorange

Secret Agent Man
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
2,492
Location
Cleveland, OH
You don't need trunking to listen to P25. I just entered the voice freqs as conventional P25 and scan them. Since there is no control channel orchestrating the voice channels...you will hear random conversation. But you occasionally get lucky to follow a conversation sometimes.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,438
Location
MACOMB, MI.
You don't need trunking to listen to P25. I just entered the voice freqs as conventional P25 and scan them. Since there is no control channel orchestrating the voice channels...you will hear random conversation. But you occasionally get lucky to follow a conversation sometimes.
I might not get away with that here in Macomb County, MI. Michigan's MPSCS P25 system is very active with multiple simulcast systems and numerous towers everywhere. I could test it by programming my scanner with just the voice channels and omit the control channels.
 

N1SQB

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
2,460
Location
Somewhere On Earth
Yeah...the LCD display could stand to be a bit more black too. But overall I am steadily getting more impressed the more I use it. Just got the RT software and will get it loaded up. Did more side by side with my AOR8200, and the R30 does a way better job pulling the signals out! Anxiously awaiting mil air tests this week.
I used to own the 8200 MK-III. Good receiver but you know what killed it for me? No PL/DPL tones built-in. In today's busy and crowded RF world, if you listen to anything having to do with first responders/public safety, you NEED PL/DPL tones to keep out interference from other stations using the same frequency. That AOR still requires you to purchase and use a separate PL tone "card" and there is no card at all for DPL tones, is ridiculous. AOR needs to take a lesson from Icom. The R30 is a modern marvel of a receiver. Everything you need and quite a few nice extras.

Manny
 
Top