R8500 vs R7100

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iMONITOR

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For those that have used both, which is a better receiver for Vhf and Uhf?

Randy
W4RTT
Hi Randy:

I've owned/used both, and for VHF/UHF I think the IC-R7100 is the better choice.

The IC-R8500 performance is almost identical to ICOM's PCR-1000, if you've ever played with that.
 

N9JIG

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I too have used both, as well as having a couple R7000's over the years. While the R7000's could not be beat for sensitivity and selectivity, the R8500 that I have runs rings around the R7100 that I had. The 8500 refuses to be overloaded, the 7100 had issues with both intermod and other interference.

With the 8500 allowing HF reception as well, it really is a fantastic radio and can be had for not much more than 7100's
 

KC1UA

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Further, and I may be wrong, but it's my understanding that the 7100 U.S. versions were "cellular blocked" for the entire 800 MHz range.

I never owned a 7100, but it was my understanding that it was a step down from the 7000, which I do own. I owned an 8500 as well, and it was definitely superior to the 7000.
 

zguy1243

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I have owned both the R7000 and the R8500. The R8500 will make a very weak signal sound a little better than the R7000. The R8500 is as predictable as they get, solid and sensitive. The squelch circuit on the R8500 is second to none, very solid. I have never owned a R7100 though. I had a ex military guy tell me that they trashed tons of the R7100's and kept the R7000's at a installation that he worked at. That statement has kept me scared of the r7100.

Jody
 

iMONITOR

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Yes the IC-R7000 was a great radio in it's time! For many of you disappointed in the performance if the IC-R7100, it could be that yours was several years old. Both the IC-R7000, and the IC-R7100 were plagued by power supplies that ran hot, and capacitors that would fail over time. I bought my IC-R7100 brand new when it first came out, prior to the cellular ban. A good friend of mine also bought one at the same time. We were both very happy with it's performance.

I will say the IC-R8500 is much easier to operate! It's not plagued by ICOM's infamous way of doing things!
 

N1SQB

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Clikck, click click!

I had an R7100 for a while. I sold it for several reasons. The main reason was the loud clicking relays when it switched to a different band. God I hated that! Maybe grouping all the fequencies of the same band together would have made things less noisy but it is not a realistic way to scan or monitor. Second, Neither the 8500 nor the 7100 had CTCSS or DCS so intermod is an issue in s heavy RF area. The radio was sensitive though!

Manny
 

N9JIG

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Most 7100's in the USA were cell blocked, I think the block was 800 to 900 or something silly like that, which made the radio pretty much useless for me. I was able to acquire an unblocked radio. While I could care less about cell, especially since they went all digital in my area, I am an avid listener to 800 and used the 7100 for Trunker whenever 800 was running hot.

8500's have a more realistic blocked range, but are easily restored so even that little sliver of the 866-869 band that was blocked can be heard.

Further, and I may be wrong, but it's my understanding that the 7100 U.S. versions were "cellular blocked" for the entire 800 MHz range.

I never owned a 7100, but it was my understanding that it was a step down from the 7000, which I do own. I owned an 8500 as well, and it was definitely superior to the 7000.
 

N9JIG

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I got around the power supply issue with my 7000's and 7100's by using my large Astron 12 VDC supply for these as well as other radios. THis made the radios run cooler and I never had an issue with the power supply.



Yes the IC-R7000 was a great radio in it's time! For many of you disappointed in the performance if the IC-R7100, it could be that yours was several years old. Both the IC-R7000, and the IC-R7100 were plagued by power supplies that ran hot, and capacitors that would fail over time. I bought my IC-R7100 brand new when it first came out, prior to the cellular ban. A good friend of mine also bought one at the same time. We were both very happy with it's performance.

I will say the IC-R8500 is much easier to operate! It's not plagued by ICOM's infamous way of doing things!
 

iMONITOR

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I had an R7100 for a while. I sold it for several reasons. The main reason was the loud clicking relays when it switched to a different band. God I hated that! Maybe grouping all the fequencies of the same band together would have made things less noisy but it is not a realistic way to scan or monitor. Second, Neither the 8500 nor the 7100 had CTCSS or DCS so intermod is an issue in s heavy RF area. The radio was sensitive though!

Manny

All three models use the band-switching relays. I don't think any of them were ever intended to be used as a "scanner", even though they did have scan capabilities.
 

N4UMJ

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I found the R7100 SSB audio on 6M to be a tad better(S/N ratio) than the R8500. Other than that they are very close on receive. I did an A/B side by side when I owned both.

I really like the layout ergonomics of the R8500 over the R7100. The R8500 takes up a bit more room
but for me is much easier to operate. The R8500 alphanumeric channel/bank tagging is a plus along with the old fashioned knob for channel tuning (UP/DWN buttons on the R7100)

Bank size is adjustable as well on the R8500. Sort of complicated as you have a freee bank that you place the spare blank channels in and then pull them as needed to expand your bank size as needed.

One thing I hate about the R8500 is that the HF receive is a tad bit distorted except on real weak signals (agc action I think.)

Also since it's an all-in-one single receiver tying it up on HF excludes the VHF / UHF portion. A shame to tie up such a nice receiver just on HF!

An R75 (for HF receive ) and a good uniden or comparable scanner may be a better choice than the R8500.

The R8500 is built like a tank and can take some abuse. The inside of an R8500 is an impressive single piece aluminum casting. The R7100 chassis is stamped sheet metal along withe the PC boards that sort of sandwiches together.

Also the discontinued PCR100 if you can find one does nicely for 30 to 1300 AM FM WFM.

Ed
N4UMJ

*I currently own (3) R8500's and have repaired a few for others through the years.
 
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