US VERSION PCR-2500's Review, I dont Recommend This Unit

Status
Not open for further replies.

brusso99

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
I recently got a great deal on a PCR-2500 from an excellent shop (gigaparts.com). I was very excited to own this radio because of all the great things that you can do with it. I love to try new projects. I got the radio in just two days ground from them, very fast service.

When it was sold to me i was told p25 board was installed, that was not the case. Gigaparts reviewed the call and offered me very nice customer service on the issue. A very reduced price P25 board, A full refund with call tag, Or 100 dollars cash. It's nice to see this kind of service today.

I asked for a few days to evaluate the offer and they said no problem.

When i was looking at this i wanted full range coverage all modes(without Cell). which this is NOT!! I p25 on another radio would have been nice as well but i have 996xt and 396xt uniden so who needs a third.

I wanted to beable to connect my many homebuilt antenna projects and use diversity to figure which was better.

So.. What i learned about this very odd and very poor unit..

1. as stated in specs you cant use the sub radio for the same coverage as the main unit..

This presents a number of issues as your antenna is always on the wrong port and it seems that more so than not i wanted to use a frequency on the radio i could not access and had to swap the antenna's around.

2. There is no SSB over 1300MHZ, so as from the factory its limited for SAT's that use this..

I found that you can start cutting out diodes to make this fix, i did not.. i did notice that trunk pcr and pro pcr allow you to select ssb modes with no modes. I cant be sure that is what i was getting but perhaps its a work around

3. The Block on this radio starts well into the public safety band in my area, the radio is useless for any kind of trunking tracking at least in my area even with trunk pcr. I called icom about this and they said it was the law, i let them know that the GRE's, Radio Shacks and Unidens dont have this area around 868 blocked and they accused me of buying those radios from out of the country. They dont get it.. So limited public safety comms in my area.

4. The final straw for me, They BLOCK all kinds of freqs abouve 1.5GHZ.. they have no answer as to what they have blocked and why but there are plenty of gaps there.. That was it for me, so even at 559 dollars for a pcr-2500 the radio is worth less.

5. Software support, almost none. i dont see icom doing anything more with this product, they have already disco'ed the pcr versions and i suspect the r versions will be next so i dont expect anything more to support this radio to come out. Third party software is costly and software like Ham Radio Deluxe dont want to even bother supporting it.

6. Diversity Mode, when i connected two antenna's i got added noise from this mode. i also saw the unit go nuts between two antennas when recieving weather sat at 137, so i had to turn that off. Its not a good reason to buy a 2500 over a 1500..

7. Use with an amp, I tried using an inline amp for sattellite recieve and what i ended up with was FM radio clear as day all over 2.1GHZ. perhaps an issue, perhaps not.. still annyoing because people with AOR units say they do this all the time and the general word is this radio is deaf over 1300 anyway. Guess thats True.

8. I had a host of other small issues, from drivers to the unit crashing, additionaly the recieve was noisy compared to 996xt on 800 mhz same antenna. you will go nuts switching out antennas on this. they could have put an hf and vhf connector on it.

My Eval on this Unit

Dont Buy an American Version of this radio, its not worth it and its been crippled in a number of ways.. I have never felt so ripped off by a company till now (ICOM). Thank god i purchased from a good source, Gigaparts.

If you want to trunk with this, you need to get one unblocked, then get trunk pcr.. thats almost 1000 dollars for a function you can do with a sub 300 dollar scanner, why bother..

if you want digital trunking (p25) thats a 400-500 dollar scanner..

Keep in mind that its not going to work as well as a trunking scanner.

After spending a few days with this, i believe that the best option if you want this unit is to get an unblocked unit (R) with faceplate from ebay. If you want to run trunk PCR dual radio, P25..

Or Better

Get a sub 500 dollar unblocked 1500... I dont believe that the dual radio, diversity feature or P25 is a reason to spend almost 400-500 dollars more on this.

the American BLOCKED 2500 is not worth the price vs an Unblocked 1500.. for the price of a 2500 with limited sub unit you can have two unblocked 1500 units. and more options, just no access to p25 on board.

You will not be happy with this unit. I was not.. I tried everything to keep this unit because its a great deal. but not with the massive amount of blocking they did to it and its other quarks.

now if i can find out if i can get ssb via software or a mod on a 1500 i would go that way.

Thanks
Hope this Saves you the pain.
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
7,066
Location
MACOMB, MI.
I wanted to beable to connect my many homebuilt antenna projects and use diversity to figure which was better.
The Icom 2500 series seems like such a kludge I have to believe it was originally developed for a specific use, possibly for government or military, then later marketed for civilian use with some very different, very inferior software.

It wouldn't be well suited for that application. There are two totally separate receivers in the Icom PCR/P2500. But they are not the same. In fact one is quite different from the other, so it would not give 100% equal results even if everything else was the same.

If you can get a full refund, I'd say go for it!
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
Well it is odd that the 800 MHz coverage stops at 859.000 MHz. It is possible Icom was not able to stop coverage of the cell band closer to 869 MHz. Be advised that the Non-US Versions do NOT support the P25 Boards as some hams found out when they ordered the radio from Japan for Latin America work.
 

brusso99

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
This is not totally true the units on eBay unblocked have p25 boards with them for 899 I believe that some early ones from japan do not have p25 prongs. You must check if your getting p25 or not before you order. The 1500 can not accept p25 at all. Still digital scanners are a better pick for p25 anyway.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
22,084
Location
Bowie, Md.
I'd take an issue on the software support. Had you looked at the 2500 wiki article here on RR, you would have seen several packages besides the Icom offering that support this radio.

In addition, at least some of these comments are known issues - had some research been done on the 2500 Yahoo group, EHam and some other places, you would have gone into this a little better informed. The various frequency gaps are a case in point.

Bottom line is it's regrettable that you had a bad experience with the 2500- so next time, learn to do your homework before getting the plastic (credit card) out. You'll save yourself some disappointment later.

73 Mike
 
Last edited:

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
I have to agree with Mike. The 2500's are unique receivers, but not poor ones. There are a lot of options for software. P25 performance was excellent. The block on my US version when I owned it started at 867 MHz. This will be a moot point if rebanding is ever completed. Right now it is an issue. The unblocked Japanese version does not have P25 capability as outlined in this lengthy thread, which I started in June of 2006. There is a neat mod that adds a 10.7 MHz IF output which is very handy for outboard devices such as an ARD25 P25 decoder or better yet a spectrum display unit.

Icom does funky things with their receivers; their software has a lot to be desired, and they don't release their command set so savvy software writers have to reverse engineer things, but with that in mind some excellent third party software such as TrunkPCR is available. But these receivers are FAR from being poor operating units. As they are very unique, I'll conclude by again agreeing that a lot of pre-purchase research is in order. If you read the aforementioned thread you'll see that a few of us learned the hard way. Sorry it didn't work out for you.
 

brusso99

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
I have to stand very firm on my review. The unit was pretty poor from the overall value. its also pretty deaf, i have a Yaesu FT-890 that was given to me for receive and i compared the two, same antenna and i was hearing stations on the FT-890 that i was not on the 2500. I also installed the DSP board which i was advised was not a good investment but i wanted to see for myself and it made most signals sound worse.

I cant understand why the wrong information about p25 missing from unblocked radios is still out there here is one

NEW ICOM IC-R2500-10 PC EXP P25 option Scanner Receiver - eBay (item 300370149624 end time Jan-21-10 20:00:06 PST)

This listing says that P25 on this unblocked Unit, is this a lie, i notice this issue you had was in 2006.

As for third party software, i installed every package from the list and besides some being over 150 dollars, i had some crash. This is not good support.. Ham Radio Deluxe, thats real software.. I would bet there will be little change to the icom package.

I honestly take it personaly when someone on here jumps up and assumes what research you did or did not do. I did and honestly some of the issues are so hidden in the fine print.. now you can add my review to the wiki. I think its spot on.

Look, the blocked US VERSION is a waste of money. why would you want to pay for something so crippled. I am happy that i got my money back.. I had posted many questions on here about the unit and this and that so i got one. It did not work for me and i returned it. Simple.. you own one and love it, then good for you great.

Even Icom support was supprised about some blocks and modes and had to check the manual.. keep in mind these things are listed for sale as

.100 to 3299 GHZ (minus cellular) gives me the impression that cellular is blocked not 5 or more other ranges.

Its known the unit is poor over 1500 anyway, its known that the block is too large near cellular, and there are a host of other issues and restrictions.. Save your money or Buy 10 of them, not my problem now that i have put the information out there.


I also got bonito which i will inform is ONLY for this radio, you cant use it at all with anyother unit.. they block it with a radio check, so you think your getting something but your not..

I happly wish my review to be posted on the wiki since the review there has a broken link
 
Last edited:

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
The eBay auction you point to is a Chinese made model. Clearly the person selling it is in Taiwan. The person that we bought from was "hiauctions", who was in Japan. Edit: The Chinese model has the P25 connector.

Don't take it personally. There is a lot of info here, some of which is dated, but most of which would have stated some of the limitations...and some of the positives...of this receiver.

Most of the 3rd party software is or was free as I recall. I don't expect top notch support from such offerings although many of the authors provide superior support to that of the commercial software vendors. The Bonito software was by and large panned for use with this receiver.

Some of the other blocks you speak of I was not aware of, nor would it really have mattered. Listening to satellites involves a lot more than just throwing up an antenna and getting results. I'm baffled as to why these wideband communications receivers even bother to tune above 1.5 GHz or so, and that might even be a stretch.

You may (or may not) be interested to know that I no longer own either of the 2500's I had, but not because I didn't like their performance. I'm more of a hands on person when it comes to using a receiver, and I was never happy with the remote head provided with the R2500, really. I used mine for searching out new frequencies primarily in the VHF-HI and UHF bands, along with milair use. They performed marvelously in that regard. I own or have owned numerous higher end consumer level receivers such as the AOR AR5000, Icom IC-R8500, IC-R7000, IC-R7100, etc., and I would have to say that the sensitivity and selectivity of the 2500's were competitive.

That said, there is nothing wrong with your review either. It's your experience with the radio. For my use, they worked well. I'm glad you were able to get your money back and move on. What do you have in mind for a receiver in lieu of the 2500?
 

brusso99

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
After learning and accepting the lack of public safety in my area i was happy to keep the unit for sats which is a very interesting hobby itself. When i started to check out the upper bands with an amp, getting ready to get the correct dish and all that, i learned of the five or six other blocked areas. At that point added with the other issues and the fact that the deversity and second reciever dont add much to my experiece at all. that i relized that even at $559 dollars its a waste and i would be better with an unblocked 1500 delivered for the same money with full access to the upperbands. I also got clear FM radio from 108mhz on 2100 which was a red flag for me.
 

K2GMZ

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Messages
115
Am I missing something? I have an unblocked Japanese version and P25 board bought off Ebay from the merchant listed above, and my P25 works perfectly, even above 867. Matter of fact I'm listening to Gila River Public Safety on 867.700 Mhz P25 and sounds perfect.

I've heard with lots of other users who've bought from this Ebay'er too and no issues, its why I got mine from this person after doing the homework. Again, sorry to interject if I missed something here.
 

brusso99

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
Don't know what you missed, this is a review of blocked us versions being of poor function and value. One guy said unblocked units had missing p25 connectors, something I think happened a fee years ago. I pointed out that eBay has unblocked units with p25. I returned this us version very crippled radio. FYI looks like the only radio that does all this extra blocking above 1300mhz I don't get icom. Even the tech support people told me they have fought to get the blocks out and they were told no. Someone needs to dump the firmware update and write a custom upload to fix this thing. I don't hive my money to companies like this.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
22,084
Location
Bowie, Md.
If you wish to post your review in the wiki, feel free - please write it in a 3d person neutral form, as is the standard. In other words, no 'I' or 'we' or any personal references.

The wiki is a public place. Anyone can edit or change almost any of the pages found there.

You have a couple of ways to do this - probably the easiest, if you don't want to sit down and learn the wiki markup (we have a quick guide linked right on the main page), is to write it in Word, then install the conversion macro that's linked in the user guide, and let it do most of the hard work. It won't get everything, but it should get most of the conversion done for you.

73 Mike
 

KC1UA

Scan New England Guru
Database Admin
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,586
Location
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
You are indeed missing something. The version offered by Palacemuseum on eBay is not the Japanese version, which does not have a P25 connector on the PC board.

The Japanese version was sold by an eBay member named "hiauctions". After the discovery of the issue, his later auctions had a statement indicating that the version he was selling did not have the P25 connector.

Again, if you look at the auction in the aforementioned link you will notice that the seller is in Taiwan. There is absolutely no mention about it being a Japanese version...because it isn't.

Am I missing something? I have an unblocked Japanese version and P25 board bought off Ebay from the merchant listed above, and my P25 works perfectly, even above 867. Matter of fact I'm listening to Gila River Public Safety on 867.700 Mhz P25 and sounds perfect.

I've heard with lots of other users who've bought from this Ebay'er too and no issues, its why I got mine from this person after doing the homework. Again, sorry to interject if I missed something here.
 

K2GMZ

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Messages
115
You are indeed missing something. The version offered by Palacemuseum on eBay is not the Japanese version, which does not have a P25 connector on the PC board.

The Japanese version was sold by an eBay member named "hiauctions". After the discovery of the issue, his later auctions had a statement indicating that the version he was selling did not have the P25 connector.

Again, if you look at the auction in the aforementioned link you will notice that the seller is in Taiwan. There is absolutely no mention about it being a Japanese version...because it isn't.
Sorry, Its been 2+ years since I looked at all this stuff and my research I did before purchasing my unblocked version from Palacemuseum.
For some reason thought it was a Japanese unblocked version, but may be the USA unblocked version. Either way, it does P25 and does it
above 760mhz
 
Last edited:

brusso99

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
Ok let's just say there are unblocked unit for sale on the market that have p25 connectors and some that may not have the connector, always check before buying.
 

K2GMZ

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Messages
115
Ok let's just say there are unblocked unit for sale on the market that have p25 connectors and some that may not have the connector, always check before buying.
Its a tricky game getting your hands on one that's not restricted and well worth it when you do. Also one thing to keep in mind is its "NOT" a scanner or really meant to replace one, especially with the advent of trunking everywhere. Its a communications receiver and I believe meant for more purposeful listening than Public Safety and the like. Get a scanner for that.

Mine is dedicated to the fed bands and due to its sensitivity pulls out the week ones. The only wish I have would be for more software support, otherwise I cannot complain.
 

brusso99

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
119
Location
Parkland, Florida
i want to listen to sats in the high freqs, I have three scanners. when i learned of the blocks over 1300 mhz thats when i dumped this one.. I am looking at a winradio 305e.. looks like a nice well supported unit.
 

DaveIN

Founders Curmudgen
Database Admin
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Messages
6,508
Location
West Michigan
Its a tricky game getting your hands on one that's not restricted and well worth it when you do. Also one thing to keep in mind is its "NOT" a scanner or really meant to replace one, especially with the advent of trunking everywhere. Its a communications receiver and I believe meant for more purposeful listening than Public Safety and the like. Get a scanner for that.
I didn't think it was too hard to find it in the eBay market, but I agree it's not a scanner by any means (other than the fact that is will chug along on saved frequencies), but it works well for what it's designed for. I'm not sure the WinRadio is going to be any better in that respect.
 

updatelee

Member
Joined
May 5, 2003
Messages
10
Location
Lancaster Park, AB
grr. I just moved to edmonton and both my pcr-1500 and pcr-2500 are looking to be useless here. the public safety is using 866-868mhz and the pcr blocks 867+mhz

guess no workaround ? I emailed icom but I dont expect much
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top