IC-R8500 | ICOM

ICOM » IC-R8500 — Price & Specifications

Triple-conversion desktop receiver, frequency range 0.1-2000 MHz all-mode. It combines the functionality of a HF radio set with those of a advanced scanner. Ideated in Japan, year of introduction 1996.

Reference market : ham-radio

General :
Frequency coverage [1] 0.1000 ~ 1999.9999 MHz
Modulation mode CW / LSB / USB / AM / FM / FMW
Tuning step 10 / 50 / 100 Hz / 1 / 2.5 / 5 / 9 / 10 / 12.5 / 20 / 25 / 100 KHz / 1 MHz
User-defined 0.5~199.5 KHz with 0.5 KHz resolution
Receiver :
Sensitivity SSB / CW 1.0 uV (0.1~0.5 MHz, 10dB S/N)
2.0 uV (0.5~1.8 MHz, 10dB S/N)
0.25 uV (1.8~2 MHz, 10dB S/N)
0.2 uV (2.0~30 MHz, 10dB S/N)
0.32 uV (30~1000 MHz, 10dB S/N)
0.32 uV (1240~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
AM 6.3 uV (0.1~0.5 MHz, 10dB S/N)
13.0 uV (0.5~1.8 MHz, 10dB S/N)
3.2 uV (1.8~2 MHz, 10dB S/N)
2.5 uV (2.0~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
2.5 uV (1240~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
AM-N 2.5 uV (1.8~2 MHz, 10dB S/N)
2.0 uV (2.0~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
2.0 uV (1240~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
AM-W 3.2 uV (30~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
3.2 uV (1240~1300 MHz, 10dB S/N)
FM / FM-N 0.5 uV (28~1000 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
0.5 uV (1240~1300 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
FM-W 1.4 uV (30~1000 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
2.0 uV (1240~1300 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
Selectivity CW-N [3] > 0.5 KHz (-6dB)
< 1.0 KHz (-60dB)
SSB / CW > 2.2 KHz (-6dB)
AM-N > 2.2 KHz (-6dB)
AM / FM-N > 5.5 KHz (-6dB)
FM / AM-W > 12 KHz (-6dB)
FM-W > 150 KHz (-6dB)
RF attenuator 10 dB
20 dB
IF-shift range ± 1.2 KHz min
IF-filter ultimate attenuation [2] 75 dB
Dynamic range [2] 81 dB (20 KHz spaced signals)
59 dB (5 KHz spaced signals)
Blocking [2] 132 dB (100 KHz spaced signal, 14 MHz)
IP3 (3rd order intercept point) +27 dBm (14 MHz)
Image rejection > 60dB (1.8~30 MHz)
> 50dB (30~1000 and 1240~1300 MHz)
AGC Fast, slow
Frequency stability ± 3ppm with temperature from -10°C to +50°C
Intermediate frequency 48.8 MHz (0.1~30 MHz)
778.7 MHz (30~500 MHz)
266.7 MHz (500~1200 MHz)
778.7 MHz (1200~1500 MHz)
266.7 MHz (1500~2000 MHz)
10.7 MHz
455 KHz (not for FM-W)
Features :
Memory 800 regular memories in 20 banks
100 for auto-memory write scan
100 for memory skip scan
20 for programmed scan limits
1 priority channel
Display 10 Hz frequency resolution
Antenna SO239 50Ω connector (0.1~30 MHz)
N 50Ω connector (30~2000 MHz)
RCA 500Ω connector (0.1~1.8 MHz)
Power supply 13.8 VDC external
Power consumption 2000 mA typ
1800 mA squelch on
Audio power 2 W with an 4~8Ω load
Audio output Jack 6.35 mm headphone
Jack 3.5 mm external speaker
Jack 3.5 mm line
Jack 3.5 mm recorder activation
Aux connection AGC / unfiltered FM discriminator output
PC connection CI-V on Jack 3.5 mm
Mechanical and environmental data :
Operating temperature from -10°C to +50°C
Dimensions 287 (W) x 112 (H) x 309 (D) mm
Weight 7kg

[1] 0.1 ~ 1000 MHz and 1240 ~ 1300 MHz specifications guaranteed
[2] This parameter, not in official data, was obtained with direct tests
[3] Optional FL-52A filter for 455 KHz IF

Description :

The IC-R8500 is a receiver with plenty of functions, far from complex to use, with some important points in the controls management being equipped with a rational front panel. Substantially the IC R8500 is internally divided between a section dedicated to frequencies below 30 MHz and a section, more articulated in the conversion scheme, for frequencies above up to 2000 MHz. All mode, with IF-shift to offset the band-pass filter with respect to the tuned frequency, adjustable audio filter on two levels, noise-blanker, selectable AGC time constant, squelch, two RF attenuators, internal clock and switch-off timer. Wide range of memories collected in 20 distinct groups that can be identified by a term to five characters while eight characters can be inserted to mark each frequency, a memory bank is intended for the self-writing function that keeps track of the active frequencies during a scan, a further memory bank allows to insert the channels that the user imposes are ignored during the scan. The tuning can be set by rotary control, whose friction is adjustable, with direct input from the keyboard, or even via remote PC. Predefined tuning steps that can also be user-defined with 0.5 KHz resolution.

Multiple search options: between band limits, within memories, on a priority channel, according to the mode, with auto-writing. Scan speed 10 memories per second, 20 channels per second in the search for bandwidth limits. VSC function to unlock the scan in the presence of an unmodulated carrier. Automatic frequency control (AFC) in FM mode with display indication.

Performance and practical notes :

The salient feature of this receiver is its hybrid nature, basically a HF device to which a V/UHF scanner has been added or - symmetrically - a scanner with a dedicated HF section added. Regardless of this vision, the ICOM ICR8500 offers unique features that make it appreciated by certain groups of users. In highlighting the merits and the defects it must be emphasized that the combination of sensitivity and images rejection has its maximum in the 30~500 MHz range, presenting a progressive degradation on the higher frequencies due to the conversion scheme adopted. Below 30 MHz the dynamic range with the presence of signals far from the tuned frequency is certainly of a good level but nevertheless significantly worsens with a reduced signals separations compromising listening in crowded bands. The mediocre IF filters selectivity in fact makes the receiver not competitive in these cases.

Aspect to remember is the mandatory management of the antenna system. Depending on whether you are tuning a radio channel lower or higher than 30 MHz, a specific input connector is activated, respectively SO239 and N. The receiver is designed to have two separate antennas reserved for a predefined frequency segment. If you want to use a single broadband antenna difficulties arise. On the contrary, those who have separate systems can take advantage of this mode which makes an external switch superfluous. In other words, the form of management integrated into the ICR 8500 can be as negative as positive depending on how the system will be wired.

Another peculiar aspect is the availability, on the rear panel, of a connector where the AGC (ie a voltage proportional to the intensity of the signal) is normally present. With a modest intervention, without modifying the circuit in any way, it can be arranged to have at output the FM discriminator without any filter action. Accessing the discriminator directly is important when decoding digital data streams. Generally speaking the contents of this nature, strings of bits therefore, can see their integrity degraded when in reception the audio are filtered. The IC R8500 overcomes this problem by allowing signals to be processed with appropriate software for various purposes: to detect the CTCSS tones of selective call, follow the AIS maritime traffic, analyze the transmission of telemetry services in FSK / GMSK, and so on. In other words, a considerable potential for experimenters who are dedicated to V/UHF communications.

IC-R8500 price :

We have collected for your convenience the IC-R8500 ICOM sales prices and their trend over time. Of course offers, accessories, warranty terms and conditions can lead to different figures.

Price Date Condition
EUR 950,-- 2018-oct Second Hand

Perfect condition. Comes with original box.

GBP 999,-- 2018-oct Second Hand

Good condition overall. Comes with power supply and manual. Boxed.

GBP 849,-- 2018-oct Second Hand

Comes with manual and external power supply.

Valuation :

Dynamic range
Spurious response
Signal functions
Control functions
User friendly

Stars: 1=insufficient, 2=just sufficient, 3=mediocre, 4=good, 5=excellent

Review :

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