IC-R8600 | ICOM

ICOM » IC-R8600

Wide-band receiver with SDR technology, frequency range 0.01-3000 MHz all-mode including digital voice standards. Touch screen display with fast moving, real-time spectrum scope and waterfall functions. SD card slot for log and voice recording. Ideated in Japan, year of introduction 2016.

Reference market : ham-radio

General :
Frequency coverage [1] [2] 0.0100 ~ 3000.0000 MHz
Modulation mode CW / LSB / USB / FSK / AM / AM-S / FM / FM-W / D-STAR / P25 / NXDN / dPMR / DCR
Tuning step 1 Hz min
100 Hz / 1 / 2.5 / 3.125 / 5 / 6.25 / 8.333 / 9 / 10 / 12.5 / 20 / 25 / 100 KHz / 1 MHz
User-defined 0.1~999.9 KHz with 0.1 KHz resolution
Receiver :
Sensitivity CW [3] -6 dBuV (0.1~1.8 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-14 dBuV (1.8~30 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-10 dBuV (30~1100 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-10 dBuV (1100~2000 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-8 dBuV (2000~3000 MHz, 10dB S/N)
SSB / FSK [4] -6 dBuV (0.1~1.8 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-14 dBuV (1.8~30 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-10 dBuV (30~1100 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-10 dBuV (1100~2000 MHz, 10dB S/N)
-8 dBuV (2000~3000 MHz, 10dB S/N)
AM [5] 16 dBuV (0.1~1.8 MHz, 10dB S/N)
8 dBuV (1.8~30 MHz, 10dB S/N)
15 dBuV (30~1100 MHz, 10dB S/N)
15 dBuV (1100~2000 MHz, 10dB S/N)
15 dBuV (2000~3000 MHz, 10dB S/N)
FM-N [6] -6 dBuV (28~30 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
-6 dBuV (30~1100 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
-6 dBuV (1100~2000 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
-4 dBuV (2000~3000 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
FM-W [7] 3 dBuV (30~1100 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
3 dBuV (1100~2000 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
5 dBuV (2000~3000 MHz, 12dB SINAD)
D-STAR / NXDN / dPMR / DCR [8] -2 dBuV (28~1100 MHz, 1% BER)
-2 dBuV (1100~2000 MHz, 1% BER)
0 dBuV (2000~3000 MHz, 1% BER)
P25 [8] -5 dBuV (28~1100 MHz, 5% BER)
-5 dBuV (1100~2000 MHz, 5% BER)
-3 dBuV (2000~3000 MHz, 5% BER)
Selectivity [9] CW > 0.5 KHz (-3dB)
< 0.7 KHz (-60dB)
SSB / FSK > 2.4 KHz (-3dB)
< 3.6 KHz (-60dB)
AM > 6.0 KHz (-3dB)
< 15.0 KHz (-60dB)
FM-N > 12.0 KHz (-6dB)
< 25.0 KHz (-60dB)
FM-W > 180 KHz (-6dB)
A/D conversion Freq. 122.88 Msps
RF attenuator 10 / 20 / 30 dB
PBT 50 Hz steps (SSB, CW, FSK)
200 Hz steps (AM)
IF-filter ultimate attenuation [10] 105 dB
Dynamic range [2] 98 dB (20 KHz spaced signals)
78 dB (2 KHz spaced signals)
Blocking [10] 125 dB (100 KHz spaced signal, HF)
Image rejection > 70dB (0.1~30 MHz)
> 50dB (30~1100 MHz)
> 40dB (1100~3000 MHz)
AGC Fast, mid, slow
Frequency stability ± 0.5ppm with temperature from -10°C to +60°C
Intermediate frequency 778.7 MHz (30~500 MHz)
278.7 MHz (500~1100 MHz)
500~900 MHz (1100~1500 MHz)
500~1000 MHz (1500~3000 MHz)
46.35 MHz (30~1100 MHz)
278.7 MHz (1100~3000 MHz)
46.35 MHz (1100~3000 MHz)
Features :
Memory 2000 regular memories in 100 banks
200 for auto-memory write scan
100 for memory skip scan
100 for programmed scan limits
10 priority channels
Display TFT touch screen, 11 cm diagonal
1 Hz frequency resolution
52-segments signal meter bar
Antenna SO239 50Ω connector (0.01~30 MHz)
N 50Ω connector (0.01~3000 MHz)
RCA 500Ω connector (0.01~30 MHz)
Power supply 13.8 VDC external
Power consumption 2000 mA typ
1800 mA squelch on
Audio power 2 W with an 8Ω load
Audio output Jack 3.5 mm headphone
Jack 3.5 mm external speaker
Jack 3.5 mm line
Connections Jack (CI-V, PC remote control)
USB (PC)
LAN Ethernet (PC)
Jack (aux, no internal connection)
Jack (mute or BER)
Jack (audio or IF 12 KHz)
Jack (RSSI, S-meter output)
BNC (10 MHz reference in/output)
BNC (10.7 MHz IF output)
USB (I/Q output)
Mechanical and environmental data :
Operating temperature from -10°C to +60°C
Dimensions 220 (W) x 90 (H) x 230 (D) mm
Weight 4.3kg

[1] Specifications on some frequency ranges are not guaranteed
[2] Cellular blocked (822~851, 867~896 MHz) in the USA, only amateur band on France version to satisfy local legislation
[3] 500 Hz bandwidth, preamplifier on
[4] 2400 Hz bandwidth, preamplifier on
[5] 6000 Hz bandwidth, preamplifier on
[6] 15 KHz bandwidth, preamplifier on
[7] 180 KHz bandwidth, preamplifier on
[8] Preamplifier on
[9] Selectable IF bandwidth on CW / SSB / FSK / AM / FN-N mode
[10] This parameter, not in official data, was obtained with direct tests

Description :

The IC-R8600 is a receiver designed for monitoring emissions with analog and digital modes within the wide frequency coverage that extends from VLF to all UHF. The internal configuration is of hybrid type, between 0.01~30 MHz in fact adopts a direct sampling through ADC operating at 122.88 Ms/second while between 30~3000 MHz there are two or three frequency conversions before the signal is digitized. It is therefore a SDR (Software Defined Radio) that uses different technologies depending on the band where it operates. Having at the end always a conversion in numerical format in addition to the common CW / SSB / AM / FM modes the digital protocols used in amateur-radio and, above all, PMR are also supported with added decryption functions when they can be implemented. Further versatility is guaranteed by the available output of the I/Q components (inphase and quadrature) of the signal to carry out further analysis and decoding by third-party software, again by computer it is possible to remotely control the receiver in each its function. A slot on the front panel can house SD-cards with a capacity of up to 2 GB (32 GB with SDHC-card) to save data such as usage parameters, memories, audio recordings, logs, captured screen images. The display, a central element of the user interface, offers the touch screen function for direct receiver control interactivity.

IC-R8600 touch screen display

Among the many information displayed there is: FFT spectrum analyzer operating in real time with waterfall function to observe the trend of the signals in the frequency domain as much as the time domain. FFT can be set to predefined limits or wide ± 2.5, 5.0, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 kHz, 1, 2.5 MHz. 52-segments signal meter bar with S / dBuV / dBuV EMF / dBm indication. Graphical representation of the IF bandwidth and its shift. Fine tuning indicator for FM, WFM or Digital modes. Active tuning step. Antenna input in use. Buttons for rapid access to available functions.

Other features: variegated memory structure and advanced search functions including Delta-scan (around a central frequency) and the innovative Fine-programmed-scan (with slowing down and not stopping when the squelch opens). RF-gain, IP-Plus function to optimize the ADC dynamic range, manual and automatic notch filter, double PBT (Passband Tuning) for SSB / CW / FSK / AM, adjustable noise blanker (NB), digital noise reduction (NR) adjustable on 15 levels, squelch and noise squelch for the FM / AM / S-AM / Digital modes, tone and code squelch (CTSS, DTCS, CSQL), squelch level shown in the S-meter bar, automatic stronger signal search within the spectrum analyzer window, selection between different antenna connectors. IF output at 10.7 MHz, auxiliary IF output at 12 KHz for acquisition via the PC audio line, voltage output proportional to the level of the S-meter (RSSI). Settings to follow duplex communications. AFC (Automatic Frequency Control) for FM / Digital modes. Decoding of FSK signals (RTTY) with selection of Mark and Space frequencies. Choice of shape for IF filters (Sharp or Soft) for the best listening sensation, bandwidth of the same filters selectable among several values as table.

Mode Default Selectivity range -3dB (in steps of)
CW FIL 1 1.2 kHz 0.05~0.5 KHz (50 Hz)
0.6~3.6 KHz (100 Hz)
FIL 2 0.5 kHz
FIL 3 0.25 kHz
FSK FIL 1 2.4 kHz 0.05~0.5 KHz (50 Hz)
0.6~2.7 KHz (100 Hz)
FIL 2 0.5 kHz
FIL 3 0.25 kHz
SSB FIL 1 3.0 kHz 0.05~0.5 KHz (50 Hz)
0.6~3.6 KHz (100 Hz)
FIL 2 2.4 kHz
FIL 3 1.8 kHz
AM / AM-S FIL 1 9.0 kHz 0.2~10 kHz (200 Hz)
FIL 2 6.0 kHz
FIL 3 3.0 kHz
FM-N FIL 1 50 kHz Fixed
FIL 2 15 kHz
FIL 3 7 kHz
FM-W FIL 1 200 kHz Fixed
D-STAR / P25 / NXDN-n FIL 1 15 kHz Fixed
FIL 2 10 kHz
FIL 3 7 kHz
dPMR / NXDN-vn / DCR FIL 1 10 kHz Fixed
FIL 2 7 kHz
FIL 3 5 kHz

AGC with time constant selectable as shown in the table:

Mode Default Time constant
SSB 0.3 FAST OFF, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 seconds
2.0 MID
6.0 SLOW
CW / FSK 0.1 FAST OFF, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 seconds
0.5 MID
1.2 SLOW
AM 3.0 FAST OFF, 0.3, 0.5, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 seconds
5.0 MID
7.0 SLOW
FM / FM-W / Digital 0.1 FAST Fixed at 0.1 second

The ICR 8600 offers extensive interfacing possibilities, both for the control of the receiver via LAN port and for use in synergy with external accessories, highlighted by an entire set of connectors on the back of the device. An auxiliary jack is not missing, without internal connections, for user definable uses. This last common to other ICOM models.

ICR8600 rear panel

Performance and practical notes :

The ICR 8600 has been a long-awaited receiver that fills a gap in the ICOM catalog. It undoubtedly shows considerable flexibility, making it suitable for both HF and V/UHF, notoriously bands that require distinct performance for dynamics and selectivity as well as for specific signal's functions. The receiver is compact, smaller than the previous IC-R8500 that is called to replace, while the user interface that rests on few push-buttons and knobs by giving many controls to touch-screen can certainly confuse at first approach but after taking confidence with the system ergonomics is not affected even with some exceptions. The front end behavior is characterized by a good intermodulation resistance and this, combined with the remarkable 3/60 dB selectivity values in the CW / SSB / FSK modes, makes profitable its use in monitoring below 30 MHz. The selectivity in AM / FM is not completely up to expectations, details that some users might remark. For bands above 30 MHz the general operation thanks to the many functions is definitely noteworthy but with two significant negative aspects: the first concerns the relative poor image rejection especially above 1100 MHz, the second is related to the lack of support for the digital modes C4FM (amateur radio) and DRM (PMR). Perhaps the latter highlights the Achille's heel of the apparatus that even covering the entire spectrum up to 3 GHz is not able to demodulate emissions that today for role and diffusion requires full compatibility in a first-class monitoring receiver.

Valuation :

Sensitivity
Selectivity
Dynamic range
Spurious response
Audio
Signal functions
Control functions
User friendly

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

Review :

Your opinion on merits, defects, experiences, with this radio set is welcome. Write your review, after a technical evaluation by our staff if found suitable will be published on this page. We thank you for your precious contribution.

RadioMasterList.com

Copyright. All rights reserved.