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21 March 2023

In the Editor's Shack: ICOM IC-R8600


A short user report on the ICOM IC-R8600 wideband receiver

The editor had the pleasure of having the new ICOM IC-R8600 back in the shack between Christmas and the New Year, to evaluate its performance in two particular areas, the Very Low Frequency (VLF) band and the Airband. This reflected some of Georg's main interests, and others will want to focus different areas. On VLF (as in general), the large touch-screen of the IC-R-8600 really came into its own.

Reception was good just with a supplied aerial, with a special VLF antenna, supplied by the UK Radio Astronomy Association (UKRAA), the receiver took off, resolving military VLF signals from across the globe, time signal stations and VLF experimental amateur radio from Germany, without the need for software and/ or a PC screen.

On the airband, which is extremely busy here over Lancashire, and with the 8.33kHz step selected, I caught - and visualised - many new frequencies I had never heard before. A quick look at the NDB band had similarly eye-opening results, and I even managed to identify and resolve the signals from nearby weather stations on 868MHz.

If you are looking to get just one wideband receiver for a multitude of purposes, then you might consider this exceptional machine. The ability to take and store screenshots with a single press of a button is a convenience you will never want to be without again (see pictures on this page).

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