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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | ICOM R20 Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM R20
ICOM R20 Reviews: 30 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $500$
Description: 3ghz
Product is in production.
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OE3SGU Rating: 5/5 Jul 13, 2008 08:46 Send this review to a friend
Very good  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Like every other Icom product I own this one is very good. The audio filter selection really helps on the HF-frequencies. The built in recorder is very neat, just set the radio mute during the night and listen to the action in the morning. I am looking forward to the IC-RX7!
VK3VMS Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2008 03:28 Send this review to a friend
This radio ROCKS!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned many, many scanners/receivers over the years & this one is the best by far I have ever owned.
The only thing that lets it down (by virtue of its design), is the amount of pocket pager interference you get on the airbands, when it is connected to a discone or external antenna. It's HF performance is bloody good for a handheld as well!!... I love it!!
KC2OYZ Rating: 4/5 Jun 15, 2008 14:25 Send this review to a friend
Fun radio - but WIDE in all respects  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio is great fun to use - I really enjoy it. I love having a tough little DC to Daylight box that I can take with me anywhere, and pick up the local baseball game or the HF bands, airports, police calls or satellites and space shuttles with ease. I have the desktop charger and every couple of days I pop it into the charger - it charges in about half an hour, so I have never had any problems with battery life - I don't have the LCD on all the time and it is always in power save mode.

It is packed with features, very well thought out, the pre-programmed bands and frequencies are what they should be, and it is built with quality. The audio quality for voice is the best I have ever heard from any portable radio, or many table tops. It does exactly what it's supposed to do.

The reason I'm not giving it a 5 is because it is a WIDE BAND RECEIVER in more than one way - frequency coverage is wide, but so is bandwidth - intermod can be a serious issue, particularly on the lower bands with an external antenna. Sometimes I have trouble figuring out what band and frequency I'm on - I tune to 900 kHz and I've got three local and one canadian station, tune to 76 MHz and there are two TV stations and an FM broadcast station. You can ease the intermod problems with the attenuator and RFGain control, but a couple of filters would make things a lot easier. The internal ferrite bar antenna for BCB will eliminate a lot of intermod on BCB - it appears to be strongly attenuated - problem is, it also eliminates the signal that you want. Perhaps a good preselector would ease the intermod problems - I haven't tried that, although I am considering it - I will update my review if I do.

Bottom Line: Take the R20 for what it is - a fun, feature packed, take it anywhere scanner that lets you listen to anything and everything - and as you become more familiar with the rig, you will learn how to deal with some of intermod problems. But don't expect it to be a serious DX rig by hooking it up to a good external antenna.
COUNTERACT Rating: 5/5 Jun 14, 2008 06:42 Send this review to a friend
No Antenna Or Programming Issues  Time owned: more than 12 months
You have to realize this is a very well designed Portable receiver, Not a full-size desktop receiver. I have found by using a Less than full size antenna for HF, it works Very Well. No need to use the ATT either. I have found programming it to be rather easy, and the easy of key-pad use is excellent. A little expensive, but very well worth the money. Happy listening!
W6RFW Rating: 4/5 Apr 17, 2008 07:23 Send this review to a friend
Great receiver, but hard to program  Time owned: more than 12 months
I use the R20 to monitor the American Association of Railroads (AAR) frequencies at 160 to 162 MHz, at home and in the field while train watching. Interference IS a problem on some channels. I bought a good six pole filter that I use at home and in the car. Interference is not much of an issue when I am walking track side with a short antenna. In the car, I use a mag mount cut for the AAR band. At home, I use a discone about 15 feet up.

I use one channel to monitor all 100 AAR frequencies, and the other to monitor the local road frequency. While scanning, I often encounter one or two channels with a key down condition. It is a real pain to program channel skip, and to unprogram it later. And lately, when I do either the radio picks up the VFO setting and substitutes it for the AAR frequency. I don't remember it doing this when I first got it.

In the field, using software to program the radio is not much of an option. So I have to reenter the channel frequency every time I change a channel skip setting. What a pain. Anone have any hints? The manual is pretty useless, as noted by others.
WZ1P Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2008 05:56 Send this review to a friend
I'm Impressed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The other R-20 reviews are on the money. I wanted more features in a small portable package so the R-20 made sense. There is a learning curve in regards to the programing of memory banks. The sequence in the manual is a bit complex and must be followed exactly. Once the proceedure is learned the process is quite easy. I also picked up the Icom cloning software and cable that makes programming a snap. The telescoping antenna works well but is somewhat fragile. I replaced it with a Diamond RH951S BNC wideband receiving antenna. At home I use a discone antenna mounted on my tower fed by 100' of Davis BuryFlex RG-8 which does NOT overload the receiver like it did my high-end scanner. The battery life is good but I find that three Sanyo 2700mah AA batteries do the job best. They recharge quickly both at home and in the truck.

I did a lot of research on this receiver before I purchased it. There were no surprises. The price is a bit high but the features make it well worth it. Good job Icom.

Dan, WZ1P

KC2QPT Rating: 4/5 Feb 2, 2008 04:04 Send this review to a friend
1 Problem so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hi all, i received my R-20 about two weeks ago. Purchased it new online from National Electronics in Kansas for $459, a good price I understand. Well I loaded about 600 frequencies in the radio and I like it quite a bit.
I have only one problem. I use the radio everyplace and often when listening to several broadcasts the radio "cuts out" for a second or two then comes back on (especially inside). It seems to do this frequently and it is very annoying. When I'm listening to an FM radio talk show and this happens I loose the meaning of the broadcast. No matter which way I reorientate the radio the "cut outs" keep happening. Not sure if I'm doing something wrong or there is some type of control that handles a problem of this nature. Anybody have any ideas?
AF4KK Rating: 5/5 Aug 3, 2007 15:46 Send this review to a friend
Wow, you gotta' get one!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have many Icom products and they ALL excell in some way or another! The Icom R-20 is no exception! It's a hot receiver with many, many bells and whistles! The dual receiver function alone make the radio worth the $$$! If you purchase a R-20, you wil not regret it. The ONLY downfall? There isn't a bandwidth function so things are a bit wide. Aside from that, kudos to Icom!
W1BKZ Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2007 16:14 Send this review to a friend
GREAT HANDHELD.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The only con is that I am not able to receive SSB/CW above 1 GHz, as is advertised and specified by themanufacturer. If I am wrong here, please set me straight. Not that there is significant SSB activity at 2 GHz, but the specs allude to the fact that I can tune it inj if I can find it.
Otherwise, it is a really versatile, sensitive, and sweet handheld communications receiver.
K7WCE Rating: 5/5 May 4, 2006 03:03 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Hands down the best wide range receiver. Excellent coverage on all bands with plenty of tricks for tweeking: RF gain, noise blanker, automatic noise limiter, ATT, AFC.. There's CTCSS and DTCS squelching/search, voice squelch.
Dual band, band scope (2 if you like!) Plenty of memory, great battery life...

So you could buy the IC-R20 and software for less that the AR8200; and to get the 8200 even comparable you'll need to spend another hundred for the propritary software cable, and 70ish pa pop for plug in cards, for tone scan, recording (20 seconds compared to Icom's 4hrs!), etc.... I could go on about construction quality, Icom's dot matrix display.. etc.
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