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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Icom R-2 Help

Reviews Summary for Icom R-2
Icom R-2 Reviews: 17 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $90
Description: Ultra-compact, super wide-band handheld receiver.
Product is in production.
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NRDMAN Rating: 5/5 May 27, 2002 08:31 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic little radio!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I was looking for a small scanner to take to the races, and after trying a couple of other small handheld scanners, and several dual band HT's, I went and bought a R2, back when they were about $200. Even at that price, it's a fantastic value.
It's not perfect, but the drawbacks aren't annoying enough to cripple it's use, unlike the tiny Yaesu radios I had tried previously, and sold or returned.

I take this with me almost everywhere, I use a very thin whip I made for it about six inches long. It's much more comfortable with it than the stock duck, but doesn't work any better. I have several other SMA antennas, and to be honest, use the homemade one, or the stock duck most of the time, since the R2 will get intermod around here if you put a decent antenna on it. I have made a SW antenna, a length of thin wire with a clip on the end, and it works fairly well, anything longer than about 6 feet or so tends to be too much for it.


Small enough to carry without it bugging you after a short time.
PC Programmable, the keypad isn't really missed.
Good audio for it's size, great with headphones.
Great battery life, a set of alkies lasts about 24 hours if you keep the volume down, and the light off.

And the Negatives:

Bad belt clip, they should have used a smaller METAL one, attached with screws. Icom weirdness: Scans ALL or ONE bank. Why they do this I don't know, but I wish they would stop it! Poor display light, not bright enough. Annoying "boink" noise repeats when batteries die.
More Icom weirdness, calling almost every function "scanning". Just use the normal terminology. User manual is very confusing to a newbie.
AE4SE Rating: 5/5 Mar 27, 2002 02:22 Send this review to a friend
Little Receiver That Can...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been a Short Wave and scanner listener since '73. Things have come a long way since then. Over the last decade transceivers and receivers have been scaled down to the point of asking the question "where can the end be"? The R2 I guess is about as small as one could make a receiver and it still fit in your hands.

The R2 is a great little receiver that can do just what it was designed for. From 100 to 1200 mhz the little rig does perform well. It is a little difficult to get use to setting the scanning limits, it is not as simple as a Bearcat, or RS PRO. The receiver sensitivity is as advertised and as expected the receiver can be overloaded with strong signals. I also purchased another antenna to go along with it to see if the receiver would do better with a longer antenna. The Comet SMA24 did increase the signals coming in on the bands below 100mhz. I can tune to signals in the HF band with much better sucess than with the stock rubber duck.
If you plan on making this your main receiver forget it. That is not what this little guy was designed for. But connecting it to my outside antenna and preamp set up I was quit suprised to see it do very well in the VHF/UHF of the spectrum. You will need a to turn on the attenuator in the rig. In my opinion this is the best portable you can get for the price. Nothing else is close, unless you want to spend 3 times as much. I also would recommend it for the casual user at home. Someone that does not need a base station to listen to police/fire, and neighbors, LOL. It receives very well in the 400 mhz range where most city police and fire freqs reside and you dont have a great deal of cash invested as well. If you plan on useing it for listening to HF on a daily basis get a portable SW Radio. This receiver is perfect for mobil searching, local police and fire listening as well as the amatuer wanting to scan for busy channels on 144, 222, 440, 900, 1200 mhz.
The radio has plenty of channels, I personally have never used up 400 channels in any HF, VHF, UHF, or scanner in my life, and I dont know any one that has.
The cloning features work as advertised and there is plenty of software out there now to suit your needs, that includes freeware. It is a breeze to use with the computer software. My AOR has very little distance between it and the R2 in many respects. From 100 to 1200 the difference is slight, and not worth the price, even for the extra features of the AOR.
KB2SFO Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2002 17:36 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been into monitoring since the seventies. And I've owned every type of radio available. I have thinned my shack down to twelve radios and swore I wasn't going to buy another. Well, the R-2 became "lucky thirteen". I love this radio!! Yes, it can be difficult to operate, but if one reads the manual and "plays" with the radio, it's great. I also bought the programming software and cable to use my PC to program it; piece of cake. I also use a 3" high 144/440mhz antenna with it. Reception is excellent; if I need to monitor lower freqs, I put the stock duck back on, or use an sma/bnc adapter and use a long telescopic whip. I have it loaded with police,fire,aero,ham and HF freqs. I even use it in my car with a glass-mounted antenna. Audio is excellent, commercial am/fm radio is great. This radio goes everywhere with me.I'm in sales and spend alot of time in the car. Highly recommended.
SW4DX Rating: 1/5 Jan 4, 2002 08:41 Send this review to a friend
Far to Small  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Sorry,I had one of these pocket sized pain in
the butt radios for about 2 months,like most I
got it because it was small and would fit in my shirt pocket,provided you can stand the antenna
sticking out by a country mile.
I have owned dozens of radios over a period of 30 yrs,this one has to be the worst I have ever come across,yes I learned how to use the darn thing,boy
how I hated those stupid little multi-function
buttons,great if you have fingers as thin as a stick of spaghetti.
After using this thing for a while I became so frustrated with it,there it was hanging on the end of a piece of RG58,looking more like something
that you should connect to a key ring rarther than a radio.
Why do scanner manufacturers include the HF Band?
another total waste that never gets used.
Anyhow I sold the darn thing and got a Uniden
UBC3000xlt,10 times better than the ICR2.
Sorry but I think quite a few people would get sick of the Icom ICR2,I would not recommend this
toy to my worst enemy.
NOHAM Rating: 3/5 Dec 30, 2001 18:20 Send this review to a friend
Nice try - half a cigar  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The idea behind this radio is that it's suppose to be very handy to carry around. Unfortunately, it's so difficult to operate that you just about need to carry the radio in one pocket and the manual in the other, along with a list of what you have programmed into the memory (no alpha-tags). If you plan on using it much you will also need to carry extra batteries, since rechargeables will only last 6 hours or so and the radio has no provision to be powered any other way (i.e. - no DC power plug, no recharging stand, no way to recharge the batteries while they're in the radio). I have used the radio with everything from a 45 foot dipole to a Select-a-Tenna and my experience is that no matter what antenna I use the HF reception is pretty bad (only a few strong stations come in), the AM broadcast virtually deaf (only one station comes in), and the FM broadcast band totally deaf (I have never been able to pick up any FM stations). On the plus side, it works very well for VHF/UHF.
The inner workings of this radio would make an excellent table-top VHF/UHF scanner, especially if it had alpha-tagging. If there were a way to power it off AC that's exactly what I would do with it - leave it plugged in, sitting on the desktop. On the plus side, the price has dropped so low so it does make a very inexpensive introduction to scanning.
KL7KN Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2001 02:02 Send this review to a friend
R2, good news in a small package  Time owned: months
I have an R2 and it's half-brother (or is that an evil twin?) ICQ-7A. The -7 is great little rig for around town, the R2 is a killer app!
I travel in rural Alaska, where radio and TV (outside of cable) just don't exist. I take the radio and 15 feet of wire as an antenna (with SMA connector).
I can listen to HCJB, the beeb, VOA and sometimes AM from Anchorage & Fairbanks. Small, runs on AA batteries, good audio. Is it as good as my Sangean -909? Nope, but it is 1/12 the size. For the size, price and performance, this is a great choice for backpackers, bicycle trips and travlers. Oh, and you can listen to 2M FM as well.
N8PVX Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2000 03:41 Send this review to a friend
A very handy little receiver,with great audio for  Time owned: unknown months
This is one of those radios where you might see it,and say to yourself:"It can't be much of anything",but you would be wrong!It's a great little radio!It doesn't have a keypad,but it really doesn't matter,you can get to where you want very quickly and easily.With the PC cable,you can program all the memories without even missing the non existant keypad.I take this radio with me almost everywhere,it's so light and easy to carry around.I can listen to the AM band(with a few feet of wire),SW,FM,and TV easily and have a decent scanner too,in one tiny little box!I take the R-2,the stock duck,another,higher gain duck,a homemade whip antenna I made about 15" long,and a 10ft peice of wire soldered to an SMA connector with an alligator clip on the other end,with me at almost all times.I have all the major local scanner frequencies programmed in,along with the local and area AM and FM radio stations,and the TV stations too,and there is ALWAYS something to listen to.The only real problems this radio has are it's a little bit vulnerable to intermod,and that Icom insists upon using their standard one bank or ALL bank scanning arrangement,and they need to change that in the upcoming R-3.If it could scan multiple selected banks,and be a little bit more intermod resistant,this thing would kill!It has 20 seach limit pairs,it's kind of a pain to use them,but once you get the hang of it,t's very easy to use.
The total drawbacks/nitpicks:
No keypad(not really missed),Poorly lit controls/display,intermod,radio won't shut off when battires die,it just makes an annoying sound until you remove the batteries.Some people say the "function" key is hard to press unless you hold the radio in the left hand so the thumb is used to press it.I have tried over a half dozen R-2s,and don't have any problem pressing the key.And what I consider it's main drawback,the usual Icom 1 or all memory scan firmware setup.
Wide coverage,tiny size,great audio for it's size,
fairly user friendly for an Icom radio,PL decode,and PC programmable.
Used ones can be found all over,and with the TV screen equipped R3 due soon,there will be a ton of them out there,get one,you'll agree with me,it's one of the best values in radios!
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