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Categories | Receivers: Scanners | AOR AR8600MKII Help

Show all reviews of the AOR AR8600MKII

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AA4HA  Rating: 4/5 Oct 1, 2013 18:25  Send this review to a friend!
Great little wideband receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the receiver for a couple of years now and while I agree with all of the accolades there are a few things that are a little pesky. These are minor issues but you should be aware of them if considering this receiver;

1) I use this as a daytime tabletop receiver and from the corner of my desk it is exposed to the sun for a few hours midday. If it gets too warm the receiver ceases to function and a PLL error message will appear on the lower portion of the display. If you plan on installing this in a vehicle that will be an issue. The top of the case gets uncomfortably warm when exposed to direct sunlight. In the summertime conditions inside of a car this may be a real problem. I shut it down and use a bit of compressed air blown through the card slots on the back and it comes back to life in a few minutes.
2) The menus are a bit confusing and you can puzzle through things like how to set the step size when tuning. I am sure there is a trick to it but it is not intuitively obvious.
3) This is not a receiver that will receive something like APCO-25 out of the box. You can buy an external APCO-25 decoder (from AOR) but it is fairly limited. You "can" buy to install (or have installed) an onboard APCO-25 decoder but it is almost major surgery to install and cannot co-exist with the internal battery pack.
4) The internal battery pack is Ni-Cd, You would think that they could of used NiMh battery chemistry for better life and to eliminate the memory effect. (they are just AA type batteries in a pack, mounted under the lid, you could make your own pack).
5) This goes along with the APCO-25 functionality but this is not a "trunk tracker" type of radio. With digital modes becoming prevalent in public safety (narrowbanding) the usefulness of the receiver is diminishing.
6) Maybe a redesign of the keyboard to backlight the secondary function legend would be helpful. At night you pretty much need to rely upon memorized keyboard functions.

This is still a great little receiver. You really would be doing a disservice to think of this as a scanner.  
Product is in production.
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