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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | ICOM IC-R3 Communications Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for ICOM IC-R3 Communications Receiver
ICOM  IC-R3  Communications Receiver Reviews: 18 Average rating: 3.2/5 MSRP: $599.00
Description: Handheld video scanner
Product is in production.
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VE3KUT Rating: 4/5 May 5, 2015 09:57 Send this review to a friend
Neat scanner  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought this many years ago before I was licenced & used it for many things. Now using it for fox hunts due to the signal strength over time feature. As others have said, it isn't the most selective in the world, but with the receive capabilities it has this isn't surprising. Lots of other neat things to play with. Back when Analog TV was in use, it had the best portable TV picture I'd seen. It also did very well on X10 & ATV. Keep in mind though the limitations in sensitivity- To get good results, correct band antennas should be used. This very much helps out the issues concerning sensitivity. I'd buy another if it came with ASIC tuner!
KE7TMA Rating: 4/5 May 23, 2013 19:35 Send this review to a friend
It's a radio that receives TV!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I give this radio a 4, because it lacks too many features in the radio department to warrant a 5. It receives analog TV signals, which is something that most radios will not do. There is little to recommend it beyond this, but as it's about the only game in town for this purpose, it warrants a 4.

As others have said, the receiver is too wide, selectivity is poor, there are birdies galore (especially with the screen activated), it eats batteries like crazy, and there aren't enough buttons. But this isn't why you bought this radio, is it? IS IT?
KE7TMA Rating: 4/5 Oct 20, 2012 16:53 Send this review to a friend
It's the best for what it does...  Time owned: more than 12 months
This receiver, which I have owned for almost a decade now, does what it does. That's the best way to describe it. Purely as a radio receiver, it is not very capable. The bandwidth is far too wide, the filter is not adequate, etc. However, if you want a handheld solution for receiving video over a very wide range of frequencies, this is your tool.

Of course it is no longer useful for watching broadcast TV, but if that is why you purchased this device you probably were disappointed with it anyway.
N7OQ Rating: 5/5 Dec 26, 2005 18:16 Send this review to a friend
Nice little scanner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
So far I have not had the problems that others seem to have with this unit. I'm able to receive my X10 camera farther that I can with the receiver that comes with the camera. I found that it receives better with the antenna all the way down then move the first section up and down a little to get the best picture. Using a high gain 2.4ghz lan antenna I was able to pick several cameras around the neighborhood.

The Aircraft band works very well using a discone antenna it is as good or better then my other radios on the same antenna. Same thing for the Police and fire bands. I'm planning on putting up a LAN dish with a preamp with a rotor, should be interesting seeing what I can pick up.

I bought this rig knowing what the short falls were and I have been very happy to find that I don't have all same problems. I havent put a signal generator on it yet but it does every thing I need.

I have been using TK3 software with a interface I made for my 706 and it works great. To get the interface to work I use a stereo plug to left/right mono plug Y and just try each plug until I find the side that works.

I read were someone said that you cant use the radio/LCD screen while it is charging or connected to the charger. I can use my radio and LCD screen with no problems while connected to the charger.

Bill N7OQ
KD5ZAA Rating: 3/5 Jun 30, 2004 18:37 Send this review to a friend
Great concept, mediocre radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really like having the ablity to have an AM/FM radio, scanner, and TV in one unit, but the radio itself needs some more work.

Things this radio really needs:

* FM TV over ENTIRE tuning range
It's really frustrating to know that there are video signals to be seen between 1.3 GHz and 2.2 GHz and not be able to watch them, especially when this radio has all of the needed components.

* better interference rejection
I hear paging signals on 2 meters, and buzz from tv stations on 70 cm and FRS. I recieve interference from nearby cell towers when tuning 2.4 GHz FM video.

* tuning to at least 2.50 GHz
It works fine when I program these frequencies in with tk3, but I can't use the vfo in this range.

* color LCD below 30 MHz
This could be for interference reasons, but I would like to have the option.

* a good 2.4 GHz antenna
This makes a big difference in reception. I have used a helical antenna with great results. See for more info. Icom should include a patch antenna similar to these used on X10 cameras with the unit.

things that would be nice:

* better WFM audio quality, FM stereo
I would like this radio to eliminate the need to carry any other radio reciever. The WFM audio has too much treble and makes extended listening unpleasant. I would also like the ablility to plug stereo headphones directly into the unit.

* output of TV signal with the color LCD off
The unit becomes warm when operating for extended periods with the color LCD on. This feature would also be nice for using an external monitor with battery power.

* readout of actual FMTV subcarrier frequency
* sharper AM TV filter
* more memories
* AM bc ferrite bar antenna
VA6DX Rating: 1/5 Dec 1, 2003 08:02 Send this review to a friend
Bit of a dud scanner  Time owned: more than 12 months
With this scanner I find its either well liked or hated. Most of the people who like it have not put it to much of a test in receiving video above 1 GHz. For one, its extremely deaf. At 1.2 GHz FM video its not very good but far better than at 2.4 GHz. Its performance at 2.4 GHz video is unexeptable! The promise of video at 1.2 and 2.4 GHz was the main reason I purchased it.

It does receive ok in the 800 Mhz cellular band but not near as good of receiver performance as the R2 has while receiving the same band (I have the Canadian version of the R3 so it does receive cell.)

Overall a very disappointing radio.
K6KMA Rating: 2/5 Oct 30, 2003 18:03 Send this review to a friend
Warning for Public Service Workers Using 800 MHz  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Warning to Public Service Workers/ Volunteers using 800 MHz, the Icom IC-R3 is totally blocked from 816.00 to 902.000 MHz.

The Icom dealer at the store where I purchased mine 'thought' only the cellular range was blocked.

Also, you cannot use the receiver (even with video turned off) while the unit is pluged into the wall charger.
TOPOLINO Rating: 3/5 Jul 23, 2003 15:08 Send this review to a friend
..  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Not bad, not good. It's an incredible product. Many critics, no facts. Aor, uniden, yaesu, alinco.. Nobody has got a product like that. You might think about this. Has an eXelent TFT monitor, a good audio, an intelligent antenne. Somebody critics for the sensitivity of HF BAND? To ear HF you need a desktop base receiver with a very good antenne, not a scanner? Bye Bye
N5XZS Rating: 4/5 Jul 6, 2003 16:41 Send this review to a friend
Not bad but need some improvement in some areas.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This video scanner is pretty good for TV DXing on VHF low band "54 to 88 MHz" and same goes for VHF high and UHF.

The real problems is the Microwave video is lack of bigger FM video tunings ranges it will go from 900 MHz to 1.3 GHz and starts again in 2.225 GHz and ends at 2.445.

Why the FM video gap 1.3 to 2.225 GHz there is one MDS station thats it's on 2.151 GHz and sending in FM video!!

The only way to see the FM video pictures in AM video modes is tune in lower FM video slope by 2 or greater MHz down from the center of the carrier.

Why can't the Icom R3 go high as 3 GHz there are more intereasting IFTS serviece "Mostly AM and some FM video"

Sad to say I have found no Ham TV signals to tune in "420 to 440 MHZ, 902 to 928MHz,1.245 GHz to 1.3 GHZ and 2.390 to 2.450 GHz.

The location that I try to tune in is Albuquerque, New Mexico.

As for the scanner Radio part it's seems to pull in anything well so far in the 25 to 950 MHz ranges.

As for the lower freqs, 495 KHz to 25 MHz is somewhat poor.

Sadly no SSB on this radio for you to DX.

I expect ICOM send in 2nd generation Video scanner with improved freqs, ranges up to 3 or more GHz with a bonus any digital video "8VSB or COFDM" and 100% covereges in FM video mode.

As for the Radio side ICOM should add SSB mode and try to improve the reception on MW and the HF. "495 KHz to 30 MHz ranges"

"73's N5XZS"
From Timothy C. Johnson"
N2SYD Rating: 4/5 Apr 5, 2003 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Happy - Writing Software/seeking specs  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've generally been happy with this radio. I've used it for TV with thought I'd know what's going on in an emergency situation.

I am seeking any specifications on the serial port programming. So far I've been able to figure out ICOM's file format so I can manipulate frequencies myself, though I am currently writing my own program which will do more for my usage. Please send any such programming specifications to; thankyou in advance for any help with this. Note, I'm writing this in Java so that it will run on Windows or Linux.
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