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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | AOR AR8600MKII Help

Reviews Summary for AOR AR8600MKII
AOR AR8600MKII Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $900
Description: AR8600 Mark II Multimode Mobile/Base Receiver
Covers 100 KHz ~ 3 GHz. (Cellular frequencies blocked)
Product is in production.
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SQ5TSS Rating: 5/5 Mar 30, 2017 05:38 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great scanner . fantastic receiver, great sensitiviy, The 8600 is more aligned to VHF & UHF, but the HF will definitely not disappoint, Aor are the best
AUSSIE Rating: 5/5 Apr 24, 2015 15:19 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Receiver  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the Aor-8600MK2 in august of 2014 main intrest for me is monitoring aircraft on hf & vhf sound quality is excellent layout looks good performance is excellent across all bands for hf i use metz & wellbrook antennas and for vhf Icom-AH7000 discone & Polar custom made dipole airband antenna people complain how receivers dont do very well on hf problem is running a piece of wire aint going to do anything do have receivers from alinco,commradio,drake,elad,icom,jrc,
palstar,sangean,ten tec,yaesu,winradio this one is as good as others.
2E1VAR Rating: 4/5 Apr 24, 2015 12:35 Send this review to a friend
Some and some....  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is my 2nd 8600, first was a mk1 when they first came out which I didn't think much of. I picked up a mk2 a few weeks back, 400 unused with the Collins SSB filter installed.

Audio is a little low from the speaker, fine on the desk in front of me but if I want to wander around the room it's a bit short of oompf ! Annoyingly you get a chuffing on the audio if used through headphones as the unit scans, this isn't noticeable on the speaker.Easy to programme and use, most features are on function keys rather than hidden in menus. Programming is easy using a serial cable/USB adapter. Free software doesn't support Win 7 so you'll need to pay butel some money. Very well built

As A scanner...
Great receiver and coverage, very sensitive. Plenty of banks and you can change the size of the banks too. Alpha tags for both bank name and channel name which is nice. Downside is the scan rate is way to slow. It will cover about 25ch/sec which is awful by todays standards. Really lets the unit down as I like to programme in 100's of channels and that speed means you miss way too much.

As an HF receiver...
This had me flumoxed for a while ! I was worried about overload, sure enough 10m of wire in the attic game me full deflection on the s-meter and very little I could hear. I tried various combinations of antenna and it was just useless. I had just about written it off when I decided to hook up my external 40m long wire. WOW ! On the wire with the attenuator in this radio kicks ass ! I'm well chuffed, get your head around the full defection s-meter and this is a serious receiver. I tried it along side my FTDX 3000 and there was nothing that the 8600 couldn't hear. That said with DSP etc. on the 3000 I could listen in more comfort but the 8600 is my bedside radio and I've now spent many hours listening to 80/40 in the evenings in the comfort of my bed.

To summarize, great receiver, too slow to be a serious scanner, nice features, well made, crap on headphones when scanning, great secondary HF radio.
KC6RCM Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2014 14:53 Send this review to a friend
Super scanner.  Time owned: months
Considering its frequency coverage, (100 KHz - 3000 MHz) the AOR AR8600 MKII Receiver offers great audio and sensitivity, from Longwave to the end of the UHF spectrum. I use the AOR, SA7000 antenna with LMR-400 coax. Keep your owners manual nearby, for the menu system layout can be complex and convoluted, when compared to other receivers.

Sporting a metal cabinet and a die cast front panel, it's built tough. A great choice as a bedside receiver that offers plenty of features in a small footprint. The display and keypad buttons give off a warm green glow that can double as a night light.
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.
WA7ZYQ Rating: 5/5 Aug 27, 2013 00:49 Send this review to a friend
Extremely versaitle and comfortable receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
When I first obtained this radio, I was a little disappointed with the HF performance, even though I understood that it was more a broad range scanner type rig. Then I obtained the Collins mechanical filters for AM and SSB: once they were installed, my doubts about this radio were dispelled. I use this for 95% of my radio listening now.

It is a small (compact, but solid), well built, quality product which features just about everything that is needed for good listening. The basic functions -- mode, step, frequency -- are easy to access, even though there are quite a few buttons on the front. And once you figure out the menus -- which seems to be a necessary evil these days -- you can configure it to your liking.

I appreciate the fact that there isn't any chuffing as you click through the steps. So you can use the knob or just press the buttons -- either press and hold, or press and release for each step.

I like this radio and would recommend it to anyone who either deems HF to be a secondary need, or is willing to pay $200.00 to add the Collins filters. I added them and have started selling my other receivers because this one does it all and is easy to carry on trips. And it has very good audio also -- my getting older ears have no trouble understanding what I am listening to, whether it is public service calls, ham qso's, or NPR FM.

All of that being said, it would be nice to either have a lighter detent on the tuning knob clicks or something along the lines of the Icom knobs with the variable adjustment for tension. Sometimes those clicks become annoying -- but then I just use the buttons.
AUSSIE Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2012 15:47 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Wideband Receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently bought the Aor-8600MKII main intrest is monitoring hf aero using a Wellbrook-ALA1530L
active loop,vhf airbands hooked up to an Icom-AH7000 discone also both antennas are connected to a Watson WAM-599 aerial combiner performance on all bands is excellent do have 35 other receivers to compare planing on buying the batteries in future to run it portable..
AA1BW Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2011 11:52 Send this review to a friend
Great all around receiver  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I am into ham radio for 25 years, and have several rigs. Always wanted a zero to lightwave receiver. Thjis one does it. It receives all modes. Due to the complexitiy it requires the manual, you need time (I mean a lot fo time) to learn how to use it. I replaced the SSB filter to Collins. With this the ssb is better. However on the shortwave bands this is not the best receiver. I have to use the ATT to dramatically reduce overload. With ATT of, no stations, only S9++ noise. With ATT ON all stations ok, but not as sensitive as a dedicated HF rig. From 50 MHz up the sensitivity is greatly improving, and performance is also much better. The great felxibility of the many memory banks makes it very easy to customize the rig.
If you want to use it, you need computer contreol. For this you have to purchase the "old" control software, otherwise programming "manuallay" would need days and days to enter all infon into the 100 memories. Also the inbuilt bandplan can be custumized to the coun try and special needs, so with automode one can use appropriate steps and mode for the whole spectrum.
So a great radio, the receiver is adequate for everyday listening, but menus system is fairly complex, so be prepared.
AF4KK Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2009 09:48 Send this review to a friend
Amazing receiver!!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have some "top class" mobile radios such as the Icom IC-7000, the Kenwood TS-480, etc. and they all work quite well! However, the AOR 8600mkII is by far the best. It's sensitive; it's selective; it has great range.....etc. etc.! It's a bit pricey but well worth EVERY penny! I have all the slot cards and that just adds to the radio's versatility! The only bad thing about it all is when I have to shut it off for the night!
2E0AYQ Rating: 5/5 Apr 5, 2009 02:31 Send this review to a friend
Very Good  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had the receiver for the past
couple of months and iam very pleased
super build quality great performance
lots of features no pager breakthrough
easy to use definitely a keeper
a great product
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