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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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AG6QR Rating: 5/5 Mar 20, 2015 15:27 Send this review to a friend
Keeps on going and going...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've owned mine for about 15 years now, since long before I became a ham. Used it for fire/police, aviation (civil and military), ham, and shortwave broadcast. I still use it frequently. It's a lot of receiver in a small package.

Cons: no alpha tags, scanning is either one bank or all banks, no VFO for HF, no trunking or digital.

Pros: Tiny, great frequency coverage, solid performance, good AM aircraft reception, good longevity.
GM1FLQ Rating: 4/5 Apr 7, 2009 11:20 Send this review to a friend
Surprisingly good for size  Time owned: more than 12 months
On the plus side this radio is sensitive, has good clear audio and plenty of it for its size. It is also fairly good on batteries and is a nice compact size to shove in your pocket. It also seems better built than other recent Icoms and does not appear to suffer from inherent problems. On downside it doesn't have built in charging and I would have preferred a BNC connector instead of the SMA.
I make my comparison with other sets like the AOR 8000 and Yupiteru 225 which may have the edge on performance but are much bulkier to carry around.
KC8YKQ Rating: 5/5 Jul 11, 2004 21:28 Send this review to a friend
Nice LITTLE receiver!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This little radio does a fine job. Since it is selectable for AM, WFM or NFM on any frequency, it covers the military air band in the 138 MHz range quite well. Most scanners are limited to NFM in that band. Since it covers all military air bands, it is fun to take to air shows provided you have headphones.

Controls are a radical departure from traditional scanners; however, once you become familiar with them, the IC-R2's controls are very manageable.

The best thing about IC-R2 was the price. I bought this new in 2002 with the PC cable and software for less than $169 US. The radio still works like the day I got it.

This little radio offers lots of performance and features for very little $.
UK1 Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2004 15:38 Send this review to a friend
Highly portable. Great overall. Recommended.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased my IC- R2 some five years ago, upon its release here in the UK. I am a long-time 'scanner-ist' and have used quite a number of handhelds over the years (see my review of the Yupiteru MVT 7100). The IC-R2 is discontinued, replaced by the IC-R5, which is very similar in appearance and features though does add one or two improvements.

I have given the ‘R2 five points, though really it deserves four and a half. I thought four was too low, so marked it up one. You see, this is a very good little scanner, it’s just that it’s not quite as good as the best, (IMO the Yupiteru 7100), although they are two different things really and cannot be compared in equal terms. With this model you are buying portability and stealth. A covert little ‘wearable’ handy you can slip into a top pocket easily and with a suitable earpiece you will be able to monitor whatever you want to without drawing any attention to yourself. You simply cannot do that with one of the larger sets. I have found that the small size has on many occasions tempted me to take the radio out and about whereas the Yupi’ has always stayed at home. That is the main advantage of this set.

For portable use, I use an ‘over the ear’ personal stereo type model, with the right side snipped off (they are a stereo plug so audio only comes out of the left side). Importantly, unlike many radios the ‘R2 does not emit an annoying constant hiss when in standby and not receiving a signal, so is excellent for earphone use. I used to use this radio frequently when out and about to scan a handful of local police channels mainly. (Pre-digital days...) It was superb for this-- good audio and discrete, and the duplex monitor button is an excellent feature for monitoring repeater shifts.

You’ll definitely want an SMA to BNC adapter, so you can use a larger number of antennas. I recommend a good telescopic. The supplied rubber ant is OK, certainly good enough for portable use, but you will get the best from the set with a quality telescopic.

Performance is good, especially considering the small size. The speaker is small, but does not sound tinny really, certainly not like a Yaesu VX 1R. It provides adequate volume for normal use, though would struggle in a car, for instance, but that is quite understandable considering the dimensions of the thing. There is no keypad of course, but this has never been too much of a problem as it is quite straightforward to tune around using the VFO. I do think certain functions are over complicated though, in particular search ranges and channel lock-outs—I can never remember how to use them so don’t bother, (though perhaps I am just too lazy to read the manual). I suppose that’s the price you pay for the lack of a keypad. Sensitivity is very good, mostly on a par with the Yupiteru across the whole range. There is some intermod and pager interference on VHF, but fewer birdies than the Yupi’. AM signals do however become very quiet when weak, which is something the Yupi’ scores well on over this radio.

I am impressed by the overall quality of the unit, considering its small dimensions and weight, and low price. It is manufactured in Japan and it shows. The plastic case is solid and has proved durable, and the unit is splash resistant which is a great benefit for outdoor use. Like Yupiteru, Icom build radios which are in a higher class to the usual Uniden/GRE stuff. The only problem I experienced concerns the thin rubber gasket surrounding the battery enclosure to keep out moisture. This worked loose at the top edge shortly after purchase but surprisingly has stayed put for five years now, despite frequent openings and closings of the cover to replace the batteries, as unfortunately there is no charge socket unlike on the newer ‘R5. (This is really the only feature I do not like about the ‘R2). Battery life is excellent from two AA’s.

This radio is a ‘keeper’--I’ve no intentions of getting rid of mine. (I always think this is a good test of whether or not a radio is any good). I would have no hesitation in going for the newer ‘R5 though as it appears to be well liked by owners. In fact, I may well buy one of those too!
PHILLIP15 Rating: 5/5 Jun 15, 2004 05:14 Send this review to a friend
A True 'Pocket' Scanner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought this little radio secondhand as a shop spoiled and it is super.
I am using Hi capacity NI/Mh batteries with last about 2 days continuous. It has many useful features like cctts, wide frequency coverage etc.
Small and discrete, programmable-with software etc.
Downsides: Very slow scan rate, limited selection of scan modes (can't disable certain memory banks), suffers badly from pager interference when connected to an external antenna. Lots of 'birdies'. The function button can be a bit awkward.
One other point- the radio has a 'Power Save' option (to preserve battery life i presume?) Can somebody please tell me, what would be the ADVANTAGE of turning it OFF??? (why not have it on all the time???)
VIXEN Rating: 5/5 May 29, 2003 23:37 Send this review to a friend
FANTASTIC!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I Love this thing!!!
I bought it for $85 from Cash Converters. I think they thought it was a basic transiever. Poor poor people.

It's fantastic!! i can switch from listening to CB stations to listening to television AND radio stations!!!!

LNXAUTHOR Rating: 4/5 Mar 14, 2003 06:33 Send this review to a friend
Nice unit despite no alpha tags  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
- the Icom IC-R2 can be found for less than $100 if you shop around...

- i knew this radio was small, but until i opened the box and held it in my hands, i didn't realize just how small it was! truly amazing that so many features have been packed into such a tiny package...

- the R2 does not have alpha tags, so i'm giving it a 4..

- don't be put off by comments regarding how hard it is to use - it's NOT! i spent an evening reading the manual and playing with the radio... after a day or so, i have no trouble whatsoever in entering freqs, searching 'scan edges' (freq ranges you can enter), or any of the 7 banks of 50 channels...

- the lack of alpha tagging could be considered a downer, but let's be honest, OK? if you use your scanner quite a bit, you know what freqs are what in your area, and you can tell who is on by the dispatcher's voice... you probably also know that AM 630 is talk radio, WFM 100.3 is golden oldies, etc., and there is no use at all to do alpha tagging on SW for SWL'ing...

- if you're contemplating one of these units, here's a list of what i consider to be some essential accessories:

- an inexpensive, yet nice leather case with a full-face clear-plastic cover, belt clip, and cord (you'll need to punch holes in the lower face portion of the plastic for the R2's speaker) - the Belkin F8V6201 cell phone case is about $14, but can be found on-line for $9

- Stephen Gulyas's SMA->BNC adapter for the R2, as the R2 has an SMA antenna connector - about $13 shipped, or you can buy your own adapter for about $5 or less

- NiMH rechargeables, as two AAs will last for a while in the R2, but if you use it all day long, will run out after a day or so...

- RT Systems programming cable (CT-29A) to connect to your PC for programming... the price of the ICOM cable is outrageous...

- Bob Parnass' tk2 client, which is a cross-platform programming package for the R2... you can use this software to program the R2 to have a similar bank arrangements as your other scanners (such as a Pro-92 or VR-120D), which helps provide consistency across your collection; for example, on each of my scanners i have bank 1 for local county freqs, bank 2 for adjacent counties, etc., so i can pick up any of them and immediately know what freqs a bank contains... and one of the benefits of using Bob's software is that you'll never have to worry about operating system support - tk2 works with Linux and Mac OS X (i don't recommend using any version of Windows; using Microsoft software is like having unsafe sex and waking up in the morning with your wallet stolen)
VICTORY1 Rating: 5/5 Jul 23, 2002 20:43 Send this review to a friend
great,small &easy to work  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
So my office buddy hands me his old radio shack crystal scanner and it's mine if I find an antannae somewhere around town (Toronto, CANADA).Given that I've never had a scanner in my hand before I'm thrilled. But 3 months later and too many rides all over I come across a modern replacement---a Bearcat with a Twin Turbo---turns out to be big and hard to understand. So after a weekend of trying and trying I give up. Return to RadioWorld with my bill and almost newly packaged "toy" as my girlfriend called it and trade up(more$) for the ICOM IC-R2........couldn't be happier. it works great, I understand it and given the price and size I'm content to let my girlfriend think it is a toy!
FIREFIGHTER Rating: 4/5 Jun 9, 2002 10:45 Send this review to a friend
Very enjoyable radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is brief as I agree with most of what others have posted here. I am a captain of a rural fire district and we often combine our suppression efforts with BLM and State forestry firefighting crews. The Icom R2 allows for me to monitor aircraft frequencies for air ops when working in rugged terrian. I have been a scanner listener for some time. I'm just that though, a listener and not a electronic wizard. It was a challenge to figure out, but being a gagit type person, I found it fun to try to figure out. If I "lock it up" I just do a hard reset as per instructions and start over.

Galls catalog has what is called a pager case made from cordura material for 8.99 Makes a wonderful carring case. This and a small earbud speaker and I am set. I am very impressed by the reception for a small radio.

As far as power goes, I bought a regulated, AC to 3V DC converter, got some wooden doweling. Cut and taped the dowels to length as AA batts and put brass ends on the dowels and wired the converter wires to it. I had to then drill a notch on the side of the battery door for the wire to go through. Now I can run it on AC while at home.

I really like the ACR2 software from Butel Communications, very easy to use. Was not gutsy enough to build my own PC connector, so I bought it from Icom.

Pros; Small, Great reception, Cloning direct reads from the State's .INF system for frequency cloning to 2-way radios(of course I have to provide the plug

Cons; Wish it had alpha tagging, could scan a bit faster, and that one bank or all scanning mode is a pain.
N0PYH Rating: 4/5 Jun 4, 2002 16:57 Send this review to a friend
A fun little radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio put the fun back in scanning and portable listening for me! I'd prefer to give it a rating of 4.5 if that was a choice.

If you’ve only used Radio Shack or Uniden scanner radios there is a bit a of learning curve...but keep the thing in your hands for 2 or 3 days and the functions become clear and easy to understand.

I was very leery about getting a radio without a number keypad but it very quickly became evident that with the VFO I could actually tune to the frequency I wanted as quick...or QUICKER than with a keypad. Another thing I wanted was a BNC antenna connector. The R-2 uses SMA.

TIP: #1 Buy a SMA to SO 239 adaptor. Attach a length of wire to a banana plug and plug it into the SO 239 hole for a big improvement in reception! Great for shortwave, BCB and helps with FM reception also.

TIP: #2: buy 2 or 4 more high capacity rechargeable batteries. It’s cheaper and easier to keep the radio up and running.

TIP: #3: Turn off the display light and save battery power. It’s not needed during
the day...and easy to turn back on at night.

Intermod could be a problem depending on where you
live. Use the great PL tone capabilities of the radio, including the CTCSS search function. I
don’t have any problems with the plastic belt clip. In fact, the radio is so small and light I took mine off and just carry it around in my shirt pocket! With a long wire attached, my R-2 hears fine on the broadcast and shortwave band. No SSB though. I drive to work on the Interstate and its convenient to listen to CB channel 19 with a shirt-pocket receiver.

I think the audio for a radio this size is exceptional...but don’t expect to much. It’s not designed for hours of pleasing listening to BCB and shortwave...although FM audio is not bad. Use of an earphone or headset improves all audio fidelity.

I was expecting the scan speed of 10 channels per second to be a little slow but its not to bad. The search speed is much faster.

CONS: * The R-2 will only scan one of
its 8 banks at a time. (or all 8). Get around this by creating a bank that has your most scanned
frequencies in different services. Small inconvenience but it works.

* Not the best race scanner out there. (Remember..only scans 1 bank of 50 at a time..or all 400).

At $129.95...including the ICOM free software and cable’s a STEAL!
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