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Reviews For: Icom IC-R8600

Category: Receivers: General Coverage

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Review Summary For : Icom IC-R8600
Reviews: 7MSRP: 3000
10kHz – 3GHz

Decodes digital including P25, NXDN™, D-STAR

RX analog including USB, LSB, FSK, CW, AM, S-AM, FM & WFM
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
LX1DH Rating: 2019-09-18
Excellent receiver with too many crashes Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The Icom IC-R8600 is an excellent receiver, based entirely on SDR. It is powerful and its coverage is really extensive since it covers SHF while benefiting from the waterfall display.

However, I will not give it a maximum score of 5 because it often "crashes" especially in remote mode despite the lastest firmware installation. Once the connection is lost due to the crash, there is no way to reconnect without having to cut the power.

Fortunately, Icom's engineers are smart guys and when the device is turned back on, it stays in the mode before crashing.

I solved this problem plugging the receiver into an Internet controlled socket (IoT) which allows me to remotely turn the power off and on again. I certainly recommend this universal receiver.
G3OZN Rating: 2019-07-30
GREAT RX Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Icom has excelled itself here! in all aspects (so far) takes some getting used too but well worth the time taken, the supplied hard copy manual is well laid out and very comprehensive,read it thouroughly to master all the RX functions. One slight moan however, at this price it would be reasonable to expect the handle to be included! The cloning software (purchased seperately) is satifactory but no big deal (again why not included in the package?)
Would I reccommend it? most certainly.
W7KRS Rating: 2018-12-31
Great radio! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
The radio is small in size but has an incredible amount of capabilities! Being able to switch the meter from the standard "S meter" to dBm or dBuV is very useful for broadcast or V/U communications work for field strength measurements. During a recent storm, our power went out so I immediately hooke this radio up to a 12v battery and tuned around for the next 4 or so hours. Amazed to tune in the VLF range (10 KHz to 500 KHz) and find nothing but actual signals there. No switching power supplies, computers, electric motors, plasma TV's etc. Logged 64 different VLF beacons using an 80m OCF dipole. Tuned around through HF and a bit in V/U range and couldn't find anything other than actual signals. Honestly, when the commercial power is "on," it's pretty hard to fully appreciate the abilities of this radio! Updated firmware and using the I/Q output for HDSDR and SDR console. Both work excellent with this. DMR is not included in the radio itself but having the I/Q output allows you to to that. You could also connect the 10.7 IF out to another SDR. Lots of choices really. (Others have posted how to do this in other places.) Scanning is fast and radio is solidly built. No FM stereo but that too can be handled externally.
K1FPV Rating: 2018-03-25
First Class General Coverage Receiver ! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Having bought an IC-7300 when they first hit the market (nearly a year ago), I have to admit that I was impressed. Especially with the 2 firmware updates.

Well, I decided to purchase the IC-R8600 to replace my ICR-71A and my IC-R7000. It is nice having 1 radio to replace 2 others. I also had to update the firmware in the IC-R8600, but WOW! What a receiver! When I check frequency accuracy, it is right on especially after I ran a coax with my GPS locked 10 MHz reference to the receiver from my repair bench.

That is 2 Home Runs for Icom in recent months. Way to go Icom!
K7FD Rating: 2018-03-23
Solidly built, solid performer Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'll be the first to admit this receiver is more than I need and covers frequencies I will probably never visit. My interest pretty much caps off at about 450MHz. This one goes to 3000MHz! In fact, my primary focus is BCB DX'ing and some casual shortwave listening. And a little scanning of the local public safety bands.

The manual is very good. You'll need it handy to squeeze out all the fun and features available in the 'R8600. If you have an Icom IC-7300 you'll be familiar with the GUI display. All settings are laid out in a logical fashion; the touch screen is about as good as they get.

Having the '7300 and also a Palstar R30C receiver, I was able to do some unscientific A/B comparisons on the AM broadcast band. The IC-R8600 was the clear winner in best reception...both signal strength and audio quality. Signals were on average 2 to 3 S-units stronger on the 'R8600 over the IC-7300 with MF Band ATT off...which is no slouch as an AM BCB receiver. The Palstar, too, is a very good receiver but came in a close third. My location is coastal/rural and I have not experienced any OVF indications while using the IC-R8600.

On the shortwave bands I was able to utilize the IC-R8600's synchronous AM demodulation. The sync immediately locks in improving reception. Very impressive, even on weak stations. My old Drake R-8 had AM synchronous detection but failed to maintain a steady lock on a station. Not so with the Icom.

Fit and finish is of the high quality Icom is known for. The receiver is slightly smaller in size than the IC-7300. The main VFO knob is also slightly smaller...but comes with a very comfy rubber ring around the knob. Tuning is smooth and accurate.

IMHO, the IC-R8600 SDR LW, MW, and HF portion of the receiver is an IC-7300 on steroids. Whatever you hear on the '7300, the 'R8600 hears it better. Whether the difference is worth the price is up to the listener.

John K7FD

W7JMW Rating: 2018-01-09
Fantastic Radio, Software Not So Good Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have had this radio for about six weeks. It is an amazing piece of equipment. I have owned many receivers over the past 40 years including the vaunted Drake R8A and R8B models. This radio blows them all out of the water. The controls are intuitive, the ability to adjust almost all parameters is fantastic and the scope with waterfall is particularly useful.

Sensitivity and selectivity are top notch across the entire frequency coverage range. I have used the radio in LW, MW, HF, VHF and UHF so far and have not found anything to detract from my high praise. I can't speak directly to fidelity as I am using a third party noise reducing speaker rather than the ones offered by Icom but the sound through my speaker is great.

The rear panel options are pretty terrific too. From mute and line out, to LAN control and USB to 10.7 MHz discriminator output, it's all there.

The radio is pricey but I found mine for $2,300.00 on sale. It is well worth the cost if you can afford it. You won't be disappointed.

RS-8600 and CS-8600 cloning/programming software. The RS-8600 remote software is an exercise in frustration getting it to work over LAN but it is nice to be able to be anywhere in the house and use the radio remotely on my laptop. That is once I got it to function. I have not tried over the Internet control. The software is lacking. Many of the radio's controls are not available in the software. Also you can't read memories from the radio through the remote software, you have to create an independent memory file from within the software. Very user unfriendly. Hopefully Icom will address this with future updates.

The cloning/programming software is terrible and it does not work with the remote control software, the two even use different file formats! Wait on RT Systems. They are presently working on a package for the R8600 and I am sure it will be as good as all of their offerings. In the end, the software packages are way overpriced for what you get. They should be included for no cost given what you shell out for the radio.

Bottom line: Fantastic radio, so-so software.
ZL1LK Rating: 2017-12-28
AWESOME Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I've owned my 8600 software defined radio for about six months and I'm very please with it. Receiver is EXCELLENT across the whole frequency range, the band scope and waterfall are very handy.

I have updated the firmware to version 1.30 so I can now use it with the HDSDR software which works great.

Two things on my wish list that I hope Icom will do a firmware update on is to include DMR in the digital modes and PSK with decoding.

Decoding FSK work great.

If you're thinking and about wide band receiver, this is it!!!