Discontinued Wideband Receivers. Again at only 2. And it is big on coverage, tuning from kHz to The triple conversion circuit provides amazing sensitivity for the size. It has alphanumeric memories storing: frequency, mode, step size, duplex direction and offset, CTCSS tone, tone squelch and skip settings. A built in ferrite bar antenna improves AM band MW performance.
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The Icom R5 is tiny by comparison to other "receivers. The R5 is an attractive little receiver. Its gloss black outer shell gives an impression of quality. The R5 is built very sturdy. The outer case is plastic but has a very rugged feel to it, despite its small size.
The R5 weighs only 6 oz. The control buttons have a good textile feel to them. They offer good feedback when pressing them. The VFO knob is large enough to be comfortable when turning and offers good feel with its detenting while turning.
The battery compartment is securely closed with a clasp type lock. The LCD is easy to read and has a nice bright backlight! The alpha tags, although limited to 6 characters are large and easy to read, as are the signal strength meter, and other symbols displayed.
When scanning banks, the display can either show you the frequency, memory name, bank name or channel number. You can change this as you wish but you can only display one at a time. The speaker is located under the control buttons. The audio is nice on such a small rig. Audio is much better on the R5 as compared to the Yaesu VR The Icom IC-R5 is a very sensitive receiver. The R5 does have a rather slow scan sped at only 10 channels per second or 30 steps per second when searching.
Albeit this is not a scanner but a "Communications Receiver" as is plainly printed on the front of the IC-R5. This can be somewhat evasive unless you hold on a channel and catch a lengthy transmission so that it has time to find the correct tone. Also has tuning steps of 5, 6. Weather Alert is a feature on the Icom R5 that works, and it works well.
I think it is more like 2 seconds. If you are listening to the scanner, you will hear a break in audio every couple seconds. I usually set the R5 on a frequency I know won't have traffic, and let the Weather Alert do its thing. I like the fact that this was added as a feature on the R5. US Version Only. HF Bands. This isn't the best receiver you can buy for shortwave listening and other HF DXing, however it does receive the stronger stations quite well at night.
But don't expect great performance in this band. AM Radio. Even with the built-in ferrite bar antenna, the AM reception stinks. You'd be better off going with a more dedicated AM radio if you were interested in that band. VHF-Low Band. I don't have much in this band to monitor in my area.
I have monitored some local VHF-low signals in the But no long distance monitoring. VHF-High Band. This is where the Icom IC-R5 shines.
It pulls in VHF High signals like nobody's business. I am extremely impressed with the receive capability in this range. I can consistently monitor VHF-High frequencies from 30 to 50 miles on a daily basis with ease. Now keep in mind I am not using the stock antenna.
I use an extendable antenna that came off of a Pro scanner, but even with the stock antenna the little receiver does extremely well. But adding a band specific antenna really shows the receivers strength! UHF Band. Again, very little UHF traffic in my area. I only have about 2 frequencies that are of interest to me in this area and I have not had an opportunity to test them on this receiver, sorry.
The R5 is decent on MHz. I can pull in signals from 40 miles using MHz band specific antenna however I cannot do this consistently. Usually late in the evening, is when these signals roll in. Almost everything within reasonable distance to me is P25 digital so I can only hear the data. Civilian and Military Air.
Again, the R5 is a good air band receiver and is why many people buy this receiver. It has the 8. It is very sensitive in the Civ Air band but also seems to be plagued with interference in this band range, at least in my area. MilAir is a little more tricky as I have only had the chance to catch a couple of active frequencies but seems to do well in this range, but is also plagued with interference. Audio on the R5 is surprisingly loud for such a small receiver.
It is loud enough for most mobile use situations. For indoor, it is more than powerful enough. It has crisp clean audio that does not distort at higher levels. I like the fact that the audio control is on the face, the up and down buttons control the volume. This can be easily changed for those who prefer the VFO knob to control volume levels. The R5 has programmable memory channels. The attenuator is global and is not applied per channel, which is a small disappointment, but nothing major.
You can copy a memory channels contents to VFO or another memory channel which is handy for manual programming. You can have 1 priority channel as well and can "watch" it while memory is scanning, or VFO scanning. Battery Consumption. I use Energizer mAh rechargeable batteries. Truly a power sipping receiver! Great battery life! The battery life can be extended further by turning the back light off or to Auto only comes on when pressing buttons.
Squelch on the R5 is different in that it is digitally represented on the screen. You can set it to Open, Auto, or Level 1 - 9. I find that Auto works great on most everything. The Icom R5 is very difficult to use and understand the functions.
If not for the programming software, I think I would have given up. The controls and programming steps are awkward to say the least.
To be a great receiver, I almost was put off by the complexity of the operation of the receiver and I am no rookie. This is not for the novice or weak of heart. If you do buy, do yourself the favor and get the programming software and programming cable.
You will thank me! Don't expect the Owner's Manual to shed much light on the confusing interface. The OM is poorly written and is very hard to understand. The R5 only allows bank scanning by 1 or all. Meaning you cannot link banks together and scan them. You can either scan 1 bank, or you can scan all banks. This is annoying at times, but can also be overcome by adding duplicate channels to banks. When programming, you have to add a frequency to the master list, and then assign it to a bank.
So if you want 2 of the same frequencies in different banks, you have to add it twice to the master list and assign them to different banks. Just a minor annoyance. The lack of a full keypad is missed but does't really bother me that much. The missing keypad helps keep it's small footprint! Missing chunks of the MHz Band are another gripe from many users.
The frequency ranges covered by the Icom R5 are from 0. And So anything above Some public safety agencies operate in parts of that range and may be a problem for some.
Icom R5 Review by Safetyobc
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