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Author Topic: Don't throw away your old equipment!  (Read 11058 times)

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Allocator

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Don't throw away your old equipment!
« on: August 26, 2009, 06:51:03 am »
Here is my 'latest' RadarBox and radio scanner setup :-)

The scanner is a Realistic Pro-2042 with an OptoScan 535 interface board that I fitted back in 2000 (or there abouts).  The PC is one I made up from bits in the shed and it's running MSDOS 6.22 - and yes, I do have the original installation disks!  The scanning software is Probe from DataFile Inc and it is by far the best scanner control software I have ever run.  Unfortunately, Probe doesn't support any of the modern scanners (I think that the PCR1000 is the latest it supports).

For the moment, I've turned my back on my PCR1500 and it's Icom software, because it's just not that flexible in the way it works.  Just goes to show that new and expensive isn't always the best!

http://www.datafileinc.com/

EMA

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2009, 07:32:14 am »
Allocator if you lived near my location you would need the PCR1500 because of the break through from all the local transmitters the 2042 would just pick up spurious signals and not scan on VHF.

Although I do remember from a previous post when you thought the PCR1500 worked well with airnav perhaps in a few years it will find a loving home again ;-)

PS Apparently Icom have now ceased production of the PCR1500 so the prices are expected to rise (According to the dealers), you may get more for it secondhand than you paid for it new.:-)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 07:47:56 am by EMA »

Allocator

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2009, 11:34:46 am »
I do like the PCR1500, but I wish that the software interface was more flexible or there was more choice of software to run it.

The Probe software just does so much more - and without the need for a mouse!  Just a few things that spring to mind:

- Lightning fast scanning - I set it at 60 to 80 frequencies per second
- On screen history display of the last 20 or so frequencies as they scroll down
- Instant access to scan Bank and Frequencies from the scanning screen
- Instant and easy frequency/Bank and Group setting
- Count of 'hits' and marking of those frequencies in the list
- Copy, move, export of any marked frequencies in the list
- Create a new scan Bank from the marked frequencies
- import and export of csv frequency lists
- Activate recording settings
- Alerts, both audio and visual

and so the list goes on ...... and on!

If I could run my PCR1500 using this software, I would be very happy, but it's serial port control not USB as it's DOS based.  It will run on Win 98 and aslo ox XP (with a bit of cheating), but not as fast as with DOS.

My next experiment will be to run the PCR1500 alongside on the Netbook.

EMA

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2009, 05:42:46 pm »
I did have an Icom 8500 base receiver and the performance of the PCR1500 equals the 8500 for civil and military airband. I have used the PCR1500 with my Asus 1000HA Netbook and it works fine its a shame the Icom weighs in at more than the Netbook!

I was not surprised to find out from Icom that several military customers use this receiver due to its excellent filtering. I did used to have a PCR1000 but vista killed that one because vista hates serial ports :-)

pcochrane12

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2009, 06:10:48 pm »
i,m running the 2500 and the bearcat 780xlt and find the icom blows the 780 away on quality when used in the mil freq zone and when i use it to decode acars signals
paul

EMA

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2009, 06:14:21 pm »
Hi Paul

I had a 785XLT for a while and it was awfull, the only drawback with the PCR is it requires a PC.

The 785 suffered breakthrough from VHF voice stations.

Kevin
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 06:16:25 pm by EMA »

pcochrane12

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2009, 07:38:16 pm »
hi kevin
yep i find the 780 front end is easily overloaded with local taxi radios and other such users usually have to keep the attenuator selected
as you say the pcr is limited however i went with the 2500 to give me the optional controller never really used it though tend to have the unit plugged into hf or vhf acars signals and run it into planplotter
paul

Fenris

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2009, 09:55:46 pm »
I do like the PCR1500, but I wish that the software interface was more flexible or there was more choice of software to run it.

I know very little about this software, but it does mention that it supports the PCR-1500 and appears to allow it to be driven via a web interface.

Worth a look?


http://www.shortwavelog.com/

Allocator

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2009, 10:14:07 pm »
Thanks for that.  I've had a quick look, but it looks more like a shortwave logging and database program rather than scanning software.

GlynH

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2009, 09:02:22 am »
Hey Allocator,

Did you ever take a look at the WinRadio G3* series receivers?

http://www.winradio.com/home/receivers.htm

These things thrive on software...I wanted one of the the Icom PCR1500/2500 receivers until I saw the WR in the flesh so to speak...

Thought I would miss the lack of a hardware dial but it has never bothered me at all.

There's not much you can't decode or do with it especially when you see the additional software you can get for it.

http://www.winradio.com/home/software.htm

It also uses its own programming language so you can write your own XRS plug-ins for it if you are that way inclined.

http://xrs.winradio.com/

There is even a free version of a Basic programming language called RBasic (or RadioBasic);

http://www.rbasic.com/

Do I sound like a fanboy? ;^)

Going back to your Icom there is some software - Bonito RadioCom I think it is called that should work with the IC-PC* series;

http://www.bonito.net/infos/en_ham_rc60.htm

DOS 6.22? Still have my original discs here somewhere along with MS WfW 3.11, MS Office 4.3 and all 40-odd discs of Novell 3.12!

Kind regards,
-=Glyn=-
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 09:16:03 am by GlynH »

Jeremy

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2009, 03:47:21 pm »
Glyn,
Do you have a winradio? They look very interesting.
Is there a facility to attach lables to a specific freq? i.e. 120.400 Heathrow.
Perhaps you could reply off line as I do not want occupy the forum with another product.
Jeremy.
G4DOQ
QRZ.com

EMA

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 04:10:19 pm »
I did try one of the earlier winradios but it was a very deaf receiver, that may have changed now.

One nice touch of the PCR is the ability to receive NOAA weather satellite transmissions because it has the correct filter width.

GlynH

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2009, 07:42:58 pm »
Jeremy, replied via PM.

EMA, earlier models were criticised for appearing to be 'deaf' but it was always seen as a trade-off between that and the ability to reject unwanted signals I believe.

No problems with my G305e I can assure you. A friend of mine who has been using scanners for many years says my WiNRADiO is at least as good as his Yaesu VR 5000 at picking up signals and much better when it comes to decoding them

No problem either with satellite weather fax on the WiNRADiO - it seems made for the job;

http://www.winradio.com/home/ads-fax.htm

This is part of the essential Advanced Digital Suite;

http://www.winradio.com/home/ads.htm

Correct filter width? How does continuous IF bandwidth adjustment from 100 Hz to 15 kHz sound;

http://www.winradio.com/home/g305-demod.htm

Remarkable piece of kit but I am only just scratching the surface of what it can offer...just wait till I can drive it! ;^)

Kind regards,
-=Glyn=-
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 07:47:28 pm by GlynH »

Jeremy

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2009, 09:06:23 pm »
Rxed Glyn. with thanks. sounds good!
jeremy
G4DOQ
QRZ.com

EMA

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Re: Don't throw away your old equipment!
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2009, 09:15:14 pm »
Sounds good Glyn although comparing it to a Yaesu VR5000 would put many off. The best stand alone receiver in my opinion is the AOR5000 sadly no longer in production. I used to test and compare radio receivers many years ago and at one point had sixteen of them lined up. How times have changed no more CW,  RTTY and Packet decoding, SAtcomm, etc. The digital age has killed all the interesting radio comms off but on the positive side we now have Radarbox decoders :-)