So far I am very pleased with it. One of my favorite features is “program scan auto memory write”. This feature allows scanning between two scan limits with all hits saved to memory channels 800-899 (no dups). There are ten scan edge pairs for setting up continuous scanning between any two freqs.
Another great feature is the ability to store a “select code” with any memory channel. Select codes are “S” (skip) and 0-9. This allows you to scan for only select code 3, for example, so that you can categorize all memories and scan for them easily. This is important since there are 900 regular memories plus the ten scan edge pairs.
I have no way of judging the sensitivity, selectivity, or IMD, or the receiver but I can say it is more sensitive, selective and noise-free than any of my ham band’s only VHF/UHF equipment. In fact, it is my
preferred receiver for 2m and 70cm.
Scan rates, delay times and may other features are programmable from the front panel.
It can be programmed to both a primary scan (simple, normal scan) as well as a lower priority background scan. For example, say you want to scan the VHF areo freqs from say 127-139 MHz to find out what was there and save any hits to memory while scanning the local trunked police
freqs at 840 MHz. Simple. Program in the police freqs in say memories
100 thru 150. Program in the scan edges of the areo band into one of
the scan edge pairs. Then select programmed scan with advanced scan
mode. Presto. While scanning the police freqs it will do double duty
and check for any activity on the areo bands. There are five simple
scan modes and three advanced modes. The duty cycle of the
foreground/background scans is, of course, programmable.
The computer interface is the same as previous Icom gear so you can control up to four receivers from a single computer port.
So far the only thing that I have a problem with is a relay cutting in when it switches above 800MHz (don’t know the exact freq).
Finally, since it is an all mode, continuous coverage receiver, there is absolutely nothing between 25 and 2000 MHz that you cannot receive.
They are extreeeeemly hard to get hold of. My wife bought mine through
Grove. The Icom folks at HAM-COM ’92 (Dallas) this weekend said that a
certain US government agency had purchased several thousand of them
because they were so much better than most of the mil-spec stuff…
Has Anyone Purchased An ICOM R7100 Yet?
I had an ICOM 7000 and got rid of it for the following reasons
1) San rate way too show – like a few channels per sec rather
then 28-38 channels per sec typical of the PRO2006 and AR1000XLT.
2) No banks. “Categories..” in the R1700… I’ll think about it?
3) No freq centering on the scan. My ICOM-7000 always stopped 5 Khz
too soon. Not a problem with the PRO2006.
I think that if all you want to do is listen in on a few freqs then the
R7000 (any maybe R7100) is a great “communications receiver”. But, if
you really want to scan, in my mind, the R7000 doesn’t quite make it.
Its computer-controlled scanning is anemic. Problem is that, since it does
not use any “banks”, it transfers VFO info across the serial port. This
is way too slow… like 2ch/sec.
Fix these problems… and I’ll buy one (again)
With computer control the scan rate can be as high as1000 channels/sec (even on the 7000).
The Icom 7000 and 7100 are not even remotely related (unless you consider Icom a relation 🙂 The 7000 was notorious for overheating and
several other problems, however, I feel that they have all been fixed
or improved with the 7100 and there are numerous bells and whistles on
the 7100 that no other scanner that I have seen has (such as VSC) and
the Icom Window Scan.
If all you do is listen to the local fire dept., then just about any old
Rat Crap scanner does.
COMPARING THE ICOM R7100 TO THE R7000 RECEIVER
[Note: The following information is gleaned from 6 years
experience with an R7000 and the past 3 days experience with
a brand new R7100. -BP]
The radio RF/IF/AF portions of the R7100 are similar to the
older R7000, but the R7100 is constructed using surface
mount parts. Consequently, the R7100 is smaller. A-B tests
indicate both the R7100 and Radio Shack PRO-2006 receivers
are about equally sensitive and more sensitive than the 6
year-old R7000. Both the R7000 and R7100 are much more
immune to intermod than the Uniden/Bearcat 760XLT and the
Many of the functions controlled by separate rotary switches
and potentiometers in the R7000 are controlled by pushbutton
switches and firmware in the R7100.
Deleted Tuning Meter, Added AFC
Too bad the R7000’s analog center reading meter function was
replaced with 3 indicators on the R7100. The R7100 has an
interesting AFC circuit, controlled by a front panel switch.
The AFC will automagically tune the receiver close to the
center frequency if you tune near an FM signal. You can
watch the frequency change as the AFC steps the receiver in
100 kHz increments. The AFC never quite tunes to the exact
center, but tunes within a window set by a different
amplifier circuit, so the station sounds good even though
the R7100 is slightly off-center frequency.
R7000 and R7100 users have the same choice of modes, but
they are easily selected from front panels controls in the
new R7100. A rear mounted slide switch is used for USB/LSB
selection in the R7000.
Fancy Firmware for Memory Organization and Scanning
The firmware in the R7100 is much more sophisticated, and a
brief article wouldn’t do it justice. There are 9 banks of
100 channels. Further, you can associate each channel with
1 of 10 groups. There are many possible ways to scan, more
than listed here. You can scan:
all channels in a given group
all channels in a given group in a given bank
all channels in a given emission mode
all channels in a given emission mode in a given bank
As with most other scanners, there is a lockout bit for each
channel, so you don’t have to scan the NOAA weather channel
even though you have it in memory.
There are 10 pairs of search limits. The search and store
(“memory write”) scan mode lets you store 100 frequencies
instead of the 20 in R7000. Another R7100 improvement is
that you can program up to 100 channels for the R7100 to
skip while searching. I used this for searching for federal
stations in the 162-170 MHz range while skipping the NOAA
weather channels 162.55, 162.4, and 162.475 MHz, as well as
some veteran’s hospital paging channels.
The R7100 has 2 VFOs, but Icom calls them windows. There
are several window scan modes, but they resemble priority
scan modes in a Bearcat scanner.
New Memory Query Feature
The R7100, like the Bearcat 200xlt, has a feature which
allows you to detect memory channels programmed with dupli-
Tuning Step Selections
The R7000 tuning step size is selected using a rotary
switch. The R7100 tuning step size is selected by using a
pushbutton to step through the selections. The R7100 has
more choices, including a 100 kHz step, useful for tuning
around the aircraft bands.
Another new R7100 feature is that a tuning step size can be
stored into each of the 900 memory channels, so when you use
the tuning knob to tune off a memory channel, the R7100
tunes in reasonable increments (e.g., 12.5 kHz in the 450
MHz range, 10 kHz in the VHF-low band, etc.).
Rescan Delay Added, but Nondefeatable
Icom finally included a decent 2 second rescan delay in the
R7100 which owners complained was missing from the R7000.
Ironically, you cannot defeat the rescan delay in the R7100,
so it’s now more difficult to scan trunked systems in which
the frequency changes with each new repeater transmission!
It’s ironic that the R7000 lacked a rescan delay.
Power Supply and More
The internal power supply in both radios runs hot. The
R7100 comes with a 12 VDC power cord included, an option in
The R7000 comes with a handy carrying handle and rubber
feet, an $8.50 option on the R7100.
Added Clock and Timers
Unlike the R7000, the R7100 contains a digital clock and
timers which can be used to turn the radio on an off, and
tune to different channels, several times each day. I prob-
ably won’t be using timers, though.
What to Buy
The R7100 is more complicated to use than the R7000. There
are so many firmware controlled features and there are
several 2 key sequences.
Faced with choosing between an R7000 or an R7100 in a similar price range, I prefer the R7100. Sensitivity aside, both are about equal communications receivers, but the R7100 is a better scanner, especially for finding new frequencies and organizing memory.