The Icom PCR1000

What is it?

The Icom PCR1000 is a computer controlled communications receiver it covers from 100Khz to 1.3 Ghz in all modes AM.FM, WFM and SSB. It is completely computer controlled, there are no adjustable controls on the receiver itself just an on/off switch.
The PCR1000 is not in any way an SDR or Software defined Radio. It is like any other communications receiver or transceiver which can be controlled via a PC. The difference is you must use a PC to control this receiver.

Here are some views of my PCR1000

 From the top showing the built in speaker

The front panel with the on/off switch

The Rear panel with connectors for 96K Packet, RS232 computer control, External computer, DC power in, ground terminal and BNC antenna connector

All the controls are via the computer software. The Icom software gives you the choice of three different screens or receiver "skins". The most comprehensive is the one pictured above.
Below is the screen that resembles a VHF/UHF Scanner 

 There is also an HF comms receiver type style.

My Operating impressions.

As a scanner the PCR1000 works well. It appears to be reasonable sensitive, the memories are fairly easy to program  and if the Icom supplied software is not to your taste third party software is available which provides greater memory capacity, more flexible scanning etc. The Icom software  which I downloaded for my PCR1000 works quite happily under Windows XP and Windows 7. The receiver although it has an RS232 serial port works well with a USB to serial converter.

As an HF receiver the PCR1000 is not the best. It overloads easily. In my opinion it is best thought of as a scanner with the ability to tune the HF bands as an added extra. Using the PCR1000 on shortwave with an external antenna you are likely to need to use the attenuator button quite a lot!

Remember that the PCR1000 has only a single antenna input. If you wish to take advantage of its wide coverage you will really need an antenna splitter or duplexer so an antennas suitable for both HF and VHF/UHF can be connected.

It is possible to control the receiver over a network, and therefore remotely over the internet. I have used mine over a home network, controlling things from a laptop in another room. The Icom software will be no help with this though, you will need some third party software and work out a way to send the audio from the receiver over the network.

The PCR1000 has been discontinued for some time. Its replacement the ICOM PCR1500 is currently available. I believe the PCR1500 uses a USB connector rather than a serial port. The PCR1000 seems to command prices of between £100 and £150 on Ebay at the time of writing (May 2010).

A useful website dealing with the PCR1000 can be found here.