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Icom IC-R3 Receiver Guide

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The DoC is proud to present a resource for radio hacking and experimentation.

This reference is for the Icom IC-R3 scanner radio, it is advised that people use their radio responsibly and legally.



This is a reasonable scanner capable of receiving from 0.495-2450.095 MHz (with exception of cellular communications bands for US Models).

It has 450 memory locations (8 banks of 50 channels plus 50 scan edges) and weights in around 10.6oz (300g) with batteries. Although it is not MIL-STD or as rugged many HTs on the market it is still somewhat durable.

What is Unique about this product is it's ability to receive and display video signals (TV, ATV and some home security signals)

Sadly there are many weaknesses in the product, these include lack of a numerical keypad, no discriminator output (it does have audio and video though), limited video support outside of the TV range, and a very slow scan rate even when compared to other scanners.

The radio is estimated to be 20-30db deaf on video outside the broadcast band (compared to comparable hardware) although it appears reasonable in the normal UHF 500-800MHz broadcast band. Another major weakness is its inability to receive FM video in the 2 and 2.5 GHz bands which are the most common encoding method (making it a joke as a real video reciver).

In short the ICOM IC-R3 is an AUDIO receiver with the bonus of broadcast TV video, it is NOT a video scanner. The unit also can not receive multiple video modes, that is if you have a PAL unit you can not receive NTSC or other types of PAL formats. Thus American (NTSC) models have limited usage outside the US and vice versa.

The battery life suffers with the video screen (1.5 hours) on but with the screen off can last all day (but then why buy a IC-R3 if you did not get it for the video functionality).

Scanning is done at a mere XX channels a second, while this does not compare well to the average high end devices that do 42 to 80 a second it is clearly better then a HT transceiver such as a FT-50 or ICOM T8.

Manual / Software

A scanned copy of the manufacturers manual is available at
The schematic is available at
The IC-R3 circuit description is available at
For printed copies please contact the manufacturer


There are no known modifications for this radio at this time.


Manufacturer's WWW page:
A review from StrongSignals
Yahoo egroup:

Maintained by OldWolf <> & Peter Shipley <> PI

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