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Icom PCR-1000, last updated 2016-11-30
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Icom PCR-1000

One of the requirements of the UK Amateur licence is the need to measure spurious emissions from the station.  I thought it was about time I picked something up to carry out this chore.

One of the ops on uk.radio.amateur uses the PCR-1000 along with a software packaged called TalkPCR to analyse the output, the advantage is that the PCR-1000 is a general purpose scanner which can be automated from the PC so it has many other uses.  This seemed like the most attractive option, as I was after buying a scanner anyway.

This little box has exceeded my expectations by a large margin.  There are a few gripes, nothing major.  First, the supplied antenna is a POS.  Second, the software provided gets second prize when compared with a lot of the freeware out there.  Finally, the audio output bandwidth is limited to 20kHz - if I could raise this, it would be possible to decode stereo FM on the PC - the 19kHz pilot tone is clearly visible, but no 38k or sidebands.  I don't know if this is done in firmware or if component changes are required...

Ok, so what is it?  The PCR-1000 is a communications receiver with several IF bandwidths (230kHz down to 2.8kHz), and all-mode coverage from 10kHz to 1300MHz.  There are no controls other than the on/off switch, everything is done from the PC!  A serial cable connects the PCR to the computer, and an audio out is available too - handy for timed recordings or satellite reception.
TalkPCR has a lot more features than the supplied software, in my view easier to use too. You can download TalkPCR from here.
Click here for more details on using the PCR-1000 as a spectrum analyser.

 

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