Choosing the Icom R-2500 broadband receiver

With the acquisition earlier this year of Ettus Research by National Instruments, and the continued growth of GNU Radio and other easy-to-use SDR applications, why would I buy an analog Icom R-2500?

  1. for the bench, a simple knob and LCD radio is often most convenient, especially for drive tests
  2. The Ettus USRP2 100 Ms/s is just way too much for my applications of interest, and requires a powerful CPU to digest.
  3. The USRP2 requires daughterboards to receive at microwave, and they must be physically switched for particular frequency ranges.

The R2500 is sensitive for radio astronomy work yet selective enough to function on urban two-way radio frequencies. I can make a buffered 10.7 MHz IF output to feed the RFspace SDR-IQ as a 190 kHz bandwidth IF.

That’s not enough for GPS or Bluetooth but plenty for spectrum measurement. If it’s not in GNU Radio already, someone will make a block that will demodulate NXDN, P25, etc. using PC demodulation.