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IC-R9000 was a communications receiver, introduced around 1989 by ICOM in Osaka (Japan) for use in profesional applications, such as frequency spectrum monitoring. Given the professional specifications and the reasonable price tag, it was an attractive alternative to the expensive high-end surveillance receivers from other manufacturers like Rohde & Schwarz and Telefunken.

The receiver has the other dimensions of a 19" rackmountable case and is quite heavy. It has a clear front panel with the regular adjustment and readouts at the left, a cathode ray tube (CRT) screen at the centre and a keypad at the right.

Below the CRT screen are button and indicators for a number of special features, some of which are menu-driven. Immediately to the right of the CRT is a row of push-buttons for selection of the required modulation type (MODE). The R-9000 is cable of receiving AM, FM, LSB, USB CW and FSK signals, with wide, middle or narrow bandwidth.
ICOM IC-R9000 communications receiver

In the Netherlands, the IC-R9000 was used by the Radio Monitoring Service (RCD, AT) as part of the PAN-2000 mobile intercept system that was introduced in the mid-1990s. For that purpose, the IC-R9000 was modified and improved at several points, mainly to reduce spurious signals.

The IC-R9000 was introduced in 1989 for ~ EUR 4500, and was in production for more than 15 years. In 1999 it was replaced by the nearly identical IC-R9000L which featured an LCD display instead of the amber CRT. The L-version was in production until 2006, when it was succeeded by the much improved IC-R9500. The latter has an extended frequency range to 3000 MHz (3 GHz).

ICOM IC-R9000 communications receiver ICOM IC-R9000 seen from the front Rear view Front panel Rear side
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ICOM IC-R9000 communications receiver
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ICOM IC-R9000 seen from the front
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Rear view
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Front panel
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Rear side

Below is an overview of the controls at the front panel of the IC-R9000. At the left are the regular adjustments for volume, squelch, RF gain, etc. At the top is a large illuminated signal strength indicator (S-meter), which can also be used as a discriminator tuning indicator (CENTER meter).

ICOM IC-R9000 front panel controls

At the center is a xx inch monochrome (amber) cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor that is used for displaying menu options and the spectrum scope. It can be turned off when it isn't needed – preventing it from burning in – and its brightness can be adjusted with a recessed knob along the bottom row of the front panel. Below the monitor are several buttons for selecting the menu options and for controlling some special features, such as AFC, attenuator and the display itself.

To the right of the monitor is a numeric keypad plus a column of buttons to select the desired modulation type. Below the keypad is a large rotary dial that can be used to adjust the frequency. At the far right are additional features, such as filter selection and memory bank selection.

ICOM IC-R9000 rear panel connections

The diagram above provides a quick overview of the most important connections at the rear of the receiver. At the far left is the mains socket, with a fuse to its right. To the right of the power supply unit (PSU) is a socket for powering the device with a 13.5V DC source. Note that 12V DC is not enough and that the red jumper wire must be installed when powering the device from the mains. At the far right are three antenna sockets for the corresponding three frequency ranges.

When used as part of the PAN-2000 intercept receiver, the Dutch Radio Monitoring Service (RCD) made a number of changes to the IC-R-9000. Below is a non-exhaustive list of known changes:

  • Mains PSU removed to reduce weight
  • Discriminator output added
  • Various CINCH sockets replaced by BNC sockets (to make it more robust)
  • AGC disabled
  • Fixed gain adjusted for 1st IF stage
  • Video monitor disabled (to save power)
  • IF route changed
  • IF filter characteristics changed
 Detailed description of the modifications


Interior - top side Interior - bottom side Demodulator unit IF unit
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Interior - top side
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Interior - bottom side
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Demodulator unit
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IF unit

  • Frequency
    100 kHz — 2000 MHz (1 GHz)
  • Modes
  • Memories
  • Power
    Mains (90—240V AC), or 13.8V DC
  • Current
    3A @ 15V DC
  • Dimensions
    424 x 365 x 150 mm
  • Weight
    20 kg
  1. IC-R9000, Instruction Manual
    Icom Inc. 1989.

  2. IC-R9000L, Instruction Manual
    Icom Inc. 1999.

  3. IC-R9000L, Service Manual
    Icom Inc. 1989.
  1., IC-R9000
    Retrieved July 2018.

  2. RigPix database, Icom IC-R9000
    Retrieved July 2018.

  3. Most common questions for the Icom IC-R-9000
    ICOM America, Inc. 1997.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Thursday 12 July 2018. Last changed: Tuesday, 28 August 2018 - 06:31 CET.
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