Icom R6 programming

A year or so back I decided that I wanted a small scanner that I could keep in my Bag O’ Tricks ™. The notion was that in a crisis I wanted a way to monitor what was going on around me. The criteria was that it had to be of good quality, run on AA batts, have as broad a range as possible, and be extremely compact. I eventually settled on the  ICOM R6. 

It is indeed small and handy. But thats part of the problem. To pack in all those features into a tiny little envelope, there’s a good deal of button pressing and less-than-intuitive key-combinations. I’d been meaning to take advantage of the radios ability to interface with my computer and use the computer to program the bloody thing. To that end, I wound up with this.

Basically, what I wanted was something that was menu- or spreadsheet-driven where I could just enter a list of frequencies, delegate them into selectable banks, and label them as necessary. This software does a pretty good job of that.

I’d been meaning to get around to getting the software but I had blown it off as other things in life took precedent. However, after being flat on my back last week during the earthquake and having no idea what was going on, a little pack-of-cigarettes size receiver would have been exactly what I needed to find out how the situation was forming up.

Ticom, of Sparks 31 fame, is my usual resource for info on all things radio but he can be a little tough to find sometimes. If you can find him, or find his blog (which seems to move around from time to time), he’s a wonderful like-minded individual with an expansive encyclopedic knowledge.

So…I reprogrammed the R6 with all the info I had on local fire, cop, EMS, sheriff, and other freqs…threw in the FRS range of freqs as well…and feel a tad more confident to be informed should we have another event where I am caught absolutely flat footed.

Link- Signals Handbook

This is an absolutely fascinating post about small-unit communications. It’s quite informative and worth reading. I’m not qualified to say whether it’s good information or not but it appears quite useful and, if nothing else, is food for thought on the subject. Go check it out.

Crasche not-a-helmet, Sony radio, seeds

These look interesting. They’re knit caps that incorporate lightweight protective inserts. No substitute for a PASGT or similar helm, but when you want to have your melon protected from casual abuse and want to be discrete, these look like an interesting choice. Looks less dorky than your average bicycle helmet.


Picked up one of these the other day. (Sony ICF-SW7600GR AM/FM Shortwave World Band Receiver with Single Side Band Reception, plus External Plug-in Antenna) I’d been wanting a relatively inexpensive portable battery-powered radio that would also pick up SW and this one seemed to get great reviews. I’ve been playing with it for a few days an am liking it quite a bit. At some point I’ll spend the big bucks for a more ‘serious’ receiver but for now this’ll do. I like listening to news broadcasts from other countries. It’s just good sense to get your news from as many sources as possible and I especially like foreign news services’ take on things.


Our shipment of seeds from Victory Seed showed up last week. Personally, I like starting them indoors as early as possible so I need to get off my butt and get them going. Peppers and tomatoes FTW. Sometimes I am amazed at the size and productivity of plants that I can grow out of a 5-gallon-bucket. I have a fantasy about someday having a piece of property with a natural hot spring on it. One thing I’d do is run that water through some piping and heat a nice glass-block greenhouse with it. Year-round vegetables, baby. Man, that’d be sweet.