Getting an Icom IC-PCR1000 working with Linux Mint

I’ve just got a second hand Icom IC-PCR1000 communications receiver and needed to get it working with Linux Mint.

The Icom IC-PCR1000
The Icom IC-PCR1000

What’s unique to this receiver is that its a standalone unit which connects to a computer via RS232C (it dates from 1999) and covers the entire 10kHz to 1300MHz range (there is a US version which has US mobile frequencies blocked).

Now obviously most modern computers don’t have native serial ports these days so I’m using a USB-Serial adapter to connect it.


So to get it working with Linux. First ignore the floppies – they only contain software for Windows and even if you wanted to use it, the contents are available online anyhow.

Next plug it in to your Linux box. You’ll need a standard mini-plug audio cable which you’ll plug in to the Ext-SP socket on the radio and the other end into either Line-In or Microphone (some systems they are the same one).

Next you need is a recent version of a utility called pcrd. There’s actually two versions out there but the one I’m using is from

From that page download the source for v0.12 and extract it. This should give you a pcrd-0.12 dircectory. Next you need to compile it:

peter@titan ~ $ cd pcrd-0.12
peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ make linux

Trying it out

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 89.100 wfm 230


  • /dev/ttyUSB0 is the USB-Serial port.
  • -v is the volume in hexadecimal, so 00 is off, ff is full on.
  •  89.100 is BBC Radio 2 here in the South East of the UK.
  • wfm is the mode, so for broadcast FM radio you need to use Wide FM
  • 230 is the filter to use. If you leave this out it will default to 15 kHz

That’s effectively all that’s needed, sort of.

Here’s a few other stations to try:

BBC Radio Kent

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 96.7 wfm 230

BBC Radio 4 FM

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 93.6 wfm 230

BBC Radio 4 Long Wave – essential for Test Match Special, as long as you have the right antenna 😉

peter@titan ~/pcrd-0.12 $ ./pcrd -d /dev/ttyUSB0 -v 40 0.198

No audio?

You might have a problem with getting the audio being fed to your speakers. This seems to be a common problem with Linux mint, but there’s a solution:

First make sure you have pulseaudio-utils installed:

peter@titan ~ $ sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-utils

Next you need to add the loopback module:

peter@titan ~ $ pactl load-module module-loopback latency_msec=10

You should see a microphone icon appear next to the clock and, hopefully, the audio being fed through to the speakers.

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