11 May 2019
Old-School Redux: Radio Shack PRO-43 Scanner
The year was 1992, and this was the top of the line handheld scanner that Radio Shack had to offer. Its performance blew away the PRO-34 it replaced, and it'll still give more modern scanners a run for their money. I sold my first one years ago to someone who wanted it more than I did, and spent the proceeds on a Uniden BC-250D with the optional P25 decoder board. Been looking a while now for one in mint condition, as most out there have been heavily (ab)used. Finally found one that is so mint the diode hasn't even been clipped on it to restore full 800 MHz. coverage. No, I'm not going to bother doing it.
As an analog AM/FM scanning receiver for common LMR bands, there are few handhelds that will beat its performance. It was the communications monitoring operative's unit of choice during the 1990s until trunking and P25 systems started becoming more common. There is one that looks pretty mint on Ebay right now for $100. I'd consider that a reasonable price, although I didn't pay that much for mine.
I once knew a CI agent and former Cybertek subscriber, now deceased, who used a PRO-43 with some old Motorola Flip Phones when he needed to do audio work. He was also fond of modifying baby monitors. Shades of Frank and the FLMA (Chapter 5), anyone?
Documentation and service manuals are available for download at http://www.repeater-builder.com/radio-shack/radio-shack-index.html.
Anyway, I've been looking for a nice one for a while now, and I'm glad I finally found it. If you come across one in decent working shape at a hamfest you should go buy it. It'll work a hell of a lot better as a receiver than that Baofeng HT.