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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Radio Shack PRO-97 Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack PRO-97
Radio Shack PRO-97 Reviews: 26 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $199.99
Description: This unit features 1000 memory channels and Radio Shack's Signal Stalker II technology that captures signals that are transmitted in close proximity to your location. This unit also receives Trunked (ANALOG ONLY) Motorola, M/A-Com EDACS, and LTR systems.
Product is not in production.
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DJC996 Rating: 5/5 May 2, 2007 07:08 Send this review to a friend
Great Scanner  Time owned: more than 12 months
You can't knock this scanner for not having Digital capability because it does not have the price tag of a digital scanner.Someone knocked it for it's lack of sensitivity, well he was wrong or has a defective unit.This scanner is very sensitive and for the money and features it is hard to beat, if I had to nit pick I would say the scanner's inability to be flashed for rebanding may make it unusable for certain MOT trunked systems other than that it is a winner.
KB2FBI Rating: 5/5 Dec 16, 2006 13:23 Send this review to a friend
Good Bang for the Buck  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This radio is fine. It lacks only a digital system mode mode. (Buy Pro 96 if you need digital)

Flaw(s) The internal charger is iffy on mine.
The power adapter is extra
Cannot make a Motorola Channel a priority (At least I haven't learned how.) You can set a freq. as a priority. I set the WX channel and it works well.

Good stuff.
On-board charging if you buy the adapter.
Hears very well. I bought the 800mhz. bnc antenna and so this makes it even better. Stock antenna is OK, the 800 mhz is worth the 16 bucks.
Signal Stalker works well.
While plastic, I have dropped it (do not do this at home!) and it still works.
Works well mobile. (use my iPod sound connector to push the audio through the vehicle radio)

For $150 - good deal.
KB2FBI Rating: 5/5 Aug 4, 2006 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Audio update  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Love this guy. BUT, a few complain, and me once in a while, about audio; especially while mobile. Solution: same as my IPOD. I tried the FM radio xmtr to the vehicle's unsed FM freqs. Then, I have loud, clear audio. No problemo. Also, a recent buyer tossed me a note about programming. Best way, is to see/read a step-by-step for a sample system. This did it for me and I did it for the new guy. The yellow recharge batt. pack, sloshes around a bit and the plastic door does not hold them "snugly". There must be a "field fix" someone's thought of.
K5XS Rating: 5/5 Jul 27, 2006 19:59 Send this review to a friend
Pretty Good!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I would like to give it a 4.5, but since I can't, I'll give the scanner the benefit of the doubt.

I agree with most of the comments here. What I really like:

- Nice size
- Sig Stalker II (Contrary to someone else's comments here, I really find it useful and find it works well.)
- Uses stock AA batteries

What I wish were better:

- Audio quality
- Access to digital trunking

In comparing it to my BC-296D, I think it is not quite as sensitive (by a very small margin), and the audio isn't as good. But it beats the 296 in battery convenience (the 296 uses a proproetary battery pack) and with its nice Sig Stalker II feature.

It's a good deal right now at $150.
KBUJ4912 Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2006 13:59 Send this review to a friend
Review of features and functionality  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Pro 97 is built with sturdy construction in a compact size. The BNC antenna connector is firmly mounted and sturdier than previous models. The addition of a rubber plug for the ear piece socket is nice, but there are no plugs for the PC-IF and 9V DC sockets. These need to be plugged andI am searching for appropriate rubber.

The volume and squelch controls stacked on a single shaft is a good design, but I will be mounting custom knobs. The controls are nice and tight, however the did benefit from a tiny drop of oil. Caig Lab's 360 is the ticket.

As for programming, I had to convert my Pro 95 (.p95) file to be compatible with Pro 97 by starrsoft. Folks, register and pay the $25 for the the program, it's a professional tool. Once I had the Pro 97 loaded I turned it on and immediately heard the Motorola style fine-quality audio. Lots of power and it seems optimized to voice communicatons.

For $149.00 this scanner can be yours and it is well worth the investment, especially if you have teh programing cable and Starrsoft Pro 97 all loaded with your frequencies.

The manual is much better and more friendlier than the Pro 95's book. The type is large and the pages are bigger. It's a very generous layout that is easy to read, and make notes in.

Skywarn is built-in and very useful. Signal Stalker II is very handy in situations where you have just purchased the scanner and need to get deep into monitoring very quickly. This function allows you to "fish" around and find frequencies that are used radio-to-radio, rather than radio-to-repeater, and vice versa. It's also a nice way to check for RF pressence and to quick-sweep an area if you are concerned about RF eavesdropping. I feel that one may need a notch filter, similiar to the one Optoelectronics is now offering for their products, to filter out broadcast FM. But this may be useful only for a few specialist types. You decide.

The PRo 97 Keypad and key feel is improved and will hold up to fingering and cleaning. tactile feedback is nice and firm. The backlight is bright and can be used for a map, or close proximity viewing light in complete darkness. You may need to apply a darkening vinyl film if stealth is required.

I do wish that the battery door would be secured with a slide-lock, and I do feel that the scanners injection molded plastic would benefit from a Motorola style hard plastic. The Pro 97's case is smooth and tends to be slippery when humidity creeps in. Finally I wish the scanner would be built to Mil-Spec 810-F commonly seen in Motorola cell phones. Other than that I feel that this scanner is a winner, and it is in stock everyhwere.
KC5IMN Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2006 19:37 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the radio and the cable for programming. I used Win-97 with no trouble; loaded about 500 local freqs and several trunking systems. With the scanner in the closed mode it acts like a real land mobile radio with outstanding receive audio and very good sensitivity on VHF-UHF and 800 MHz signals. I use a 19 inch dual band mag mount on the car and the radio easily out-hears my Yaesu multiband mobile with a gain antenna. The Pro-97 also follows Motorola trunked analogue systems with ease. VHF Air sensitivity has been good but I have had no luck yet with 225-400 MHz receive (no local mil-air ports and I don't have any info on local mil air freqs). Great bargain for $150.00. I'll make another review in a coupld of months. RBH
KF6GOM Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2006 23:14 Send this review to a friend
Its a Keeper  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Fantastic audio and great nite lite make this a scanner to have in your collection.The Belt clip could be tossed and install a motorolla type should make this radio stay on your belt.I would recomend the Win97 programming software to install Trunk Frequencys and makes programing fast and eazy.Battery life is good with 4 AA or i use 4 Panasonic 2200Mh recharge batteries and works great for a couple days.overall at $149.99 cant be beat for performance and overall always GRE radios have been reliable for myself.73 Bruno
N1VVD Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2006 17:19 Send this review to a friend
One of the Best  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'll have to agree with most of the other comments.
I have had many handheld scanners in the past by both Uniden and Radio Shack.
The PRO-97 has the best audio I have heard.
I am a fussy audio person and I have many commercial HT's. The PRO-97 is excellent.
I can put it on my belt and head out in the backyard and play with the kids and hear everything very well.
It trunks Motorola, EDACS, and LTR very well.
I have all 3 types of trunking systems here in CT.
For $149, this is a great bargain.
SWL377 Rating: 5/5 Mar 13, 2006 16:44 Send this review to a friend
Great value at $149.95  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This scanner is a terrific value. One thing I really like is that it gets the UHF AM mil 225-400MHz aircraft band, so you can listen to the USN Blue Angels or USAF T Birds at airshows. It also has a neat "sniffer" function that picks up near field transmissions and displays the frequency. This function works surprisingly well. It is easily programmed with Scan Cat software, has a lighted display and kybd, and audio isnt too bad with the small internal spkr.
Its construction seems a bit light, but it isnt at all cheap looking. I am not sure that I'd call this a virtue, but it does a preprogrammed CB scan useful if you are travelling on a highway. Several times I have heard useful road condition and radar cop info from truckers ahead. It also has a channelized Marine VHF FM scan, much more useful to see channel numbers than just freqs in this nautical area of use.
It will receive most trunked systems but will not decode digital audio, that is the exclusive realm of Radio Shack's $499 scanner.
It would be hard to find a better scanner value at the current sale price of $150. Go buy one, you will not rergret it.
AE6OX Rating: 5/5 Mar 5, 2006 11:05 Send this review to a friend
Good Value  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought the PRO 97 on sale for $150 because I wanted an inexpensive way to monitor 800 MHz analog trunked systems. It has been a pleasant surprise.

* Plenty of channel memories.
* Monitors all analog trunking modes plus non-trunked.
* Easy to manually program after a couple of reads through the instructions (much better than my non-trunked Icom R-5 instructions).
*Provides ten banks (with sub-banks). You can turn on one bank, any combination of banks or all banks with the push of a button (can't do that with the R-5 - its one bank or all there).
*Surprisingly good audio.
*Stock rubber duck antenna works well for VHF and low UHF - I found that RS's 800 MHz rubber duckie (RS #20-283) works better on high UHF. BNC connector makes changing antennas easy.
*Works on regular AA, rechargeables, or a 9v external power supply.
*Headphone/external speaker jack provided.
*Jack provided for aftermarket programming software (I haven't tried any; found manual programming straightforward).

The only negative I can see is that the PRO 97 is not what one would call ruggedly constructed. Don't think it would hold up to beltclip-style "field" use (Unidens are probably the way to go). But for an inexpensive "desktop" trunked scanner, I think the performance, in terms of dollars paid, rates a "5."
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