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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Radio Shack Pro-164 Help


Reviews Summary for Radio Shack Pro-164
Radio Shack Pro-164 Reviews: 6 Average rating: 4.5/5 MSRP: $$169.95
Description: Triple-Trunking Analog Scanner
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2970547
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KD7WNJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2014 17:48 Send this review to a friend
Good analogue scanner  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Had this scanner for almost a year now, got it for a good price. I'm in EMS and use this at work to listen in on the fire and law folks (and to get a heads up on calls)

Not that bad to program, I did it by hand. It does more than I need to do, lots of features that I do not use. It is analogue, so no digital, but that is not an issue where I'm located.

I would suggest this to anyone who needs a handheld analogue scanner.
 
K2NCC Rating: 5/5 Jun 29, 2010 15:03 Send this review to a friend
The only analog trunking scanner you'll ever need...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months

Nothing about this scanner makes me say ďWOW!Ē but if you want an inexpensive, triple-trunking analog handheld scanner with plenty of features, the Pro-164 (or its GRE counter-part) is the one to have. Iíve owned dozens of scanners since the 80s, and the 164 is the only scanner Iíve ever bought new since picking up a Pro-26 in the 90s.

Cosmetics aside, itís the same as the GRE PSR-300, so get whichever one is cheaper for you. Both models use the same software and cable. However, firmware updates are not interchangeable.

A few of my thoughts, in no particular order:

Be sure to change the welcome screen and add something like ďIf found, please callÖ.Ē in hopes that if found or stolen, your chances of recovery is greater. I recommend doing the same to any easily pilfer-able item that will allow you to enter some identifying information (laptops, cell phones, GPS, etc.)

If you plan on having this in your automobile, be sure to get either a STEREO earpiece (even if single-ear) or an external speaker. Without an earpiece, the volume has to be maxed out before I can hear everything clearly over road-noise. Even with an external speaker, the 164ís audio drive isnít to my preference. Iím not deaf, but I do like clarity. An amplified speaker is in order.

If youíre not afraid of a soldiering iron, a mod for audio improvement to an external speaker (designed for the Pro-97, but works with 164 as well) is here, thanks to KC9BZX:
http://eagleeyecomputer.com/ham/audiomodPROscanners.pdf

Speaking of mods, I donít like the need to have 2 battery-holders to switch between re-chargeable batteries and non. Older models had a simple built-in switch under the battery pack. If you want to use both with one battery pack, check out this mod, thanks to W9SFA:
http://eagleeyecomputer.com/ham/pro164_batterymod.pdf

Due to the slight tapering of the radio, I did manage to re-task an otherwise useless cup-holder in the car, as seen here:
http://eagleeyecomputer.com/ham/k2ncc_pro164_car01.jpg

I like that you can re-band this scanner, but Iím not sure anything in the 700 MHz range will be anything but digital. Itíll just be more noise to be locked out on this analog scanner. The latest firmware update will give you the ability to modify spacing to the new FCC specs.

I wish this scanner had more lock-out capability. Anyone whoís used Signal Stalker can appreciate how quickly non-voice signals can eat up the 150 frequencies limit it has across All Bands. The 164 doesn't appear to be a "skip data channel" feature I've used in previous models.

It would be nice if the back-light would come on when the scanner stops on a frequency. I'd like to be able to see the channel I'm on in a low-light environment without having to hit a button to illuminate the screen.

On a personal note, for those that give a lower review on any scanner due to programming difficulty, shame on you. A review should be about the object under scrutiny, not your skill-level or lack of enthusiasm to learn something new. A complex and feature-rich device isnít always a simple point-and-click configuration.

With any computer programmable scanner purchase, particularly trunking models, you might consider investing in a cable and software. And perhaps a radioreference.com subscription. Even a pro wouldnít want to spend the key-in time to put in the 100s of frequencies and settings available.

So, if you find a 164 or 300 on craigslist or eBay for under $100 bucks, snag it.

Vy 73, de Frank, K2NCC
Eagle Eye Computer, Inc.



 
HENDESONSH Rating: 2/5 Jul 29, 2009 19:51 Send this review to a friend
VERY Poor Manual  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had and used a Radio Shack Pro-91 for trunking scanning for years. While not the easiest manual to understand, I was able to program it for trunking scanning on my first try. Decided to upgrade the the Pro-164, and after JUST three weeks of attempting to program it, wrote to Radio Shack asking if they had COMPLETE instructions for programing this unit. They responded that they didn't, and I took it back. Appears to be a well made unit, but just programing regular frequencies was a pain, much more difficult than my Pro-91. I DON'T recommend it until Radio Shack provides a COMPLETE manual.
 
LEM Rating: 5/5 Apr 20, 2009 14:26 Send this review to a friend
Very Good Handheld !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a very good handheld scanner, for this price range,,one of the best in imo. Many , many features,,,great receive capability,,nice backlit display and keypad,,Signal strength meter addition is a very nice touch, removable battery holders, that hold 4 AA batteries make it easy and quick to change out.Triple Trunking, but i have no need for that part in my area yet,,I also own the brother unit the gre psr-300,that is the same basic scanner, GRE also makes the PRO-164...If you don't need digital capability, I recommend it highly !!
 
KB2NAT Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2009 09:32 Send this review to a friend
I Use It With Great Frequency  Time owned: more than 12 months
Sorry about the bad pun. I've programmed all the hundreds of frequencies in by hand, because I couldn't get the computer program to work with it; it was probably my fault, because the scanner works surprisingly well. Suddenly you're in a store and you're listening to security without having thought about it...it's just there. The bank system works well after a bit of familiarization. Two caveats, however: be careful about the scanner sliding on its front...you can scar the plastic cover over the numbers. Also, be careful of torqueing the antenna off to the side when you sit. Other than that, it's been fool-proof
 
KA3SEI Rating: 5/5 Mar 29, 2009 08:29 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Scanner!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've had several scanners, and this one is my favorite. It performs well, and it has coverage where many others don't - Namely AM coverage of the Milair bands.

Only complaints I have are...

1. The manual - Don't even try to program your trunking banks with it. After 2 hours, I finally gave up. Looked up the cheat sheet at http://marksscanners.com/97/97.shtml and I had it done in minutes.

2. The size - Why can't Radio Shack / GRE make a scanner smaller? I had a Uniden 246T, and that was the perfect size for a handheld scanner. However that model doesn't have the coverage that the Pro-164 does.

Other than that, this scanner is near perfect for an analog. I love it.
 


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