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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Radio Shack iScan PRO-107 Help


Reviews Summary for Radio Shack iScan PRO-107
Radio Shack iScan PRO-107 Reviews: 12 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $229.00
Description: A Preprogrammed easy to use scanner very similar to using a portable music player.
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.radioshack.com/
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AK4FP Rating: 5/5 Apr 23, 2015 21:54 Send this review to a friend
Easy to program and use  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my refurb 107 from Amazon last February for the amazing price of $61.22 delivered! After reading some of the reviews here, I was prepared for "problems". So far, there haven't been any.

Pros-

1. Excellent sensitivity with a good antenna (see Cons). I've compared the 107 to a GRE PSR-600 digital scanner and the 107 has a bit better sensitivity on 800 MHz and about equal on VHF/UHF. I've had it connected to a Scantenna mounted on a 40 foot mast and haven't heard any intermod. I live in a fairly small town, but I also have a cell/public safety tower about 300 yards from the shack. I only hear an occasional breakthrough from that tower, which is better than the 600.
2. The menu system takes about 15 minutes of study with the manual to understand well enough to use for most people. It's much easier than most modern ham radios, for example, which usually have four or five deep nested menus. Maybe some hams are still only using slide rule dial analog rigs, but this is not a difficult thing to master. BTW, I'm 69 years old, so I'm not some young guy who's had an iPod all my life.
3. The included computer interface works very well. You only need it to update the frequency database from RadioReference. Anything else is optional. You can do a lot of things with it, like setting tweaks, add frequencies not in the database, edit text tags, and rearrange your scan lists, but none of this is mandatory to use the radio. If you have any other rigs with computer control, this is no more difficult. If you've ever used Excel for simple things like adding up columns of figures, the software is no more difficult. Reading some of the comments here, it seems like the interface on the radio and computer just looks "odd" to some, meaning it's just too hard to use. It's not, but don't get all exasperated because you have to learn that play = scan.
4. Adding frequencies or systems couldn't be easier. You look up your city/county, state, or system type and choose what frequencies you want in your scan lists and what list you want them in. This includes conventional frequencies and any non-digital trunked systems. I've never had a problem with the software reading and writing data correctly. I can't imagine an easier way to do this unless you like entering frequencies with tiny buttons.
5. Frequency coverage is complete except for the usual cellular gaps. It goes from 25 MHz to 1300 MHz including VHF and UHF air and 700 MHZ.
6. I'm using Enloops in mine and average about 10 hours of use with the backlight coming on with each transmission. It would probably be more like 14 hours with no backlight and 7 or 8 hours with the backlight on full time.
7. I have had zero trouble with the SD card. RS is very clear about never taking the SD card out when the radio has power. You have to take out the batteries to get to the card and that's to protect the card. If you still have the radio hooked up to the USB power supply, you will end up corrupting the card.

Cons -

1. If you want an antenna that will limit reception to a couple of miles, the little guy that comes with the radio is fine. Assuming you'd like to hear a little further, an aftermarket antenna is what you need. This is pretty standard with all handheld scanners. The little stubby can actually be useful if you're at an event where all the radio traffic is close by, like an airshow.
2. You have to remove the SD card from the scanner and insert it into a card reader to update the frequency database. Again, make sure the rig is powered down before you do this. It works fine, and you can edit files directly on the SD card. If your computer doesn't already have an SD card reader, you can pick one up for less than $10 from EBay.
3. You can't enter a frequency directly if you're away from the computer. You can use the signal stalker or service search to do so, You can either let the frequency be found, which gives you all the tone and mode information, or open the squelch and scroll to the frequency. Then it's just a matter of two button presses to save it in scan list 1. I can then be moved, copied, or edited on the radio. It's not more difficult than all the buttons you need to press on a conventional scanner, just different.
4. The frequency updates are provided through Radio Reference. There's no charge for this. Occasionally, the RR file update either won't be posted in the right online directory or it will be missing some header information. The 107 will give an error message and not update the data. It's not the radio's fault, and it almost always gets corrected within a day. It's also important to remember that the database contains several hundred thousand frequencies and updates generally aren't more than a couple of hundred frequencies. It's not likely to be critical if there's no update for a day, and you can still store any frequency you want on the computer.

It's unfortunate that GRE, who made the 107 and the GRE PSR-700, which is a close cousin, is belly up. It's even more unfortunate that Radio Shack is also belly up. You can't expect any warranty support from RS but, if you buy it through a merchant like Amazon, they will at least take it back if it quits within 90 days. If you can get the 107 for $100 or less that's either a refurb or NIB, it's probably worth the risk, especially to use for traveling. I wouldn't use it as my main scanner just because I'd speed up the inevitable time when it does die but, if it's used sparingly, it should last long enough to pay back your investment.

Whistler, which has purchased the intellectual property of GRE, now makes the model 1080, which is the rebadged GRE 800. Both of these are digital versions of the 107/GRE 700. Whistler has decided not to produce the analog version of the 1080, which is a real pity. The 1080 is going to set you
back about $400. It's a fine radio, but large parts of the country like mine have very little or no digital, and probably won't for at least another five years. There will be something bigger and better out by then but, for my $61.22, it's a cheap placeholder until that happens.
 
AA4EZ Rating: 5/5 Jun 2, 2014 21:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Scanner!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
This scanner is a very good trunking scanner for non-digital systems. It is easy to use if you understand how to use an Apple type MP3 player. The pre-loaded SD card has all the USA cities already programmed in for you, just READ the instruction book and start receiving your local trunked municipal radio system. You can lock out what you do not want to hear. You will need a better antenna as the one it comes supplied with is pretty deaf. Great scanner at a great price!
 
SNJCT2000 Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2013 11:58 Send this review to a friend
Lots of Fun!!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This unit has everything needed at the touch of a few buttons. Very easy to use even without an owner's manual!!

Audio is loud and crisp and it excels at picking up those distant signals. It doesn't suffer from intermod at all. Display is nice and bright and pleasant to look at.

I suspect that those having trouble with the easy to use I-Pod menu controls are either too old and set in their 1980's scanner mind frame or their fingers are too fat.
 
KE7BJQ Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2013 00:22 Send this review to a friend
Great advancement in Scanners  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's a shame that a good scanner like this gets a bad rep. When I bought it I knew what I was getting. First I installed the software. Then I downloaded the firmware, software, and library updates. It has exceeded my expectations.

Pros:

*Easiest scanner to program with the most up to date frequencies.
*Out scans my other scanners due to better data than my outdated sheets from Radio Shack.
*All of the scanner menu functions can be programmed including settings for SAME and Talk groups.
*Programming cable doubles as charging cable. No separate wall wart to lose.
*No unusual battery pack to have to find. It uses AA alkaline, Ni CD, or Li ION.

CONS
*Software is not intuitive.
*Menu system on scanner is difficult to navigate.


 
WNHY Rating: 5/5 Jul 12, 2013 21:58 Send this review to a friend
Sorry to see it go  Time owned: more than 12 months
Sorry to see this radio go out of production. Great for listeners who are not scanner hobbiest. Programmed a bunch of them for friends who just want to hear there local public safety and ems outfits. Should have had a AC power pack instead of the USB cord.
Reception on VHF analog and trunk system is first rate in my semi-rural area. Large commercial antenna arae looking down from a mountain top a mile away has not been a source of interference .
Supplied antenna has worked fine for local signals but have put a RS 800 antenna on some for receiving local EDACS system, but they didn't really do much as the supplied antenna does a adequate job.
Great radio to take on trips as I found out on a trip from NY state to western NC. Wherever you are it only takes a couple of minutes to program the local freq.'s for where you are into a bank for local listening.
So easy to update RR national freq. list on the SD card there is no excuse not to keep it up to date, so wherever you go you have the latest freq.
I wish someone would bring these radios back into production.
 
KF5RGB Rating: 1/5 Jun 28, 2013 20:32 Send this review to a friend
Returned the next day  Time owned: months
Bought one of these and returned it the next day. it was easy to program with the included software but I never could pick up a dang thing on it! And to make matters worse the Ipod style menu system was frustrating to use.........
 
N2DY Rating: 5/5 Oct 23, 2012 14:11 Send this review to a friend
Over time I learned to appreciate it  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I am a big Uniden scanner fan. I prefer to program scanners myself and I was a bit skeptical of a Radio Shack (GRE) unit that had systems and frequencies already stored in the unit. But when this scanner went on sale for a ridiculously low price last Black Friday, I took the plunge.

Initially I could not get used to the GRE way of doing things. Like some others, I found the iPod-style control panel a bit weird. Over time I got used to it. More importantly, over time I really enjoyed the fact that the scanner already has just about everything I need already stored on the SD card. This has made this scanner my scanner of choice for when I travel. I no longer have to worry about logging onto Radio Reference to download frequencies to my Uniden handhelds before I go on a trip somewhere. With this scanner, it's all in there and easy to load into one of the 20 playlists.

I still like my Unidens better for everyday use, but for traveling and for the low price I paid for this scanner, I am very pleased with it. Look for it or its successor to go on sale at Radio Shack on Black Friday this year. For the right price, this is a terrific unit.

Note that I have not had any of the hardware or software issues described by at least one other poster. Perhaps he got a dud.
 
KD8RNV Rating: 4/5 Oct 26, 2011 20:50 Send this review to a friend
Nice simple little scanner  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It is very easy to program. The only reason I gave it a 4 is the charging cable... They should have used a standard USB cable rather than requiring the special cable.
 
W1MLK Rating: 2/5 Jun 8, 2011 15:19 Send this review to a friend
What a dud  Time owned: more than 12 months
This scanner has potential and needs to be pulled off the shelves and re-worked. First the Ipod concept is fine for mucical devices but when it comes to a scanner, I want buttons with numbers and all of the radio like looks. If I want an Ipod then I'll buy an Ipod! The software is glitchy and the scanner seldom saves anything correctly or is it the software? Who knows. The SD card idea I really like but I'd prefer to see it in a Pro 106 or a Uniden 396 rather than this gimmick based scanner, which is what this is. I got one of these for Christmas 2010 and went back to the local Shack and traded for another due to the battery icon showing a full charge when it wasn't OR it showing an empty charge when it was full. The new unit did not have that same issue but the software even after updating it still was glitchy at best. I tried it on the XP, Vista OS's which the package says works with all of them. But it don't. The software won't allow you to save a configuration in order to have multi configs to load. The import feature for trunked systems is flawed and will often import additional sites even when you do not tell it to via the menu. The "audio boost" feature looks great but thats all it does, it don't work. I love the size of it though, easily goes into shirt pocket. All in all its dud that needs to be recalled and put back on the drawing table.
 
KD4ERG Rating: 4/5 Feb 27, 2011 19:14 Send this review to a friend
excellent scanner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This scanner is super easy to program. All the trunking systems in the Usa are preprogrammed on an included 2gig SD card. You just select what you want to hear, and put it in a "playlist". The software that is included also is great for preprogramming up to 20 playlists (banks) and uploading it to the scanner. The reception is very good and clear. The only reason for a 4/5 is the backlight option where it turns on with a received signal does not work, but when manually turned on it is very good and bright.
 
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