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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Scanners | Radio Shack Pro-83 Scanner Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack Pro-83 Scanner
Radio Shack  Pro-83 Scanner Reviews: 12 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $119.95
Description: Compact, lightweight, and loaded with the frequencies you need!
This scanner is smaller than conventional handhelds to fit nicely in your palm and has an orange backlit display for easy use at night. Store up to 200 of your favorite frequencies into memory. Features the Signal Stalker–instantly "lock on" to frequencies being broadcast in your area—no programming necessary
Product is not in production.
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KD8HRS Rating: 4/5 Jan 15, 2009 15:08 Send this review to a friend
good for simple monitoring  Time owned: more than 12 months
frequency coverage is good, however it seems to be prone to intermod and overloading of the receiver section from extemely strong signals. would have been nice if designers had added a attenuator.battery life is good on this unit as well as the ability to charge 2aa ni-cd/nimh's right inside the scanner with a 6vdc 300ma adapter. ive used my pro-83 to monitor cb,amateur,police/fire/ems services and overall it is a good scanner for simplified listening but not as good as a triple conversion receiver would be. other than the overloading and intermod sometimes, its a great scanner.
N6ILS Rating: 2/5 May 12, 2006 09:26 Send this review to a friend
Not For Me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought this scanner yesterday and returned it the same day. This unit seems to be well built and functions as designed. It is a shame though, that the operation instructions are so poorly written. They appear to have been written by an individual whose second language is english. Also, they are extremely brief and do not cover basic operation in detail.

The "Function" key operations are listed under the button rather than above, which is probably more customary. That was the only thing that struck me as really wierd about this radio.

I am a gadget guy and enjoy figuring out how to operate new toys, and given enough time, I probably would have got this one nailed. But instead, I became really frustrated with the crappy instructions and just flat ran out of patience.
K6MTT Rating: 5/5 Oct 15, 2005 22:54 Send this review to a friend
Great little scanner  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I too have been scanning for over 30 plus years and found this to be a perfect backup and simple travel scanner.

I bought this on sale at RS, replacing a Pro-92, that was just to much hassle to use for occasional travel (I use a BC250D for primary use). Plus, the '83 is so much smaller - fits in a pocket easily. The programming is a bit funky with the function keys and all, but having a programming cable and a freebie downloader makes initial loads (and reloads after programing stuff while traveling)simple.

Some people have described this has not having enough audio - I've found it to be very adequate, especially given the fact that it uses just 2 AA batteries! The backlight is great too - VERY readable.

All-in-all, a great radio for not a lot of bucks.
KB3HKS Rating: 5/5 Aug 21, 2005 08:26 Send this review to a friend
Great Performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one for the SignalStalker feature. I always wanted a near-field receiver and for the cost compared to an Opto this is fine for my needs. While traveling I swapped the stock antenna for a small collapsable whip. I don't know how much that helped the SignalStalker but it works better than I expected. I used it to find channels and entered them into another radio. It does exactly what I wanted it to do. The preprogrammed channels were well chosen and with these freqencies,the SignalStalker, and the radio's small size it's a great radio to take on a trip for casual primary use or as a backup and search tool for other radios. I like it a lot.
N8RDL Rating: 4/5 Jul 26, 2005 12:03 Send this review to a friend
Nice, but needs open banks  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I like the ease of promramming. I use Mac, so there is practically nothing of amateur use. The main use I have for the scanner is for treks into rural areas where there is no trunking. A basic scanner is all I need for these areas, but my complaint is that, besides some low audio, one must program over the preprogrammed channels. Some of those frequencies would be great to scan, but I have 150 frequencies to cover, so I have to reload whenever I want to use the built in freqs. It would be nice to leave them alone and have some extra banks for specific channels.
KE5BCP Rating: 5/5 Jun 10, 2005 20:21 Send this review to a friend
Basic, but a bunch of fun!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I received this little unit as a birthday present, and I have had a lot of fun with it. While it doesn't do trunking or digital, it is a great basic receiver with a few bells and whistles that make it interesting (signal stalker, backlit keypad...). The free Load83 program makes programming a breeze with the 20-289 cable from Radio Shack. Two thumbs up!
K0BAY Rating: 5/5 May 17, 2005 10:59 Send this review to a friend
Great Deal  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is a great deal for the money ($79 on sale).

*** Signal Stalker: This if my first experience with what I would call a "near field receiver". It seems kind of unpredicable. I sometimes get signals from a distance (neighboring PD repeaters) and not similar local signals. It is great, however, for picking up walkie-talkies in close proximity.

*** Scanner: It seems to be a good unit. With the supplied short (about 5 inch) rubber antenna, it picks up neighboring county repeaters in my basement. It scans fast. It is pretty easy to program (seems intuitive to me). The display is large and readable. It uses AA batteries. It will recharge them when on AC or cigarette power. It does not trunk, but that is clear in the product description. Here (Sedgwick Co. KS) that would be a benefit, but I scanned trunked systems for years before I had a trunking scanner, so I remember how it was done.

*** Service search: This is a handy feature. I've had this before, but in mobile units where I don't do too much experimentation. With the handheld I can be at my desk, at work, etc. and play with these types of features. It is nice to have the "ham" service search.

*** Audio: I don't have the volume problem mentioned in another review. I have had several hand-held radios over the last 25 years. This has as good or better volume than any others I've had.

*** Summary: For $79, you can't go too wrong. This will be a great unit to keep on me and travel with. If you buy one, share your thoughts with us here!
KB2SFO Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2005 09:31 Send this review to a friend
Great Scanner!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been into "scanning" for well over thirty years. And I've had every type of scanner offered in those thirty years. I just picked up a Pro-83 three days ago, and I can't tell you how much fun I'm having with this radio. Yes, it's a "plain vanilla" scanner; nothing fancey. But the overall ergonomics of the radio, combined with a couple of nice features make this scanner a great back-up or extra radio. Two alkalines, a few keystrokes (a great lighted display and keypad), and you're on your way. I have been using it in my minivan and have found the volume to be more than adequate. Signal stalker is a bonus. Get one! $80 'till 5/25.
KG4IXE Rating: 3/5 Mar 18, 2005 20:03 Send this review to a friend
Not Very Loud - Futzy To Program  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I know everyone is raving about this scanner, but I beg to differ - call me a pessimist. I grabbed one of these for the car since I already had an external Radio Shack speaker in place. I got a deal at Radio Shack on Thanksgiving when they were sold for around $60 so I went for it.

PROS: It's aesthetically pleasing to look at, ergonomic to hold, and offers many little bells and whistles.

CONS: My biggest gripe is that it does not deliver big sound. I know its small, but read on. In a quiet Nissan Altima, with the volume turned all the way up, and attached to the new external speaker, the volume on this unit does *not* fill the front passenger area well at all. Nor is it very loud when carrying it around, I always feel like I have to listen too closely. I can't believe no one else has mentioned this volume issue, but then, they are proably the ones already selling them on the big auction site. I also think programming is a bit futzy and non-intuitive.

COMPARE: Previously I had a Vertex VX-150 and also a Bearcat BC60XLT - both of which would dwarf the sound of this mini scanner. While the BC60 is a little bigger than the Pro-83, the Vertex isn't. It just shows that a small unit *can* deliver great volume.

Try it if you want to sit in a quiet environment listening only to the Pro-83. If you are a news person, or monitor scanners in the background while in a vehicle, then the Pro-83 is probably not for you. Try it anyway, if you don't like it somebody will gobble it up from you for close to the same price you paid for it.

"OK" at best

No, there is nothing wrong with my Pro-83. I tried two different ones new, and straight out of the package, the volume is/was the same on both units.

Rob - KG4IXE
KK7AC Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2004 19:11 Send this review to a friend
RS shines on this one  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
..Every so often, Radioshack will market a great scanner. Most of the time history has showed that the great RS scanners are ones manufactured by other makers (2004, 2005, 2006, this one). Not to say that some of the "namebrand" scanners are always good. This one happens to be a chip off a Uniden Bearcat.

I too bought this gem at a cost of $59.00 or what ever it was. The best $59 I've spent in a long while. I figured "what the hell" while standing in line on the day after Thanksgiving while at my local RS buying something else -if I dont like it, sell it for $25.

I have found this little scanner to perform very well despite the "small" antenna. I am very suprised and excited of how well it holds up to IMD and its general reception is, I feel, very good for an HT/rubberduck. The keys are bright and can be backlit with a briliant orange glow. It has all of the features you could ever want in a non-trunk, 200 channel scanner. Nice loud clear audio as well with out the cheap "overdriven" sound at higher volume. Nice squelch break too. Seems to be pretty rugged and has a "quality" feel.

This radio is very versitle as well in the fact that it incorporates a BNC antenna, and can burn either alkalines or rechargables (2 AA). I have done 2 experiments with alkaline battery life, and I have got about 16 hours of straight use with the volume at normal levels and in scan. Another great thing that all radios should have that this one does is an audible alert to let you know that batteries are going low.

Overall, for the price most of us paid, its a great scanner, and if not the best HANDHELD scanner I have ever used pound for pound in features and apparent quality thus far.

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