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1983 Bearcat 260 recently aquired

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Jul 3, 2010
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Elk Grove, CA
#1
Hello,

I recently was given a 1983 Bearcat 260 scanner from my grandfather and would just like to know a little more about it, and this seemed like a good place to start. (Google was no help!)

My grandfather actually didn't know what it was, but apparently it was in a bag with my name on it in his garage that he just cleaned out.

The unit "looks" like its NEVER been used, and it seems to be working properly. Although I cannot pick up any signals with it, so I could be wrong, but then again that could be just because I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing when I messed with it.

So, what is the quality of this scanner?
Will I be able to pick up modern frequency's with it? (I'm guessing not)
Is it worth any money?

Any other information about this scanner would be awesome!

Thanks!

(Here it is)

 

scanchs

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SC Lowcountry
#3
Welcome

Lost260,

Welcome to RadioReference!

I can make one observation based on your picture... the squelch knob (SQ) appears to be turned all the way up (clockwise). You will need to turn it down (counter-clockwise) until you hear a static noise and then turn it up until the noise just stops. This will be the correct level for you to scan whatever frequencies are in your receiver... :)

ScanCHS
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
111
Location
formally ny/nj metro
#4
not worth "money" but it should still work it is still modern!
depending where you live the area public safety- Police & fire agencies (they may have move too anewer band) then their is aircraft, marine-boating stuff, ham

you cant breakit !
go ahead and push the buttons!!
folllow the instructions in the booklet then try the weather broadcasts to start program in channels like
162.55 162.475 there are others
 
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Messages
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Location
Attleboro, MA
#5
Just press the WX button, and lower the squelch. It should give you the local weather. That will at least let you know if it works. From there you will know if it's worth trying to figure out the frequencies for your area.
 
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Messages
393
Location
Orange County, CA
#6
I have a few old scanners myself. Some of them don't seem to work as well as I remember, but the I find the variety of the displays interesting. I don't remember ever seeing your model when it was being sold, but I like the display on it. Cool color.

I found the following info about yours on the web. I didn't quote specific sources since the info appears virtually word-for-word on multiple websites - no clue where it came from originally. I think the owner's manual you have there in the picture will tell you more than anything else.

Frequency coverage: 30-50 138-174 406-512

There are still a lot of agencies using analog on those frequencies, including the weather stations mentioned earlier.

Comments/evaluation notes I found on multiple websites:

1983 vintage. Super heavy duty metal
cabinetry and lit controls, aimed at mobile use for firemen,
police, etc. Few frills, only 16 channels, no aircraft, but
generous coverage of federal bands omitted in the older
Bearcat scanners. Good sensitivity. Lots of audio. Good
internal construction. Backlit keyboard allows operation in
the dark, but the keyboards on some units require high
pressure to operate. Brightness control for display and
keyboard, but multiplexer circuitry for vacuum fluorescent
display produces audible whine which may be annoying in a
quiet room. Backlighting may fail in some units due to poor
contact on connector used to fasten light panel to front
circuit board. 9 volt regulator transistor Q28 (TIP29) may
fail, causing blank display while leaving audio intact.
Method of connecting an external speaker is awkward.
 
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Apr 24, 2010
Messages
393
Location
Orange County, CA
#7
I just noticed that the header info in your post says you're in Elk Grove, CA. That's just south of Sacramento (I'm sure you already knew that, but for the rest of us who were wondering...). Unfortunately (well, for you, anyway), almost everything in the Sacramento area, including your local agencies, are on an 800 Mhz trunked system (mostly analog), which your radio doesn't receive.

You should be able to get NOAA weather radio on 162.55, as well as the local CHP frequencies, although an outside antenna may be needed for good reception. Assuming, of course, that the radio actually works. Tuning in the weather frequency would be a good test - it's usually a strong signal.

Link for CHP info:

Department of the Highway Patrol (CHP) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference
 
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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,216
#9
Cool! We used to have a bunch of those in our command unit back in the 80s! They were "high tech" back then, wish I could have saved them when we sold it....
 
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Apr 24, 2010
Messages
393
Location
Orange County, CA
#11
not worth "money" but it should still work it is still modern!
depending where you live the area public safety- Police & fire agencies (they may have move too anewer band) then their is aircraft, marine-boating stuff, ham
Some good ideas there, but unfortunately that model doesn't do aircraft and there probably isn't much marine-boating in the Sacramento Valley. Should be able to receive ham repeaters from the surrounding mountains, though. Too bad about aircraft - that's good for listening just about anywhere.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2009
Messages
4
Location
Lockwood NY
#12
boy wish i could get my hands on that manual have one and cant figure out how to get the programs to stay in it. everything im my area is still the lowband or lower end highband freq
 
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