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Radio Shack PRO-97 scanner problem

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#1
Hi All,
Im new to this forum, i joined in hopes of getting some advice on a problem i have had with my scanner. I hope this is in the right section, if not could a mod please move it. I have had my Radio Shack PRO-97 (1000 channels, triple trunking) for about 3 years now, but about a month ago it stopped working. The scanner will still turn on, it will still appear that it is searching through the channels but it will not pick up anything, not even the weather channel. (other than static if i turn the squelcher all the way down)
I have tried with different antenna's, everything from a rubber ducky, to my collapsible to a truck mounted scanner and nothing works, i have charged the batteries and tried both rechargeable and regular batteries.
I went to RadioShack to see if they could do anything, but no one there seemed to know much about scanners and said for 20 dollars non refundable i could send it to their servicing center to get examined and then i could get a estimate on repairs. That would leave me out of a scanner for another month, plus it could end up costing me more to fix than replace.
Does anyone know if there is something simple i could have inadvertently pressed that would cause this, or a simple fix if someone has had a similar problem? For people that have had experiences getting their scanner repaired, would it be a better idea just to replace it?
Any help would be appreciated
Thanks

Nikos K.
 
Joined
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Location
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#2
Sounds like the connection between the BNC antenna holder and the inside board is loose or broken. Simple fix if you can soder. Just take off the back you will see where you need to soder. I never took a pro-97 apart but I did take a pro-95 to tighten up a lose antenna connector.....Ray
 

bubbaearle

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#3
Like kevin390 said, it's prolly the BNC to board connection. There's a good deal of stress on that solder joint and it fails often.

Look for a ham radio shop that does repairs and I bet they'll fix it pretty cheap.
 

gmclam

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#4
Because a lot of people use the antenna as a "handle", and others switch out antennas a lot, it is common for the connection between the antenna jack and the circuit board to become fractured. Heavily used antenna connectors also wear out.

I've had a few PRO-97s open with this problem and most of the time the fracture is not visible to the naked eye. But an ohm meter verifies that is the problem. Then I use a very short piece of flexible wire to do the repair in hopes that it does not fail again.

However, there are a few buttons you can press which can greatly reduce reception. One is the global attenuator. Press FUNC ATT and it will display whether you are turning the global attenuator on or off. If you are turning it on, press FUNC ATT again to turn it off.

Individual channels can also have attenuators turned on. If you see "att" on the 2nd line of the display when stopped on a channel, the attenuator is off. If you see "ATT", the attenuator is on. To toggle it on/off, press ATT.
 
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#5
Thanks guys for the help,
you hit the nail on the head. I opened it up today and sure enough there was a cleanly broken wire between the connector and circuit board. I guess its not surprising since I have to take the antenna on and off the scanner quite frequently when carrying it in a backpack (either that or i snap my antenna leaving it on)
The bad news it looks like its in a hard to reach place that might require dismantling the interior components to repair it. I do know some people who are good with soldering and i will see if they can get it fixed since it just seems like one part needs to be soldered back together before taking it a shop if that fails.
Thanks again for the help, hopefully i can get it fixed and not have to shell out $100 on a new scanner!
 

j86u

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#6
Uh-oh. I change antennas on my Pro 162 fairly often, does that mean that this connection will eventually fail? I have absolutely no experience in soldering. I try not to be hard on the antenna though.
 
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gmclam

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#7
Uh-oh. I change antennas on my Pro 162 fairly often, does that mean that this connection will eventually fail? I have absolutely no experience in soldering. I try not to be hard on the antenna though.
If you use a connector over and over, sooner or later it will wear out. What some people have done is to add a BNC to BNC adapter on their scanners. Leave the adapter on the scanner and wear it out. What I am speaking of is tough to find but they are out there.

Alternatively, you could use 2 adapters; like let's say BNC to SMA and SMA to BNC. I don't like that solution for several reasons but it could work for some people. If your antenna is SMA, then you'd be back to one adapter. You just have to be creative.
 

j86u

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#8
If you use a connector over and over, sooner or later it will wear out. What some people have done is to add a BNC to BNC adapter on their scanners. Leave the adapter on the scanner and wear it out. What I am speaking of is tough to find but they are out there.

Alternatively, you could use 2 adapters; like let's say BNC to SMA and SMA to BNC. I don't like that solution for several reasons but it could work for some people. If your antenna is SMA, then you'd be back to one adapter. You just have to be creative.
Would a BNC to BNC adapter affect reception? I listen to some agencies that are marginal for reception.
 

gmclam

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#9
Would a BNC to BNC adapter affect reception? I listen to some agencies that are marginal for reception.
No. But I wonder why you have marginal reception. Are you listening to stuff ~100 miles away? Are you using an outside antenna? Do you have good quality low loss coax from the antenna to the scanner?

Each element of the "system" can contribute a slight amount of loss. Use cheap coax instead of the best, and your reception will not be as good as it could be. Use an antenna that is not designed for the frequencies you want, and your perfomance will be less. If you're using the correct antenna and good coax, adding such an adapter will not affect the signal in a noticable manner.
 

j86u

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#10
No. But I wonder why you have marginal reception. Are you listening to stuff ~100 miles away? Are you using an outside antenna? Do you have good quality low loss coax from the antenna to the scanner?

Each element of the "system" can contribute a slight amount of loss. Use cheap coax instead of the best, and your reception will not be as good as it could be. Use an antenna that is not designed for the frequencies you want, and your perfomance will be less. If you're using the correct antenna and good coax, adding such an adapter will not affect the signal in a noticable manner.
I listen to stuff 50-80 miles on VHF high. I am using a Watson W-881 Super Gainer antenna. If I put up an outside antenna I want to do it "right". Which I don't have the money to do right now.
 

j611thebullet

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#11
i have a radioshack pro97 and the sound was working fine one night and about 5 mins later the sound went out you can here just faintly even when the volume is turned all the way down you can still here it can someone help
 
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#12
i just sent my pro-164 in for that same problem, it was still under warranty because it was a demo, it had a two year warranty on it. when i got it back they said they replaced the "main board" on it.
 

FallenAnjel

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#13
Glad you got it fixed! That was my problem as well, I used to use the antenna as a handle, and I"ve dropped it a few times, and the antenna always hits the ground first! My ex soldered it for me and it was good as new. Until the rebanding, then it didn't work again, LOL.
 
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#14
problem

I have the same problem with mine. Do you program from pc or key pad. I have two 97's when I use Scan Cat Lite program it has no squelch. Is there something I'm not turning on? Tryed ATT att. Tryed manual programing. It will pick up Ham freq's but it sounds like I am at the outer fringes. It does not recieve Loud. It's like the RF gain has been turned down. If it was only my scanner I would not think anything, but a friend brought hers over here doing the same thing. Any sugestions?
 
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#15
I have the same problem with mine. Do you program from pc or key pad. I have two 97's when I use Scan Cat Lite program it has no squelch. Is there something I'm not turning on? Tryed ATT att. Tryed manual programing. It will pick up Ham freq's but it sounds like I am at the outer fringes. It does not recieve Loud. It's like the RF gain has been turned down. If it was only my scanner I would not think anything, but a friend brought hers over here doing the same thing. Any sugestions?
First, Get Rid Of Scancr*p lite. Period. Worst programming software for the GRE scanners. Download Win97 (thirty day free trial) at www.starrsoft.com . Initialize your scanner, and then reprogram it with Win97. Not saying that different software will make the audio louder:) See if you still have a problem. You may need to replace the board, or just get a new scanner.
HTH,
Larry
 
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#16
BNC most likely cause

I have had this problem with several scanners over the years and every time, yes every time, it has been the wire from the BNC to the ckt board disconnecting at one end or the other. This is an easy fix by any electronics techy or hobbyist that solders. The cost? Probably a bottle or can of their favorite type of CocaCola.

(I'd fix for free, but by the time you pay shipping back and forth you could have have it fixed locally and you'd have enough money to see two movies!)

Good luck, Joe F., Oregon
 
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#17
I know this is an older post, but I figured I would put in my recent experience with my PRO-97. I had the same exact issue and in addition to soldering the original semi-rigid wire, I got a short piece of more flexible solid core wire to solder between the PCB and jack post to help if the original fails again.

Also found that a mini flat head screw driver on the edge of the nut and a few solid taps with a screw driver handle tightens up the nut fairly nice.
 
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