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Search for OLD Sensitive Radio Scanner

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ab5r

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#1
I have an unusual request from you old-timers (you know who you are.)

I am search for an older radio ANALOG scanner, and would like input about ones that you may have now or have had in the past that HAS GREAT SENSITIVTY to incoming signal without an external preamp.

I would also prefer a model that was after the narrow band came into existence; thus four digits after the decimal.

Strange request, I know. But this would be for a specialized use.


Thanks guys and girls.
 

northzone

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#4
One of the best scanners ever made that has narrowband you requested was the Uniden BC-780. The BC-898 also does. The radio shack pro-163/164 also. The 2004, 2005, 2006 do not.
 
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#5
Works well , all depends on what the OP is looking for (Band, etc)
The RX is great even with NB, but is subject to adjacent channel bleed over.

1000% a Great Radio, currently running 3 of them, even with the back-light burned out.
Not sure about after narrowband, but the Realistic Pro 2004, 2005 & 2006 were the most sensitive that I've used.
 
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#6
Not sure from your request what your application is, but bear in mind that after narrowbanding, a problem cropped up with several VHF public safety and telemetry channels requiring a 2.5 KHz channel step. A lot of radios got scrapped because a VHF mutual aid channel could not be resolved with those radios. So your old analog scanner may have that problem as well.
 

ab5r

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#7
Thank you RFI-EMI-GUY. My application is rather strange to most. I would like to receive what local HAM and other analog frequencies applicable. In addition, I'd like to scan amateur satellite and NOAA birds; thus the sensitivity issue. I may have to add a preamp for that purpose. ALL ANALOG FREQUENCIES.

Additionally, being an Old F- - T, and on Social Security cost is a factor. I realize that more modern scanners would probably function better, the $$$ matter.

Thanks to replies
 
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#8
Thank you RFI-EMI-GUY. My application is rather strange to most. I would like to receive what local HAM and other analog frequencies applicable. In addition, I'd like to scan amateur satellite and NOAA birds; thus the sensitivity issue. I may have to add a preamp for that purpose. ALL ANALOG FREQUENCIES.

Additionally, being an Old F- - T, and on Social Security cost is a factor. I realize that more modern scanners would probably function better, the $$$ matter.

Thanks to replies

Regarding the amateur and NOAA satellites, I would recommend an ICOM IC-R7000, IC-R8500, IC-R9000 as all of these are easily tuned (for doppler), have CW/AM/FM/FMW/SSB (USB and LSB) and the minimum step size is 100 Hz or so. The IC-R8500 or one of the newer models may be more reliable given the age of some of these models . The IC-R8500 would be a good model to consider and to compare others to.

I have used the IC-R7000 and IC-R9000 and have had terrific success in capturing satellites using only a discone antenna. I did later install a wideband preamp with FM broadcast trap (home brew) and a specific preamp and helical antenna for the military satellites 240-270 MHz. The preamp eliminated cable loss in my installation. If you have only 25 feet of cable, no need.

The advantage to a multi mode receiver is that you can tune in the USB mode and capture weak signals you would otherwise miss and then tune to FM mode. These radios all have VFO tuning and memory locations, so tuning is very simple.

Link to ICOM Receivers at RigPix:

http://www.rigpix.com/icom/icomselect.htm
 
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N9JIG

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#10
The problem with high-sensitivity scanners is that they become less selective as they get more sensitive. The most sensitive scanners I have used included the Relm MS200 and some of the older BC220, BC250 and BC20/20 type radios.

Newer radios are usually more selective but lose out on the sensitivity front.

I understand price is an issue but if you could scare up the cash for an Icom or AOR receiver you would probably get the best combination of sensitivity and selectivity.

Others mention the PRO2004/5/6 and the BC780XLT, I think these would probably be your best bang for the buck but due to age be selective on the radio you get. They are to the point where caps are drying out and boards get brittle etc. so it might look spotless but could fail at any time.

As for the step sizes, some radios do not include some of the allocated channels these days, especially on VHF High Band for some of the 7.5 KHz. channels (155.2575 for example). Usually a radio tuned to the next available step would work fine so programming a scanner to 155.260 would allow you to hear the traffic on 155.2575.

Be careful with pre-amps. They can overload a scanner easily and make things worse than without. If you can afford to get a decent amp right at the antenna (vs. at the radio) it will work better but you still run the risk of overload, especially in an urban area.
 

ab5r

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#11
Thanks Rich. ALL of your reply makes good sense. My whole "idea" was just a "I Wonder" project and seems not feasible money or reception wise. Actually, I was only looking for suggestions from people that had a scanner in the past and had remarked to themselves, "WOW that scanner is HOT."

THANKS to everyone that replied.
 
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#12
I don't think you read my bottom sentence in my last post.
You can pick up a IC-R7000 cheaply, $300 or so, though it will likely need need new power supply capacitors. Also the newer PCR-1000 is equally affordable, but requires a PC to operate.

Another option is a software designed radio. You can use a TV tuner dongle plus some free software. Very cheap and lots of software options. If you win a game of Bingo, spring for one of the better SDR receivers. Many to choose from. You get the SSB and various spectrum analysers all of which are handy for weak signal work.

Dont forget a good antenna setup.
 

signal500

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#13
I have an unusual request from you old-timers (you know who you are.)

I am search for an older radio ANALOG scanner, and would like input about ones that you may have now or have had in the past that HAS GREAT SENSITIVTY to incoming signal without an external preamp.

I would also prefer a model that was after the narrow band came into existence; thus four digits after the decimal.

Strange request, I know. But this would be for a specialized use.


Thanks guys and girls.
My vote would be the Uniden Bearcat BC898T. I have used three of them for years. Great sensitivity on all bands including the UHF Military Air band. They have four digits after the decimal and are narrow band compliant as you requested.
 
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