Oh yes, the Pro97 was a gift from my late Grandparents' when I was in high-school and also what got me interested in Amateur Radio...I plan to make it my fall-back and treat it with extra care and use the Pro651 for my every-day radio and what I can tote around so I'll feel less guilty when it goes for a tumble.mmiller7: Keep that Pro97! I have one here on my desk, like you I have rail channels in it. The best part is the extended coverage of the receiver and I have loaded bunches of military air freqs in it just in case.
Good luck with the STARS problem, it really is a great system with pretty good coverage. I use a Uniden '396 here.
I think I figured out the issue, I'm just in a crap spot. You're familiar with the area so I can say I'm up around Mary Washington Hospital (RFI-intermod-hell?) and I'm at the bottom of a hill on 2 sides so I can see mostly to the North but that even is blocked by other concrete and metal buildings. I can walk to the Elementry School on Cowan and have acceptable signals and drove to my parents' near 4-mile-fork it was rock-solid on the STARS system so I now know it's programmed properly and I just can't pick up much in a low-lying cinderblock apartment.You're in Fredericksburg? I am in Spotsylvania. You should have no trouble entering the control channel for Thornburg site. I also have a PRO-651.
Let me know if you have any further problems.
I know I can operate an Amateur VHF repeater (RVARC's K4TS 147.015) which is up 200-300 ft at Levels and Harrison with a 5-watt VHF handheld (and hear it on my scanner) from my apartment (as long as it's not crazy weather), so maybe I'll try and find GPS coordinates for the tower that the state uses and run an elevation profile between here and there.