Pro-2006: Dusted off the old Pro 2006

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Xray

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Go to alot of airshows and got 2 big ones coming up.
Have done fine with handhelds but I thought it would be nice to get a dedicated mobile that I can run at my truck and carry a mobile around on my hip as always.

Got the Uniden BC355N and wasn't what I expected. No way to enter frequencies, you must browse to the freq, stop it there then go through some process to save it. Worse still, freqs must be lumped into 1 "private" banks, no way that I could see for separate banks for different airfields ot even blue angels vs thunderbirds.
So I figured, why not use the old Pro 2006 ? Great air scanner, simple to program in the field, plenty of separate banks for anything I want.

First problem was, hasn't been run in probably 15-20 years, has just been sitting collecting dust.
So I took it from its long time perch, blew it out and plugged it in - Came to life just fine. Some local PD's still use analog freqs around here so I punched a couple in and they worked fine.
So my problem was, how to use an AC base scanner mobile ?

As you can see from the pic, this scanner was heavily modded [Thanks Bill Cheeks]. One mod I did long ago was to install a DC power jack in back, this was not to use it mobile but rather reduce heat buildup inside the unit. [Short of that, I would have just used a power inverter with the booster and simply plugged it into that, but DC preferred just for the original heat issue]
So the jack was already there, I have a top of the line battery booster with a DC receptacle. Hunted down a cord, plugged it in and this thing works just fine mobile. Already have a nice addon speaker, after I program a few dozen freqs this thing will be good to go, and I am returning the Uniden.

Only problem it has is a somewhat touchy, scratchy volume pot, to be expected after sitting around decades. Operable but annoying, hopefully a blast of parts cleaner will fix it up.

More mods on this thing that I can remember, spent hours and hours installing them back in the day, most but not all controlled with a switch.
Ones I can recall are:

LED S Meter
LED Center tuning indicator
LED Signal indicator

Auto record output [this was great for recording those elusive DEA stings or scant mil air activity, when a signal came on it would set the cassette recorder to record, then shut it off when no signal was present] Even though nothing is hooked up to record you can hear it click on and off with every signal, so I turned it off - Might be useful yet, if I can find that special recorder with remote jack.

Double memory, selectable with a switch. Very labor intensive mod from what I recall, basically another mem chip piggybacked on the stock one, wired up in series to the tiny legs. I think it doubled mem from 400 to 800.

There is more, forgot what they were for, wish I would have made a layout of all I did.
 

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wa8pyr

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Go to alot of airshows and got 2 big ones coming up.
Have done fine with handhelds but I thought it would be nice to get a dedicated mobile that I can run at my truck and carry a mobile around on my hip as always.

Got the Uniden BC355N and wasn't what I expected. No way to enter frequencies, you must browse to the freq, stop it there then go through some process to save it. Worse still, freqs must be lumped into 1 "private" banks, no way that I could see for separate banks for different airfields ot even blue angels vs thunderbirds.
So I figured, why not use the old Pro 2006 ? Great air scanner, simple to program in the field, plenty of separate banks for anything I want.

First problem was, hasn't been run in probably 15-20 years, has just been sitting collecting dust.
So I took it from its long time perch, blew it out and plugged it in - Came to life just fine. Some local PD's still use analog freqs around here so I punched a couple in and they worked fine.
So my problem was, how to use an AC base scanner mobile ?

As you can see from the pic, this scanner was heavily modded [Thanks Bill Cheeks]. One mod I did long ago was to install a DC power jack in back, this was not to use it mobile but rather reduce heat buildup inside the unit. [Short of that, I would have just used a power inverter with the booster and simply plugged it into that, but DC preferred just for the original heat issue]
So the jack was already there, I have a top of the line battery booster with a DC receptacle. Hunted down a cord, plugged it in and this thing works just fine mobile. Already have a nice addon speaker, after I program a few dozen freqs this thing will be good to go, and I am returning the Uniden.

Only problem it has is a somewhat touchy, scratchy volume pot, to be expected after sitting around decades. Operable but annoying, hopefully a blast of parts cleaner will fix it up.

More mods on this thing that I can remember, spent hours and hours installing them back in the day, most but not all controlled with a switch.
Ones I can recall are:

LED S Meter
LED Center tuning indicator
LED Signal indicator

Auto record output [this was great for recording those elusive DEA stings or scant mil air activity, when a signal came on it would set the cassette recorder to record, then shut it off when no signal was present] Even though nothing is hooked up to record you can hear it click on and off with every signal, so I turned it off - Might be useful yet, if I can find that special recorder with remote jack.

Double memory, selectable with a switch. Very labor intensive mod from what I recall, basically another mem chip piggybacked on the stock one, wired up in series to the tiny legs. I think it doubled mem from 400 to 800.

There is more, forgot what they were for, wish I would have made a layout of all I did.
That is a TurboWhopper!!

I did some similar mods to my Pro-2004; added 100 channels to the memory, center tuning mod, s-meter, etc. Only difference was I didn't want to butcher up my front panel so I used an external analog meter (S-meter and center tuning meter in one housing), with a mini-DIN plug on the back of the radio for the signals.

Also built the CE-232 box for it.

Still have the whole shebang, but it's been sitting on the shelf for several years as everything around here went trunking, plus I have a Pro-2032 with Opto board which I use for aviation and military monitoring.

I have started using the Pro2035 for DMR and NXDN scanning; programming the frequencies into the radio and using a discriminator output to DSD+ allows me to scan the stuff. Works pretty well, especially for searching.

I also built the Programit board for the Pro-2035 which allows me to use the computer to actually program the memories in the radio. Still works. . .
 

PACNWDude

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Very nice. That is a heavily modified unit there. I have a virtually stock one myself. Since I only used the dimmer setting for the backlight, it has yet to fail.

Still an excellent radio for many aviation and analog transmissions. My volume pot does screech a bit and cleaner helps. So does just turning the knob full scale every now and then. I find that the Pro-2006 and a Pro-2032 have regained some usefulness as more manufacturers return to old frequencies for new products. Lots of baby monitors, wireless mics and other items returning in my area.

Enjoy the airshow and the scanner. Thank you for sharing the photo.
 

Xray

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I had no problem at all butchering up the front panel, as you can see.
Went overboard on the switches though, the LED mods really didn't need a switch and in practise I never turned them off, I like visuals.
Looks a complete spaghetti mess inside, I'll post a pic later, but everything still functional. I was pretty meticulous operating on this thing, back then you were playing with $400 or so, top of the line scanner.

This thing excels at air, can't believe I didn't think of this before. Hope the EL panel holds out, don't like my odds of ever finding another, but I could probably get a whole working 2006 for under $50 or so.
 

vocoder

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Thanks for sharing
I purchased 2 of them brand new and preferred them for aero comms of all types. I made battery packs out of lantern batteries and sport bags to be used at the lengthy airshows. Made them portable and they worked great!
Then, just for s!??! And giggles i bid on a couple of them on Ebay and won!! Now, have too many
 

Xray

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Here is the heart of the beast - Am slightly embarrassed looking at it now but its all functional and there simply is not much real estate to work with inside. I was putting boards wherever I could and running hookup wires ad hoc all over.

Would really like to shoot the pot with some spray but there is no way I am going to attempt removing that front faceplate to get to it ,,,, Moving it around over its range seemed to have helped a little, its not too bad.
I estimate my booster would run this scanner for 3 days straight, so power should be no problem.
 

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n1das

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The Pro-2006 was one of the best scanners manufactured during the Free Radio Listening Era, which ended on April 26, 1994. That was the day when the cell phone frequency censorship fully kicked in to help the cell phone industry continue to perpetuate their commercially serving lies about privacy.

A good mod worth doing is to optimize the amount of hysteresis in the squelch circuit. I think the circuit was designed to have 6dB of hysteresis, which I find to be WAY TOO MUCH for my liking. Like many Uniden scanners, the squelch circuit is cursed with way too much hysteresis. I like little to no hysteresis and no more than about 2 dB, just enough to get rid of the tendency to chatter at the threshold but not get in the way.

The amount of hysteresis feedback in the squelch circuit is governed by a resistor connected between pins 12 and 14 on the MC3357 FM IF chip. This is R148 and is 47k ohms in the old Pro-2004. This resistor is R152 in the Pro-2006 and is 33k ohms. Change this resistor to 100k ohms or 150k ohms, and not more than 220k ohms. You may want to experiment with the value of this resistor to find the amount of hysteresis that you like. From experience I found there is a sweet spot where the circuit has just enough hysteresis to just eliminate all of most of the tendency to chatter at the threshold but won't get in the way of being able to reliable open on a weak signal just above the threshold. Some experimentation may be required. Try changing R153 from 33k ohms to 100k ohms and see how you like it.

https://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_MR_Squelch.html

Have fun and don't listen to anything I wouldn't listen to with that full uncensored frequency coverage in the 800 MHz band. ;)
 
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vocoder

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Isnt amazing the bigger independent components made a big difference in the vocal quality, which is off the scale! Far better than the chips that took the place of. Talk about STABLE in blocking noise and vocal clarity
 

SCPD

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All that stuff in there has to make "noise".
What is all that stuff for extra channels?Wowie Zowies!
Does look wild from the outside.
 

Xray

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No noise at all that I can tell - All the mods were designed by a renowned scanner modding guru [Bill Cheek], and if there was any problem with them, that would have came out and been diagnosed long, long ago.

I detailed what the mods are, as far as I recall, in the OP.
 

Xray

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I am excited to see the 2006 getting a new lease on life, and something that it does as well or better than any modern scanner [air, including mil]. Already shipped the Uniden back to Amazon, would have been foolish to waste $100 on something that wasn't needed and didn't live up to my expectations.
Only thing it lacks that would come in handy is alpha tagging, but that feature was still years down the road from the 2006 era.

So easy to program, its been a couple decades but I punched in freqs and search ranges in minutes without any reference or google - Something you'd be hard pressed to do with any modern scanner.
I got a nice mag mount BNC portable antenna for it, alls I have to do it punch in a few dozen freqs in a couple of banks and she'll be ready for the shows.
 

trp2525

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...Only thing it lacks that would come in handy is alpha tagging, but that feature was still years down the road from the 2006 era...
I also have a PRO-2006 that I use for some local analog traffic. I bought it from Grove when they had the very last of the brand-new PRO-2006 scanners still in stock after they were discontinued by Radio Shack. I think that was back in the 1980s and I believe I paid about $400 for it at the time. It was the "newer version" of the PRO-2006 which was the 20-145A that had the switch on the front to turn off the backlight.

The one thing that I find lacking in the PRO-2006 (at least in my metro area) is the absence of PL/DPL. I don't mind listening to all traffic on a given frequency when in carrier squelch mode but in my area I have local agencies that operate in analog while other agencies in range operate in digital mode on the same frequency. It gets tiring to listen to all of the "digital buzz" from those digital transmissions.

Cosmetically my PRO-2006 is in pristine like-new condition. The only thing that I have noticed is that the bottom rubber feet have become "sticky" and "gummy." After 30+ years I guess the rubber has just deteriorated from continuous exposure to the air.
 

Engine104

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I bought my 2006 new in 1992 and it's still working. It recently developed staticky noise on UHF. VHF, air (Both civil and mil) and 800 Mhz work great. I suspect a component went bad. Anyone else have this with their 2006 or 1002?
 

kd4bas

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I just bought a 2006 off of E-bay for $30 and it works great. it had no mods, I just did the speed upgrade (diode clip, I think) and blew compressed air to clean the dust out of it. I need to replace the EL panel and the rubber pads need replaced, the rear are no problem, but anybody have an idea for the front legs?
 

Xray

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Never noticed or used the feet as long as I have had the scanner but I noticed the other day that 1 is busted off.
Don't like the odds of finding any for sale, might be able to improvise your own. In fact I am going to try just that, I'll let you know if I succeed.
 

Paco-Jerte

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I bought my 2006 new in 1992 and it's still working. It recently developed staticky noise on UHF. VHF, air (Both civil and mil) and 800 Mhz work great. I suspect a component went bad. Anyone else have this with their 2006 or 1002?
I have mine since 94 and haven't noticed any static noise even with the Discriminator tap added to mine which is basically a must to listen to LAPD digital signals :p
 
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