Pro-106 died, good replacement?

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kr0490

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So I had a used Pro-106 for almost a year now, but it seems it has died. I really liked the setup and features of the Pro-106. Since it seems it is no longer going to work, can anyone recommend a good replacement that is similar to the 106. I would like to buy new this time.
 

kr0490

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I was looking at actually getting a base station instead of a portable. I'm looking at the Uniden BCD996XT, how does this compare with the features of the Pro-106. It looks like it has tone out detection, which is a nice feature.
 

kr0490

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It started midday with having really bad static on all channels, including NOAA, then it stopped picking up any signals altogether, the control channel for MARCS even went blank, so im pretty sure something electronic inside shorted or broke. I have been hearing about the Whistler scanners coming out, but I think the Uniden one I mentioned has better features, I would especially like the tone detection it has.
 

kruser

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In addition to tonyclark's question, I'd look at your main monitoring interests.
The 996XT is an excellent radio but there are situations where your old 106 may have worked better. The main one being simulcast site decoding.
The Unidens do not always decode simulcast P25 sites as well as the GRE radios can. In my case, the 996XT runs circles around any GRE but most of that problem is caused by me being surrounded by hospitals full of high power paging transmitters.

It's one of the situations where you may not know until you get a 996XT and see how it performs.
If you know anyone with a 396XT or 996XT and they can hook it up at your place with your systems programmed and see how it works would be ideal. The GRE made radios are generally more sensitive than the Unidens so if you tuned any weak signal stations, the 996 may not work as well.
I own several of each brand and need them all to monitor everything I like.
If the 106 met your needs, it stands a good chance that the 996XT will also meet your needs. The multipath distortion thing from simulcast digital sites would likely be your biggest problem but if you did not monitor any digital systems, then I'd go with the 996XT without hesitation. They are a very solid radio but be prepared for a new programming experience!
There is an excellent free programming package for the Uniden scanners called Freescan.
The 996XT also has a very good fixed level audio output that can be set per channel. That you may like being a feed provider.
All and all, I'd say you will like the 996XT over the 106 as long as you don't have simulcast site decoding issues.
Some users (myself included) have even been finding them for as cheap as $100 dollars at various radio shacks. My last one set me back $119 but not bad for a $400 dollar radio.
It's still hard to give a definite yes answer though as each brand can work better than the other depending on a lot of factors in your area. I'm sure you will get many saying to stay with the 106 or 197 base model if you can find them. It's really a matter of personal preference plus you know the 106 worked for you so that right there may be enough to stick with what worked. With GRE now gone, finding a 106 (PSR500) or 197 (PSR600) could be hard.

Do post what happened with your 106. There are many owners here that know the radio well and it may be something easily fixed unless you tell us it was hit by lightning or something catastrophic!
 

kruser

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It started midday with having really bad static on all channels, including NOAA, then it stopped picking up any signals altogether, the control channel for MARCS even went blank, so im pretty sure something electronic inside shorted or broke. I have been hearing about the Whistler scanners coming out, but I think the Uniden one I mentioned has better features, I would especially like the tone detection it has.
That could be as simple as the center conductor from the BNC jack breaking away from the main RF board. Actually a pretty common problem with the 106 and is easily repaired by someone with decent soldeing skills and the proper low wattage fine tipped iron and other common soldering tools and other various tools like needle nose pliers and a small electronics type phillips screwdriver.

If you moved the radio around a lot, the BNC jack can work loose and then the center wire from the jack flexes one too many times and breaks in two or pulls out of the solder point at one end or the other.
The problem is even more common if you had it hooked to heavier coax from an outdoor antenna as that places more stress on the BNC socket.

I'd almost bet there is a thread or even a wiki article here somewhere in the Radiishack or GRE forums explaining how to check for and fix the problem. With pictures even.
Someone skilled with soldering could repair that type failure in about 10-15 minutes!
It's also possible something in the RF stage has burned out like the 1st RF amp transistor but the BNC jack is often the problem.
 

kr0490

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Kruser, can you give any tips on how to find the Uniden scanner for cheap. Also, i took apart the scanner and i think i see the wire wrapped around the center pin connector, it looks to be intact with no breaks.
 

K9DAK

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Don't forget about this post from UPMan back in April: http://forums.radioreference.com/gre-scanners/289112-whistler-gre-support-2.html

"Effective immediately, Uniden will offer repair services for GRE scanners at a flat rate of $49.50 + $10 shipping. We will be unable to replace custom parts (case parts, LCD, some custom ICs) but the vast majority of repairs involve common parts and should be no problem to fix at our facilities.

To initiate a repair, use our standard submission process at:
Product Repair"
 

n5ims

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I was looking at actually getting a base station instead of a portable. I'm looking at the Uniden BCD996XT, how does this compare with the features of the Pro-106. It looks like it has tone out detection, which is a nice feature.
Try the Pro-197. It's the base version of the Pro-106 so it will use the same programming software and will make it very easy to keep it in sync with your 106 when you get it repaired. While it's not easy to find, it is on clearance so if you find one it should be at a very good price. This thread (http://forums.radioreference.com/radio-shack-scanners/290279-rs-pro-197-a.html) has some examples of what folks were getting them for.
 

kr0490

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I would like to buy a new scanner and I really like the features of the uniden. And yes, if I do decide to buy a new scanner I would likely sell my pro 106.
 

grumpy_hermit

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Had a buddy whose 106 stopped working. I put sideways pressure near the top of the antenna and it came to life. He took or sent it somewhere for repair and it has been fine since.
 

kruser

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Kruser, can you give any tips on how to find the Uniden scanner for cheap. Also, i took apart the scanner and i think i see the wire wrapped around the center pin connector, it looks to be intact with no breaks.
I think it is the PC board end that breaks away and there could be a shield around that solder point. I don't really remember, I've repaired so many radios over the past 40 years, they start blending together!

I don't have any advice on the $99 dollar Uniden's some are finding. I think it's just a matter of luck really.

I had to go to one for work one day so while in the store, I glanced at the old scanner shelf which has been empty for nearly a year now.
I spied a box that I thought was the 396XT marked $79 dollars! Na, I was wrong, it was the 346 which is the non digital version. I still almost bought it for that price but the manager said they had none. It was an empty box.
As I was walking away, I saw another Uniden box. It was the 996XT and it was marked $119.99 or something like that. It was empty also but I asked the manager and he ducked into the storeroom. He came out with a brand new 996XT in an unopened box!
I asked if he also had the one that was in the empty box but he explained that someone had stolen them and the 996 he found was the last.

So I did not do as good as the others for $99 but $119 was still not bad!

There is a thread in one of the Uniden forums about the 99 dollar deals.
Basically, make trips to your local shack and browse around. That is how others are finding them.

Good Luck!
 

kr0490

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How is the Uniden at conventional channels? There are a lot of conventional channels in my area I listened too on my Pro-106, along with the digital.
 

jaspence

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Pro 106 replacement

If you get a X96xt from Uniden, be prepared for a big learning curve. I have both, and the Uniden has a more confusing interface with the "Quick keys". Both radios have pluses and minuses, but the final results in reception are similar.
 

kr0490

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Bad news for some of you, after thinking about it, I would likely keep my pro 106 if i bought a new one and try to eventually get it repaired. It would be nice to have a portable and a base, since i do stream my audio.
 

kr0490

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I have purchased the Uniden BCD996XT. Should arrive tomorrow. I will soon also try to get the Pro-106 repaired. I have tried all the easy fixes, such as bending the pins on the top of the antenna connection, and such. It is likely the center pin connection inside needs re-soldered.
 
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