I have a friend who is looking for a used, cheap handheld or base that would be used for 220 to 440 Mhz scanning of mil-air, etc. I though about the earlier RS pro-39, 43 and such and the BC-780 or 785 or Icom ic-R5. Any other ideas?
If that's all your friend would be using them for, he wouldn't go wrong with the BC250, 296 or 796 either (just for the first 2, make sure it has the programming cable - it's as rare as hen's teeth, and worth it's weight in gold...).
Just keep in mind that neither the 250 nor the 785 will support a true P25 trunk, nor does it support rebanding, so if he has that in mind as a future consideration, it's something to know. The 296 and 796 are supported for rebanding 73 Mike
Another one would be the BC898. It's better than it's older predecessor the 895 in that it can change the mode from FM to AM in the 136-144 mhz band, where a lot of National Guard and Air National Guard stuff can be found.
Unfortunately no alpha tags without software (ARC898 or Scan Control), but neither the PRO-39 or 45 have tags either; at least you can with software using the 898.
Very simple scanner, very poor manual but programming conventional stuff should be a snap. 73 Mike
Pro-97/2055, Pro-163/164, BC895/898, BC780. Pro-2006 and the 2004. My favorite handheld was the Pro-43. Favorite base was the Pro-2006. Using my 163 daily. My Yaesu FT60R works quite well also. Used to have an Icom IC-2720 that was outstanding for milair. The 163 will do AM/FM in the 138-143Mhz range. It also has alphatags. It was my replacement for my aging 895. The 898 didn't have enough memory, or, alphatags. BC15T has tons of memories but a bear to program by hand.