A bit old a thread but....
You have to keep an open mind when looking back on the Tennelec MCP-1 today. Yes, it was a horrible performing radio, but technology wise it laid one heck of a foundation. This was the first keyboard programmable, digital display, PLL scanning radio on the market. People were floored setting their eyes on this scanner in 1976 at the Chicago Consumer Electronics Show. A couple years before it in 1974, Tennelec came out with the first pushbutton programmable scanner with the MS-1 that eliminated the need for scanner owners to purchase crystals. Tennelec’s digital scanner circuit designs from Peter Pflasterer were excellent and innovative for utilizing digital integrated circuit designs that were new to the market at the time.
The trouble for Tennelec came in getting the product from schematics to something that was good enough to put in a box and market to the public. Poor physical product design, lack of acceptable reliability testing, poor manufacturing techniques, and lack of manufacturing quality control came in to play together for Tennelec with the MCP-1. A quick peek inside of an MCP-1 is all that is needed to see how truly awful the end design was. I can’t quite figure this out, because Tennelec was known for making world class high end radiation measurement instrumentation prior to getting in the consumer scanner radio market. I believe they fell on their faces with budgets, knowing they had to develop consumer electronics to a low price point, something they were not used to with radiation equipment. The end result of unacceptable product quality for the consumer products division helped to drive Tennelec to bankruptcy. But from punishment came eventual reward. Both Peter Pflasterer and Tennelec vice president William Baker would move on to Electra/Bearcat outside of Indianapolis. Here, these two men along with a few other Electra developers were able to advance the synthesized scanning radio in to a world class performer with such products as the Bearcat BC300. After Electra was absorbed from Masco of Indiana in to Uniden, Baker would go on to become Uniden North America’s vice president.
With what we have today for scanner radios repairing a vintage non-working (virtually every one left out there) Tennelec MCP-1 is more of an exercise for challenge and enjoyment rather than ending up with a scanner one would actually want to use today.