PRO-43 V.S. AOR AR1000

PRO-43 V.S. AOR AR1000

Post by Drew Ki » Sun, 04 Dec 1994 00:35:37


Does anyone have any information on the PRO-43 from R.S. ?

I am comparing it to the AR1000XLT and the AR8000.

One feature that I would like is the ability to program multiple
ranges of frequencies, in addition to channels. I would like to switch
between scanning the 2 meter HAM to the 70CM HAM to the 800MHZ without
having to reprogram each time. The PRO-43 can only store 1 limited range



PRO-43 V.S. AOR AR1000

Post by Flying Turtl » Sun, 04 Dec 1994 19:16:41

If you want to follow a TRS the PRO 43 is better then an AOR 1000.
The over all quality of construction is somewhat better in the PRO 43.

The AR 1000 is a neat radio and has a few strong points.
Once you understand how it is programed and why the folks designed it that way
you can do incredible things.Briefy you have 10 independent search banks that can be linked together
in a search. I someetimes programed the it to look at vhf fire, vhf police 154-156 area
,vhf police 158-159, uhf police 453 and uhf police 460 -460.6 in five consecutive search banks.
 I locked out the other five banks. Then by hitting search I could quickly find
and follow activity in a new area as I traveled. Often the uhf ranges
were of no use and I could go with my favorite vhf band. You could lock
out anoying birdies, and other frequencies. There were 100 lockouts in each
search bank and you could review them.I regret selling my ar1000 several
years ago because i got alot of use out of that versatile little radio.
Many others who bought it hated it. Difficult to program, and poor quality control.

Actually it wan't all that difficult to program IMHO but the instructions
sucked.I spent a couple of days rewriting the manual in Vic Healey english
as I tried various key presses. That is why I grew to like it as some of the options
began to make sense. Even the strange ripple case was an intelligent choice
when you had wet hands and realize these little radio bricks can
squesses out of your paw like a slick block of soap.

When I was fishing in the Gulf the little metal ears made sense wehn
I realized I could firmly attach a strap to the radio and to myself
to keep it from swiming in the gulf when I was only wearing swim trunks.

The pro 43 is made to be lost with the little PLASTIC belt clip which
constantly breaks. What a cheap cludge!

The ar8000 is supposed to be the ultimate handheld reciever and I just bought
one. I will let you know how I feel about it later. I am selling my 43, complete
with knicks from hitting the ground every time that stupid clip broke.
I have a gentleman who offered me $250 locally for it and I hope he
comes up with the cash Tuesday.

Oh by the way I hated the audio from the 43. Even installing the new type
speaker failed to really improve it. It may  bother you somewhat also.

Vic Healey (ki4je)

Dec 10, 1984

> Hello,

> Does anyone have any information on the PRO-43 from R.S. ?

> I am comparing it to the AR1000XLT and the AR8000.

> One feature that I would like is the ability to program multiple
> ranges of frequencies, in addition to channels. I would like to switch
> between scanning the 2 meter HAM to the 70CM HAM to the 800MHZ without
> having to reprogram each time. The PRO-43 can only store 1 limited range
> scan.

> Drew.


PRO-43 V.S. AOR AR1000

Post by Bob Parnass, AJ » Sun, 04 Dec 1994 02:26:27

        >Does anyone have any information on the PRO-43 from R.S. ?

                                  - 1 -


                           by Bob Parnass, AJ9S

       The new Radio Shack PRO-43 is a small portable scanner  made
       by  General Research Electronics (GRE) which lists for about
       $350.  Although it is a good step above  other  Radio  Shack
       portable  scanners, hobbyists awaiting a portable version of
       the famous PRO-2006 scanner will be somewhat  disappointed.1
       For instance, the PRO-43 is an "extended coverage" and not a
       continuous coverage scanner, covering these bands:

       30 - 50 MHz (5 kHz steps), [30 - 88 MHz after modification]
       118 - 136.975 MHz (25 kHz steps)
       137 - 174 MHz (5 kHz steps)
       220 - 225 MHz (5 kHz steps)

       225.0125 - 512 MHz (12.5 kHz steps)

       806 - 823.9375 MHz (12.5 kHz steps) [806 - 999.9875 MHz
                                       after modification]
       851 - 868.9375 MHz (12.5 kHz steps)
       896 - 999.9875 MHz (12.5 kHz steps)

       Note the omission of the 10 meter  ham  band,  the  cellular
       phone  band, the 75 MHz band, and the lack of coverage above
       1000 MHz.  Luckily, the September 1992 issue  of  Monitoring
       Times  details a modification to restore cellular phone band
       coverage and expand VHF-low band coverage to 30 - 88 MHz.2

       While the PRO-2006 has 400 channels, the PRO-43 has only 200
       channels  divided  into  10 banks.  Individual lockout and 2
       second rescan delay may be selected for each of  the  memory
       channels.  Users may select between AM and narrow band FM on
       any frequency.  The PRO-2006 has 10 pairs of  search  limits


        1. See "The Realistic PRO-2006," by Bob Parnass, AJ9S, in
           Monitoring Times, October 1990.

        2. Speaking from experience, this modification is
           conceptually simple, but is quite a bit more difficult
           than restoring coverage in other scanners.  It requires
           skill and good tools, including a tiny soldering iron.
           One must desolder a tiny surface mount diode and
           resolder it in a different place observing the proper

                                  - 2 -

       but the PRO-43 has only one pair and the step sizes are fac-
       tory set.  The PRO-2006 had selectable step sizes.

       Both models have 10 "monitor" memories which can be  written
       manually during a search.

       The HyperscanTM feature means the PRO-43 is supposed to scan
       at 25 channels per second and search at 50 steps per second.
       The radio scans twice as fast, measured at 50  channels  per
       second  by the reviewer!  When enabled, the priority channel
       is checked every 2 seconds.  As in the PRO-2006, any channel
       may be designated as the priority channel.


       The PRO-43 is just the right size for  a  portable  scanner.
       It  is  smaller than the PRO-37 and Uniden 200XLT but larger
       than the tiny Icom R1.3 The gray plastic  case  feels  about
       the  same as a 200XLT, neither as rugged as the Icom IC-2GAT
       walkie talkie, nor  as  thin  and  chintzy  as  the  PRO-37.
       Inside,  there  are 3 printed circuit boards and most of the
       components are of surface mount technology.

       The top panel contains volume and squelch knobs, a 1/8" ear-
       phone  jack,  and  a  BNC antenna connector.  A plastic belt
       clip of dubious strength is fastened  to  the  rear  with  2

       A semirigid ***ized antenna is furnished with the PRO-43.

                            Performance Issues

       The PRO-43 and Uniden 200XLT were tuned to the same frequen-
       cies both using their stock ***ized antennas.

       On 857.4375 MHz, the PRO-43 heard Joliet Police signals full
       quieting  which  barely  broke  squelch  on  the 200XLT, due
       partly to the poor 800 MHz performance of the  antenna  sup-
       plied  with  the 200XLT.  When the PRO-43 antenna was placed
       on the 200XLT, the 200XLT reception improved noticeably, but
       it was still not as good as the PRO-43.


        3. See "Uniden/Bearcat 200XLT Scanner Review," by Bob
           Parnass, AJ9S, in the RCMA Journal, October 1988.

                                  - 3 -

       On 146.94, 162.475, and 460.1 MHz, the PRO-43 and the 200XLT
       were close in sensitivity.

       When  connected  to  an  outdoor  AV-801   antenna,   paging
       interference  rendered  several VHF high band channels unus-
       able.  The problem disappeared  when  using  the  ***ized
       antenna supplied instead.

       Owing to the use of up conversion, a high first intermediate
       frequency,  images don't appear to be a problem as they were
       on other Radio Shack portable scanners like the  PRO-34  and
       PRO-37.   The PRO-43 IF frequencies are specified at 608.005
       - 611.2 MHz, 48.5 MHz, and 455 kHz.

                          Somewhat "Mushy" Audio

       The PRO-43 uses an LM-386 audio output IC and the  radio  is
       loud  enough,  but distorts severely when the volume control
       is advanced too far.  This is partly  due  to  the  internal
       speaker  as  there is less distortion when using an external
       Motorola lapel speaker plugged into the earphone jack.

       The PRO-43 audio lacks high  frequency  response.   By  com-
       parison, the Uniden 200XLT has cleaner audio and more of it,
       especially when using the internal speaker.


       The PRO-43 requires 6 AA batteries, but none  are  included.
       A  battery  clip slides up into the bottom of the radio case
       and a separate trap door slides over it.  Alkaline cells  or
       NiCd  cells will bring the scanner to life.  Like most other
       Radio Shack portables, there are 2 jacks on  the  side,  but
       they are smaller than usual.  An optional, AC operated "wall
       wart" power supply/charger can power the radio  or  recharge
       NiCd batteries.

       Current drain from batteries was measured at  88  ma.  while
       scanning and 90 - 140 at various settings of the volume con-
       trol with the squelch open.  The PRO-43 averages 36%  higher
       current drain than the 200XLT which means the batteries will
       need recharging more frequently.

                           Keyboard and Display

       The user manual explains that the KEYLOCK slide switch "dis-
       ables the keypad to prevent accidental program changes."  In
       truth, most of the keys are disabled.  The MANUAL  and  SCAN

                                  - 4 -

       keys remain enabled.

       The liquid crystal display (LCD) is a smaller version of the
       display  on  the PRO-37.  Being smaller, it is somewhat more
       difficult to read than  the  200XLT  display.   Pushing  the
       LIGHT  button  lights  a single lamp behind the display.  It
       stays lit for only as long as you keep  the  button  pressed
       and is not latched or timed as in the 200XLT.


       People who want a portable which covers  both  civilian  and
       military  aircraft  frequencies should check out the PRO-43.
       The PRO-43 will be attractive to  hobbyists  who  want  more
       frequency  coverage  and  fewer  images in a smaller package
       than the PRO-37 or Uniden 200XLT and who don't want to fight
       the problems of using the more feature rich AOR 1000XLT.


                      by Bob Parnass, AJ9S

     The Radio Shack PRO-43 scanner audio is too bassy.1 The
     lack of treble makes it difficult to hear the PRO-43 in
     noisy situations, especially while listening in  a  car
     or  truck.   Louis Shirley sent me a schematic and sug-
     gested I remove C341, a tiny 0.015  ufd  surface  mount

     I'm glad to report that  removing  C341  made  a  great
     improvement.   The  audio  is  now much "crisper,"       more
     like the Uniden 200xlt, although  still  not  quite  as
     loud.   Turning  the  volume control up still overloads
     the PRO-43's small, internal speaker, but there's  less
     need to do that once C341 is removed.

     The PRO-43 contains 3 printed circuit boards,  and  the
     middle  (second)  board  contains  the audio circuitry.
     Finding C341 is difficult, as it is neither marked with
     a  value nor a component designation.  It is located on
     the foil side of the  middle  board,  under  IC304,  an
     LM386 amplifier IC.  C341 is in parallel with, and phy-
     sically next to, R350 (33,000 ohm).  R350  is  slightly
     larger than C341 and is marked 333.  Both R350 and C341
     are connected between pin 2 of the LM386 and ground.

                A Note About 50-88 MHz Reception

     Now that I have a schematic, I see  that  the  European
     version  of  the PRO-43 has different coils and capaci-
     tors in the low (mid)  band  front  end  filter.   That
     explains why the 75 MHz sensitivity isn't stellar after
     adding diode D3 to enable 30-88 MHz coverage.


 1. See "PRO-43    Product Review," by Bob    Parnass, AJ9S, in
    the November 1992 RCMA Journal.


                       Copyright 1994,  Bob Parnass, AJ9S