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PRO96 Digital Scanner Review

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Radio Shack Pro 96 Review

The Pro-96 in operation!
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Well its a Wednesday at 7.30am I was off to work in the country via dubbo, as I had my scanners on and the police radio operator called a memo to all cars and stations at 9am all cars and stations are to transfer over to digital. "What BUGGER this" Im leaving and missing the excitement. oh well work first..


Omy return how surprised was I to hear all the normal channels buzzing with digital signal. Well as many other people know, the monitoring of police is a interesting pastime but for me and garry, its a knowledge thing as we advise many different people and businesses.


Garry had already purchased a digital scanner a Radio Shack PRO96 some months before and I had been researching the net for other options. But the truth was the best value for money was the Pro96 at the moment.


Within a few days I had made several calls to my contacts about the PRO96, did anyone in oz sell them. Id advised a nice bloke from cookies towing ,Doug about where in Sydney he may be able to buy one, he rang me back the same day to tell me 2 were on thier way and could I program them for him. of course I would help, thats what Garry & I do. Well he rang the next morning at 9 to tell me they were here(I was asleep, thank god for answering machines). I called him back and he came over in the afternoon. Well it was a quick project, so i just typed in the freqs and to my surprise the radio started decoding digital by itself, no special setup required, I programmed his second radio. and off he went, Ideceided to go and buy one myself, rang the shop up to check if they still had stock and arranged to head to sydney the next morning


The next morning with my missus with me (she was not 100% happy I was spending so much money on a scanner since I wont spend any on a engagement ring), we got to the shop in sydney at 9.30am and bought my first digital scanner. I also bought a genuine programming cable. I asked to have some batterys put in so on the way home so I could play..... But the missus confiscated it "as I was driving" and as we drove I suggested some freqs to try and bang I heard some digital from Sydney Channels.


I really played when i got home. boy did I dog ear the manual too, but some features that are fantastic ,for the GRN (Goverenment Radio Network) all you need is the control Channel no voice channels. and it holds 150 ID's per bank so the entire GRN for the state can be in one bank.


At this point if your looking for a realitively easy to use scanner get it programmed by us and enjoy its simple use.


this scanner also has a "vfolder" like a book that you page thru it can store 10 sets of 500 channels plus your working set in the scanner. so you can have 500 channels for say Newcastle, then if you go to Sydney you have a a "vfolder" for it, its very easy to swap a vfolder to you working memory and quick, if you ever tried to upload a 780 with a new set of freqs & IDs you would find it can take up to 25mins this is less than 40seconds so this feature is FANTASTIC.


other easy use features , if you have ever owned a 780xlt and just wanted to change, add or subtract a bank from scanning and its a trunk bank, its not easy. with this scanner you just press the bank number while in scan mode. easy.


Some differences, you have 5"lists" or groups of 30 Trunk ID tags but you cant scroll thru and listen to one ID, you have to wait to hear it and the hold the ID, not a big thing really, but turning on & off the 5 groups is not easy, but really once you have programmed you dont really change things do you?(NOTE SEE BOTTOM FOR EMAIL INFO ON THIS)


In operation the police on digital is clear, BUT dont expected to hear encrypted signals NO RADIO will do that. what the encrypter sounds like is like a bubby water with a voice type of sound, its not harsh though. but the coverage of the police is now a lot better with 5 digital bases for Newcastle and the sound quality is very good no hiss or scratchy messages.


With the central coast and Lower Hunter Police also digital the future of digital is assured. Also with The GRN having more digital users the future is DIGITAL, already the ACT is an extension of the NSW GRN and where several IDs using digital


If you want programming call me on 0433 383 550or email for details


here are some features

• APCO 25 digital trunking including the newer systems using a 9600bps control channel
• Scanner follows analog Motorola I, II, I/II and GE/Ericsson (EDACS) trunked radio systems
• Scanner is preprogrammed with the most often-requested systems—if you live in a major metro area, your city's system is probably already loaded(US ONLY)
• Expanded frequency coverage picks up local marine, police/fire, HAM, VHF-air, racing, CB, weather, FRS/GMRS/MURS (US)and virtually every other popular scanner frequency as well
• FM/AM mode
• SAME (FIPS) weather alert
• Backlit display and keypad
• Channel scan
• Alpha display can show name of service
• Continuous Tone Controlled Selective Squelch (CTCSS) and Digital Coded Squelch (DCS) decoding
• TCXO for frequency stability; designed for new 6.25KHz channel spacing
• Frequency coverage: 25-54, 108-136.9875, 137-174, 216.0025-225, 406-512, 806-960MHz (except cellular), 1240-1300MHz (Software Opened By Newcastlescan from 25-1300Mhz less UHFTV & some US cellular)
• PC interface
• Requires 4 “AA” batteries, not included




This is the best handheld scanner yet (thats for 30mhz+), with the control channel for the GRN and digital decoding, its got good battery life with 2300Nimh  rechargeables and has 9v input for recharging internally and powering the scanner from car or at home. clear display, I never liked the 245 much and this radio does kick its ass in so many ways.


Its only annoyance which is not a big thing is my radio is very susceptible to digital interference from mobile phones in close proximiy but does not impede the performance in anyway. the pro2096, is the base/mobile model based on the handheld



Hi Mike.

Just read your review on the Pro-96 and noticed your only complaint about

it was you can't scroll through them and listen to one ID.

Actually you can. Its just not explained in the manual correctly ( thought

it is on pages 90-91). Heres how.

1.When trunk scanning, press manual. You should hear the control channel of

the GRN site you were on.

2. Press FUNC and then TRUNK. This will bring you into the talk group ID lists.

3. Use the arrow keys to scroll to the talk group you want to hold.

4. Press FUNC and then TRUNK again. It will now hold on the ID you selected.

There is a way you can even punch in the IDs memory number and then it will

go straight to it, and you can hit FUNC-TRUNK but I have never been able to

get it to work.




For Members of The Newcastlescan email group you will find a recording of the transfer over from analogue to digital in the members only section. If you want to join goto the front page and add your email address for FREE membership 

If you have purchased a PRO96 pro2096. ubct996t or 396t and wished to have one programed call 0409980872 the current fee is $35