RadioShack PRO-94 Police Scanner Review

I’ve owned and used the PRO-94 for approximately 7 years.  Throughout my ownership the PRO-94 has never once failed me.  The PRO-94 excels where other scanners fail — it’s solid as a rock.  Even though it’s solid, it still features a lightweight, durable, plastic body that has withstood the daily abuse of the kids playing with ‘the police thingy’ and the daily abuse of being in a passenger vehicle.  Does the PRO-94 have some short comings?  Yes.  In this quick review I’ll address the pro’s and con’s of my favorite Police Scanner.

radio-shack-Pro-94.jpg
 

WEIGHT

My favorite police scanner, without batteries, tips the scales at a modest ~9.5 ounces with antenna, belt clip all attached.  I’ve found the weight of this scanner to be a NON ISSUE, meaning that I’ve never found myself feeling wore out or feeling that this is just too heave of a police scanner.   Even on a long day with the PRO-94 clipped to my belt I just about forget it’s there.  That is, until I hear voices coming from my added speaker attached to my shirt. When the PRO-94 is attached to my belt I am forced to wear an added speaker as it’s simply not possible to adequately hear.

KEY PAD

The layout of the scanner couldn’t be much better.  All buttons are made of a durable rubber material and are located on the front directly above the speaker.  Even after years of use I’ve found the buttons to be ‘LIKE NEW CONDITION’ and functioning properly.  After a few weeks I was able to familiarize myself with the layout thus enabling me to perform functions without even looking at the buttons.  I think button response time is fair.  The only downfall to the keypad is its not light up.  I feel if the buttons were to have a back light enabling the operator to actually see the buttons in the dark it would be beneficial.

BATTERY \ SPEAKER

The majority of the time spent with the PRO-94 has been in a vehicle, thus the added speaker came in extremely handy.  I was able to clip the speaker onto my seat belt or hang it from the rear view mirror which enabled me keep both hands on the wheel (really one hand on the wheel, the other most likely on a cell phone) and still hear everything without missing a beat. Since most of my time with this scanner has been spent in the car, a 12 volt DC adapter is almost necessary.  The PRO-94 has GOOD battery management, but, the only true way to ensure nothing is missed is to use an optional DC adapter which keep the juice constant.

LCD SCREEN

The LCD screen, which is located on the front of the scanner above the keypad, is poorly lighted.  The LCD screen should be back lit (like an Indiglo watch), but it isn’t.  The light is provided by no more than 5 VERY small incandescent light bulbs off to the side of the screen.   In low light situations I’ve almost needed a flashlight just to read what’s on the screen.

Antenna

The included antenna works OK, but over the years has become a little ‘loose’.  It seems at the very base of the antenna, actually on the scanner itself, there’s a type of a nut that has become loose.  I’m able to ‘push’ this nut and secure the fastener a bit more thus ensuring the antenna connection is secure.  That being said, if you’re serious about scanning you’ll want to pick up either a mobile scanner antenna or a home base antenna to ensure signals are picked up adequately.

Ericson EDACS Trunking

The last city I lived in used the Ericson EDACS trunking system. From within the city ( about 5miles X 5 miles) the scanner worked wonderfully. I was able to ‘lock on’ to one of the city services and stick with them the whole day — no matter what actual frequeny they were on.  The scanner did not fair so well once we actually left the city. More than a couple miles away from the tower and the signal would fade and stop working.  A few of the local cops had mentioned to me that ‘their system works 20 miles out’.   What a bummer.  This is one area I wish the PRO-94 could have been a little bit better at.

CONCLUSION

Over all the PRO-94 IS FOR THE WIN and I would recommend it to a potential scanner enthusiast.   The best part about the PRO-94 is that it can be had for less than $60 on ebay… not bad for a DUAL TRUNKING SCANNER!

The below specifications are straight from the owners manual (see bottom of review for link).

Frequency Coverage: ……………… 29-54 MHz (in 5 kHz steps)
108-136.975 MHz (in 12.5 kHz steps)
137-174 MHz (in 5 kHz steps)
216-224.995 MHz (in 5 kHz steps)
406-512 MHz (in 12.5 kHz steps)
806.0000-823.9375 MHz (in 12.5 kHz steps)
851.0000-868.9875 MHz (in 12.5 kHz steps)
896.1125-956.0000 MHz (in 12.5 kHz steps)
1240.0000-1300.0000 MHz (in 12.5 kHz steps)
Monitor Channels …………………………………………………………. 10
Number of Banks …………………………………………………………. 20
Sensitivity (AM/FM):
FM ……………………………………….. 20 dB S/N at 3 kHz deviation)
29-54 MHz…………………………………………….. 0.5 mV
137-174 MHz ……………………………………….. 0.5 mV
216-225 MHz ……………………………………….. 0.6 mV
406-512 MHz ……………………………………….. 0.5 mV
806-956 MHz ……………………………………….. 0.6 mV
1240-1300 MHz ……………………………………. 4.0 mV
AM …………………………………….. 20 dB S/N at 60% modulation)
108-136.9875 MHz ……………………………….. 1.5 mV
Spurious Rejection (at 40.84 MHz) …………………………… 50 dB
Selectivity:
10 kHz -6 dB
15 kHz -50 dB
IF Rejection (at 162.4 MHz) …………………………………….. 80 dB
Channels ………………………………………………………………… 1000
Operating Temperature …………….. -4° to 140°F (-2°0 to 60°C)
Scan Speed ……………………………………… 50 Channels/Second
Search Speed:
Normal ………………………………………………… 100 Steps/Second
Hypersearch ………………………………………… 300 Steps/Second
Service ………………………………………… 50 Frequencies/Second
Priority Sampling ……………………………………………… 2 Seconds
Delay Time ……………………………………………………… 2 Seconds
IF Frequencies …………………. 380.7 MHz, 10.85 MHz, 450 kHz
Antenna Impedance ………………………………………………….. 50W
Audio Output ……………………………………….. 350 mW maximum
Built-in Speaker …………………………………. 1
Maximum Current Drain ……………………………………….. 180 mA
Power Requirements:
4 AA Alkaline Batteries (6.0 VDC),
or 4 AA Rechargeable Ni-Cd Batteries (4.8 VDC)
or Optional AC Adapter
or Optional DC Adapter
Current Drain:
Squelched …………………………………………….. 70 mA
Full Output ……………………………………………180 mA
Weight (without antenna, batteries, belt clip) ……………… 8.2 oz
(232 g)

Th
e free PRO-94 User Manual (PDF) is available at RadioShack.com.