Need help with old Pro - 32 scanner

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Oltymer, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    I was deep into scanners about 20 years ago, but with all the encryption of trunked systems I lost interest. Then last week I picked up an old (1985?) Realistic Pro - 32 scanner with 200 channels. It's working, but will not hold it's memory after being turned off for an hour or so. I replaced the 3 1.5v watch batteries that are supposed to be what hold the memory, but it didn't work. So, I'm guessing a bad capacitor??? Anyways, I really feel a need to know what is going on around me, with whatever freq's I have to work with now as compared to yesteryear, and thought this old scanner would make a good beater. Anybody have any clue as to what repair I could attempt? I may just bail on this one and look for another beater 200+ channels. I was surprised at what is still out there to be heard while fooling around with this old unit. This thing has the best audio I ever heard on a scanner, darn!!!
    Dunerunner and Brokor like this.
  2. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    Do you have a Tablet or a Smart phone ??
    There is a app I have that is free and allows most frequencies.
    works really well.
    Think its called police scanner 5-0
    Oltymer likes this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Just as a test, did you rotate additional batteries, just in case the ones used were not serviceable & can't hold a charge.... had to ask.
    Oltymer likes this.
  4. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Just have an old laptop, no cell phone, but have more freq's from monitoring than I can handle already after being back to it for just a couple of days. The old 32 makes a great piece to monitor for activity and pick up freq's and I may just keep it around in that capacity, and look for something a bit newer to use as my main scanner.

    Yes, tried different batts, all new and rechargeable NH's, it takes 6 AA's + the 3 1.5v watch batts. Still fiddling with it as I love the clear audio it has. Thinking there might be another Old Timer on board who has had experience with these units. I always had Unidens in the past, and my experience is just with those. I took it apart last night and checked the caps for visible damage, but all components check ok under magnified visual inspection.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2016
    Salted Weapon and Yard Dart like this.
  5. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

  6. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

  7. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I have not tested the duration to full drain, as I typically have it on either house or vehicle power when I am using it.
    I will have to add that to my task. You can use either rechargeable or alkaline batt's in it, so it is flexible on power usage. When on the move by foot, you can use your portable solar charger to recharge batts.... which is another nice feature when remote.
    I can pick up the ham repeaters with it, so I can monitor all freqs and save my UV5R batteries till needed.
    Salted Weapon likes this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I would try running it plugged in to AC, which that model is supposed to do and see if there are any issues. If it won't work properly with batteries, it may be any number of the diodes or connectors from using faulty batteries in the past. I don't know if you were the original owner, so I tossed in that possibility. Some folks use alkaline batteries and insert them wrong or try to charge it, which is a bad idea, or they are left in the device for long periods.

    Here's the manual for the Pro 32 -
    Oltymer likes this.
  9. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    Ahh yes I had a PRO-32 back in the day and even bought the Bill Cheek book for it and did a lot of the hacks. I have a PRO-25 that I picked up at swapmeet for $10 and it does about 95% of what I need it to do.

    It's possible that the memory itself croaked, so changing batteries and caps will not clear the trouble. I'm not sure how bad you want to hang onto that old dog, but as you probably know you can get some pretty nice new scanners for about $100 now.
    Oltymer likes this.
  10. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    BINGO !!!! I found an old shop manual and schematic on the web for the Pro - 34, a slightly later model that had 800mhz added, but close enough to a 32 to be practically the same radio. It had a section on how to check the memory, and while going through the process discovered the watch batteries were kind of loose and not making good contact inside their compartment. So, trying an old time simple fix, I put a folded piece of paper over the top of the watch battery compartment to put pressure on it's cover and on the 3 watch batteries beneath it. Then loaded my AA battery pack in on top, where it sits above the watch batteries, and WOO HOO memory now holds fine! Thanks for all the suggestions from everybody! Off to do some serious non trunked scanning, and loading this baby up with a ton of freqs!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
    Brokor, kellory, Dunerunner and 2 others like this.
  11. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Glad to hear you found the issue....well done [winkthumb]
    Oltymer likes this.
  12. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    Awesome, glad you found out before you broke out the soldering gun ;)
    Dunerunner likes this.
  13. Rainbird

    Rainbird Monkey

    Just for the sake of awareness, the phone/tablet "scanner" apps work by delivering the audio content of people who have their own local scanners set to monitor frequencies in their area -- it does NOT turn your device into a scanner.

    A lot of the scanner feeds are available via the website; you can listen via the website or through the apps. You'd need to check your app's information specifically to see if there are any feeds for your area... otherwise you might not get what you expect.

    I have a couple scanners but I also use the Scanner Radio Pro app on my phone, since there are some feeds of interest in my local area. Definitely a useful type of app, but if nobody in your area is broadcasting any feeds, you may not find much of interest to listen to.

    (Of course, nothing preventing you from setting up your own scanner feed on Broadcastify if you are so inclined...)
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  14. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    LOL, now that would be cool if it could become a scanner, I was hoping people would catch on when I said it was an APP, as it can read basically any scanner in the USA rebroadcasted. To do that directly well that would be some modification to a tablet ;)
    But for those that didn't catch on thanks(y) for jumping in and clarifying.
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