Manufactured by Sony, Tokyo.
While the PRO-70 was also available in a variant approved by the German communications agency, the PRO-80, equipped with a converter for receiving the VHF ranges, did not never get FTZ approval.\
The Sony ICF-PRO70 is a scanner receiver that was sold in various versions with restricted frequency ranges in order to obtain approval of the national telecommunications agency (like the German FTZ).
The Variant 1 covers the entire range of long / medium and shortwaves up to the VHF range 108 MHz; the sets with FTZ approval have a reception gap between the upper end of the short wave band and the VHF range. Only the version ICF-PRO80 with an attached frequency converter can also cover the VHF range from 115 to 223 MHz and thus the aeronautical communications band and the 2 m amateur radio band.
In terms of design, the set has the appearance and dimensions of a walkie-talkie radio; it has exactly the same dimensions as the AIR-7 (9 x 18 x 5 cm) and the same weight (650 g). Instead of the rubber helix antenna of the AIR-7, a telescopic antenna is used. The antenna with a yellow plastic bottom is mounted on a BNC socket on the top face of the set.
The set is powered by four UM-3 batteries, a special Sony rechargeable accumulator block, a „car adapter“ or a centre-negative mains adapter.
On the top face of the unit, the green main switch is located at the left, next to it are the rotary volume and squelch controls, pressing them activates a tone control with clipping of the high tones and an automatic position for the squelch control. The outer ring of the right rotary switch recalls the four memory „pages“, the inner ring is used for fine tuning between the 5 kHz steps for AM and especially for CW reception.
In a second row, next to the BNC antenna connector, there is a jack for headphones and tape recorder line out.
At the top of the front panel is the LCD display indicating the frequency and operating status, markings for the memory channels, at the bottom a red LED as signal strength indicator.
At first glance, the keypad below seems a little confusing:
The DIRECT key initiates direct frequency entry with the numeric keys, the procedure is concluded with EXECUTE, the desired station sounds from the peaker - or a „Try again“ indicates input errors. By pressing the ENTER key in the lower left corner and a numeric key, the current frequency is stored in the selected memory channel; by pressing the numeric key again, the stored station is recalled. Depending on the position of the PAGE rotary switch, the ten channels in the corresponding memory page (1 - 0to9 / 2 - 0to9 / etc.) are allocated, so the set has forty memory channels. The keys + / - (SCAN) are used for manual tuning starting from the active frequency, the ICF-PRO70 has no manual tuning knob.
Pressing the SCAN keys (+ / -) for a longer time activates an automatic scan; pressing the key again stops the scan. The scanning threshold is set by adjusting the squelch knob. Whether the scanning function stops at the next signal worth receiving (SCAN 1), continues after 2 seconds (SCAN 2) or stops at the next signal and continues automatically when the carrier is no longer present (SCAN 3) can be determined by means of the yellow function key and the numeric keys 1 - 3.
To scan a certain range, the start frequency is set by pressing FUNCTION / DIRECT and the end frequency is set by FUNCTION / EXECUTE. The search mode is set by FUNCTION + 0 and started by pressing the SCAN key.
By pressing the Memory-Scan key the receiver jumps to the next memory location, a longer key press makes it automatically scan through all stored frequencies. By using the PROGRAM key, the memories on the different pages can be transferred one after another to be scanned. The receiver can also monitor a priority channel during operation. To do this, call up the frequency and then simultaneously press PRIORITY + the memory number; the frequency is now monitored for activity every 3 sec.
With the FUNCTION key and a numeric key 4, 5, 7, 8 , 9 the Operation mode can be selected, the receiver has two AM filters and FM-wide and narrow modes, only Veriante 3 of the receiver is not equipped with narrowband FM. In SSB/CW mode, the FINE control can be used to set the beat node of the BFO. In the modes AM-W and AM-N the fine tuning must be activated with FUNCTION + 6. In the medium wave range, the switch in the battery compartment for selecting the 9 / 10 kHz channel grid should also be in the correct position.
The small speaker is located at the bottom of the front panel, it is labelled HI SCAN, so the ICF-PRO70 can be distinguished from the AIR-7 at a distance.
The Sony PRO-70 has only been sold in small numbers in Germany, probably because of the frequency restrictions. A set like the ICF-7600D will do at least as good a job, as long as the scan functions are not important.
The receiver is only suitable for monitoring aeronautical radio or the 2 m amateur radio band if the ICF-PRO80 version with an installed converter is used.
This leaves the ICF-PRO70 with the somewhat thankless role of a look alike shortwave and VHF radio scanner, which it actually is not…
Double conversion superhet.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.