Manufactured by Sony, Tokyo.
While the ICF-PRO70 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.\
- ICF-PRO80 : 150 kHz - 108 MHz as well as 115,15 - 223 MHz with the converter mounted.
- 90 x 180 x 50 mm, weight 0.65 kg
The Sony ICF-PRO80 is a scanner receiver with an attached frequency converter that also covers the VHF range from 115 to 223 MHz and thus the aeronautical communication 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), the converter has weight of another 120 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. Two additional UM-3 batteries are required for the FRQ-80 frequency converter, which is attached to the BNC antenna connector and onto which the standard antenna is then attached.
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 frequency converter FRQ-80 is plugged onto the antenna base. The switch in the battery compartment should be set to SHIFT for operation. After plugging in the converter, the display shows [S]. After pressing PROGRAM + DIRECT the display starts flashing, now the converter frequency 1 - 1 - 5 - 0 - 0 - 0 must be entered, after pressing EXECUTE the correct reception frequency is shown in the receiver display. With the converter installed, the receiver can be tuned as usual, six digits must always be entered, i.e. leading zeros for frequencies below 100 MHz. The memory and scan operation modes remain the same.
The converter is equipped with a - 30 dB attenuator and an HF filter for the ranges 115-174 and 174-223 MHz. During scan operation, the frequency 174 MHz should not be crossed if possible, as the reception quality is dependent on the position of the filter switch.
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 ICF-PRO80 occupies a special position in Sony's product range as a handheld scanner with coverage of the Air band and the 2 m amateur band. Even though there are much more powerful handheld scanners available today, with a much wider frequency coverage and more sophisticated memory management, it is still a special experience to follow amateur radio traffic on 2 metres with the small Sony.
As a collector's item, the PRO80 with the frequency converter of course has more appeal than the simpler PRO70 with its coverage of only the AM ranges and the FM broadcast band, although probably the FTZ version of the PRO80 might even be rarer, similar to a stamp rarely sold at the post office counter.
Double conversion superhet.
The set is equipped with semiconductors.