Radio Pages

Sony Corporation, Tokyo

ICF - PRO70 Scanner Receiver

Sony Logo
travel radios
portable receivers
communication receivers
oldie - receivers
military equipment
Sony CRF-5090
Sony TFM-8600W
Sony ICF-8650
Sony ICF-2001D
Sony AIR-7 / AIR-8
Sony ICF-PRO70
Sony ICF-PRO80
receiver list
receiver manuals

überarbeitet am 30.10.2010

In the same shaped cabinet as the Air band receiver AIR-7, Sony presented another scanner receiver in the year 1987: the ICF-PRO70 was sold in Germany in a version compatible with the regulations / frequency band restrictions of the German Post, the very similar set with a plug in VHF converter never got admitted to be sold in Germany by the FTZ. There have been the possibilities to order such sets in Switzerland or Holland (for export only) or to bring one back from a trip to the far east.

ICF-PRO70 Type 1: 150 kHz - 108 MHz

ICF-PRO70 Type 2: 150 kHz - 29995 kHz as well as 87,6 - 108 MHz

ICF-PRO70 Typ 3: 150 kHz - 26100 kHz as well as 87,6 - 108 MHz (for Germany)

ICF-PRO80 : 150 kHz - 108 MHz as well as 115,15 - 223 MHz with the attached frequency converter.

Double conversion

Digital display, 5 kHz AM, 50 kHz VHF

150 kHz - 108 MHz (Typ 1)

Selectivity -6 dB/ -60 dB


Different scanning modes, squelch, 40 memories

The Sony ICF-PRO70 is a handheld scanner receiver with a walkie talkie design similar to that found with the AIR-7; it has been sold in different versions with frequency restrictions te get approval by the post in Germany and Italy.
Variant No. 1 covers the complete AM range from longwaves, mediumwaves and shortwaves up to the VHF FM broadcast band, the models with European post approval have a gap from the upper end of the shortwave band to 88 MHz, where the FM broadcast band starts, the German version covers shortwaves only up to 26,1 MHZ meeting the even harder restrictions of the German FTZ in the eighties.
Only the version ICF-PRO80 with the connected VHF adaptor will cover the 115 - 223 VHF range and with this, the major part of the Air band and the 2 meter amateur band.

The receiver has a similar shape as a walkie talkie, it has the same dimensions as the AIR-7 with 9 x 18 x 5 cm and has a weight of 650 g. Instead of the flexible rubber covered antenna, it comes with a much longer telescopic antenna, the base element of which is covered with yellow plastic. The antenna is plugged into a BNC antenna socket at the top face of the radio.
The radio is powered from four UM-3 batteries, a special Sony accumulator, a specially designed "Car Adaptor" cable or a center - negative external power supply.

At the radio's top face, You find the green coloured pushbutton acting as main switch in the left corner, next to it the volume and squelch control. When the volume control is depressed, it acts as tone limiter, the squelch is in automatic mode, when the squelch button is depressed. With the outside ring of the rotary control at the right, You can selecrt one of the four memory pages with 10 memories each, the inner part acts as fine tuning for the AM andspecially CW / SSB modes. In a back row, You find the antenna BNC connector and the jacks for earphones and tape recorder.

In the upper part of the front panel, You find the liquid crystal display for the frequency display, mode / scanning display and management of the memory channels, in the lower left corner a small red tuning LED.
It is difficult to get a good overview over the keypad if You do not know the radio very well:
The button DIRECT precedes direct keypad frequency entry with the numbered keys, if it's completed with EXECUTE, You will hear the station on the respective frequency or get a "Try again" message in case You have entered a frequency not covered by the receiver.
By pressing the ENTER button in the left lower corner, followed by a numbered key, You enter the active frequency in the receivers memory channel, by pressing the same number key again, the station's frequency is recalled from memory. According to the position of the PAGE selector, You can write the memories in the corresponding memory page (1 - 0 to 9 / 2 - 0 to 9 / etc.), the receiver has a total of fourty memory channels.
The pushbuttons + / - (SCAN) are used to manual tuning the radio starting from the frequency active in the moment. The ICF-PRO70 has no conventional tuning knob.
When the SCAN button (+ / -) is depressed a bit longer, the radio starts automatic scanning, when the button is pressed again, scanning will stop immediately. The stop treshold is depending from the setting of the squelch button. The yellow second function key and the corresponding numbered key let You determine whether You want the receiver to stop scanning at the next signal above squelch treshold (SCAN 1), to continue scanning after a time of two seconds (SCAN 2) or to continue scanning after the carrier of the station is gone off the air (SCAN 3).
To scan a certain frequency range, set the start frequencyy by pressing FUNCTION / DIRECT and the end frequency by pressing FUNCTION / EXECUTE; use the command FUNCTION + 0 to activate the scan mode and start scanning by pressing the SCAN button.
When You press the MEMORY SCAN button, the receiver jumps to the next frequency in memory, when You press the key longer, the receiver starts scanning all available memories. You can even add several memory pages to be scanned after each other by using the key PROGRAM.
While the receiver is active, a priority channel can be monitored continuously, for this tune to the desired frequency and press PRIORITY + memory number simultaneously, the priority frequency is checked for activity every three seconds.

Use the FUNCTION key followed by a corresponding numbered key 4, 5, 7, 8 , 9 to select the reception mode: the receiver has two AM bandwidths and FM-wide (FM broadcast stations) and FM-narrow (utility communications), but only the variant 3 of the ICF-PRO70 is equipped with the NBFM mode. When in SSB/CW mode, the FINE control can be used to adjust the CW beat note or to fine tune the SSB signal for optimal readibility. In the modes AM-W and AM-N, these fine tuning option has to be activated by pressing FUNCTION + 6. In the mediumwave range, the channel selector in the battery compartment should be in the correct position 9 / 10 kHz, 9 kHz is used for the European channel grid and 10 kHz in the Americas.

The little speaker is located at the bottom section of the frontpanel, there is a writing HI SCAN, so You can make the difference to a AIR-7 in an online auction even from a poor image.

The Sony PRO-70 is a scanning receiver capable of shortwave reception, but I think, it won't have been sold too often with the frequency restrictions for Germany. A small travel radio as the ICF-7600D will do the job as well, as long as not all scanning options are needed.
To monitor the Air Band traffic or the 2 m amateur radio band, only the version ICF-PRO80 with the installed frequency converter does the job.
So, for the ICF-PRO70 has the not very reputable job to represent a handheld scanner with coverage restricted to the AM and the FM broadcast band, from a real scanning receiver, You would expect much more frequency coverage. So You expect the ICF-PRO70 to be a kind of receiver, that it is not...

© Martin Bösch 27. Sept. 2010