Sony Corporation, Tokyo
ICF - PRO80 Air Band Scanner Receiver
überarbeitet am 30.10.2010
In a very similar "walkie talkie" like cabinet as the AIR-7, Sony presented in the year 1987 the scanning receivers ICF-PRO70 / 80. The ICF-PRO70 did exist in a variant meering the frequency restrictions of most Western European telecommunications administrations, the PRO-80 covering the VHF band never got admitted by the German FTZ.
ICF-PRO80 : 150 kHz - 108 MHz as well as 115,15 - 223 MHz with the VHF frequency converter connected.
The Sony ICF-PRO80 is a handheld scanning receiver covering the VHF range 115 - 223 MHz with the matching VHF converter plugged to the antenna socket. With this, it can be used to monitor Air Band traffic from Your local airport and the 2 m ham 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 560 g, add another 120 grams for the converter. 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.
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.
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 VHF frequency converter FRQ-80 is plugged on to the BNC antenna connector. The tiny switch in the battery compartment sould be set to the SHIFT position, after You have installed the converter, You see a symbol [S] on the display. After pressing PROGRAM + DIRECT, this symbol will start flashing, now enter the converter frequency 1 - 1 - 5 - 0 - 0 - 0, press EXECUTE and the correct reception frequency is shown on the radio's display.
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-80 is a AM bands / VHF scanning receiver, due to it's extended frequency coverage, it has not been sold too often in Germany. It might be of good use to monitor the Air Band traffic or the 2 m amateur radio band, but as there are today many handheld scanning receivers with much wider frequency coverage, more memories and alphanumeric memory labelling - the ICF-PRO80 will remain a collector's piece. But it's nice to own a scanning receiver made by Sony...
© Martin Bösch 27. Sept. 2010