A Review of the Radio Shack Pro-82 Handheld Scanner

It was either December 23 or Christmas Eve of 2004.

I was given some cash as a Christmas gift by my parents and was making a beeline to my local Radio Shack.

There was a certain scanner that I was laser-focused on purchasing, namely a Radio Shack Pro-82.

And that is what this piece will be a review thereof.

I had been medicated since the following June and this medication was hindering my academic performance considerably. This was on top of the fact that I don’t think I belonged in school or at least a conventional school.

However, despite experiencing all of these academic hindrances and anhedonia to a considerable degree, my scanner interest was still somewhat there, although it had been considerably diminished.

The two reasons for me desiring a Radio Shack Pro-82 were that it was affordable (on sale for $79.99), it could tune in civilian aircraft, and it had an extensive memory compared to what I had been previously used to.

That day, I don’t remember what type of shirt or pants I was wearing but I had on a Synergy jacket that I had worn from the ages of 11 to 22. I remember paying cash for the scanner and may have purchased some Alkaline Ennercell batteries for that scanner as well. I then placed the scanner still in its box along with the receipt in the shopping bag inside that jacket.

My Chemistry teacher happened to be also walking the mall and I remember running into her and asking if I passed for the semester to which she said I did. While I do think science is fascinating, I am terrible at it because of all the Algebra it requires.

Afterward, I went to Burger King along with my dad and brother and I drank some coffee, although I cannot remember what I had to eat.

When I arrived home, I set up the scanner and began to do a dedicated search of the aircraft band, although I could not well understand what was being said. Before this, my only ability to tune in aircraft transmissions was by my Radio Shack Multiband Radio which was a 12-756.

For the rest of Christmas Break, I used this scanner to tune in all sorts of aircraft communications.

I was also attending a church in Schriever, Louisiana, and should have used this scanner to tune in the railroad communications in addition to the aircraft communications.

What highly impressed me was the crispness and clarity of this scanner’s audio, especially compared to my Uniden BC80XLT, which seemed to have dull audio.

After Christmas break was over and school had resumed, I would frequently carry this scanner in my schoolbag and listen to it after school or during lunch (in a secluded area of the school.)

When not in school I was either tuning in local businesses (especially Southland Mall), fire and EMS communications, or sometimes marine traffic all in addition to air traffic.

It was now Summer break of 2005 and I had some income from my first job. For years I had wanted to obtain an amateur radio license but could never afford the equipment or even the test to take, but never had the income.

One day after work, I used this scanner to tune in to my local amateur radio repeater and took note of the callsigns being mentioned.

I had looked several of them up on QRZ’s website and acquired the email address of a few.

One older gentleman replied to my email and informed me that there was an event occurring shortly, namely Field Day. I did attend that event and I noticed that all the other guys were holding various handheld transceivers while I was holding my Radio Shack Pro 82. I was later given some study materials which helped me pass my exam on July 18, 2005.

So you, the reader, could say, this scanner was instrumental in me getting my ticket.

Sadly shortly after, there was a software glitch and it gave out on me.

I would replace it a year later with a Radio Shack Pro-95.

In November of 2009, I bought another Radio Shack Pro-82 and installed a high-performance antenna on it.

This second one was instrumental in me listening to my local railroads as well as the fire and business band.

In fact, it was my EDC scanner until December of 2011.

I ended up giving it to a friend in the former parts of 2012. I think he still uses it!

Feeling nostalgic, I purchased my third Radio Shack Pro-82 in the latter parts of 2021, although I haven’t used it much.

If one wants to listen to fire department tone-outs, marine traffic, civilian air traffic, most railroad traffic (even in 2022), [local] amateur radio, analog business band, racing, and maybe a few federal entities, then this scanner would still be useful even today. For anything else, it also receives Weather Radio broadcasts. I think it was put on the market in 2003 and taken off between 2007 and 2009, replaced by the Pro-404. This scanner does not tune in CB or Free Band, which means I will take off a point. It also does not have a Signal Stalker feature but it was made before such a feature was standard on most scanners.

A more detailed list of the features follows:

Frequency Range:
29.00-54.00 MHz FM
108.00-137.00 MHz AM
380.00-512.00 MHz FM

Dedicated Push button service band searches for
VHF Marine (ship button)
[Rural] Police, Fire, and EMS (flame button)
Civilian Aircraft (airplane button)
Amateur Radio (10M, 6M, 2M 70CM all in FM) (antenna button)
All 7 Weather Channels (storm cloud button)

200 Memory Channels

The Radio Shack Pro 82 was Radio Shack’s entry-level handheld model for the mid-2000s.

If only one could go back to [19]82 with one of these (considering the model number), then it would shine like the brightest beacon on a moonless night!

It may be considerably bulky by 2022’s standards, especially for someone wanting to watch trains and boats outdoors, but it makes up for it with sensitive tuning and excellent audio (which made me a convert to Radio Shack scanners for a few years.)

I guess this, therefore, concludes my review of the Radio Shack Pro-82.

If you’re wondering, I give it a 3 out of 5 stars. The first point was taken off for not featuring CB and Freeband when it easily could have. Another half point was taken off for not covering 800 MHz, which many even some rural agencies were using by 2003. Finally, there could have been a dedicated search for a business band, maybe with a dollar sign button to activate it. If I were to rate it in 2022, I would still give it 3 out of 5, analog 800 MHz is almost obsolete nowadays, but CB and Freeband are making a comeback, and business band frequencies are quite interesting to hear these days. However, this scanner is quite bulky and power-hungry by modern standards.

For those wondering, my anhedonia has been kept at bay almost continuously since late January 2006.

I hope that you, the reader, have been informed, enlightened, and maybe even entertained.

May God richly bless you!

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