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Saturday 29 October 2016

Realistic PRO-53 Patrolman scanning receiver

I came into possession of a Realistic PRO-53 scanning receiver on Thursday evening, looks in reasonably good condition and works fine, it is a bit old mind and it needs crystals to set what it can pick up, inside there are 8 sockets (on this they are all occupied), and 8 matching switches to switch between VHF Low, VHF High and UHF.

This example covers from 68-88MHz, 144-174MHz, and 430-490MHz, it could be made to pick up PMR446 as a modern example (which did not exist in the 1980s when this thing was made), but possibly not on frequency, 2-metres and the VHF marine band are other options as well as 4 metres, this all depends on what crystals are plugged into it, looking at a manual for the American market version the IF is 10.7MHz and the crystals resonate on the 3rd overtone to get the frequency you want, the ones fitted currently are marked with the 3rd overtone frequency, the crystals are HC25/U.

I did a short range test with my Pofung GT-5 on low power on 145.400 and it seems to receive fine at such a short range, as it's highly unlikely I'll find a crystal with the correct 3rd overtone for GB3IR's output, I may not be able to use it to monitor the repeater, it appears to have 145.600 as a frequency which I believe is RV48 repeater output, it has the input for RV48 as well, neither of which are of use in this area as no repeater nearby operates on RV48.

This one has some simplex channels in it and some VHF marine channels as well, though all it takes is a crystal swap to change these, though actually finding crystals for it is proving a little tricky with it being an old unit.

When I came into possession of this radio the mains plug was to an older pre-1984 version of BS1363 and was improperly fused, I went to Maplin to get a new plug and fuse yesterday, I was also about looking to bring the antenna connector to a modern standard but was not sure of the impedance of the unit, so scrapped the idea for the time being, the socket is the same as some pre-Fakra car radio antennas, and I was hoping to swap it for a BNC instead as that should fit with no modification, though it has an internal antenna that works just as well.

As a tinkerer and a huge fan of older technology I think this makes the perfect addition to my shack, and is also the oldest piece of radio gear I own, and I hope to have fun seeing what I can make the radio do, the only downside is that it is an FM receiver rather than multimode receive, but that's OK.

I'll keep you posted on this

73 de M6RSQ/26CT730

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