I have been
a huge fan of Radio scanners for years now. But one of my favorite handheld
radio scanners, and one of the more popular ones, was the Radio Shack Pro-95. I
noticed when I was reading the manual that some frequencies were blocked. I
couldn’t believe that Radio Shack blocked over 148,000 frequencies! The Pro-95
is a great scanner but I wanted to unlock its full potentional. This article
will explain how to unlock certain frequencies for both the Pro-93 and the
Pro-95 that were originally blocked by Radio Shack.
General Background Information on Radio Scanners
would like to explain a quick background on Radio Scanners. Radio scanners have
been used for a long time. They are used to monitor different frequencies that
are used by Police, Fire, Ambulance, Civilian and Military Aircraft, Coast Guard
& Boats, FBI & DEA, Ham Radio Operators, various state, local & federal
agencies, News Media Vans Helicopters, plumbers, landscapers, electric
companies, private security companies & others using two-way radios; Also
Officials & others at various Sporting events, including Race drivers & pit
crews. Depending on the scanner, it can pick up signals from as short as a
couple feet to thousands of miles away. Many of the scanner frequencies only
cover short distances so you would not expect the signal to travel more than a
few miles. Some signals actually bounce of the earth's atmosphere and can travel
thousands of miles. On average, you can expect a typical radio scanner to
receive signals from a 25 to 50 mile radius from your location. A radio scanner
basically measures background noise off a particular frequency. If it finds a
frequency with a lot of background noise (usually people talking), it will pause
on that particular channel.
modifications on older scanners allow you to unlock cell phone frequencies.
Others, such as the ones in this article, allow you to listen to frequencies
that were originally blocked from the factory.
Background Information on Cellular Frequencies with Radio Scanners
scanners were never built to receive cellular frequencies. However, scanners
built before 1994 were able to be “modified” to receive these analog
frequencies. The older scanner models actually had the cellular frequencies
programmed in them and certain modifications allowed a user to “un-hide” them.
Scanners built after 1994 were required to be blocked and didn’t even have these
frequencies hidden. They were manufactured to not even include them. Even if
scanners today could receive these frequencies, they would be of almost no use.
With the development and use of digital cell phone signals such as GSM, TDMA, or
CDMA, and even if the scanner was tuned to their frequency, you wouldn’t be able
to hear anything. Therefore, any website claiming they can unlock your scanner
to receive cell phone signals is a fraud.
let’s get down to what’s actually blocked on the Pro-93 and the Pro-95.The
frequencies blocked on these models are:
17.000000 - 24.995000 MHz (1600 frequencies)
54.005000 - 107.995000 MHz (10799 frequencies)
174.005000 - 216.000000 MHz (8400 frequencies)
225.005000 - 405.995000 MHz (36199 frequencies)
512.006250 - 805.993750 MHz (47039 frequencies)
960.006250 - 1239.993750 MHz (44799 frequencies)
Total: 148836 frequencies
actually program frequencies as low as 5 kHz and as high as 4194.3 MHz, but the
radio scanner will not receive anything lower than 17 MHz or higher than 1300
MHz. Unlocking these frequencies allows you to listen to certain Government,
Business, two-way and cordless phones (varies), 2 & 6-meter Amateur Radio,
Aircraft, or Amateur Radio that uses frequencies within the blocked range.
in on certain FBI or CIA frequencies is not only illegal but impossible due to
the fact that their radio signals are encrypted. However, certain government
agencies broadcast unencrypted signals. Please check http://www.radioreference.com/ for a list of radio frequencies in your area.
Please use this guide at your own risk. Software modification of your radio
scanner to monitor blocked frequencies may be ILLEGAL depending on the
frequency you’re monitoring. Please check with your local and federal laws
before listening in on blocked frequencies.
I assume no responsibility for any actions you take from this guide that result
in damage to your unit. I am not responsible for any legal action that may be
taken against you resulting from this guide. This guide was created for EDUCATIONAL purposes only!
two confirmed ways to unblock the frequencies from your Pro-93 or Pro-95 radio
scanner. One is a lot easier than the other.
thing you will need in order for any of this to work is to purchase a PC-IF to
USB cable that will connect your radio scanner to your computer. If you already
have a cable similar to this one, great! Move on to the next step. Otherwise, it
can be purchased from: http://www.greamerica.com/scanner.html. If you would prefer to go through
Radio Shack, contact Radio Shack and order catalog #20-289.
sure you install the drivers for your scanner! The drivers for the GRE USB cable mentioned above are also available at http://www.greamerica.com/scanner.html.
Once you have your data cable and installed the drivers, you are ready to
proceed. The wonderful people over at StarSoft (www.starsoft.com)
have created a great application that allows you to easily enter data into your
radio scanner. You will need to download the following application in order for
this hack to work. Depending on your radio scanner model, select from the
Pro-93 scanner, please download Win-93: http://www.starrsoft.com/freeware/win93/apps/Win93.zip
Pro-95 scanner, please download Win-95:
correct application above to your computer. As I mentioned earlier, there are
two confirmed methods of unlocking the blocked frequencies. I’ll start with the
easier one first.
installation is completed, go ahead and open Win-93/95. Start with a new blank
template and enter the following into the first 6 channels in bank 0:
For Channel 000 enter 17.000000 MHz
For Channel 001 enter 54.005000 MHz
For Channel 002 enter 174.005000 MHz
For Channel 003 enter 225.005000 MHz
For Channel 004 enter 512.006250 MHz
For Channel 005 enter 960.006250 MHz
sure you set the mode (either AM or FM) for each of the above channels
you entered. Next, go ahead and save the channels to your receiver
using the Win-93/95 upload ability.
go ahead and tune to one of the channels on your scanner. If I wanted
to go to channel 000, I would push MANUAL then type in 000 then press
MANUAL again. Finally, press the FUNC button then the TUNE button. The
scanner will then enter TUNE mode at which point it will scan through
the entire list of blocked frequencies.
scanner hits a normal frequency, it will stop. For example, if I was
starting at 17.000000 MHz it would stop at 25.000000 MHz because that
is a normal frequency for the scanner.
More Difficult Method
more difficult method involves you either typing in each frequency in
manually (could be easier or harder depending on how many frequencies
you want to scan) in Win-93/95 or creating an excel spreadsheet using AutoFill to scan a list of frequencies.
To create an excel spreadsheet of the frequencies using AutoFill, you can do the following:
open up excel, Select the first cell in the range A1. Right click A1,
click Formatting and under the Number tab select Number. Set the
decimal places to 6. Click OK and type the starting value for the
frequency in A1. For example, type in 177.000000. Make sure it is on a
valid step for the range! For example, 177.000000 is perfect, but
177.001000 is not.
go to A2 and do the same as you did for A1 (go to number tab select
number and set decimal places to 5). Go ahead type in the next
frequency (by step size) and again for example purposes I’ll use
175.005000 since we used 177.000000 for A1. Select both cells by
holding the left mouse button down and selecting A1 and A2.
you will need to drag the fill handle (the small black square in the
lower-right corner of the selection; when you point to the fill handle,
the pointer changes to a black cross. to increase the order by dragging
it downward. The fill handle will appear when you move your mouse to
the bottom right hand corner of cell A2 once A1 and A2 have been
selected. Hold your left
button over the small rectangle and drag downward to your appropriate
stop point. Finally, go to cell B1 and type in either AM or FM for the
receive mode. Drag B1 downward using the fill handle again to fill in
all the white spaces for the appropriate frequencies on the A column.
ahead and copy your excel spreadsheet to Win93/95 and upload it to your
scanner. You can only copy a single bank's worth of cells at one time.
If you are using Win93, you can only do 30 frequencies at a time; with
Win95, you can do 100 frequencies at a time.
That’s it for this article. Hope you enjoyed it! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: [email protected]