The Bearcat 250
Along with my Console V, this is another blast from the
past, though it is still an excellent performer. The old Bearcat is a classic
police scanner, completely synthesized, with an eighties era LED display.
The unit has a 50 channel capacity, and is able to receive on several bands.
It is programmable through direct frequency entry, via a front mounted chiclet
keypad, also typical of the early eighties. The display acts as a digital
clock, when the unit is off. During scanning, the display shows the channel,
on the left, and indicates the actual frequency on the right. the whole thing
seems very quaint, dated, and limited now, but I recall when this type of
unit was quite the rage, running circles around the old style crystal, or
switch programmable types. This model can receive on the following frequency
Though this unit sits in my shack, it is vastly under
powered compared to my portable (and much smaller) Pro-60 (200 channels).
Still, the fifty channels offered on this model are more than enough, for
most areas, and the frequencies covered are sufficient for listening to most
PS/PB broadcasts. Technology wise, I should have replaced it decades ago,
but it still functions, and is more than sufficient for my needs.
The unit has rear panel connectors for an external
antenna, recorder, speaker, and even a connection for a wire antenna. It also
has power connectors for both 13.8 and 120v. The included telescoping whip
antenna is sufficient, but not great. Hooking this unit into my base
antennas actually gives very good performance. Digital technology has really
improved since the days of the old Bearcat 250, giving today's units far more
features and much larger memories; but a good receiver is still a good receiver.