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  Notes on the Uniden MR8100 Scanning Receiver
By Mike Morris WA6ILQ
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Photo by Jason Bishop W4IRQ

Depending on who you talk to this unit was designed for either the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department, or the Feds. No matter who gets the credit, it was introduced in 1989 with an advertised frequency range of 29-54, 118-174, 406-512, 806-956 MHz in AM and FM. This is a well-built and laid out scanner. The enclosure is made with cast aluminum and there are numerous internal shields to isolate the various sections of the receiver. One of the really different points was that it was a "vertical" design, backlit, and was intended primarily for mobile use. As far as I know, it was the first scanner that had a serial port and matching computer software that could load the preprogrammed channels, in this case 10 banks of 10 channels. It does not have an internal speaker, and uses a 4 ohm or 8 ohm external. Like any device, it has it's flaws, and one is that while the display indicates frequency out to four decimal places, the firmware only accepts three decimal places for PLL programming. Thus while you -think- the radio is tuned correctly to one of the "splinter" channels, it's not. Another is that there is no search and store capability. The unit ran on standard 12 volt vehicle power, and drew less than 800 mA. The antenna fitting is a regular BNC female. In 1990 it was listed at US$499.95, by 1992 the price had dropped to around $270. The programming cable is a "straight-through" 9-pin to 9-pin cable.

The advertised range was not the "full" range (29-956 continuous), and the full range could be unlocked if you knew the secret key... it's in one of the files below.

Some of the attachments:

Links on the web:

Search Google Groups for references to the "MR8100" OR "MR 8100" OR "MR-8100" scanner.

Artsci Publishing Inc. is a publisher oriented towards the electronics enthusiasts. They have a series of books on Scanner modifications. Look at book 10B in the in Radio/Tech Modifications series:

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This page originally posted on 03-Jan-2008

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This web page, this web site, the information presented in and on its pages and in these modifications and conversions is © Copyrighted 1995 and (date of last update) by Kevin Custer W3KKC and multiple originating authors. All Rights Reserved, including that of paper and web publication elsewhere.