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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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  #201 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2014, 10:51 PM
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Referencing my reply of a day ago, if you want a taste of "scanning", or listening to the police broadcasts back in the 30's and 40's and even the 50's, visit this page from Harry Marnell's site from a few years ago. It talks all about the 1730 khz (kilocycles as it was called back then) police communications system. It also talks about how the police used the fact that the public listened in to their advantage as a public relations tool. Back then, they wanted us to listen.

Here's the URL:
http://harrymarnell.net/kma367.htm
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  #202 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2014, 12:13 AM
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Cool My Fist Scanner

It was a Radio Shack Patrolman that I installed in my truck and i was a volunteer Firefighter when i was 16, That scanner was $16.00 at the pawn shop then plus the crystals i had to buy. I was always around some type of radio mostly cb, My dad and Brother owned a cb store back int he 70;s Which was B&B CB center. Then the Next scanner was a Regency 60 Channel scanner and then i purchased the Gre 800mhz converter that would convert 800mhz Freqs down to 400Mhz. Then one day i went into another cb shop and heard cell phone calls on an Bearcat 800xlt sitting on the showroom counter, and that was before it was illegal to listen too, So then a purchased a Bearcat 200xlt.and that scanner might have skipped the cell phone range but I could still pick up cell calls in the low 900Mhz area like 900 to 912 Mhz and that was the most fun listening ever. Around that time I was still into cb as well and studied several times to get my ham license then but never did until I moved away from home then finally got my license all my cb buddies in CO got there ticket and so did i and have been a general ever since.

My first HF rig was a Kenwood 690at and it was modified and one time I scared a neighbor by talking to her on 49mhz while she was on the cordless phone with her mom and this was at night and she thought I was a possibly burglar so she called the cops and that's when i shut up and never did that again. i think I scared myself too after that one. i am not sure how far she was a way from me but at least a block or too, I was using a hf vertical that was up about 20 feet or so.

Those were the the days.
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  #203 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2014, 4:45 AM
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Listening to 40Mhz cordless phones in late 90's was fun!!! I had a Radio Shack crazy external house antenna. Looked like a porcupine on the top corner of my house. It picked up great!! I lived in pretty densely populated area (houses, apts, condos). Listening to people ordeirng pizza and stuff, I had a listening range of cordless of good 1/4 mile. Heard funny stuff, sad stuff, neighbors talking **** about me and my wife (because we wouldn't let our daughter out to play with their kids out front of the homes (their kids were also around 5 at the time). That was because the kids were not monitored by the parents and we didn't want our daughter to come up missing!!! Even heard a father pimping out his young adult daughter to his friends!! That was crazy/sad!! Those days are over as the digital age and frequency range puts my over the counter scanner useless for that........
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  #204 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2014, 5:02 AM
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I miss the good ole days of "eavesdropping" on cordless phones & analog cell phone towers. The funniest thing I heard was guy talking to his "boyfriend" about him getting a surgical razor so they could shave parts. I moved on from that sic stuff fast!
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  #205 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2014, 8:53 PM
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More than a few times, back in the 80's, I heard things on various phones that in some cases I wish I hadn't heard!
My feeling back then was basically this: if something was on the airwaves, and it was monitorable with the equipment I had, then I would at least sample whatever was out there.
I never have limited myself to just listening to the emergency services!
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimru View Post
More than a few times, back in the 80's, I heard things on various phones that in some cases I wish I hadn't heard!
My feeling back then was basically this: if something was on the airwaves, and it was monitorable with the equipment I had, then I would at least sample whatever was out there.
I never have limited myself to just listening to the emergency services!
It's too bad we can't still do this.
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  #207 (permalink)  
Old 12-29-2014, 8:52 AM
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In the 1960's my father had a whole wall of receivers, each tuned a specific frequency. At least 1 of the receivers was out of a tank and had to be manually tuned with a dial. Some of the radios weighed 20lbs+. When the first crystal (sic?) scanners came out, we all marveled at the technology.
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  #208 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2014, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrabbyMilton View Post
I recall years ago back in the 80's the dispatcher(Milwaukee) called for a moment of silence for 2 officers that died in the line of duty that year. It was either Christmas Eve. or New Years.
This reminded me of when an Albany City PD officer was shot/killed in line of duty here (late 90's? early 2000's maybe? I'll have to dig it up). Big local story, really big memorial service at local sports Arena (Knick then, Times Union center now), was televised on local TV. Very moving to watch, his young widow having to chase after toddler from aisle and bring back to seats with the other young kids. Many PD officers, local people gave moving testimonies. Really sad.

But the most memorable is when the PD Chief finished with his eulogy, grabbed his portable radio and called this fallen officers unit #..with no answer. I think dispatch also called his unit #...no reply. Final call for this officer. I remember having a scanner on while watching this on TV and remember this somber dispatch...

I really have to dig in the archives and find this story now...
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  #209 (permalink)  
Old 12-31-2014, 12:31 PM
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Lt John Finn, 2003.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGstvcAoDeA

How anybody could have a dry eye that day is beyond me...
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  #210 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2015, 12:04 AM
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Default old days scannjing

I just ran across this thread, lots of memories, I saved the thread so I can go over it later... 73
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  #211 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2015, 12:24 AM
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being a vff i love to hear last/final calls but its still sad
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  #212 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2015, 5:00 PM
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I got started in the mid 1980s and I got it honest from my father. At the time he was the news director for a local TV/Radio station in Memphis, TN. His company car had two Regency ACT-R10 ( blue face as he called them ) scanners in it. He also had one by his bed at home. I was hooked instantly. As I grew up so did his scanners and when he got new ones, I got his old ones. Once I got my first one,I have had one by my bed ever since for 30 plus years. He went from the " Blue Face" to a Regency touch 16 to a Regency M400. I got my own Realistic pro 41 (10 Channel ) and I thought i was in Scanner Heaven. In the mid 90s the Memphis FD went to a digital 800mhz dispatch channel in stations however radio traffic was still on UHF freq. My dad being Awesome bought me a Realistic pro 46 for christmas so i could hear the 800mhz channel. This was around the time my parents divorced and on my weekends with dad we were chasing police and fire calls to take pictures and videos.
Through his news connections he knew many people with the MFD and MPD and dispatchers which he could tell me who was talking on the radio when it was opened up. To me they all sounded the same but i was still new to the scanning hobby. He could also tell most of the time if the call put out was actually going to be anything or a BS call by the words of the dispatchers. He also knew the city well and knew where he would and would not take me to see calls as a lot of areas of the city where rough. ( I now still use this technique today) In the early 2000s the city of Memphis switched all of its radios to digital encrypted. This put a damper on my scanner listening as my dad was no longer with the local news station so we could not get one of the radios the city sold the media. We could still listen to the suburbs of Memphis but they are spread out so call chasing was pretty much out the window. In the middle 2000s radio shack came out with a scanner ( Pro 96 )that would now pick up the Memphis radios again and I purchased one, again my dad and I continued the scanner listening hobby. He had a good friend who also loved the hobby but sadly passed away and when he did he left his scanners to my father. My father gave me one of those a Uniden 796D which i now have in my truck.
My dad has since moved to another TV station in Mississippi and a few years ago we got him a Radio Shack Pro 96 of his own so he could listen in Miss and in Tenn when he comes to visit. He still comes to Memphis often and every now and then we " Get on the Air " as we call it just like we did when I was a kid. Now 30 years , numerous Crystal, to touch programmable, to digital computer programmed scanners and the hobby continues today !!! The scanner listening hobby just help to fuel my desire to fulfill my dream of becoming a Firefighter and I am into my 18th year of the job and still love it. All of that said I think the old radios sounded so much better than the digital ones we use today. That is why I have taken some of the old radio traffic from major incidents that my dad had from the MFD from the 1950s-1990s on reel to reel and cassette tapes and put them on CD and MP3 so I will have them for my kids to hear and hopefully get hooked on the hobby!!!

Last edited by Nozzleman71; 01-01-2015 at 5:11 PM..
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  #213 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2015, 12:30 AM
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Back in the day... 80's I would use my Realistic rigs to listen to cordless phones around the area. Then I got the idea to use my Antron-99 for an antenna - lol!

When I moved to Kansas, I would take my truck up on high ground & use my UBC780XLT to listen to cell traffic, I learned a lot about the area, in a hurry. Those were the days!
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Old 01-02-2015, 1:32 AM
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I miss eavesdropping on those calls. It was fun as hell. I remember when they got to be less & less and finally just gone!
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  #215 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2015, 5:30 AM
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I've had a renewed interest in scanning the VHF-Low bands, there is still a lot of things to hear down there. Many of the FD's in Upstate NY still use those low band freqs for paging (since there are no pagers for 800mhz trunking systems!). NYSDOT plowtrucks still use VHF-low, I find that to be interesting to listen to. Even in summer you'll hear some activity if they are doing roadwork, summer storm clean up, etc. I think there are still some old type baby monitors or intercoms in the 49Mhz range, I can hear something faint sometimes around there. I thought those kept pace with more modern cordless phones but maybe not. Sometimes you'll hear construction companies down in the 35Mhz range. If conditions are good I've read in other forum sections you can hear some mil ops on low band , if conditions are good. I'm rarely home during daytime but that would be fun to try. And even in the VHF-high and UHF analog ranges there is still so much activity. Many of the small village PD and DPW are still on VHF high around here, same for UHF. I also started listening to the transit buses and shuttles, you can find out which roads are closed, activity in cities, etc. My analog scanners are just as active as they were 20+ yrs ago.

BTW - I just got a Uniden BC75XLT recently and I love the "close call" feature. It is a VHF-lo/hi/UHF only scanner, but most anything that is 800mhz is trunked or encrypted now so not worried. But again there is so much still on analog freqs that it's very useful.
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  #216 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2015, 7:00 AM
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I used really enjoy listening to pagers in the 152mhz and 454mhz range. That was at the time when they weren't just for doctors anymore so I got to hear some of the funniest stuff on those. Including but not limited to, name calling, angry, "get over here a--hole" or the universal favorite of fart noises. Most people that used these things had the volume set as high as possible and the people calling them knew this so they cold have fun with them that way.
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  #217 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2015, 8:34 PM
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Those voice pagers made me curious about this radio hobby actually. In the early 80's when I was in high school I had this FM/TV/WB portable radio. The radio would tune slightly below the 162Mhz WX band, and I would hear these pagers. At the time I didn't know what they were, and they weren't always doctors being paged. Most of them were fairly bland "John call the office" and it would repeat again. But every now and again someone would call his buddy and leave him a fun message "Hey she's giving drinks away over here!". I grew up at the base of a mountain that had a TV transmitter, and lots of other towers up there, so the intermod from these pagers was fairly strong. But I got so curious that I got a VHF-Hi tunable radio at a garage sale, and once I tuned around I found lots more. PD, FD, plow trucks, and eventually 2m ham repeaters. Learning more about this I got a "real" scanner, a Regency R1080 programmable. From there I found a local ham club, found a licensing class, got my license, etc and as they say the rest is history. But I can honestly say I got my start listening to the oddball stuff with very simple radios.
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Old 01-04-2015, 1:52 AM
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We use to cruise around neighborhoods looking for cordless phone calls. Caught a couple of girlfriend boyfriend dumb conversations. It was a lot of fun especially when you were 14ish
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:38 PM
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the stories I could tell if I had the time. didn't know those days would ever be taken away.
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Old Yesterday, 1:04 AM
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Quote:
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We use to cruise around neighborhoods looking for cordless phone calls. Caught a couple of girlfriend boyfriend dumb conversations. It was a lot of fun especially when you were 14ish
It was fun at any age.
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