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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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  #101 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2014, 1:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pinballwiz86 View Post
Thanks for posting that story. Haha, picking up the local cab company on your TV? Man..those cabbies must have been running some power. Lol.
"Back Then" utility companies were on low band. That long "Whip" antenna mounted on the left side of the cab, just behind the drivers door. They would key up and it would come over the AM / FM radio ; at a distance of about 100 - 150 yards.

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Old 04-29-2014, 10:44 AM
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"Back Then" utility companies were on low band.

Well here in Australia low and mid VHF bands still see some activity (including Police, Ambulance and Taxi)
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  #103 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2014, 2:44 PM
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Well here in Australia low and mid VHF bands still see some activity (including Police, Ambulance and Taxi)
Our use of mid-band here in the US is very sparse. It's limited to point-to-point applications. Paging transmitter linking was very popular there. Those radio links are called "operational fixed" systems and are licensed as FXO in the FCC's ULS. Likewise wireless fire alarm pull-boxes that are placed on street corners, and synchronized master clock systems. There are also some industrial processes that link machines on 72 - 74 MHz. Other than that, years ago I saw a mid-band MX portable and I've seen a few Midland and GE radios, but there's generally little else on it here.
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Old 04-30-2014, 9:24 AM
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Default Old school scanning.

I remember the crystal controlled 8 channel Realistic scanners, usually part of the Patrolman line of receivers. These came in dedicated AM/FM/scanner receivers or were clunky units with big up/down switches to bypass channels you did not want to hear or have a crystal for.

In those days, you made friends with the local fire or police chief and found out their frequency. Then bought the crystal and plugged it in the radio to hear their comms.

Fast forwarding a few years later, my parents had a Realistic Pro-2004 "do everything" scanner that did not need crystals. This thing looked like it should be on the Space Shuttle. (They were new then too.) That lime green display could scan the local airwaves and listen to all the neighbors on their cordless phones. It could hear the AM and FM local radio stations. You could hear police and fire as well. And the new 5 pound bag phones were also able to be heard. This meant that the Mercedes driving, "power tie" wearing yuppie could be heard talking to his wife or one of his girlfriends on this scanner.

A few years later, (early '90's) I used this scanner to listen to ICBM maintenance crews returning to base. It still came in handy for cordless and cell phones. Being on a military base meant lots of people on phones. And some very interesting conversations. Snake getting out of a persons car and sunning itself in a parking lot. Everyone sleeping with other wives, girlfriends,husband, sheep, etc.

2014, trunking and digital modes make this a classic but obsolete receiver. Now this scanner gets taken out and turned on to make sure the lime green backlight still works.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:44 AM
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I started in 1970 with a Lafayette Guardian 300 AM-FM-VHF LOW tunable radio. Those were magic days! My local county was on 37.18 Mhz. All 12 departments! The frequency selectivity was lousy on that radio. I put up an outside whip and was able to receive multiple agencies tuned to 37.18. And was it busy! I could hear the north Jersey PD's on 37.08, White Plains PD along with Mt Pleasant on 37.06, Nassau County NY base on 37.04 along with my own traffic on 37.18, all at once! Could only hear the mobiles if they were close by! This radio would buzz along all night. No squelch, but really did not matter because there was always something on! As no scanners were manufactured then, my next purchase was a crystal Controlled receiver with 10 positions made by JMD, a local company in NY. Now I had the selectivity and could monitor my local PD's alone. There was something about that busy jumping low band from the old radio, however.............
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Ishmole View Post
I started in 1970 with a Lafayette Guardian 300 AM-FM-VHF LOW tunable radio. Those were magic days! My local county was on 37.18 Mhz. All 12 departments! The frequency selectivity was lousy on that radio. I put up an outside whip and was able to receive multiple agencies tuned to 37.18. And was it busy! I could hear the north Jersey PD's on 37.08, White Plains PD along with Mt Pleasant on 37.06, Nassau County NY base on 37.04 along with my own traffic on 37.18, all at once! Could only hear the mobiles if they were close by! This radio would buzz along all night. No squelch, but really did not matter because there was always something on! As no scanners were manufactured then, my next purchase was a crystal Controlled receiver with 10 positions made by JMD, a local company in NY. Now I had the selectivity and could monitor my local PD's alone. There was something about that busy jumping low band from the old radio, however.............
I started out on one of those Lafayette multi-band radios with tuning knob and signal strength meter. AM/FM/SW VHF Hi, VHF Lo and UHF. Radio had two antennas built into it telescoptic type.
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  #107 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2014, 12:21 AM
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I remember the crystal controlled 8 channel Realistic scanners, usually part of the Patrolman line of receivers. These came in dedicated AM/FM/scanner receivers or were clunky units with big up/down switches to bypass channels you did not want to hear or have a crystal for.

In those days, you made friends with the local fire or police chief and found out their frequency. Then bought the crystal and plugged it in the radio to hear their comms.

Fast forwarding a few years later, my parents had a Realistic Pro-2004 "do everything" scanner that did not need crystals. This thing looked like it should be on the Space Shuttle. (They were new then too.) That lime green display could scan the local airwaves and listen to all the neighbors on their cordless phones. It could hear the AM and FM local radio stations. You could hear police and fire as well. And the new 5 pound bag phones were also able to be heard. This meant that the Mercedes driving, "power tie" wearing yuppie could be heard talking to his wife or one of his girlfriends on this scanner.

A few years later, (early '90's) I used this scanner to listen to ICBM maintenance crews returning to base. It still came in handy for cordless and cell phones. Being on a military base meant lots of people on phones. And some very interesting conversations. Snake getting out of a persons car and sunning itself in a parking lot. Everyone sleeping with other wives, girlfriends,husband, sheep, etc.

2014, trunking and digital modes make this a classic but obsolete receiver. Now this scanner gets taken out and turned on to make sure the lime green backlight still works.
On Pro-2006 you could receive cell phone signals. Now you need a computer with the scanner.
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  #108 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2014, 4:51 AM
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On Pro-2006 you could receive cell phone signals. Now you need a computer with the scanner.
You mean a computer and a SDR dongle. *whistles*
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:15 AM
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You mean a computer and a SDR dongle. *whistles*
I don't know anymore
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Old 05-02-2014, 4:14 PM
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I remember on HF when you could hear the HF ship to shore systems AT&T used to run back in the days.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_High_Seas_Service


Anyone remember the Russian woodpecker.
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  #111 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2014, 4:24 PM
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I remember on HF when you could hear the HF ship to shore systems AT&T used to run back in the days.

AT&T High Seas Service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Anyone remember the Russian woodpecker.
That link was a good read. Thank you. A shame they shut her down in '99. I've only heard about the Russian woodpecker. Before my time in the hobby. I think it's interesting where it is located..in the Chernobyl Exlusion Zone.

Duga-3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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  #112 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2014, 4:27 PM
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Let me tell you that Russian Woodpecker was terrible. You would be listening in to something the all of the sudden this loud rapid tapping type sound would pop in. It was all over the place.

found a sample of it. Right over WWV signal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOMVdOc9UbE
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Old 05-02-2014, 7:22 PM
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A whole bunch of guys used to sync their keyers to the woodpecker and send CW at the same rate. It must've screwed them up bigtime because it usually made them go somewhere else.

Back before 1977 2 MHz AM used to be the popular marine radio system. Distress was and still is 2182 kHz, but now it's USB instead of AM. I remember taking a ride on the Hudson River in someone's boat in the early 70s. He had both a MF AM radio and a VHF FM in it. You could hear the marine operator handling calls on 2 MHz public correspondence channels. I could hear all of the NY Harbor stuff on my DX-160 shortwave receiver. It was good listening.

Then the FCC outlawed AM around 1977 and everyone had to convert to SSB or move to VHF. MF never really retained its popularity and just about everything went to VHF. The summertime was really cool. People would be out on their boats making marine operator "ship to shore" calls - just because they could. And, those calls usually cost something obscene, like $7/min. About 12 years later, I found myself working on those things, all MOTRAC vintage base stations, getting ready to decommission them. Cellular had taken its toll, and it was easier and cheaper to have a cellphone on a boat than use the marine operator. More private, too. But I did have a few adventures tracking down interference on Channel 25 in NYC first. Our receivers were on the Empire State Building, and it seems that the receive frequency for VHF 25 was a video carrier frequency for cable TV. Someone had stripped a building in Queens, NY, of their old satellite master antenna system, but left the modulator plugged in with unterminated cables all over. It was radiating all the way back to Empire and blocking the channel! Took a few days to find, but got it. Once there, the super let me in and let me disable the power supply (cut the power cord back to the rack). After all, nobody wanted to interfere with ships at sea back in those days.
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  #114 (permalink)  
Old 05-02-2014, 7:48 PM
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Tune around shortwave 39 years ago and hear this.

Or maybe this.

Just down the dial there was this.

Or it could have been much longer ago. During the War. But the boys weren't just in the Pacific. They were in Europe, too.

Once upon a time, the world was at our fingertips. Information (and misinformation) is nothing new.
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Old 05-02-2014, 8:21 PM
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Tune around shortwave 39 years ago and hear this.

Or maybe this.

Just down the dial there was this.

Or it could have been much longer ago. During the War. But the boys weren't just in the Pacific. They were in Europe, too.

Once upon a time, the world was at our fingertips. Information (and misinformation) is nothing new.
Interesting interval signal (sign off by SW broadcasters) website. Thank you for posting those clips.

I like Radio Habana's interval signal. Nice sing songy beat, puts you to sleep.

Radio Habana Cuba Interval
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Old 05-02-2014, 8:26 PM
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I never really got into SWL or HF.

Here is my story:

I am from Massachusetts and started listening to scanners around 1994 when I was 12. I listened to my grandfather's scanner in his truck Boston Police, etc. While in his basement I found what turned out to be a Regency Monitor Radio 8 Channel Crystal Scanner. Back then RadioShack still had cool people who knew stuff working there. I didnt know any better and accidently brought Uniden scanner crystals for Dudley and Webster Police. Dudley Police is on 155.430 but the Regency scanner interpreted it as 155.340 a local Ambulance to hospital frequency which I am sure fueled my interest in the healthcare side which I eventually ended up becoming a Nurse.

Back then there was more analog (still is a lot of analog in Massachusetts).. More license plates being run over the air which was annoying and a lot more business radio systems (which now a lot use cellphones). I knew when the garbage man would come by. The cable company was on 463.800 and those guys were a hoot to listen to. I once ran into a cable guy working on a pole in my neighborhood and I started dropping names of people and he was shocked how I knew them. The cable company now is lousy and uses smartphones.

159.030 was used by the Massachusetts State Police Turnpike Troop E. It was awesome to hear what to me sounded like a live episode of CHIPS. It kept me busy when the weather was bad since the internet was dial up and all I had was a 286.

Christmas 1995 I got a programmable VHF/UHF Uniden 16 Channel base scanner. I was able to hear all my local police and fire departments and DPWs because of the Police call book I also got at RadioShack. I punched in 154.370 and to my amazement heard Providence Fire... Non stop almost.. At least once a day was a REAL "Code Red" working fire.

I then got an old CB radio the TRC-454 RadioShack from my grandfather I was able to communicate with my friends in the neighborhood this was around 1997 and skip was so bad some days it was overpowering. I even made a few DX contacts.

Around that time I brought a PRO-28 30 channel VHF/UHF portable scanner.. Now I had 2 scanners.. One portable and one at home. It could also search the 43- 49 MHz band. 46.970 became my new favorite frequency for some reason all the good stuff was on there.

FRS came out around that time and for Xmas my grandfather got us radios that would do FRS Channel 1 and 4 I think. My best friend had an FRS radio to he lived a few streets away and we would talk back and forth. I had dial up internet and only one other friend did. This worked great we didn't have to tie up the landline for non sensitive things. For anything sensitive we would use the landline or meet in person.

In 1998 I got the PRO-91 150 channel VHF/UHF/Air and trunking scanner. The MSP Troop C were using the I-TACs "high band" and 42.400 low band back then. I was finally able to hear the "High Band" state police. This scanner was my last purchase I until I got a steady job. I was able to listen too everything in my area (the scanner was very sensitive) now except for Worcester which uses EDACS.

In 2000 I got my Technician class license and my cable company became Charter (groan) but with that came cable internet. Now all my friends were on AOL Instant Messenger. My other friend became a ham but did all HF stuff (no 2 meters) he prides himself with being one of the last "Advanced Class" hams, since they phased that class out.

My grandfather brought me an ICOM IC-T2H 2 Meter 4 Watt HT... I never was much of a talker on the repeaters.. I don't talk much now either it's too clicky. The school security guard also was a ham so we talked on a 2 meter simplex frequency and I talked a lot to him since the high school was only 1 mile away and to our TV repairman and another ham. All 3 of them eventually moved away or passed away.

I brought the PRO-91 with me to school and discreetly listened to the School Admin. I knew when school was getting out early before most. I also listened to the school bus frequency what a great source of informstion.

I started working at a local grocery store in 2000. I brought a stubby duck antenna and stuffed the ICOM IC-T2H in my pocket while at work so I could listen to the local public safety services. I learned then that the ICOM was a rugged portable and I was better off carrying that instead of the PRO-91. My local public safety services were and still VHF High in that area.

I also picked up a PRO-43 in 2001 (remember those) to me it was the M1911 of handheld scanners even back then. The sensitively was amazing.

2001 came and 9/11 Happened.. I remember listening on the PRO-43 all of the airplanes being directed to land by very busy air traffic controllers on Bradley Approach on 119.000. I also started college in Worcester and couldnt listen to Worcester City EDACS. So I brought a PRO-94 which could do EDACS and a PRO-2067 for my 1987 Pontiac Bonneville.

The PRO-2067 I used as a mobile until 2009 when I got a BCT-15 and discovered the joy of GPS based scanning.

I got my first cellphone in 2002.

In 2004 I brought an ICOM commerical grade IC-F14 16 channel VHF portable. I programmed it to recieve public safety stuff and I had the local fire departments tone outs so I could set the radio under my apron at the grocery store to go off like a fire pager. Now I use that radio for Rail Fanning,


I am part of the last generation to use landline , to not have a cellphone in highschool and not have cable internet. Things that all kids now take for granted.

There were no Baofeng radios for cheap back then.. I could have had a ball if those were around back in the early 2000s.

What's different now is more laptops being used and cell phones being used. Which can be a good thing it filters out junk like coffee orders, license plates and admin traffic so now only important things go out over the air. I am now in my early 30s and am very happy that most things are still analog here.
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  #117 (permalink)  
Old 05-03-2014, 5:22 PM
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My first scanner (actually my mom's but I mainly used it) was the RS Pro 76. We even installed an outdoor antenna so we could get more stuff, I was able to pick up the Twin Cities and Des Moines. We also had a mag mount car antenna. The outdoor antenna eventually broke and we ditched it, but we still have that scanner, and I think we still have the car antenna. I've had various used ones of my own over the years, like the Pro 2003 tabletop model that had FM radio.

And yes, I remember listening to cordless phone stuff, it was pretty interesting, I even heard a breakup over the phone…
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Old 05-09-2014, 9:24 AM
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Default Police always questioned you.

Another thing I remember was that police always seemed to question those with extra antennas on their vehicles.

Usually this was just a CB radio antenna, but anything obviously different was questioned.

I had a cheap Realistic CB radio mounted vertical fashion to the arm rest of my center console of my car. Well to police this had to be something exotic, because the display could be seen like their then brand new consoles.

If you had a scanner antenna and happened to listen to this with windows rolled down, expect them to follow you and make sure you were not listening to them as well. Crystals were required and I only had an 8 channel scanner. This made it hard if you were traveling.

Either way, the three foot long whip with two load coils on it on the trunk looked out of place and got you more attention than you may want in those days.

Once the Realistic Pro-2006 scanner came out, I wanted to take this thing everywhere. Living in an apartment complex, this meant every cordless phone and cell phone conversation could be heard.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:00 AM
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My first exposure to a police radio was around 1970 when a friend always carried around a 5 band portable that could tune into the local cops. Our group of friends were out in the neighborhood one winter night hanging on to the backs of car bumpers and sliding down the snow covered road. The call came in on the radio for someone to check the group of kids hanging onto cars. Well, by the time the cops did arrive we had scattered to the four corners of the earth. We thought it was the funniest thing.
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Old 05-09-2014, 5:56 PM
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It's a two way street. The police are more violent nowadays. Look at New Mexico. It used to be that SWAT was only deployed for hostage situations, etc. now they deploy the paramilitary willy nilly.


I'm just opening dialogue not trying to instigate anything, btw. I have great respect for our law enforcement from listening to what they do, on the scanner. But it worries me the direction police is going especially with regards to encrypting their communications..
Police are more stressed out these days. Police where casual back then even longer hair and glasses!!Now police look like they come from military boot camp!!

The Police where casual back then and not stressed out like police today.But the media ,governemnt ,public and police back than was if the guy had gun or knife and not doing what the officers is saying you shoot the mad guy.

Also if you get in fight with some one you do what you have to do to stay safe.The police baton was for that.

Now the media ,governemnt and public is to be hippies to bad guy.The media ,governemnt and public is easy to jump on use of force.
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