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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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  #161 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2014, 7:27 AM
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Wow, some memories. I got started in radio in 1964 at around 11 when my father bought a Heathkit radio for me to build for SWL. Then in 1968 or 9 my parents bought me an AM/FM PS portable radio. I mean portable in the sense that it was smaller than a bread box (11" x 9" x 6") and ran on batteries. It was good enough to get West Co PD in 155.55. Sheriff was on 155.310 and on a good day I could pick up some NYPD and FDNY from our home some 30mi North of NYC. When I go my first job (working for Westchester County in the old age home) one of my first checks went towards a low band and then a VHF-HI Lafayett tunables with 2 crystal positions radios. It could be used in a car as a mobile and portable (again size mattered) in a carry case that held 10 "C" or "D" batteries (can't remember which) and a telescopic antenna. The low band was for Westchester County Fire Dispatch 46.26 and Mutual aid 46.14. Mt Pleasant PD were on 37.10 along with White Plains, Croton on Hudson, Briarcliff Manor and Ossining. Now that's what I call real inter-op frequency. Any agency that required assistance just called the neighboring town. New Castle and North Castle were on 39.10 so again easy to call for help. There were some VHF-HI agencies locally along with County PD, there was Pleasntville, Mt Kisco, Bedford. The same frequency was also used down county by Mamaroneck that had voice inverse scrambling and then there was Yonkers on UHF. A real PIA to monitor, they had strange brew HT-200 that transmitted on VHF and received on UHF. They still use the same frequencies today in P-25.
It was much easier back then and the local PD's really weren't concerned if you were listening as long as you didn't interfere at scenes.
I suspect and this is my personal opinion that PS radio will go dark nationwide as it is in the EU and most other countries in the world within the next 10-15 years or at the most 20. A lot has to do with the hysteria that was created after 911 (I know I was there) and the other is technology. There are already predictions that we are running out of frequencies for PS and Cell Phones. PS is a problem but Cell Phones should stay with connecting people not trying to compete with cable companies for TV broadcast.
I long for those days pre 911 when most anything could be heard on radio and there was little harm in doing so. It even in some cases actually helped PS do there job. Now we have paranoid elected officials calling for military style anti-missle technology on aircraft. That may not have much to do with radio but it sure goes a long way on how this county views it's citizens.A great big piggy bank.
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  #162 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2014, 9:43 PM
stingray327's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioman2001 View Post
Wow, some memories. I got started in radio in 1964 at around 11 when my father bought a Heathkit radio for me to build for SWL. Then in 1968 or 9 my parents bought me an AM/FM PS portable radio. I mean portable in the sense that it was smaller than a bread box (11" x 9" x 6") and ran on batteries. It was good enough to get West Co PD in 155.55. Sheriff was on 155.310 and on a good day I could pick up some NYPD and FDNY from our home some 30mi North of NYC. When I go my first job (working for Westchester County in the old age home) one of my first checks went towards a low band and then a VHF-HI Lafayett tunables with 2 crystal positions radios. It could be used in a car as a mobile and portable (again size mattered) in a carry case that held 10 "C" or "D" batteries (can't remember which) and a telescopic antenna. The low band was for Westchester County Fire Dispatch 46.26 and Mutual aid 46.14. Mt Pleasant PD were on 37.10 along with White Plains, Croton on Hudson, Briarcliff Manor and Ossining. Now that's what I call real inter-op frequency. Any agency that required assistance just called the neighboring town. New Castle and North Castle were on 39.10 so again easy to call for help. There were some VHF-HI agencies locally along with County PD, there was Pleasntville, Mt Kisco, Bedford. The same frequency was also used down county by Mamaroneck that had voice inverse scrambling and then there was Yonkers on UHF. A real PIA to monitor, they had strange brew HT-200 that transmitted on VHF and received on UHF. They still use the same frequencies today in P-25.
It was much easier back then and the local PD's really weren't concerned if you were listening as long as you didn't interfere at scenes.
I suspect and this is my personal opinion that PS radio will go dark nationwide as it is in the EU and most other countries in the world within the next 10-15 years or at the most 20. A lot has to do with the hysteria that was created after 911 (I know I was there) and the other is technology. There are already predictions that we are running out of frequencies for PS and Cell Phones. PS is a problem but Cell Phones should stay with connecting people not trying to compete with cable companies for TV broadcast.
I long for those days pre 911 when most anything could be heard on radio and there was little harm in doing so. It even in some cases actually helped PS do there job. Now we have paranoid elected officials calling for military style anti-missle technology on aircraft. That may not have much to do with radio but it sure goes a long way on how this county views it's citizens.A great big piggy bank.
By PS do you mean Public Service radio?
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  #163 (permalink)  
Old 07-28-2014, 11:15 PM
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First radio was a Pro 34 that I got for airshows, I saw a guy using one and knew I had to have one. Got the scanner the day before the show when there is plenty of activity with arrivals and practice .... Put the batteries in, fired it up and waited to catch all the comms.
To my utter disappointment I didn't hear a thing, sat there half an hour with not a peep. Figured the unit must be defective so I took it to a local radio shack and told him the unit was fried.
He said Ok, so its not receiving, are you sure you got the right freqs entered ? This was something that never entered my mind, I thought you turned it on and it started picking up whatever was being broadcast.

Felt pretty foolish, I bought a police call book which had a few of the main freqs of the airbase I was at, and I finally started receiving and I was a happy camper - Happy until I ran into a guy picking up traffic that I wasn't, when I asked him if I could have his freqs he said sure, then said hold on.
Your radio can't receive them, they are in the 220-400 military aviation band.
So shortly thereafter I had a Fairmate HP-2000, which was pretty much an AOR 1000 clone. Back in them days there were very few scanners which could receive this band and they were expensive, $700 or so I paid for mine.
Got a Pro 2006 which I heavily modified [still have it], put up a discone on a mast on my roof [still there] and of course I started getting into other areas of scanning like police, ems ect. Back then before the internet, if you wanted to find freqs you got police call magazine, and/or you searched for them yourself.
Was a thrill of the chase type thing for me, and I found many discrete freqs in use not listed. Used to dig around and find the freqs DEA used for undercover ops, you could follow their every move [I guess criminals could as well], but often they'd tail a guy from a hotel on to a titty bar then to another club, back to the hotel ect and they'd catalog every person they came in contact with. When you heard traffic like that you knew it was local, probably used low powered car to car type radios ,,, And of course often they'd rattle off streets, places and intersections pretty much without any attempts to disguise, like police do.
Snooping on cell phones could be entertaining, heard a guy get into a wreck one time arguing drunkenly with his wife ,,, But I never got into that much, military and LE monitoring is what I liked, and is what I like today.
Also was into shortwave military/government monitoring. Hard to believe, but you could actually sit back and listen to presidents, secretaries and other dignitaries having "private" phone calls from their aircraft on the "Mystic Star" network. They of course knew they could be monitored so tended to keep it discreet, but often times not. This faded out around the Clinton era when that VIP traffic went to SAT, shortwave utility monitoring has really died out but still some traffic out there.

Still have the old 2006, still use it for aviation monitoring. I have an old Pro 43, great for airshows, has the mil band an unlike most scanners today, can easily be programmed in the field. Have an Alinco DJX-2000, very complex scanner with gobs of features including a frequency counter, but its analog, use that one for airshows too.
Digital I have a uniden handheld and a home patrol.

Last edited by Xray; 07-28-2014 at 11:19 PM..
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  #164 (permalink)  
Old Yesterday, 1:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xray View Post
First radio was a Pro 34 that I got for airshows, I saw a guy using one and knew I had to have one. Got the scanner the day before the show when there is plenty of activity with arrivals and practice .... Put the batteries in, fired it up and waited to catch all the comms.
To my utter disappointment I didn't hear a thing, sat there half an hour with not a peep. Figured the unit must be defective so I took it to a local radio shack and told him the unit was fried.
He said Ok, so its not receiving, are you sure you got the right freqs entered ? This was something that never entered my mind, I thought you turned it on and it started picking up whatever was being broadcast.

Felt pretty foolish, I bought a police call book which had a few of the main freqs of the airbase I was at, and I finally started receiving and I was a happy camper - Happy until I ran into a guy picking up traffic that I wasn't, when I asked him if I could have his freqs he said sure, then said hold on.
Your radio can't receive them, they are in the 220-400 military aviation band.
So shortly thereafter I had a Fairmate HP-2000, which was pretty much an AOR 1000 clone. Back in them days there were very few scanners which could receive this band and they were expensive, $700 or so I paid for mine.
Got a Pro 2006 which I heavily modified [still have it], put up a discone on a mast on my roof [still there] and of course I started getting into other areas of scanning like police, ems ect. Back then before the internet, if you wanted to find freqs you got police call magazine, and/or you searched for them yourself.
Was a thrill of the chase type thing for me, and I found many discrete freqs in use not listed. Used to dig around and find the freqs DEA used for undercover ops, you could follow their every move [I guess criminals could as well], but often they'd tail a guy from a hotel on to a titty bar then to another club, back to the hotel ect and they'd catalog every person they came in contact with. When you heard traffic like that you knew it was local, probably used low powered car to car type radios ,,, And of course often they'd rattle off streets, places and intersections pretty much without any attempts to disguise, like police do.
Snooping on cell phones could be entertaining, heard a guy get into a wreck one time arguing drunkenly with his wife ,,, But I never got into that much, military and LE monitoring is what I liked, and is what I like today.
Also was into shortwave military/government monitoring. Hard to believe, but you could actually sit back and listen to presidents, secretaries and other dignitaries having "private" phone calls from their aircraft on the "Mystic Star" network. They of course knew they could be monitored so tended to keep it discreet, but often times not. This faded out around the Clinton era when that VIP traffic went to SAT, shortwave utility monitoring has really died out but still some traffic out there.

Still have the old 2006, still use it for aviation monitoring. I have an old Pro 43, great for airshows, has the mil band an unlike most scanners today, can easily be programmed in the field. Have an Alinco DJX-2000, very complex scanner with gobs of features including a frequency counter, but its analog, use that one for airshows too.
Digital I have a uniden handheld and a home patrol.
Those are both great scanners. I have 2 of each of the Pro-2006 and Pro-43. Also have a Pro-2005 and Pro-2023 another base unit. Just collecting dust. All of the scanners are operative but everyting now has gone digital or trunking.
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  #165 (permalink)  
Old Yesterday, 1:27 AM
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I got started in October 1980 at 12 years old, when I purchased a Bearcat Four-Six ThinScan. I had crystals for my local PD/FD, the city which I lived on the line of's PD/FD and a weather crystal with one channel free. Eventually, I was given a Regency crystal that somebody had, and I forget which frequency it was on (and I'm too lazy to do the math), but when coupled with the Bearcat's IF, it received 155.340, which was the local HEAR network. The following Christmas, I received a Bearcat 220 and even though it was only 20 channels, I would enter frequencies galore to see how far, and what kind of communications, I could receive.

My interests gravitated toward the fire department, and I started fire scene photography the next year. I went to what I could on my bike, and learned a lot of tactics and scene etiquette. I have been all over the country with radios, photographed fire scenes in some of the largest cities, become a HAM radio operator and helped to design radio systems as both an employee of several and owner of a two-way radio shop. My best memories though are those early days where I would spend the nights of my summer vacations searching with the BC220 for anything and everything that I could listen to.

In my opinion, the hobby has become less appealing to those with high senses of adventure. With the internet readily available, and sites like this one, a lot of the challenge is gone. There are people new to the hobby that post to this site, and a local one that I am more active on that EXPECT to have the answers given to them when they ask a question that a simple google search would have provided. More so, they will ask a question, and when an answer is suggested that may be outside the box, they poo poo it away, sometimes insulting the person that gave the answer. Sharing of info has made the other hobbies I do that require the radios much easier, and I try to thank everyone who helps me, but I'm not sure the next generation feels the same.
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  #166 (permalink)  
Old Yesterday, 6:12 AM
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Quote"By PS do you mean Public Service radio?"
Public Safety radio, Fire PD ,EMS
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