• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

You Know You are Old Scanner Listener When.....

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RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV
thought the ECPA of 1986 made it illegal?

If that's true, then it seems RadioShack didn't do much with my Pro-2042 and all of the RadioShack handhelds I had. I mean, there was some gaps, but I could still here cell phones. Plus the good ol' 40 MHz cordless phones. I even heard people call one another talking about things on 9/11 which was just wild. "We need to fill our car with gas!" "It's WWIII!" You name it. I even heard a woman who I think must have been the dumbest woman I have ever heard. She thought Florida was by California. The phone sex conversations were always a great hoot. LMAO! Remember that movie There's Something About Marry? :D That woman in the movie had a handheld and would snoop on her neighbors. And yet this movie came out in the late 90's well after the cell phone ban in scanners.
 
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Joined
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RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV
You know you're an old scanner listener when your first real scanner was a RadioShack kit that used springs and wires to make a circuit to tune VHF.

I would hear aviation and all kinds of things on that thing with my earpiece. I even took it to Edwards Air Force base when I saw the shuttle land and I heard various military traffic and what not. Heck, when I was there they had M-16 laden guards and helicopters all over the damn place. Pretty damn secure area when the shuttle came in for a landing. And hearing those two distinct sonic booms ricochet off the desert dry lake was pretty cool. Then through your binoculars you can see waaaaay up there this tiny white dot doing circles.

Then you REALLY know you're an old scanner listener when you pulled apart your 45 MHz kids walkie talkie, went up on the roof and attached the TV antenna to the walkie talkie antenna to try and listen to other kids blocks away. LOL Although, that really isn't a scanner, but more on trying to pull in farther signals.
 

ladn

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Remember setting the Electra Bearcat 101 slide switches to program a frequency from the "look up" instructions?
Had a BC 101 in my car and at the office. For it's time, it was a great radio, but the switch programming made it pretty difficult to do searches. Partly out of necessity and partly "just because", I wrote a program for the Commodore 64 that would generate the switch combinations for an entered frequency.
 

WeldGuy

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You know you're an OLD scanner listener when you have a storage drawer full of plug-in crystals.
(For you youngsters, NOT crystals for watches LOL)

AND

… when your first "scanner" was a little box placed behind an AM radio that converted the local police channel to an unused AM frequency.
 

Paysonscanner

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As a little kid I remember my dad listening to the U.S. Forest Service on low band. He was a civil engineer for them in Arizona. At night we heard the Shasta Trinity National Forest a lot. We sent off for a map of that forest because we heard so many locations on the radio. My dad had an old tunable radio with several bands on it. He had an antenna on the roof that he had built himself using plans drawn by a Forest Service radio tech. I remember him putting ink on the glass of the radio using those old ink drafting pens. He marked just past the 39 MHz line for what turned out to be 39.18 MHz. He bought one of the first crystal scanners and that's when we found out exactly what the freq. was. Every rural town and county seemed to have all their law enforcement on that frequency in Arizona.

I remember being harassed in high school for being a nerd because my dad had helped me get a ham ticket. He had his own cue card system to teach me Morse code. My older brothers were hams also. Sometimes other hams would tell me to get off the air because they didn't think a teenage girl could have a ham license. I remember meeting my future husband in college and being the only girl in the freshman engineering school (I won't mention the year). When my hubby met me and found out I was a ham, he couldn't believe it, he was a ham too. And yes, my Avatar picture is from about 20+ years ago, but it was my late husband's favorite picture. I changed my major to nursing in my freshman year.
 
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You know you are an old time scanner listener when you used the telephone tone squelch feature in an Electra Bearcat 210 (Bearcat 210) scanner to mute and scan past the 2 kHz idle tone on IMTS VHF mobile phone repeaters. The idle tone went away when a call was in progress. The idle tone was also pulsed like a rotary dial IIRC for a mobile to directly dial a phone number instead of involving a "mobile telephone operator" to place a call for them. Mobile operators were required before IMTS was developed. And yes, it was legal to listen to them back then.


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Yes in this area the mobile phones were in the 154 Mhz range and were fully in the clear.

Users would have to read the phone number to the operator to be called. Much like a Marine phone patch.

After the call, the operator would say, "Hartford Off - Hartford Off".

Later I used my modified PRO 2004 to monitor Cell. Highly addicting!
 
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Yes in this area the mobile phones were in the 154 Mhz range and were fully in the clear.

Users would have to read the phone number to the operator to be called. Much like a Marine phone patch.

After the call, the operator would say, "Hartford Off - Hartford Off".

Later I used my modified PRO 2004 to monitor Cell. Highly addicting!
I listened to Los Angeles Mobile on 35.38 MHz a few times in Hanover NH on my Bearcat 210 via skip during the 1979 sunspot maximum. That was when I was also listening to LASO on 39MHz. At the end of a call after the mobile operator disconnected the phone call, the mobile operator identified with "Los Angeles Mobile...Los Angeles off" and then the transmission ends. I think the message was a tape loop because it had the sound of a well worn tape recording with lots of dropouts. A few times the tape loop did not re-cue itself properly and the message was something like "Off...Los Angeles".


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Uh..NO.

Listening to cell phones was made illegal by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA '86). The law took effect on January 19, 1987. The law set a dangerous precedent of regulating people may listen to on the public airwaves, based solely on content. It was done under the illusion of privacy protection as part of a marketing ploy to make cell phones appear more attractive to uninformed users. A big red herring.

The cell block in scanners was enacted in a last minute tack-on to the Telephone Dispute and Disclosure Resolution Act of 1992, a bill that was sure to pass. Beginning on April 26, 1993, the FCC was required to deny Part 15 type acceptance to scanning receivers capable of receiving or "capable of being readily altered by the user" to receive cell phone transmissions. After April 26, 1994, "no receiver having the capabilities described above shall be manufactured or imported into the United States." This set a dangerous precedent of radio frequency censorship by Congress abusing the FCC's Equipment Authorization process to ban radio receivers having certain capabilities.

The Newt Gingrich cell phone incident in 1997 resulted in scanners being hardened up against modifications. Congress also introduced legislation (H.R.2369) that would have made ALL radio reception illegal if not the intended recipient and it would have become illegal to have a receiver capable of receiving prohibited transmissions. Modifying a receiver to receive prohibited transmissions would also be specificaly illegal. It would have also amended Section 705(a) of the Communications Act of 1934 by changing "intercept AND divulge" to "intercept OR divulge", making radio reception outright illegal and illegal to divulge even if you weren't the person who received it. Penalties would have included a $500k fine and imprisonment for up to 5 years for listening to the "wrong" radio transmissions. This was a knee jerk reaction by Congress to the Newt Gingrich cell phone incident. Thankfully this legislation did not become law.

ECPA '86 and the cell phone censorship set dangerous and grave legal precedents that say banning radio receivers and regulating what people may listen to is OK in a free society and based solely on content. This is NOT OK in my book.

You know you are an old time scanner listener when you were scanner listening when these events took place. LOL don't listen to anything I wouldn't listen to.


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I remember the Newt thing quite well. I bought my ICR9000 because it was free of any restrictions. I remember a co worker posting the ECPA on a wall at work and pointing it out to me. I was listening to INMARSAT pretty regularly around then.

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TailGator911

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I read an article a couple years ago pertaining to the changes in the 911 system in Los Angeles and there was a before and after pic of their 911 dispatch center (not sure which one). It was amazing. They interviewed a woman who had worked there for 46 years and I will never forget her quote, when asked how she had adapted to the growth of their communications systems and she said something like 'we all grew with it, just like the call center grew with the population and the crime rate' or something to that effect. I wish I could remember what magazine I read that in, but I do remember it was while waiting in the dentists' office while my wife had her wisdom teeth removed. lol I do know that it was an LA-based publication. Pretty cool pictures.

JD
kf4anc
 
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I remember the Newt thing quite well. I bought my ICR9000 because it was free of any restrictions. I remember a co worker posting the ECPA on a wall at work and pointing it out to me. I was listening to INMARSAT pretty regularly around then.

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The ECPA also says that it shall not be unlawful to intercept communications that are broadcast through a system that makes them "readily accessible to the public" but leaves readily accessible to the public wide open to definition. Be sure to only monitor radio communications that are readily accessible to the public as a direct result of physical laws at work. LOL, don't listen to anything I wouldn't listen to. :)


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Paysonscanner

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I remember the first crystal scanner my dad bought. I was in college at the time. It was a Regency 8 channel. He had to buy two of them because the Forest Service was up in the 160-170 MHz range. The Regency scanners were tuned for about 155 MHz and could only receive about 4-5 MHz above and below the tuned frequency. He had a radio tech at work tune his for 167-168 MHz (somewhere in that range) and had some of the very early frequencies for big fires from the Boise Interagency Fire Center - BIFC, now NIFC. What is now Air Guard was called Air Net and all communications with aircraft were on this one frequency. Air to ground, air to air, dispatch to aircraft and dispatch centers would use it for an intercom so we would hear "Sitgreaves, Tonto, Promontory has a smoke at 87 degrees and has dead batteries in his Sitgreaves radio." I think there was only one tactical, which was called "Crew Net." I think all command traffic had to be on Forest Net, which at the time did not have any repeaters. Lookouts had to repeat traffic from places that the base station on Mt. Ord could not reach. Ord is a great place for coverage of the Tonto.

The other Regency was a high/low band used for DPS and other public safety in Phoenix. Dad listened to fire mostly, with law enforcement being locked out most of the time. Repeaters were rare on any system. I don't remember this stuff as well as my dad does, who is now 94 years old, so I'm asking him to reminisce . I retired as a nurse after hubby died and moved to my parents house a couple of years later to take care of them in their final years. My dad is still listening to scanners and has a 300 kHz to 30 MHz Yeasu HF receiver. As for his longevity he says a positive attitude, not smoking, not drinking hard liquor with only a half glass of wine every once in a while, not picking up the salt shaker, vegetables, fruit, staying away from fast food, flossing and brushing, a good job you enjoy, going hiking, a daily walk when home in the city, a great wife and well raised children is how to live long.
 
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The ECPA also says that it shall not be unlawful to intercept communications that are broadcast through a system that makes them "readily accessible to the public" but leaves readily accessible to the public wide open to definition.
Wrong. 18 USC Sec. 2510 (16) defines it.
(16) "readily accessible to the general public" means, with respect to a radio communication, that such communication is not-
(A) scrambled or encrypted;
(B) transmitted using modulation techniques whose essential parameters have been withheld from the public with the intention of preserving the privacy of such communication;
(C) carried on a subcarrier or other signal subsidiary to a radio transmission;
(D) transmitted over a communication system provided by a common carrier, unless the communication is a tone only paging system communication; or
(E) transmitted on frequencies allocated under part 25, subpart D, E, or F of part 74, or part 94 of the Rules of the Federal Communications Commission, unless, in the case of a communication transmitted on a frequency allocated under part 74 that is not exclusively allocated to broadcast auxiliary services, the communication is a two-way voice communication by radio;
 
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