All started with a live webcam broadcast called AdamsBlock....It was of this guy that was broadcasting a city corner of San Francisco's Tenderloin district. Tons of stuff would go on there, crazy things and we also nicknamed a homeless guy "Leroy". It ended up getting shutdown because of death threats and waht not....but from there I met this guy that was broadcasting the live audio from a police scanner for the city and county I lived in. Me and him started to talk for a while and he taught me alot about scanners and he was the one to get me into the hobby. Now I have a GRE PSR-300 and a Uniden BCD996XT....I am also saving money for a mobile build in my 1999 Dodge Ram 1500....
1946, on a bicycle, responding to "smoke and sirens". (City of Phoenix, 1946, 3-4 square miles). Hard to believe, but I was unbelievable on a bike. Between 1946 and 1959, I was "on the scene" early (day time fires), and saw much "first water" on innumerable fires, major and minor.
1959-1962, in my car, responding to "smoke and sirens", I started taking photographs and movies of the "big ones". Also, between ~June through ~ October, on a multiple alarms, I set the cameras down and went to the local Store/CircleK/whatever. I carried two, ten gallon water coolers in my trunk. I got a bag of ice for each, and watered them up. I would race back to the scene and walk the fire line distributing water. No cups, and I left the lids in the car, and the Firemen drank from the lip of the water cooler. This thought is inconceivable now days.
1962 is where it started radio wise. I was given, by a group of Phoenix FD Personel, a turnout coat (seems like it was 25 lbs, or so) and, get this: A 24" x 36" stainless steel heavy duty cookie sheet. Half of the cookie sheet was empty (transmiter equipment removed). The other half (18" x 24") contained the receiving portion of a radio removed from an auctioned apperatus. It had 12 or 18 (bad memory) tubes, that had screw adjustments at the top of the tubes (welders gloves required to adjust). Knowing nothing about radios, I had to pay a professional, 75 cents, about every two months to keep this monster's ears on. I installed this in the trunk of my vehicle and ran speaker wires up to a speaker near the drivers seat.
I found out later, that many of similar interest, had commercial, tuneable, radios, in their homes, about this time. But between 1962 and about 1964, I never met a single "unofficial" person, that was hearing dispatches in their automobiles (well, really everything, they only used one frequency back then, same as the analogue dispatch today, 159.140, KOA519).
After about 1965, I had many "commercial" tuneable radios, at home and in my vehicles. I have no positive memory as to when I acquired my first "scanner". I would guess somewhere around 1978 (1st Divorce, lol).
That's too funny rwier, I had that 8 channel crystal scanner rigged so that I could clamp it to the handlebars of my Dads 10-speed bike. Man, it amazes me now as I look back, at how many things I was able to "race" to and, like you, beat them there sometimes! Good times!
I first got the "bug" listening to shortwave radio with my Dad. When I was old enough to be allowed to use the receiver by myself I would tune around the bands and heard Amateur Radio operators. I got my first scanner in 1984 when I was a Volunteer Firefighter/EMT in Maryland. I became an Amateur Radio operator in 1992. This all lead me into my current profession, Public Safety Communications. I still listen to the scanner(s). I currently run 5 scanners at home covering VHF-Lo, VHF-Hi, UHF, and 800 Trunking.
You hit the nail on the head with that one!! Except mine started with the 4 channel version. The choice in 4 channel models was either VHF Hi/Lo or VHF Hi/UHF.
I remember saving up from delivering newspapers to buy one. It went on sale for $89.00 at RS!
Did they even make Nicads back then? I can recall always scrambling for battery money.
And sorting thru the plastic crystal box at RS for a new crystal was always a blast!!
I don’t really have the bug for a scanner, but I never lost the curiosity of what’s going on around where I live from my law enforcement days. For many years I carried a four channel Motorola UHF radio (on a two frequency repeater) which was required by the PD I worked for. It was tough leaving that radio connection when I left law enforcement. Now I’m able to monitor some of the activity around where I live through RR. I’ve got an analog scanner which is put away because nothing of interest can be picked up on it. Just my little blip on the subject.
Spent many hours spinning that knob. I could hear the Highway Patrol and railroad, but never the county. Found out later that county was on low band, this was a VHF high radio. So i had my uncle who fixed TVs find me a radio that picked up VHF low and it used crystals, 2 of them one for sheriff one for fire. Do not remember the brand of that radio, but i saved up and bought a sears scanner that had cards you punched out for the freqs. !
I got started with my interest in radio related things in the mid to late 1960's with being introduced to a neighbor who had a ham license. I was young and was interested with all those dials and different radio type things. Ultimately in my late teens I went to work for a large city public safety agency in south Florida. I worked in dispatch and helped doing radio upgrades in the late 1980's and more upgrades again in the late 1990's and into the early 2000's.
It all started when I shoveled a neighbor's driveway because there was so much snow that they couldn't get out. Since I helped them, they gave me an old radio scanner that they never used. And I haven't stopped the hobby yet.
1958. Built my first crystal receiver. Used the metal bed frame for my antenna. 1961, neighbor and assistant scout master was a ham. Got hooked on shortwave and ham. Tried and failed the code test. 1970, 2 channel vhf-lo band receiver for Cleve, OH-FD and PD. Upgraded to a RS tunable radio-vhf/uhf when the city went hi band and uhf. Licensed in 1985, KA8WRZ. Upgraded to tech/general in 2/86. Grandfathered to general class around 200x. Been active since Larry