How far we've come since then

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AZScanner

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Since we quite nearly derailed the BCD436 thread with nostalgic memories of our first scanners, I thought it would be fun for folks to post what their first scanner was and compare that scanner (including the price) with the new Unidens coming out. This was my first programmable scanner (I had 2 crystal bound radios prior to this one):



I remember I paid about $120 for this scanner plus a copy of Police Call back in the late 80's. It covered 3 whole states! California, Oregon and Washington! :D Anyway,according to this website: Today's Dollars, that's the equivalent of nearly 200 dollars today. I remember how exciting it was to be able to sit down with a copy of Police Call and plug in any frequency I desired. No more buying crystals! I could listen to anything! I had ten whole channels to use! :)

Compare this to the BCD436HP I have on order. It has a nearly unlimited number of "channels", it can record hours and hours of scanner audio, it can be "programmed" in just 7 keystrokes (zipcode button+5 digits+scan button), it can be connected to a GPS, and (AND!) it's got the equivalent of the entire Police Call set of books in memory and that data can be automatically updated weekly. All for about the price of two of these scanners back in the 80's.

Great googely moogely! How far we've come! OK, your turn, let's see those old scanners!

-AZ
 

n9mxq

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First scanner, Bearcat IV.. Mom sold them at the store she worked at and brought us one home..

First programmable scanner, Regency HX-1000. Oh the hours I wasted with that little beasty..
 

Sportster77

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Started listening to a scanner when I was working as a service tech for a radio / tv shop in Peru IN back in 74, when this was the newest thing. Now a $5.00 Flea market find and $40.00 in crystals has one sitting in my office picking up the little bit of stuff left in its range.


My first bought scanner was a Uniden SC150 Sportcat.
 

N9NRA

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My first programmable scanner :).

My first programmable scanner was a Realistic PRO2003 50-channel desktop unit, owned a Uniden Bearcat 10-channel crystal-controlled unit before that when i was still in highschool (both nice units and fun to listen to stuff on :D). Anyways, used that PRO2003 till i got my ham license and for a while didn`t need a scanner. To be honest i still sometimes pine for those old scanners, they were nice. N9NRA
 

scover5555

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First scanner was a Midland 4 channel mobile/base in the 60's. First handheld was a GE 4 channel I picked up at a garage sale for $5. It was VHF Hi only and had a knob for each channel to adjust the frequency in the late 70's.
Sportster77, was it the TV shop on I believe west 2nd or 3rd just off Broadway? I grew up in Peru and you probably heard my relatives on that scanner, Blair, Cover, Hilgeman.
 

signal500

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First receiver and scanners

My first receiver (at the young age of 10) that received the VHF/UHF bands was the Realistic Patrolman-3. After mowing lawns for the summer I was able to purchase the Realistic 4 channel crystal controlled 'pocket scanner'. After another summer of working, I purchased my first programmable scanner from Service Merchandise, the Bearcat 160.

As you can see, I still have all three and they still work great. Those were the days…..
 

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Sportster77

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Sportster77, was it the TV shop on I believe west 2nd or 3rd just off Broadway? I grew up in Peru and you probably heard my relatives on that scanner, Blair, Cover, Hilgeman.
I worked @ Minitronics. They were in a converted gas station downtown owned by Dunn's Arco and was across the street from Mehalic's Caddilac until Mehalic's burned down and the owners rented out the station to the dealership for its service dept. The other owner was a teacher @ Mishawaka (sp?). A couple of the other techs were part timers from Grissom AFB.
 

dmg1969

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My first PROGRAMMABLE scanner was the same as the original poster's. My first actual scanner was an 8 channel crystal scanner...a Realistic PRO-54.
 

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Cunnerman

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Not scanners primarily, but I used to build custom police and monitors from Radio Shack parts back in the early 80's.
If you have any photos (or even additional info) I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in learning more about these builds.
 

BigDAS

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I no longer have any of these builds no photos of them, however I can describe them.
The simplest one consisted of a stock 4x4 Radio Shack slant front equipment case. On the left is an On/Off toggle switch, in the center a calibrated vernier dial. Inside are various resistors, capacitors, induction coils and a variable capacitor. One Radio Shack AC to 12 volt power supply circuit board ported out the read of the case. That's about it.
 

W8RMH

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Mid 1970s - Regency TMR-8 - Eight channel crystal controlled VHF Lo/Hi (no UHF yet back then). Don't remember what happened to it. Best scanner I ever owned. I remember times when it received better than the 2-ways in the sheriff and fire vehicles. I ran a CB ball/spring bumper mounted whip antenna cut down to 36.000 MHz.

 
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DJ11DLN

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My parents got a Bearcat III from KMart in '73-'74-ish, and what an eye-opener it was. Around '78 I found one at a yard sale for $5. The people said it had quit working after they moved in. They'd moved from another state and never thought to re-crystal it! $5 of yard-mowing money, and then I had to scrimp for most of a year to afford all 8 crystals for active stuff! But when I moved out, while I didn't have a TV, I had a scanner to listen to. Still got it, still works. Got a deal on 3 new-in-box BC560xlt's in around '90-'92 or so, kept one, gave one to my mom to supplement the old BC3, gave one to a pal I owed several favors. Great little 16-channel mobiles or use a wall wart in the house. They all still run. Got an almost-new RS Pro-2023 from another friend who'd got himself into some money troubles, around '94 I think. Nice desktop scanner, 20 channels, first thing I had that would hear airband. Still got it, still works. Kinda lost interest then for a few years and while I was gone most everything local (PS-wise anyway) went 800 MHz trunked and then went P25. But I got the bug back and got a Pro-18 last fall during the "fire sale," and just wow. I'm back to being as much of a junkie as I ever was back when I was a kid listening to my folks Bearcat.

I also briefly had a Regency 10-channel programmable, can't remember the model number, looked like NHDave's R1040, it was given to me as an if-you-can-make-it-work-you-can-have-it, it would only receive extremely strong signals and was otherwise deaf as a post. Never figured out what was wrong with it, too stupid/broke to send it to a pro for repair. I wish I'd kept it now...can't remember exactly what happened to it but it's gone.
 
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