How Long Have You Been Into Radio Communications?

How Long Have You Been Into Radio Communications?

  • Less than one year (>1 year)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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hotdjdave

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Just thought I would start this fun thread/poll to find out:

How long have you been into radio communications, scanning, monitoring, Amateur Radio, CBing, DXing, etc.?

What got you into it?

Was it because of work, hobby, or ??

Do you use radio communications now in your current profession?

What is your radio communications skill level?


I know that some of these questions are arbitrary and/or subjective, but this is just for fun...just put what you think is the best and honest answer.

No exaggerating, now...be honest - lol. :lol:
 
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hotdjdave

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A Little About My Radio Communications Past

The abbreviated version: As for me, I have been around radio communications since I was a little kid (as far back as I can remember). My family (and extended family) belonged to a few camping clubs. We used to travel all over the place and all the time (almost every other weekend). My parents, uncles/aunts, grandparents, were all CBers. They used to get me on the CB and talk.

I think I was about ten or eleven when I got my first set of CB HT radios. They were Radio Shack five-channel models and required crystals. I used to take them apart and play around with mixing and matching the TX and RX crystals to get different channels (and off-channels).

After that, I got a set of 49 MHz headset communicators from Radio Shack. I remember around this time, I used to go to RS and look at all the Amateur radios and scanners and dreamed of having them. I picked up a few more crystal-type radios and my own mobile CB that my dad helped me convert into a base CB. I used to talk to people all over, both locally and far away. I also got an Amateur Radio book (Gordon West) and started studying it. Back then, it was much more difficult to become an Amateur Radio operator. You had to start out as a Novice and learn code. I was young and didn't quite get it all (actually I was too lazy to remember all the stuff you had to remember).

When I was fourteen, I became an LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) Explorer Scout. Now I was using LAPD radios (to include the old Moto MX300/MX330). This sparked my interested into getting a scanner. Someone gave me a scanner (can't remember what type) that used crystals. For the life of me, I could not find the crystals I wanted for LAPD.

Finally, I saved up enough money to buy my very own digital controlled scanner (no crystals needed). It was a PRO-32. In high school, a friend of mine was a HAM and got me interested in Amateur Radio, again. It was still too much for me (had too many other things (girls) going on for me to spend time studying and trying to learn Morse Code), but I attempted (a little).

Before I got out of high school and before I went into the military, I joined the Civil Air Patrol. While there, I bought and had modified an Icom IC-W2A dual-bander. This radio was also a wide-band receiver (including cell, which was analog back then). I had lots of fun with that radio - still have it, too. I started to get into search and rescue communications, as well as Air (AM), while in the CAP.

Time went on and I became a cop in the Air Force, further advancing my interest and usage of Communications equipment (and still in the CAP, as well). I also worked security before and after the military (using radios). Then I became a policeman in Los Angeles. Eventually, as an administrative Lieutenant, one of my functions was in charge of all the communications and IT equipment (dispatch, HTs, mobiles, Nextels (eventually), CAD, computers, etc.), working with the Dept radio engineers when needed. During this period is when I bought the most communications and scanning equipment (got a lot of it on eBay) - see my sig below (Icom IC-PCR1000 and IC-R1, Uniden MR8100 and BCT7, etc.).

More recently, I finally resurged my interest in Amateur Radio and got my licence, formerly KI6FLS, and now K9DJW (thanks to a personal meeting with Gordon West (WB6NOA)).

Most recently, since LAPD went digital, my wife bought me a Uniden BCD396T, last Christmas - probably the best scanner I have ever owned, at least the niftiest scanner.

I would say that on a scale of 1 - 10, my technical skill of radio communications is a 6 or 7, and my general knowledge is a 7 or 8. Although, I guess it depends on to whom I am talking about it - someone who knows little or nothing (who would think I am a guru) or someone who is knowledgeable (which would reflect my numbers above). For the most part, I am very tech savvy. However, many times I feel I know nothing when talking to a real expert (engineer type).

My dad used to say, "A jack of all trades and a master of none." Well, maybe a master of some...

73's
 

mkh

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Jacksonville, FL
I got my start as a teenager in high school.

I got my first SW/Ham receiver (Radio Shack DX-160B) in about '73 or '74 and got my first CB for the car about that time. I also had a mobile CB that I rigged up to use as a base station. I was too lazy or dumb to learn the code but I did learn the theory parts of radio.

I also got involved as a Police Reserves officer then went into the Army as a Military Police so I kept my communications exposure going.

After getting out of the Army I got married and radio took a back seat to raising kids etc. but it never went completely away. Late last year I got bit by the radio bug again real hard. I bought a scanner and then found an old DX-160B on eBay that I purchased.

I took the Technician's exam in May of this year and now I'm KI4PBE. I am working on building my shack but I'm taking it kind of slow and doing my research ahead of time. In addition to the scanner and the DX I have a WinRadio WR-G305e, a Yaesu VX-7R. I was given a National NCX-3 this past weekend so I have a 80/40/20 meter transceiver but I don't have it up yet (plus I'm not licensed for it).

As for technical ability I would rate myself as a 5 or 6 but I'm gaining ground fast. I used to be quite good at this stuff but now I'm having to relearn a lot of things that I have forgotten from my youth.
 

edweirdFL

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I also began with radio as a teenager, when CB was very popular and familes used it for keeping in touch, and on camping trips.

I also built one of those breadboard AM radios and would listen at night, trying for far away stations.

I had a multiband radio that included air band, and would sometimes sit near the airport and watch planes while listening. I could also monitor the local sheriff's dispatch.

Later after I graduated from high school, I bought a programable scanner. I've since had many radios, shortwave and scanners.

Ed
 

KT4HX

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I got started by accident in 1969, when my mom ordered an AM/FM radio for me from Montgomery Ward for Christmas. They didn't have the model she ordered in stock so they substituted an AM/FM/SW portable from Ross. I started fiddling around and was immediately hooked. I messed around with SW for a few years and eventually started listening to hams, and in 1979 got my Novice license. In the mid-80s my interest in radio springboarded me into a job with the Fed govt and I wound up working overseas where I became the DX that I had been so aggressively chasing (that was the most fun I had in the hobby). After many years of being a ham, I started into scanning. I find that fits my time easier than does ham radio for the most part. I just enjoy all aspects of the hobby, and now that I am semi-retired, I have a little more time to enjoy it. So through the years I have dabbled in shortwave listening, mediumwave dx'ing, amateur radio, and scanning. As well as working in radio, lease-line, and satellite communications on the job. So I guess I have had a well rounded communications life!
 

n8myc

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When I was in the military in Virginia Beach back in 1979 I bought a used car on Military Hwy. It was a 1972 Pontiac Catalina with a Bearcat III screwed to the dash. Approximatly 73 scanners and 16 cars later I'm still going strong.
 

captclint

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Anyone remember the Whisker Crystal Shortwave sets? :wink: At least 50 years ago! Or how about Lafayette Radio FM manual Tuner Police Radios?
 

KG4ZPD

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San Bernardino, CA
Been in it for about 12 years now. Started with scanners and a cb, then got into commercial radios, and got my ham ticket about 3 years ago. Been wanting to get into a dispatch position, but seems like no one around where I live needs anyone.
 

bravo14

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I have been listening to scanners and radios the past 15 years. I'm more into now since they come out with new stuff too.
 

Jay911

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My father joined the local fire dept in 1980 and was given not a pager but a scanner. It was a "Bearcat S-P H/L", with a whopping 4 (crystaled) channels - only one of which was enabled, his department frequency. We played with that thing for 10 years while he was on the department, before we moved out here - and I still have it, somewhere. Both of us joined the local FD when we moved here (my having just turned 18 at the time) but pagers and radios abounded. I got a pager, he (as a captain) got a radio. It didn't take long for us to figure that these crazy new synthesized radios actually had other channels in them - one of them being the nearby city's 400mhz fire radio system. That prompted buying of a brand new PRO-44 to see what else I could hear.. followed soon after (after the 44 died from use & abuse) by a PRO-43, then onwards and upwards..
 

gmclam

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I started in 1967

Two things happened in 1967; I bought an AM/CB radio - tuneable receiver, single channel transmitter. And my dad brought home a "converter" that allowed us to listen to the city PD (then on a single VHF channel) on any AM radio.
 

Halfpint

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capt_clint said:
Anyone remember the Whisker Crystal Shortwave sets? :wink: At least 50 years ago! Or how about Lafayette Radio FM manual Tuner Police Radios?
Yep! In fact I've got several of the galena crystal holders w/ `whiskers' in one of my `storage' drawers. I've even gotten both of my children to build a crystal set so that they'd both be able to say they've done it and so that they would also understand what someone was talking about whenever the subject "crystal set" or "crystal radio" came up. {VB GRIN!}

As for the old `tuneable' receivers... I've still got several of those around the place. Unfortunately I don't have an example from Lafayette Radio anymore. I think it was lost somplace around 20 or so moves ago. {WAN GRIN!} Kinda wish I still had it but, until I happen to run across one at some `yard sale', `thrift shop', or some other `flea Market' or `ham market / meet' I'm not really `actively' searching.

Whilst I did listen off and on to `public safety' type stuff earlier it wasn't until a friend of our family, who was a local firefighter, gave me an old crystal controlled single channel radio for our local fire department that I really started listening in earnest. I don't recall who made it but, it was a big grey wrinkle finished box that had basically a couple knobs, off / on / volume and squelch, and about a 5" or so speaker on the front. It also was capable of running off of either AC or DC, though I think the DC part didn't work because it was missing the `vibrator', and the antenna connected via either a set of screws or a `motorola' plug. (I'd have hated to try and mount it in a vehicle! It would have wiped out a whole bunch of under dash `real estate'! Besides... I don't think either of my parents would have let me try putting it into either of *their* cars. {GRIN!})

Just an `Olde Fart's' 2¢ worth. {VB GRIN!}
 

fireside

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Been listening for 40 years. Started out with a crystal am reciver,then a VHF Lafayette.
First real scanner a SEARS with the punch out cards. Now its an expensive hobby,( so the wife says ) I don't know what I would do if all my scanners disappared (THREATENED). Did mention to the wife about getting my HAM ticket,oh boy did the eyes roll. Happy SCANNING.
 

w4rez

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My dad was big into CB radio back in the 70's when I was a little boy, and that got me interested somewhat, but I didn't really get interested until 1989 when I was 16 and had my first job working on the Governor's Summer Youth Program. I can't remember what we did there, but one of our tasks was to do something at one of the local VFDs, which got me interested in their radios. I used my very first paycheck to order a BC175XLT from Sears.
 

bravo14

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Boy that is back in the old days! I have a few old scanners back than and someone wanted it so bad I traded a 4 channel crystal radio for a 200 channel scanner. I see older ones are on ebay. I will not able to catch up you all way too much back than...
 

pathalogical

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My friend and I bought our Pro 46s together in 1993 to listen to airplanes. Today, I find this hobby of 'listening in' quite interesting. Being able to hear what is going on as it is happening is exciting. Still considering a SW radio or maybe...you guessed it...another scanner. I also have a Radio Shack CB with RS antenna and also a K40. I'd like to add it to my shack but would need a 12v supply for home use.
 

trace1

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hotdjdave said:
How Long Have You Been Into Radio Communications?
Hmm...

This could be a trick question for me or I could, by a technicality, be the youngest person involved in radio communications for the longest period of time...

Okay, now that I’ve got your attention (well maybe)...

My Dad was a DJ (radio announcer) so I practically grew up in a radio station which is the business of radio broadcasting therefore communicating, and since I was born in 1963 I’ve been involved with radio communications for almost all my life (that is the technicality part).

My Mom had a CB in her car back in the early 80’s and I would occasionally talk on it. I was a Security Police in the US Air Force from 1982 - 1988 and we used two-way radios everyday, I also started listening to scanners around this time. Then after I got out of the Air Force I worked for a short time as a Security Guard and again two-way radios were used. I then went to work as a Police Officer and of course the two-way radios were used, I did this for 6 1/2 years. Not long after leaving the Police field I went into retail and once I became an Assistant Manager for Wal-Mart I was once again using two-way radio equipment.

Many years later, and a few job changes (not very long ago) I became interested in GMRS and eventually got my license for that which quickly led me to the HAM world in which I’m now licensed in that also.

Okay, it may be bit of a stretch here with the use of my technicality but you all get the idea. I’ve been around radio almost my entire life.
 
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