Radio comms

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Salvatorejrc

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I am new to the scanning world, and in the process of purchasing my new scanner (uniden sds100). I am very interested in radio communications and want to learn about it, where is a good place to learn the basics? Thank you
 

trap5858

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A good place to get hands on experience and training is through Amateur Radio (Ham). Ham radio will teach you the theory behind radio transmission and reception. There are many ham radio clubs around that offer free classes and there is a lot available on line. Listening to a scanner is just one facet of radio. Welcome to the hobby- whatever direction you want to take. There are some of the very best in communications who participate in these forums so do not hesitate to ask questions.
 

hiegtx

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Welcome to RadioReference

There is a large number of helpful articles in the Wiki here, and a number of videos available on YouTube. (A number of the Wiki articles include links to related video.)

Start with the Wiki. On the Home page, you have a number of suggested pages for newcomers to scanners.
86390

Since you are purchasing an SDS100, look at the links on the Easier to Read Manuals page.

The Wiki page listing some of the features and capabilities of the SDS100 can be found here:

Sentinel is the software provided by Uniden, to update the main database used by your scanner. A link to download Sentinel can be found here:
BCDx36HPSentinel < UnidenMan4 < TWiki
You can install & use Sentinel, to familiarize yourself with it, and if desired, start putting together a Favorites list.

When you receive your scanner, it's memory card will have copies of both Sentinel & the database. However, these may be out of date. You would be better off downloading and installing Sentinel from the link above, then use Sentinel to update it's database. Database updates are usually available by mid-morning on Mondays. and include changes from the previous week.

You will also need to install the Serial driver to connect your scanner to your PC. That can be found here:

(That link references the 996P2, but the same serial driver is used on a number of scanners, including the SDS100.)

Also take a look at this page:

The Wiki pages have links to other articles on this and other sites. When you have time, take a look at those that interest you.

If you have questions about specific systems you want to monitor, be sure & indicate your location, as well as the system's link in the database. I would also suggest that you add your location to your profile. City, or County, and state will suffice.

Enjoy your scanner!
 

mmckenna

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Ask question here. You should get mostly helpful answers. If you get crappy/rude answers, ignore them.

Amateur radio is a good start. There are some good books out there, like the ARRL Handbook.
The internet, in general, can be a mixed bag. Some really good stuff, some really bad stuff, a whole lot in between.
Simply listening to the scanner and learning as you go is a really good way. Many of us got our starts with scanners, CB's and short wave radios.
Experimentation is good, too. Building your own antennas isn't difficult.

Welcome to the hobby.
 

TailGator911

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I agree with the ham radio approach. Things like radio etiquette, band plan assignments, simple electronic circuitry, etc. are good to know when understanding the technology of ham radio today, and computer know-how goes hand in hand these days with digital scanner programming. But, it's all easily learned whether young or old, and even easier if you have a good understanding of ham radio, public safety radio, commercial and broadcast, all of it. The second thing is learning your actual radio - the SDS100 - and how to not only program it, but set it up to your personal preferences and be able to quickly navigate your monitoring. RR is the launch pad and you made it here, so you're already in and hopelessly hooked. It only gets better from here :)
 

WB9YBM

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There used be a magazine called "Popular Communications" (went out of business a few years ago)--maybe there's a resource out there to get back issues, might be a good start. Also there's no substitute for just going out there and doing it--experimenting on your own to see what's heard in your area.
 

SigIntel8600

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