Scanner Skip

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SCPD

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Back when I was in high school, more than 30 years ago, I received as a gift my first scanner, a Regency ACT R 106. I "built" a special stand for it (a piece of plywood atop an ottoman) and had it next to my bed. Of course it was crystal controlled and one of the crystals I had in the unit was 46.44 MHz, the frequency of my local fire department. I had a tri-band discone antenna up on my roof, but not very high. Maybe only 10 feet above the ground.

One summer morning, when school was out and I could lounge in bed, I popped on my scanner and began hearing an unfamiliar voice over 46.44 MHz. The guy had an accent best described as a cross between Brooklyn and Boston, and he was dispatching fire units with unfamiliar unit numbers to unfamiliar street addresses. The kicker was, his "timeouts" were three hours ahead of me. If it was 0830 in California, this guy was saying it was 1130 where ever he was.

I obviously had latched onto some "skip" from the East Coast. It was fascinating listening. The signal was strong, no fading, no interference.

Finally, at 0900 my time, the guy comes on and announces "Providence Fire Department" and a call sign I can't remember, starting with a "W." Incredible! I'm listening to Rhode Island and I live five miles from the Pacific Ocean!

By this time I had to get up and start my day. Later, when I came back home and popped on the scanner, no strange accent. And I never heard it again. The conditions that morning were optimal, and they never occurred again.

I've often wondered if my local fire dispatcher was also hearing the Providence Fire broadcasts, or if because of a certain PL tone they missed it.

So my question to the forum is: have you ever heard skip on your scanner from thousands of miles away?

Dave
KA6TJF
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
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Bowie, Md.
Indeed I have. I used to have an old Regency HX1500 that I fed with a 6 meter mag mount, and several years ago, I would have no trouble hearing California on 42 mhz when conditions were right

73 Mike
 

N8IAA

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Fortunately, GA
Used to have a BC590xlt. The non-800Mhz version of the 760. Used to be my favorite VHF-lo scanner. Used a Antenna Specialist mobile antenna, the one with the 800Mhz coil and the 450Mhz coil. Used a magmount on the roof of the car. Lived in northern Ohio then, and used to monitor the Michigan state police on 42Mhz. Got a lot of activity one afternoon. It was a fire call out to a brush fire, the only thing was, it was in LA! Probably the best skip in the mobile. Used a modified RS discone that was drilled out and tapped for a 3/8-24 threaded antenna. Used a 102" CB whip in it on the roof of my house. All kinds of skip recorded on that one. Best amateur skip was Thanksgiving week of 1987. 2m skip was incredible. Talked to California on a 7 element beam using 80w on SSB, mounted in my attic. Buddies of mine were talking to Hawaii on their stacked arrays and using a kilowatt. Now that was fun!
Larry
 
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