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Thread: Scanning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Canadian border state that begins with a "M"
    Posts
    716

    Default Scanning

    Memorial Day Weekend and the weekend warriors have invaded my AO. Good weekend for garage sales (picked up a Aladdin kero heater for $15 yesterday), but otherwise just a good time to lay low to avoid traffic, long lines everywhere, and the drunks on the roads and in the woods/waters. Good time for radio scanning tho, the tourists typically keep our public safety guys busy and there's 10X more radio traffic than usual.

    Bought a Uniden SportCat scanner a couple decades ago, it doesn't support the digital trunk-tracking system our State agencies went to but still works for the county sheriffs and fire/ems/road crews, plus the GMRS/FRS radios the woodland visitors often bring. Battery in mine died last year so I'd been using it with a wall wart, finally swapped the battery out yesterday but lost all the programmed channels so had to reprogram from scratch. Had a paper copy of the old programming (no computer programming on my model), but took the opportunity to reorganize it and added a few new freqs I found (Life Flight and HERN/Medcom). This scanner and an old micro-cassette recorder has been part of my preps for a long time, don't normally use the recorder but planned to if the SHTF - wouldn't want to miss something important. Recent experiments with voice inversion/voice scrambling finally made me enter the digital age and pick up a digital voice recorder earlier this year, so just now finished setting up the scanner and new recorder for it's first real-world test. External mic on the recorder set near the scanner speaker, and the recorder set for voice-activated recording. Locked out the ham repeaters so I don't catch a 30 min ragchew lol Most of the 'good' activity usually starts just about my bedtime, so might be interesting to listen to the recording tomorrow morning.

    Plenty of drawbacks/limitations with this setup, can't tell what freq the activity was heard on and the digital recorder doesn't put a timestamp on when something was heard either. Been thinking about getting a SDR which probably does that, and a whole lot more, but a disadvantage is having to leave the computer running all the time (which is a no-no when power is limited).

    Anyone else a scanning enthusiast, what are you doing/using for equipment? Any plans for implementing a 24 X 7 "radio watch" in a SHTF situation?
    Everything marked, everything 'membered. You wait, you'll see.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,998

    Default

    I have 3 scanners.
    RS PRO-28, RS-Pro-2050 and a RS 20-424.

    I use the hand held more than the rest, esp. during tornado season.
    The first two channels on all of them are set up for the storm spotters on 2m in north Texas.
    Rest of channels are typical sheriff, fire..etc.

    I use two outside antennas mounted on 21' chain link fence railing, 50' RG8x coax running the to receivers.

    I give my two boys a scanner each several years ago.

    Most of the scanners over the years I bought came from the sheriffs auction, cheap, meaning all were under 10.00 each, and I pick out the nice ones, and wait till they come up for bid.

    Also use external bookshelf speakers on the scanners, tones them down to a more mellow audio.
    Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mountains & Lakes of the extreme NorthEast
    Posts
    1,870

    Default

    It's amazing the things you can find to do when the tourists are up.... I know it too well... LOL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Canadian border state that begins with a "M"
    Posts
    716

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trapper View Post
    I have 3 scanners.
    RS PRO-28, RS-Pro-2050 and a RS 20-424.

    I use the hand held more than the rest, esp. during tornado season.
    The first two channels on all of them are set up for the storm spotters on 2m in north Texas.
    Rest of channels are typical sheriff, fire..etc.

    I use two outside antennas mounted on 21' chain link fence railing, 50' RG8x coax running the to receivers.

    I give my two boys a scanner each several years ago.

    Most of the scanners over the years I bought came from the sheriffs auction, cheap, meaning all were under 10.00 each, and I pick out the nice ones, and wait till they come up for bid.

    Also use external bookshelf speakers on the scanners, tones them down to a more mellow audio.
    Never owned a desktop model but that 2050 looks nice. Think I'd probably stay with a handheld even if I upgrade since I like being able to move around with it, but that means no mounted antenna and better reception either. Might have to look into getting an external speaker for it, it could pull double duty for use with our FT-2900s which (like the scanner) are hard to hear if not sitting right next to it.

    Was wondering how, and what, you were doing this weekend Winni. Official start of tourist season today, yet sadly you can't get a license to hunt them. I decided to try the local hardware/sporting goods store for a new wick for that kero heater yesterday, and turned around and went back home when I saw the parking lot full of cars and more cars parked on the nearby streets. Screw that, the wick can wait until Tuesday lol

    Results of the test: About 21 hours of scanning condensed to 40 mins of recorded listening. The usual radio chatter, nothing earth shattering, a couple brush fires, homeowner complaints about noise/disturbances, traffic stops, chest pains and an ORV injury, and a rattlesnake that decided to sun itself by a PortaJohn at a campsite. Very little GMRS activity which was a little surprising. It recorded my exiting and re-entering the driveway (HW store trip) when I set off our driveway motion sensor, that got me thinking it might have some use to record activity while no one was home or even as a makeshift voicemail to leave a message at the house me or the Mrs would get later. Power for the recorder is an issue that could use improvement, the two AAA batteries (2.4 or 3v) looks like they'd need to be replaced daily, no external power jack but at least it'll run off rechargeables. Audio clarity on the digital recorder sure beats the old micro-cassette one, and it starts recording immediately so you don't miss the first second of each message that was a problem with the old motorized cassette one.
    Everything marked, everything 'membered. You wait, you'll see.

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