Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Communications

Radio Scanners

(1/9) > >>

TimSuggs:
Hi All.  One of the best tools a survivalist can have is information.  And my favorite "information" tool is my hand portable Bearcat BC245 XLT radio scanner.  I also have a portable Bearcat BC220, and a Bearcat BC16 that is more suited for stationary use but can also be operated on 12vdc is needed.  What kind of information can you gleam from a radio scanner?  Well, Police, Fire, Taxi, HAM, Storm Trackers, mobile news teams, Military, Forestry, Aircraft, Business Radio, FRS/GMRS, HEAR (Hospital-Emergency-Ambulance-Rescue), Air Ambulance, Utility crews, Street & Sanitation crews, dog catchers, Weather Alert Tones (to set off your local tornado sirens), Marine, Railroad, Space Shuttle and International Space Station...  Is that enough to peek your curiosity or do you need more?

In short, just about ANY radio transmission can be heard via a scanner.  There are some frequency ranges that are "off limits", like cell phones, cordless phones and others, and those are locked out of your scanner at the factory.  Also, NexTel, Southern Linc (and the rest of the Linc system) are locked out as well, but man, does that leave a lot. 

My newest scanner BC245 XLT is what is called a "trunk tracker" scanner.  Some municipal and private radio systems have gone to an 800mhz "trunked" system.  A technician I am not, so in layman's terms, it's sort of like a bunch of radio frequencies that are spinning on several "roulette wheels".  Each individual radio on that system is "addressable" so that when one radio is keyed up to talk, it does so on one specific frequency, and transmits to the "address" of another radio.  That transmission contains the sending "address" of the 1st radio to the second, along with the actual words that were spoken.  Then the wheel spins until the 2nd radio keys up to answer the first radio.  Most likely they will "stop" on another frequency that the first one that was used to transmit on., and it changes frequency with just about every push of the mic button between those two radios.  Well, you'd have to switch back and forth between all those frequencies just to piece the conversation together.  And that's what my "trunk tracker" scanner does, seamlessly, quickly without missing a single word.  And please, if anyone can explain a "trunked" radio system better than I did - tear it up!

I'm a die-hard Uniden Bearcat Scanner user/owner, but Radio Shack has their own as well.  And do many of the "big names" in the handheld radio market.  So, do your homework, pick your flavor, and enjoy all the information you want to listen to.

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL USA!

John Q Public:
Tim,

Great post....

It made me think about my old scanner gear.  I am going to go drag it out and fire it up right now.

Thanks!

TimSuggs:

--- Quote from: John Q Public on November 21, 2008, 06:19:07 PM ---Tim,
Great post....
It made me think about my old scanner gear.  I am going to go drag it out and fire it up right now.
Thanks!
--- End quote ---

Not a problem John Q, glad you liked it.  As I get older, the hard life and the many, many miles are starting to show and both my eyesight and hearing are going.  I actually have two ruptured eardrums as I type now.  I'm only 51 , but the warranty has long since expired.  I suffered for years with sinus related "issues" that would usually result in fluid buildup behind my eardrums causing all sorts of havoc, balance, hearing "direction" and such, so my scanner use has been on/off over the year corresponding with my hearing issues.  Had to switch to headphones "only" for most audio devices since I popped both eardrums about 5 years ago.  How did I pop both eardrums you are thinking, yes?  I already had tubes (2 sets) in both ears and they had been in there for 6 years, I was de-constructing one of Birmingham's annual event attractions, Sloss Fright Furnace, which is hosted at a downtown Civil War era blast furnace named Sloss Furnace and there was so much iron dust we had to contend with daily that it caused me to have a sinus flareup.  Well, one day...  With a snoot full of iron dust and fluid on both eardrums, I coughed and sneezed at the same time and POP, split both of them right down the middle.

If my memory serves me correctly, I believe I use BP180 rechargeable battery packs in both my BC245 XLT (my baby), and my BC220, and they don't usually make it through my deaf periods to the point of being useful the next time my hearing gets "right".  So if it's been a while since you drug your gear out, get ready to buy some new battery packs!  Good listening!

Tim Suggs
Birmingham, AL. USA!

Tommy Jefferson:
During hurricane Rita my small town in Texas ran out of gasoline.  Tanker trucks could not make it up here from the refineries in Houston to resupply us because the highways were clogged with refugees.  Most gas stations closed because they ran out of fuel, or could not pump fuel because they had lost electrical power from the high winds that blew trees onto power lines.

I was able to find gasoline for my family by listening to my police scanner.  After the city ran out of gasoline, the dispatcher began directing city cops to small gas stations out in the rural areas that still had electricity and fuel. 

I was able to go to one of these rural stores and purchase fuel.  I didn't have to waste fuel driving all over the county searching.  My scanner paid for itself.  I was able to acquire enough fuel to drive to my elderly parents house and help them every day.

John Q Public:
Well, I drug out the old gear....and guess what?

In my stupidity, i forgot about the alkaline batteries that were in them. Looks like I have a lot of time to invest getting them cleaned out thanks to battery leakage.

Insert image of me slapping myself in the forehead over and over.  >:( >:( >:(

Navigation

[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version