Buying Used Scanner Radios: Preliminary Checklist

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Yep that’s a BC300. A legend…..

This is a quick response to a reader’s question.  I posted on Facebook about used gear. The reader said they were not comfortable with buying used gear (scanner radios in this case) because they didn’t know how to test/evaluate it before purchasing. Great question! This is even more important with summer approaching,  yard sales,  flea markets etc. will be loaded with old scanners!

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Low Budget Signal Intercept Kit Part 1

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This will be the first in a series of post written to get you started in the right direction when setting up a radio Intercept kit. What is a Intercept kit you ask? Well to keep it simple, this kit will let you listen in on radio signals around you. It’s time to look at your scanner in a different way…… Listening to fire and police is only one task your scanner can do. Hopefully after this you can use your radio to it’s full potential.

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Are you wearing a “wire”?

Quick and easy. Simple and stealthy. Just a Binding post to BNC connector. Add ear buds and drop the radio in a bag. Run close call and survey the RF landscape around you with no one even knowing. Don’t over think it. Just take a walk around and see what you get.

Dialtone OUT.

Quick and Dirty

Field operations are not always sexy but……

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You use what’s available. Sometimes, practical beats tactical…..

20180706_204342 As the above shows, sometimes you needs to get it going fast. Long wire/end fed antennas can make it happen! With this set up I was able to make a few contacts on 40 meters. It’s nice when things work, but even when they don’t you should be learning something every time you go out. Maybe you forgot something or need to re-think how you set things up. What ever it is, learn every time. Sometimes you feel like you have to plan a big outing to operate, that’s not ture. Just remember,  30 minutes playing radio is better then no minutes playing radio!

 

FD16, Etc……

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Field Day 2016: Hopefully you where able to get out and operate. This exercise was a great chance to test your kit. With that being said,  don’t think you need a contest to get in the field! Practice as much as you can,  even if it is just listening.  For those of you with no HF privileges, or if you can’t get a HF transmitting antenna up, just listen and log what you hear. You need to understand,  listening and understanding is so much more important then transmitting.

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If you set up your HF radio and tune around, log the stations you hear. This will help you develop your “ear”. The average person can not understand SSB transmissions, you need to be able to pull out weak signals.  Some day we may all be weak signals. ……. Don’t wait til its to late to develop your listening skills. And remember,  if you don’t have a fancy HF rig then use you modest AM broadcast receiver.  There are plenty of signals on the AM band at night just waiting to be intercepted. Run night ops from your bed side, just do it.

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My favorite night ops bed side radio. AM broadcast…..night time is the right time. ……

DIALTONE OUT