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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First we will start with the radio. Everybody wants to know what radio to get…..For this kit we will want a handheld radio. Well there are many options. I always look for used scanners because you can find great deals. A used scanner is going to run you $15 and up if you get lucky. Check ham fest, yard sales and craigslist. Lots of NASCAR fans use there race radio a couple of times and then they sell them cheap. You may even get a nice set of headphones!

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Here is an old radio shack pro-89 race scanner with a “custom” paint job and a cracked display cover. Still, a basic radio that has seen many years of service. It does not have the feature set that the uniden BC125AT has. But if this is what you have go for it. (The black band around the pro-89 is a “ranger band”, a piece of bike inner tube, aka super strong rubber band. The ranger band can be used to hold a extra antenna.)

Point is, almost any unit will work. To keep this simple we will be looking at a new radio that is easily available and inexpensive. Enter the Uniden BC125AT.

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The Uniden BC125AT cost about $100 new. It can be purchased on Amazon or a online seller of your choice. I think this radio is a great choice for beginners and experienced operators alike. Even if you have better radios, this is a great piece of gear that will complement your signals kit. It has a great set of features that are very useful for our purposes:

  • It has alpha tagging (so you can name your channels)
  • Decodes PL AND DCS tones
  • It covers frequency ranges of interest
  • Close call feature so you can detect near field signals
  • Military air (just a nice feature)
  • 500 channels / 10 banks
  • Temporary lockout (this let’s you temporary lock a channel out and unlocks it when the radio is power cycled)
  • Nice back light
  • Small size
  • Uses 2 AA batteries (only 2!)
  • Able to be powered by USB! (Run this unit off any USB charger including power banks!)

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That’s a impressive list! You get alot for $100. As we continue this series we will look at some of these features more in depth. In the following post we will look at accessories to complete your kit. Stay tuned and keep close call running….you never know what you’ll hear…….

Dialtone OUT.

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2 thoughts on “Low Budget Signal Intercept Kit Part 1

  1. Pingback: Dialtone: Are You Wearing a “Wire”? – Lower Valley Assembly

  2. Pingback: Low Budget Signal Intercept kit part 2 | communication tradecraft

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