Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Notes from the Scanner Net of July 18th 

Notes form the scanner net of 18 – July - 2004

We had twenty four (24) stations check into the net this week including the net control

My thanks again to all the stations that check into and contribute to the net each week. It
is you guys that make the net go and make it worthwhile. Here is a brief synopsis of
what we covered this week.


Looking for net control stations

First let me preface these remarks by telling you that in no way am I getting tired of
doing the net each week. I enjoy doing the net as you can probably tell by my
enthusiasm for it. I enjoy doing it now as much as when I started the net almost two
years ago now.

I do take a little good-natured ribbing from my lovely roommate Linda from time to time
about OUR schedule revolving around the net on Sunday evenings. Being the kind soul
and excellent wife that she is though she understands how much I enjoy my amateur
radio hobby and that I do indeed enjoy the various nets that take place during the week. I
may be straining things just a bit once I get some HF antennas up though. ?

There are times I will admit when it would be convenient if I knew there was someone
else in the wings that could pick up the net if I had something else on the agenda. I also
am looking forward to my first grand child latter this month and I'm sure that is going to
alter my schedule somewhat. At least I hope it will. I can't wait to baby sit, spoil the kid
rotten and then give him or her back to Mom and Dad! ?

Further I would like others to become more involved in the net and get to be better
known by the group. Take a chance you will find it can be a lot of fun. Duncan,
KF6YYT, has already volunteered to take a shot at it and so you will be hearing him as
net control in one of upcoming nets. Give it some thought.


Meeting of the Oblong Table

We had another meeting of the Oblong Table on Wednesday the 14th after much
confusion on the part of your net control station. I won't rehash that story again. I
believe we had eight in attendance and had a good exchange of information as usual.
Frank Stroncek brought copies of his well-detailed frequency list and handed them out to
the group. We talked about the Radio Shack PRO-96 portable scanner of which there
were two on hand. I just have a feeling there are one of those radios in my future. All I
have to do at this point is convince Linda they were on sale at the shack for $29.95. ?
About the only thing of interest to come out of the meeting about the new monitoring
club is that not everyone is happy with the new name. So, I am going to give it another
round, sorry Craig, to see if we can some up with something that starts out with Western
Pennsylvania or WPA has "monitoring association" in the title and makes some neat
sounding acronym. Put on your thinking caps gang. We will have another meeting
coming up next month on Wednesday August 4th so mark your calendars.


New BC-898T page

From the Strong Signals web site comes this tidbit of information.

Web Site News

Uniden BC898T Page
Posted on 07/17/2004 06:42 EDT

Our thanks to Dave McCormick, K9DV, for pointing out the latest addition to
Uniden's web site...
LINK: Uniden BC898T page

This will replace the venerable BC-895XLT one of the better scanners to come out
of the Uniden shop in my humble opinion. Check it out. If you are considering a
scanner for your desktop this should be one of the ones on the short list. If you have
the room it also make a nice mobile unit.

Upcoming meeting of the South Western Pennsylvania Packet Group
Mark your calendars. The net meeting of the SWPPG will be on Saturday morning
August 28th at the Blue Flame restaurant on Rt. 51 just south of Century Three Mall.
I attended the last meeting and it was well worth the time and effort. I think packet
radio offers some unique opportunities for this group and has a lot of potential. Plan
to make it if you can. More details at a latter time.

Where to get a broke scanner repaired?

One of the topics on the net this week was where to take your scanner when
something happens that lets some of the smoke out of the components and they cease
to function. You do know that all electronic equipment is smoke powered don't
you? It works fine until something happens that lest the smoke get out of some of
the parts. Then you have to either figure a way to put the smoke back in or replace
the parts. Usually the latter is much easier to accomplish than the former.
I found two local and one mail order place for scanner repairs for the net. On the
local scene there is Whiteside Electronics. Jack Whiteside has been in the business
since people were listening to spark gap transmitters with their Bearcat scanners. I
have dealt with Jack on several occasions and he has always done right by me. So if
you are looking for new or used equipment stop in and see Jack and tell him that the
Pittsburgh Area Scanner Net referred you to him.

Whiteside Electronics
6415 Saltsburg Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235
(412) 793-6667

Also on the local scene our very own Duncan MacGregor aka KF6YYT does scanner and
radio repairs as a sideline and would be more than willing to take a look at any
malfunctioning equipment that you have. I don't have a phone number handy for Duncan
but if you want to get in contact with him just drop me a note and I will put the tow of you
together. Duncan is located in Springdale north of exit 48 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
If you would prefer to deal with someone over the Internet a shop that come highly
recommended to me it G & G Communications. They are located in New York and sell and
service both new and used equipment. If you go to their web page
(http://www.iinc.com/ggcomm/) and check out the repair section you will find a
comprehensive list of radios that they will service. They will also tell you which models they
will no longer take in because parts availability. I was getting ready to ship an old Uniden
BC-200 off to them for replacement of some surface mount components but I think I will give
Jack or Duncan first crack at it. If you know of anyone who does good repair work locally
please let me know and I will add them to my list.

What is a Maxon Rectangle antenna?

One of our inquires on this weeks net wanted to know if I knew anything about the Maxon
Rectangle antennas. I had to admit that I did not but Bob, N3DOK, came to the rescue
describing the antenna and telling us about a very good book that covers the underlying
technology of the design. He said that the math was a little deep but that it was a good read
if you are interested in antennas. Sorry I didn't get the title of the book but I'm sure after he
reads this Bob will pass the title and ISBN number along to me or give it to us on next weeks
net. In the meantime here is a good resource on the Internet if you would like to learn more
about this unique antenna design.
Give it a look; I think you will find it interesting.

Frequencies of the week

Last but not least here are some frequency contributions from the net this week.

Thanks to Chris, NM3M, for his usual through scrubbing of the RF spectrum looking for
interesting places to tune your scanner. Chris informs us that these two frequencies were
active this past week in the aircraft band.
384.700 AM
This one appears to be military and provided some interesting chatter.

123.825 AM
Aircraft where heard on this frequency calling "Potomac approach" and Chris hasn't
quite pined down where that is at this time. If you hear activity on these channels
please let Chris, and the rest of us for that matter, know.

Rich, K3RWN, says that he has been hearing some interesting air traffic on 139.550
with AM modulation. Punch it in and let us know what you hear on the band.
Rich also noted that he has put together several files for the PRO-96 digital scanner
with Pittsburgh area frequencies. If you have a PRO-96, you lucky dog, let Rich
know and he will be more that willing to share the wealth. This is another thing that
we as a group can do for our mutual benefit. Thanks to both Rich and Chris for their


Well that about wraps it up for this week. I hope to hear all of you next week when
the Pittsburgh Area Scanner net meets on the air once again.

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