Friday, June 11, 2004

BC898T Brochure available to look at 

If you don't check the Strong Signals web site on a regular basis you missed this one. Matter of fact if you are interested in scanners and you are not checking this site at leat once a week you are missing a lot.

BC898T Brochure
Posted on 06/08/2004 17:17 EDT
Our thanks to Bob Mason for scanning the front of Uniden's recent BC898T Product Brochure and passing it along to us! To make it more readable, I enlarged it by 50% and then sharpened it a bit to take out the fuzz. It's a big grainy but gets the job done.

Also mentioned in the brochure is the continuation of the 3 model CLT line.

Click here for the Strong Signals Web Site

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A few comments that I have received 

Here are some comments that I have received via email about the
question of turning the scanner net into the scanner club. I have sent
some of them to the mailing list and thought that combined they would
make a good blog entry. Feel free to add to the list.

From Greg


1. What would be the difference in what an organized "club" would
do, compared to what you are doing now?
ie. If you think you need a "club" then create one.

The one HAM club that I am in, is kindof fadding away due to low
membership, the reason behind their "club" is to fund ($) their
repeater network, which is a specific purpose to exist. Most people that I
run into when you talk to them about any kind of club, typically, the
response is why should they join, or what benefit will they get for joining
the club. ie. the ham repeaters can only afford to stay on the air with "club"
$ backing them, however you don't have to belong to a club to use the
repeaters so, thus other than social functions the only benefit from
joining the club is the "insurance" that the club will be able to
continue to operate the repeaters. which has nothing to do with a group of
people that listen to scanners.... because the only service that this
club would provide is frequency lists and other information


From Bill
Having much club experience.
NO (not shouting, just emphatic)
This group works, don't fix. Trust me!!
73 de Bill / N3BPB

From Christopher

How about the Western Pa Regional Scanner Club Because there is more than people in
Pittsburgh that listen to it


From Ron

Hi Ken,

Thanks for adding me to your list.

Something to pass along to those thinking on your club idea:

A scanner club, or a club of any type (SWL, or even an all around
"radio club") can be a good addition to the net, because not only can
you all just talk to each other on the radio, but you can meet face to
face and discuss issues and give demonstrations. You could start out
meeting once a quarter or even like my club does, once every other
month depending on everyones schedules. I believe the added benefits
of starting a club can far outdistance just having the status quo of
the net. Give it a try. Look at other clubs like CARMA or even us,
the GYMA, the Greater Youngstown Monitoring Association. You might
find something good about it.

Until Next Time,
Ron Novak
President, Greater Youngstown Monitoring Association
Youngstown, Ohio


From Chris

Lets do it.We need a place to meet. we may want to think about moveing
the location around so everyone can get there. If you want ken we can
have the first one at my house on my deck to run some planes .Chris


Want to add your thoughts to the list? Drop me a note or bring it up
on the net.

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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Are you interested in a club? 

The Pittsburgh Area Scanner Club (Or pick another name)

Well I asked on last weeks net and spoke with some folks at the Hamfest last Sunday but
so far I have had very little feed back. I did get a phone call this week from a scanner
listener who is interested in the club aspect of the net.

Just to give you the flavor of where this could go take a look at the web site of CARMA
the Chicago Area Monitoring Association. C.A.R.M.A.

I would like to see an organization of like-minded scanner enthusiasts who could help
each other, learn from each other and enjoy the hobby all the more for it. So give it
some thought and check in on the net this week and let me know if you are interested. If
you can't check in drop me a note in email and let me know what you think. I am
interested but a club of one is pretty useless so if the interest is not there we will just
continue on with things as they are. Thanks for you time reading this.

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The 800 mHz debate continues 

If you live in Westmoreland County you might want to be bringing these news articles to the attention of your elected officials.

Is this whats in store for Pa????

Reno Gazette Journal - Reno,NV,USA
... to lose contact with dispatch. The system used by the NHP — from
Massachusetts-based M/A-Com Inc. — also has caused problems ...

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Tuesday, June 08, 2004

"It seems to us..." Omnibus an editorial comment from the ARRL 

The ARRL has chosen to make this editorial which normally only appears in QST their monthly magazine public. As I stated on the net this past week one of the things you can do to effect change in the radio hobby is to join the ARRL. Even if you have no intentions of becoming licensed and your only interest are scanning or short wave listening it is an organization that deserves your support. If you are interested in becoming an amateur radio operator the ARRL and their journal QST are well worth your time both for the knowledge they will provide and the support you will get in your efforts. I have decided to send the entire editorial to the mailing list and I will post a link on the blog. Enjoy! ----Ken

Link to ARRL Editorial

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Notes from the Scanner Net of June 6th 2004 

Notes from the Scanner Net of June 6th, 2004

We had 29 stations check into the net this week.

Breeze Shooters Hamfest

Well last week I spent a good deal of time talking about the upcoming Hamfest in Butler
and this week we spent an equal or greater amount of time talking about what a great
event it turned out to be. The weatherman cooperated and the turn out was fantastic! I
haven't heard a final count yet of the total number that attended but to my observation it
was one of the best attended ham fests that I have been to in quite some time not that I get
to that many now days.

Icom was there in full bloom with lots of neat toys and we appreciate them choosing the
Breeze Shooters Hamfest to attend with their display this year. Remember them if you
decide to purchase a wide band receiver of which they have some of the best in the
market place.

I consulted with my roommate and financial advisor and was told that I should pass on
the new HF transceiver they had on display. I didn't think $12,000 was out of line
considering all of its capabilities but for some reason Linda was just unable to appreciate
the technology involved in this radio. Must be a gender thing?

The Pittsburgh Area Scanner Net was well represented with a table donated to us free of
charge by the Breeze Shooters Club, thank very much N3BPB and the Breeze Shooters,
and I was there most of the day with several items on display. I brought two computer
controlled scanners and my laptop computer along with a few other items to look at and
talk about. I had a really good time and enjoyed meeting and talking with all those who
stopped by to say hello.

As with other ham fests that I have attended I never cease to be amazed at the number of
people who come up to me and tell me that they listen in on the scanner net every week
and find it enjoyable. Some of them are hams, which for one reason or another just can't
check in with us but a surprising number of them are scanner listeners that found the net
through one means or another. I heard several stories from people that stopped at the
table about how they had been scanner listeners and as a result had obtained their ham
tickets. So if you know a person who is an avid scanner listener and enjoys radio as a
hobby please pass along the information about the net to them. The more the merrier.

One of the more interesting conversations I had was with Ron Novak, KB8YHF, who is a
member of the Youngstown Scanner Club. Their club has been active for some time now
and Ron wanted to know if we wanted to swap newsletters. I had to tell him that we are
not really a club yet but we are working in that direction. The Youngstown Scanner Club
holds meetings every other month and Ron is going to email me the date for their next get
together. I think we should have a "Scanner Net Road Trip" at that time and go meet
these guys. I will send email and talk about it on the net once I have the date.

We had a small piece of history at the ham fest also. Duncan, KF6YYT, who is a recent
transplant to Pittsburgh from the left coast and now live just on the other side of the river
from me followed me to the Hamfest. What I didn't know was that he brought along a
table some items to display one of which caught me by surprise. Duncan is the proud
owner of a Bearcat CompuScan CPM2100. Not only had I never seen one of these
before I didn't even know that this model existed! This is a "radio in a box" that has only
a volume and squelch control on the front panel and a serial connector on the back. Now
I'm sure a lot of you who are familiar with the current crop of scanners in the
marketplace are wondering what is so great about that. What makes this radio so special
is that it was introduced to the public in 1984! That's right, over twenty years ago.
Duncan also brought a pristine Apple IIe computer to run it. The user interface was all
text based as Windows, at least as we know it, wasn't even a glimmer in Bill Gates eyes
yet. The radio had 200 channels and covered from 25 to 512 megahertz with the supplied
software. Duncan tells me that if you were willing to write your own software in Apple
BASIC you could open it up and go above 1 gigahertz. I took some digital snapshots and
I will pass them along in an email or post them on my web page as soon as I find one of
those "tuit" devices. Many thanks to Duncan for the display and for the help manning the
scanner net table. I also want to thank Rich, K3RWN, and Ron, KB3DDF, for allowing
me to wander off and spend some time in the flea market during the day.

One of the questions I had from a visitor to the table was why we didn't put the scanner
net on Echo Link? I explained my theory that scanning like politicks tends to be local.
Oh sure there are some subjects that come up on the net that would be of interest to
anyone anywhere but for the most part our discussions on the net tend to be related to
Pittsburgh. What I am considering is finding a way to stream the audio from the 09
repeater to the Internet. That might be added to the list of projects for the Pittsburgh Area
Scanner Club. A lot would depend on finding a volunteer (hint hint) that could help out
in that area. We will talk more about it in the future probably at one of our meetings of
the oblong table.

State Wide 800mHz radio system

The other big topic that drew attention on the net this week was the statewide 800-
megahertz digital trunked radio system. As you know from some of the items that I have
sent to the mailing list this is on the verge of becoming a political football. It looks like
some folks are going to be taking a hard look at the engineering of the system and the
performance of the installation to date. Should get VERY interesting if they are serious
about getting real answers to all of the questions that have been raised. As I said on the
net if you hear any tidbits of information on the new system or see any articles on radio
or television or in the print media please bring them to my attention.

The Pittsburgh Area Scanner Club?

Start thinking "Club". We are going to allow the scanner net to morph into a club. I
would like your input on how that should happen. So far I have been calling it the
"Pittsburgh Area Scanner Club" but even that is not set in stone. If you have a better idea
for a name send it to me. I think we could have a lot of fun with this and get to meet a lot
of new like-minded people. Think about a name, objectives, structure, meeting places,
newsletter, dues, web presence and more. Give it some thought and get back to me.

Well my fingers are getting tired and I have probably put at least half of you to sleep by
now with my prose. Thanks again to all who turned out for the Hamfest and I hope to
hear you next week on the net. Until then I'll be back in the scan mode.

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Some frequencies to try 

I talked with Paul, N3ZIC, on 147.09 this evening and he passes along the following frequencies, which he knows were very active at Lernerville a few years ago. He is not sure they are still in use but if you plan to attend the school bus races tomorrow evening you might want to plug these in and see what you hear. Thanks for the heads up on the frequencies Paul.


Let us know what you find!

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Come and watch the submarine races! 

Submarine races? Oh, wait that was a number of years ago. What I really meant to say was that we have a scanner net / amateur radio event tomorrow evening. If you are so inclined join us at Lernerville Speedway for the school bus races tomorrow evening Tuesday June the 8th. Now let me tell you in advance that I have never been a race fan of any kind. Two of my spring offs however are avid NASCAR fans and grind their teeth when I mention that I gave up watching vehicles go around in circles when I got rid of my toy trains. I just love stirring the pot now and again.

This is a multi club event with the gang from the North Hills club, the Elmer Net crowd, the guys and gals from Skyview Radio Society and last but not least the bunch from the scanner net. The plan is to meet in the grand stands at turn one. If you have 2-meter capabilities we will be monitoring 146.520 simplex if you want to give a yell. Be sure to bring your scanner. Never know what you might hear on it at an event like this.

I don’t know if my work schedule is going to permit me to be there but I am going to try. So, come on out, join N3BPB, WC3O and the rest for an evening of racing which will include racing school buses.

Learnerville Speedway is located on Rt. 356 in Sarver PA. For more information check out Lernerville’s web site.

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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Great day! Great hamfest! 

Great day! Great Hamfest!

I want to thank all of the scanner net members and listeners that stopped by our table at the Breeze Shooters Hamfest today. The weatherman cooperated and the event had a really good turnout. I enjoyed myself immensely and even managed to see a very small portion of the flea market. I bought a few items that I had on my list to look for and got a few good deals. Most of all I enjoyed the chance to meet and talk with all those in attendance. The Hamfest was the main topic of discussion on the scanner net this evening. More in that latter. I am already looking forward to the next Hamfest

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Repeater struck by lightning back on line. 

Message forwarded from W3YE:


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