Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Notes from the Scanner Net of Dec 16 2007 

Well we missed another net this past week as our regularly scheduled net control station was unable to get into the repeater and I was tied up on a project to complete one of my wife's Christmas presents. So I hope you all took advantage of the break to spend some time with your families celebrating the Christmas holiday. Be that as it may.

I had said that I would post some comments from the last net that I conducted and have been remiss to get to the keyboard until now.

One of the items discussed on the net that evening was a supplier for crystals for those older radios that might be collecting dust in the closet or your radio room. For those of you who are asking "What is a crystal" please Google "history of radio scanning" or follow this link to Wikipedia for more information on the subject.

I have a number of older crystal scanners around the house most of which have fallen into disuse because of their limitation and the falling prices of more modern equipment. I have decided that I may put some of them back into service if for no other reason than to keep the capacitors from drying out. Now that I have a good source of crystals that will be an easier task.

Robert Ott Electronics in New York seems to have just about anything you could wish for to repopulate that old crystal scanner and put it back into action. Here is a link to their web site. Be sure to mention the blog and the Pittsburgh Area Scanner net if you call to order.

Scanner Crystals Available

The other item brought up that night that I can remember was a question about the antennas used on modern diesel locomotives. I described what looked like a "bottle rocket" that was an antenna tuned for the 160 mHz rail frequencies. There were several suggestions made but were not the answer that I was looking for.

After the net I received an email from Dan KB3FCZ who knew exactly what I was talking about. As usual Dan was a fountain of information both on the subject of the antennas and scanner crystals. To see what I was talking about follow this link to the "rugged rail antenna".

That is all from my "scanner notes" for now. Hope to hear all of you on the net this week.

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