3/28/2007

New camera, new kind of post




Alright I know this isn't the best picture to try this out but I just took the digital camera outside the other day for the spring thaw. Hopefully this will lead to other phot essays but for now this is as simple as it gets. Yes I live on Carnot Ave and after passing this sign almost everyday for twenty nine years, it was time to aknowledge the sign. So here it is the sign. I could have used a better subject however this is an unconventional blog so you folks get a street sign. Don['t worry I'll post more pictures in the future and they'll be a lot more interesting than a street sign. However I wanted to test it out before I get into more serious subjects!!
With the weather getting nicer I plan to do a little experimenting. Maybe this is yet another direction I'm taking this blog.........Stay tuned!

3/26/2007

We make things easier

In the old days of police scanners, you would have a set number of channels in a set number of banks, a 200 channel scanner would have 20 channels in 10 banks. This required s ome planning because you couldn't possible fit everything you wanted in one bank. Some channels in some banks where left empty because some counties or towns have more frequencies thaqn others. There where time you didn't want to scan the entire county at once.
The days of banks and channels are over, which is a good thing, if you know how to use it! Uniden's new line of police scanners, the BC246T, the SC200 and now the new 996T has a feature called DYNAMIC MEMORY which enables the scanner to hold more information because not is wasted. It doesn't have the traditional channels but rather groups that allow memmory to be adjusted. It's like having multiple scanners in one unit! Now I have to admit at first I didn't know about this new way of programming a radio, but after I got used t o it I don' t know how I did without it ! I learned how to program the scanner by trial and error. Plus I use a computer to program it, which actually also made me understand the memory layout better!!
I joined a mailing list for the scanner and learned a lot of little tricks to make the scanner more enjoyable. The problem sometime is many people ask the same things ove r and over hoping someone will spoon feed the information for them! Asking questions is fine, expecting people to spoon feed the informati on to y-ou gets to bke annoying to all those who have heard the answer a million times before!

3/05/2007

Nostalgia police scanning

Alright even though I have written mostly about my ham radi hobby, I have been into scanning longer. I bought my first scanner, the Uniden BC55XLT, when I was fifteen with the money I earned from my first job doing data entry. It was bottom of the line, even back in those days, but it was $100 which was the cheapest scanner at the time. The BC55XLT on has 10 channels and it can't do anythingv like trunktracking, alpha tags, recieve all the transmissions my other scanners can do today, but at the time I bought it I was happy to hear my local police and fire departments. A few years after I realized I needed more than 10 channels to even hear all the local departments in the county. So I asked for another scanner for Christmas and the 55XLT was giving to my brother which hhe lost on Cabbage Night, but that didn't matter. I have since owned and sold scanners to help fund upgrade to my radio shack.
Over the weekend Isaac and I went to a hamfest. While I was looking for and I found a microphonle for my HF rig, I always keep my eye out for other stuff. I was going through some junk when I found a BC55XLT. The guy wanted $25 buckks, which doesn't seems like a lot for a radio I spend $100 on ten years ago. I looked at him and said $15 knowing that he'd come back with $20. Isaac, my ham buddy who drove me sighed and I walked away with the scanner. The scanner is worth it, not because of what it can do, but because it represents the beginning of what is turning out to be a life time obsession!!