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  #1  
Old 05-07-2011, 09:18 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Can an analog police scanner be used for anything?

I recently bought an analog police scanner on eBay (Uniden Bearcat model) mostly because I liked the 70s-style faux woodgrain trim on it. Apparently the unit is in full working order. But I just learned that the local emergency services use all digital technology for their communications and that an analog scanner won't pick up the signals - so apparently the device I just bought is obsolete. It would still look cool on my desk, but it would be an added bonus if I could actually do something with it.

Will this scanner pick up any other signals? Can it be used to tune into weather, transportation or any other communications that might be intriguing?
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2011, 10:32 PM
Lord Feldon Lord Feldon is offline
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Probably. You should be able to get weather on one of the seven frequencies at the bottom of this page. Assuming it's air-band capable, you should be able to listen to planes on it. If you're near a railroad, you should be able to listen to rail operations too.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 05-07-2011 at 10:32 PM..
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  #3  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:20 PM
astro astro is offline
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Weather, old school cordless phones, airport.
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  #4  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:23 PM
astro astro is offline
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Weather, old school cordless phones, airport. Some of the higher end models can be easily modified to pick up one side of cell phone conversations. These are in high
demand on ebay.
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:27 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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What kind of range are we talking about here?
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  #6  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:41 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Not to attack your personal taste or anything:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
mostly because I liked the 70s-style faux woodgrain trim on it.
But we definitely need a Mr. Yuck smiley on these boards!



You'll be able to pick up quite a few frequencies as not all agencies have gone digital. It fact lots of analog radio freqs are still out there.

Unfortunately the list will get smaller and smaller as time goes by, and eventually the device will be useless.
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:48 PM
FoundWaldo FoundWaldo is offline
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The range is the same range as whoever you're listening to it would have, assuming equally capable antennas. Of course, the built-in antenna probably isn't great. And in the case of aircraft, they have the advantage of being high above the terrain and out of at least some of the RF interference, so they can hear the tower from quite a bit further than you could. But if you're anywhere near an airport, you should be able to hear something.

I remember listening to voice pagers on a scanner years ago. Those were the days. Does anyone even have voice pagers anymore? Does any company still offer that service?
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  #8  
Old 05-07-2011, 11:53 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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I'll take faux woodgrain any day over the wretched, vile, fake-chrome-silver-grey-plastic horseshit that appliance design has been infested with for the past 10 years.

1970s Boogie Nights style modernist design is badass looking, in my opinion. These designs, by Alex Varnese, of a fictional '70s cell phone, laptop, MP3 player and handheld Atari are pretty much my dream come true.

Here is a picture of the model scanner I bought...I love the way this stuff looks. That design aesthetic, to me, is awesome compared to today's technology.

Last edited by Argent Towers; 05-07-2011 at 11:55 PM..
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2011, 12:08 AM
FoundWaldo FoundWaldo is offline
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That's old school, but at least it's not so old school that it takes crystals.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2011, 12:30 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
I'll take faux woodgrain any day over the wretched, vile, fake-chrome-silver-grey-plastic horseshit that appliance design has been infested with for the past 10 years.

1970s Boogie Nights style modernist design is badass looking, in my opinion. These designs, by Alex Varnese, of a fictional '70s cell phone, laptop, MP3 player and handheld Atari are pretty much my dream come true.

Here is a picture of the model scanner I bought...I love the way this stuff looks. That design aesthetic, to me, is awesome compared to today's technology.
Hey, you like what you like, don't let anyone dictate your sense of taste. I'm still taking shit because I want them to make Augsburger, Weber, Kingsbury, and Red/White/& Blue beer again. I just don't personally like woodgrain. My wife insisted once I buy her a car that had a woodgrain interior. It could have been a freaking Ferrari and I would have hated that car. Tri-fugly if you ask me!
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2011, 12:31 AM
ducati ducati is offline
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There's a lot you can still pick up on analog. Half the phones in my neighborhood are analog, so I can listen to all kinds of fun things while I take a walk.

Military, FBI, SS, malls, businesses, trains, planes & more.

Here's a few links to help you get started:

http://www.radioreference.com/ It's the database of everything.

http://www.milaircomms.com/
http://www.strongsignals.net/access/...t/contents.cgi
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2011, 12:32 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Awesome, thanks for the info everyone.
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2011, 12:46 AM
Derleth Derleth is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
These designs, by Alex Varnese, of a fictional '70s cell phone, laptop, MP3 player and handheld Atari are pretty much my dream come true.
Yeah, that's a very good mock 1970s aesthetic.

(I should know. I always mock 1970s aesthetics. )
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2011, 04:33 PM
bahia hombre bahia hombre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
Probably. You should be able to get weather on one of the seven frequencies at the bottom of this page. Assuming it's air-band capable, you should be able to listen to planes on it. If you're near a railroad, you should be able to listen to rail operations too.
I have a 1990's Uniden Bearcat scanner and since I've moved I haven't been able to pick up anything at all, even on the weather frequencies from your link. I hadn't used it for several years probably and I'm wondering if the electronics have gone bad. It still powers on, I can select bands, and the freq. no.'s roll by on the display, it just never stops on anything. Actually, I'd like to sell it on Ebay but not if it's now defective. Thanks for any thoughts you might have.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:17 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bahia hombre View Post
I have a 1990's Uniden Bearcat scanner and since I've moved I haven't been able to pick up anything at all, even on the weather frequencies from your link. I hadn't used it for several years probably and I'm wondering if the electronics have gone bad. It still powers on, I can select bands, and the freq. no.'s roll by on the display, it just never stops on anything. Actually, I'd like to sell it on Ebay but not if it's now defective. Thanks for any thoughts you might have.
move the squelch control so you hear noise, then move it so the noise just disappears.

try 162.4, 162.425, 162.45, 162.475, 162.5, 162.525, 162.55 MHz
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2011, 06:25 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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You are right-the 1970's were a time of designer dreangement-they seemed to think that anything could be made better by slapping cheap fake woodgrain on it. Blenders, radios, vacuum cleaners..you name it.
Upon occasion, you see a Chrysler with fake wodgrain sides slapped on-looks like crap.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2011, 07:02 PM
Vlad/Igor Vlad/Igor is offline
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146.640 MHz, Bloomington amateur radio weather spotters frequency. Waaaaay beck in 1990, I bought a scanner, found that frequency, and 7 years later got my license. I'm sorry to hear the BPD has gone digital. I used to listen to them a lot.
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2011, 08:27 PM
bahia hombre bahia hombre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
move the squelch control so you hear noise, then move it so the noise just disappears.

try 162.4, 162.425, 162.45, 162.475, 162.5, 162.525, 162.55 MHz
Thanks. This convinces me that it's not working so off to Goodwill it goes. Maybe someone can harvest something from it.
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  #19  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:35 AM
Pitter Patter Pitter Patter is offline
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This was sort of touched on earlier, but you can hear 2 Meter ham radio transmissions from 114-148 Mhz and 70cm band which goes from 430 Mhz-450 give or take a few Khz. Interesting stuff. Hold onto it.
KI4JQM
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  #20  
Old 07-05-2011, 04:15 AM
2gigch1 2gigch1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bahia hombre View Post
Thanks. This convinces me that it's not working so off to Goodwill it goes. Maybe someone can harvest something from it.
Could be a bad antenna, or perhaps where the antenna attaches to the board is broken. I have had this happen before and it was an easy solder to fix. If you can open up your scanner look for a crack in the wire and/or solder attachment on the board.

Also try swapping antennas if you can.

Dittos on the RadioReference website; plenty of analog frequencies are there.
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