Police Scanners In Review For FDL Amateur Radio Club
On Monday February 8th, Jonathan Higgins, Sales and Media Communications Manager for ScannerMaster, one of the world’s one of the world’s leading companies in the sales of police and aircraft scanners, will be speaking at the Fond du Lac Amateur Radio Club meeting located at the Moraine Park Technical College in room A-112 at 7:00 PM. The general public is invited and there is no cover charge.
In the old days of police scanners, you purchased a “crystal” and placed it in your scanner to hear the local police. Then came programmable scanners where you just entered the frequency on a keypad. Today’s scanners are very different. You see practically every state, county and city police and fire agency in the country have their own unique radio system and/or radio frequency. Some cities and counties actually use encrypted radio systems that cannot be monitored at all, including Orlando for example. Other cities use complex radio systems that must be programmed in a very specific way for your scanner to work. Scanners are very complex. There’s a big learning curve to understand how to set-up and program a scanner for your specific area. Even the models that are pre-programmed require effort to select the channels you want to monitor and delete those not of interest.
Jonathan Higgins is familiar with radios police use in the State of Wisconsin and he will describe what you will need to enter the amazing world of scanning. The need for an advanced scanner varies widely. In some big cities such as Boston a basic scanner will work fine. But in Los Angeles as well as the backwoods of Michigan, Colorado and other states, you need a digital scanner.
You can listen to much more than police and fire on a scanner! You can monitor the local aircraft landing and taking off at your airport. You can hear the engineers on trains as they enter your city. Many people have listened to Russia’s Mir space station, the 3 person Soyuz spacecraft, and even direct transmissions from the space shuttle! Since the early 1960s weather satellites have featured APT – Automatic Picture Transmission, a simple way to receive weather satellite imagery directly from a satellite. There are a variety of commercial satellites which can be monitored on a handheld scanner, most notably the ORBCOMM store-and-forward data satellites. It’s even more of a thrill to listen to an astronaut in space talking to ham radio operators on the ground and absolutely amazing if you happen to be the one talking to the astronaut!
The presentation is open to the public with no cover charge. For more information, contact Joe Scheibinger at 920-237-1450.