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Use for old scanner?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Tha fios agaibh, Feb 4, 2020.

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  1. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

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    Aug 11, 2014
    I've got an old police scanner that's been kicking around for years. It's not of much use now a days with trunked and encrypted communication becoming the norm.

    Any ideas of how I can use or repurpose this radio, or should I just scrap it?

    I was hoping there might be some sort of hack to turn it into something useful.

    Screenshot_2020-02-04-05-39-32-1.png
     
  2. bertus

    bertus Moderator

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    Nov 8, 2019
    Hello,

    What is the brand and type of the scanner?

    bertus
     
  3. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

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    Aug 11, 2014
    Uniden bearcat bc100xlt radio scanner 200 channels.

    I clipped it to get 800mhz 30years ago.

    Other than listening to one side of the conservation of taxi cabs, road commission, or occasionally a fire dispatch, it's not of much use.

    I just can't bring myself to pitch it.

    I suppose there might be a few components worth salvaging in it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  4. bertus

    bertus Moderator

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  5. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

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    Aug 11, 2014
    Thanks Bertus, it has an earphone jack so I might have given the wrong number.

    I used to love listening to police conversation back in the day.

    I had a crazy idea that there might be a way to convert it to something useful. Perhaps a crude frequency counter?

    Sad but I think I need to say goodbye to some of my outdated junk. For instance, I have a VCR that I paid $700 for back in the 90's. My inner pack rat won't allow me to throw stuff out.
     
  6. Hunter64

    Hunter64

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    Nov 20, 2018
    Bertus is wrong. The link he is giving is about a direct connection to the discriminator pin of the demodulator ic. This connection can be used to acces AIS, FSK, paging, and other modulated signals.
     
  7. bertus

    bertus Moderator

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  8. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

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    Aug 11, 2014
    Thanks for the clarification Hunter64.
    Kind of cool, but if I was going to tap the raw radio signal for decoding, I would just use one of those full rf spectrum usb cards on a pc which you would need anyway.

    Yes, I do get NOAH weather channel but its not much use to me.

    I guess I'll salvage a few parts for my electronics bin and scrap the rest.
     
  9. Hunter64

    Hunter64

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    Nov 20, 2018
    Ok, but that's an easy way to avoid problems :)
     
  10. Externet

    Externet

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    Aug 24, 2009
    It would be very nice to tap the reception chip and feed the signal to a digital decoder like P25? :
    ----> https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/APCO_Project_25
    There has to be a chip that does it, perhaps from
    ----> https://www.cmlmicro.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/CMX981-Innovation.pdf
    ----> https://alcom.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/CML_Product_Catalogue_September_2016.pdf
    It would surely be a very rewarding project ! Soooo many old scanners in need of such ! I have at least 3 Bearcats...
     
    hevans1944 likes this.
  11. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Jun 21, 2012
    When they went to "trunked and encrypted communication" did they also change their radio operating frequencies? Perhaps if you have any friends in the NSA (No Such Agency) they can tell you how to add decryption hardware and software to your scanner? Can't be too complicated, if it is supposed to work with hundreds (if not thousands) of end-users under iffy propagation conditions in a big city with skyscraper canyons. But maybe it's like cell phones and the signal is passed around from tower to tower until it reaches its final destination. Hmmm. Maybe your scanner has some salvageable parts...
     
  12. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

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    May 12, 2015
    You should be able to use it as a crude frequency monitor/display.
    I am sure the Bearcat must have a Monitor button?.
    With mine I can monitor channels between two set/entered frequencies. It will display that frequency if present. I used mine with RC car tracks and RC flying fields to name just two. But if I remember correctly, I could only monitor a single band at a time like 27MHz. Got me thinking now though. I only use it for radio now.
     
  13. Martaine2005

    Martaine2005

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    May 12, 2015
    Edit: It wasn’t ‘monitor’, it was scan mode. You enter a lower limit and higher limit. It then scans those frequencies and stops on a transmitting frequency while displaying that frequency. If you liked what you heard, you could then monitor that particular frequency while still scanning for more transmissions.
    They were fantastic for eavesdropping on cellular phones, home cordless phones and PMRs.
    I WILL NOT say how good they were at informing you when the police were on their way!!.

    Martin
     
  14. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

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    Aug 11, 2014
    There are a few one horse towns that still use analog signals for listening to police. These can be followed on a trunk capable radios or using trunking software on a pc. Other than listening in on Mayberry, Most larger communities (where its interesting to listen in) have moved over to scrambled/encrypted digital communication making listening no longer possible.

    This was a nifty handheld scanner in its day. Yes, it can monitor frequency ranges but with the short antenna, reception wasn't that great.

    If I was to stay with the hobby, I'd move to a pc based monitor with a SDR (software defined radio) usb dongle, an external antenna, and free trunking software.
    You can listen to just about anything in the radio spectrum although you still can't listen to local police because of encryption.

    Alas, I'll try and salvage a few parts and retire the old girl.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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