Last weekend I learnt something new about a piece of equipment I have had for a number of years now, the Icom IC-R3. One of my favourite achievements over the years has long been “teaching old equipment new tricks”. For example, in the old days I discovered that my Kenwood TH-75E could be expanded to allow some ‘out of band’ reception from the 2 metre and 70 centimetre amateur bands. Although the need has diminished over time since amateur transceivers nowadays come with expanded receiving coverage as standard.
Over the past 20 years the hobby of scanning has somewhat changed. The signals you can listen to on a scanner these days are less plentiful than they used to be thanks to a lot of communications going digital. Gone are the days of monitoring the police and most other emergency services and not forgetting the analogue mobile phone networks. In some respects the hobby has declined as the number of “in the clear” signals have decreased. A lot of scanner users these days own a radio to compliment another hobby such attending air shows. It is very likely that aircraft communications and marine radio traffic will stay in the clear for the foreseeable future. Some people might argue the need for an expensive scanner just to monitor a little air or marine traffic and many users are put off by the complexity of some scanners or simply the costs. Enter the TSC-100R!
This review of the Musumi WCS-99XII-M video scanner was kindly supplied by David Norris, G7VDI.
I bought this scanner with ATV on the 23cm and 13cm (1240 to 1325 and 2310 to 2450 MHZ) amateur bands very much in mind. It handles PAL and NTSC signals, which are frequency modulated. (Secam signals are not supported).
John Griffiths takes a look at a new budget priced scanner – The GRE PSR-295. It has 1000 channels, ten memory banks, AM and FM modes, CTCSS & DCS sub audible encoded squelch modes plus a 16-character, 4 line, alphanumeric liquid crystal display and comes pre-programmed with search ranges for Marine, Air, CB, PMR and Ham Radio. Notably this model includes the Military Airband too. Coming in at a price below £140 it’s not going to break the bank but is it any good? Read on and find out.
How did you start in radio, either as a SWL, scanner user or a ham?
I suppose my own experience was typical in that I was loaned a shortwave radio – an Eddystone but don’t ask me which one – and listened to exotic places which, as a schoolboy back in the 60’s, were truly ‘the other side of the world’. Back then, of course, I knew nothing about antennas so having a mains powered shortwave radio by my bed meant I was mostly listening to VOA, AFN and the ubiquitous Radio Moscow! Yet there was more than just the comments and news – nothing can quite compare with the rising, falling modulation punctuated by fading in and out, atmospheric cracks and bangs, the rat-a-tat-tat of the ‘Woodpecker’ Over-The Horizon radar system used by the Russians. Or the non stop music of the pirates like Caroline, RNI, Mi Amigo? Those were the days indeed!