Firstly, a few words from me…
When I first got in to the hobby of scanning in the late 80’s it was obviously well before the masses had the internet available to them. Back in ‘those days’ we relied on a few various publications, tips from like-minded souls and in most cases foot slogging and hours and hours of listening to pin point and identify users of frequencies.
Without a doubt CB Action and its later incarnations were the mainstay for me in my early days, along with many other keen hobbyists.
One of the contributing authors ‘way back in those days’ was a chap by the name of Russell Bryant. Each release of the magazine saw a submission from Russell that would provide a plethora of ideas and information. Luckily for us young chaps Russell had the patience and willingness to sit down with his hammer and chisel and tap out said information on tablets of stone to share with the masses. (Feeling old yet Russell?).
A few months ago I asked Russell if he’d like to say anything about the scanning hobby, I didn’t define any particular topic, it could be anything he wanted to say and cover whatever he felt needed to be covered.
Below are those initial words and a reproduced article Russell wrote back in October 2000 for Radio and Communications, the successor to CB Action and Amateur Radio Action. Many thanks to you Russell for your contribution to the Australian scanning scene over what is now decades, ‘DECADES’ Russell!
So readers without further delay I present to you the following from Russell Bryant.
Back in the mid 80’s into the 90’s finally moving to the 21st Century, if you were interested in scanners and old enough to read, you may recognize my name.
For others you probably have no idea of who I am. By way of quick introduction, I have bounced around the monitoring hobby for a long time now, purchasing my first ‘receiver’ when I was about 16. From there I graduated to crystal locked scanners (for anyone born in the 90’s and beyond ask your grandfather what a crystal is), finally buying my first synthesized scanner in 1974.
Fast forward to the mid eighties when I was approached by the editor of CB Action Magazine to write a few ad hoc columns on scanning and scanners for the magazine. This initial link lead to a more permanent presence when I assumed the authorship of the scanning column and responsibility for the vast majority of scanner reviews.
My work as a columnist continued on and off until the early 2000’s when for a variety of reasons, which I am not prepared to expand on, the magazine(s), there had been several by then, folded for good.
Despite the lack of a publication supporting the hobby, it continued to grow, finally plateauing with the introduction of encryption on many of the country’s law enforcement agencies.While the loss of this aspect of monitoring is of little consequence to me, mainly because I worked in police communications and listening to it annoys the tripe out of me, I can understand how some lament its passing.
Anyway I was approached by the owner of this forum to pen a few articles about the ‘good ol’ days of scanning’ (bet you didn’t think you would see this did you Chris?), so in effort to highlight the halcyon days here we go.
The first trip down memory lane is from October 2000. Depending on who you believe the 21st Century had just arrived or we were a few months from celebrating it. Either way I examined the vast (?) array of scanners entering the market around that period. Laugh if you will but, a few of us oldies (a friend of mine in Melbourne knows who I am talking about) thought some of these scanners were heaven with an aerial.
Click on above image to make larger for reading purposes.