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Front the Scanner Research Laboratory of 

Bill Cheek 

Author of The Scanner Modification Handbooks, Vols 1 & 2; Publisher/Editor of "The World Seamier Report" 
System Operator of The Hertzian Intercept BBS: (619) S78-9247 6:00pm - 1 :00pm 

COMMtronics Engineering - PO Box 262478 - San Diego, CA 92196 

Voice/Business: (619) 578-9247: l:30pm-5:30pm, weekdays, PST 


Forgive Me Please 

for this formal reply to your recent inquiry. For going on 

nearly three years now, I have been providing FREE written 
personal replies to hobbyists' requests for information, guidance, 
technical support and other leisure-time needs. I know, I offered 
to do tills in my SCANNER MODIFICATION HANDBOOKS. 
and it was good for all concerned while it lasted. This open policy 
was lucky to have lasted so long! What other authors or leading 
gurus of their fields offer any such as I have done? Now I know 
why they don't! My open, come-one, come-all correspondence 
policy cannot survive in that form any longer. Here's the deal: 


tHFl:9301 11 

1. MAIL INQUIRIES: You MUST enclose a Self-Addressed, 
Stamped Envelope (SASE) and at least one loose extra first 
class stamp. Your inquiry MUST be phrased in such a way 
that I can answer your questions with a simple "yes" or "no". 
I can no longer provide detailed discussion, professional 
opinions and technical assessments or analyses by mail. If 
THIS is what you need, see the remaining options below. 
Neither can I provide individual electronic designs, custom 
variations of my published works nor detailed opinions on 
various items of radio hardware out on the market. Nor can I 
provide modifications or modification assistance by mail. 
Hobby inquiries MUST be answerable by a simple "yes" or a 
"no" and there can be no exceptions. 


In somewhat under three years, I have received and responded to 
well over 3,000 inquiries and requests for information. The 
volume of mail has increased to well above this rate, such that one 
of two tilings have to happen now: (1) The mail goes unanswered 
while I perform the work of my livelihood, or (2) I put my 
livelihood on the "back burner" to answer the mail. A combination 
* BOTH has been the rule for recent times, but its not working 
W(d something has to give. The pile of correspondence reached a 
backlog of something like two months at one point and even now 
alter arduous work to catch up, it's deeper than ever. A change is 
necessary for the betterment of all concerned. 

Please understand that answering a piece of mail to one person is 
no big deal. The process of typing and researching a reply, 
addressing an envelope; stamping and sealing; record keeping and 
mailing easily reaches 30-mins for the typical reply. At 25 to 75 
letters a week, it requires only simple mathematics to see that a 
major block of time is required to answer questions and to make 
everyone happy. The requirement for a SASE and a loose extra 
stamp is honored only about half the time anyway, and even if 
100%, would not make a dent in the time and expense of my 
efforts. A change in my correspondence policy is now mandated to 
relieve stress and pressure and allow us to keep working. 
Operation Assist is hereby changed. 

CORRESPONDENCE POLICY 
NOW CHANGED! 

Effective immediately, I cannot personally reply to casual 
hobby-type inquiries and requests for individual technical 
assistance, information and other routine, leisure-related 
bby matters. At least, I can't do it in the same way as I have 
doing it. Instead, I have developed four alternatives by 
which I can still be of benefit to the Hobby Radio Community, 
as a whole and to individuals within that community. These 
options, one of which should be acceptable to the majority of 
inquirers are detailed as follows. Please read & consider carefully: 


2. INQUIRIES AT MY COMPUTER BBS. The Hertzian 
Intercept, will always receive my utmost personal attention, 
and detailed assistance as necessary. There are three areas 
where to communicate with me on my BBS: the private 
SYSOP_EMAIL area; the public RADIO_TEK message 
conference and the public HB-232 C Technical Support 
Conference. One should be just right for you. If your inquiry 
is of general technical interest, please discuss it on the 
RADIO_TEK conference so that all other hobbyists can 
benefit from our discussion. If your inquiry is about tire HB- 
232 Scanner/Computer Interface, let's discuss it on the HB- 
232 C Conference so that other HB-232 users can benefit. If 
you're not sure or if the matter is private, then leave me a 
message in the SYSOP EMAIL area. All the above areas are 
easily found from the <M>ain Menu by selecting tire 
<M>essage Bases. The Hertzian Intercept BBS supports 
modem speeds from 300-baud to 16,800-baud, and the setup 
parameters for youjr telecom or terminal program are: 8-bits, 
no parity, 1 stop bit or better known as 8N1. After your log 
on, the BBS is self guiding and at log-off, you will have a final 
opportunity to leave me a private message. The Hertzian 
Intercept BBS is open to all modem callers between 6pm- 
lpm, Pacific Times. There is a temporary closure between 
lam-2am for network tasks. Otherwise, the realm is yours. 
Use of tlie BBS is jtighly encouraged so that my time can be 
maximized for the benefit of many. If you ask about a certain 
modification or technical procedure, many others can see and 
use my reply, and so my efforts are maximized. 

3. FIDONET SHORTWAVE and SCANRADIO Echoes are 
other media where I will provide detailed technical assistance, 
much like on my BBS. There is little difference, except that 
you have to connect with a FidoNet Affiliated BBS in your 
area. When you find one, and there are over 20,000 world 
wide, then look for the SHORTWAVE and/or SCANRADIO 
echdesor conferences where I and hundreds of other hobbyists 
participate every day. If your local Fido BBS doesn't carry the 






above echoes, then ask the SysOp to carry them for you. Most 
of the time, you will be greeted with an affirmative response. 
Both echoes are networked around the world and literally there 
are thousands of participants, many of whom are experts in 
their specialized fields like myself. The FidoNet and its 
thousands of points of access are ready-made for your hobby 
information needs not to mention MY NEED to economize on 
my time and resources by reaching as many people as possible 
with the effort of one reply. 

I enn perform a database search and produce a list of ALL 
FidoNet BBS's in your area for a Hat $5 cost defrayal. 
There arc 50-100+ Fido BBS's in most US Area Codes. 
Enclose $5 and the Area Codes (maximum of 3 per $5 
charge) for your area of interest and I'll respond with a 
custom FidoNet BBS directory for your area. 

4. The monthly " WORLD SCANNER REPORT" is the last, but 
not the least of the alternatives available to you to meet your 
needs for technical assistance and information on scanner 
mods. If your request hasn't already been treated in a back 
issue of the WSR and if it is of general appeal, it may qualify 
for a detailed reply, either as a feature article or in our FROM 
TIIE READERS column I More info on the WSR is enclosed 
with this newsgram. 

In summary and in conclusion, I regret not being able to give you a 
detailed personal reply as I used to do. Please consider the 
information given herein and I'm sure that you'll understand and 
determine that one of the above alternatives might be quite 
satisfactory for your needs. BUSINESS INQUIRIES ARE 
EXEMPT FROM THIS NEW POLICY. 

OTHER NEWS & INFO 


TELEPHONE POLICY : Under no circumstances do I discuss any 
leisure/hobby related topics nor give out scanner information by 
telephone. Some hobbyists have obtained my private home phone 
number and attempt to reach me there. Please do not waste your 
money; I am not available by telephone EXCEPT to bona-fide 
clients and ONLY if the call is related to an on-going project. 
Even then, I am often not available and will have to return such 
calls COLLECT when I can. Regretfully, the telephone is not an 
alternative by which to reach me for questions and hobby 
information. The Hertzian Intercept BBS closes down for four 
hours a day, l:30pm-5 :30pm, weekdays, PST, for voice business 
that can be handled by our Admin Department, and which includes 
credit card orders, limited product information; and tracking of 
shipped orders. I cannot be reached at that number during those 
hours. Technical assistance is not available by telephone. We are 
a very small company, holding the line on prices. Spending hours 
on the phone chatting serves only to raise costs for everyone. We 
provide the very best of certain products and services at reasonable 
prices. We do that by working; not by spending that time on the 
telephone. Feel free to use our business voice line for placing 
orders or to check on the progress of a current order, or even to 
complain or brag about our products or services. The telephone is 
not available for chatting and leisure. 

MODIFICATION & TECHNICAL SERVICES: Due to an 

exceptionally heavy workload, we have suspended most of our 
technical and scanner modification services for a period of at least 


six months. We do not expect to have the time to perform scanner 
services before about July 31, 1993. There are two exceptions: we 
do perform HB-232 Scanner/Computer Interface installations to 
the PRO-2004/5/6 series of scanners, but our bench work is limited 
pretty much to that effort for the time being. We will be happy to 
install a few minor modifications in your scanner if it is here f 
installation of an HB-232, but this must be cleared and agn*^ 
upon in advance. The other exception is that we will perform 
blocked performance modifications to the PRO-34, PRO-37, PRO- 
39, PRO-43 and BC-200XLT handheld scanners as well as to most 
base scanners. The more extensive upgrade services, such as 
Expanded Memories, S-Meters, etc., arc not being performed at 
this time, as neither are repairs. You can inquire about getting on 
a waiting list, if you like. 

"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" has become a natural 
follow-up and support for my two SCANNER MODIFICATION 
HANDBOOKS. It is one of the very best ways that I can present 
new scanner modifications, tips, hints, kinks and to update the 
information in my books as errors are found or old info becomes 
outdated by new. I am not presently planning to write a Vol-3 of 
the Book because the WSR is much better suited to convey hot, 
timely scanner scoop to the Hobby, and when errors arc made, it is 
much easier to correct them in the next issue. 


The HB-232 SCANNER/COMPUTER INTERFACE has become 
the "item" of the eral Support and marketing of the HB-232 arc 
what consumes most of our time at the present time. The HB-232 
is such an important advancement to the Scanning Hobby that we 
are giving it our one and all to ensure that it receives maximum 
exposure, publicity and technical support. If the HB-232 does not 
interest you, relax; we're still committed to scanning in general aH 
will be pleased to auswei your questions or chat with you on ^ 
BBS or on the FidoNet as previously discussed. If you take your 
scanning on the serious side, and particularly if you own a PRO- 
2006, PRO-2005 or a PRO-2004, then you will want to seriously 
consider the HB-232. Read all about it in the accompanying 
literature in this package. 


SCANNER MODIFICATION HANDBOOK INFO: Times 

change, but very little in my books has changed. The following 
Mods in Vol-1 are cancelled or superseded: Mod-6 is superseded 
by the better MOD-33 in Vol-2; Mods 12 & 13 are superseded by 
the superior MODs 25 & 26 in Vol-2 and MOD-17 was never 
possible to begin with as wc suspected. MOD-34 has been changed 
because of a supply and quality problem with spray shielding. 


There are a few errors in the books (none terribly serious) created 
by the Publisher (not me) and which are discussed in the "World 
Scanner Report". If you are one of the few who had trouble with 
one or more of the mods in my books, I'll be pleased to help you as 
previously discussed herein Vol-1 of my book, written before the 
PRO-2006 appeared on the market, also applies to the PRO-2006 
because it is so similar to the PRO-2004/5 which are well covered 
in both volumes. Again, you need the World Scanner Report to 
keep up to date on the books and with the latest scoop. 


NEW ANTI-SCANNER LAW TO PHASE OUT SOM * 
SCANNERS? Apparently so! Just passed by Congress and sig:^ 
by the President, the FCC Authorization Act may serve to "outlaw" 
the PRO-2006, PRO-43, PRO-39 and other scanners "easily 
modified" for cellular coverage I This may be the time to procure 
that PRO-2006 or PRO-43 you've been wanting! /Bill Cheek 





MODIFICATION HANDBOOK . Its value will not degrade with 
time | therefore get the backissues if your budget affords 
so you can stay current with the emerging science and art 
of Scanner Hacking • I will stock the backissues for as 
long as there is demand. An Index of the preceding 
helf-yeer's articles will be in the Jul & Jen issues. 

YOUR WAILING LABEL 

Check your mailing label for correct spalling of your 
name and address. Note the upper right corner of the 
label where your expiration date is printed. That month 
is the LAST ISSUE you will receive unless you renew your 
subscription on or before that time. If you're late in 
renewing! no problems we'll make sure you get any missed 
issues after you renew. Also see your subscription 
number in the upper left corner. Please mention that 
number if you write to us. This is the computer age ( and 
computers handle numbers. To us, you are a person, a 
hobbyist and our valued client. Our computer sees you as 
a number, but WE treat you as an individual. Ok? 

TELEPHONE & CORRESPONDENCE POLICY 

Please, no phone calls for chatting, questions & answers 
and general beating of the gums. Phone calls never come 
when convenient and I can ill afford disruptions to my 
concentration, my time is rigidly scheduled for survival 
and existence. I ALWAYS make time to answer the mail so 
use it, and if you've enclosed a S.A.S.E. and one loose 
extra stamp (foreign, send two IRC's), your 'letter will 
go to the top of the stack for a timely response. The 
phone is reserved for business. 

HACKER INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR SCANNER 

I wish it were possible to have a list of twenty mods for 
every scanner made, but it isn't. I can't count the 
inquiries I've had over the last year like, "Do you have 
any mods for my Rattlesnake XR-99 scanner?" No, I don't. 
Maybe someday, and if so, they'll appear in the "WORLD 
SCANNER REPORT" or maybe in Vol-3 of my book, if I ever 
write it. Specific mods for specific scanners are in 
Vols 1 & 2 of my SCANNER MODIFICATION HANDBOOKS and in 
these issues of the "WSR". With time, the list will 
grow. 5ome of my mods can be adapted to other scanners, 
but I can't usually take time off to write up every gory 
detail of a mod for less popular or outdated scanners. 
As I develop various mods, I will offer suggestions for 
applying the principles to other scanners. But since I 
haven't the time or resources to work on every scanner 
made, there's no way I can do justice to them all. If 
you ask my help to apply a certain mod to your scanner, 
you & I both will first have to have the Service Manual, 
and then I have to have the time. Normally, I will try 
to make the time if doing so will eventually benefit 
others, too. That's the bottom line for my being here. 
For the most part, I have to concentrate on scanners 
which are hackable to begin with. Older scanners and 
lower budget models are not highly modifiable. They are 
bare bones and you can't draw blood out of turnips. 


I will try to make time to offer suggestions on how to do 
certain things to certain scanners but it is essential 
that I have a complete legible copy of the Service Manual 
before I can give personalized guidance. If I don't have 
the Service Manual, (and I have them only for some of tl~ 
more popular, current models), then you have to providS 1 ^ 
me with one. My personal assistance requires that you 
first be able to help yourself. This all begins with us 
having the Service Manual(s) for your scanner (s). 

PLEASE COMMUNICATE 

The "WSR" isn't a one-way media. I need to hear from you, 
especially about what's new. I'm not always the first to 
catch the lateat on what's happening or when something 
new comes out. Most publishers don't pay attention to 
the technology of scanners, so lots of ideas, concepts, 
products, mods and other exciting things could be new on 
the tech scene and I may not know about them for a time. 
You might know bits, pieces or even chunks of stuff about 
which my ignorance would shine. Help me help others by 
sharing any "inside" scoop about new things, especially 
products and mods. A small newsletter like the "WORLD 
SCANf£R REPORT" depends on its "reporter network" and you 
play a strong role in that network. 

A QUESTION OF COST 

A couple of readers have questioned the cost of the 
"WSR". Good. It's more costly than other rags because 
there are hidden costs to the technology on which 
focus. You see, our scanner mods and technology can't be 
found in other rags nor on the shelf at your local radio 
store. Writing the "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" involves much 
more than sitting at the keyboard for a few days. Other 
newsletters require little more of their editors than 
basic copy-typing. You can't imagine the behind-the- 
scenes effort required to present a simple modification. 

It first has to be conceived; planned; developed; built; 
tested; debugged; perfected and then written. Every step 
is costly and the freight has to be paid. But think about 
it; if you do only one mod a year to your scanner you'll 
probably get your money's worth. No matter; the "WSR" is 
affordable; it's good, it's rare and unique and it will 
get better without the price going up on you. 

WRITERS & COLUMNISTS WANTED 

The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" is always on the lookout for 
news and info to pass along to the scanning community. 

If you have a special interest, expertise, or experience 
level from which others could profit, then there may be 
an opportunity for you to launch your writing career for 
fun, if not profit. The pay is poor (0); the hours are 
what you set; but the intangible rewards could make your 
cup runneth over. Free subscriptions and other perk 
available to those who will commit to regular writing. 
Subject matter is wide open; not everything has to be a 
modification! We are conveyors and purveyors of knowledge 
and information. From a system perspective, no one can do 
it all; it takes a team of players and you are invited!