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Publisher/Editor: K. D. Cheek, Sr. aka "Dr. Rigormortis" 

V2H1: January, 1992 

THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT 

A Journal of VHF-UHF Scanner Technology S Engineering 


Published at: COMMtronics Engineering; PO BOX 262478; San Diego, CA 92196 Copyright (c) 1991-2 <A11 Rights Reserved) $4.00 


THE YEAR OF THE INTERFACE - 1992 

Wow. is this ever going to be the year of the interface! 
Since last issue, I built and tested the RW Systems Model 
SC-2 Interface Kit and was spellbound by its simplicity 
and ease of operation! It worked perfectly the first 
time power was applied; no stupid mistakes or developer's 
oversights to contend with as we Hackers often have to 
face! Ecstasy had hardly subsided when I went for broke 
to test Datametrics, Inc. Computer Aided Scanning system. 
Once again, I was launched into the stratosphere, though 
not for the same reasons as RW Systems’s interface. The 
two are as different as night and day; neither comes out 
as a clear winner; and either one is capable of opening 
up a whole new dimension to your scanning. Read about 
each one elsewhere in this issue. 

Roll your own Scanner/Computer Interface? Sure, why not? 
You'll not be able to copy Datametrics and RW Systems 
interfaces for two reasons: (1) each is a proprietary 
design which would be dishonest to copy in the first 
place, and (2) the developers included one or more hard- 
programmed chips in their designs to thwart the efforts 
of would-be copy cats. However, "Professor Peabody" and 
his able assistant "Sherman" have spent the last three 
months working up a real whopper of a do-it-yourself 
interface that we’ll serialize over this and the next 
couple of issues. The "HSR" may offer more do-it- 
yourself interfaces in the future. The bottom line is 
this: no matter your experience, ability or inclination, 
we will present or introduce a scanner/computer interface 
that will be just about right for your needs and desires. 
Rumors persist that Radio Shack is going to introduce a 
scanner with a computer interface. I have no reason to 
bet on it yet, but it's probably a matter of time. 

SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM FROM LAST MONTH'S 
SERIAL DATA INTERCEPTOR/DECODER 


Space wasn't available last month for the schematic 
diagram of HB Tech’s Serial Data Interceptor/Decoder 
described on page 2. That circuit and article was aimed 
at technicians and engineers who need to understand the 
data flow between the PRO-2024/5/6's CPU and the LCD 
Display Driver chip. This is not a project for casual 
hobbyists, but it will save the thousands of dollars' 
cost of a logic analyzer which is otherwise needed to 
intercept and decode the serial data flow out of the 
scanner’s CPU. The schematic diagram that wasn't given 
last month is on page 8 thi-s month with no further ado. 
It’s a cost effective tool developed by HB Tech in their 
design of a scanner/computer interface. If you have any 
questions about the circuit or how it works, I will be 
happy to forward your inquiry to HB Technologies. 


WHAT’S UP FOR 1992? 

1992 is the Year of the Interface but it doesn't mean 
that scanner/computer interfaces are all you're going to 
see here in the "tfSR". Far from it. Let me give you a 
sneak peek at what might lay ahead. 

A CELLULAR PHONE/TRUNKED CALL FOLLOWER just might be 
around the corner. Know how you can be listening to a 
hot 'n spicy cell phone or SMR trunked conversation one 
minute only to find it gone the next? Well, several 
companies have come out with data readers that show what 
frequency to which that cellular phone conversation was 
handed off. In some instances, these gizmos can actually 
change the receiver's frequency to follow suit. This 
type of equipment was designed for law enforcement 
agencies with a cost to match at $2500 and up. Comes now 
an interesting little digital circuit that can do pretty 
much the same thing at a cost of under $200. A small 
circuit board goes between the EXTERNAL SPEAKER jack of 
your scanner and a serial port of your computer. The 
circuit's logic pretty much does everything for you, 
including print an interpretation of the control data on 
the computer's screen. I understand that it will also 
control certain AOR scanners to follow cellular phone 
calls as they are handed off from one cell to another! 
This unit is now under evaluation and will be discussed 
in*future issues. If interested, study up on cellular 
and trunked SMR radio systems so you can be ready. I say 
"trunked systems", too, because self-respecting and 
law-abiding scannists don't bother to monitor cellular 
conversations, but there's every reason and lawful right 
to monitor the 800 MHz trunked systems, and this unit 
just might work for that purpose, too! 

Continuous Tone Coded Squelch Systems (CTCSS) are nothing 
new but scannists are becoming more and more interested 
in applying CTCSS-decode capability to their scanners. 
CTCSS is a pretty slick concept that can add a new 
dimension to the capabilities of your monitoring post. 
We will rehash the CTCSS mods given in Vol-2 of my 
SCANNER MODIFICATION HANDBOOK and cut some new turf in 
this interesting side action of scanning! Read my Vol-2 
again and/or contact the following company for info on 
their CTCSS products if you want to be prepared for 
what's to come: 

COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALISTS ,INC. 

426 WEST TAFT AVENUE 

ORANGE, CA 92665.4296 
800-854-0547 & 714-998-3021 

A REMOTE CONTROLLER FOR THE PRO-2004/5/6 & other scanners 
has long been on the hobbyist's want list. A basic 



version of my Remote Controller appeared in my column of 
a recent issue of MONITORING TIMES and will appear again 
here in a future issue for those who don’t get MT. "Prof 
Peabody" has a full function Remote Controller that will 
be presented in a coming issue. The thing about Remote 
Controllers is that you can't parallel a bundle of wires 
from the scanner's keyboard to a remote switch unit. The 
scanner's CPU will lock up if it's done like that. We 
will show you the right way later this year. 

What else? To tell all would take the fun and surprise 
out of it, but still on our print schedule after the bugs 
are worked out include an SSB Adaptor for the PRO-2004/5 
& /6 and certain other scanners; more shortwave receiver 
mods; back to radio basics (hints, tips, kinks, etc); AND 
we're saving plenty of room for new products, techniques 
and ideas which will appear from time to time. Space is 
also reserved for what YOU want that we might have over¬ 
looked. This is one special, unique characteristic of the 
"t/SR": we're open to new ideas; we're flexible; and we 
can turn on a dime to suit yours and our needs. 

WHAT ELSE? 


We got a deal on that "cheap" IBM computer I requested 
last month, thanks to Mike Schriber, who found a bargain 
of a 640-k XT with a 40-Mb hard drive. Obviously, the XT 
is more of a learning tool but I've learned enough to get 
serious about a more powerful computer with laser printer 
capabilities to see the "WSR" into the end of 1992. All 
things in good time, but the wheels are in motion. 


+ Two-way operation: programs frequencies into the 
scanner; collects data from the scanner. 

+ Four modes of operation are available: (1) Downloads 
(programs) 1 to 400 frequencies at a time into the 
scanner; [A 400-ch download takes about 9-minutes, max] 
(2) A limited activity log uploads a record of active 
frequencies from either the SCAN or SEARCH mode to the 
computer's review buffer; [you can transfer this record 
to a data base!] (3) Quickly uploads contents of the 
scanner's memory, 1 to 400 chan, into the computer's 
buffer memory. [You can transfer this record to a data 
base!] (4) Manually change channels to be monitored 
from the keyboard. 

+ Easy to master and use; very little to memorize. 

+ Programming the scanner via the Interface is similar to 
sending an ASCII file to a BBS. 

As an example, a partial file to be sent could be 

configured something like this: 


Svm Data 
§ 001 

* 0158.9700 

* 0275.8000 
A 0000.0000 

* 1284.6000 
A 0162.4000 

* 0146.8800 


Comments 

>starting channel 
>local gendarmes 
>mi1itary air freq 
Reserved 

>amateur radio repeater 
>N0AA Weather 
>amateur radio net 


Also in the plan is to set up a computer bulletin board 
service (BBS) to serve your needs for speedy replies, 
info and answers to your questions. For this, we need a 
third phone line which is proving difficult to get at 
this time, but we hope to overcome that obstacle sooner 
than later. At worst case, we'll set up a part time BBS 
for the evening and night hours to serve you better. 
Watch coming issues for an announcement of the phone 
number and schedule. 


Where precedes the starting channel (001) to be 
programmed; precedes the 8-digit frequency to be 

programmed; . precedes a frequency to be programmed and 

LOCKED OUT. Therefore, with minimal manipulation, your 
data base of scanner frequencies can be used to program 
the scanner. 

+ Ignores all ASCII text except numbers preceded by one 
these three characters: @ * A Therefore 

commentary & text in the data base are irrelevant. 


SCANNER/COMPUTER INTERFACES AT LAST! A Review of Two + Professional (Mil-Spec appearing) printed circuit board 

with a Solid and thorough electronic design! 


RW SYSTEMS MODEL SC-2 

I am pleased to offer an evaluation of a most effective 
and potent computer interface for the PRO-2004, PRO-2005 
& PRO-2006 scanners. First, here are the SC-2's PLUSes: 

+ Works with virtually any computer that has a serial 
port, RS—232 compatible; i.e., universal. 

+ Special software not required; works with most any 
standard telecom (modem) program, but a modem is not 
used. Four wires in a cable 25-ft long or less connect 
between the computer's serial port (TxD, RxD, RTS and 
ground) to the interface. The cable is not difficult 
to make up if you don’t have one. 


+ Interface is compatible with most mods, but see below. 
+ Does not interfere with normal use of scanner. 


+ 1-yr warranty on parts & proper operation 

Continuing to tell it like it is: 

Available only as a kit excluding cable and wiring. 
Requires 1-2 hours to assemble the PCB with its six 1C 
chips and handful of parts. Requires another 2-4 hours 
to install in scanner. Another hour may be needed to 
fabricate the cable between the computer & interface. 

Documentation & directions are adequate, but not great. 


’THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 


- January, 1992; Page 2 







- With exception of LOCKOUT, the RW Systems interface 

does not accept custom programming such as MODE 
(AM/NFM/WFM), DELAY, PRiority etc. These custom 

program functions must be manually set as needed. 

- The interface draws about 225-ma from the scanner's 
AC/DC power supply which increases heat accumulation 
within the scanner. I recommend powering the scanner 
with a +12v @ 1-amp external power supply anyway; 
otherwise, there could be long term problems caused by 
the extra heat in the scanner, especially if other mods 
have also been done. An external DC power supply will 
nul 1 ifv this potential liability! 

- The Interface has a custom programmed microprocessor 
chip and two PAL chips. This means that replacement/ 
repair parts might not be available if the supplier 
were ever to elope to Mexico with his secretary. 

- The interface might not be compatible with speed 
modifications where the Clock Resonator has been 
replaced with a crystal. (For sure, in my PRO-2004.) 

- Some "of the variables in your telecom program may have 
to be "played with" such as Tx Line Delay (.4-sec), but 
this results from the slowness of the scanner; not a 
fault in the Interface. 

- For the PRO-2004, -2005 & -2006 only; no others 

The SC-2 Interface Kit is available for $100.00 from: RW 

SYSTEMS; PO BOX 910043; SAN DIEGO, CA 92191. When you 

inquire or order, please mention that you heard about the 
Interface from Bill Cheek via the "WSR"! 

In conclusion, I like the SC-2 Interface despite any real 
or imagined shortcomings. I highly recommend it to those 
scannists who are technically inclined and those who are 
patient & methodical in their work. If you are not able 

to build and install it yourself, I can do it for you. 

The SC-2 Interface kit is also available from COMMtronics 
Engineering for the same price as from the developer. 

DATAMETRICS. INC. COMPUTER AIDED SCANNING SYSTEM 

There is a night & day difference between RW Systems 
interface and that from Datametrics! So different, in 
fact, that this one just might be for you if you see some 
shortcomings in RW Systems' unit. As before, here's the 
scoop just exactly the way it is: 

+ Professional preassembled/finished printed circuit 
board; nothing to assemble or fabricate; only a cable 
is required; commonly available. 

+ Exceptionally easy to install; (PRO-2005/6); no holes 
to drill; no soldering; no cutting; no fuss, muss or 
mess. The interface PCB plugs into CN-501, an existing 
connector. Two wires from the interface clip to easily 
identified spots on the main board of the scanner. A 
ribbon cable from the interface is routed out the rear 


of the scanner; the plastic case goes back on over the 
ribbon cable at the end of which is a DB-25 connector 
for the cable that goes to the computer's parallel 
output port. (LPT1, LPT2, etc). Installation time 
should not require over 5-10 minutes! 

+ Software permits user to control the scanner from the 
computer keyboard for SCAN, SEARCH & MANUAL functions. 
SCAN channels and SEARCH ranges are easily defined from 
the computer keyboard. 

+ Software contains an easy-to-use data base manager for 
frequency management; virtually any number of files of 
1 to 1000 channels per file can be generated for 
various program needs. 

+ Two-way operation: programs frequencies into the 
scanner; collects data from the scanner, (see below) 

+ Downloads (programs) up to 400-channels at a time into 
the scanner in less than 10-mi ns. 

+ External data base frequency files can be imported into 
the Datametrics data base. 

+ Menu-driven software includes full monitoring display, 
digital spectrum display and system editor. (See Fig-1) 

+ Comprehensive, professionally prepared manual includes 
detailed instructions, screen displays and references. 

+ Estab1ished company experienced with interfaces for 
radios; well known for their control program/interface 
for ICOM R-71A & R-7000 receivers. 

+ Does not interfere with normal use of scanner. 

+ 30-day return privileges if not satisfied. 

Continuing to tell it like it is: 

- Works ONLY with an IBM PC/XT/AT/clone w/360-k RAM (or 
640-k for full channel capacity). 

- Very slow SCAN & SEARCH speeds when under software 
control, i.e, about 1-2 channels or steps per second. 

- Does not actually "control” or "read" most of the 
scanner's operations; instead software emulates control 
of the scanner; places it in the PRGM mode and then 
performs various programmable functions from software. 
Hard to describe and not materially important except 
that scanner sends no information back to the computer 
other than SQUELCH breaks. The software uses its own 
memory and the SQUELCH break information to pace the 
scanner in software-controlled SCAN, SEARCH & MANUAL 
emulations. The effect is reduced speed of operations. 

- Software intensiveness means more to learn and more 
"behind the scenes" effort to achieve mastery and 
simplicity of operation. No problem with time. 


"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 - January, 1992; Page 3 



- Supported by Datametrics to work ONLY with the PRO-2006 
(However, there is no functional reason why it can't 
also be installed and operate as specified with the 
PRO-2005. Should also work with the PRO-2004 except 
that installation will be more complicated due to 
mechanical differences of the PRO-2004. 

- Not inexpensive 

The SC-2 Interface Kit is available for $350.00 from: 
Datametrics, Inc.; 2575 S. Bayshore Dr, Ste 8A; Coconut 
Grove, FL 33133. When you inquire or order, please 
mention that you heard about the Computer Aided Scanning 
System from Bill Cheek via the "ffSR"'. 

Fig 1 - Frequency Scan Screen 


SCftf! FREUUEHCV FILE 
Filename : C:\SCflf1\PROGRfiH\HOf1ITOH.FHQ 

' '' Parameters ““ Status Indicators 

Longest Duration : 93 Frequency : 259.7000 

H Ini nun Duration : 0.9GO Signal : On 

Delay : Z Tine : 16:05:12 

Autolog (OrSfD) : 0 Monitor Tine : 5.39 

Bounceback : 0 Scan rate : 2. 



T 


34.8100 135.5750 165.9580 469.9125 


n - HiLf rz - codes ra - siitings m - lockout rs - roust 

re - resent rr - ustlw re - mia n - ten ri» - wit 


DO-IT-YOURSELF FEATURE PRESENTATION 
::: THE FATMAN COMPUTER INTERFACE ::: Part 1 

By: "Professor Peabody" 

Greetings Fellow Scanner Fans! Here's another project 
for your hacking addictions: a computer interface with a 
remote control keyboard for the PRO-2004/5/6 scanners and 
which might be adaptable to other scanners that have a 
keyboard similar to the Radio Shack models. 

Before we get into the juicy meat of this project, let's 
discuss computer interfaces and what they can do. A top- 
of-the-line functional interface will have all controls 
and functions of the scanner visually simulated on the 
computer screen to make you feel right at home operating 
the scanner from a computer. The interface should monitor 
all controls, functions, events and activities that occur 
in the scanner; everything that happens should generate 
data to be passed back to the computer. There should also 
be a menu of user controls to select or reject specific 
data that gets passed to the computer. In summary, the 
ideal interface will be an extension of the scanner's 
controls and operating panel for computer supervision and 
rule over everything that happens in the scanner. This 
describes a very sophisticated interface that's totally 
worthless without corresponding sophisticated software. 
Big bucks and a steep learning curve are prerequisite 
before you can even flip a switch. 

Questions: would you really use all those functions and 
options from a computer keyboard? Do you care how many 
times a particular frequency is active over a period of 
time? What is the use of a "map" of the birdies in your 
radio? How about a spectrum chart of all active freqs in 
a range? Heck, I could go for all this stuff but on a 
limited budget, it’s tough to have it all. 


I like the Datametrics system and highly recommend it to 
those who don't have the time or expertise for technical 
work. It also comes with recommendations for those who 
perform radio commo traffic studies & analyses on limited 
budgets where scanners are a part of the job. It is 
capable of logging and compiling some very impressive 
charts, bargraphs, and reports on commo activities in 
your area. In this sense, the Datametrics system can be 
called a "communications data logger." Operating it 
resembles being in the cockpit of an aircraft. It's fun! 

CONCLUSION & SUMMARY: I just love products like those 
from RW Systems and Datametrics which make my job easy! 

I like them both, but am hard pressed to choose a 
favorite; they're just too diverse and different, like a 
pickup truck and a touring car. The only difference in 
this case is that you don't want BOTH; one or the other 
will do nicely. But then where one may not be right for 
you, the other one just could be perfect! In any event, 
either one drops 400-channels into your PRO-2004/5/6 with 
minimal drudgery and to my way of thinking, that's the 
most important function of an interface. "Professor 
Peabody" now tells you what he thinks. 


One justification for the big bucks is the feature of 
data transfer to the computer for temporary or long term 
storage. Some mods like the Search & Store Module can do 
little more than store a bunch of active frequencies in 
the scanner's permanent memory. There's no good way to 
process that info without an interface, short of writing 
it all down and manually entering it into the computer. 

It becomes a matter of WHAT we want versus HOW MUCH we 
are willing to pay. It is not a high priority for my 
computer to operate and log data from the scanner. It 
could be fun; don't get me wrong, but is not important. 
Not everyone wants all the same finer things in Life, but 
we all want to breathe and eat for starters. The point 
I'm about to make for interfaces is that we all WANT to 
have the computer program the scanner for us! Anything 
else that the interface can do is so much icing on the 
cake and to each, his own. The vital thing for me is for 
the interface to permit a computer to program the 6,400 
channels in my PRO-2005. You see, twice now, I have 
accidentally shorted out the +5v Memory Retention Battery 
circuit which wiped out the entire sixteen Blocks of 
memory in each instance! I'm pretty good at programming 
the keyboard BUT it takes better than an hour to do one 


"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 - January, 1992; Page 4 








400 channel Block. After that I'm wiped out mentally 
from intense error correcting and concentrating. Then it 
takes 15 more nights of programming at one Block a night. 

Have you thought about doing Doc's 64-Slock, 25,600-Chan 
Extended Memory? I have, but the idea of hand programming 
all that memory only to lose it by a stupid mistake once 
gave me a violent rash of hives. Now I will reconsider 
because that data can be slam-dunked into memory in about 
2-hrs. Huh? Well, I am about to show you a mod that's 
on a par with Doc’s multi-thousand channel memory mods 
and more exciting. It's inexpensive and does not require 
any custom programmed microprocessors, PALS or PROMS. 
Reconfiguring for extra functions is a cinch but I’m 
getting way ahead of myself. Here's the deal: 

Necessity, the mother of invention, with a slim budget 
for a prime mover, drove me to design a thrifty interface 
to program my scanner for me. I only recently got into 
computers, so I didn't want any weird or sophisticated 
software that would take forever and a month of Sundays 
to learn how to use. Eureka! My Fatman Interface might 
cost upwards of 75 bucks if you bought everything from 
scratch at full retail price, but depending on what's in 
your junkbox, the cost could be a lot less. With my 
Fatman Scanner/Computer Interface, you can load up 400 
channels of error-free frequencies, complete with DELAY, 
LOCKOUT and desired MODE settings in under six minutes! 

An Overview of the Fatman 

Ok, we're eating up space and there's a long way to go. 
so here's an overview of the project, followed by a parts 
list, resource list and a schematic for those who want to 
get started right away. We'll conclude the Fatman next 
month with a verbal wrap up, alignment and operating 
procedures. This project is a hackers delight so use 
care in its construction and be neat. It pays off. 

There are 5 unique parts to this project, one of them 
optional: Remote Controller Keypad. The remote keypad 
and interface were designed for complementary operation 
because some parts for one are common to the other. Why 
a remote keypad? Well, obviously you wouldn't want to 
program your scanner from across the room but how about 
just operating it in total comfort while sitting in your 
stratolounger, all kicked back? Sometimes the best place 
to put your scanner isn't always where you would like to 
operate it. And then some of us have clubs for fingers 
that don’t fit the tiny buttons on the keyboard. The 
Remote Controller keyboard can be made as big as you like 
with plenty of space between the keys. So the Remote 
unit has a value, but leave it out if you don't want it. 

The five parts of this project are: 

#1 Keyboard Interface; simple & easy 
#2 Computer Interface; hairy, but fun 
#3 Code Converter; tedious but rewarding 
#4 Software (don't panic; just your data base) 

#5 Remote Keypad (optional) 


The Computer Interface connects to the computer's printer 
port instead of an RS-232 serial port. This expels the 
need for a telecom program; a regular database program 
will "print" data to the interface and fool the computer 
into thinking it's feeding a printer. The database thinks 
it's sending frequency records to a printer but actually 
only ASCII codes go to the interface and code converter 
which translates the ASCII inputs to coded outputs needed 
by the keyboard interface to simulate scanner keypresses 
during programming. My FATMAN is used with an IBM clone 
machine but it can probably work with any machine that 
sends ASCII characters to a printer. 

Only one small mod is done to the scanner; the Keyboard 
Interface and a DB-9 connector to accept a cable from the 
FatMan Computer Interface which can be in a project box 
of your choosing and budget and located anywhere between 
the computer and the scanner. The printer cable from 
your computer's parallel port connects to the input of 
the FATMAN. You can use a printer A-B switch if you will 
be programming and printing a lot; otherwise moving the 
printer cable as needed will be fine. An additional 
benefit of the interface is that the database program can 
print a paper record of what's in the scanner's memory. 
Additions and changes can be pencilled on the printout; 
entered back into the database; then in a relative flash, 
painlessly loaded into the scanner. You can nurse on a 
can of your favorite beverage and watch the blinking LEDs 
on the interface. I am an LED freak and went wild with 
them but they were necessary for testing and debugging. 
If you want to save space and parts, LEDs can be omitted 
but they add to the show when you invite friends over to 
see your latest toy. The light show is impressive!! 

Some of the CMOS chips may not be available locally, but 
if you use 1C sockets, you can start wiring the circuits 
while you wait for the big brown delivery truck. The DB-9 
connector was installed on the rear panel of the scanner 
just above the BNC connector. Admittedly, the drilling 
and reaming of the hole in the chassis was a job but once 
done, the hard part was over. The rest is fun. Of course, 
the DB-9 connector and a short pigtail can just hang out 
the back of the radio from a round hole drilled in the 
chassis. This same connector is also the hookup point 
for the full function Remote Controller. 

KEYBOARD INTERFACE 

The Keyboard Interface must go inside the scanner and as 
close to the Keyboard connector as possible. Use a Radio 
Shack experimenter board, cut to size, small as possible. 

The thirteen output wires of the Keyboard Interface are 
easily connected to the scanner, but the method differs 
between the PRO-2004 and the PRO-2005/6 as shown below. 
The 13 wires from the Keyboard Interface to the scanner’s 
keyboard MUST be as short as possible. 

PRO-2005/5 ONLY: To attach the circuit to the scanner's 
keyboard connector (CN-501) in the PRO-2005/6, cut in 
half a 28 pin wirewrap socket so you have two separate 14 


"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 - January, 1992; Page 5 



pin rows. Save one half for a spare. Pull out one pin 
of the other half to leave a row of 13 pins. Insert this 
row of pins into the keyboard connector, CN-501, by 
pushing down and inward on the connector pins with the 
interface pins. (The pin of CN-501 closest to the metal 
chassis side wall is Pin 1. Pin 13 is at the opposite 
end of that row.) Then solder the 13 wires from the 
Keyboard Interface onto the 13 exposed pins. This is a 
handy, non-invasive way to tie into the keyboard matrix. 

PRO-2004 ONLY: The 13 wires from the Keyboard Interface 
must be soldered to the row of visible and easily 
accessed 13 solder spots on the back side of the 
scanner's keyboard. The BLACK wire on end of the row is 
Pin 13, so the opposite end is Pin 1. In lieu of this, 
you could follow that wire bundle up to where it connects 
to the Logic/CPU Board, PC-3, and devise some way of 
slipping a custom connector into the exposed holes of 
CN-502. These holes are non-standard spaced at about 2mm 
apart, so you're on you're own for a fit at CN-502. 

COMPUTER INTERFACE 

Build the Computer Interface into a project box for best 
results. It need not and really should not go inside the 
scanner because of its size. You'll need room in the 
scanner for other mods from time to time. Special 
considerations are not needed for this part of the 
project, but if I were you, I'd do your chip layout and 
wire planning on paper first. You'll have to use point- 
to-point wiring, so make it easy on yourself. There will 
be two trimmer potentiometers so put them where they can 
easily be accessed later for alignment. You can go hog 
wild with the LEDs or not as you see fit. Perhaps the 
best advice I can give here is to use DB-9 and DB-25 
connectors for output and input, respectively. Locate 
these chassis-type connectors on the rear of the project 
box for out of sight, out of mind results. If you don't 
want to bother with connectors, you can run permanently 
wired 9-conductor and 25-conductor shielded cables out 
the rear of the box with suitable connectors on the ends 
of each cable, DB-9 to the scanner and DB-25 to the 
printer port of your computer. 

A note on power consumption; all 1C chips are CMOS, so 
the current drain is very low. With no LEDs turned on I 
measured 1 ma of current. With the LEDs enabled, it drew 
25 ma which is still miserly. I am very aware of the 
limitations of the onboard power supply but this project 
can still be easily powered from the radio. An external 
supply can be used but it must be +5 volts only. The 
pulse levels between the computer and radio must be.5v. 

The cable to the computer can be flat ribbon or bundled 
as shielded 25-conductor. The cable to the scanner 
should be shielded 9-conductor. Radio Shack used to have 
excellent 9 & 25 cond cables, 278-775 & 278-776, but 
these have been discontinued and stocks may be sold out 
by now. Shielded cables are highly recommended for 
obvious reasons. The length of each cable should be 5-ft 
or less, but a little longer will probably be ok. 


CODE CONVERTER 

This is a ROM, Read Only Memory. You program it yourself 
so it's actually a PROM. Ordinary switching diodes are 
used to set up the program. You don't even have to know 
what you’re doing if you follow the schematic diagram. 
The PROM or code converter is an 80 address by 5 bit 
memory. The lower 32 addresses are not used so I left 
out the chips but most of the upper 48 addresses are used 
to output codes. I'll explain the technology of this 
next month in the wrapup, so just build it according to 
the diagram for now and include space for it in the 
project box that will also house the Computer Interface. 

SOFTWARE 

The necessary software can be an ordinary database or 
even a word processor program. Any program that can send 
an ASCII file to a printer should work. I use a shareware 
database called FILE EXPRESS that's great for beginners 
but I will assume that you know how to use your database 
and how to print files. Next month, you'll learn how to 
operate the Fatman by "printing" a frequency file to it. 

FATMAN PARTS LIST 

CKT 

SYMB QUAN DESCRIPTION 


Keyboard Interface Primary 


U1,2 2 74HC4051 8 channel analog multiplexer 

R1-6 6 Resistors, 10-k, 1/4-watt 

C1-8 8 Capacitors, 0.1-uF, monolythic or tantalum 

D1-8 8 Silicon Switch Diodes; 1N4148 or 1N914 

J1 1 DB-9 Connector; female; RS #276-1538 

PC 1 Multipurpose board; RS #276-150 

PI 1 28-pin Wirewrap 1C Socket; RS #276-1983 


Computer Interface Primary 


U1 1 74HC374 Octal D-Type Flip Flop 

U2 * See under Code Converter below 

U3 1 74HC244 Octal Buffer 

U4,5 2 74HC123 Dual One Shot Multivibrator 

U10-12 3 74HC04 Hex Inverter 

U8 1 74HC08 Quad AND Gate 

U6,7 2 74HC32 Quad OR Gate 

U9 1 74HC4066 CMOS Switch 

VR1,2 2 Trimmer Pot; 500-k 10 turn precision 

R1-16 16 Resistors, 47-k, 1/4-watt 

R17,18 2 Resistors, 10-k, 1/4-watt 

R19-34 16 Resistors, 1-k, 1/4-watt 

Cl,2 2 Capacitors, 0.001-uF disk 

C3 1 Capacitor, 1.0-uF, tantalum 

C4 1 Capacitor, 2.2-uF, tantalum 

SI 1 Switch, toggle; SPST 

J1 1 DB-25 Connector; female; RS #276-1548 

J2 1 DB-9 Connector; female; RS #276-1538 

LEDs 15 Light Emitting Diodes, your choice 



"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 - January, 1992; Page 6 



Cods Converter (U-2, in Computer Interface above) 


PRO-26 MODS 


U2d 1 74HC138 3 to 8 line Decoder 

U2a-c 3 74HC4514 4 to 16 Decoder with latch 

D1-44 44 1N4148 or 1N914 signal diodes 

Cl 1 Capacitor, 0.1-uF, monolythic or tantalum 


By: William R. Young 


Remote Keypad: 

74HC148 Priority Encoder 


U1 -4 
U5,6 
U7 
U8 

SI-29 
R1 -29 
R30 
Cl 
LED 


4 

2 

1 

1 

29 

29 

1 


As a charter subscriber, I'm learning a lot from WSR and 
am not so reluctant to dig into the radio gear as I have 
been. I've used a PRO-26, 4-ch crystal controlled hand¬ 
held for several years, and there were some things that 
needed a change; the DELAY (not needed), the SCAN rate, 
fie/nora. /rey/wa oj/u. and the lengthy time it takes to charge the batteries. 

as ptGS6A/rel> /A/ 

A combination of R66 and C64 control the DELAY time. I 

74HC20 Dual 4 input NAND gate oP . '^-^^'removed C66, which eliminated the DELAY; it also caused 
74HC32 Quad 2 input OR gate Hut />cuo-s vjuro the MANUAL channel selection to be unstable. Instead of 
74HC86 Quad Exclusive OR gate th* / m sy£o*ti> the 1 -2-3-4 sequence, selection was random. A 4.7-uf 
Switches; push button, n.o. capacitor in place of C64 enabled the MANUAL selection to 

Resistors, 47-k, 1/4-watts co~/>vre *f .zv/S4«*2.work with no noticeable delay in the SCAN mode. 

Resistor, 1-k, 1/4-watt T *%% 

Replacement of C63 with a .1-uf tantalum capacitor caused 
an almost 5-fold increase in the scan rate. Replacement 
of R70 with a 33 ohm 1/4 watt resistor doubled the charge 
rate of the NiCad batteries. I’ve used the mod'd scanner 
for several days now and it works great. Keep up the good 
work with WSR! [Ed Note: Thank YOU on both counts!] 


Capacitor, 0.1-uF, monolythic or tantalum 
Light Emitting Diode, choice 


ANTENNA & PREAMPLIFIER TESTS 


By: Bill Bowers 


I tested some antennas and preamps. The purpose of the 
test was to find the most effective omni-directional 
antenna and preamp for my location. I am in a rural 
region about 50 miles from any transmitter. Local police, 
Highway Patrol and sheriff offices are located in all 
directions around me so I needed an omni-directional 
antenna, and overload was not a factor! 

Antennas tested: 

I COM AH-7000 PRESSLER ARA-900 AUSTIN'S "THE FERRET" 
Preamps tested: 

IDC-WBA-1500 WI-COMM L-A75M 
AUSTIN-FERRET preamp RADIO SHACK #15-1117 coax amp 

I mounted two antennas on opposite ends of the garage on 
10' roof mount poles and ran equal lengths of Bel den 9913 
coax to a DALWA-CS201 two-position antenna switch. Then 
I searched for a signal on one antenna, and switched back 
& forth for comparisons. This was done in 50, 150, 450 & 
800-900 MHz ranges. This procedure was repeated for many 
combinations. All antennas and preamps were good in the 
bands up through 450 MHz but in the 800-900 MHz range, 
there was a clear winner. The best combination for the 
800-900 MHz range for my location was the ICOM AH-7000 
with the WI-COMM L-A75 preamp. 

After the winner was determined, I repeated the tests and 
compared it to all other set-ups. In many cases, there 
were weak signals in the 800-900 MHz range found with the 
AH-7000/L-A75 that when switched to any other combination 
produced no readable signal at all. P.S. Anyone want to 
buy an ARA-900 or Austin-Ferret CHEAP?! 

ED NOTE: Thank you, Bill. Your tests were very scientific 
and proper, especially for the hobby scene. Now keep an 
eye out for the J.l.tt. M-75 & M-100 preamps. These two 
are superb and might beat the WI-COMtl hands down! 


NEW HANDHELD ICOM R-1 HAS FLAWS 


You'd think that a whopper product from the likes of ICOM 
would be defect-free, but the newly introduced R-1 DC-to- 
Daylight Handheld Receiver has some sort of a bug that 
resembles image interference, and which shows itself as 
two clones of the desired signal at 150 KHz on either 
side of the desired signal. This might not be a problem 
in the MANUAL or SCAN modes because you'd simply not run 
across those "images" unless you programmed them. It can 
render the SEARCH mode effectively useless, however! If 
this problem is as widespread as it seems to be, I can't 
understand why ICOM released the R-1. In any event, a 
service shop (RayComm) in England has come up with a fix. 
USA hobbyists have been sending their R-1's over the pond 
to have this problem remedied to the tune of $100 or so 
plus shipping & currency conversions. 

Not having an R-1 with which to work and test, I can only 
make an educated guess as to the nature of the problem 
and any remedy, however I have studied the Service Manual 
for the R-1 and have reached a conclusion about a remedy. 
There is a decided weakness in FL-1 on the DETA board; it 
is much too wide for good AM operation in the first place 
but it might also be defective to the extent that it 
allows spurious & extraneous out of band signals to pass. 
Replacement of FL-1 with a quality 455 KHz IF filter will 
remedy the "image" problem, not to mention Adjacent Chan¬ 
nel Interference problems down in the shortwave bands! 

I am now looking for an R-1 on which to finalize this and 
other possible modifications. I will offer a substantial 
discount to the first three people who send me an R-1 for 
this remedial service. If not successful, there will be 
no charge and the R-1 will be returned in a condition 
equal to or better than when received, inquire. 73/bc 


"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 - January, 1992; Page 7 
















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SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM FOR FATMAN KEYBOARD INTERFACE SUB-UNIT 

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"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 - January, 1992; Page 8 


























SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM FOR FATMAN COMPUTER INTERFACE SUB-UNIT 



CONFIDENTIAL SUBSCRIPTION ORDER: Please print clearly 

Y2NI 

12/27/91 SUBSCRIPTION RATES & ORDER BLANK Y2N1 

NAME: 


USA RATES: (Canada +10$; Other Foreign +20$-$urf or +40S-Air) 

HSR BACK ISSUES ONLY USA $$ Check Items 

STREET: 

1991 Single copies; your choice: 1 ea $ 4.00 

1991 (1st 6-mos, Jan-Hay/Jun) 5 ea $15.00 

CITY: STATE: ZIP: 

1991 (2nd 6-mos, Jul-Nov/Dec) 5 ea $15.00 

1991 (1st Year, Jan-Nov/Dec) 10 ea $25.00 

PHONE:f 1 AMT ENCLOSED: $ 

HSR CURRENT SUBSCRIPTIONS ONLY 

1992 Single copies; your choice: 1 ea $ 4.00 

THE BELON QUESTIONS ARE OPTIONAL BUT KILL HELP US HELP YOU! 

1992 (Jan-May/June) 6-mos 5 ea $15.00 

Radio Interests? (Put YEARS OF EXPERIENCE in each block that applies) 
YHF-UHF Amateur CB Shortwave Professional 
Scanning? Radio? Radio? Listening? Radio? 

1992 (Jan-Nov/Dec) 1-yr 10 ea $25.00 

1992-3 (Jan 92-Nov/Dec 93) 2-yr 20 ea $45.00 

OTHER LITERATURE AVAILABLE 

Career/Profession 

Or Occupation: 

HOBBY RADIO BUYER’S DIRECTORY $14.95 ppd surf 

SCANNER MOD HNDBK. Vol-1: $17.95 + $3.00 SSH * 

List makes & models of your scanners & other radio equipment: 

Describe your technical abilities & interests; use reverse as needed. 

SCANNER MOD HNDBK. Yol-2: $17.95 + $3.00 SSH * 

* Canada USS4 SSH; Other Foreign USt5 SiH; extra for Mr Hail 

MAKE REMITTANCE PAYABLE IN US FUNDS TO: COHHTRONICS ENGINEERING 

Enclose a 410 S.A.S.E. and one loose extra stamp if you want 
hobby info & personal reply! Business/trade inquiries exempt. 
















SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM FOR FATMAN CODE CONVERTER SUB-UNIT 




TD/OCes U/-D*W /Wfi} o/t /x'V/VS 



'THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N1 - January, 1992; Page 10 


COMMTRONICS ENGINEERING 
"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" 
PO BOX 262478 
SAN DIEGO, CA 92196-2478 


IN THIS ISSUE 

t 1992; The Year of the Interface 
+ Schematic Diagram for Last Month's Serial Data Interceptor 
t What's Up for 1992? 

+ Review of the RW Systems SC-2 Scanner/Computer Interface 
t Review of Datametrics Computer Aided Scanning System 
+ The FatMan Do-It-Yourself Scanner Computer Interface Project, Part 1 
t Modifications for the PRO-26 
+ hew ICOM R-1 Has Bugs; Possible Remedy 


V2N 1 
911227 


FIRST CLASS MAIL 


/ffOOi