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Publisher/Editor: K. D, Cheek, Sr, aka "OrJigoraortis* V2N5: May-June, 1992 

The WORLD SCANNER REPORT 

A Journal of VBF-OHF Scanner Technology & Engineering ISSN 1061-9240 

Published at: COMMtronics Engineering; PO Box 262478; San Diego, CA 92196 Copyright (c) 1991-2 <A11 Rights Reserved) $4.06 


LAST ISSUE FOR THE 1st HALF OF 1992 


Just a reminder that it's that time of the year again, 
folks. We publish ten issues per year and this is the 
fifth of 1992. The next issue will be July's which will 
be mailed on or about the first of July. This issue 
serves as a "combined issue" for the months of May and 
June. Please don't expect a June issue. 


TIME TO RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION ? 


Check your mailing label for a florescent pink slash 
through the expiration date which reads EXPIRES: MAY 92 
If so, this will be the last issue you will receive 
unless you do one of three things: (1) renew your 
subscription before July 1, 1992. (2) If you can't 

renew right away because of budgetary onstraints, drop us 
a line saying so and we’ll be glad to extend your 
subscription through the July issue to tide you over 
until you can get it together. (3) If you plan to NOT 
renew, also drop us a note saying so and why not and 
we'll send you the July issue anyway, just to say THANKS 
for trying us out. 


NEW COMPUTER & SOFTWARE FOR WSR !! 


We did it! This issue was composed and processed on our 
new Dell i386/33 computer using Microsoft Works for 
Windows! Many of you may recall that we have been 
operating with a pair of ancient Apple lie's all this 
time. They got the job done well enough, but entering 
the Information Age as we have been doing, it was best 
that we make the move to state-of-the-art equipment. The 
printing isn't our best yet, but all things in due time. 
A laser printer is in the budget for the near future, 
hopefully by year's end. In the interim, our Panasonic 
KX-P1624 will do nicely as you can see here. 


MORE ON THE FIDONET: NEW SCANNER ECHO! 


Last month, I gave you a detailed overview of the FidoNet 
worldwide computer network and the Shortwave Echo. Since 
then, I have learned of and joined a new echo that's 
exclusively dedicated to scanners and scanning, the SCAN- 
Z1 echo. By the time you get this, its name will 
probably have changed to the more international sounding 
SCANRADIO. The flavor and character of the SHORTWAVE 
echo will not change according to echo Moderator, Fred 
Hatfield and so it will stay available to scanner 
enthusiasts, too. So if you want a wide variety of 


scanner, shortwave, and other radio information to pour 
into your computer, and overwhelm your mind, you should 
ask your local SysOp to carry both the SCANRADIO echo and 
the SHORTWAVE echo. If the SysOp reports back to you 
that his system can't find a SCANRADIO echo, then ask for 
it under its old name, SCAN-Z1. It's a new echo with a 
low to moderate volume of traffic, so it should be no 
problem to convince your SysOp to carry it for you. Ken 
Storm is the Moderator of SCANRADIO. Again, if you 
haven't found a FidoNet BBS in your area, drop me a SASE 
and a couple of loose extra stamps and I'll prepare a 
list for you. Please mention the Area Codes of the 
localities of your interest so that I can tailor the list 
for your needs. 


OUR BBS IS COMING RIC3IT ALONG: PLEASE JOIN ! 


The Hertzian Intercept BBS is steadily growing, adding 
new features and files. It's also a lot faster since I 
moved it into this whiz-bang Dell i386/33 computer. Its 
hours have expanded just for you WSR readers to the 
between 5:30pm-1:30pm, Pacific Times: (619)578-9247. 
Please, this phone is reserved for voice business ONLY 
between 1:30pm - 5:30pm. Absolutely no hobby chit-chat 
on the phone; business only. Please use the mail or the 
BBS for questions and non-business needs. If you have an 
urgent need to call voice, please talk to whoever 
answers; it is not likely that I can come to the phone 
for any but the most urgent of needs. My workload and 
prior commitments demand this be so. If you wonder what 
I do, it's usually one of two things: writing about or 
working on scanners, either of which requires my utmost 
concentration and mental dexterity. Distractions must be 
kept to a very minimum in my line of work. Thanks for 
your patience. Please use the BBS if you can; it's there 
for you! 


FATMAN COMPUTER INTERFACE CORRECTIONS 


Another obnoxious little gremlin has shown up in the FAT- 
MAN Computer Interface schematics. Please turn to V2N1, 
Jan 92, page 9 and make a pen & ink change as follows: 
in the almost exact center of the page between U-4a and 
U-4b, draw a dot to signify a connection of Pins 2,3,16, 
10 & 11 of U-4 and Pins 2 & 4 of U-9. The connection dot 
should go right on the intersection of the wire from U-9, 
Pins 2 & 4 to Pin 10 of U-4b and the wire from U-4a. Pins 
2,3 & 16 to U-4b, Pin 11. This is the only intersection 
of what looks like two wires crossing in this vicinity. 
The result of this correction is that +5v should be tied 
to U-4, Pins 2,3,16,10 & 11 and U-9, Pins 2 & 4. Sorry 
for any inconvenience this oversight may have caused. 








FROM THE READERS 


SCANNER BEAM TESTS: Dear Bill, Well, I finally 
finished my evaluation of scanner beam antennas. The 
antennas tested were: 

1. Create Log Periodic - CLP5130-1 

2. Grove Scanner Beam 

3. Radio Shack VU110 TV Antenna 

The antennas were mounted with vertical polarity and fed 
with equal lengths of RG-8X coax from a DIAWA CS-20G coax 
switch and fed to an I COM R-9000 receiver. I used the 
R-9000 instead of the "Cheek-modified" R/S - PRO-2006 
scanner only because of the very large "S" meter on the 
R-9000. ( 1 don't blame you! If I had an R-9000 and a 
"Cheek-modified" PRO-2006, I'd use the R-9000, too! /ED) 

The procedure for comparison was first to aim the 
antennas at Oklahoma City by peaking on the NOAA weather 
station at 162.400 MHz. Then other OK City stations were 
monitored in the 150, 450, and 860 MHz frequency ranges. 
Two antennas were switched back and forth on a given 
signal to compare relative signal strengths as indicated 
on the "S" meter. Preamps were not used in these tests. 

I have not calibrated, nor does ICOM give a calibration 
for the S-Meter, so the comparison of the antennas was in 
relative "S" units, (I Ihich is plenty good enough ! /ED) 
There was complete silencing at all signal strengths 
above one "$" unit. Below this, signals were readable, 
but contained noticeable hiss. The "S" meter scale is 
logarthimic, so it is related to dB signal strength. 

Two antennas were compared at a time and then the 
combination changed around. 1 took a lot of data for 
which the results are summarized as follows: 

1. Both scanner beams were good and were equal to or 
better than the 1 COM-7000 discone antenna. 

2. The CLP-5130 was clearly the best antenna, averaging 
from 2 to 4 "S" units above the Grove Scanner Beam 
across all bands. 

3. A typical example at 859.262 MHz, the Grove Beam 
yielded 0 "S" units, but the signal was still quite 
readable. The Log Periodic yielded +3 to +4 S-units 
with a perfect signal. Then I inserted a 10 db 
attenuator in the antenna circuit. The Grove Beam 
signal disappeared and the signal from the Log 
Periodic signal dropped to 0 S-units but was still 
readable. This indicates that, at least in this 
frequency range, the Log Periodic yields as much as 
10 db more sigal; a crucial difference. 

4. The above test sequence was repeated in the 460 MHz 
range, the antennas were much closer, within 3 db. 

5. Around 150 MHz, I found conflicting results among 
the antennas. On some signals in this range, the 
Log Periodic indicated 1 to 2 S-units over the 
Grove, but on other signals the difference was as 


much as 4 S-units over the Grove. ( possibly because the 
signals were off beam centers and each antenna has a 
different radiation pattern. /ED) 

My conclusions are that if you are looking to catch 
signals in one general direction, then the investment in 
a beam is certainly worthwhile. The Grove Scanner Beam 
does a fine job, but if you win the lottery, go for the 
Log Periodic. It is definitely better. 

The performance of the TV antenna was disappointing. It 
did a pretty good job on 860 MHz signals, slightly better 
than the Grove, but in all other ranges, the Grove was 
better. -William E. Bowers 

A READER DOESNlI LIKE COMPUTERS! 

Dear Mr. Cheek: Enclosed is a check for a six-month 
renewal for the WSR, July - Nov/Dec '92. I'm holding 
back six months, mostly because I don't own a computer. 

I am noticing your journal's articles catering more and 
more to them with scanners, if included, taking a back 
seat and further away from pure scanner-related topics. 

I hope more of your subscribers are noticing this format 
change and can influence your style back to what it 
originally was, it seems to me, intended to be. Thanks 
for your consideration. -John A. Morris, WA 

Dear John: Your letter was worse than the rare, but 
venomous variety. Nasty letters are easy to ignore and 
laugh at; and when people express their discontent in a 
provocative manner, they’re wrong right off the bat and I 
feel no obligation to mess with them any further. Your 
letter, however, served to remind me of my frailty & 
inability to please everyone. There's no way I can be 
anything but sympathetic to your cause. And so I shall 
explain the situation as best as I can, not only for your 
benefit, but also for those who may feel as you do. No 
one else has complained of our focus on computers yet, 
but that doesn't mean much of anything. 

The situation is that the world is moving into the 
computer age whether we like it or not. My line of work 
and the demands and needs of the majority of the 
hobbyists require me to stay abreast of the latest 
technology, which definitely includes computers and 
things digital. Now you're going to love this....my 
computer shows that you have a PRO-2004 and a Sangean 
ATS-803A. This information was available to me at the 
touch of a key; lightning quick. My computer makes it 
easier for me to be aware of and responsive to your 
needs, but THAT is not the point: it is the fact that 
each of your two radios is internally operated by a 
micro-computer and maybe you didn’t even know it! 

Now here is the real clincher: humans, as you are aptly 
aware, do not work with computers nearly so well as do 
other computers! This is why I have dedicated the IVSR in 
1992 to the computer-aided side of scanning. Do not fear 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; 


V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 2 




that the HSR will turn into a computer magazine; it will 
not. He will always maintain a strong focus on scanners 
& scanning but it is very important that we focus on BOTH 
the technology of scanning AND the tools of scanning. 
Computers are both a tool and a technology which demand 
our interest. Look at it this way: how long does it take 
to load 300 or 400 channels into your PRO-2004? And, how 
often are you motivated to repeat that process? Let me 
venture to guess that you try VERY HARD to preserve the 
memory of your scanner because you loathe the idea of 
having to finger-load all those frequencies in again. 
Therefore, you are limited as to how much fun and use you 
can get out of your scanner. No big deal so long as you 
enjoy what you have, BUT...many hobbyists have joined the 
computer age, and we have to stay on the leading edge of 
new developments to quickly transfer them to the hobby 
level. Computers are here to stay and are going to be 
forever glued to the Hobby Radio scene. Therefore, I 
don't have much of a choice in the matter. See another 
angle of what I mean in Perry Joseph's continuing series 
on "Scanner Frequency Management". Please think about it. 

Take heart, however, because there is only so much that 
can be said about computers as related to scanners and a 
limit is in sight. He'll never truly reach an end to it, 
but the intensity of our present focus will lessen and 
the scanner will resume its rightful position as the 
nucleus of our attention. Actually, it's always been 
that way, but we deviated outside YOUR interests for a 
time. How come you aren't computer oriented yet? Is it 
because you are from the "old school" or are there other 
factors involved? I stayed with my antiqued, Apple 
computers for so long because of budgetary reasons. 
Alas, I had to upgrade; budget or no budget, because the 
world is not run on Apples anymore. I may be poorer but 
I am happier. Could this possibly apply for you? /BC 

READER THINKS WIDEBAND RADIO IS IT! 

Dear Bill: It was really promising to see the article 
covering the shortcomings of the I COM R-1 wideband 
receiver in the April issue. I'm very excited about the 
appearance of wideband scanners on the market; have been 
ever since I first laid eyes on the groundbreaking SONY 
ICF-PRO80. A handheld full-spectrum receiver seems to be 
the ultimate way to observe conditions across vast 
stretches of frequency. Thank you for spreading your 
enthusiasm for wideband. Others have seemed to focus on 
the negatives, the limitations of the rigs available. I 
agree that units we've seen so far leave a bit to be 
desired in many areas of performance, but the concept is 
too exciting to let go by the wayside. 

One possibility for the future of wideband radio is a 
longwave-to-microwave receiver to appear like I COM's 
stunning IC-2SAT and IC-4SAT. These rigs are the sharpest 
yet in consumer electronics. To house a full-spectrum 
receiver in this format would be a step into the future. 
It should be able to receive SSB, in addition to WFM and 
selectable IF bandwidths of AM and NFM, to make it the 
radio of choice for full-function wideband monitoring. 


We should write to the manufacturers, asking them to 
bring out more wideband receivers, with improved 
performance across their entire frequency range. It 
could be that this concept will fit very nicely into a 
future that could include direct-satellite broadcast. In 
addition to all the other signals we can tune into with 
our wideband receivers, we just might also be able to 
monitor satellite broadcasts! 

Maybe KIWA Electronics can design a mod to sharpen up the 
R-1. They seem to be a natural to do this mod, judging 
from their ads in Monitoring Times, Thanks again for 
supporting wideband radio!! '73s/C. Ermatinger, MO 

Nice, thoughtful letter, Chuck. I don't know whether to 
share your enthusiasm or to turn dull and despondent. 
You see, the manufacturers are not very responsive on a 
personal level to the hobby. I think time was when they 
were, but not anymore; not with the demise of Hammarlund, 
Hal 1 icrafters, Atwater-Kent, etc. Mfgrs are responsive to 
the market where the dollars are, but not to the Hobby 
where the people are. I think we will see more and 
better wideband handhelds coming out, but it won't be 
because the mfrs are tuned in to us. It will be a 
venture to make a buck. Pity, because the bucks are 
there to be made, but a line of communications simply 
does not exist between the Hobby and the mfgrs. Some 
mfgrs like Grove Enterprises are the exception, but they 
are few and far between. It seems that wherever you are 
willing to spend a buck carries more clout than a letter 
or a phone call. Now this more or less has to be so, 
because without the buck, the mfgr cannot stay in 
business. Even then, it's awfully hard to STAY in 
business with costs of overhead, taxes, licenses, 
salaries, and such. I suppose this missing line of 
contact is something we have to accept, especially 
considering products from offshore companies like ICOM, 
Yaesu, & Kenwood. The USA offices of these companies 

really are little more than marketing, sales & service 

outlets and I think they have very little say-so in the 
products that come to market. In the case of domestic 
mfgrs like Drake, MFJ Enterprises and Grove Enterprises, 
you are much more likely to be heard and I think they do 

encourage feedback from the Hobby. The trouble is that 

domestic mfgrs cannot compete with the off-shore industry 
when it comes to economics of materials and labor. Most 
likely, it is not feasible to build a competitor for the 
"ICOM R-1" in this country; not for under $1,000 anyway, 
and the R-1 is going for $479 now! There is a lot more 
to a product than just cranking it out. For example, the 
R-1 may have taken several engineers a year to design, 
develop and prototype. The cost could easily reach $400K 
before the first unit ever rolls off the production line. 

I know that KIHA Electronics is aware of the R-l's 
deficiencies, but I don’t know if they are working on a 
solution. The thing critical to the R-1 is high 

performance in a tiny package, and there's not much room 
in there to stick a quality filter. KIHA assembles filter 
units into modules, but they do not manufacture the 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; 


V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 3 



filter units. There may not be any small enough for the 
R-1 with any quality. You're right, though, that KIWA is 
in a good position to solve the problems in the R-l, if 
they're really solveable — /8C 


BUILD YOUR OWN CTCSS TONE FINDER 

By: Professor Peabody; 


Geetings Scanner Fans: This month we nosedive into the 
world of CTCSS tones. Those wonderful subaudible tones 
that make or break our squelch. Pun intended... 

We all know what CTCSS tones are and their purpose, but 
we can't know an incoming tone's frequency without aid of 
special and usually expensive test equipment. But only 
two simple items are all you REALLY need to find out what 
you want to know about these tones. Two cheap and easy- 
to-build circuits are used together to filter and display 
CTCSS, if present on incoming signals. First is the 300 
Hz low pass filter that appeared in Bill's Scanner 
Modification Handbook, Vol-2, Mod # 31, page 176. Now if 
you already have a frequency counter, you can stop right 
here and feed your counter with the output of the Low 
Pass Filter and be done with all the fuss and muss. On 
the other hand, you may not want to tie up your counter 
for CTCSS tone reading so the rest of this circuit might 
be for you anyway! The output of the Low Pass Filter is 
fed to my simple counter circuit which counts up to 999. 
Three digits are all we need. When CTCSS tones are 
present for about 5-sec or longer, the display gives a 
direct readout of the tone in use. This circuit & 
modification should work quite well with most modern 
scanners. Here's how it works: 

Figure 1, the schematic, shows the audio signal taken 
from the high lug of the scanner's squelch control (which 
is also the audio output of the NFM chip) and fed to the 
low pass filter, the output of which is then fed to a 
high gain amplifier that presents a 5 volt signal to the 
two Schmitt trigger NANO gates to square up the tones so 
they can be counted. Next, there is a precision one 
second gate time so the counter can count the number of 
pulses out of the amplifier. Instead of fooling with 
crystals, I chose an accurate reference signal that's in 
almost everyone's house in North America: 60 Hz AC power. 
A bit of the 60 Hz signal is sampled from the secondary 
of the power transformer and half wave rectified so only 
the top of the waveform is left. Then fed into another 
Schmitt trigger to clean up the signal. Two divide-by 
circuits divide the 60 Hertz pulses by 10 and then 6 (60 
total) leaving a precision 1 Hertz pulse. But the pulse 
is 1 Hertz which means half the signal is low and the 
other half high. So our gate time is .5 seconds. Not 
what we want, so we just divide it by two again with a 
flip-flop (4013) and we now have a .5 Hertz signal which 
is one second low and one second high. Just what the 
Professor ordered! 

The precision gate time is fed to a NAND gate that makes 
a "window" to allow the tones to be counted for the one 


precision second and then the window closes for one 
second. Then opens for a second and closes for a second, 
continually repeating the cycle. The other NAND gates 
use RC time constants to create the LATCH and RESET 
pulses which clock the counted signals into the displays 
and then clear the counters for another cycle. The 14553 
1C is neat because it has a three digit counter and three 
latches in it that holds the data. But then it 
multiplexes the data for the three digits to cut down on 
wiring. Only one transistor is on at a time and flashes 
the digit a a 1000 Hertz rate so it looks constant to our 
eyes. The 14543 1C is a BCD-to-seven segment decoder- 
driver that makes the digits light up in the displays. 
The seven segment displays have the matching cathodes 
wired together and the anodes are connected to their 
corresponding transistors to be multiplexed. The gate 
LED is used to display the one second gate time and of 
course we need at least one LED in the project or why 
build it at all! 

Build the ciruit on one or two pieces of perf board or 
make your own PCB, whichever suits you best. Install the 
board(s) in a project box of suitable size to hold the 
circuit board(s) and the transformer. Everything can be 
self-contained in the enclosure and you can make it look 
pretty slick. Very little work needs to be done inside 
the scanner this way. In fact, you need only tap the 
audio output of the NFM chip in your scanner, which in 
many cases is as simple as the high lug of the SQUELCH 
control. This will be the case for the PRO-2004/5/6, 
PRO-34/37 and most other Realistic scanners. In worst 
cases, you can refer to back issues of the WSR, V1N4 & 
V1N9 to find which NFM chip is used by your scanner and 
which pin of the chip is the audio output. Whichever you 
select or find best for your needs, solder a 0.1-uF 
capacitor to the tap point and connect a shielded mini 
coax to the other lead of the capacitor and route this 
mini coax to a phono jack on the rear panel of your 
scanner. Ground each shield end of the coax and you're 
in business. Install a phono jack on the rear panel of 
your CTCSS Finder box and on the inside, connect it to 
the INPUT of the Low Pass Filter via another 0.1-uF 
capacitor. 

Connect a mating patch cable between the new TONES OUT 
jack on the scanner and the TONES IN jack on the CTCSS 
Finder box. Plug it in to 110-vac and the Gate LED 
should start blinking. Adjust the voltage at pin 5 of U- 
1b, the op-amp, to 3.50 volts. Temporarily connect a 
100-pf to 0.01 -uF capacitor to one of the two secondary 
low-voltage leads of the transformer to the TONES IN of 
the Low Pass Filter. Slowly crank up the gain of VR1 and 
you should see 060 presented in the displays. You are 
now measuring the 60 Hz line voltage. If you see 061 
displayed, move the cap to the other transformer 
secondary lead and you should see 060 displayed. That's 
the whole checkout procedure, nothing to it. 

After connecting it to your scanner you will see random 
numbers displayed with no signal into the scanner. This 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; 


V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 4 




is because random noise is coming out of the squelch 
circuit. Perfectly normal. When a transmission is 
present that has the tones two or three gate times is all 
that is needed to accurately count the tones. If random 
numbers or 000 is displayed when a transmission is 
present that is known to have the CTCSS tones then crank 
up the gain with VR1 so you get a stable display. But 
don't have too much gain, enough is sufficient. I have 
found that this tone counter is very accurate and will 
display the tones to 1 Hertz accuracy. Not bad for a 
circuit that costs 12 bucks! So enjoy and have fun. 


SCANNER FREQUENCY MANAGEMENT - PART 3 
by Perry Joseph, President, DataPile, Inc. 

Developer of ProScan Frequency Management System. 


In my last installment, I described the general types of 
software which can be used for managing a frequency 
list. The conclusion: using a database program offers 
the most power and flexibility for our task. 

Choosing the right type of database manager is VERY 
important. I say IMPORTANT and I mean it. I have 
witnessed enumerable instances of leap before look in the 
fine art of purchasing software. Before I discuss some 
of the specifics of database programs, let me offer you 
an invaluable tip for buying software. Purchase from a 
high volume retailer who offers 30-day money-back 
guarantees. This way, you can "afford" to make the wrong 
choice and try again. You'll find many of the national 
software retailers are competitive with mail order 
outlets. Any price difference will be a small price to 
pay to insure the purchase, unless of course, you are 
absolutely certain the software will suit your needs; 
only then would I consider buying from a mail order or 
discount outlet. 

Please note that specific references to software are DOS- 
based programs. This month's installment is a rough 
summary and is not meant to be all-inclusive. Your needs 
and options may vary and must be carefully evaluated 
before buying a database program. 


include PC-File by ButtonWare, Inc. (206)454-0479, Q&A by 
Symantec Corp. (408)253-9600, and Rapidfile from Borland 
(408)438-8400. In addition, there are numerous database 
programs available under the shareware concept, which is 
"try it for free and if you like it, send us some 
money". Typically, these programs are found on 
electronic bulletin board services or for low dollars 
from "shareware" providers. 


/ 


The more adventuresome might consider purchasing one of 
the more expensive programs. If, for example, we wanted 
to keep a daily log on active frequencies, we would have 
good reason to consider a "relational" database program. 
"Relational" offers an ability to maintain a file for the 
frequencies and a separate file for the log entries, thus 
eliminating redundant info every time a new entry is made 
to the log file for a specific freq (in other words, we 
would not have to enter the freq name, location, etc, 
every time we wanted to enter a new log record). When a 
frequency record is retrieved, the "related" log records 
are automatically brought along with it. In this 
example, relational programs offer a more flexible way of 
maintaining data. 

Another issue worth discussing is programmability. 
Programming offers a cability to create custom screens, 
queries and reports for specific types of tasks, thus 
reducing the amount of time it takes to store, retrieve 
and maintain data. There are three general programming 
types of database programs:interactive or interpretive, 
programmable-only and non-programmable. 

Interactive/interpretive database programs offer a 
combination of tools for both programmers as well as 
users. You can either program the database "engine" for 
specific or redundant tasks, or use built-in features 
which provide direct access to your data. These programs 
cover the gamut from simple to sophisticated. Some of the 
high end interactive/ interpretive programs include 
askSam by askSam Systems (904)584-6590, dBase IV and 
Paradox by Borland Intern! (408)438-8400, and FoxPro by 
Fox Software (419)874-0162 (Note: FoxPro was recently 
purchased by Microsoft). 


There are many questions to be answered when choosing a 
database program. What type of data will be maintained, 
what type of platform is required (DOS, Macintosh, etc) 
what type of hardware is required (do you have enough RAM 
and disk space), single-user or multi-user, etc. If, 
however, you are looking for a database program to 
simply manage a frequency list, we can eliminate some of 
the more tedious questions. Assuming the main job to 
track basic frequency info and data storage & retrieval 
requirements to be simple, we can consider the plain and 
inexpensive types of database systems commonly known as 
"flat-file", as opposed to "relational" which are used 
for more complex data structures. Most "flat-filers" 
offer plenty of features, such as data sorting, 
retrieval, conditional reporting, etc. These programs 
are easy to use, require a minimum haroware investment 
and are economical. Some flatfile database programs 


Programmable-only database programs, sometimes referred 
to as compilers, do not offer interactive capabilities 
and therefore require additional development time, not to 
mention learning curves and high prices. The benefit of 
this type of program is faster running and a higher 
degree of flexibility and customization. These type of 
programs include Clipper by Nantucket (213) 390-7923, 
Quicksilver by WordTech Systems, Inc. (510) 254-0900 and 
Force by Dvorak Software (303) 494-0298. 

Non-programmable database programs are used when 
extensive data management is not required. These 
programs have a fixed amount of built-in routines 
allowing for queries, sorting, design of data input and 
output screens as weil as reports. This type of program 
includes the previously mentioned flat-file programs as 
well as relational programs like Professional File by 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; 


V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 5 




Software Publishing Corp. (408)986-8000, Personal R:BASE 
by Microrim (206)649-9500 and Alpha Four by Alpha 
Software Corp. (617)272-3680. 

A few other thoughts in closing: Technical support 
policies vary widely from free to expensive and from 
instant phone support to "leave a message". A major issue 
is compatibility of files if you are interested in 
exporting/importing data from/to other sources (Note: The 
dBase type file format is the most popular with an 
estimated market share of 48%). I also suggest the more 
popular programs offer a greater degree of survivability 
in this very competitive marketplace. 

Next month, we will explore some specific requirements 
needed to effectively manage a frequency list. /PJ 


Inside GEnie's Radio, Electronics 
& Broadcasting Roundtable 


Say "radio" and a lot of people conjure up images of the 
quintessential nerd poring over a circuit diagram while 
fingering the keys of his 4000-function, programmable 
calculator. Alas! Such astereotypical impression is 
hard to overcome, but I can assure you we are simply NOT 
THAT WAY in the RADIO RoundTable. 


Although our short name is the "RADIO RT", our official 
title is the "Radio, Electronics, and Broadcasting 
RoundTable". And even this long name hardly does service 
to the myriad of topics we address. We cover everything 
— and I mean EVERYTHING — related to the hobbies and 
professions of electronics: 


Audio/video systems 
Telephone systems 
Burglar alarms 
Satellite TV 
Lasers 

Historical figures 
Equipment repair 
Facsimile machines 
Cellular phones 
TV/FM reception 

And a whole 


Shortwave radio 
Amateur (ham) radio 
Citizens Band radio 
Construction projects 
Marine electronics 
Broadcasting 
Weather satellites 
"Spy" communications 
Scanner radio listening 
CD players 

lot more!!! 


As part of GEnie*Basic Services, the RADIO RT Bulletin 
Board area is one of the least expensive ways imaginable 
to find the answer to your questions about the world of 
electronics. The Software Library has nearly 3000 files, 
including frequency lists, handy programs,broadcast 
schedules, and study guides. 

RealTime Conferences are always a special treat in the 
RADIO RT. We have numerous interesting guests in 
RealTime Conferences each year. Just recently, we had 
RTCs on 900-number phone services and cellular telephone 
monitoring laws. (The notes are in the Software 
Library.) Every Sunday night at 9 PM Eastern time, 
shortwave enthusiasts gather in Room 2, in real-time 


to share their monitoring successes. Besides shortwave 
broadcasts from around the world, they hear military 
action, air/sea rescues, Air Force 1, and even pirate 
(illegal) and clandestine broadcasters. 

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE 

If, like many GEnie users, you're a news hound, you'll be 
glad to know that the RADIO RT offers you late-breaking 
news with an international flavor. The RADIO RT was 
first on the scene with news straight from Radio Moscow 
on the recent coup. We had not only current news reports 
about the Gulf War, but we could listen in on some of the 
action as it took place! Exciting? You bet!!! 

We can show you how to receive weather satellite photos 
directly from space. How about a conversation with an 
astronaut or cosmonaut? We can show you how to do that, 
too. It's all possible in the RADIO RT. 

Are you thinking about buying a new stereo system or VCR? 
Visit the RADIO RT first. We have many ongoing, lively 
discussions about the best equipment to buy on any kind 
of budget, and where to buy it. If you need a new 
answering machine, pocket organizer, telephone, pager, or 
any other gadget, we have the answers to your questions. 

Do you use a cordless or cellular telephone? Then you 
may be interested to find out just how easy it is for 
other people to monitor your conversations. It takes 
only a simple scanner radio. That's right. And while 
listening to cellular calls is illegal, listening to 
cordless telephones is NOT. Your neighbors or even your 
competition could be eavesdroping with ease on your 
private life. You will be shocked, but we can also help 
guide you in protecting your privacy. 

WHAT MAKES US SPECIAL? 

I think you'll find the RADIO RT an incredibly friendly 
place. No need to feel like you're asking a "dumb 
question," since we've all had to start from scratch at 
one time or another. As our ham radio topic leader Brian 
Murrey (MURREY) puts it, "The best things I see on the 
Radio RT are the amount of helpful information that can 
be had here. There are so many talented and helpful 
users and leaders here that it makes it hard to be a 
stranger for long." Allan Courtney (A.COURTNEY) sums it 
up even more succinctly: "The comraderie amongst the 
members of the RT can't be beat!" 

The users make the RADIO RT a complete success. They 
come from all walks of life. Our online survey shows 
that only about half of our users work in electronics- 
related fields. We have the expected array of engineers 
and technicians, but we also have doctors, lawyers, 
housewives, students, and others. The common thread is 
SOME interest in SOME aspect of electronics. 

Thanks to very strong talent, our staff can work with 
USERS and guide and manage our Bulletin Board, Real-Time 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; 


V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 6 




Conferences, and Software Libraries very effectively. 
After all, if you can't find info quickly and easily, 
you're wasting time and money. But we don't that to 
happen and we do want you to come back often. 

The staff members offer strong credentials in their 
respective areas of expertise, too, Allan Courtney, for 
example, spends his non-GEnie hours as a dentist, yet he 
brings 20+ years of shortwave listening experience to the 
RoundTable. Brian Murrey is a licensed ham radio 
operator and has been a GEnie user since the earliest 
days. He runs his own ham radio BBS, and he edits the 
Fidonet Ham/Packet Digest, a digest of found-articles on 
electronic sources - definitely of interest to hams. 

Ed Lentz (ELENTZ) and Will Loftis (W.LOFTIS) are scanner 
radio TOPic leaders. Their hobby and work focuses on 
police, fire, and other emergency comms. Ed also edits 
the Public Safety South Central US column for the Radio 
Communication Monitoring Association Journal, and he 
maintains frequency databases for Texas, Louisiana, 
Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi. 

Joe Pennington (J.PENN INGT04) and Doug Krile (D.KRILE) 
head up the broadcasting area with some impressive 
credentials. Joe is the News and Program Director for 
KDES-AM-FM in Palm Springs, California, and has a primary 
professional background in investigative radio and 
television journalism. He has also won a couple of Emmys 
for his TV work, the National Annual Award from the 
Aviation and Spacewriters Association for TV work, the 
Abraham Lincoln Award for radio documentary production, 
and a host of lesser-recognized awards. Joe stands for 
rights, too. Joe fought two serious First Amendment 
issues in the courts, including a 'refusal to identify 
news source' case which made its way to the U.S. Supreme 
Court. And Doug is the 10 PM news anchor for KARK-TV in 
Little Rock, Arkansas. Both men have served to 
increase GEnie recognition amongst their fellow pros, but 
they also lead some interesting discussions for everyone 
in CATegory 16 of the RADIO RoundTable Bulletin Board. 

Mike Chappie (M.CHAPPLE) brings his experience in the 
fields of education and video production to the Audio/ 
Video and Consumer Electronics CATegories, two of the 
most interesting and informative places on GEnie! Mike 
is a teacher during the day, and he has proven to be an 
exceptional TOPic leader. No doubt his professional 
skills as a teacher contribute. Always sensitive and 
diplomatic, if Mike doesn't know the answer, he's almost 
always sure to point you in the right direction for 
finding it. He is also a licensed ham radio operator. 
As he puts it, "The moment I set foot in the RADIO, 
ELECTRONICS, and BROADCASTING RoundTable, I was insanely 
inspired to get my ham 'ticket' (license), and am now 
hooked on almost everything discussed in the RoundTable. 
Don't say you weren't warned!" 

Bruce Robin (BRUCE-ROBIN) and Tom Robinson (TOM-ROBINSON) 
keep atop the exciting and fast-growing field of home 
automation. The X-10 light and appliance controls 


introduced a decade ago spawned a whole new industry. 
Now you can automate your lifestyle through smart devices 
and your personal computer. Machines are here to help us. 
Make the most of yours by stopping by CAT 11. 

Keith Whitton (MASTERWERKS) serves as assistant SysOp 
when he can find time. Keith has a rare breadth of 

experience servicing electronics, and he is our resident 
Mr. Fix-it. If it's broken, chances are good he can tell 
you why it's broken and whether or not it can be fixed. 

And me? I founded the RADIO RoundTable just over three 
years ago. interests in shortwave radio began nearly 25 
years ago. I am an avid listener to anything under the 
sun, and I hold amateur Extra Class license with the 

callsign NA5E. My professional interests include radio 
physics as well as aerospace and radio systems 

engineering. I spend what little free time I have doing 
freelance writing, primarily for radio-related 
publications. AROUND THE RADIO RoundTable BULLETIN BOARD 

The Bulletin Board is organized into logical areas or 

CATegories of general interest, defined as follows: 

1 The Starting Point - RoundTable Help and SysOp Feedback 

2 REB's Lounge and Conversation Cafe 

3 Shortwave Listening 

4 Scanning - Law Enforcement, Emergency, Military, and Air Comms 

5 Electronics Service and Repair 

6 Amateur Radio 

T Citizens Band Radio 

8 The Trading Post - Wanted or For Sale 

9 Audio 4 Video - Stereos, CO Players, VCRs, Camcorders, ad infinitum 
HU Consumer Electronics - Telephones, Organizers, and Gadgets Galore! 

11 Lifestyle Automation - Computer control of Home and Office 

12 Satellites, Radio Astronomy, and Other Space Topics 

13 High Technology and Professional Engineering 

14 Construction Projects 

15 Mini-Mail - Shopping for all your Electronic Needs 

16 Broadcasting - The Profession and Programming 

17 Odds and Ends <- Your hard-to-piace questions go here! 

18 General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) 

CATegorv 1 . The Starting Point ... is used to answer 
questions on Bulletin Board and Software Library 
operations. We also make RoundTable announcements, post 
information about recent file uploads, and solicit 
feedback and suggestions in this CATegory. If you are 

new to GEnie, make sure you read all messages in CATegory 

1, TOPic 1 for information on moving around the 

RoundTable with ease. 

CATegorv 2 ... serves as our general conversation area. 
At present we have an interesting discussion going on 
about "Monitoring Ethics." The debate covers everything 
from radar detectors to cellular phone eavesdropping, and 
you may want to join in. The Conversation Cafe also 
offers areas in which to introduce yourself as well as 

learn how to get started in electronics. 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; 


V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 7 



CATegory 3 ... shortwave listening (SWLing) has always 
been one of our busiest CATegories. It covers many 
subjects ... from which inexpensive receiver to buy, to 
current shortwave broadcast schedules. Also, CATegory 3 
contains the results of our Sunday night RealTime 
Conferences. Here's a sample of loggings from one of the 
latest SWL RTCs. You can see we hear a wide variety of 
interesting signals from all over the world. 

Frequency Time Comment 

4820 0148 IV Evangelica, Honduras with SS OH. [Paul] 

4826 8146 Tentative fi. Cancao Nova in Peru. [Paul] 

4914.6 8248 fi. Cora, Lima, Peru in SS with 10. [Bob M.] 

4985 8112 Presumed R. Brasil Central with OH in PP & pop mx. 

5616 0221 Unid flight comms in US8. Hent. Gander. [Lew] 

6020 0241 Radio Netherlands, Happy station with music. [Paul] 

6135 0244 Swiss Radio International in SS. // 6125, 17730 [Paul] 

6673 0106 Hurricane hunter a/c in comms w/ KJY24 USB. [Joe] 

7415 0130 Pirate Radio Beaver with ID. Husic. USB [Brian] 

9590 0150 BBC NS via Sackville with Sitar music. [Jay] 

9745 0107 HCJB with contest for trip to Ecuador. [Hike] 

11645 0115 Voice of Greece with music. [Jay] 

13011 0143 CQ de WNU44...Slidell, La. marker. [Jay] 

14335 0155 Hurricane Bob info by hams in USB. [Brian] 

I realize some of the abbreviations may seem strange, but 
come visit CATegory 3 to learn what they mean! Regular 
visitors to CAT 3 include Bob Grove, Havana Moon, Tom 
Sundstrom, and many more of your SWL gurus. We even have 
a special support topic run by Japan Radio Company. 

CATegory 4 ... dedicated to monitoring VHF/UHF public 
safety and similar communications. We trade frequency 
tips, techniques and suggestions to help tune in on all 
the excitement. Believe me, few things are exciting as 
listening to all the action in your town. It's easy to 
do, and it can be inexpensive, too. RCMA, Bill Cheek, 
and Uniden all participate in CAT 4 discussions. 

CATegory 5 ... Did your new toy break? Check CATegory 5 
for service and repair information. We can guide you 
through simple check-out procedures to make sure you 
really do have a problem before you spend big bucks on a 
new unit or repairs. For do-it-yourselfers, we offer 
parts sources, repair procedures, and more. Some very 
talented people inhabit this CATegory. 

CATegory 6 ... Amateur radio is another very popular area 
Here is the latest info on new products, licensing help, 
equipment mods, and loads of help for newcomers to the 
ham hobby. Ham radio operators can talk to people all 
over the world from kings (King Hussein of Jordan is JY1, 
and King Juan Carlos of Spain is EA0JC) to astronauts and 
cosmonauts (hams often go up on the Space Shuttle, and 
the cosmonauts aboard the MIR Spacelab are hams). Come 
see why this hobby is so popular, especially now that you 
don't need to take a Morse code test to get a license. 

CATegory 7 ... No, CB radio didn't die in the late 1970s, 
as many people believe. It's alive and well, as the 
activity in CATegory 7 will show you. 


CATegory 8 ... Want good deals on anything electronic, 
check out the Trading Post. 

CATegory 9 ... The AUDIO/VIDEO CATegory covers all 
aspects of audio and video technology from "What 
camcorder should I buy?" to "What's the latest release on 
laserdisc?" There are lots of friendly people willing to 
help anyone from the rank amateur with brand new 
equipment to the seasoned pro who just can't find that 
obscure connector. 

CATegory 10 ... Consumer electronics is very diverse. 
Here are discussions of all kinds of consumer electronics 
such as telephones, answering machines, pagers; even 
(900) numbers. Feel free to stop by and share with us! 
Although both the AUDIO/VIDEO and Consumer Electronics 
CATegories cover TOPics of interest to those who have 
absolutely no interest in radio, be forewarned, As Mike 
suggested above, you may just find yourself with a whole 
new repertoire of interests and hobbies! 

CATegory 11 ... Lifestyle Automation, where you can learn 
how to control your home and office environments for 
maximum convenience and energy efficiency. 

CATegory 12 ... Here you can learn about satellite TV, 
radio astronomy, weather photo reception, and much more. 

CATegory 13 ... discussions on advanced technology, data 
protocols, networking, components, and other technical 
TOPics related to engineers and electronics professionals. 

CATegory 14 ... We have plenty of users who like to build 
their own gadgets and projects, simple & complex, from 
timer circuits to robots. Warm up your soldering irons. 

CATegory 15 ... This is the RADIO RT's "Mini-mall." There 
are vendors selling a wide range of amateur, scanning, 
and SWL-related equipment, books, & software. You can buy 
everything from Radio Shack products to music scheduling 
software for broadcast stations. 

CATegory 16 ... Even if you're not interested in building 
something electronic or a ham license, you might be 
interested in TV and radio broadcasting. This is the 
place for info related to broad-cast station engineering 
& programming. Many network professionals and air 
personalities visit here, so take advantage of their 
presence to voice your questions and concerns. 

CATegory 17 ... is home to all electronic "orphan" 
TOPics. Odds and ends go here. Almost anything goes. 

CATegory 18 ... All about the General Mobile Radio 
Service: business & personal uses; equipment, too. 

RADIO Roundtable SOFTWARE LIBRARIES 

Our Software Libraries are organized into text file areas 
and machine-specific software areas for programs designed 
to run on specific computers. 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; 


V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 8 



1. General News 

2. Amateur Radio 

3. Shortwave Listening 

4. Scanner Listening 

5. Build It! (Electronics Projects) 

6. AUDIO/VIDEO and Other Toys 

7. Software - IBM 

8. Software - Apple 

9. Software - Commodore 

10. Software - Tandy 

11. Software - Atari 

12. Software - Other 

13. Satellites and Radio Astronomy 

14. Engineering and Broadcasting 

15. Odds and Ends 

16. RoundTable Help Files and Programs 

As an example, if you are someone with an IBM PC, and 
you're interested in learning about ham radio, you should 
check LIBRARY 2 for text files, and LIBRARY 7 for ham- 
related programs. Our Software Libraries contain nearly 
3000 files. Some of the best of the more recent files 


include these: 

File Name 

Description 

2766 

NEWSLINE.46 

Amateur radio Newsline 46 

2764 

SAND 1 EGO.ARC 

Scanner freqs for San Diego - ARCed 

2762 

AIR-Z92.SKD 

Z92 Schedule for AIR 

2759 

TEXASFRQ.TXT 

VHF/UHF scanner freqs for Texas 

2758 

PCT214.ZIP 

PC-Track V2.14 

2757 

CALFREQS.TXT 

List of uhf and vhf freqs for CA 

2756 

SCOX2152.TXT 

Sweden Calling DXers 2152 for 3/17/92 

2751 

DX0320.TXT 

W1AW DX Bulletin for 20 Mar 1992 

2750 

LORANCNV.EXE 

Loran-C conversion program (MS-DOS) 

2749 

HAMFIND.LZH 

Amiga search program for Buckmaster 

2747 

KTWIN220.ZIP 

Kenwood rig control for Windows 

2745 

PLUSTD.EXE 

Music Scheduling Software 

2734 

EDXC92.TXT 

Info on the 1992 EDXC meeting 

2733 

RADI0.TXT 

Newsletter of radio promotion ideas 


2264 SATFINDR.PAK MS-DOS locater for geosync satellites 
2267 900NUM.RTC RTC notes on 900 number phone services 

2276 PCCLK215.ZIP Set PC clock to atomic standard 

2286 NETROM.TXT How to use NETROM packet nodes 

2287 EXAMS.TXT Ham radio exams around the US 

2289 ECPA.ZIP Electronic Comms Privacy Act of 1986 

Some of the most popular files these days are aimed at 
helping with ham radio license study, too. About 40 
percent of our users are licensed hams, so drop by the 
Bulletin Board for suggestions on files to download for 
ham radio study. And just for grins, check out our 
online electronics quiz on Page 345. Now, doesn't all 
this sound interesting? It’s affordable, too! For only 
$4.95 per month you can have UNLIMITED ACCESS to 
GEnie*Basic services during non-prime time (6PM to 8AM 
weekdays and all day weekends and holidays). GEnie*Basic 
services include dozens of bulletin boards, e-mail, and 
much more! GEnie Value services are also inexpensive. 
At only $6 per hour you can access over 100,000 files, 
enjoy real-time conferencing, and track the latest 
financial reports. For more information, call 1-800-638- 
9636. Come join us real soon. And, as we say in radio, 
73s (best wishes)! 

TO SUBSCRIBE TO GEnie USE OUR AUTOMATED SIGN UP PROCEDURE 

1. Set your communications software for for Half Duplex 

(local echo) at Mi, 1200 or 2400 baud 

2. Dial (toll free) 1-800-638-8369 . Upon connection, 

type HHH but DO NOT hit the ENTER key. 

3. At the U= prompt type XTX99574.GENIE and press ENTER 

There is no initial fee to join the GEnie network. At 
the end of the online registration, a personal User 
Number and temporary password will be displayed on your 
screen. Both are required for logon, so please be sure 
to make a note of them. For written information about 
the system, call Customer Service at 1-800-638-9636. 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 9 


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FIGURE 1 : 


CTCSS TONE FINDER. 


NOTE: This circuit barks worse than it bites. U-1 is a dual 2-in-l chip and, 
U-2 4 U-6 are quad 4-in-l chips. The digital display is the worst thing to deal 
with here, but is easily handled. If you can't find a 3-segment display, use 
three individual LED digits, Radio Shack #276-075. Position them on a piece of 
perf board and wire each pin in parallel with all other corresponding pins: a to 
a, b to b, c to c, etc, EXCEPT for the common anode of each digit, which should 
be wired as shown to the collectors of Q1-3. If you use the digits from Radio 
Shack, the diagram on the rear of the blister-pak will guide you well enough. 


NOTE: Most parts are available from Radio Shack, but U-2, U-7 4 U-8 must 
be obtained elsewhere. See back issues for addresses of Digi-Key and Easy 
Tech, both great sources of electronic parts. CAUTION: The capacitors and 
resistors in the Low Pass Filter must NOT be substituted! Very critical! 



Tons' 

INPUT 
See Text 


A/OTS '■ AAOiO SHACK Pa/it GtOe/J VlHSfc available 


The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N5: May-June, 1992; Page 10 


COMMTRONICS ENGINEERING 

The "WORLD SCANNER REPORT” 

PO BOX 262478 

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IN THIS ISSUE ISSN-1061-9240 EIRST CLASS /VTA 1 1 


t TIHE TO RENEW? check your mailing label now! 

+ New computer 4 software for the HSR 
+ New Scanner Echo (SCANRADIO) in the FidoNet 
+ FATMAN Computer Interface Error Corrections 
t Reader Tests Three Scanner Beam Antennas 
+ Reader doesn't like computers? 
t Reader on Wideband Radio 
+ Build Your Own CTCSS Tone Finder 
♦ Scanner Frequency Management, Part 3 
t Inside GEnie's Radio, Electronics 4 Broadcasting RoundTable