Radio Intrigue with Don Schimmel


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Report #079 04/01/11

The WinterFest 2011 was great. Each year it seems to be better than the previous year. The change in location of the Fest turned out to be a fine choice. The accommodations at the Doubletree Guest Suites in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania were very nice and the site was easy to get to after leaving the PA Turnpike. I learned on the final evening that the 25th Anniversary Fest may be 3 days rather than just 2. I believe this was the case for the 20th Anniversary Fest also.

I was particularly interested at this Fest at the information presented by the Scanner Scum in describing the UNIDEN Home Patrol Scanner. A unit was passed around which permitted, although briefly, some hands-on use of the unit. I became convinced that the Home Patrol was to be my choice for a new scanner because of its simplified operation. I have since purchased one and have really once again enjoyed listening to Scanner activity. The reception range of the unit is far better than the modest stated range. With the ZIP Code input, the advertised 10 mile radius is far exceeded. At my location in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, I not only hear WV signals from up to 30 miles away but I also hear activity from the Hagerstown, MD, Winchester, VA and Franklin County, PA areas. And this is with just the supplied stubby antenna. I feel certain when I connect the Home Patrol to my outside scanner antenna, I will hear signals at far greater distances.

During a recent episode of the TV show, MI5, reference was made to a "Numbers Transmission". The signal was tuned in on a communications type receiver and a message was heard announced by a Russian male. It consisted of a few numbers followed by two very short phrases of two words each. Later in the show a captured spy revealed the meaning of the message and the local MI5 personnel were able to prevent the detonation of a nuclear device in London.

End of Report

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2011 Don Schimmel.