Building a radio shack from garage sales: Scanner, walkie talkies…

The opening of the summer vacation season starts in a way with the Memorial Day garage sales. Year-rounders and vacationers rub their bleary eyes and realize how much junk is in their closest and garage as they bring out summer gear.

Simple fix for bad power supply–replace with wall wart

Got a deal on a Bearcat 210XL scanner–seller said it wouldn’t turn on after a lightning storm, and he used only the built-in antenna. On the typically long run power lines between transformer and house in rural areas with poor ground conductivity, internal power supplies bite the bullet more often with lightning storms nearby. You can replace the internal power supply with a “wall wart” power adapter of appropriate voltage and current rating (voltage the same, current greater or equal to existing supply).

I also picked up a 40 channel Realistic TRC-212 CB walkie talkie, the kind with the 52” telescopic antenna with the load in the middle. Sometimes road crews use them. The local fire department at the cottage uses CB radio so I had the thought of putting a simple antenna up with the walkie talkie and leaving it up here just to be advised if a forest fire was going.

Been listening to shortwave radio on the gear picked up last summer. Nice to get the prompt info and other countries’ views. Hear some technical discussions on the ham bands, but also some more day-to-day conversations. Will try the scanner back home and see what’s going on about 30 MHz.