Putting It All Together: Commo Kits Part 2 – A Portable VHF/UHF Intercept Kit

Continuing on from my first post, I am going to put together a portable VHF/UHF Intercept Kit to show readers what can be done with common off-the-shelf components.  Keep in mind that the important matter is not “What is it?”, but the “How does it all work together?”.


For the case, I found a milsurp Organizer Pouch for $10 at a local Army/Navy Store. They allegedly were components of a larger medical kit. The build quality puts them as either USGOV milsurp, or very high quality commercial production. Either way, the price was right, the quality is excellent, and they hold all the components of the intercept kit. In general, I and others have found that surplus Medical and EOD-specific pouches, field gear, and other LBE make the best commo/electronic bags due to the large amount of compartmentalization they offer.  Stick with genuine GI Milsurp or high-quality commercial production. If you hit the Army/Navy stores, you can find gently-used high-quality gear like Tactical Tailor and London Bridge for the same price, or maybe a little more,  as new Condor and Rothco crap.

IMG_20141021_145457912(1)Here is the bag opened up. To the right there are two deep drawstring pockets and a bunch of smaller pockets that have antennas in them. To the left is a big velcro-sealed pocket and elastic straps. The straps are securing a couple pens and a flashlight.

IMG_20141021_145801015Here are the contents of the kit, specifically:

  • Radio Shack PRO-96 Scanner with Rubber Duck Antenna
  • Radio Shack PRO-97 Scanner with Rubber Duck Antenna
  • Radio Shack Telescoping Whip Scanner Antenna RS# 20-006
  • Radio Shack 800 MHz. Scanner Antenna RS# 20-283
  • AA Alkaline Batteries
  • Notebook
  • Pens
  • Small Flashlight
  • 120V AC-to-9V DC Wal-Wart Power Supply
  • 12V-to-9V DC Converter.

IMG_20141021_145808762The Radio Shack PRO-96 provides P25 CAI monitoring capability, and trunked radio system tracking for Motorola and EDACS systems. The PRO-97 will track  EDACS, LTR, and non-rebanded Motorola systems, and provides “Signal Stalker” near-field signals detection and monitoring capability (aka “Close Call” in Uniden scanners). Frequency coverage range for each unit is as follows:

PRO-96: 25-54, 108-174, 216-225, 406-512, 806-960, 1240-1300 MHz. – Expandable via software.
PRO-97: 25-54, 108-174, 216-512, 806-960, 1240-1300MHz.


Both scanners operate via 4 AA batteries or 9V DC, and will charge their batteries when running on external DC power.  A set of fully-charged 2000 mAh NiMH batteries will power the scanner for an average of 8 hours.  Both scanners use a standard BNC female connector for an antenna connection.  A telescoping whip antenna and 800 MHz. scanner antenna provide increased reception performance over the stock rubber duck.

IMG_20141021_145815518The flashlight is a 2AA Black & Decker purchased for $4 at a local Job Lot/Odd Lot store.  It uses the same batteries as the scanners, and came with colored lens filters for nightime-use.

The Wal-Wart and DC Adapter allow the units to be powered via 120V AC or 12V DC. In both instances the installed NiMH batteries will be charged while operating in this manner.

Pens and a $1 notebook for recording intercept data.

Extra AA batteries for the scanners and flashlight.

Plenty of room in the case for extras such as a lightweight jungle antenna and 550 cord, small frequency guide, or maybe more AA batteries.

To be continued…


VA plans to build HF Network

Via one of the crew on FB:


The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to build a nationwide high-frequency radio network to connect its medical facilities in case of an emergency that knocks out other forms of communications — applying century-old technology to current needs.

Maybe someone from the VA has been reading this blog???


The GE M-PA – Good Choice For A Squad Radio

One of our readers and blog supporters, Mark Cobbeldick – KB4CVN,  has gone above and beyond by creating a series of articles on the GE M-PA, an excellent quality American-made, LMR portable that would make a great squad radio, is inexpensive, and is orders of magnitude better than the China-made HTs, in particular that POS Baofeng that everyone seems so dammed enamored with.

M-PA101_Part001Part #1: An Introduction of the M-PA Family of Two-Way Radios

M-PA101_Part002Part #2: M-PA Components and Assemblies

Thank you!


GE MP-A Yahoo Group


COMINT Exercise: More Frequencies For Connecticut

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In light of the recent COMINT Exercise Opportunity, and declaration of emergency in the Unconstitutional Nutball State, here are some other frequencies of potential interest. NB: Make note of dates/times of nets.

Those of you who live elsewhere, please send me your frequency data: sparks31@hushmail.com , sparks31@unseen.is or sparks31commo@gmail.com.

http://www.ctares.org/nets.htm – Connecticut ARES Nets

region2_handbook – CT ARES Region 2 Handbook

http://www.ctares.org/ – CT ARES. Note SET (Simulated Emergency Test) on 11/8-11/9/2014.

ARES_Region_4_EOP_v3pt11 – CT ARES Region 4 Emergency Operations Plan

ARES-OEM – CT OEM (Office of Emergency Management) ARES Manual

Region_5_090708 – CT ARES Region 5 Radio Communication Plan

Region_3_Member_Handbook – CT ARES Region 3 Handbook