Sparks31: Why Listening Is More Important Than Transmitting


An essential concept.

Study and think.

10 responses to “Sparks31: Why Listening Is More Important Than Transmitting

  1. I see a blank space instead of a picture in Sparks31’s article after the line “So what do you need to get started? One item:” Is this the radio receiver?

  2. And a good discone antenna.
    or one by another manufacturer or build your own. The advantage is a very wide transmit/receive capability in most all the bands you need except HF.

    Grey Ghost

  3. The blank space is an Amazon ad for the Uniden Home Patrol II. Yes, I get a cut via Amazon Associates from the ads on my blog, so your purchase helps R&D efforts.

  4. Wow. That’s kinda spendy. Anybody know of an alternative for those of us whose wives are accountants?

    • If you like, I am sure that Sparks31 can point you towards more expensive radios.
      However, he is a frugal gentleman who KNOWS how to spend money wisely.

    • Look for a gently-used Home Patrol I.

    • I would think someone who wanted to get into listening but didn’t want to spend the approximately $400-$500 to buy the Uniden Home Patrol II could buy an older Uniden Scanner in the $100 price range either locally from a seller on Craigslist or online like this one and manually put in the frequencies from online sources such as And of course letting the radio scan and stop at frequencies in use can be fun too. That’s the way I think I’m going to go. I’m a fan of older technology when it comes to this radio electronics stuff anyway.

      • Key point with the older stuff is that it is not APCO P25 Phase II compliant — i.e., able to hear encrypted police comms.

        LE (not fire or medical) is rapidly moving to encryption on all comms, not just tactical channels.

        Your play will work if one uses fire/med (frequently merging now) as an indirect (and incomplete) proxy for popo action. Not perfect, but better than depending the cable company’s local news channel.

        Sparks, Brushbeater, or other comms boss should be followed in any conflict with info above.

  5. DIY YouTube video showing a simple, durable, inexpensive, and field deployable Discone antenna here