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My new Radio Shack Pro-106 digital trunking scanner arrived a few days ago.  So far, I’m very happy with it!

I’ve been using my trusty old Radio Shack Pro-93 scanner for over 10 years now.  I still use it daily at the office, and it still works great for listening to the local Amateur radio repeaters and the Franklin County public safety radio system.  I expect that I will get many more years of service out of it, but, it was also time for an upgrade.

You may wonder why I would buy a new scanner if my old one was still working well.  The answer is that my old scanner won’t track the digital voice channels that are used by public safety personnel in Delaware County, Ohio.  Most of the police and Fire departments in Delaware county are on the Central Ohio Interoperable Radio System (COIRS).  COIRS is an APCO 25 digital trunked system.  Sadly, my old scanner doesn’t do me much good when I’m at home.

In the past few days, I have learned how to program and operate the Pro-106.  They have changed how the scanner’s memory is used.  I prefer the new object oriented programming model over the older traditional channel bank model.

To make programming easier, I decided it was best to organize my thoughts first.  I sat down and mapped out exactly what I wanted to program in, and how I wanted to organize them into the scan lists. This proved to be the best way to go, because it made programming the radio pretty simple.  I have shared my Google Doc, so you can take a look at my scan list configuration, and my trunked system frequencies.  These files will change over time as I modify my radio’s programming.

I used the Radio Shack programming software to program my radio.  If you buy one of these advanced scanners, I highly recommend buying the programming cable and using the software.  You’ll save yourself a lot of time and headaches.  I saved my scanner configuration to my public drop box folder.  If you live in Delaware, Ohio and buy a new Pro-106, you can download my configuration file (If your browser displays a bunch of text, right click and save the link).

It might not be exactly the setup that YOU want in the long run, but it will get you up and running quickly!

My granddaddy got me interested in Ham Radio when I was a kid.  Back then, the entry level license was the novice class.  The test for the novice license required passing the Morse Code test.  I tried to learn the code when I was in 5th grade, but was never able to get it.  Honestly, to this day, I’ve still been unable to get it.

In 2004, at the age of 26, I decided that I was going to finally get my license.  I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point the FCC had dropped the novice class and replaced it with the technician class.  The entry level technician class license test didn’t require learning Morse Code.  To help make sure I stuck with it, I signed up for a class at Universal Radio.  At the end of the class, I took my test and received my first callsign: KD8ANP.

About three weeks ago, I filed an application with the FCC to change my amateur radio callsign.  My application was granted two days ago, and my callsign has officially been changed from KD8ANP to W8IPK.

Why W8IPK?  It was my Granddaddy’s callsign from the time he was 16 years old in 1932 until he passed away in 1999.  He never got to see me get my license, but I think he’d be proud that I’m keeping his old callsign on the air.