In the 1970s, 8-track audio players were very popular, especially in cars. For a few bucks, I could get the latest album, and I didn’t have to flip the tape in the middle of the drive like I did with a cassette. We’ve seen a lot of 8 trucks, but most of us of a certain age have owned several players. However, no one was found to admit that he owned a Bearcat 8-track scanner, as seen in a 1979 Popular Electronics ad below.
The ad copy says you can turn an 8-track player into a 4-channel, 2-band scanner for less than $100. In most cases, each channel required a crystal. I’m not sure where the power came from, but it says “no batteries required” at the bottom. It seems odd that a moving tape mechanism must have spun a generator to power the device. There’s bound to be a place for an external antenna to plug in as well, so you probably could have guessed there was an external cigarette lighter plug instead of worrying about a few wires.
I honestly thought this was one of those things that hasn’t been on the market, but you can occasionally find it for around $100. You can also find images on RigPix.
Of course, cassette AUX adapters were very common, feeding audio from phones and MP3 players to tape heads. Same idea. There were also cassettes that were Bluetooth adapters, but all we knew used tiny batteries. I’ve also seen one converted to 8 tracks. Want to see inside the 8 track? no problem.
But have you seen one of these in action?