Author Topic: hand held scanner...which one?  (Read 11472 times)

Offline notaperfectpilot

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hand held scanner...which one?
« on: October 06, 2011, 11:57:33 AM »
I am looking for a hand held scanner that is relatively cheep but does a relatively good job at scanning. I don't know much about scanners at all. I know that a lot of you use them quite often. So the question is what do YOU think from your experience withe scanners would be the best one?



Offline dave

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 12:06:53 PM »
What do you want to scan?  Just aviation frequencies?  Trunked radio?  Police/fire P25?  Scanning is a lot more complicated than it used to be and the options are so varied.

So what are your interests and what is the max you want to spend?

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 12:43:02 PM »
just aviation frequencies...I am thinking around $150 or so max

Offline welch88

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 06:21:54 PM »
Hey the Sporty's Air-Scan VII Portable Scanner (aka SP-125) is a very nice scanner for the handheld, it is $150. If you wanted to go desktop you could go with the Air- Scan V desktop it is only $100. The link provided below includes both the handheld and the desktop. It also has the SP-400, I personally would not recommend this for just scanning cause the SP-400 has navigation options and I do believe you can transmit from the SP-400.

LINK: http://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/category/833

Hope this helps!!

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 06:48:04 PM »
yeah, those were the first ones I looked into...the handheld scanner was definitely on my list. I just wanted to see if there were any other ones that I could take under consideration before I went to the first one I saw :-) thanks

Offline welch88

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 06:51:30 PM »
Yep those are the ones.. I think they are reliable and durable.. Let me know if you need anymore help!!

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 06:54:28 PM »
have you tried them before?

Offline dave

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 06:54:42 PM »
I recommend a Bearcat BC72XLT:

http://www.scannermaster.com/Uniden_Bearcat_BC72XLT_Police_Scanner_p/01-500882.htm

Reasons:
1) It won't break the bank.
2) You only need a receiver, not a transceiver.
3) It has the Bearcat Close Call technology which lets you figure out what frequencies are in use when you are planespotting or near a transmitter.
4) The Sportys stuff is a bit overpriced, especially considering the fact that you can only listen to the aviation band and nothing else.

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2011, 09:45:02 AM »
Any other ideas?

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2011, 08:50:02 AM »
awww come on, I know there are more people out there that use scanners. What do you like? Give me your opinion!

Offline bueller

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2011, 10:44:24 AM »
I would go with Dave's suggestion.  I used that exact scanner to run the KROC feed for at least 2 years with no problems.  Its now my backup scanner as I have a base unit that will also receive Mil-Air. 

I recommend a Bearcat BC72XLT:

http://www.scannermaster.com/Uniden_Bearcat_BC72XLT_Police_Scanner_p/01-500882.htm

Reasons:
1) It won't break the bank.
2) You only need a receiver, not a transceiver.
3) It has the Bearcat Close Call technology which lets you figure out what frequencies are in use when you are planespotting or near a transmitter.
4) The Sportys stuff is a bit overpriced, especially considering the fact that you can only listen to the aviation band and nothing else.

Rochester, NY Feed Twr/App/Dep: http://audio.liveatc.net:8012/kroc.m3u
Rochester, NY Feed  Clearance/Ground: http://www.liveatc.net/play/kroc_del_gnd.pls

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2011, 12:25:59 PM »
What about a transceiver? When I first started this topic, I was looking for a scanner more for airplane spotting. Since then, I have had the opportunity to get my pilots license. So, the question is, should I go with the scanner or maybe spend a little more money and go for a transceiver that could be used for the airplane spotting and for in the airplane?     

Offline dave

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2011, 12:58:07 PM »
What about a transceiver? When I first started this topic, I was looking for a scanner more for airplane spotting. Since then, I have had the opportunity to get my pilots license. So, the question is, should I go with the scanner or maybe spend a little more money and go for a transceiver that could be used for the airplane spotting and for in the airplane?     

First, congrats on your pilot's license! 

Second, a transceiver might be your best investment if you intend to use the radio for planespotting and pilot use.  I like the Yaesu VXA-7xx line - the one you would want is:

<http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&client=safari&rls=en&q=vxa-710&gs_upl=1986l1986l1l2114l1l0l0l1l1l0l0l0ll0l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1413&bih=682&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=12893940366996618074&sa=X&ei=XemmTqneCObz0gHCv-ioDg&ved=0CDgQ8wIwAQ#ps-sellers>

The VXA-220 is a less expensive transceiver but also very good:

<http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=vxa-220&hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=5020693363900203576&sa=X&ei=OOqmTty6Oafo0QGHy_iQDg&ved=0CF4Q8wIwAA#ps-sellers>

Icom also makes a good radio:

<http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=ic-a6&hl=en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=12617818845850066438&sa=X&ei=bOqmTu39Jojq0gGzqaT5DQ&ved=0CGQQ8wIwAA#ps-sellers>

You just need to look at each radio and decide what is important to you in the way of features.

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2011, 01:20:18 PM »
Thanks Dave! Yeah, I am really excited about getting my pilots license! A good friend and fellow pilot arranged with an instructor friend of his to teach me. The total cost? About 1/4 of what someone would usually pay! :lol: Anyways, are there any "rules" about using a transceiver for airplane spotting? Like you wouldn't want to interfere with any transmissions or something like that, correct?

Thanks for your help 

Offline athaker

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 11:31:30 PM »
I'd like to add my thanks for this post and everyone's replies....was just thinking the other day I'd like to purchase a new portable scanner.

Offline notaperfectpilot

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2011, 08:01:11 AM »
So, I went ahead with Dave's suggestion.

I recommend a Bearcat BC72XLT:

http://www.scannermaster.com/Uniden_Bearcat_BC72XLT_Police_Scanner_p/01-500882.htm

Reasons:
1) It won't break the bank.
2) You only need a receiver, not a transceiver.
3) It has the Bearcat Close Call technology which lets you figure out what frequencies are in use when you are planespotting or near a transmitter.
4) The Sportys stuff is a bit overpriced, especially considering the fact that you can only listen to the aviation band and nothing else.

I did that for most of the reasons that Dave used to recommend it.

Welch88, I appreciate your suggestion but I did think that the Sporty's stuff was a bit over priced (though I looked at them first!).
Hey the Sporty's Air-Scan VII Portable Scanner (aka SP-125) is a very nice scanner for the handheld, it is $150. If you wanted to go desktop you could go with the Air- Scan V desktop it is only $100. The link provided below includes both the handheld and the desktop. It also has the SP-400, I personally would not recommend this for just scanning cause the SP-400 has navigation options and I do believe you can transmit from the SP-400.

LINK: http://www.sportys.com/PilotShop/category/833

Hope this helps!!
Another problem I had with the Sporty's one was that there was no connection for an another antenna. I didn't exactly like because I didn't know if I would like a longer range antenna later on.

So yesterday I took my scanner to the closest biggest airport to me (KROA). I had a lot of fun with it hearing the planes on Clearance Delivery, Ground, Tower, and Approach. One interesting thing was that shortly after I got there, this guy calls in on Clearance and says that they are doing a FAA check ride and would like a few different approaches into ROA if possible. That was knida interesting.

So, for those in the future to see this, I would sure go with Dave's suggestion (as shown above) if you want a cheep scanner. If you are looking for something with a little bit more range and other features, this might or might not float your boat. It works for me just fine for what I want.

Below, I have attached the current ATIS that I recorded from the scanner when I was there yesterday.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

Offline N500GS

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2012, 05:53:41 PM »
You can't go wrong with Sportys transceivers. They have gotten great reviews notably in Aviation Consumer. I have an older one and have been happy with it. The newest one has the capability to track an ILS and GS. I think any of them are better if you install a hard wired antenna. I carry mine as a back up.

Offline TomCat4680

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Re: hand held scanner...which one?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2012, 10:55:33 PM »
If you're looking for a handheld scanner (receiver) that only has civilian airband, I recommend the Maycom AR108. It's really small, has 99 scanable memory channels plus full range search, detachable antenna, and 10 VHF weather channels (7 NOAA Weather Radio and 3 Weatheradio Canada). I got mine with free shipping too.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2012, 02:04:24 AM by TomCat4680 »
Scanners: Radio Shack Pro 106, Radio Shack Pro 96, Maycom AR-108AE

Antennas: Diamond D-130J mounted 30' AGL (base), Waters & Stanton WSM-225 (mobile),
Diamond RH77CA (handheld)