Author Topic: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner  (Read 8169 times)

Offline laylow

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Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« on: November 26, 2007, 05:38:43 PM »
I like to plane watch at San Diego International, and I think it would be fun to have a hand held.  Would this do the trick?
http://www.uniden.com/products/productdetail.cfm?product=BC92XLT&filter=Handheld



Offline KMSY

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 05:45:29 PM »
Seems fine to me. Then again, I'm not the town scanner/radio expert. It all depends on what you need. If you want to use it for more things, you might want to do some research on other options. But for aircraft and most other situations, I think it would do you fine. I think I almost got that one when I was shopping for a handheld.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 05:47:13 PM by KMSY »

Offline tyketto

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 07:18:23 PM »
Where do you plan to do your spotting there at KSAN? I know the owners of the parking garages there get really ... err... "irritated" when you park on their top floor to watch the planes. Outside of that or actually parking at the airport and watching from their pedestrian bridge over the terminal area, I'm not sure where to planespot. I'm not from that area, but travel to it for work often..

Where do you plan to spot at?

BL.

Offline laylow

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2007, 07:19:16 PM »
Right here:
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 10:08:30 AM by laylow »

Offline laylow

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2007, 09:59:43 AM »
Fixed the mark.  There's benches over by those two bridges across the channel.  There's a new mall there called Liberty Station.  That's where I sit and watch sometimes.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 10:08:50 AM by laylow »

Offline Zackmoe

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2007, 10:28:06 AM »
Ooooh, I have a question. Do you have to be line-of-sight to receive on a handheld scanner? If I live say, 10, 20 miles from an airport, can I still pick up the action on a handheld? I'm thinking of hinting to my gf that I want one for Xmas...

Offline KSYR-pjr

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2007, 11:39:53 AM »
Ooooh, I have a question. Do you have to be line-of-sight to receive on a handheld scanner? If I live say, 10, 20 miles from an airport, can I still pick up the action on a handheld? I'm thinking of hinting to my gf that I want one for Xmas...

10 to 20 miles would most likely exceed the reception distance of a typical handheld antenna, but not necessarily the unit itself.  If you augmented the handheld's antenna by removing the delivered one (assuming the model you have in mind has a detachable antenna) and adding an external antenna, which does bump up the cost of the setup by the price of an external coax cable and an antenna, it most likely would give you decent reception.  This also assumes that you are not separated from your desired airport by high man-made or natural obstacles.

I was initially using a handheld scanner for my feed, which is about 10 miles or so from the airport, but I scrapped the cheesy, delivered antenna and added a high-quality coax line and an external antenna.

Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY

Offline tyketto

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2007, 01:13:52 PM »
Ahh... I didn't think about the Departure end of 27! That would be a good place to watch that. Since it's a rarity that SAN goes East Ops, everyone always thinks of finding a spot on the approach end of 27. I'll have to try the other end next time I'm there.

BL.

Offline Lezam

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 01:30:14 PM »
laylow, Uniden scanners can get pricey. Radioshack offers rebranded uniden scanners for cheaper. You might want to check those out.

Offline laylow

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 02:24:29 PM »
I got it for $59.99 shipped.  Refurb from Uniden. 

Offline Lezam

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2007, 05:35:46 PM »
I got it for $59.99 shipped.  Refurb from Uniden. 
Let us know how it works!

Offline laylow

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2007, 12:06:37 AM »
Got the scanner, works great.  I'm listening to SoCal approach right now.  The problem, though, is that I can only hear aircraft, too far from any tower to listen in.  Tomorrow I'm going to go down to SAN and listen for a while.

Offline dave

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2007, 09:46:45 AM »
Nice little scanner - receiver similar to many of the other Uniden models.  The only issue with this scanner is that it doesn't power up automatically after loss of power.  This is bad when used as a scanner at a remote site.  You actually have to press the power button to bring it back.  We have one of these on the zbw_dj feed (High Altitude Atlantic).  Major PITA when power goes out because the feed never comes back until I am able to get to the remote site.

Dave


Offline Jason

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2007, 10:38:49 AM »
I keep a BC92XLT in my car.  It's a good scanner, but doesn't function (or program) like other Uniden scanners (ie: the BC780XLT I have).  It's really setup for NASCAR use and therefore you really have to learn what button combinations not to press.  It definitely requires a different antenna than the rubber ducky it comes with.

Regards,

Offline pocho

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2007, 12:46:39 PM »
I always do my planespotting from the public parking lot just off Harbor and Laurel Dr, across from the Coast Guard station. Have you guys gone there? I usually go every other weekend.

I've always wondered where a good location would be for 27 departures. I'll have to try that place some time.

Offline laylow

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2007, 12:50:28 PM »
Is that the narrow cell phone lot, right next to the fence?

Offline pocho

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2007, 01:19:28 PM »
This is the lot.

No one bothers you there, unless someone calls Harbor PD on you because they think you're suspicious by holding a scanner and binoculars, which has happened to me a few times.  :roll:

Offline laylow

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2007, 01:27:15 PM »
Oh, hmm.  I'll have to find that one.  I'm actually on my way down to watch and listen for a while right now.

Offline ORD Don

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2007, 12:57:54 AM »

   I live near O'Hare and like to watch and listen to planes coming in on a
   nice summer day. I like to take pictures, too. Since 9/11, I feel paranoid
   whenever I'm out there, I've been harrassed so many times.
   
   I know the world has changed - but it seems kind of a shame. It's what
   I enjoy, and I don't understand the harm. What in the world do they think
   I'm going to do !!??

Offline laylow

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Re: Thinking about a cheap handheld scanner
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2007, 12:59:01 AM »
I sat in that lot next to the fence at SAN all day, with a scanner, binoculars, and camera, and no one bugged me.  No one even looked at me sideways.