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Aircraft Monitoring Forum - This is the place to discuss monitoring civilian aircraft communications.

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Old 03-15-2017, 7:41 PM
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Default Aviation Radio/Scanner suggestion

I'm slowly but surely making a "Radio Cabinet" that will house the following:
- A P25 VHF Radio to monitor local SO, VFD's, DPS, TFS, TXDOT, Interop and TX on 2M Amateur Radio.
- A Conv UHF Radio to monitor Business & Interop and TX on GMRS & 70cm Amateur Radio
- An 800Mhz EDACS Provoice radio to Monitor the current City System and Interop Frequencies
- A Uniden BCD536HP to monitor the soon future City Phase II System. (I will still keep the 800mhz radio to monitor interop frequencies.

I also want to include an additional radio or scanner to monitor the local airport & ARTCC frequencies. I dont want to use the existing BCD536HP because I have noticed with my 436HP that when scanning a conv and trnk system together really gets slow and things get missed. I want something that is alphanumeric but I have also noticed that aviation band scanners that are alphanumeric are expensive. I have also thought about getting an Avitaion band radio such as an ICOM a110 but the price is outrageous. Does anyone have any suggestions on an Alphanumeric aviation band scanner or radio that is not to expensive.
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Old 03-15-2017, 8:36 PM
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I don't have one but a couple friends use the BC125AT for civil and military aircraft monitoring and report good results using an outside antenna.
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Old 03-15-2017, 8:54 PM
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I like my old BC-780 and BC-785 base scanners for aircraft..
Can find them second hand on E-Bay etc for cheap.Very sturdy good working scanners.
Have several on 24/7 for many years copying and they keep on ticking.
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Old 03-16-2017, 2:12 AM
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Hi John main intrest for me has been monitoring the airbands for almost 40 years as for h/h the Uniden BC125 is an excellent airband scanner even with an outdoor antenna volume in it is loud i use mine in the car with no problems as for home the Uniden BCT15X,780 excellent scanner for airbands.

Regards Lino.
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Old 03-16-2017, 2:59 PM
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I have a UBC126AT which is the AUS version of the BC125AT, this works very well...
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Old 03-16-2017, 4:31 PM
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If you are on a budget, most of the 'older' scanners work fine for air band and can be had for less. While they do not do 'narrow' band FM, you don't need that. another plus of the older scanners is they search at the 'old' 225 kHz steps while the new ones use 8.33 spacing. May not have all the bells and whistles but the only feature you may miss monitoring air is alpha tagging.
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Old 03-21-2017, 8:09 PM
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I've decided to go with a BCT15X. Should be here on Friday. Does anyone happen to know what the max characters are for a channel name is? I'm going to start working on the programming in FreeScan.
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Old 04-11-2017, 5:22 AM
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Finally have the scanner up and running in its temporary location. This leads me to my next question, What antenna should I use? I think I will be putting all of the scanner (3 of them) antenna's in the attic, that way I only have the transmitting antenna's on the out side of the house. this particular scanner will be monitoring strictly aviation frequencies. both in the 108-137 band and in the 225-400 band. Does anyone have any good suggestions on antenna's?
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Old 04-11-2017, 8:35 AM
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DPD Productions has a number of antennas that are aviation oriented - but even a discone will do the job. Preferably it should be outdoors, as being indoors is going to cut into how far away you will hear anything. And remember not to transmit while scanning.

Also keep in mind that the 15X won't decode the P25 military systems that are found between 380-400 Mhz.

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Old 04-11-2017, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG5HHS View Post
I've decided to go with a BCT15X. Should be here on Friday. Does anyone happen to know what the max characters are for a channel name is? I'm going to start working on the programming in FreeScan.
I use the old BCT15 for aviation listening and I could not be any happier. Software or no software it is easy to program and has more than enough features for aviation monitoring. You will be pleased. Max characters on mine are 16. This may be different on the newer "X" model.

I'm outside the range of any towered airport, but TRACON/En-route/Unicom monitoring are fantastic on just a simple extended whip with a BNC 6ft extension cable to get it off my desk and away from noise interference. One day I'm going to go the attic route along with my P25 public safety scanner so maybe that will increase range and decrease noise also (for the BCT15).
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Old 04-11-2017, 2:21 PM
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I have an ICOM A-214 Aircraft radio I use to listen on and talk on when needed. It works great and does not sound all quite on the AM as it sounds on a scanner. It pulls the signals in better than a scanner.
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Old 04-11-2017, 8:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
And remember not to transmit while scanning.
I didn't give this much thought. I have attached a quickly made image of what the intended set up will be. I will have my scanners on the right side of my computer desk that will be connected to antenna's in the attic, and have all of my two way radio's on the left side of my computer desk that will be connected to "Mobile to Base Conversion Kits" on the out side of my shack. I have three questions:

1. With the scanner antenna's and the two way radio antenna's being 10ft+ apart, will this still create an issue with the scanners
2. How far apart should the Base to Mobile Antenna's be separated or should the be okay once they clear each other of the radials.
3. Somewhat not related, would it be a good idea to connect a FM Trap to the aviation scanner or does it really make a difference?
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:36 AM
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You should be (ahem) aware of RF safety rules and guidelines, so I won't go into them here. But to your 3 questions;

1. I suspect that 10 foot separation will at least prevent the transceivers (I am assuming a typical 2m/440 base/mobile here) from frying the front end of the scanners. However I would still anticipate that the scanners might start acting weird (locking up, etc.) due to any near field proximity. Personally I'd just make sure I wasn't transmitting while listening on the scanners. I had a somewhat similar situation just recently, except that all of my antennas were in an attic.

2. The further apart the antennas are, the better. Vertical separation is as important as horizontal in such situations

3. Listen carefully to your weaker aviation stations - or even better, pick an inactive frequency and see if there's a bit of hash (or worse, a little FM breakthrough) on the signal. If either is the case, then yes, I'd consider a FM trap. I've heard several second hand reports that it can help - it certainly won't hurt anything but your wallet (hi).. An example of one is linked below - the insertion loss at VHF air is very small, darn near undetectable unless you are chasing really weak signals...

VHF-FM Broadcast Filters | PAR Electronics | Filters for the commercial 2 way market, MATV, FM broadcast, laboratory, marine industry, amateur radio, scanner and short wave listening enthusiasts

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Old 04-15-2017, 8:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
You should be (ahem) aware of RF safety rules and guidelines, so I won't go into them here. But to your 3 questions;

1. I suspect that 10 foot separation will at least prevent the transceivers (I am assuming a typical 2m/440 base/mobile here) from frying the front end of the scanners. However I would still anticipate that the scanners might start acting weird (locking up, etc.) due to any near field proximity. Personally I'd just make sure I wasn't transmitting while listening on the scanners. I had a somewhat similar situation just recently, except that all of my antennas were in an attic.

2. The further apart the antennas are, the better. Vertical separation is as important as horizontal in such situations

3. Listen carefully to your weaker aviation stations - or even better, pick an inactive frequency and see if there's a bit of hash (or worse, a little FM breakthrough) on the signal. If either is the case, then yes, I'd consider a FM trap. I've heard several second hand reports that it can help - it certainly won't hurt anything but your wallet (hi).. An example of one is linked below - the insertion loss at VHF air is very small, darn near undetectable unless you are chasing really weak signals...

VHF-FM Broadcast Filters | PAR Electronics | Filters for the commercial 2 way market, MATV, FM broadcast, laboratory, marine industry, amateur radio, scanner and short wave listening enthusiasts

Mike
I probably don't know about RF as much as I should. I remember talking about human exposure in ham class two years ago. I'm also not very familiar with the front end on a scanner. I may need to come up with a different solution as these scanners will also be used for streaming. On another note, would using LMR400 coax for both the scanners and radios be a good choice or would it be over kill? I will be running coax in 3 bundle clusters if you will, 3 coax cables going out through the wall, and 3 coax cables going up into the attic. Would running them side by side be as issue?
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