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2 meter radio use as scanner use

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85chevy4x4

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I have been thinking lately, is there any advantage to using a 2 meter ham radio to listen to high band VHF frequencies? I would think that since a scanner is made to receive anything across the radio spectrum it may not receive as good as an actual radio that is made for the particular band your listening to. I thought I heard that a radio won't scan as fast as a scanner, nor can enter as many text tags but that's about all I know. I see all kinds of handheld radios for 100-200 dollars which is about the same price as a plain jane, no frills scanner. So I figure it's worth it, if the audio is alot more clear.
 

k7ng

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You are correct that most 2M ham radios do not scan as fast as modern scanners. The ham radios are NOT generally any more sensitive than a scanner, and these days ham radios have wideband receive, meaning they aren't much different than a purpose-made scanner in being able to deal with strong interfering signals. In other words you might not be gaining much by trying to use a 2M ham radio vs. a scanner.
 

jdm911

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I am afraid that I have to differ on sensitivity on single band 2m radios (can't directly speak for dual band and wide receive but I would probably agree to the above poster). I use an Icom 2000H (with tone decoder) and it excels in comparison to any other radio that I have. The reception and selectivity (in a community of approx 120k people and a fair amount of RF) is wonderful in my situation. The scan speed is slow and I routinely limit my scanning to only about 10 channels but those channels are received with wonderful results. When I first installed my outdoor antenna I had thought that there was a problem as my 996xt seemed to go deaf. Luckily I hooked up the Icom to see that there were no problems but in fact the set up was exceeding my expectations. Give it a try and I can speak personally about my success and continued love of the Icom 2000H - a great radio.
 

KE4ZNR

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As long as you don't need to monitor a Trunked system you should be A-Ok.
Even with all of my other Trunking scanners I have a Yaesu VX-5R that I use for monitoring KRDU Airport VHF/UHF Freqs. :)
Very selective and sensitive.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

hertzian

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For VHF airband monitoring, the Icom 2200H was about as close to a commercial aviation radio as I could find. Loud, clean audio, made even better when using the "narrow" filtering option. I was amazed to see that narrow option enabled for the AM mode. Scan speeds were much faster than I expected.

Operation from a desk without the mic meant using the front-buttons, which pushed the radio around. With the mic no problem, but of course you want to pay attention so you don't transmit in the amateur bands unintentionally. Obviously, VHF airband is receive-only, and specs are not guaranteed here.

I didn't really use it much for other VHF monitoring up to 174 mhz. It is a double-conversion receiver, but the first IF of 21.7 helped avoid the problems seen when using a lower IF of 10.7 mhz.

While I loved the radio for its airband quality, It didn't fit my style since I didn't use it mobile, so a ham buddy of mine picked it up.
 

Skypilot007

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Another advantage to using a an amateur radio as a scanner is most have excellent audio quality from the external speaker jack. Most all scanners these days, especially Unidens have absolute crap for audio amplifiers and speakers. I have a Kenwood TM-V71A and the internal speaker is crap like a scanner but the audio from the external speaker jack blows away any scanner because its filtered properly and has enough power to the speaker to enable one to hear it at highway speeds with the windows down.
 

k7ng

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Actually, I was thinking of handheld 2M and scanner radios when I posted my response to the original post. I agree that mobile/base 2M single band radios generally have better resistance to intermod and other reception-destroying conditions than handhelds, by a long shot...the difference batween mobile and handheld scanners is much less. In fact, I have found that when a single-band radio drastically outperforms a scanner using the same antenna, it is almost always due to strong-signal degradation in the scanner. If you were to put them both a long way from most strong signals the difference would likely go away. So back to the initial issue, if you aren't going to scan lots of VHF channels but just a few, and don't have any need to listen to any other bands (low band, UHF, 700/800/900, etc.) - sometimes air band works well but I have two multiband ham radios, no type will be given, that really stink on air band... then maybe 2M radio will work. You didn't say whether handheld or mobile, and I made an assumption that may have been wrong.
 

ratboy

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I am afraid that I have to differ on sensitivity on single band 2m radios (can't directly speak for dual band and wide receive but I would probably agree to the above poster). I use an Icom 2000H (with tone decoder) and it excels in comparison to any other radio that I have. The reception and selectivity (in a community of approx 120k people and a fair amount of RF) is wonderful in my situation. The scan speed is slow and I routinely limit my scanning to only about 10 channels but those channels are received with wonderful results. When I first installed my outdoor antenna I had thought that there was a problem as my 996xt seemed to go deaf. Luckily I hooked up the Icom to see that there were no problems but in fact the set up was exceeding my expectations. Give it a try and I can speak personally about my success and continued love of the Icom 2000H - a great radio.
I have an Icom 2000H also, and it's fantastic on railband and any VHF hi freq listening.
 

W8RMH

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I have a Yaesu FT-60R. It has a receive range of 108-520 and 700-999.990 MHz (less cellular). It works very well as a scanner. It does not scan as fast, but the audio and reception is better than any scanner I've ever had, and the rechargable battery lasts for days on end.

It will even monitor small trunked systems (but you will hear every TG and it requires you to lock out the control channel every day).
 

hertzian

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It will even monitor small trunked systems (but you will hear every TG and it requires you to lock out the control channel every day).
I had forgotten that old trick! Be sure to turn off the delay.

You know what - late at night with little traffic, I think I'll program all the channels of my local EDACS system into my analog Uniden 95XLT into one bank, and relive some nice memories. Heh, still works! :)

Update: Not as much fun going back in time as it used to be - the edacs beeps and missing transmissions make me really appreciate a trunk-tracking scanner!
 
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gewecke

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I have a Yaesu FT-60R. It has a receive range of 108-520 and 700-999.990 MHz (less cellular). It works very well as a scanner. It does not scan as fast, but the audio and reception is better than any scanner I've ever had, and the rechargable battery lasts for days on end.

It will even monitor small trunked systems (but you will hear every TG and it requires you to lock out the control channel every day).
Good point! I use my vx-6r for my "analog only" scanner for business and security comms which actually scans pretty quick.

Here's a HINT !!! If your talkie doesn't scan that fast, try programming your high interest channels 2 or 3 times about a hundred or so memories apart. This makes up for a slower scan speed! ;)

73,
n9zas
 
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