• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Getting the right scanner

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Dutchknight

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May 16, 2008
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I live in a high rise apartment overlooking Washington National Airport. I can see all the aircraft coming and going and would like to "listen in" on the ATC radio traffic. I'm new at this game so please would someone recommend a good scanner that can do this? I'd like one that can be easily heard out on my balcony, with a plug-in auxiliary speaker if that would help. I would also prefer a unit that does not rely solely on internal batteries but can also accept ac/dc input. Local police, fire and emergency frequencies would also be of interest in order to keep up with "what's going on" in our community.

Thanks a lot
 

LEH

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DK,

Do you plan on taking the scanner around with you or just sit and listen to the airport? Reason I ask is that you can buy a mobile or desktop scanner which has a considerably better audio output than handhelds.

If you want to carry the scanner around with you, then go for a handheld.

All the current scanners on the market have an 'aircraft' search band for the VHF (commercial) aircraft frequencies. The DB here can give you specific freqs for National.

That said, what else, besides ATC, do you want to listen to? A vast majority of the public service systems in Norther VA and DC are digital. So if you want to monitor Alexandria, you will need a scanner with a digital capability. The best ones on the market right now are Uniden's 396/996 and GRE's PSR500/600 (first number is handheld, second is mobile).

There will be some argument on this, but for sheer number of systems in the NOVA area, I'd recommend the Uniden over the GRE. The GRE is newer (came out late last year) and has some nice 'bells and whistles', but twenty scan lists on the GRE versus 99 user accessible banks on the Uniden's could easily be a deciding factor.

You might want to look through some of the threads in this and the Uniden and GRE radio forums to get some familiarity with what each of these scanners can do. A lot has been written on all of them and there are folks out there who will swear by one or the other.

These scanners also allow you to monitor MILAIR (which can be active around the DC area). Check the military forum for info and some links on this.

Good luck in finding a scanner and welcome to Radio Reference.
 

Dutchknight

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May 16, 2008
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Finding the right scanner

Lynn

Thanks for your very helpful response. I'll follow up on your suggestions.

Best

Stuart
 

Zaratsu

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Jan 5, 2008
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Location
Eastern Connecticut
Base Unit scanners:

GRE PSR-400 ~$200

GRE PSR-600 ~$500

Difference is that the "600" will hear digital, which is not something that would apply to civil or mil air frequencies. If airband is your main interest, save your money and get the PSR400

The GRE PSR-300 (~$200) is a handheld, but it comes with the AC power supply so that it can be used as a base station.

http://www.greamerica.com/
 
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