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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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Old 03-14-2013, 1:01 AM
   
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Question Is this possible (Automated scanning, detecting & logging)?

I'm wondering if it is possible to do the following, and info so, how?

Can you have a computer controlled scanner (or even multiple scanners working in parallel to increase scan speed), which rapidly scans from one end of the spectrum to the other, auto changing antennas as you go from band to band (I know this can be done automatically), pausing briefly when a signal is detected to log the frequency, signal strength, and automatically detect/log the communication protocol (aka SSTV, Packet, TTY, Voice, etc etc etc.), and then resume scanning?
The idea would be to have this running & logging 24/7 365.
The spreadsheet of hits could be analyzed for tons of different variables, but would be useful in detecting patterns. For example, a certain type of coms that happens on a periodic, regular schedule such as every Tues at 1:33pm....or whatever.
The auto scan & log function would really allow you to perform some detailed analysis of the activity in your particular area.

Can this be done? I know individual pieces can certainly be done, but is there a system that brings this all together, is the question.
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Old 03-14-2013, 1:27 AM
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I believe there is, but it's really high end stuff that the Feds/Military would use. You'd have to get out of the consumer scanner market and get into high end SDR surveillance receivers. They'll do the antenna switching and logging. Not sure about tying multiple units together, but I'm positive that if you had the money to afford all that stuff, some vendor would figure it out for a not small fee.

One of the new products I saw today at the IWCE show was a remote controlled spectrum analyzer. It could do a lot of what you were talking about. I didn't get a price on it as I'm not in the market. With the SDR radios really taking off, this sort of stuff will start to hit the market more.

I know there are systems that can even interface into multiple locations to triangulate positions. Now you're getting into FCC/Fed/Military spook type stuff.
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Old 03-14-2013, 2:12 AM
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Scan Cat for some but Scan Star will do wonders now and for fun Radio Reconnaissance Technologies for the customized AOR products, actually did some early beta testing with the AR3000, AR5000 and AR8000 stuff.


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Old 03-14-2013, 2:17 AM
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Yeah, I've got an AOR AR2300 on top of one of our buildings at work sitting on the data network. I can be anywhere and log into it and use it. It's got some interfaces on it that could likely be used to logging, remote control of rotors, it already switches antennas based on frequency. It also has an SD card on board so I can record stuff remotely. A couple of those with some souped up software could probably do what you want.
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Old 03-14-2013, 7:49 PM
   
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Thanks for the feedback. It seems like a decent scanner (AR5000 and such), with a set of antennas & auto switcher (RCS-12C or similar), and good modern control software can do the automated scanning and log some data (signal strength, freq., time/date). Auto detecting and logging the type of communication is the tough bit.
It doesn't seem like it should be too hard to do $2,500 or so, but apparently nobody has such a setup available. I guess what IS out there can get most of it done.
Do you think there is much demand for such a system, if you could get the package in the $2.5k price range?
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Old 03-14-2013, 7:55 PM
   
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I forgot to add that obviously linking a couple receivers to work together is also something that doesn't seem to be done easily/cheaply.

I'm surprised that with as long as software controlled radios (and now SDR's) have been around, nobody has really developed these capabilities I've been discussing.
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