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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 05-08-2017, 1:26 AM
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Default Best CIVIL and MILAIR Scanner

Hello All,

Just curious, what is the best scanner for CIVILAIR and MILAIR? I'm a huge aviation nut, travel to airshows and live close to the airport currently, I have a Icom R5 and a Radio Shack Pro 89( my first scanner) both with the Diamond RH77CA antenna. While they both work VERY well is there anything out there that is better and or I would benefit from if I replaced them? Not really looking for scanner features just overall performance in picking up the frequencies in the CIVILAIR AND MILAIR bands. Thanks!!

Luke


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Old 05-08-2017, 1:51 AM
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I use the Uniden BC125AT.
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Old 05-08-2017, 3:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigcam406 View Post
I use the Uniden BC125AT.
The BC125AT cuts off the last 20Mhz of the UHF Military Band (225-400Mhz)

While 380 - 400Mhz was reallocated to LMR use, there are to this day many active frequencies still being
used...
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Old 05-08-2017, 3:49 AM
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I find great success with the Uniden 396XT handheld. Good audio, sensitive receiver, and customized search ranges. 10 of them to be more specific. I find this of great value in searching out the various Military bands.

The 996XT, and BCT15X also good choices for monitoring.

Whistler radio's do not let you set the search step increment or mode (AM, FM, NFM). Very limiting indeed,
not acceptable....
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Old 05-08-2017, 9:42 AM
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If you can find one, the Uniden BC780XLT is considered a fine air band scanner.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChargerF18 View Post
Hello All,

Just curious, what is the best scanner for CIVILAIR and MILAIR? I'm a huge aviation nut, travel to airshows and live close to the airport currently, I have a Icom R5 and a Radio Shack Pro 89( my first scanner) both with the Diamond RH77CA antenna. While they both work VERY well is there anything out there that is better and or I would benefit from if I replaced them? Not really looking for scanner features just overall performance in picking up the frequencies in the CIVILAIR AND MILAIR bands. Thanks!!

Luke


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You are equipped for air shows with what you presently own.
My vote for best handheld scanner is the Pro43.
For those that posted about base/mobile units, he travels to airshows. Hard to lug a 15X or 996XT
I own a 125AT, but it is limited at the top end of the UHF milair band. As someone else posted.
I do have an Alinco DJ-X11. It will work for all of the VHF/UHF milair frequencies.
HTH,
Larry
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:46 AM
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I wonder why Uniden cut-off those frequencies on the BC125AT? Otherwise it is an excellent mil air scanner.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for all the, recommendations, when thinking back to what I listen to MIL and CIVIL, I have 1 frequency that is within the range the BC125AT, doesn't cover. So that probably won't be that big of a deal.

In the end, if I were to go with the 125AT, would I benefit anything? Is that scanner more sensitive and can pick things up better then my R5 and Pro89? Thanks again!!


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Old 05-08-2017, 12:22 PM
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This is not as simple a subject as one might think. I assume you will need things to be portable per your comments. You and I are a lot alike so I will post my experience of doing similar activities for quite a while. My first thought on things is, are you going to go to multiple air shows or more importantly do you plan to change frequencies frequently?

If the answer is yes, then I assure you that you will want a scanner that you can program with a PC. Keyboard entering frequencies can get old very quickly. If this is the case then you should look at the aforementioned Uniden 125 (even with its slight limitation), Uniden 396T/396XT/352 line. I use a 396T and its far easier to create files using software for the various air shows I go to (Chicago, Oshkosh, etc..) than my other scanners outlined below.

If you want a dedicated or semi dedicated portable scanner for air shows, among the best I have used are the Radio Shack Realistic PRO-43 (200 Channel memory) and the Yupiteru 7100 (1000 memories). Both of these portable, are older and have their own health issues but are about the best you can get for civil and milair listening.

The PRO-43s' Achilles heel is its keyboard. They tend to stop responding after a while. There are articles online to help restore some of the keyboard functionality. I was able to buy several keyboards from RS before they went out of stock but the are all but unobtanium now. Also, some of the 43's had speaker issues as mine does. I use earphones or a mobile speaker and these work just fine. Also be aware the the previous owners may not have been as nice to their units as you might be. They may need to be aligned to get optimum performance out of them.

The Holly Grail in portables in my mind is Yupiteru 7100. This unit was not sold directly into the US as they do not have frequencies blocked that were previously used by Old Cellphone services. They are more a receiver than a scanner as they can receive HF frequencies in AM is SSB too. The audio output is strong and clear. The units are very sensitive and have a large memory, although you have to manually program it. You can acquire these on EBAY and other sites. The 7100's Achilles heel is it memory capacitor and these go bad causing the memory to become volatile. You will turn it on one day and all your memories will be cleared, quite frustrating! However, if you are handy with a soldering iron, replacing the capacitor is quite easy.

I might also add that if you are a ham, you might consider something like the Kenwood TH-F6A handheld. Yaesu and Icom also make HTs that cover the MILAIR and Civilair bands as well. These work great at airshows because the proximity of the aircraft to you. Which brings up the last point.

Antennas are critica for what we want to use the radios for. I recommend was the Diamond RH-77 antenna. They work great for both bands you want to monitor.
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Old 05-08-2017, 1:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N9JCQ View Post
This is not as simple a subject as one might think. I assume you will need things to be portable per your comments. You and I are a lot alike so I will post my experience of doing similar activities for quite a while. My first thought on things is, are you going to go to multiple air shows or more importantly do you plan to change frequencies frequently?



If the answer is yes, then I assure you that you will want a scanner that you can program with a PC. Keyboard entering frequencies can get old very quickly. If this is the case then you should look at the aforementioned Uniden 125 (even with its slight limitation), Uniden 396T/396XT/352 line. I use a 396T and its far easier to create files using software for the various air shows I go to (Chicago, Oshkosh, etc..) than my other scanners outlined below.



If you want a dedicated or semi dedicated portable scanner for air shows, among the best I have used are the Radio Shack Realistic PRO-43 (200 Channel memory) and the Yupiteru 7100 (1000 memories). Both of these portable, are older and have their own health issues but are about the best you can get for civil and milair listening.



The PRO-43s' Achilles heel is its keyboard. They tend to stop responding after a while. There are articles online to help restore some of the keyboard functionality. I was able to buy several keyboards from RS before they went out of stock but the are all but unobtanium now. Also, some of the 43's had speaker issues as mine does. I use earphones or a mobile speaker and these work just fine. Also be aware the the previous owners may not have been as nice to their units as you might be. They may need to be aligned to get optimum performance out of them.



The Holly Grail in portables in my mind is Yupiteru 7100. This unit was not sold directly into the US as they do not have frequencies blocked that were previously used by Old Cellphone services. They are more a receiver than a scanner as they can receive HF frequencies in AM is SSB too. The audio output is strong and clear. The units are very sensitive and have a large memory, although you have to manually program it. You can acquire these on EBAY and other sites. The 7100's Achilles heel is it memory capacitor and these go bad causing the memory to become volatile. You will turn it on one day and all your memories will be cleared, quite frustrating! However, if you are handy with a soldering iron, replacing the capacitor is quite easy.



I might also add that if you are a ham, you might consider something like the Kenwood TH-F6A handheld. Yaesu and Icom also make HTs that cover the MILAIR and Civilair bands as well. These work great at airshows because the proximity of the aircraft to you. Which brings up the last point.



Antennas are critica for what we want to use the radios for. I recommend was the Diamond RH-77 antenna. They work great for both bands you want to monitor.


Just PMed you, N9JCQ.


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Old 05-08-2017, 1:40 PM
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Thanks for all the responses....please keep them coming!!


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Old 05-08-2017, 4:22 PM
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I do quite a bit of Civil Air monitoring and the 125AT is great. To be fair, I don't monitor a lot of MilAir, save for freqs you'd find being used by Towers and App/Dep, but I haven't been disappointed.

It was my primary scanner back in the day before I decided to upgrade to a 396XT so I've also used the 125 on public safety VHF and UHF and found it performed well there too.
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Old 05-09-2017, 2:06 AM
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Currently Uniden UBC126AT (Aus/NZ version of BC125AT) with Watson WSMA 901. Nice kit for Civ and Mil Air. I prefer this combination for Air from other scanners including UBC396XT

ChargerF18, I think you are doubling your posts R5 vs 125 ?

Last edited by questnz; 05-09-2017 at 2:11 AM..
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