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Military Monitoring Forum - Discussions regarding monitoring military communications on the ground, in air and at sea. Please keep USCG discussion to this forum also.

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Old 05-06-2017, 12:31 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Posts: 3
Question N00B Questions For Mil Air Listening on NW FL Gulf Coast

Hello,

As a user of many forums on topics from firearms to scale modeling, I cringe asking these noob questions, but my due diligence research has raised more questions than it has answered, and I need your help.

About Me:
I'm a general class ham located in Fort Walton Beach, FL. I'm literally in the final of Eglin AFB. About 2mi from Hurlburt Field (USAF spec ops command), Duke Field (7th Group USA SF), and a bit further out, we have NAS Pensacola, Tyndall AFB, and Ft Rucker.

Very familiar with HF Dx'ing, local 2m repeater comms, and D-Star. I have an Icom 7300, 5100, and a Yaesu HT. I have ZERO scanner experience. Never even owned one. I've been having some fun watching ADS-B. I can watch the tracks on the map AND hear them go over the house. This got me interested in getting a scanner(s). I'm really only interested in military, civil air, and marine comms. I have no interest in police, fire, etc.

I am willing to spend $ on this. Just don't want to spend it foolishly.

Questions:

1. What is the best use of my money? Buying used / older scanner on eBay or buying new?
2. If YOU were to do it all over again today, what make/model scanner would you buy?
3. Is it better to buy multiple older scanners so I can delegate the workload between them, or buy one new high end scanner with all the bells and whistles?
4. Are the current model, high end scanners overkill for what I want to do? Are they more aimed at public safety (which I have to guess is the largest group of users of scanners).
5. If I buy multiple scanners is it better they all be a single model (so I can remember how they all work) or is there value to having a mix - assuming they have different sensitivities?
6. Antenna recommendations? Is a cheap MFJ discone all I really need?

Thanks for reading and thanks to anyone who takes the time to help me out - much appreciated!

Bill
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Old 05-07-2017, 6:09 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Buffalo,NY
Posts: 532
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopper View Post
Hello,

As a user of many forums on topics from firearms to scale modeling, I cringe asking these noob questions, but my due diligence research has raised more questions than it has answered, and I need your help.

About Me:
I'm a general class ham located in Fort Walton Beach, FL. I'm literally in the final of Eglin AFB. About 2mi from Hurlburt Field (USAF spec ops command), Duke Field (7th Group USA SF), and a bit further out, we have NAS Pensacola, Tyndall AFB, and Ft Rucker.

Very familiar with HF Dx'ing, local 2m repeater comms, and D-Star. I have an Icom 7300, 5100, and a Yaesu HT. I have ZERO scanner experience. Never even owned one. I've been having some fun watching ADS-B. I can watch the tracks on the map AND hear them go over the house. This got me interested in getting a scanner(s). I'm really only interested in military, civil air, and marine comms. I have no interest in police, fire, etc.

I am willing to spend $ on this. Just don't want to spend it foolishly.

Questions:

1. What is the best use of my money? Buying used / older scanner on eBay or buying new?
2. If YOU were to do it all over again today, what make/model scanner would you buy?
3. Is it better to buy multiple older scanners so I can delegate the workload between them, or buy one new high end scanner with all the bells and whistles?
4. Are the current model, high end scanners overkill for what I want to do? Are they more aimed at public safety (which I have to guess is the largest group of users of scanners).
5. If I buy multiple scanners is it better they all be a single model (so I can remember how they all work) or is there value to having a mix - assuming they have different sensitivities?
6. Antenna recommendations? Is a cheap MFJ discone all I really need?

Thanks for reading and thanks to anyone who takes the time to help me out - much appreciated!

Bill
Bill

If your just interested in vhf/uhf air you should look into getting a uniden bearcat 15X scanner. They can be had new for $200 and under. If you can afford to get at least 2. There is alot of action in that area. I can help you out with some freqs i have from my past FL trips. Get a decent discone antenna and get it up as high as you can. If your going to run more than one radio off a antenna you also need to get a good multicoupler to run without signal loss. Best is to run them with a computer and software to be able to log active freqs and record the audio. Google or look on you tube for help on using software with a uniden scanner.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
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Chris
Western NY
Uniden 996XT(2), 15X(2), 396XT, Sangean 909X, 30ft RS ST-4 Discone Antenna, EF-SWL
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:53 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Posts: 3
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Hi Chris,

Thank you for your reply and advice! My research has kind of lead me to the same conclusion: 15X. Amazon has them for $130.

I looked at multicouplers. Expensive! Can I get away with just a cheap splitter, or do I really need the active multicoupler? I have no idea if milair transmitters are powerful and if signal loss is going to be a serious concern.

Thanks again,

Bill
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Old 05-08-2017, 4:20 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Posts: 3
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Chris,

Thank you very much for replying. I think I've arrived at the same conclusion: multiple BCT15X's. Amazon has them for $123 today so I think I'll grab 2-3. What are you doing for a multicoupler?

Thanks again,

Bill
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