BC75XLT reception range

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Chris516

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The subject title is not referring to frequencies, but distances. I am asking here, because I cannot find the answer. In the manual, or online.

For example, I can get clean reception from two regional airports. But, I am curious about the reception range from two international airports and one national airport.

The distances are 5mi., 30mi., 30mi., 32mi., 38mi.
 

jonwienke

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There are way too many variables to give a specific answer. The transmittter feedline, antenna height, type, and location, the scanner feedline, antenna height, type and location, transmit power, and the terrain between the transmitter and receiver all affect reception range.

When monitoring aircraft frequencies, it is common to hear aircraft at much greater distances than the control tower, because there is a clear line of sight to the aircraft but not the tower.
 

Chris516

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The antenna is a standard 'rubber ducky'. I looked into getting a longer antenna but after research for a handheld. It doesn't make much of a difference. Except that an antenna that wasn't a 'rubber ducky' might have better reception. The location is in a town full of trees. Its' moniker is 'town within a forest'. Even though the town is in a major metropolitan area.
 

jonwienke

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The diamond RH77CA works noticeably better than the factory antenna on most bands, but it is larger. I used to commute through Gaithersburg on the MARC train, and it made more than enough of a difference to be worthwhile.
 

Chris516

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The diamond RH77CA works noticeably better than the factory antenna on most bands, but it is larger. I used to commute through Gaithersburg on the MARC train, and it made more than enough of a difference to be worthwhile.
So, You would take the MARC through Olde Towne Gaithersburg. Then through Washington Grove?
 

jonwienke

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I would listen to the scanner using earbuds while on the train going into DC. Being inside metal cars makes for poor reception, and I found that the Diamond antenna helped considerably. But there are always limits to what you can pick up.
 

Chris516

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I would listen to the scanner using earbuds while on the train going into DC. Being inside metal cars makes for poor reception, and I found that the Diamond antenna helped considerably. But there are always limits to what you can pick up.
I am trying to find that, locally.

I am also thinking about the:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Uniden-Bcd325p2-TrunkTracker-V-Mobile-Scanner/45136754#about-item

or

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Uniden-B...-Digital-Handheld-Scanner/53765388#about-item

But the HP, is just under $200 more than the p2. The p2 is $366, and the HP is $562.

The antenna looks like a better answer all-around.
 

jonwienke

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Watch prices on Amazon. Sometimes they have the 436 for sale in the $360-400 range.
 

Chris516

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M1X73EA/
This is where I got the Diamond antenna. Most local electronics store won't have it.
Will it receive frequencies below 120Mhz? I am not referring to:

1. CB(25-54)
2. Amateur(28-30)
3. VHF Low((30-50)
4. Ham Band(50-54)

I am referring to the lower end of the Aircraft Band(108-137)

I have seen pics on Google of people that have multiple antennas' connected in a tree-like format.
 

jonwienke

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Under 60MHz, yes, but poorly, especially CB. Aircraft band, yes, quite well. I have my 436 sitting next to me right now monitoring air traffic from Harrisburg, which is about an hour drive away. Traffic is pretty constant.
 

Chris516

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Under 60MHz, yes, but poorly, especially CB. Aircraft band, yes, quite well. I have my 436 sitting next to me right now monitoring air traffic from Harrisburg, which is about an hour drive away. Traffic is pretty constant.
I am only thinking of the Aircraft Band, Fire/EMS, and Law Enforcement.

Fire/EMS comes in 100%

Aircraft comes in somewhat. The local county airport comes in the best since it is only a couple miles from my house. Reagan-Washington National, IAD, and BWI-Thurgood Marshall come in on some frequencies.

122.95-Unicom
120.45, 126.1-Potomac Approach
125.05-Potomac Departure

But those are the only ones

Law Enforcement

Like State, County City, FBI, DEA, CBP, ATF, and the criminal divisions, of the IRS and USPS. I can't get any of those.

The only time I hear the City or County being on a call. Is when Fire/EMS needs law enforcement to deem a scene safe before they can enter.
 

jonwienke

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You need a new scanner then. Most law enforcement and government traffic in the DC area is on various P25 digital trunked systems that the BC75XLT will not receive. Pretty much the only analog traffic is aircraft, backup frequencies that repeat a talkgroup from one of the digital systems, and the WMATA/Metro system, which is analog trunked, and has the worst audio quality (even under optimal reception conditions) of any system I've ever monitored. I'd strongly recommend the BCD436HP because it has the best receiver, will receive the most digital formats, and the database will let you listen to the dozens of systems in the area without spending hours trying to program them all.
 

Chris516

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You need a new scanner then. Most law enforcement and government traffic in the DC area is on various P25 digital trunked systems that the BC75XLT will not receive. Pretty much the only analog traffic is aircraft, backup frequencies that repeat a talkgroup from one of the digital systems, and the WMATA/Metro system, which is analog trunked, and has the worst audio quality (even under optimal reception conditions) of any system I've ever monitored. I'd strongly recommend the BCD436HP because it has the best receiver, will receive the most digital formats, and the database will let you listen to the dozens of systems in the area without spending hours trying to program them all.
I have already been thinking I need a better scanner. I have been undecided between, the BCD325p2, and the BCD436HP. I could care less about Metro, or any of the other transportation systems. Except for law enforcement involvement. Metro has their own police force. But Ride On relies on the Montgomery County, Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Takoma Park, police departments. There is also the Montgomery County Sheriffs Office, and Montgomery County Detention Center.

I came across this RR thread from 2011, dealing with virtually the same issue.

https://forums.radioreference.com/radio-shack-scanners/215651-new-800mhz-antenna.html
 
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jonwienke

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There is a LOT of LE activity on the Metro system. I rode Metro, so I listened to know why there were backups or the train stopped in the middle of a tunnel, especially after the lady died in the tunnel fire. But knowing what crimes were happening and where, and having suspect descriptions, was nice too

The 436 database makes keeping track of the dozens of public safety agencies in the DC area a lot easier, especially with GPS. GPS is mandatory if you scan on the go.
 

Chris516

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There is a LOT of LE activity on the Metro system. I rode Metro, so I listened to know why there were backups or the train stopped in the middle of a tunnel, especially after the lady died in the tunnel fire. But knowing what crimes were happening and where, and having suspect descriptions, was nice too

The 436 database makes keeping track of the dozens of public safety agencies in the DC area a lot easier, especially with GPS. GPS is mandatory if you scan on the go.
I forgot about the tunnel fire. But the number people who have died by their own stupidity, running to catch the train. They are the ones' that concern me, more. Because, While it is Metro's responsibility to keep the system safe. When riders are running to catch the train, they ultimately cause more delays. I found several stories of people killed, or almost killed. Because of something they, or someone else did.
 

jonwienke

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I've seen some of those incidents, on Metro and MARC. No shortage of idiots out there.
 

Chris516

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I've seen some of those incidents, on Metro and MARC. No shortage of idiots out there.
I was not in the smoky train car. But I think, at least once, Metro cleared the platform due to a potential non-criminal incident. I have never visually seen a suicide, or someone who fell off the platform, from the push of people on the platform. But seeing people run for the train, there sure is always plenty of opportunity to see it happen.
 

Chris516

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I was not in the smoky train car. But I think, at least once, Metro cleared the platform due to a potential non-criminal incident. I have never visually seen a suicide, or someone who fell off the platform, from the push of people on the platform. But seeing people run for the train, there sure is always plenty of opportunity to see it happen.
I am quoting myself. Because, As I was about to get on the Metro today, to go to an appointment in Bethesda. I saw a woman running to catch the train. My only thought was, 'One day that could sadly end up being the last thing she does'. Thankfully, She made it before the train pulled out.

I took my scanner with me. To test the signal reception in Bethesda while I was down there. I did get a lot more air traffic reception, than where I live Gaithersburg. My house is surrounded by trees.
 
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