inexpensive handheld w/UHF for airshows

murphcc1

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so to the OP, Been to many airshows, the BCT125AT does great on MILAIR, going to an airshow I would get some good headphones as it get quite loud there and you aren't going to hear anything with just that little speaker, , seeing you are so close the action the best MILAIR antennas aren't' really needed as everything is close in, even a stubby UHF antenna will work and its a more compact set up.
And all this a a surprising low cost. The airshow freqs are available in many places and any search for them comes up with quite a few sites.
Good luck!
 

merlin

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The questions if these are permisable on airbases can be iffy. The UK5 can be TX disabled radio wide. That makes them just a scanner/receiver.
IF security will pass a scanner, there should be no issues if you can show them they don't transmit.
Coverage: these do cover the entitre 260 to 400 MHz mil-air bands in AM or FM.
 

G7RUX

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The questions if these are permisable on airbases can be iffy. The UK5 can be TX disabled radio wide. That makes them just a scanner/receiver.
IF security will pass a scanner, there should be no issues if you can show them they don't transmit.
Coverage: these do cover the entitre 260 to 400 MHz mil-air bands in AM or FM.
The times I have had an issue the security are just “if it doesn’t say receiver or scanner then no.”
 

eorange

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The SRH77CA is a 2/70 antenna so would likely have poor performance around 275 MHz.
Despite the plot...the SRH77CA has been my goto mil air handheld antenna since the late 90's and I've heard (and hear) traffic across the entire 225-380 band. So for me, it's proven performer and my point was my ham HTs are virtually deaf using that antenna. But I don't buy HTs expecting mil air performance; it's more for an experiment. (My long gone FT-60 was actually a great mil air receiver.) That's what my R2/R6/R30/VR-120/VR-500 are for.
 

G7RUX

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My point is more that the antenna is possibly a major part of the issue since it is not well-suited to UHF airband despite it working adequately on other receivers.
The FT-5d has a very good wide range receiver and receives UHF airband very well, easily on a par with other receivers available, I have had a good number of all sorts of receivers/transceivers for V/UHF on my test bench over the past few years and measurements made have shown most of these to meet their specifications by some margin.
I would suggest that your unit likely has a problem.
 

Bob1955

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I have a BCD396Xt and an old PRO-26 I have been using at airshows for Mil UHF listening. The old PRO-26 is on it's last legs and I'm looking to replace it.
As long as it's quick and easy to program from the keypad is really all that matters much.
My grand daughter is really into the flying and airshows and I want get her something that covers Mil UHF.
Any ideas?
davetyree- It's HANDSDOWN a Uniden Bearcat BC125AT for monitoring aircraft bands and look for the best current price at Police Scanner Outlet in MD at $104.99 and Amazon is $119.29 and Scanner Master in MA is $129.99 which is VERY over-priced.
Hope you have a good Wednesday.
 

vagrant

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1. At air shows I use a single in ear plug to better hear the audio and to not bother others with noise from the Uniden BC125AT.
2. I could use the stock scanner antenna at an air show due to the proximity.
3. An improved Mil Air antenna to use directly on a scanner/receiver is a Thales 1600500-2. You'll just need a TNC to BNC adapter. This is something one could use at an airshow and not look too odd. Ask me how I know.

* I have had too many hand held transceivers. Just because it scan receive a wide range outside of its TX area, definitely does not mean it will receive well at all compared to a $100 scanner. Specs don't mean **** are a start, but one must test/experiment.

* If you want to be a super dork you could use the AS-1404. It was made for the PRC-41, a 225-400 MHz manpack & vehicle radio. Just use a BNC to N pig tail. It's around 2' long and weighs enough to snap off your antenna connector if mounted directly. I mostly use this on a vehicle rack or tripod mount. Avoid a ground plane with this antenna as it was intended to work without.
 

eorange

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> At air shows I use a single in ear plug to better hear the audio and to not bother others with noise from the Uniden BC125AT.

Last year somebody wheeled in a huge guitar-amp-sized speaker to blast his scanner traffic to everyone around, thinking he was helping. It was awful.
 

davetyree

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> At air shows I use a single in ear plug to better hear the audio and to not bother others with noise from the Uniden BC125AT.

Last year somebody wheeled in a huge guitar-amp-sized speaker to blast his scanner traffic to everyone around, thinking he was helping. It was awful.
really? what an idiot....
i always use an ear piece or maybe a headset if i can find a good one.
i'm not blasting my scanner traffic to bystanders.

maybe off topic, but anyone ever seen some kind of headphone jack to bluetooth adapter?
that would open up a world of in ear listening possibilities...
 

G7RUX

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maybe off topic, but anyone ever seen some kind of headphone jack to bluetooth adapter?
that would open up a world of in ear listening possibilities...
There are quite a few audio Bluetooth adaptors available cheaply and easily from places like Amazon so you should be able to find something suitable easily and for very little money.

For example https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-...lpcontext&ref_=fplfs&psc=1&smid=AZKUAHIR7SUDD although that is Amazon UK.
make sure (a) you get a Bluetooth *transmitter* and (b) get one that has a cable to feed it rather than plugging in directly…you may need to fiddle around with a mono to stereo cable for the scanner output if it doesn’t drive stereo headphones directly.
 

eorange

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My point is more that the antenna is possibly a major part of the issue since it is not well-suited to UHF airband despite it working adequately on other receivers.
The FT-5d has a very good wide range receiver and receives UHF airband very well, easily on a par with other receivers available, I have had a good number of all sorts of receivers/transceivers for V/UHF on my test bench over the past few years and measurements made have shown most of these to meet their specifications by some margin.
I would suggest that your unit likely has a problem.
I just did a side-by-side test last night. Was listening to traffic on 274.450 AM on my Icom R6, and had my FT5DR tuned to the same frequency with squelch opened all the way. Both using the Diamond SRH77CA. I heard absolutely nothing on the FT5DR.

There's nothing otherwise to indicate my FT5DR has any problems (GPS, APRS, local FM and C4FM); everything works. This is very similar to my VX-3R. Totally deaf on 274.450, but at times very scratchy (but at least I'm getting a signal) in the mid 300 MHz range. Still would never use that as a mil air receiver. It demonstrates a crapshoot across that band for Yaesu HTs.

And not to discount your test bench experience and expertise at all, but actual field results are always the best indicator.
 

G7RUX

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I just did a side-by-side test last night. Was listening to traffic on 274.450 AM on my Icom R6, and had my FT5DR tuned to the same frequency with squelch opened all the way. Both using the Diamond SRH77CA. I heard absolutely nothing on the FT5DR.

There's nothing otherwise to indicate my FT5DR has any problems (GPS, APRS, local FM and C4FM); everything works. This is very similar to my VX-3R. Totally deaf on 274.450, but at times very scratchy (but at least I'm getting a signal) in the mid 300 MHz range. Still would never use that as a mil air receiver. It demonstrates a crapshoot across that band for Yaesu HTs.

And not to discount your test bench experience and expertise at all, but actual field results are always the best indicator.
I will reiterate that I have both units and have bench tested them and their performance is broadly similar in UHF milair, with the FT2 and FT5 marginally outperforming the R6 with regards to selectivity and dramatically so on intermod performance.

Are yours fed side by side with the same type of antenna or are they fed from the same antenna at the same time?

Also, and I am not trying to suggest anything, are you sure the FT5 is set to AM receive? It will default to choosing from NFM and one of the digital selections unless AM is set as an available RX Mode in the settings.
 
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eorange

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I was standing outside with my R6 in one hand and the FT5DR in the other. Both were using a Diamond SRH77CA. And yep, good question, I had to force the FT5DR into AM mode by going down into the menu. For what it's worth I was using the "A" band on the FT5DR.

Regarding this:

> their performance is broadly similar in UHF milair

Was this performance uniformly similar across the entire 225 - 400 MHz band? Per above, my VX-3R's performance seems inconsistent across that band.
 

G7RUX

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All units will vary with frequency but that being said, none of them were bad anywhere In that range. The sensitivity for the FT5, ID52 and ICR30 in AM for milair was around 1 uV for 10dB SINAD, give or take. The R6 measures around 0.8-1.0 uV But suffers a little in selectivity.
 
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