Monitoring one channel, need a VHF receiver, not a scanner. Advice?

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tss1355

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I have a remote scanning location (the windowsill of my office) where I have a scanner monitoring a single railroad frequency and broadcasting it via internet. Right now, I am using a Uniden BC125, which is overkill when monitoring a single frequency. Plus, I want to free up my handheld for handheld purposes. I could buy a desktop scanner, but again, why have scanning capability when it is utterly not needed. Is there any sort of SMALL, single frequency radio receiver I could buy that could be programmed to monitor just one frequency?

Some time ago, I had stumbled across a maker marketplace for electronic enthusiasts, where I could probably find something homemade by someone, but I can't seem to find that site again.

The form factor of many SDRs would be ideal, but I don't want to have a computer sitting there. My dream receiver would be the size of a deck of cards, plus antenna. And ideally, if power were lost and restored, it would remember the frequency it was monitoring

Thoughts?
 

tss1355

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RTL-SDR plus Raspberry Pi. Would require some tinkering but fairly straightforward. You can get the Pi to automatically startup the monitoring program (rtl_fm works well) when it boots.
I was hoping for something off the shelf... but the Raspberry Pi is the obvious solution. I guess I will have to learn the art of making Pi.
 

K4EET

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The Uniden BC125AT is only $112 from Bearcat Warehouse.


Buying just a receiver, assuming that it is a "real" receiver and not some cheap piece of junk, you will be hard pressed to get something for less than that price. The only thing that I can think of would be to get a used pager that you can program to the frequency that you want to monitor. I made a receiver out of a pager years ago. With today's pagers, I don't know if that can be done. Perhaps somebody smarter than I can chime in.

As for the RTL-SDR route, be careful of costs and how much you value your time at in getting it set up.

I'll let you know if I come up with any other bright ideas.

Cheers! Dave K4EET
 

K4EET

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Motorola 4 channel Radius would be my first choice, better sensitivity and selectivity than the Uniden as well. Not quite as small as you would like but not large either.
My comment about the Uniden BC125AT was because that is what they currently have, not what I was suggesting they purchase...
 

kb3isq

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I have a remote scanning location (the windowsill of my office) where I have a scanner monitoring a single railroad frequency and broadcasting it via internet. Right now, I am using a Uniden BC125, which is overkill when monitoring a single frequency. Plus, I want to free up my handheld for handheld purposes. I could buy a desktop scanner, but again, why have scanning capability when it is utterly not needed. Is there any sort of SMALL, single frequency radio receiver I could buy that could be programmed to monitor just one frequency?

Some time ago, I had stumbled across a maker marketplace for electronic enthusiasts, where I could probably find something homemade by someone, but I can't seem to find that site again.

The form factor of many SDRs would be ideal, but I don't want to have a computer sitting there. My dream receiver would be the size of a deck of cards, plus antenna. And ideally, if power were lost and restored, it would remember the frequency it was monitoring

Thoughts?
Minitors are on Ebay and are cheap and the size of a deck of cards if you cannget one programmed for what you want.
 

JimD56

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Try from Motorola an XTS3000 Handheld. That's my feed gear running only 10 Channels On the Scan Function. Less than $140 with programming on eBay. Great quality and built-in noise filters, etc. Much better receiver than a scanner. I use the earphone jack into my sound card running ProScan Radio Feed.
 

belvdr

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You didn't mention price, connectivity for your Internet, or frequency, but if I were looking for something that size and for one frequency, I'd look at Unication G1. As @K4EET mentioned, though, the BC125AT is much cheaper.

Alternatively, why not leave your current configuration as-is, and purchase something else for when you're on the move? It seems this approach would let you future proof your mobile configuration and keep your current stable office setup.

I'm not certain why everyone is mentioning "better receivers" when the BC125AT already works for the OP in the current configuration.
 
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ka3aaa

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Sangean made a very nice tune able receiver that will fill your needs rather nicely and is expensive on ebay.
 

tss1355

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The Uniden BC125AT is only $112 from Bearcat Warehouse.


Buying just a receiver, assuming that it is a "real" receiver and not some cheap piece of junk, you will be hard pressed to get something for less than that price. The only thing that I can think of would be to get a used pager that you can program to the frequency that you want to monitor. I made a receiver out of a pager years ago. With today's pagers, I don't know if that can be done. Perhaps somebody smarter than I can chime in.

As for the RTL-SDR route, be careful of costs and how much you value your time at in getting it set up.

I'll let you know if I come up with any other bright ideas.

Cheers! Dave K4EET
Good point. I guess I was seduced by the idea of a single function machine for a single task. But buying another BC225AT is probably the smartest route. I suppose I could also watch eBay for an old, slow scanner that would do the job when watching one channel.
 

wscranston

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Ubbe

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Generally speaking real radios have better reception than scanners. A Motorola radio will need you to get software and cables but something like a TYT MD380 on VHF are excellent as it has good narrow pre-filters and have great sensitivity. You set it's frequency from the keypad. The audio out from it is a small 2,5mm jack but there's adapters for it to the more common 3,5mm and then it's a matter of setting the volume level and use the gear you already have configured for the BC125. Later you can use it's DMR capabilites and you can also set a scan list and scan multiple channels. It's probably available on the second hand market as people tend to switch to dual band radios.

/Ubbe
 

belvdr

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N5XPM

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Seems like a strategic decision here of absolute lowest cost versus potentially improved performance as well. Many low-cost items have been offered. For better performance, I was going to add an older Motorola GM300 or maybe Kenwood mobile (TK 705 can be programmed without software) or a Motorola Minitor V in an amplifier charger (has a BNC antenna and speaker connection) as low-cost, higher performance options as well.
 
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