Scanning while driving to Mexico passing through Barry Goldwater range!

microwave67

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Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
18
Location
Litchfield Park, AZ
I just returned from another trip to Mexico (Rocky Point) that gave me a chance to evaluate my BCD436HP and a just received magnetic mount Bingfu VHF UHF Police Scanner Antenna combination. I was impressed with both. From leaving home (within 5 miles of Luke AFB) I monitored the training runs on the Barry Goldwater bombing range. Solid reception all the way into Rocky point that is about 70 miles South of the US/Mexico border. Comm was a bit scratchy when they were making low altitude runs but at altitude, up to about 27,000 feet, rock solid. At home, in the valley, not so good reception as I got in Mexico with no large mountains in between. Also, as I've read some accounts of issues with taking scanners to Mexico, well I've never had a problem with my 3 scanners & I've taken my drones to Cancun & Rocky Point with not a bit of trouble, flying or driving. A military gaurd on the Mexican side this time, saw my mag mount ant, looking in and pointed at my scanner & said "radio?" I told him (in broken Spanish) that it was only for reception. He smiled and said, "Muy bien" and motioned me on. Scanners are not illegal in Mexico as I've seen some others post. Just don't be stupid and you'll be fine, even with a mag mount ant on your car.
 

Rishayan

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Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
28
Location
Hershey, Pa.
In Mexico, the law is in the eyes of the beholder. Scanners may or may not be technically legal or illegal, but Mexico remains a lawless nation, especially in the dangerous border region and in several southern states such as Guerrero, Veracruz and Michoacan. The legality of anything can be determined on the spot by the police or military official questioning you. In the real world, Mexico is still not a completely civilized nation( especially in rural areas and out on the highway far from a modern city), with checks and balances on the police( most of which still have direct ties to organized crime). I have lived off and on in Mexico for the past 30 years and have never seen scanners for sale or have seen anyone with one. However, with a great deal of precaution, I have brought communications receivers and scanners to Mexico over the years, including just 2 months ago. But I fully realize that if I get caught with one, one of several things could happen...either nothing, or confiscation, a pay off and/or imprisonment. I do know that it is illegal to have a receiver receiving police or military transmissions( my god son is a Mexican naval commander). Most law enforcement officers in Mexico have no idea what a scanner is, as they are not legally sold in Mexico. If they see a scanner or similar type of communications receiver, they more than likely will think that it is a business handheld radio, which are completely legal. If you think that it is legal to have a radio receiving police communications in Mexico, just tune in to a police frequency and walk by some police officers with the radio on and active, and see what happens. In most areas of the country, organized crime operate clandestine repeaters and use radios for their illicit activities. I have a friend who is a taxi driver in Guerrero, where there are many checkpoints, and he uses a handheld transceiver for his taxi company communications. He recently told me that he has been stopped a these checkpoints, where, upon seeing the handheld, have briefly confiscated it, checking to see if is set to receive any prohibited frequencies( i.e. police and military channels). Federal Police and the military now mostly use an encrypted TETRA system, however the vast majority of local municipal police agencies still use VHF analog repeaters and simplex systems. If you understand fluent Spanish, a scanner can provide an unlimited amount of analog transmissions to monitor and enjoy. In the rainy season, listening to the national power companies (CFE) multiple VHF analog repeaters can really be informative to find out where the power is out, highways washed away, and other road blockages. However, is bringing a scanner really worth the risk of ruining your vacation?
 

microwave67

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Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
18
Location
Litchfield Park, AZ
In Mexico, the law is in the eyes of the beholder. Scanners may or may not be technically legal or illegal, but Mexico remains a lawless nation, especially in the dangerous border region and in several southern states such as Guerrero, Veracruz and Michoacan. The legality of anything can be determined on the spot by the police or military official questioning you.

Not quoting your whole message but I can tell you (not having your dated 30 years of experience) I have taken my drones/cameras/phones/tablets & as many as 3 scanners at one time to Cancun & Rocky Point with not one issue, other than a military gaurd asking me about my "radio" after seeing my mag mount antenna & then the Uniden sitting on the console. When I explained to him it was for reception only, He smiled & waved me on. I also have been given a well earned speeding ticket for doing 85 kmh in a 40 kmh zone and it was the most pleasant experience I have ever had involving law enforcement. The officer, after explaining how much lee way they are able to give on speed, then told me, "You were too far over the limit. I'm sorry but I'm going to have to give you a ticket." I can't imagine any cop in the US saying that. Now of the 10+ trips we've made to Mexico there has been nothing that has persuaded us to stay away. Going back next month & taking my drone etc. with no worries at this point. Even thinking of moving to the Lake Chapala area to live.
As in the states, I do not go into those areas that are prone to violence. We don't look for drugs or any other illegal activitiy. We respect & appreciate the Mexican people, professional & the general population both. Now here, I am worried about just driving down the road with the road rage incidents. I have concerns whenever a cop stops me if the officer will find some reason to shoot me. We don't go to movie theaters (not for fear of being shot, but because we don't like the cost) but some people have died in movie theaters as well as shools, churches, fast food places etc. I'm only mentioning all this because you seem to have some issues with Mexico. I'll finish by saying, everyplace in the world has some danger. Some more than others. When I see the state department warnings about Mexico I smile because other countries give the same or worse warnings about the US. Mexico is a wonderful country with wonderful people!
 

Rishayan

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Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
28
Location
Hershey, Pa.
Thank you Microwave67 for your kind words about my people. I certainly have no intention of trying to dissuade anyone from going to Mexico and bringing radios to do DXing( for those in the hobby). I am only informing the world of reality and the risks that may occur. I am glad you have been lucky with your drones and radios so far. My intention is only to make people aware of certain unpleasant possibilities that may occur in Mexico, different from in the US. Granted, my experience has been more in the more "dangerous" parts of Mexico, such as the state of Guerrero. I believe you about your experiences in Cancun and other "tourist" areas of Mexico, where, without a doubt, foreigners are given the benefit of the doubt. The area that I live in in Mexico is unfortunately not a tourist area, and, being a rather violent region, the police and military play no games when it comes to "suspicious" materiales, such as communications radios. I spent the last 6 months of 2019 in Guerrero, with no less than 3 VHF UHF receivers. And, I will bring them again. But, as I said, my years of experience keep me from being conspicuous with my devices. When travelling, I disassemble them as best I can, removing the battery and antenna and hiding them inside my folded up tents or other camping gear. Both Mexico and the US are indeed wonderful countries, each in their own way, but there are certain things that you can do in Mexico that you can't do in the US, and vice versa. I never have had any worry carrying my communications equipment openly anywhere in the 50 states. In Mexico, although it is something that can be done, I highly recommend it should be done with a great deal of precaution. As I said, I am very glad that you have had good luck so far. But it only takes one really bad event to ruin a lifetime!....And when speaking of scanners, that really bad event is much more likely to occur south of the border, than anywhere in the US.
 

Xray

Member
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
418
All loads of fun until you get both eyes poked out ! But oh yeah, since you are so kind and understanding and respectful, certainly you must be immune.


Mexico: Where More Americans Are Murdered Than In All Other Foreign Countries Combined

 

Rishayan

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
28
Location
Hershey, Pa.
All loads of fun until you get both eyes poked out ! But oh yeah, since you are so kind and understanding and respectful, certainly you must be immune.


Mexico: Where More Americans Are Murdered Than In All Other Foreign Countries Combined

I have seen a lot worse than getting your eyes poked out. If I could tell even half of the horrid things I've seen in the last 30 years, nobody would chance it. I have hundreds of friends that risk life and limb every single day to escape and come to the US. The US news media refuse to report the truth about the violence in Mexico, where massacres are a daily occurrence all over the country. When 5 people are killed in an explosion in Iraq, it's front page news...but when 20 people, including innocents, are gunned down somewhere in Mexico, it is not even reported in the US. There are so many safer places in the world to go to DX and/or enjoy the radio hobby, without even a quarter of the risk. My people still live there, so I have to go once in a while, but only with the utmost precaution.
 

Xray

Member
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
418
I have seen a lot worse than getting your eyes poked out. If I could tell even half of the horrid things I've seen in the last 30 years, nobody would chance it. I have hundreds of friends that risk life and limb every single day to escape and come to the US. The US news media refuse to report the truth about the violence in Mexico, where massacres are a daily occurrence all over the country. When 5 people are killed in an explosion in Iraq, it's front page news...but when 20 people, including innocents, are gunned down somewhere in Mexico, it is not even reported in the US. There are so many safer places in the world to go to DX and/or enjoy the radio hobby, without even a quarter of the risk. My people still live there, so I have to go once in a while, but only with the utmost precaution.
Its being reported but obviously we have our own problems with urban violence and occasional mass shootings, so I don't see why much of anything that goes on down there should make front page news. The recent horrific slaughter of the anglo Mormon sect, including woman and children, was front page for a couple days but faded quick. There is just so much carnage and violence [unfortunately, being imported here as we speak] it is tough to comprehend ,, And so long as the authorities/government remain largely corrupt to the bone, so it will continue.

Many if not most mexicans, I think it must be admitted, are fond of the cartels, and this is a large part of the problem. The ones who want to do something about it and tell it like it is are the ones who end up being found hanging upside down from a bridge without a head. I wish the OP well, I seriously think it is not a question of if but when he will get whacked if he keeps trying his luck south of the border.
 
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