Should I buy a psr-800?

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BRH1961

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My teenage son is taking flying lessons, wants to go the Air Force, etc. -- all things aviation. Am thinking about getting him a scanner for x-mas so that he can listen in and learn what is going on in the sky. Will also help him in his own communications with ATC.

I want to get a scanner that is easy to use, does not take a lot of programming experience, gets both civil and mil comms, if possible. Also, we travel quite a bit and it would be nice to be able to listen in as we pass air force bases, airports, etc.

Have done quite a bit of internet research and the psr-800 seems to fit the bill, but it is quite expensive. Not sure though if there is any scanner out there that is much cheaper and that provides similar flexibility.

We are new into scanning and thus do not know what we do not know . . . I do know that I probably need to get a better antenna than the stock version.

Any thoughts? Recommendations? Much appreciated.
 

safetyobc

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The PSR-700 may be a good option if you don't need P25 reception. It is very similar to the 800 and is much cheaper if all you want is airband / mil-air coverage. Just a suggestion.

As far as the 800 goes, it is a great radio. I use it daily and love it. The reception is quite good and I do use it for air comms and it works well in that band.

PSR 700:

Amazon.com: GRE PSR-700 Ezscan Radio Scanner w/ Built-In Frequency Database on a 2Gb Hd Mem Crd: Car Electronics

GRE PSR-700 Scanner Radio Receiver, PSR700

PSR-700 - The RadioReference Wiki

The Diamond RH77CA antenna is quite long, but does rather well in the air band receiving.
 

BRH1961

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Thanks -- are the air/ATC bands not broadcast in digital (or about to be)? Like I said, a noob to all of this . . .
 

lep

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Of all things, they are in AM for some solid technical reasons. It does NOT require a complex scanner like the PSR 800
 

N8IAA

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My teenage son is taking flying lessons, wants to go the Air Force, etc. -- all things aviation. Am thinking about getting him a scanner for x-mas so that he can listen in and learn what is going on in the sky. Will also help him in his own communications with ATC.

I want to get a scanner that is easy to use, does not take a lot of programming experience, gets both civil and mil comms, if possible. Also, we travel quite a bit and it would be nice to be able to listen in as we pass air force bases, airports, etc.

Have done quite a bit of internet research and the psr-800 seems to fit the bill, but it is quite expensive. Not sure though if there is any scanner out there that is much cheaper and that provides similar flexibility.

We are new into scanning and thus do not know what we do not know . . . I do know that I probably need to get a better antenna than the stock version.

Any thoughts? Recommendations? Much appreciated.
The fact that you live in the ATL, means you need a digital scanner if you plan on listening to most of the metro area. I would not suggest the 800 for VHF/UHF aircomms. This scanner depends on the Radio Reference database for programming the scanner, and was created mainly for digital systems. I do not used my 800 for aircomms. It is used strictly for digital trunked systems.
My suggestion is the Uniden 396XT. I use it for digital trunked systems, and VHF/UHF aircomms. It is much more sensitive on receive for the 118-137/225-380MHz range. The majority of us who live in the metro Atlanta area use the 396 for aircomms.
Come on down to the Georgia forum further down the forums page. We'll get you set up better:)
HTH,
Larry
 

Arizona_Scanner

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The 800 is not a great milair scanner and is expensive. I'm a huge milair guy, and own an 800, and it STINKS for milair.

The Pro-43 remains the best handheld milair scanner ever made. On a related note, THE best milair scanner is BC780XLT, but it is a desktop unit. Set it up with a dipole antenna, and you have a serious tool. I own both units and they are my primary milair tools.

I also own a wide variety of other scanners and live near an air force test area as well as Luke air force base where I listen on a regular basis, and can offer my experience of testing various scanners for this band.

The 43 is great, but you will need to scour ebay for one though, and expect to pay about $100 for a decent one. Even then, it might need to eventually get it's keypad recoated with conductive paint. It's not hard to do (and worth doing), but I realize this is not practical for some but mention it for reference. The primary downside of this radio is that it is not very loud and headphones are the best way to go.

The BCD996XT / BCD396XT are excellent radios with great milair reception, but are EXPENSIVE! While you might say that they can not only do milair but also the latest digital stuff, they are inferior to GRE radios when it comes to hard to monitor simulcast P25 systems, so if you have those in your area, the Uniden radios will be frustrating in this regard. Because of this, I would say get the right tools for the job.

If I were limited to just one radio for milair, it would without question be the BC780XLT, though I realize you inquired about a handheld radio, and this is a desktop unit. You can find on one ebay for under $200. I just checked and saw one on there with the plastic still on the front as a matter of fact. Wish I had the extra bucks.....
 

mike_s104

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The 800 is not a great milair scanner and is expensive. I'm a huge milair guy, and own an 800, and it STINKS for milair.

The Pro-43 remains the best handheld milair scanner ever made. On a related note, THE best milair scanner is BC780XLT, but it is a desktop unit. Set it up with a dipole antenna, and you have a serious tool. I own both units and they are my primary milair tools.

I also own a wide variety of other scanners and live near an air force test area as well as Luke air force base where I listen on a regular basis, and can offer my experience of testing various scanners for this band.

The 43 is great, but you will need to scour ebay for one though, and expect to pay about $100 for a decent one. Even then, it might need to eventually get it's keypad recoated with conductive paint. It's not hard to do (and worth doing), but I realize this is not practical for some but mention it for reference. The primary downside of this radio is that it is not very loud and headphones are the best way to go.

The BCD996XT / BCD396XT are excellent radios with great milair reception, but are EXPENSIVE! While you might say that they can not only do milair but also the latest digital stuff, they are inferior to GRE radios when it comes to hard to monitor simulcast P25 systems, so if you have those in your area, the Uniden radios will be frustrating in this regard. Because of this, I would say get the right tools for the job.

If I were limited to just one radio for milair, it would without question be the BC780XLT, though I realize you inquired about a handheld radio, and this is a desktop unit. You can find on one ebay for under $200. I just checked and saw one on there with the plastic still on the front as a matter of fact. Wish I had the extra bucks.....
I had two PRO-43s but sold one that was only used maybe 2 hours and was still I'm the original box. I sold it on ebay for almost what I paid for it.

If he's only going to use the scanner some but not a lot (or if you want to see how he's going to use it at first) just get a ~$100 new scanner and see how it goes. If he's really interested, invest in a good sensitive scanner like mentioned above or a nice new one. Whatever you select, make sure it covers the military air band.

If it were me, I'd talk with him to see what he would like before putting a lot into something he won't use.

Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
 
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DaveIN

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Same price as the Pro-18 on sale

Have done quite a bit of internet research and the psr-800 seems to fit the bill, but it is quite expensive. Not sure though if there is any scanner out there that is much cheaper and that provides similar flexibility.

We are new into scanning and thus do not know what we do not know . . . I do know that I probably need to get a better antenna than the stock version.

Any thoughts? Recommendations? Much appreciated.
Here you go, HamCity with the special code will get you the PSR-800 for the current sale price on the RadioShack Pro-18 ($400) until 12/31/11 (or while supplies last). :p
 

SCPD

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Hmm, yeah it looks like that was a sale. It was $379 as of Tuesday evening. Looks like they bumped the price for Black Friday. :roll:
 

BeerNutz

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You want an easy to use radio that is easy to program. The PSR-800 fits the bill. Plus, they have great reception.

I have many scanners. Before I purchased my 800, many times I didn't pull the trigger to purchase a radio cuz I knew the steep learning curve it took to get one programmed. This is true even with models made from the same manufacturer. It took me 5 minutes to program my 800 and you have lifetime updates for any new frequencies.

With many years of scanning, the PSR-800 is my go to radio.
 

mike_s104

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You want an easy to use radio that is easy to program. The PSR-800 fits the bill. Plus, they have great reception.

I have many scanners. Before I purchased my 800, many times I didn't pull the trigger to purchase a radio cuz I knew the steep learning curve it took to get one programmed. This is true even with models made from the same manufacturer. It took me 5 minutes to program my 800 and you have lifetime updates for any new frequencies.

With many years of scanning, the PSR-800 is my go to radio.
As stated many times before, the PSR-800 is a great scanner but not the best selection got aircraft bands. If all the user needs is AM and easy to use, then the PSR-800 is overkill. Doing a band search for aircraft isn't that complicated and programming some analog AM freqs should should be easy to figure out for a novice.

I don't monitor the aircraft bands much. I have a PSR-800, 996T, 396XT, 396T, PRO-43, PRO-46, PRO-2006 and a few others. If and when I do want to monitor aircraft, I go for the PRO-43 or the PRO-2006 before I go for the PSR-800.

BRH1961, we/I only want to give you the best advice possible. The ultimate choice is yours to make. If there is a good possibility that your son would like to monitor more than aircraft, then the PSR-800 would be a good selection. But, if you want the best or at least a good choice for ONLY aircraft bands, I would go with one of the other mentioned scanners. Good luck.
 
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mike_s104

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The 800 is not a great milair scanner. I'm a huge milair guy, and own an 800, and it STINKS for milair.


Why is that?

As stated before, it's seems to not be as sensitive as others mentioned. I'm only going off what others that actually monitor aircraft more were saying. I've always heard the PRO-43 is great for aircraft monitor...main reason I kept the one I still have.


Anyone have any suggestion along the lines of the AOR, Icom, Alinco wideband receivers for BRH1961?

BRH1961, you may want to head over to the below to get some better suggestions.
http://forums.radioreference.com/aircraft-monitoring-forum/
 
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1150RT-P

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As a pilot and PSR 800 owner - look elsewhere - this is not the scanner for you. I cannot really comment on military aviation scanning, but for civil it SUCKS. The way the scan lists are set up it, it is too hard to switch between frequencies quickly to hear an entire conversation. If you intent is to listen strictly to tower communications, you'll be okay, but switching, locking out, unlocking, etc ALL the time.

If you son is serious about getting into aviation, get him a dedicated scanner or com. This way, he can manipulate frequencies as he would on an actual airplane radio.
 
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