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The technical side of broadcasting. Think IBOC is a sham? Talk about it here! How about HDTV? Post DX reports here as well.
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Turkeytop
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Scanners

Post by Turkeytop » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:31 pm

So, I'm glad I didn't sink a whole lot of cash into this venture. It's kind of a bust. I'm not knocking the radio. It's an amazing piece of gear. There just isn't much to hear. Besides the local NOAA channel, about all I've heard are some short bursts of air traffic and hams on the 70 CM band. Mostly old geezers talking about their hip replacement or their bypass surgery.

Maybe there will be more activity when I get back home.



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SolarMax
Posts: 348
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 5:59 pm
Location: 313

Re: Scanners

Post by SolarMax » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:15 am

WOHO wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:18 pm
Use a 4:1 coax to wire balun okay for 40m? 4 conductor bell phone wire x 33' each side? Thanks, didn't think to zig-zag it with the ends flapping around.
73 to you SolarMax
You don't need impedance transformation, so a 4:1 will present more of a mismatch and not do you any good. Even though an attic dipole is not at optimum height or in "free space" its characteristic impedance is still going to be closer to 50-75 ohms than to 200-300 ohms. A "choke" balun is a 1:1 device meant to isolate and suppress RF from traveling down the outer shield. A cheap and easy is a "dirty balun" (Google it) which is simply a length of coax wound around a form like a pop bottle. Others have made choke baluns using a large number of clip-on ferrites on the coax line up near the dipole feed point. Also look up "stealth antennas" for FB groups and YouTube vids. ARRL sells an RSGB publication called "Stealth Antennas" and a Wire Antenna Handbook



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Turkeytop
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Scanners

Post by Turkeytop » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:47 pm

Turkeytop wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:31 pm
So, I'm glad I didn't sink a whole lot of cash into this venture. It's kind of a bust. I'm not knocking the radio. It's an amazing piece of gear. There just isn't much to hear. Besides the local NOAA channel, about all I've heard are some short bursts of air traffic and hams on the 70 CM band. Mostly old geezers talking about their hip replacement or their bypass surgery.

Maybe there will be more activity when I get back home.

I have a whole new respect for this radio now. On Thursday night, about three hours after the last posting, I was sitting out on the patio. The weather was looking kind of threatening, so I put it on weather and set it to "Alert Standby." About 10:30 it started whooping like a siren and announced that a tornado was heading our way. Within minutes we were in the car heading for the main building in our Park, a concrete structure. We made it just as the tornado hit.

It did a lot of damage, but our place was spared. Must be living right.

Today I went to Harbor Freight and bought a rugged, watertight carrying case for it.

Image




Image



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Turkeytop
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Scanners

Post by Turkeytop » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:13 pm

It's kind of a bust. Don't get anything at all here at home.

I'm holed up here in the basement under quarantine. If the weather warms up I'll try it outside in the yard.

I live not far from the airport so I expected to hear some air traffic. But with the shutdown there isn't much activity at the airport these days.



k8jd
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Scanners

Post by k8jd » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:16 pm

If you are not right in a busy Metro area, sitting in the basement will shield you, so no weak signals reach the radio.
If you like to sit in a basement workshop or mancave, run a coax line outside to a decent antenna on the roof, like a "discone" design that covers a wide range of VHF and UHF freqs.
I still hear lots of Aero traffic on my scanners, there is still some flying going on here .



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Turkeytop
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Scanners

Post by Turkeytop » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:42 pm

I'll enjoy it from my patio if the weather ever warms up. I think it's supposed to this weekend.

I get a lot of something between 400 MHZ and 450 MHZ. Just a loud, pulsating buzzing noise. Must be some kind of data transmission. I used to hear it in Florida too.



k8jd
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Scanners

Post by k8jd » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:20 pm

Yes there is a lot of DIGItal voice on the Public safety and commercial bands now. I installed a lot of DIGI/Mototrbo repeaters for factories and small business before I retired in 2012 and I know they have grown, replacing conventional FM systems ! Can be found between 450 and 512 MHz.
The neat thing about MotoTrbo is you can have two completely independent voice channels co-existing on each RF channel.
Amateur Radio is also adopting a variety of digital voice systems also , heard from 430-450 MHz. Sounds like a rough buzzing noise on an FM receiver.
I have 3 antennas on the metal roof of my sun room and now Weather is getting mild, I may move a scanner there . I have low band and high band VHF and a 5dB gain UHF antenna up there. Have to start scanning the VHF bands again. :D



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Turkeytop
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Scanners

Post by Turkeytop » Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:30 pm

What about the drive throughs that are getting so much traffic these days? What kind of communications are they using?



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WOHO
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:05 am
Location: Cumulus has killed 1470 KHz

Re: Scanners

Post by WOHO » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:54 am

Good question, do any of the fast food drive throughs still have analog duplex communication? Is so, narrow band, unless they are on low band, then they can have nice audio on the older wider band narrow band, like McD did in the 1980's on 35MHz.



k8jd
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Scanners

Post by k8jd » Thu Apr 16, 2020 2:23 pm

The drive thru window servers wear radios on their belts and have headsets, i have heard them on, both VHF low and high freqs.



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WC8KCY
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 4:09 am
Location: 44° 14' N 86° 18' W

Re: Scanners

Post by WC8KCY » Thu Apr 16, 2020 6:25 pm

Turkeytop wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 4:30 pm
What about the drive throughs that are getting so much traffic these days? What kind of communications are they using?
I've used those transceivers, and they barely have enough range to use at the far end of the restaurant's parking lot. I doubt you'd pick them up more than a block away.

You can try the frequencies listed here: https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.p ... icrophones

Using the guide linked above, I could pick up a baby monitor here for a couple of years. I so absolutely wanted to transmit audio of a screaming baby on that frequency at 3AM, but the good Ham inside of me just couldn't muster up the nerve...


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innate-in-you
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:54 am

Re: Scanners

Post by innate-in-you » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:18 pm

WOHO wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:54 am
Good question, do any of the fast food drive throughs still have analog duplex communication? Is so, narrow band, unless they are on low band, then they can have nice audio on the older wider band narrow band, like McD did in the 1980's on 35MHz.
I don't know about nowadays, but when I lived on the far western edge of Detroit Proper in the mid-1990s, I could hear the Taco Bell on Telegraph, a mile away in Dearborn Heights, on my handheld 70cm/2m HT.



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Turkeytop
Posts: 3335
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:27 pm

Re: Scanners

Post by Turkeytop » Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:01 pm

VCY 646 - 168.050 MHZ

It's at a scrap metals recycling yard about a mile from here. I can only hear one side of the calls. I'm thinking the woman in the office has a better transmitter and the guys in the yard are just using handheld units.

Today I took a walk over there. Sure enough, I could hear both ends of the calls.

Image

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k8jd
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Scanners

Post by k8jd » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:11 am

yes there still are a lot of small business that still have analog radio systems. But you need a roof mounted antenna to hear the mobile units in the field and hand helds in the yards. [ Have fun.



k8jd
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: Commerce, MI

Re: Scanners

Post by k8jd » Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:19 am

I still hear some air traffic , I hve used search scan for 1 or 2 mHz segments at a time, of the aero band 108-136 MHz to find some lightly used freqs. It takes a while, but I noted each freq I heard and kept track of how often there was any traffic. after a week or so I had a hundred new freqs to program into the scanner. B4 the virus the scanner never stopped hearing some traffic from towers, ATC centers and aircraft !!!



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