Never seem to pick ANYTHING up

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Never seem to pick ANYTHING up

Postby Clive2670 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:28 pm

I have a Grecom PSR295 when I hit "HAM" button never hear a thing on the full bands stored on it, any idea's? ( I am running it on a Eurostick as well so not like it's the poor rubber duck that is the issue!!!)
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Re: Never seem to pick ANYTHING up

Postby m0lsx » Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:53 pm

It covers 6 bands..
0..10 meters..This is a great band, but as far as FM is concerned, it's only really a summer band & only on a few days during the summer. But when it is alive listen out for repeaters from all over the world. New York being a normal & regular repeater to hear.
1..6 meters..I have only ever heard a couple of people on 6 FM. You may have a repeater in your area, you may get something but don't expect to hear anything there.
2.. 2 meters.. The first 300 khz are repeater inputs..The next few are simplex & most amateurs have no idea that simplex is possible on 2 meters. So as a whole only really listen to the top few khz, where repeater outputs & the ISS are. And don't expect to hear anything too intelligent on the repeaters as a whole.
3..220mhz. is not legal in the UK.
4. 70cm. A lot of spectrum that is rarely if ever used. But when active, you are more likely to hear real amateurs who know how to speak on 70cm,rather than on 2 meters.
5. 23cm..Not really a band you are ever going to hear much on. It's a good place for EME (Earth, Moon, Earth or Moonbounce.) as it's short wavelength means great antennas are small. It is also where you will get Amateur TV, often with talk back on 70cm.
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Re: Never seem to pick ANYTHING up

Postby G4RMT » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:01 am

Buying a scanner for the first time is like buying a computer for the first time. It lights up and seems to do things, but at that point all you can do is explore a bit how the basic functions work - even connecting to the internet needs to you do do a bit of work, and enter some numbers.

In all the years I've used radios, research gets more results than scanning. It gets you clues, and then you use the scanner to prove if the frequencies were correct or not, and are the 'right' ones. In a way, I suspect that's why people stay in the hobby, because of the investigation phase. Listening to taxis or the local count ty council isn't that exciting. Now you can see aircraft on the internet, you can now get a better idea of where to hear them - so again, lots of spreadsheets and research.

Even with a fast searching scanner, many transmissions are so short they don't last long enough to stop the search. Most old lags get used to narrowing their search area - knowing the likely hiding spots, so the search can catch the short bursts. Alan pretty well summed up the amateur bands - they're pretty well empty in many parts of the country, and he's in a better place than me - 180 degrees of my area is the sea. Alan didn't mention time of day. Amateur operation tends to be built around times - so local chats for folk who are not at work might be spread around the clock, but others who are working do things differently. People who work from vehicles often chat between jobs - mainly on the repeaters. Certain groups always transmit on a certain channel and time each week. So RAYNET and other special interest groups might pop up on a Sunday morning? These, even if you have no interest in what they do, let you hear stations from all over a County - so you can tell what you can hear from your location, and what you can't. You might discover a slow Morse group for people learning that mode, or maybe one for new operators - but these might be one hour, one day of the week. If you live in Central London, Birmingham or Manchester, then there is far more amateur operation because there are more amateurs. Again, Google will be your friend for your local people.
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Re: Never seem to pick ANYTHING up

Postby m0lsx » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:10 am

Some time ago I posted the following at http://ukradioscanning.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2624

m0lsx wrote: Radio waves radiate from a transmitter like a stone thrown into a pond & your scanner (receivers) antenna is like a small stick poking through the surface of the pond.
A radio wave is very like that ripple on that the pond. Imagine big stones, islands, ducks, even an irregular shape in the pond. They will all cause shadows where the ripples do not go. A radio wave will be stopped, but things that effect the radio wave are hills, houses, weather etc etc.
A radio wave is like the pond wave, in as much as a big stone causes bigger ripples that go further. On radio it is transmitter power & antenna size, type & height that effect the ripples, your antenna will also effect the size of ripple you can hear.
A radio wave is like a pond wave & that stick. As the ripples may stop or be very very weak by the time it reaches your antenna, so you will not know they are there.
Also image a big pond with lots of stones being thrown into it at various times. Depending upon where those people throw the stone you may or may not hear anything. You may miss the only stone thrown from one location, because you are looking for another stone in a different direction.
Your scanner may scan many many frequencies each minute, but most PMR transmissions are short, so it is possible to miss them. It is also possible that in one room of your house you can hear certain transmissions from one user, but no where else in the house. It could be that you are listening at the wrong time of day, or it could be that you are listening in the wrong pond, or to the wrong frequencies.
There is little point in listening to frequencies that may or may not be active local to you, as that fills your scanner with frequencies to scan through that probably will not be active ever for you.
Fill your scanner with frequencies that will be heard were you are & even then there will be times when you hear very little.
When I did my amateur radio course, the trainer use to describe finding someone to talk to as being like fishing. Different frequencies, like different rivers have different fish/users on them & knowing your fish/user means you know the best time of day & where to cast your receiver.
I have around 500 frequencies in my main scanner & because I do not listen to radio amateurs on FM, other than 4 meters or 10 meters & because I do not listen to taxi drivers. I get periods of 5 minutes even at busy periods were I may not hear anything & at quieter times I may go over 20 minutes between hits.
As said above load your scanner with local air band & PMR if you want to hear something, but remember, even if they are with in range, it does not mean they transmit all the time or even every day.
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73 De Alan (M0LSX.)
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Re: Never seem to pick ANYTHING up

Postby Minus1 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:14 pm

Have you used the UK Repeaters site to identify which repeater frequencies are used in your area?
https://www.ukrepeater.net

It is amazing how many people seem to expect to instantly hear something interesting as soon as they switch a radio on.
Nobody transmits for your benefit, so patience is a virtue.
Traffic is bound to vary by time of day and day of week.
I reserve the right to ignore people who have made no attempt to the read the manual, and expect others to do it for them.
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Re: Never seem to pick ANYTHING up

Postby Clive2670 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:46 pm

Ok thanks all, for your inputs, Clive
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