Advice for newcomer required!

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Advice for newcomer required!

Postby StuartC » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:02 pm

I am entirely new to this hobby(at the age of 69!) and am considering the purchase of my first scanner. My initial intention is to use this primarily from home, I am not a frequent visitor to airshows. Civil aircraft would be the primary interest but I would like to listen to military if possible, which brings me to my first question. From what I have read the Uniden ubc125xlt is a good allrounder but given my location in south Notts I am wondering if I could pick up much military traffic and therefore be wasting money on the versatility of this scanner.
If I were to go ahead with the 125 I would also consider a Radioworld R881 supergainer aerial, a loft or roof aerial is not an option at present. Is this a reasonable choice?
Also I notice Radioworld offer preprogramming of civil and military frequencies, again is this worth the £20 investment by saving my time in prescanning and programming?
Any advice or comments welcome.
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby m0lsx » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:20 pm

Welcome to the forum StuartC.
£ for £ the 125 is probably the best value scanner on the market at the moment.
There are plenty of those 881 antennas around. I think my last 881 or equivalent cost me just £10 including postage from Knights-Electron. It is also possible to buy them very cheap on ebay. They are all the same, just branded for who ever pays the bills.
If airband interests you & you do not want to put up an outdoor antenna, something from Spectrum cut for airband would be the best indoor option. It's the Slim G Rx, Tx antenna cut for 127.5mhz. It will work across the coverage of your scanner, but will work better on airband than a general coverage antenna. Hung in your loft, in a corner or a window, it will out perform a handhald antenna by a fair amount. You could also put the antenna out of doors.
http://www.spectrumcomms.co.uk/Aerials.htm

As to what you can hear Mil Air wise. Unfortunately that is hard to say. As it dependent on a number of things. UHF is shorter range than VHF. Mil Air is UHF & Civil Air is VHF. Aircraft wise it will make little difference as long as they are high. But lower flying aircraft are very dependent upon how high & in clean air your home is.
Both VHF & UHF are very much line of sight. Things like buildings, trees, hedges & land rises between you & what you want to listen to are all going to attenuate the signal.
I am no fan of Radioworld, it has a very poor reputation. Personally I have ordered from them a couple of times with no issues, but I know of many who have had some very poor experiences with them. And I believe the local name for them is Dodgy Daves, or that was how I first heard about them.
Buy a database from Kimmy JS19 via http://ukscanningdirectory.co.uk/
Or do Google search of this forum via https://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=partner-pub-6291336405621919:2662881632
73 De Alan (M0LSX.)
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby StuartC » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:04 pm

Thank you very much for a comprehensive reply, that is very helpful, I will look into a Spectrum aerial. Although we live in a bit of a bowl It is fairly flat being on the edge of the Vale of Belvoir so we may be ok. May even be able to hear Red Arrows in practice!
One of the other reasons for buying from Radioworld is that they are selling the 125 for £109! Mind if they don't deliver the goods that is irrelevant. But would preprogamming be an advantage (assuming they do it properly!)

Thanks again
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby m0lsx » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:58 pm

As I understand it Radioworld are fine if you are buying something like a 125 & nothing goes wrong. It is their customer service that is lacking. They advertise one thing complete with image & then supply something that is clearly cheaper than the image & if you complain or have brought something that has an issue. That is where they fail.
Do you have the frequency for the arrows & The Battle of Britain Memorial flight? They are both worth having & on here.
Also if aircraft interest you have you discovered flightradar24 :?: It's a free to access realtime radar of mostly commercial flights.
ADS-B Exchange has more Military aircraft & is again free to access.
Both can be set up to cover your home area & the ADS-B Exchange is VERY easy to set up to show the information you want in the order you want it.


https://www.adsbexchange.com/

https://www.adsbexchange.com/
Buy a database from Kimmy JS19 via http://ukscanningdirectory.co.uk/
Or do Google search of this forum via https://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=partner-pub-6291336405621919:2662881632
73 De Alan (M0LSX.)
http://www.qrz.com/db/M0LSX"
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby StuartC » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:15 am

Thanks again! I may chance Radioworld, if they provide the mil and civil frequencies preprogrammed that will save me some time I think.
It was flightradar24 that set me off! Have watched it for some time but thought I would like the audio! Don't have the arrows or BBMF frequencies but will look them up.
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby A N Tenner » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:35 pm

StuartC wrote:Thanks again! I may chance Radioworld, if they provide the mil and civil frequencies preprogrammed that will save me some time I think.
It was flightradar24 that set me off! Have watched it for some time but thought I would like the audio! Don't have the arrows or BBMF frequencies but will look them up.


I do the Flightradar too! (albeit with a lesser Uniden model). On the settings tab of the app you can opt to label the aircraft icons by flight number or c/s which helps a lot finding the one you're listening to. For brevity they use their last three digits when identifying themselves, after a little while you get to understand what they're talking about.

Given you're South Notts give 127.100 a go once you get it, this is Daventry Tower (usually aircraft heading N/S to/from London), lots to be heard from the high altitude ones out to quite an impressive distance.

Since you mention Mil Air have you noticed the Hercs et. al. on there occasionally? often to/from Brize, please do let me know if you manage to get any of these on the 125, I'm still very new to the hobby myself but already torn between that or something a bit more static for my next present "to me, from me" :biggrin:
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby Minus1 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:01 pm

This site will let you plot the topography between your house and any transmitter:
http://www.heywhatsthat.com/profiler.html

From South Notts:
The NATS site at Waltham should be in range, but civil only AFAIK. (e.g 131.325, 123.95, 124.6, 133.8)

The NATS site at Rothwell in Lincs may also be in range"
VHF: 121.325,125.275,126.7833,126.925,128.925
Swanik Mil: 135.075, 259.6, 270.05,275.65

RAF Syerston (light aircraft only) 128.525
RAF Scampton may be in range as it's on a hill. Tower 281.325
You're under the eastern end of the Lichfield Corridor, so 292.525 will be good to listen to.

Program it yourself, it's not hard. Some software is available.
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: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby RichieRahh » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:34 am

I bit the bullet and ordered from radioworld. Uniden Ubc125xtl and a Watson 881 antenna it arrived within two days with a tracking number from UPS. Couldn't fault them for a first experience.
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby Scan125 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:10 pm

If you are looking to be able to easily program and do virtual control + more of your UBC125XLT scanner then may I suggest you check out my *free* Scan125 Control Program. It has over 2700 registered users in over 50 countries.

See my signature for link.
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Re: Advice for newcomer required!

Postby StuartC » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:09 pm

What a helpful lot you are! Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. Unit arrived today following an abortive attempt by UPS ( rather half hearted attempt if at all!) Now on charge, but I notice from old threads that this unit may not report when fully charged, or has that been rectified in more recent units? If it does not presumably using a separate charger that turns off at full charge is the way forward.
I did buy from Radioworld and invested in their preprogramming service, so most, if not all your suggestions re frequencies should be already there. I will let you know how it goes! Of course if it doesn't I will be on the scrounge for more help!
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