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Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband us

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:20 am
by ahammond
As above any recomendations for an a scanner mainly to be used for airband in base station type mode? Price range up to about £200. I already have a Uniden UBC370 that is about four or five years old which I am not overly impressed with as not only does it not seem to do what the instructions say it should when I try to use it I also find the speaker very tinny sounding. The new scanner will be connected to the equivalent of a Diamond 777 antenae indoors. Nothing too techy preferably plug in press a few buttons and away it goes.

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:57 am
by Iain59
Although you are not happy with what you have many of us are more than satified with the UBC125XLT, probally a world away from what you have. Why are you putting an outside antenna indoors is it going in the loft?

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:23 pm
by ahammond
The antenae has to be inside as the management will not give permission for it to be mounted on the chimney. Something to do with ugly cables at the front of the house. I have considered going into the loft as many years ago that was where I put the TV aerial. But I am not sure whether the tiles would degrade reception. The coaxial cable would also still have to come out through the soffit board and down the front of the house which would raise objections. I find that the antenae that I have when hung from the highest point in the room next to a window will pull in aircraft signals from tranatlantic traffic about thirty to fourty miles away but is very marginal to non existent on reception from Newcastle approach and tower less than eleven miles away due my being in a slight dip. The speaker on the Uniden is also quite tinny sounding added to which I am finding it difficult to interpret the instructions for tuning and saving frequencies. It definitely does not do what it says in the book.

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:54 pm
by m0lsx
AM audio is always going to be an acquired audio taste. But why not just add an external speaker, if this is about the fitted speaker? As most scanner speakers are of a poor quality compared to the old commercial speakers. Personally I use old Pye speakers which were built up to a standard for spoken transmissions & not down to a price & for all types of uses & the quality is easy to hear.

No radio is ever going to get you over a hill reception. ONLY a higher antenna can do that.

Unidens can take some getting use to. But once mastered they are very nice scanners for the money & provide excellent £ to feature value.

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:25 pm
by ahammond
I have considered adding a speaker. Unfortunately the Uniden does not have sockets fo extra speakers. Height is what I really need I agree. But as that is not available I have to try and improve matters in other ways. Which is why I am looking to improve on the reciever and speaker if possible. I would add that I can now get a signal from the control tower but it is very squelchy and difficult to hear. So I must have the antenae very close to good reception height. Poking a hole in the cieling is for the antenae to go through is being considered. But diguising it might be difficult.

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:47 pm
by Scan125
The UBC125XLT is a fine scanner especially for Airband use.
It's internal speaker and sound quality are very good.
I've not tried an external speaker plugged into the headphone socket but on page 18 of the User Manual it suggests you can do this. I would be concerned about getting only a speaker with high impedance or a powered speaker with high impedance input.

Sounds like you are looking (with a loft antenna) to also use your scanner at home.

I suggest you take a look at my Scan125 Control Program (free but hopefully users will donate to my supported charity DEBRA). This allows full programming and virtual control of the scanner so with a PC you can basically run your scanner as a base station, do recording etc. and use your PC's speakers for better sound output/listening.

See link in my signature.

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:21 pm
by m0lsx
ahammond wrote:I have considered adding a speaker. Unfortunately the Uniden does not have sockets fo extra speakers.



The Uniden UBC370 does have a socket for an external speaker it is the middle socket on the rear. Headphone & external speaker are one & the same thing.

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:32 pm
by Minus1
Bear in mind that most scanners do not handle 8.33 kHz channels properly.
AFAIK none of them show the channel number.
Most cannot distinguish between adjacent 8.33 kHz channels.
You have to spend more on a scanner with narrow AM bandwidth to deal with the 8.33 issue; or buy a dedicated airband transceiver and use it in receive-only mode if you want to get the channels properly too.

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:49 pm
by Iain59
Dou have your scanner at the front or back of the house, could you use a ground mounted mast out of site?

Re: Recomend a reasonable quality scanner mainly for airband

PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:07 pm
by radiostationx
£200 budget is a bit tight.

£50-£90 on a Realistic Pro-2004/5/6
No faffing with the audio on these, all mylar or polyester film capacitors in the audio circuit no cheap ceramic rubbish. A solid 1.3 watts into a 3 inch 8 ohm speaker.


(ubc125xlt 24ohm 0.8 watt) Very popular, I have one on loan for a few weeks at the moment, good sensitivity on airband but I cant say I like it very much, perhaps things will get better the more I use it. I may try scan125 to ease the pain but I cant help thinking, Why for the love of all that is scanning good should I connect to a PC to do basics ? So I have resisted so far. At the mo I am thinking this radio is a huge step back in ergonomics, the icom r2 I had years ago was small,just a few controls but a lot more user friendly)

£50 for a half decent charm offensive on "The Management" (bistro pub lunch plus flowers) there may be headroom on the budget for this if you are lucky depending on the purchase price of item 1.

£100 to a reputable local aerial installer to supply and fit 6ft mast and chimney lashing kit routing the coaxial into loft.

No cables on show, management happy,legendary scanner with great sounding audio you can operate really quick.