Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

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Re: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby mickydt » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:59 pm

those little aerials are basically yuk and to be honest won't pick up much. you really need something more substantial there are aerials which can be used indoors or best outside.

there are stacks of both indoor and outdoor aerials and i am pretty sure others will give good advice.

i have just purchased a sdrplay as i fancy having a muck around again to see what i can find makes a change from using the scanner radio.
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Re: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby G4RMT » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:01 pm

StandingWave wrote:
G4RMT wrote:I'll keep a network radio in the van, but activity of interest locally is just dead.


I have never heard of a network radio before. What are they?


Blimey = imagine something that looks like a radio, sounds like a radio and can link to any other (or huge groups of radios) all over the world - anywhere where there is internet coverage. They work just like normal radios. Have a Google - you can set up for silly cheap prices - a data only SIM card - less than twenty quid a year, and then use them privately, or for business and no licences and pretty good service. The only places they have poor coverage are the same places normal radio have issues with - the middle of nowhere!

My clients on my repeater do local executive transport = they only needed in and around the town, but do the occasional Stansted trips - I introduced them to network radios, and sold them a few units - and now they don't use the real radios at all. There are apps like zello that let you use them like old fashioned CB or ham radio - but you can talk to somebody taking the kids to school in New York and somebody else in a desert in Dubai - just like a worldwide CB. There are even idiots too - but because it's networked, anyone who plays up can simply be banned from the network so trouble is easy to manage.
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Re: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby Forum Helper » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:55 pm

Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?


There certainly is! Depending on the area you live in there are lots of people to listen to.

There are a lot of national users such as Marine, Airband and Military. Personally.. I like to listen to local users! I listen to the following local users..

Shopwatch, Pubwatch, Taxis, Security at lots of places, University staff and security, CB users mostly foul mouthed truckers, Job Center security, Football matches and rock concerts and events and a lot more.

Personally though my favourite user is a local married couple. They have kept the old VHF radios from a place here that has shut down. They are licensed frequencies so no other users on the frequency and they think they are 100% private :mrgreeny:
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Re: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby Minus1 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:10 am

StandingWave wrote:
m0lsx wrote:
The guy at Nevada radio suggested the Uniden 3600 XLT. I'm just reading a book about air band and the author suggests buying a band specific radio rather than a multiband scanner. Says they provide much better reception? That does sound reasonable as a multiband must involve some compromises.



Professional airband transceivers do 8.33 kHz channels properly. Most scanners do not, unless you are prepared to fork out on a scanner that has adjustable (narrow) AM bandwidth (i.e. AOR or ICOM); but even then they do not do channels in the sense that you cannot input "118.115" and automatically get 118.1166
A professional airband transceivers will do this, but the scanning features may be limited (low quantity of memories and short memory channel names); and you need to be careful not to accidentally transmit (on the Yaesu FTA-250, transmit can be disabled thru the menus).

Amazing to me that no scanner manufacturer has noticed this gap in the market. Doubtless because none of them are based in Europe. :rolleyes:
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: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby Scan125 » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:07 pm

Minus1 wrote:
Professional airband transceivers do 8.33 kHz channels properly. Most scanners do not, unless you are prepared to fork out on a scanner that has adjustable (narrow) AM bandwidth (i.e. AOR or ICOM); but even then they do not do channels in the sense that you cannot input "118.115" and automatically get 118.1166
A professional airband transceivers will do this, but the scanning features may be limited (low quantity of memories and short memory channel names); and you need to be careful not to accidentally transmit (on the Yaesu FTA-250, transmit can be disabled thru the menus).

Amazing to me that no scanner manufacturer has noticed this gap in the market. Doubtless because none of them are based in Europe. :rolleyes:


Well for people just mainly interested in Airband then the UBC125XLT is a good choice. I gets most of the 8.33kHz frequencies correct, but not all. If you use my Scan125 Control Program then this has an "Airband Correction" function which corrects the 8.33kHz frequencies that the UBC125XLT gets wrong.

The bonus with the UBC125XLT is that you also get the Mil Airband as well.

The Yaesu FTA-250l is a professional bit if kit but is strictly Civil Airband only. It is rugged, weather proof and uses a decent lithium ion battery with good life. It is a little smaller than the 125 but heavier. The keys are a little on the small side but manageable. Interestingly the 250 supports scanning!

Warning! The FTA-250L is a TRANSCEIVER and can transmit on all Civil Airband frequencies. If you are not using the device in an official authorised capacity (pilot, ground crew etc.) then you MUST ensure that TX ability is turned off. If using at air shows etc. as a spectator or around airports and airfields then you may be challenged by officials and if they find that TX is enabled then you will be in really deep trouble.

When I spoke to Yaesu technical then I was told that they can permanently disable the TX function if requested but gave no price or turnaround time. So the option is there for those who want it.

Lastly the FTA-250L can be programmed from a PC with their free program. No API commands have been published and are not available. Thus far I've been unable to detect and remote/PC real time control functional ability so if you are looking full PC control of a scanner that covers airband and/or mil airband then one should be looking at the UBC125XLT. Also a safer bet for not accidentally getting into trouble etc.
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Re: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby StandingWave » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:31 pm

I had been thinking about the UBC125XLT a while back as they are quite reasonably priced on Amazon. In the meantime, SDRplay have just released a new version of their SDRuno software that has a scanner feature built in. I have not had a proper play with it yet, but it does appear to support 8.333kHz steps.

I also picked up a Yupiteru 7100 cheaply as a general purpose scanner just to see what's out there. It doesn't have 8.333kHz spacing but I found that while upstairs, I could pick up East Midlands tower on 124,000kHz and occasionally Leicester Airport, both by using just the small telescopic whip. This at least demonstrates that it is possible to pick up some air traffic from my location. As a next step, I was thinking of investing in a discone. I appreciate that placing it outside would be better, but for practical reasons I may have to put it in the loft. Is placing it in the loft still likely to improve performace over the supplied whip antenna?
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Re: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby Minus1 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:58 am

StandingWave wrote: Is placing it in the loft still likely to improve performace over the supplied whip antenna?


Yes, massively. Height is always good.
But ensure your loft does not have metallic/foil backed insulation under the roof, otherwise outside is going to be better.
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: Is there anything worth scanning in the UK?

Postby rozbiff » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:51 am

StandingWave wrote:What I now need to find is some scanner software for the SDR...


As mentioned elsewhere on here the SDRuno software which SDRplay provide (free download) now has a scanning function which will work with the SDRplay device you just bought. It's not the best scanner software but it's a good start and I'm sure they'll improve it eventually.
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