Scanners-what do you use when railfanning?

Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.

Moderator: Aa3rt

The S.P. Caboose

Post by The S.P. Caboose » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:31 am

I use a PRO-76. 200 channels is more than enough for me.

ironhorse1

Post by ironhorse1 » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:05 am

I use a Motorola Maxtrac (32 channel) in my truck and a Visar trackside. I also have a Kenwood TM-271A that pulls the stream.

chrisjz

Post by chrisjz » Wed May 03, 2006 12:42 pm

When at work on the railroad (NS) I use a Kenwood TK-290 but when out foaming I use either my VHF Motorola Astro Saber or VHF GE MPA. Both have excellent receivers and work very well.

ColonyLine

Post by ColonyLine » Wed May 03, 2006 2:47 pm

I use 32 channel GE phoenix radios in the base and mobile. Base has an Icom multiband transmitable discone antenna. Moblile has a commercial Antenna Spec. 150-170mhz magmount antenna. The portable is an Icom H-16 16 channel with a stock rubber duck antenna. Backup scanners are a Regency MX7000 20 channel and a Rat Shack PRO-2020 20 channel. The mobile antenna provides superb reception distance and the base antenna is fair to good. Base antenna will be replaced with a commercial 150-170mhz base antenna as soon as I can find someone to climb a big pine tree.

Chris

jmp883
Posts: 637
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:59 pm
Location: Northern NJ

Post by jmp883 » Wed May 03, 2006 7:30 pm

I wrote:
Trackside I use a Sony Wavehawk handheld. In the car I have a Bearcat BC-780. In the house I have a listening post comprised of another BC-780, 2 BC-895's, and a BC-890 that are run through an antenna amplifier to a roof-mounted antenna.
Things have changed slightly since I made that post. I now have my amateur radio license and no longer have the 780 in my vehicle. That has joined the other 780 in the home listening post. In my vehicle I now use a Kenwood 2m/70cm transceiver that also receives VHF-Hi/UHF. I've also parked the Sony Wavehawk handheld in favor of a Yaesu FT-60R 2m/70cm handheld transceiver with the same capabilities.

An advantage to using amateur radios for railfanning is if you have radios with 'dual-watch' capability you can monitor the railroad and still be able to talk with each other about where the best photo spot is, etc. Simply stated, dual-watch allows you to select one channel you want to monitor while operating on another. Pick your railroad channel, then pick a simplex frequency and you're good to go. Gonna be trying this out this weekend on a railfanning trip. :wink:
Last edited by jmp883 on Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Joe P, KC2PJL

Charter Member of the Red Knights International Motorcycle Club, NJ Chapter 15
Amateur radio....the only REAL radio left in the world.
Emergency Services Dispatcher

tazman021706

Post by tazman021706 » Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:57 pm

An old Pro-46, VX-150 (both to listen to railroad and tx on ham freq's) and a FT-90 in the car

Antonio Luna

Post by Antonio Luna » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:03 pm

Just picked up a PR0-91 150 Channel Scanner.

:-D

alex45

Post by alex45 » Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:41 pm

I dont use one when i railfan. But I do have a scanner radio in my house where I can listen to the trains

danco

Post by danco » Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:57 am

Yaesu FT-8800R in the car, VX-7R on foot.

73 de Dan, KE7HLR

Conrail4evr
Posts: 374
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:39 pm

Post by Conrail4evr » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:20 am

Kenwood TK-760G mobile, Motorola GP68 portable.

izzy1975
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:57 pm
Location: mexico,ny

re; i use ....

Post by izzy1975 » Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:52 pm

Uniden BCT - 8 , Uniden BCT-350C, and a Undien BC400XLT all are excellent scanners and set to different freqs. All three are hooked to a Workman discone Antenna when they are in the house and when they go mbile they all have there own antenna. Also i have Magnum S-9 Nitro Cb radiohooked to a Wilson 5k and texas Star sweet16

Conrail1990
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Newark. Delaware

Post by Conrail1990 » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:08 pm

I use a uniden 50 channel 800MHz radio scanner. Its easy to program train frequencies into it. Bad thing is that I lost the guide.

hailster

Post by hailster » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:50 am

At home I use my IC-706mkiig, however I don't normally monitor rail frequencies at home since I use that radio for HF on the ham bands.
In the car I use my IC-207h. It's a dualband 2m/70cm ham radio.

And when I'm trackside or just out and about I use my IC-T90a.

-Tim
KC9FSH

Aa3rt
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:09 pm
Location: La Plata, MD, MP 38.8 on the Pope's Creek sub

Post by Aa3rt » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:38 pm

Conrail1990 wrote:I use a uniden 50 channel 800MHz radio scanner. Its easy to program train frequencies into it. Bad thing is that I lost the guide.
Conrail1990-You don't mention which model you're using but you can go to the Uniden website and download or order the manual for your particular scanner. Try:

http://www.uniden.com/products/index.cfm?cat=scanners
Art Audley, AA3RT
Moderator: Railroad Radio & Communications, Railroads in Books, Magazines, Music, TV and other Media, General Discussion: Fallen Trolley & Interurban Lines, General Discussion: Shortline, Industrial & Military Railroads,

Conrail1990
Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Newark. Delaware

Post by Conrail1990 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:43 pm

sorry. Its a Uniden BC80XLT. I bought it at a Nascar Nextel cup race.

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