• Scanners-what do you use when railfanning?

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

Moderator: Aa3rt

  • 117 posts
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  by scharnhorst
 
I gave up with using a scanner now that almost every railroad keeps there signal lights on there towers on. At one time the scanner came in handy when I used to spend my time sitting by the Conrail main line back in the 90's but with the new CSX Signal systems the lights are always on and don't turn on and shut off before and after the train passes.
  by Plate C
 
Lost my trusty scanner the other week and am seeking suggestions of what to replace it with, staying around the $100 range give or take?
  by New Haven 1
 
My favorite is my Motorola HT1000. While it isn't necessary for listening purposes, I like the fact that these radios allow on a per channel basis to select bandwidth so all of my RR frequencies are set to receive @ the 12.5 KHz narrowband improving sensitivity while the 2 Meter ham Frequencies I use for talking to friends can at the same time be set for the 25 KHz spacing for ham use. You can't beat the military grade commercial quality electronics from durability to accuracy regarding staying on frequency. To boot, I love the transmit and receive range that the factory Motorola 8 1/4" tall wideband ( 136-174 Mhz. ) antenna affords. These radios can be found on ebay for incredibly cheap prices, but, if you get one you will understand why Motorola was selling them for $1000.00 apiece when they were in production. The VHF model I have has performed flawlessly for several years despite being dropped ( unintentionally ) a few times. My bearcat SC150 while decent is nowhere near as sensitive.
  by Plate C
 
Thought I'd check back in here. Never replaced my lost scanner, about time I do. Again seeking suggestions around the $100-150 range. Someone had mentioned Wouxun to me but don't recall the model, and heard others say Uniden is what is mostly used now.
  by Aa3rt
 
I picked up a BC75XLT a couple of years ago. This scanner has 10 preprogrammed banks in it, of interest to you would be the railroad bank (Along with weather, police, fire, marine, racing frequencies, air, ham AKA amateur radio, CB and one listed as "Other" that covers FRS, GMRS and MURS frequencies).

I've taken mine on trackside forays as well as while riding Amtrak and MARC trains and it performs well. I would suggest a different antenna to replace the supplied "rubber duck" and will advise you that battery life is somewhat limited (It only uses two "AA" batteries) so I generally get approximately 5 to 6 hours of use.

Here's a some information from RadioReference on the scanner:

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/BC75XLT

A link to "Bearcat Warehouse" where the BC75XLT is selling for $80. (I've no connection to Bearcat Warehouse except as a satisfied customer.)

http://www.bearcatwarehouse.com/scanner ... ld-scanner
  by Backshophoss
 
Make sure the scanner can handle narrowbanded channels,Uniden/Bearcat scanners can be found at most major Truckstops
(T/A,Pilot,Flying J)
With Radio Shack now "Dead and Buried", most larger towns/cities have a retailer handling Shortwave Radios/CB radios.
Otherwise you wind up going the "online purchase" routine to purchase. :(
  by csx8851
 
I have a similar model to yours and have considered replacing the original rubber duck antenna. Anyone have any good suggestions on what I can replace it with? I am trying to get at least a few miles on a good day but with the old stock antenna, it only goes for about a mile tops.
  by Ronal U18C Indonesia
 
csx8851 wrote:I have a similar model to yours and have considered replacing the original rubber duck antenna. Anyone have any good suggestions on what I can replace it with? I am trying to get at least a few miles on a good day but with the old stock antenna, it only goes for about a mile tops.
Insya Allah I am use Prince PC 10 cell phone, because He has a interphone feature
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Will railroads soon follow suit?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/want-to-lis ... 1526558400" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
A report of a suspicious person crackled from John Messner’s RadioShack police scanner, one of two he keeps at his home in Knoxville, Tenn.

When an officer was heard yelling “Shots fired!” minutes later, Mr. Messner knew it was time to go. The 52-year-old construction worker and photographer grabbed his two cameras, his portable scanner, jumped in his 1999 Plymouth Voyager minivan, and raced to the scene 3 miles away, where a suspected burglar was shot by police.

“When I got there, the guy was still on the ground, they hadn’t put him in the ambulance yet,” said Mr. Messner of the November incident. “It didn’t look like he was dead, but he was definitely hit.
  by Gadfly
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Will railroads soon follow suit?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/want-to-lis ... 1526558400" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use:
A report of a suspicious person crackled from John Messner’s RadioShack police scanner, one of two he keeps at his home in Knoxville, Tenn.

When an officer was heard yelling “Shots fired!” minutes later, Mr. Messner knew it was time to go. The 52-year-old construction worker and photographer grabbed his two cameras, his portable scanner, jumped in his 1999 Plymouth Voyager minivan, and raced to the scene 3 miles away, where a suspected burglar was shot by police.

“When I got there, the guy was still on the ground, they hadn’t put him in the ambulance yet,” said Mr. Messner of the November incident. “It didn’t look like he was dead, but he was definitely hit.
This is one of the things that leads to encryption of radio traffic: ambulance chasers. If you are not a member of the bonafide media, the ES personnel, this "hobby" of his is illegal.. It is known as "ambulance chasing", and if the cops know you showed up just because you heard something, you can be jailed for it. It ain't a good idea, and makes it harder for hobby scanner listeners to pursue their hobby.

GF
  by Ken W2KB
 
Gadfly wrote:
This is one of the things that leads to encryption of radio traffic: ambulance chasers. If you are not a member of the bonafide media, the ES personnel, this "hobby" of his is illegal.. It is known as "ambulance chasing", and if the cops know you showed up just because you heard something, you can be jailed for it. It ain't a good idea, and makes it harder for hobby scanner listeners to pursue their hobby.

GF
I don't know of any valid law that prohibits spectators from showing up at a crime scene, other emergency, etc., based on information received on a scanner, text, etc. So long as the spectator remains on public property, or private property with the owner's or tenant's permission, and behind reasonably established police lines thus not interfering with the operation, the spectator is free to remain and take photographs if desired. Such activity is a protected right under the Constitution.
  by Denver Dude
 
Ken W2KB wrote:
Gadfly wrote:
This is one of the things that leads to encryption of radio traffic: ambulance chasers. If you are not a member of the bonafide media, the ES personnel, this "hobby" of his is illegal.. It is known as "ambulance chasing", and if the cops know you showed up just because you heard something, you can be jailed for it. It ain't a good idea, and makes it harder for hobby scanner listeners to pursue their hobby.

GF
I don't know of any valid law that prohibits spectators from showing up at a crime scene, other emergency, etc., based on information received on a scanner, text, etc. So long as the spectator remains on public property, or private property with the owner's or tenant's permission, and behind reasonably established police lines thus not interfering with the operation, the spectator is free to remain and take photographs if desired. Such activity is a protected right under the Constitution.
Exactly. What Ken said is untrue. It's amazing how many people don't know their rights.
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