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Radio scanners

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,276
Thanks: 72
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Radio scanners

Anybody know anything about scanners; that's radio (AM/FM VHF/UHF SSB etc) not flat bed. and if they interfere with broadband wireless routers etc. or perhaps even the other way round, do wireless routers interfere with radio scanners (when used with indoor aerials)
I've had one for years, and hardly used it, dates back to at least 1993, about the same time many radio frequencies were going digital, making radio scanners pretty useless for the more unscruplulous users, but dusted it off the other day (always had an interest in airband) but noticed when placed near either of our two wireless router connected laptops it gives out with a very loud hum, especially the older one, which uses a plug-in card type connector.
It's not giving me any particular issues (as long as the units are not too close together) but just curious if there may be some potential problems?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
5 REPLIES
Pendragon
Rising Star
Posts: 426
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Radio scanners

I use one now and then when I’m bored and have nothing special to do. I’ve found it best to use either an outside or (in my case) a loft aerial for better signal strength. When used with its telescopic aerial indoors it will pick up odd ‘hash and rubbish’ especially when placed near to mains cables in the walls or cordless phones.
One nuisance for me is one of our computers will blot out marine channel 73 (used by our local coastguard as working channel) but the others cause no problems at all. Moving the unit around can significantly alter the signal strength and placing it near a window or using it upstairs will always give better reception.
It is unlikely it will cause interference to other things like WiFi etc as the internal frequencies are usually shielded and would need to be very close to effect anything.
Don’t forget like everything in the UK it is always illegal to listen to any channel you don’t have a licence to listen too (even the TV audio channels if you don’t have a licence) but having said that …
There is still a wide variety of bits worth listing too like the coastguard (if your near the sea), aircraft (better if near an airfield), and for at least another year until they go digital the Fire Service. Oh yes and the spacecraft and space-station when they come round our side of the world as well as armature (Ham) radio if you have the coverage.
Just don’t mention anything you hear in your daily conversations with anyone  Wink.
Regards, P.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Radio scanners

Bit confused as you mention SSB this is normally used on short wave not uhf/vhf.
All radio will give off some noises etc how much depends on how well the radio is shielded and there will be harmonics given off. with an external antena there should be little problem and dont forget you can use the scanner with the pc as you can get RRTY  morse etc and use the pc to decode it even SSTV
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,276
Thanks: 72
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Radio scanners

Hi Samuria, my scanner has a limited single side band capability. I've never even thought about using through my PC, will look into that...from my very early years with the RAF I was loosely familiar with morse, but never progressed to amateur radio or G license to refine it, but can barely string SOS together nowadays, don't believe those who tell you it's like riding a bike and you never forget, it's something that has to be maintained throughly..or is for me, especially at the speeds the really good ones get up to.
No, my main interest was always airband, living at one time within a stones throw of Heathrow made practicing that hobby quite easy. Listening in to taxi drivers, and accidental breakthough of early (analogue) private mobile conversations had a very limited appeal for me thanks, can't do it now anyway with digital.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 26,414
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Radio scanners

I have an ICOM IC-R5 which has a very wide band.
0.150 to 1309.995MHz wide band coverage with AM, FM, WFM modes.
Built-in rod antenna
Total of 1250 memory channels (1000 regular channels with 18 memory banks, 50 scan edges and 200 auto memory write channels)
High speed scanning (30 channels per second)
It picks up all the usual stuff including TV sound.
It's usually set to scan ATC channels which I, in my sad little way, find quite entertaining.
Not cheap but well worth the money and the build quality is very high.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead - Thomas Paine
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,276
Thanks: 72
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Radio scanners

Uhmm!! that's a nice one FretMaster, but a bit beyond what I have here, and in all honesty far in excess of anything I'm ever likely to need. mines a 14/15 year old AOR AR208 (what would be described as "desktop" these days) which has been described elsewhere as a bit "plastiky" it served very well the purpose it was intended for, but is slightly "old-tech" these days, but it's SSB facility (rarely used, if ever) is very hit or miss, especially coupled to anything resembling a decent aerial.
I live in a sort of elongated triangle between Luton, Heathrow airports and the Bovingdon beacon, I actually get better reception on my even older hand held, manually twiddled (with two tuned crystals) airband receiver. No all this came up since I was shifting things around in my "office" and more wondered if the thing still worked at all, rather than any serious thoughts of taking up the "hobby" again, but became slightly alarmed at the amount of static noises it emitted when anywhere our laptops, and indeed my desktop as well. It occurred to me that it might just corrupt any downloads that might be going on at the same time, It does though however still seem to work, but I don't have a discone twig or anything like that nowadays, nor am I likely to be purchasing one.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.