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Hearing Controllers On Scanner  
User currently offlineNWA744 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 70 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5651 times:

Is there any way that you can hear the controller's side of a radio communication on a radio scanner?

I heard somewhere that if you somehow hooked up your scanner antenna to your cable TV jack, then the Cable company's antenna might be high enough to pick up the controller's signal, but that sounds kind of far fetched...any ideas? Is it at all possible?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSA006 From South Africa, joined Sep 2003, 1885 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5601 times:

I can hear Jhannesburg Centre controllers probably because their airspace is pretty big...its pretty much line of sight my friend. Although I struggle to hear Johannesburg Approach/Departure controllers probably because their airspace is smalller and their buildings are at FAJS.

Hope this helps  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


Proudly South African
User currently offlineWilsonjcobb From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5449 times:

I can hear Memphis Center here in Nashville but can hardly hear the local controllers side very often. Certain MEM center frequencies operate on a repeater in the area. As far as I know BNA ATC doesn't. Line of sight is the rule here as the last poster said. When conditions are right then you might hear the local controllers.


User currently offlinePwm2txlhopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5409 times:

Basically I think what they are saying is that you're out of range. If you were closer to the transmitter, than you would be able to hear the controllers end of it.
And just like with a plane, you could probably pick up the controllers end of it where you are right now if you gained alltitude. The higher you go, the further from the transmission source you can be and still receive reception.

User currently offlineJamotcx From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1037 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5385 times:

Yup, you need to be closer to the transmitters, or higher up at a few thousand feet  Smile

I have the same problem in Manchester, I can hear the pilots with approach, but not the controllers. But when I go within a couple of miles of the airport you can hear everything.


User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1290 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (11 years 12 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5383 times:

It's not even about being closer to the transmitter. All you will need is an outside antenna which should be located on the roof and it's not the quality of the antenna you wanna look into its the quality of the coaxial cable. I think above it was explained quite well. The closer anything is to the ground, the harder it will be to get a good signal because of objects are blocking the transmission. For instance, traffic in a Center's airspace would be easier to hear than something at 6,000 to 2,000 on approach. So if you think about it ATC facilities are on the ground not in the air, thus you have objects blocking the way of the transmissions. It's also in the power of an antenna, for higher quality of reception. Someone also mentioned repeaters above, that would of course help if you we're near a repeater.

User currently offlineBenB From Israel, joined Jul 2003, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 12 months 16 hours ago) and read 5339 times:

Do you know where one can buy antennas, suitable for listening to ATC on the internet? (International shipment is important too)

User currently offlineNWA744 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 12 months 12 hours ago) and read 5322 times:

Thanks for the responses. So basically, if I put an antenna on the roof, there's a possibility I could pick up the transmissions? What kind of antenna, like a TV antenna? How would I hook it up to my Radioshack scanner?

User currently offline5T6 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5276 times:

For those looking for an outdoor antenna for their scanners, you can try an omni-directional VHF Amatuer Radio antenna. The ham band is from 144 - 148MHz, so it's not an exact match, but it will work just great for recieving and can be found for very affordable prices. Radio Shack also makes a discone antenna that covers DC to light...a bit more expensive, but a good antenna. If your scanner has a BNC antenna connector on it for the "rubber duck" that came with it, all you'll need to do is get an adaptor for the PL259 connector on the ham antenna (also cheap and available at most any electronics parts place)

TV antennas tend to be directional yagis. They will work, but the ham antenna is more practical and (probably) cheaper.

Whatever you go with, get it as high off the ground as possible!!

Hope this helps,


I see my Cats as Companions. My Cats see Me as Furniture!
User currently offlineNWA744 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5262 times:

Any validity to the cable TV rumor I heard? (that you could hook your scanner up to a cable TV jack and hear the controllers?)

User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5198 times:

No way, you would only get interference from the cable signal.

According to a an antenna FAQ I found in a site I don't remember, you can use anything as an antenna, as long as it is metallic. When my (&^$@%!!!!) brother broke my antenna, I used my car's license plate, and it worked better than the original antenna!!! (Probably because of the larger area).

I found this: http://www.mobileone.com.au/antenna/airband.htm

Just my $0.02 Big grin

User currently offlineCVGpilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 588 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 5161 times:

So what would be the best coaxial cable one could buy???

Globally Yours
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