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Can Not Pick Up ATC  
User currently offlineAileron11 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 183 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5315 times:

Does anybody know why I can only pick up airplanes talking on my scanner and not ATC? When atc talks to airplanes I should pick then up just like the airplanes. Also just to let you all know I am new in aviation it is a hobby I just started and SO far I find it a lot of fun. And one last thing what is a good camera for beginners thanks.

Jersey Lou
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSA006 From South Africa, joined Sep 2003, 1885 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5303 times:

Quoting Aileron11 (Thread starter):
Does anybody know why I can only pick up airplanes talking on my scanner and not ATC?

Most air-band scanners are line of sight so they plane has to be flying near your area or you need to be near an airport. You also have to know the frequencies for control centres around your area.

Quoting Aileron11 (Thread starter):
And one last thing what is a good camera for beginners thanks.

Try a search of that topic in the aviation-photography forum , there are many topics on it.

-SA006  wave 

Proudly South African
User currently offlineNighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5361 posts, RR: 30
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5293 times:

as mentioned by SA006...radio receivers work on line of sight. If there is a mountain, or buildings between you and the airport transmitter then you will not receive a signal, and will instead only hear signals from the aircraft.

How far are you from the nearest airport?

That'll teach you
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2416 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5190 times:

When you travel take it with you. Sometimes ACC/ARTCC remote sites are where you least expect them. They usually are not at an airport.

I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineSolarix From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5184 times:

Where are you located? What kind of antenna are you using? The rubber duck that came with your scanner is not the best antenna for airband. In fact, unless you monitor from the airport, don't expect to hear much on it.

You may want to consider an outdoor antenna such as a discone or Scantenna (antennawarehouse.com). It doesn't even have to be mounted outdoors for it to work better than your rubber duckie. But if you can put it outside, by all means do it!

I live about 40 miles from ONT and can hear the tower when using an outdoor antenna. I can also pick up BUR ATIS from my location which is about 90 miles away. And in Utah, I can hear the SLC ATIS from about 100 miles away (this while in the car with an external antenna on the roof).

If you want to go "all out" try a yagi (directional antenna) cut for airband. They are very directional but offer gain and will likely improve you signal quite noticeably.

Good luck.

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