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Scanner Radios For Spotting?  
User currently offlineConoramoia From Ireland, joined Oct 2007, 499 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3766 times:

Hi all,

I've been thinking of getting a scanner radio.
My questions are....

1) Is it illegal to listen to ATC?

2)What can be said to you if you were found with one by police?(BTW My only intention is to listen to ATC)

3)Are you better off not to travel with them?

Regards,


Conor

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3748 times:

1) No.

2) 'Allo 'Allo 'Allo!

3) Yes.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineConoramoia From Ireland, joined Oct 2007, 499 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 3742 times:



Quoting Viv (Reply 1):
'Allo 'Allo 'Allo!

Lol!  Smile

I am genuine, it's just that I read it in a forum (non-aviation) that it is ilegal to listen to Fire brigade,police (etc.) but not aviation so I'm thinking for someone in Galway(Viv,your probably the only one here that even knows Galway is a city!)that it maybe suspicious considering how aviation is not known as a hobby here?

Regards,

Conor


User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3734 times:

Conor,

It is legal to listen, but not to transmit on the airband frequencies. Best to keep it out of sight anyway.

Can't speak for the Polis in Galway, but I had a girlfriend who got me drunk there and took advantage of me - it was lovely.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineSpencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3729 times:

Even though we (spotters) use them, I'm pretty sure they're illegal to use. The fact that it's a silly law and tolerance towards it may be in our favour, it's against the law to use one (but maybe not own one?).
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineTrackcharlie From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3729 times:

It's one of those grey areas I think. The poilice used to care a whole lot more when a scanner could pick up their comms. In England anyway, I think they are all digital personal mobile radios (PMRs) now, so a scanner is only good for ATC and anything else on VHF or UHF.

Every scanner I've owned (3 now I think) had a function to blank the memory banks in a flash, but this could look dodgier than being honest. I use mine with white ipod earphones so it looks like I'm listening to music!

Whenever I've been to LHR photography places on a nice weekend day, there are loads of people with scanners. The police must know this but I've never heard of any bother arising from it, even in these recent times of heightened security.


TC


User currently offlineTrackcharlie From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3724 times:

OK.

Have a read.

TC.


User currently offlineAlevik From Canada, joined Mar 2009, 964 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days ago) and read 3714 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD SCREENER

Can't speak to European regulations, sorry.

In Canada and the US, every airport I've been to it is no problem at all. Listen away. I have even heard the tower at one airport speak of/to me - "Hey there's that anet guy in the black truck again - wave if you can hear us!" So of course, I waved back. The SWAT team did not show up.



Improvise, adapt, overcome.
User currently offlineVishaljo From India, joined Aug 2006, 468 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3705 times:



Quote:
http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/ifi/enforcement/guidance

Question: Am I breaking the law by owning a scanner?
Answer: No, but you should not use one to listen to frequencies other than general reception transmissions.

Question: Can I get a license to use a scanner?
Answer: No, there is no scanner license. You do not need one for a scanner.

Question: Could I get authority to listen to emergency service transmissions, for example? I am interested and might be able to help.
Answer: No, authority is reserved for people acting under statutory authority. If you wish to listen in to messages, you should obtain the permission of the person sending them.

Question: Isn't it all right to listen as long as I don't pass on what I hear?
Answer: No, using radio equipment to listen in is an offense, regardless of whether the information is passed on.

Question: Isn't this all a bit heavy?
Answer: No. No-one likes their private or business conversations to be listened to. Parliament has passed these laws to protect the privacy of radio users.

Every second Q&A ironically cancels out the previous.
So as per # 1, 2 & 4 u can own a scanner but not use it for what people buy scanners for  thumbsup 

As per # 5, its illegal to listen in as the communication between ATC & Pilots is Private talk, not meant for others  boggled 


User currently offlineMadViking From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 193 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3697 times:

Be discreet in today's world of aviation, but there's nothing wrong with enjoying listening to professionals flying in and out of your airport and surrounding airspace. Go to any flying club store or specialty electronics communication store and you will find a vast array of scanners and radios. Sure you need a "Radiotelephone" license to transmit for air and marine, but just a general receiver may be purchased without any limitations. Here in Canada, the airwaves are considered to be owned by the public and therefore anyone can listen in. However, we cannot use them for personal gain, or profit from what we have heard, or something like that.

User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3690 times:

Quoting Conoramoia (Thread starter):
I've been thinking of getting a scanner radio.
My questions are....

Basically, according to the policy - you can legally have one without getting into trouble, but if you use it to listen in on ATC communications, and plane communications, that is NOT legal and you'll get into trouble for it.

What a stupid policy!  It's like giving someone a brand new Ferrari and then telling them it's illegal for them to drive it.

[Edited 2010-01-01 20:43:42 by cpd]

User currently offlineZbot69 From Hong Kong, joined May 2009, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3689 times:

Hey Conor,

I really can't imagine this hobby without a radio. The radio has saved my bacon more than a few times, especially at larger fields when multiple runways are in use. Great asset and a definite must have. Not to mention the entertainment factor when communications turn interesting.

You should have a look at the Yaesu VR-120D. A real pocket rocket. Very decent price, good performance (solid 20-hours of nonstop use off of just 2 AAs... ridiculously easy to add to your bag) and above all where your needs are concerned... highly concealable. You can stuff it in a shirt pocket, cargo pocket, just about anywhere. Fits in the palm of your hand. If you feel comfortable with the radio out, get a better antenna for it. The supplied antenna is a generic duckie and underperforms airband aerials.

I travel with the Yaesu. No one's ever asked me about it. Never really given it a second thought. Maybe something to do with it's size. It looks like a toy. I can imagine it's hard to take it seriously. It's relatively cheap vis-a-vis other aviation radios, so if I did lose it I would just go buy another without shedding a tear. You won't see me carrying my Yupiteru around with that sort of abandon though.

Haven't had a problem traveling with it yet. Used scanners in the US, UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong... no probs. That said, considering the ferocious pace with which the new Paranoia is devouring common sense and reason... who knows what tomorrow holds.

You should definitely get one though, even if you do decide not to travel with it.

Have a great year!

[Edited 2010-01-01 21:51:40 by zbot69]

User currently offlineConoramoia From Ireland, joined Oct 2007, 499 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3633 times:

Hi all,

Thaks for the replies!

Okay, I'm still thinking......

Quoting Zbot69 (Reply 11):
who knows what tomorrow holds.

Exactly my problem!
If I did decide to travel with one on a plane would it be okay to take out the batteries and put it into my checked in luggage?



Regards,

Conor


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6407 posts, RR: 38
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 3560 times:



Quoting Conoramoia (Thread starter):
3)Are you better off not to travel with them?

I took mine to Australia when I went in November but I completely forgot about it and it ended up just being an item of weight. I was a bit scared in taking it out and using it inside the terminal anyway. When I went to Sydney in Jan, I listened to my A380 arrive before I cleared customs and wowed the gatherers at the observation deck who had relatives on that flight. Most people are intrigued but the ones less so are the aviation security people. Not that they could tell what it is when it goes through the x-ray machine (once they looked at such a messed up image of things in my bag they had to re-scan it - noise cancelling headset, scanner, ipod, camera, phone all at once lol).

Once at Auckland Airport I was questioned by an AvSec patrolling person and he told me to switch it off.. I really have no idea what that was about though.

I've travelled with one plenty of times and haven't been questioned once. But I guess I haven't been to Europe, Asia or USA with it and that could be a different story; especially in Singapore.

Quoting Trackcharlie (Reply 5):
I use mine with white ipod earphones so it looks like I'm listening to music!

Ditto that!



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineZbot69 From Hong Kong, joined May 2009, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 3 hours ago) and read 3529 times:



Quoting Conoramoia (Reply 12):
If I did decide to travel with one on a plane would it be okay to take out the batteries and put it into my checked in luggage
?

Even with the accelerating hysteria, most often at customs points they're looking for much larger ticket items than lowly radio receivers. It just doesn't rate high enough on anyone's radar.

Get one for your local airport for starters. It will definitely add a dimension to your photography experience.


Cheers!


User currently offlineGabik001 From Poland, joined Jun 2005, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

Hi all.
I am using a Radioshack pro94 scanner ALWAYS when sitting around the airport (ORD) I am listening ATC , TWR and GND simultanously (scanning 100ch per sec) and never receive any problems from authorities (means police or airport security). Only once when officer saw me hidden between buildings sunday morning (when all industrial business are closed) then took a look inside my car and then ask me what is this... I said I bought it in radioshack store legally so if I can buy it in the official store so listening is legal... But it was my fault hiding between buildings.
Anyway , listenig is legal (of course frequencies that are allowed to listening means no cell phone frequencies or military airband) but publishing it is a violation (if you have no permission to do that). Even if you allow some spotters to listen signals from your scanner can be threated as a violation , but can be explained.
Using a scanner during hunting on aircrafts is very helpful. It help me dozen of times , sometimes when approaching of some interesting a/c is obvious (e.g. heavy cargo will land on longest rwy) but ATC can allow to land on shorter rwy (we never know weight of aircraft) so we always have some spare time to change spotting place. Using a scanner is one step ahead of a/c  
Regards from ORD
Gabriel

[Edited 2010-01-03 20:34:49 by gabik001]


Canon 50D gripped + Canon 70D +17-85IS USM + 18-55 STM + 100-400L IS USM + Minolta X300 w/ 35-70 f/3.5
User currently offlineSmAlbany From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3397 times:



Quoting Gabik001 (Reply 15):
no cell phone frequencies or military airband

At least where I live in NY, that is not entirely true. Cell phone scanning is illegal - but most cell phones are no longer really scan-able anyway. Scanners sold to the general public in the US are blocked for cell phone frequency ranges anyway. Military air frequencies are fair game though.

Emergency services can be listened to. The strange law in NY, however, is that you are not allowed to have the scanner in your car. Not a law that I have seen enforced.

As others have said in this thread, my preffered method while traveling is to have my small scanner in my backpack (Icom IC-R2) and listen in on headphones. I'm not given a second look by anyone.


User currently offlineGabik001 From Poland, joined Jun 2005, 206 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 3359 times:

Cell phones are not scannable because manufacturers are using A3/A8 COMP128-2/3 security algoritms (obviously in GSM ) that are difficult to break (at least 8 hrs) and equipment is very expensive. TDMA/CDMA are easy to listen - you ahve just to find out cell channel freq. and decode signal. But IMO it is pointless.
No problems here , in Chicagoland when you have a scanner inside a car (I had a situation when taking photos with my 100-400 L lens on and somebody called police because "some guy pionting aircrafts with something long" and K-9 unit arrived with company of two others police units to search my car - they found scanner in my car but they didn't ask for what I am using it) so I never thought I was doing something illegal when listening. Here , at ORD, sometimes appearing some guy and he got a scanner with amplified speaker that he always listen conversations loud.
I was using my scanner during a flight that was hide inside my backpack and I used a headphones that airline provided onboard... I only regret that my scanner does not cover HF airband that allow to listen aircrafts at high altitude (I mean eg. when entering another center) - but it obvious it is pretty wide band starting from 1900 kHz thru 8900kHz - my scanner cover from 29Mhz thru 1200 with some holes...
BTW now I am trying to set military airband on it by adding some electronic parts. I hope it will work.
Regards , Gabriel



Canon 50D gripped + Canon 70D +17-85IS USM + 18-55 STM + 100-400L IS USM + Minolta X300 w/ 35-70 f/3.5
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