Weexplorer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4180 times:
I must have been wrong about this topic appearing in this forum as everyone else has offered their opinions.
I purchased a scanner from ???(Can't remember the name of the shop) the enthusiasts shop at East Midlands airport. It cost about £120 and the guy that runs the place was very helpful. Another good place is Swinburns at BHX airport. As you live close to London there used to be a Lowe Electronics in Ruislip but I haven't been there for ages. Also MachIII at LHR have a range of radios.
Bear in mind there are talks of the frequency spacing being changed so any radio you buy should be able to handle this.
Depending what I am trying to capture, I usually try to listen to the Tower, Arrival, and Taxi frequencies. Tower gives departure and landing clearances, Arrival is when the planes are still 5 to 15 minutes out (gives you advance warning if a plane you are looking for is coming and you are not in position), and Taxi is good for the same but for departing aircraft. Delivery is the frequency they use for start-up clearance, so that can be useful when you are sitting at home waiting for a certain plane to leave (granted - better live close to the airport!)
So having a scanner that can scan 2 or 3 channels cleanly (without clipping) is pretty important. I had a bearcat which was very good at this, at least until I broke it.
Secondly, beware of scanners where they put cheap speakers. You won't understand a thing unless you use an earpiece. A nice, good speaker can't cost them more than a couple of bucks, but they insist on putting in these cheesy 50 cent speakers. While the tiny pocket scanners are nice and portable, you'll have to use an earpiece, but if you don't mind carrying something bigger, test the speaker, and keep in mind that you won't be in a quiet shop, but outdoors with jets running around.