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ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.  
User currently offlineTrichos From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 22 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3030 times:

Will carrying a scanner on a trip cause security issues?
I will be taking a trip this summer and have a good layover (only Anet folks would consider 2.5 hrs a good layover). What better place to try to listen to ATC than in an airport? I realize I need to make sure it is off for the flights. I don't get to fly much so I am not sure how things work now.

Will TSA seize my scanner? Will they have other issues? If I am sitting in the airport listening will I be tackled and carried off as a threat?

I know this has been discussed before, but things have changed since the last posts. If anyone has carried a scanner through a USA airport security lately, what was your experience? Can you hear anything in the airport or are the signals blocked?

If it matters, expected airports involved; jax, iah, and btr.

Thanks.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNewark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3016 times:

I've taken scanners in my carry on in the post-9/11 era, without any problems. One time one of the TSA agents kind of looked at it, I just said, "for NASCAR," and he just nodded and put it back in my bag.  Smile

As for reception, you can get some dead spots in the terminal, but I can usually pick most stuff up pretty well.

Harry



Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
User currently offlineGuth From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3016 times:

Hi

I almost always bring my scanner with me in my carry-on when I travel and I have never had a problem with security in either the States or Canada. When I listen to it in the terminal I am discreet about it. I use headphones and leave the scanner inside my bag. Nobody has ever questioned me about it.

Happy listening!


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3005 times:

Quoting Trichos (Thread starter):
I realize I need to make sure it is off for the flights

As far as I know, that's all you have to worry about. Some airlines don't allow any radio receivers to be used at all during the flight, some treat them as any other electronic device, which must be switched off during take-off and landing.

I've never been questioned about mine.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2999 times:

I've never had a problem other than someone want to look at the battery pack for the handheld (it uses 8 x AA batteries and probably looks weird on X-Ray).

By the way, I've found that I rarely get good reception inside the airport. Don't want to burst your bubble but you should have realistic expectations.


User currently offlineThepilot From Canada, joined Jan 2010, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2927 times:

I have traveled many times with my scanner in my carry-on, in airports including SEA, LAX, DEN, MCO, GFK, MSP, IND, ORD, STL, SMF, PHX, etc. Every time, the TSA saw it, and didn't stop me on it. I have listened in the terminal with headphones, and again, there was no problem. Just be positive it is turned off when boarding, and don't take it out during flight! You may get tazered. But don't lie, that can get you in a lot of trouble. Just say you're an aviation enthusiest.


From YVR
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6370 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 4):
By the way, I've found that I rarely get good reception inside the airport. Don't want to burst your bubble but you should have realistic expectations.

If it's a typical multi-band scanner, the antenna is probably not optimized for aviation band. If the scanner has a BNC RG-58 connector, you can do something about that  Smile An amateur radio 2-meter "rubber ducky" antenna (available from www.aesham.com ) will probably be a closer (although not optimal) match. You could also buy a whip antenna from an airband transceiver, which would be a perfect match.

Inside the aircraft, if you can pull it out without getting caught, your reception is likely to be pretty bad because you are at that point inside a Gaussian cage (aluminum is very reflective for RF...). You might get the aicraft's radio transmissions pretty well  Wink, but other stuff on frequency will probably be a bit iffy.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineCcrlR From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2813 times:
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If you are going to travel with it, make sure you have the frequencies for that airport and for others you fly to as well so you can get what is comming in and out. I have had no problems with it and even had it out on one occasion and no one had a problem. I asked TSA if it was ok when I first took it with me on a trip and they said it was ok. Other than that, I have had no problems at the airport with it. I also would bring headphones to plug into the jack while you listen so you don't be loud with it.


"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1242 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2786 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 6):
You might get the aicraft's radio transmissions pretty well

VERY good at that!


User currently offlineGOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4339 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2599 times:

You won't have any problems. Most likely, the TSA will not hand search your bags after it goes thru the metal detectors. When I fly, I usually bring all my camera gear, two camera bodies, 3 lenses, and my air scanner, and never once, TSA hand searched it. I usually tell them it's a camera setup and everyone is happy.

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 1):
just said, "for NASCAR,"

I'd say so I can listen to your cellphone conversations.  

Quoting Pope (Reply 4):
By the way, I've found that I rarely get good reception inside the airport.

I don't know what airport that is, but it works fine for me. When I was flying out of Nebraska waiting for my flight to CVG, I decided to listen to some ATC at the gate while waiting for my aircraft to arrive. Since I didn't have a headphone, I'll just turn the volume really low. Instead, I had the volume to the MAX. Then, the controller started yapping for like 30 seconds and I was like "oh, shit." Then I turned it off. Some 15 people around me were looking around wondering where that came from. HAHA.

[Edited 2007-05-10 10:29:28]

User currently offlineLVTMB From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2338 times:

Quoting Guth (Reply 2):
I almost always bring my scanner with me in my carry-on when I travel and I have never had a problem with security in either the States or Canada. When I listen to it in the terminal I am discreet about it. I use headphones and leave the scanner inside my bag. Nobody has ever questioned me about it.

Ditto. I carry mine all the time, every week. I do exactly the same. Never an issue.

MB --


User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2299 times:

If it was prohibited, it would be on the prohibited items list.


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
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