Trichos From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 22 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3765 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.
Newark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3751 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.
As for reception, you can get some dead spots in the terminal, but I can usually pick most stuff up pretty well.
Guth From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3751 times:
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.
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.
Thepilot From Canada, joined Jan 2010, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3662 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.
KELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6818 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3652 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 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 , but other stuff on frequency will probably be a bit iffy.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
CcrlR From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 2314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3548 times:
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)
GOCAPS16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4409 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3334 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.
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.
LVTMB From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 399 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3073 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.