fspilot747
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 11:31 am

what do i do to improve my scanner? I live like 10 miles away from SNA and i cant hear the tower. I can hear planes on their way to to lax, sna, etc..., but not the tower. It's a radio shack PRO-94. the guy at radio shack said it has nothing to do with the scanner, and that it's the source itself, (i.e. sna tower..). Is this true? if so, what can i do to be able to pick up the tower itself? It's so annoying to only hear the planes and not tower, its like this: "fullerton tower cessna 2342, 3 miles nw of water treatment plant to land.................okay entering right downwind, cessna 2342..." i cant hear what the tower says..! i tested out a telescopin antenna and only difference is i can hear the planes better.. anything i can do??

thanks,
-FSPilot747
 
D-AIGW
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 11:45 am

That's because the signals of the towers are projected skywards and are not intended to be received on the ground. You can hear the planes because their signals are projected downward. So I don't think it's the problem of your scanner.

When I am spotting at the local airport HKG, when I'm next to the runway threshold, I can't hear the tower. In contrary, at home (behind a hill and at 11 stories from the ground) I have no problem listening to the tower, as I'm doing right now. It's probably due to diffraction over the hill.
 
Accidentally
Posts: 612
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 7:33 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 12:24 pm

I have a 15ft tall antenna on my roof...works good. lol
Indianapolis, IN
 
SkyGuy11
Posts: 532
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:09 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 12:43 pm

Three soloutions:
Get a stronger reciever (or a big antenna)
Get to a higher elevation
Get closer to the source

Good luck
.
 
YWG
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:29 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 12:46 pm

VHF radio's work by line of site. basicaly if you can draw a straight line from your house to the airport, not curving it on the earths surace you shouyld be able to hear it.
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
fspilot747
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 1:19 pm

ah...D-AIGW: thats exactly what the guy said at radioshack..about the tower signals projected upward, and planes downward so I can only hear the planes. hmm...that makes sense now. So i guess the only solution is for me to move to higher elevation, lol...thanks for the help guys.

-FSPilot747
 
Guest

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 2:33 pm

To reiterate: Unlike radio stations like you listen to in your car, atc have no reason to have high antennii since who they're broadcasting to are in teh air. FM frequencies, such as VHF aviation band frequencies are "line of sight." So airplanes in the air can obviously establish a straight line to the point of transmission. and the aircraft you hear, are normally within "line of sight" with you.

Cam
 
yqfca
Posts: 166
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:35 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 3:34 pm

Are you sure tranmitting is at the same frequency.
Over where I live, Edmonton center transmits during night time hours from Edmonton Center in RedDeer while the pilots reply to Edmonton Center in Rocky Mountain House.
My scanner is jumping back and forth to follow the conversation.
 
b744
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 5:48 pm

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 3:38 pm

AA_Cam,

Actually VHF aviation band equipment utilises Amplitude Modulation (AM), not Frequency Modulation (FM), but you are correct that communication is generally line of sight.

 
Lekky-Man
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 4:40 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Sun Jan 20, 2002 4:05 pm

Hello to you all.
I just thought I'd add my 2 pence worth to the discussion here.

One of the things I've just picked up from reading the replies is from Yqfca. He asked if you're receiving on the same frequency that the tower is transmitting on. The reason for this is due to the following example:-

I live in the UK and I listen to a very heavily used frequency for London Traffic, this being 130.920. The aircraft tune to 130.925, making a difference of 25Hz. If you have a scanner that will tune to 130.922.500 you can hear both transmissions. Alot of airports have to do this due to people trying to block signals with unauthorised transceivers.
So, if your scanner can hear aircraft on 130.925 (for example), try tuning to 130.920 to hear the tower, and if all that works try tuning somwhere in between.
Otherwise as has already be suggested, move to a higher location!!

Good Luck.
Lekky-man.
 
fspilot747
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 12:32 pm

thanks for the advice...ill try the above solution, hopefully itll work..

thanks again
-FSPilot747
 
Guest

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 12:41 pm

Actually B744, not undermine you, and with all due respect, the MHz frequency scale is a frequency-modulation band. The only AM type band used in aviation is that of a NDB or non-directional bearing, picked up by an aircraft’s ADF. (and actually if you are flying in an aircraft with an ADF, you can listen to your local AM radio stations.) This AM type frequency utilized by NDBs is NOT line of sight, due to its ability to be reflected off of different weather phenomena. Look it up in your aviation dictionary if there is anymore dispute over this.

Cameron
 
sccutler
Posts: 5568
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 12:50 pm

As a matter of practical experience, at ten miles line-of-sight, you'll likely need an elevated antenna. Fifteen feet up will be all the diference in the world. The Radio Shack can sell you the antenna and mast, as well.

FWIW, when I lived out there, my office was in Tustin- almost exactly three miles from the threshold of 19R- and I'd hear the tower (some really good controllers there) quite clearly.

But, at home in Fullerton, no chance of hearing SNA; but Fullerton (119.1, IIRC) was claer at about 4.5 miles from my house.

Now, in Dallas, I am about 15 miles from DFW, and most of the time, I can hear DFW tower reasonably well, but just over the noise threshold, so squelch is nearly useless.

SNA's a great airport to listen to, lots of traffic for the size field, and somewhat restricted procedures. Good luck.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Joona
Posts: 1214
Joined: Sun May 06, 2001 2:02 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 12:52 pm

Get a better antenna. Obviously 10 miles is too mch for your antenna and it can't pick up he signal.

Joona
1740 days idle. Beat that.
 
fspilot747
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 12:56 pm

I really wish I could pick the tower up..I'm just afraid if I get a really good antenna thing from Radioshack, it wont make a difference. I mean, where do I put a 15foot antenna?? how much do they cost?? more than my scanner probably..

I wouldnt want to listen to fullerton tower, I'm a student pilot out of there. They need to get it together there, from what I was told, brakett has great controllers, as do SNA.
 
bobcat
Posts: 1141
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:28 pm

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 12:59 pm

The best solution is to get a roof-mouted
antenna. Install it as high as you can.
If this is not possible, try the cable TV
connection. My local cable TV company
relays local FM radio station. They
probably don't do a real good job at
filtering out signals, because when I
connecto my Icom scanner to cable
TV outlet, the airport tower comes in
loud and clear. Radio Shack has BNC
to F-type connectors.(or whatever your
cable system uses) Unfortunatelly,
this does not anymore since my cable
TV company has completely switched
over to digital cable...
 
KCLE
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2001 11:03 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 1:24 pm

Here's a weird story: I was spotting at CLE back in the summer, and for the heck of it, I programmed the ILS frequencies into my scanner, the frequencies being 109.9 for 24L, 111.9 for 6R, and 110.70 for 28. Well, I had the scanner on and I was getting nothing, so I unlocked the ILS channels and continued to scan. All of a sudden, I hear from my scanner, .. .--. -..- .--., which is IPXP, the code name of the ILS runway 28!

So, how does a conventional police scanner with aircraft frequencies pick up an ILS?
 
andrej
Posts: 1100
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 8:31 am

RE: Scanner Wont Pick Up Local Airports, Just Planes..

Mon Jan 21, 2002 1:59 pm

Hello,

I live from EWR about 10 miles, and sometimes I can hear TWR and a/c's and sometimes only the planes. The frequency is 118.3.

Latley I started to listnen 128.550 EWR_APP. During afternoon and early night, it gets REALY busy! When I am not able to hear ATC on 28.55 I switch to 125.550 (125.500 one of these two) and I am able to hear ATC again.

Funny thing is, that wx plays importnat role for me. If it is clear I am able to hear LGA_APP, JFK_APP, and if its overcast, I am not able to hear these freq.

Just my $0.02,

Cheers,

Andrej Lippay

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