trichos
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 10:42 pm

ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Mon May 07, 2007 10:49 pm

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.
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Mon May 07, 2007 11:26 pm

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?
 
guth
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:09 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Mon May 07, 2007 11:27 pm

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!
 
David L
Posts: 8547
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Mon May 07, 2007 11:37 pm

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.
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:57 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Mon May 07, 2007 11:45 pm

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.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
thepilot
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:34 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Tue May 08, 2007 3:09 am

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
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Tue May 08, 2007 3:36 am

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 :-)
 
CcrlR
Posts: 2183
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Tue May 08, 2007 11:20 am

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)
 
PHLapproach
Posts: 1052
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:37 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Tue May 08, 2007 1:30 pm

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

VERY good at that!
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Thu May 10, 2007 5:21 pm

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]
 
LVTMB
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:18 am

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Thu May 24, 2007 6:11 am

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 --
 
jhooper
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: ATC Scanner In Carryon Bag.

Thu May 24, 2007 11:40 am

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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