Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 2:52 am

Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:07 am

Is there any way that you can hear the controller's side of a radio communication on a radio scanner?

I heard somewhere that if you somehow hooked up your scanner antenna to your cable TV jack, then the Cable company's antenna might be high enough to pick up the controller's signal, but that sounds kind of far fetched...any ideas? Is it at all possible?
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 3:28 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:46 am

I can hear Jhannesburg Centre controllers probably because their airspace is pretty big...its pretty much line of sight my friend. Although I struggle to hear Johannesburg Approach/Departure controllers probably because their airspace is smalller and their buildings are at FAJS.

Hope this helps  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Proudly South African
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RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:30 am

I can hear Memphis Center here in Nashville but can hardly hear the local controllers side very often. Certain MEM center frequencies operate on a repeater in the area. As far as I know BNA ATC doesn't. Line of sight is the rule here as the last poster said. When conditions are right then you might hear the local controllers.

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Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:40 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Tue Jun 01, 2004 12:53 pm

Basically I think what they are saying is that you're out of range. If you were closer to the transmitter, than you would be able to hear the controllers end of it.
And just like with a plane, you could probably pick up the controllers end of it where you are right now if you gained alltitude. The higher you go, the further from the transmission source you can be and still receive reception.
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RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:59 pm

Yup, you need to be closer to the transmitters, or higher up at a few thousand feet  Smile

I have the same problem in Manchester, I can hear the pilots with approach, but not the controllers. But when I go within a couple of miles of the airport you can hear everything.

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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:37 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Tue Jun 01, 2004 8:36 pm

It's not even about being closer to the transmitter. All you will need is an outside antenna which should be located on the roof and it's not the quality of the antenna you wanna look into its the quality of the coaxial cable. I think above it was explained quite well. The closer anything is to the ground, the harder it will be to get a good signal because of objects are blocking the transmission. For instance, traffic in a Center's airspace would be easier to hear than something at 6,000 to 2,000 on approach. So if you think about it ATC facilities are on the ground not in the air, thus you have objects blocking the way of the transmissions. It's also in the power of an antenna, for higher quality of reception. Someone also mentioned repeaters above, that would of course help if you we're near a repeater.
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2003 8:07 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:22 am

Do you know where one can buy antennas, suitable for listening to ATC on the internet? (International shipment is important too)
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 2:52 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:23 am

Thanks for the responses. So basically, if I put an antenna on the roof, there's a possibility I could pick up the transmissions? What kind of antenna, like a TV antenna? How would I hook it up to my Radioshack scanner?
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 12:20 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Thu Jun 03, 2004 4:46 am

For those looking for an outdoor antenna for their scanners, you can try an omni-directional VHF Amatuer Radio antenna. The ham band is from 144 - 148MHz, so it's not an exact match, but it will work just great for recieving and can be found for very affordable prices. Radio Shack also makes a discone antenna that covers DC to light...a bit more expensive, but a good antenna. If your scanner has a BNC antenna connector on it for the "rubber duck" that came with it, all you'll need to do is get an adaptor for the PL259 connector on the ham antenna (also cheap and available at most any electronics parts place)

TV antennas tend to be directional yagis. They will work, but the ham antenna is more practical and (probably) cheaper.

Whatever you go with, get it as high off the ground as possible!!

Hope this helps,

I see my Cats as Companions. My Cats see Me as Furniture!
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 2:52 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Thu Jun 03, 2004 8:56 am

Any validity to the cable TV rumor I heard? (that you could hook your scanner up to a cable TV jack and hear the controllers?)
Posts: 7184
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Sat Jun 05, 2004 1:37 am

No way, you would only get interference from the cable signal.

According to a an antenna FAQ I found in a site I don't remember, you can use anything as an antenna, as long as it is metallic. When my (&^$@%!!!!) brother broke my antenna, I used my car's license plate, and it worked better than the original antenna!!! (Probably because of the larger area).

I found this: http://www.mobileone.com.au/antenna/airband.htm

Just my $0.02 Big grin
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Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:20 am

RE: Hearing Controllers On Scanner

Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:10 am

So what would be the best coaxial cable one could buy???

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