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Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:09 am
by Ethan1327
Do you have to be close to the airport to get a good signal on the scanner

Re: Scanner

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:47 am
by 71Zulu
To hear aircraft on the ground and the control tower yes, but you will hear aircraft flying overhead coming in to land or taking off if they fly near your area. Getting the antenna up high helps a lot, how far away from the airport are you?

Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:17 pm
by gabik001
Technically if you have a scanner that has a good sensivity and are not that far from the airport (I would say less than 10 miles) you do not need anything special to receive any signal. If you will use derectional antenna (yagi, quad) the you can get good reception of controller but you will not receive a signal from flying aicraft (or liitle). Non directional antenna (half wave vertical) is a solution to get a good effect. Also active (powered) amplifier can help a lot. Keep in mind that this band has limitation of coverage to 4/3 of eye sight (as per VHF limitations) so obstruction are important too (hills, buildings).

Re: Scanner

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:22 pm
by SheikhDjibouti
71Zulu wrote:
but you will hear aircraft flying overhead coming in to land or taking off if they fly near your area.

Observing that the topic author is very new to a.net, it might be helpful to define "near your area"
VHF transmissions are pretty much line-of sight. If you can see it, you can hear it.
In my location, far from any airport, there are a constant stream of vapour trails around 80 miles to the north of me; I see them at around 30deg above the horizon, and with a decent telescope I can track & identify most of them. If I only have binoculars I will struggle unless it's an A380. But I can hear their radio calls easily.

71Zulu wrote:
Getting the antenna up high helps a lot, how far away from the airport are you?

Note; this does not mean that you need a massive sophisticated antenna. If you think outside the box, all it needs is a 15cm basic aerial, but park your car on a hill. Not even a big hill! The top deck of a multi-storey car park might be enough.
Years ago from a car park next to the M40 junction 4 Handy Cross intersection, I tracked aircraft that were leaving UK airspace and then talking to Paris Control (France) and KOXY (Koksjide, Belgium) en route to Holland & Germany.

But hearing ground controllers is much more of a challenge.

Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:41 pm
by 71Zulu
Good info guys, I am 14 miles line of sight from MSY and with my basic scanner and antenna hear many planes as they move overhead to position for landing or after takeoff but just too far away to hear the tower or anything on the ground. Not sure how far the planes are away from me that I am hearing overhead but would guess up to 20 miles out or so. This house had a 50 foot tower in the back yard in the 70s but the previous owner removed it, ugh would love to have it today to see if it would help.



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Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:46 pm
by unimproved
Even a simple discone antenna on the roof/in the garden should make a huge difference.

Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:58 pm
by canyonblue17
Why use a scanner when you can use the internet - www.liveatc.net

Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:14 pm
by 71Zulu
canyonblue17 wrote:
Why use a scanner when you can use the internet - http://www.liveatc.net
I use it, still would love to be able to get the tower on my scanner.

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Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:15 pm
by SheikhDjibouti
canyonblue17 wrote:
Why use a scanner when you can use the internet - http://www.liveatc.net

Unfortunately (?) not all of us live in "the land of the free and the home of the brave".
Across the water & far away there are some countries that have zero coverage; you might be surprised just who that includes.

Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:22 pm
by JohnKrist
canyonblue17 wrote:
Why use a scanner when you can use the internet - http://www.liveatc.net


Because scanners pick up multiple frequencies, not just tower?

Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:35 pm
by Thunderboltdrgn
SheikhDjibouti wrote:
canyonblue17 wrote:
Why use a scanner when you can use the internet - http://www.liveatc.net

Unfortunately (?) not all of us live in "the land of the free and the home of the brave".
Across the water & far away there are some countries that have zero coverage; you might be surprised just who that includes.


In some countries re-distributing non-public radio transmissions is also illegal.

Re: Use of Scanners close to an Airport

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:04 pm
by 71Zulu
JohnKrist wrote:
Because scanners pick up multiple frequencies, not just tower?

True and at busy airports the scanner jumps around so much to other frequencies you miss a lot of good stuff.
Better than nothing sure, but a scanner you can control way better.