Radio scanning dying?

General scanning discussion forum. Talk about anything to do with scanners, equipment, VHF/UHF reception and the art of catching those illusive signals!
User avatar
stanogs68
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 2203
Joined: 05 Mar 2013, 19:38
Location: warrington,north west

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by stanogs68 » 04 Jul 2019, 20:30

there is only really one taxi firm in the whole of warrington ,and they use that mobile phone app no taxis have radios anymore.
computers mess with my brain !

alphard
Regular
Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: 03 Jul 2019, 07:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by alphard » 05 Jul 2019, 08:36

I consciously looked at parked taxis at the rail station, and they had no antennas mounted on top. A few year ago, every taxi had mobile antennas mounted on them. Not now.

alphard
Regular
Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: 03 Jul 2019, 07:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by alphard » 05 Jul 2019, 08:40

There were quite good activities on local 2m FM yesterday. A lady operator was QSO with another operator. I could hear the lady operator OK on my WS1065, but couldn't hear the other party.

There were also SOTA calling on 2m FM. He was on top of mountain somewhere in Scotland, and was talking to many stations.

I also managed to hear a local FIRE station loud and clear on 440Mhz somewhere. AIR band was very busy. No, Scanning is not dead yet. Not dead at all. It is quite alive and well. You need to get a good scanner and good antenna.

alphard
Regular
Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: 03 Jul 2019, 07:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by alphard » 05 Jul 2019, 08:50

Taxi, Police and CB has vanished from analogue bands.
But Ham radio, FIRE brigade, Marine and AIR band is very live and busy in my area.

Goffy
Regular
Regular
Posts: 23
Joined: 26 Oct 2011, 03:48

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by Goffy » 05 Jul 2019, 20:55

Compared to what I used to hear between 1988 and 2003 when scanning was in its heyday it is quiet now. The bands were packed back then. A lot of businesses were on local community repeaters with powerful hilltop masts. Most of those businesses, not just taxis but stuff like delivery couriers, breakdown companies, electrical repair companies, plumbers, vending machine operators, pest comtrol etc etc etc they all had their jobs passed via radio back then, these days the jobs are delivered via a mobile app. And if they depot need to speak to them they phone them.

The gas and electric boards had their own band at 139mhz called the JRC band. No radios in the cabs of gas and electric vehicles now as they use mobile
phones instead. The water companies were at 85mhz. i guess they use mobile phones now too. Its not so much DMR etc thats ruined the hobby but mobile phones and pdas.....I can remember when you could hear them too, mobile phones until the late 90s.

Having said all that I took my scanner up to a local hilltop today and heard plenty on the simplex pmr chs and plenty on the ,arine band icluding a coastguard rescue and a Navy warship coming into port. I heard fire brigade two days in a row too on UHF fireground analogue channels. So its not dead yet, but its getting a bit poorly.

In fact I'm cosidering buying a new analogue scanner because my old one is losing stored channels for some reason. Or should i get a digital one? Is there enough analogue left to justify £120? These are the dilemas we face when renewing our kit these days.

alphard
Regular
Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: 03 Jul 2019, 07:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by alphard » 05 Jul 2019, 21:59

I have seen a couple of taxes in local train station, and they had mobile antennas mounted on the roof. I was wondering what antennas they could be. They were on the mag mount, and looked like old taxi radio antenna, but couldn't verify. In my scanner, local taxi firm operators are not heard anymore.

I feel it is still great fun to have from the scanning hobby even with quieter band. And talk about busy band, AIR band is busy and really busy all day. They seem getting wee bit quieter at late nights and early mornings, but still there are some transmissions going on. But from early mornings, the band just bursts into melting pot with high quality AM signals both from the sky and base stations for the rest of day.

My WS1065 was really busy receiving AIR band signals from 3000 - 6000 ft above the ground somewhere in the sky.

I think it is better to go with semi digital scanners like my WS1065. It doesn't cover DMR, but it covers other digital modes. I think the ones with DMR cost fortune such as AOR DV radios. No I will never part with over 1000£ for a scanner no matter how good they are.

I got my WS1065 for 200£, and it is really good scanner in reception audio quality, build, interface and menu, but scan speed is so fast, I feel it is different league from the old analogue scanners.

I managed to store most of the local freq. into WS1065, and it is doing great job.

Yes, I think there are still some business people using old analogue radios, and can hear time to time on 440Mhz somewhere.

So even if the bands are quieter, there are still a lot going on, and depending on where one lives, it can be real busy to much quieter. And having high performing scanners and efficient antenna will make much difference too.

After return to hobby this week, I am enjoying it very much, and will keep on going with the scanning and monitoring.

sidsabbath
Regular
Regular
Posts: 6
Joined: 08 Jul 2019, 16:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by sidsabbath » 08 Jul 2019, 16:49

I used to be in to scanning back in the late 80s early 90s. It was exciting back then listening to police, fire, ambulance and even mobile phones!
I agree, this hobby has become nearly non-existant (on analogue) but I have recently got back in to the hobby and just purchased a Uniden digital scanner, there is loads out there to listen to. Not quite as exciting as the old days, but still fun and busy 👍

Cheers,

Matt

Goffy
Regular
Regular
Posts: 23
Joined: 26 Oct 2011, 03:48

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by Goffy » 10 Jul 2019, 02:14

sidsabbath wrote:
08 Jul 2019, 16:49
I used to be in to scanning back in the late 80s early 90s. It was exciting back then listening to police, fire, ambulance and even mobile phones!
I agree, this hobby has become nearly non-existant (on analogue) but I have recently got back in to the hobby and just purchased a Uniden digital scanner, there is loads out there to listen to. Not quite as exciting as the old days, but still fun and busy 👍

Cheers,

Matt
I'm pleased to hear you say its busy. I'm slowly coming round to the idea of getting a digital scanner. I can recieve the DMR signals from my local shopwatch etc on my analogue and they seem strong signals, but when these were analogue i got pretty rubbish reception at home, strangely now that they are digital I'm picking the digital signal up loud and clear on my analogue kit albeit is just noise! So my question is this...Has the power been turned up when they switched to digital or is it that digital signals have better penetration than fm ones in a built up area?

sidsabbath
Regular
Regular
Posts: 6
Joined: 08 Jul 2019, 16:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by sidsabbath » 10 Jul 2019, 16:34

Good question Goffy and unfortunately one I can't answer.
I would do some research in to digital scanners before you take the plunge and buy one. I have the Uniden UBCD3600XLT. It's not a bad piece of kit, but it took me a couple of weeks and a fair bit of hair loss to get to grips with it. You could probably pick up a second hand one for £300. They are between £450 and £480 new.
A lot of people say that the Whistler digital scanners are better, as they are easier to program etc, although I cannot personally vouch for that as I have never had one.
I'm quite fortunate to live within 4 or 5 miles of Nottingham city centre, so I get quite a lot of radio traffic, especially from Mapperley Top area.
Sorry for rambling on.

Goffy
Regular
Regular
Posts: 23
Joined: 26 Oct 2011, 03:48

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by Goffy » 10 Jul 2019, 18:37

Ramble all you want haha I 'm interested. I'm after as much knowledge as i can get as a returnee to the hobby I'm way behind on the tech. I still remember when band 3 trunked systems for pmr where the latest thing, now they have been moved for DAB and loads of other changes too

I'm considering the Whistler as I've read good things about it. Yes that area of the East Mids you mention was very busy 20 years ago when I stayed there for a few weeks. I was in East Leake just south of Nottingham and i remember receiving tonnes of stuff compared to back home. I was getting uhf stuff from three counties Notts, Leics, Staffs and Derbyshire. Being near the airport was a bonus but also so much stuff from nearby cities Derby, Nottingham, Leicester and everything inbetween..

Regarding my question re how well digital travels compared to analogue. One thing I do know is that broadcast fm is terrible where I live due to buildings trees and topography but DAB is fine. But i cant read too much into that because they are from different transmitters and the dab one is close. I guess with digital you either get a nice clear signal or nothing. No weak crackly stuff like on fm.

sidsabbath
Regular
Regular
Posts: 6
Joined: 08 Jul 2019, 16:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by sidsabbath » 10 Jul 2019, 18:55

Oddly you do get weak crackling signals in digital. Don't ask me how.

alphard
Regular
Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: 03 Jul 2019, 07:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by alphard » 15 Jul 2019, 11:13

I have a Whistler WS1065, and it is a cracking radio in terms of build and audio and sensitivity. But it took me a few days to find out how to store freq into the channels in the radio. The printed manual was absolutely useless. I had to tinker about by trial error.

Now I managed to store about 100 of channels into the memory, and it scans very fast.

It has some digital decoding capabilities, but not complete. I reckoned that most useful one is DMR but it is not there.

alphard
Regular
Regular
Posts: 10
Joined: 03 Jul 2019, 07:33

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by alphard » 15 Jul 2019, 11:16

I think it has P27 and some other digital capabilities, but I am not sure how useful these are, because I don't know which channels use what digital encryption.

Rogan888
Registered New User
Registered New User
Posts: 3
Joined: 09 Aug 2019, 08:23
Call Sign: NO
Contact:

Re: Radio scanning dying?

Post by Rogan888 » 09 Aug 2019, 09:48

This topic is so good to read.

Post Reply