Useful Info:

Scanner Model Info
Scanning Tips Update

CB Frequencies
NOAA WX Channels
World Time Zones

Scanning Tips

Here in the United Kingdom, It is quite legal to publish lists of frequencies,

But monitoring anything other than Commercial or Amateur bands, without permission

from the user of the frequency is strictly forbidden.

(Apart from the Air Band which although strictly speaking is illegal to listen to,

but generally the law tends to turn a blind eye to on this frequency)

Therefore, Any frequencies published here should be listened to

only if you have a legal entitlement to do so.

Now, this is a subject that could fill up many MB:s of text and pictures, but I will limit this section a little bit and write about some perhaps more uncommon stuff you can do.

I have had a blast snooping the airwaves with my setup consisting of:
  1. An AOR AR-8000 hand scanner
  2. A Watson"Super Searcher"(10-3000 MHz RF finder)
  3. A special cable between the above
The Super Searcher is basically a portable, very sensitive frequency counter, connected to an antenna of your choice. It also has the possibility to "reaction tune" any AOR receiver/scanner to the locked frequency. Got the picture yet? Well this is going to be fun. Take this setup out on the road, preferrably to a main street with a lot of traffic, and BINGO! As soon as there is someone fairly close by, pressing the PTT on his/her transceiver, the Super Searcher locks onto the frequency, passes the frequency information to the AOR receiver and voila! With no effort at all, you can listen to, and start logging those presumably unknown frequencies.

I have also done some snooping from the car. By connecting the Super Searcher to an external antenna, the range of detection will be greater. If you drive around your town with this setup, you'll have frequencies and communications popping up as you pass the transmitters. The range of detection is of course depending on several factors: your antenna, the transmitting antenna, the frequency in question and of course the power output.

There are a few drawbacks too. Being a broadband device, the Super Searcher may be blocked when passing certain strong, wideband transmitters such as aviation radar sites, cellular dittos, broadcasting towers and multiple transmitter clusters. To test this, I hooked up the gear and went to Bromma Airport which is close to home, and parked within a 100 meters from the radar ball. This radar operates just above 1.3 GHz (1300 MHz). The Super Searcher could neither detect the Air-to-ground comm's antennas about 25 meters behind the car, nor my very own 2m/70cm/23cm HT with 300 mW output, 20 cm away. I had to move the HT as close as 8-10 cm from the Super Searcher in order for it to detect my transmission. Talk about blocking! This is however a relatively small problem that in practice won't matter that much. The extremist will buy and connect a megabuck preselector with 2 MHz bandwidth, thus selecting a small portion of the spectrum to be detected (you will miss a lot this way). A better approach would probably be a notch filter for 88-108 MHz and maybe a lowpass filter to block everything above, say 480 MHz.

The other drawback is impossible to remedy. The Super Searcher can not detect and pass the mode of transmission. You will have to set it manually on your radio. This is however a minute problem as most comm's except aviation is done with FM.

There are of course other manufacturers with similar devices offering "reaction tune" such as Optoelectronics, but this one won't cost you an arm and a leg. I had mine for only 89 In UK (in 2005).

The Watson Super Searcher comes with built in rechargable battery, a Mains Charger and a telescopic antenna. It also has a bargraph to indicate relative signal strength. It's a fun tech-toy and a must-have for the scanner-user.

Of course, a full featured, megabuck spectrum analyzer will do the job under any circumstances (except reaction tune), no matter what the RF environment looks like, but the huge price for such a device is likely to deter most hobbyists (like me) and, it doesn't easily fit in your pocket!.

Scanning Tips Update

There are many Scanners on the market today that have a system called "Close Call" built-in That will detect a signal up to a few streets away
depending on buildings etc. eliminating the need for a seperate Frequency searcher.

I now use an excellant combination of Uniden/Bearcat Scanners consisting of :
  1. A Uniden UBC-3500XLT (for Walkabout)
  2. A Uniden UBC-800XLT (for Mobile use)
  3. A Uniden UBC-800XLT (for Base use)
Below is example from Uniden.

When using Uniden Scanners, There are 3 different "Close Call" settings:
  1. CC DND (Do Not Disturb)
  2. CC PRI
  3. CC OFF
CC DND (Do Not Disturb) - The scanner checks for a Close Call hit every
2 seconds only if the scanner is not currently stopped on a transmission.
If the scanner is on a transmission the scanner waits until the signal ends
to perform a Close Call check. This prevents breaks in audio during the
Close Call checks.

PRI - Close Call works even if there is a transmission. Checks for a Close Call hit every 2 seconds.

CC OFF - Close Call feature is Switched off.

Not only can they detect the
"Frequency" in use, but also can detect the
"Mode" of the Transmission, and even the
"CTCSS" subtone in use as well.

Other Manufacturers might have the "close call" feature by a different name
and, may or may not have these features included so check before you buy