Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Readers Airband Radios

It would be nice to hear from any readers willing to post about what radio scanner you use and with what antenna etc? My own personal setup as you have probably gathered is a Uniden 3500XLT linked to about 4 metres of coax just running to a telescopic antenna strategically positioned in a certain window where reception is best. Interestingly what has improved reception greatly was the addition of a 'ground plane' piece of wire running vertically downward from the antenna (approx 22" in length) - the addition of this ground plane has had a marked effect on radio reception. Many ground station previously unheard are now coming through loud and clear!
By the way thanks to Nick B. for stopping by the site and leaving a comment.

That's all for now, Mark.

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4 comments:

Matt Harvey said...

Hi, I have the following airband radios. Top 3 are

1960's Nova Tech Pilot II - analogue, great squelch control and lovely audio.

1990's Radio Shack Pro-2036 (made by Uniden), very sensitive, fast scan and good clear audio. Connected to Howes Active Aerial.

1990's Yupiteru MVT-7100, very sensitive, audio is not bad. Let down by internal noise appearing in
129 - 131MHz range,this makes any stations in this range hard to hear clearly. All the Yupiteru models I've tried seem to have this weakness.

Bottom of my list are :

1990's Win 108 it is quite hissy once the squelch is open, it gets tedious listening on this set.

2006 Uniden UBC 92 XLT I find the squelch is too coarse. The audio is very noisy, similar to the Win 108. Audio power output is too low and cannot drive external speakers very well. I think it would have been better if it had been designed with 4 AA's instead of 2 to provide more useable power.

For the future I'm thinking of the Uniden BCT15 which they don't seem to have any EU release plans for.
I also need to get my 1960's Shorrock and Gauer's sets working again.

Should also mention the best advance I have is not another scanner but my Kinetic SBS-1 Virtual Radar. It has transformed my aviation hobby....

Hope this is of interest.

Matt

Nick B. said...

Hello again.

Reading though Matt's list of receivers I realized I've been through a few myself, mainly during the early 1990's when I spent a lot of time listening to Mil Air.

I started with a Realistic PRO-2005. Bought this new from Tandy and set it up at home with a discone. Performance on both VHF and UHF airband was very good, apart from the odd problem with pager interference around 135MHz.

I then sold this and bought the AOR-1000. Big mistake! Although this hand-held covered the frequency range, sensitivity was poor and it was very prone to overload on a discone. I also found the programming very unfriendly after the PRO-2005.

I was then fortunate enough to buy a second-hand PRO-2004. This was as good as, or probably better than the 2005. It has a metal case, as opposed to the plastic one on the 2005, and a sloping panel with a membrane keypad. It was easily modified for 400 channels and faster scan speed. I had this for over ten years before selling it.

One day, whilst on a visit to Lowe Electronics, I saw a Signal R-535, complete with battery pack which was quickly snapped up. Lowes were also kind enough to let me a have a copy of the service manual. Performance of this receiver is probably one of the best I have heard as is is a dedicated AM receiver. Compared to keypad-entry scanners is it a little slow to program at first, but once mastered there is no problem.

Regrettably I sold the R-535, or rather exchanged it for an AOR AR-8000. Again, not something I was particularly impressed with so it got part exchanged against a MVT-9000. Another mistake. The MVT-9000 was another unwilling victim to local pager breakthrough on VHF so had to go, being exchanged for an Icom IC-R10E. I was never really happy with this either and it eventually got sold on.

Then I got Realistic PRO-60. Simple to program, just like the 2004 and 2005 base scanners, with excellent AM performance. This was regular visitor to the north of Scotland with me, spending many hours monitoring the range traffic at Tain, amongst other places.

At home I acquired a PRO-2042. Again, excellent performance for a Realistic scanner, with a few added features compared to the earlier 2004 and 2005.

Recently, I was lucky enough to get a dead R-535 which I have repaired. Still a solid performer. They still hold their value, which is probably because they are unique as far as airband monitors go.

Peter Cottle said...

Hi can any one help me I am a newbe and recently acquired a commtel 102 and it works fine however i took the bateries out and it lost the frequencies. I dont have an instruction set to re programme it. When I have keyed in the frq's it says error.
I am stuck and unsure what to do.
Regards all
Peter

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone
I have a UBC 3500XLT scanner and am trying to locate a Service Manual to enable me to work out the connections on the remote socket to connect to a PC.Also a source for the miniature plug to fit the socket.
Any help appreciated.
Dave G0IXZ