Channel Scanners?

For HAM or CB technical discussions
User avatar
Mr. Flibble
Posts: 1383
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:31 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1995 L400 Royal Exceed
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Location: Issaquah, Washington

Channel Scanners?

Postby Mr. Flibble » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:48 pm

When I get my Deli, I plan to spend a good deal of time off on logging roads. I am interested in picking up a good channel scanner so I don't become part of the underside of a double-wide logging truck.

What should I look for? Doing a bit of googling I came across the Uniden BCT15x and the Uniden 996xt which both seem good, however, I don't know which is better, analogue or digital. I also noticed many people have 2 or 3 of them going at once! :shock: :shock: :shock: I don't know why this would be the case.

(I do want a scanner that has neat-o-features to please the gadget geek in me).

I expect Green 1 will weigh in on this with his radio background, and hopefully make this easier to understand. :-D
Canadian living in Washington USA

User avatar
marsgal42
Posts: 772
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:05 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: The Mighty Gumdrop
Location: Burnaby, B.C.

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby marsgal42 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:11 pm

Logging companies and such use plain old VHF FM. A digital scanner is a waste of money, unless you want to monitor trunking systems and such when you're in town.

A single scanner can only receive one frequency at a time. If you want to hear more than one frequency at a time, you need more than one scanner.

...laura

User avatar
Mr. Flibble
Posts: 1383
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:31 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1995 L400 Royal Exceed
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Location: Issaquah, Washington

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby Mr. Flibble » Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:38 pm

So, the analog will be fine for my use, and I should get the digital if I just want to feed my geek fetish then? ;)

I got my Radio license when I was in P.E.P (Search and Rescue) some years ago. Unfortunately, it was a small paper certificate that disintegrated. I don't know if that would allow me to get and use a CB as well to communicate with the loggers (legally) so as not to be flat!
Canadian living in Washington USA

User avatar
TardisDeli
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:57 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1991 L300. 1997 L300.
Location: Burnaby
Location: Burnaby, Gaglardi freeway exit
Contact:

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby TardisDeli » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:21 pm

Hi Mr. Flibble ( I just luuvv that name),

We spent much time and research on this topic, for the same reason, to avoid becoming roadkill by a long sweeper logging truck. Each logging or mining company has a big wooden sign posted at the start of their roads.

Short answer: it's almost impossible for us to be legally operating radios to be safe. So, the decision was made to be safe, instead of legal, shhh.

We do have our HAM amateur radio operator license, and a ham radio installed in the Tardis. We also carry our marine handheld VHF radios, and we also have those licenses. But all the off road frequencies are located in between the radio wave allocations of the Ham and the marine, as issued by govt Canada, and are not available except to authorized employees of that company holding that call number for the road. Hence, we can't legally use that frequency.

For hardware, you need a radio that you can "unlock" (shhh, illegal) which means you can access the frequencies which we cannot get licenses for as not allocated to ham or marine. Then you can scan those frequencies. It is however illegal to transmit on those frequencies which you are not licensed for, although for an emergency matter of life and death I would consider bending the rule. So in talking to any radio supplier, stress that you only want to monitor and listen, NEVER to transmit. But if you want the ability to transmit in an emergency, that needs a different hardware and software fix, which people in the ham community might have the skills for but won;t be done by any professional radio supply store or they get fines from CRTC. Since most logging occurs on days we are not on the road, we do listen on that frequency that is on the sign at the start of each road, but so far have never heard anything on the roads we were on, nor needed to transmit as there has been no commercial traffic on the road.

My mum and her hiking buddies would occasionally be on active roads, and apparently a subaru full of grey haired ladies would totally terrify the road crew, they would give them a crew radio, and offer a crew person to drive in vehicle with them, and would radio ahead to clear the road for them.

For group delica treks, since not all in the group have ham, we normally communicate from delica to delica via those FRS radios (like u buy at London Drugs), however despite their grandiose claims of being able to cover 5 km distance they only go about 1/2 km or to the neartest big tree or rock on bend in the road prevents line of sight from Delica to delica. Delica Channel is 5 sub 22 by common choice. For longer trips we share out our extra marine VHF radios to other delica as we talk for about 5km of forested twisty road. Ham we found about 8 to 12 km of forestry road, with both parties having antenna 2 feet above delica roof height. Our multi antenna is mounted to passenger side mirror top bar, with a 3 foot antenna on a spring (spring so I can go into parkades).

Actually, our worst problem on offroads is ATV's barrelling along over the speed limit, beyond any ability to stop safely, and racing each other thus they take up both lanes of the double wide road, or blast out of the bush across the road. These ATV's dont carry any radio, nor could they actually hear them over their engines, nor could they care at all. Rant. Rant.

Your ham license actual paper can be obtained again. But yr likely listed on the web based ham list from govt canada, PM me if u want me to check. So u don't need yr paper license, as any radio shoppe just looks up the internet list, more proof than some photocopied bit of paper that you might have photoshopped.

Cheers, Christine of the TardisDeli.
Christine
Of The TardisDeli My TardisDeli travels thru time and space. Our house is nicknamed the TardisDeli Motel, as so many delii owners visit to share delii stories.

User avatar
Mr. Flibble
Posts: 1383
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:31 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1995 L400 Royal Exceed
Location: Issaquah, Washington
Location: Issaquah, Washington

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby Mr. Flibble » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:06 pm

Man, everyone here is a wealth of info! I thought Canada did not have locked frequencies unlike the U.S! I guess I was wrong.

I could unlock a scanner if I found the directions, as I am a computer-geek in my day job. Only problem would be trying to identify which hardware is in fact, unlockable! I have been googling scanners, and found almost no info on the net, which is extremely unusual. But then again, I don't know where to look!

I will PM you with my info so you can check my radio licence status. It might not be on the site you mention as I got authorization to use the police bands for Search and Rescue purposes.
Canadian living in Washington USA

User avatar
marsgal42
Posts: 772
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:05 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: The Mighty Gumdrop
Location: Burnaby, B.C.

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby marsgal42 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:50 pm

Unlike other countries (not just the U.S.A.), you can listen to anything you can pick up on the radio in Canada, and it's perfectly legal to do so. However, unless it's on a small list of exceptions (broadcast, amateur), it's illegal to divulge what you heard. Strictly speaking, it's illegal to even mention that you heard anything at all.

My personal comfort level is, for example, "I can hear Oakland Oceanic Air Traffic Control on HF SSB. They are generally talking to planes going to Hawaii and Australia. If you want airlines, flight numbers, or the subject of the transmissions, you will have to listen yourself."

Most scanners sold in Canada are U.S.-spec, with U.S.-mandated blocked frequency ranges. Many manufacturers block beyond what is legally mandated, to eliminate reception on image frequencies. Such requirements do not exist in Canada, and unblocking scanners is perfectly legal. All my scanners are unblocked, even though I had to unblock them myself.

Unblocked transmit is a whole 'nother can of worms. I have an Icom 706, and one available mod is wide-open transmit, to go with the broadband receive. This opens up all of HF and all of VHF, including aircraft frequencies. I haven't the slightest interest in transmitting on non-amateur frequencies (I have to say that :-) ), but could use some leeway with transverters.

Possessing and/or using gear that transmits on frequencies for which you don't have a license is a crime in Canada. This is a subject that has come up before. The people using VHF radio for business purposes have paid good money to use the frequencies, and will take a very dim view of you interfering with their business, no matter how good your intentions are.

...laura

Green1
Posts: 3257
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:18 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1994 L400 Royal Exceed PF8W
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
Contact:

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby Green1 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:00 pm

As the general consensus appears to be that I do not know what I'm talking about, and cause more harm than good, I am removing this post so that others are not tricked in to following my ill-advised instructions.
Last edited by Green1 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
FalcoColumbarius
Site Admin
Posts: 5965
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 1:55 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/index.php?cat=11103
Vehicle: Delica; Chamonix GLX ('92 P25W)
Location: North Van, BC, eh?

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby FalcoColumbarius » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:15 pm

Yes, this is so. However you can listen, can you not?
Sent from my smart pad, using a pen.

Seek Beauty... Image Good Ship Miss Lil' Bitchi

...... Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. ~ Japanese Proverb

Green1
Posts: 3257
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:18 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1994 L400 Royal Exceed PF8W
Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
Contact:

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby Green1 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:25 pm

As the general consensus appears to be that I do not know what I'm talking about, and cause more harm than good, I am removing this post so that others are not tricked in to following my ill-advised instructions.
Last edited by Green1 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Golf Cart
Posts: 857
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 10:57 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1992 Exceed
Location: Maple Ridge

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby Golf Cart » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:29 pm

I'd be more concerened with not how wide they are, but how long the load is.

Its not the truck that gets you , but rather the tail end of the sticks hangin off the bed . Rule of survival is:
"Never pass an oncoming loaded logging truck on a left hand corner"
By the time you realize that my signature has no real message or life altering words of wisdom, you're too far into it to stop reading until you are finished

User avatar
Erebus
Posts: 1367
Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 7:55 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1992 Super Exceed
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Location: Edmonton (was Calgary until 2017), Alberta, Canada
Contact:

Re: Channel Scanners?

Postby Erebus » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:27 pm

Golf Cart wrote:I'd be more concerened with not how wide they are, but how long the load is.

Its not the truck that gets you , but rather the tail end of the sticks hangin off the bed . Rule of survival is:
"Never pass an oncoming loaded logging truck on a left hand corner"

Also, keep in mind that most logging roads (and oil patch roads) are private, so the normal rules of the road don't apply. What does this mean? The company truck, especially loaded with logs, has total priority and can use ALL of the road. If you have to go into the ditch to avoid being hit, that's your problem. You have no right to complain you got run off the road.

I used to work in the oil patch, and even though my company had authorization to use the road, the road's owner had total right of way. Theywill even run private non-police radar checks, and ban anyone they catch. Banning is much more effective on a oilrig engineer than steep fines. :-D (It would have been nice if my company had told me these little details, but that's a different rant.)

So, yes, use any means at your disposal to monitor the local road frequency, and learn the lingo so you know what they are talking about.

Most ham radios now have wide-band receive, so can receive the commercial VHF (usually 153-173 MHz FM) without modification. It is only the transmit that is an issue. And as said earlier, as long as you are sensible with your transmissions, you won't likely get in trouble.

BTW, you don't need a licence to use CB or FRS.
Image "I could be just around the corner from heaven, or a mile from hell." -- Jackson Browne, "The road and the sky".


Return to “Radio Communications”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest