Scanner for rail fanning.....

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by trainsteve2435, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. Hello everyone, can someone reccomend a good portable scanner for rail fanning? I looked on the radio shack site and they seem to favor the Pro 97, is this any good? Thanks!
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I've never used one but have seen them advertised in the various railfan magazines.
  3. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    I use my VHF/UHF Ham Radios to listen to the trains! Radio Shhack and Uniden makes good scanners. Just make sure you get at least a 100 channel scanner. The reason is there are 100 railroad channels in North America. You can go to my Ham Radio web site to get them. The link is on your left hand side.

    Here's some Ham Radio Stores that carries scanners:

    R & L Electronics
    Amateur Electronic Supply
    Ham Radio Outlet

  4. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Any scanner with at least 100 memory channels will work fine for railfanning. Just be sure to replace the horribly stock antenna with a Diamond RH77CA or Comet BNC-24 and even the most basic model will work wonders.
  5. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    That is right Brian. The antenna makes the radio!

  6. Hey everyone, thanks for the input. I have one more question..... I live in west virginia, so will i only be able to listen to local train frequencies? Just wondering. Thanks!
  7. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    You'll be able to hear whatever is in range of your antenna. In the hills you're probably looking at four to five mile range on a good day. Up here on the flat land I can easily hit fifteen miles range. This is contingent upon the broadcast equipment, too, but you don't have any control of that. You can get more range with a different antenna, like one mounted to your car or home. Those options, however, will limit to some degree the scanner's usefulness while railfanning.
  8. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Brian is right. How far away do you live by the railroad tracks? A few mile, you will have no problem using the rubber ducky, base station using the telescoping whip. BUT if you want to hear alot more, you a good out door base antenna. I'm alittle bias on base antennas because I am a Ham Radio Operator!

    Please Remember this for recieveing radio and tv signals. Antenna, Antenna, Antenna IS the MOST important part in recieving (and transmitting) signals!

    Best Regaurds,
    Andy KF4JQD:wave:
  9. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Here's my radio that I use in my car. While not talking to my friends on Ham Radio. I put the radio in scan. I listen to everything from police to the railroads. One more thing. In some states a mobile scanner IS illegal! As a Ham Radio Operator I am except by federal law!

    The radio is a Yaesu FT-7800 VHF/UHF. It has 1000 channels to program! I use an entire 100 channel bank for the railroads! It scans very fast too! Here's a link to more of it's specs. THIS IS NOT A CB RADIO! YOU MUST BE A LICENSE AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR TO TRANSMIT WITH IT!!!! Pentalies are 1 year in jail and up to $100,000 in fines! There are many Ham's that are railfans. There's a few I know in East Tennessee that works for the NS and CSX railroads!:thumb:


    I put a posting in the General Area for building a scanner antenna!:thumb:

    Attached Files:

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