Which scanner should i buy?
It all depends on how much you are willing to pay for a scanner and what you want to use it for. If you are using it mainly at civilian airports then you may only need a scanner with the VHF aircraft band (108-137MHz). If you want a scanner to also be able to receive military aircraft transmissions then you need a scanner with the UHF aircraft band (225-400MHz). You may also want to hear aircraft on the HF band or have a multi-band scanner that can pick up many other transmissions such as local marine communications, CB radio, or police and emergency services etc.
There are many airband models on the market today all packed with various features making it hard to choose which is the best scanner for you. I will mention a few popular hand-held air-band scanners that are good value for money and ideal for listening to aviation broadcasts at air shows or airports etc.
Scanners are available at different prices with the more expensive scanners having more features, a keypad to enter frequencies easily, having more memory to store frequencies etc.
offer two airband scanners: the AR108
, and the FR100
for listening to civilian airband. Both these scanners are relatively cheap and good value for money although they lack a keypad, the FR100 has the new 8.33KHz spacing.
have the small but very robust IC-R5
which has a wide continuous frequency range from 100KHz to 1309.995MHz which includes airband but has no keypad.
have the DJ-X30
which has a wide frequency range from 100KHz to 1.3Ghz and includes a keypad.
have the PSR-295
which is very good for airband listening and has a wide frequency range and includes a keypad.
have the VR500
which also has a wide continuous frequency range from 100KHz to 1299.99MHz including airband but also includes a keypad.
have the UBC-72XLT
which can recieve the civilian airband, and also the UBC-3500XLT
which has a very wide frequency range including civilian & military airband along with a keypad. The sensitive UBC3500XLT is fairly expensive but is generally thought to be the best aviation/airshow hand-held scanner that is currently available to buy today. The UBC-3500XLT has now been replaced by the Uniden Bearcat UBCD3600XLT Digital & Analogue Radio Scanner
The popular UBC-125XLT
scanner receives both civilian and military airband frequencies, a keypad, and is a good scanner for a reasonable price.
If you are considering buying second-hand from Ebay
then a highly sought after but obsolete scanner for aviation is the Yupiteru MVT-7100
which is considered to be superior to the newer MVT-7200 & MVT 7300 models.
Where can i buy a Scanner?
Scanners can be bought at Amazon
(see bottom of page), or you may find a shop that sells them in your local Airport.
You can also buy second hand scanners on Ebay
Which frequencies do i use?
You can get a complete HF/VHF/UHF aviation frequency listing along with maps and other info in the excellent Airwaves book by Photavia Press
or from Amazon.
You may also buy a frequency guide when visiting an airshow if you can find a stall that sells scanners.
Follow the following links for a list of frequencies on this website:
• RAF, Airshow, and Display Team Frequencies.
• Airport Frequencies.
In addition to these frequencies you should have all the Common Air Display Frequencies in your scanner for a UK airshow:
121.175, 130.675, 132.90, 130.50, 130.625, 134.55
and the NATO Common Frequencies:
Tower - 122.1, 257.8
Radar - 123.3, 344.0, 362.3, 385.4
Also add the frequencies of any Display Teams that are expected to display at the airshow.