Author Topic: Scanner noise question  (Read 2319 times)

jjrailfan

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Scanner noise question
« on: October 18, 2010, 08:08:46 PM »
I've owned a Radio Shack Pro-82 scanner for several years now. Some time back it started picking up a sound that sort of sounds like the noise the alien spaceships made at the beginning of the movie Independence Day. It continues to scan thru the channels while picking up this sound. Any ideas what it might be? It's done it here in Indiana but also OH, KY and AL so does not appear to be a local issue.

-JJ

shane_man15

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 08:14:35 PM »
Maybe there are aliens out here, and we don't know it.  ;D
Shane Smiley (shane_man15)

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Chris Brown

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 08:25:32 PM »
Probably receiving a transmission from a frequency near that one you are hearing. Happens alot on my radio.

CIOR

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 08:32:19 PM »
Cell phone? 
I know I can't put my cell near my handheld scanner.

If a text or data transmission comes through, it beeps and make noise.

shane_man15

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 08:53:12 PM »
Cell phone? 
I know I can't put my cell near my handheld scanner.

If a text or data transmission comes through, it beeps and make noise.
Mine does that as well. As do my guitar amps when my phone's on them.

Is this noise constant? or does it tend to go in and out?
Shane Smiley (shane_man15)

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storrs19

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 10:26:46 AM »
I've noticed that scanner reception for me has gone way down hill over the last 10 years.  Since I live near a large metropolitan area I get tons of intermod and other noise problems.  When I'm out in the middle of nowhere it is fine.  I use the same old 10 channel portable programmable I've had since 1985.  As for my base scanner, I used to hear trains about 30 miles away in all directions say 15 years ago.  Now I'm lucky to hear them 3 miles away.  I can't explain it but reception is horrible here in the Louisville, Ky area for me.

I'm assuming if it's a portable you have fresh batteries in it?  Those things just eat batteries which is why I use rechargable ones.  I've never seen a device drain batteries faster than a scanner.

Chad
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shane_man15

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 11:19:33 AM »
I've noticed that scanner reception for me has gone way down hill over the last 10 years.  Since I live near a large metropolitan area I get tons of intermod and other noise problems.  When I'm out in the middle of nowhere it is fine.  I use the same old 10 channel portable programmable I've had since 1985.  As for my base scanner, I used to hear trains about 30 miles away in all directions say 15 years ago.  Now I'm lucky to hear them 3 miles away.  I can't explain it but reception is horrible here in the Louisville, Ky area for me.

I'm assuming if it's a portable you have fresh batteries in it?  Those things just eat batteries which is why I use rechargable ones.  I've never seen a device drain batteries faster than a scanner.

Chad
That is true. A real quick note for anyone in the Terre Haute area:  I kept picking a weird noise on AAR channels 14 and 66, and it got the point where I had to block them out. Especially 66.
Shane Smiley (shane_man15)

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Train horns are also my thing.

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jjrailfan

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 04:23:21 PM »
Noise comes and goes. I use an adaptor when in the car because as y'all have mentioned, batteries don't last long otherwise. I'll have to see if cell phone interference could be problem. Cell phone and scanner are usually pretty close together.

-JJ

shane_man15

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 04:45:08 PM »
Noise comes and goes. I use an adaptor when in the car because as y'all have mentioned, batteries don't last long otherwise. I'll have to see if cell phone interference could be problem. Cell phone and scanner are usually pretty close together.

-JJ
It's possible, but I kept my phone from me at a distance, I even kept it in my car and walked away from it, and it still did it. :/
Shane Smiley (shane_man15)

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Train horns are also my thing.

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sataraid1

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2010, 09:25:59 AM »
That is true. A real quick note for anyone in the Terre Haute area:  I kept picking a weird noise on AAR channels 14 and 66, and it got the point where I had to block them out. Especially 66.

AAR 66 (161.100) is being used by the INRD for data transmission in the Terre Haute area. That's why they moved the road/dispr channel to AAR34 (160.620) system wide.

66 was getting interference from the BN on the west end of the railroad when propagation was good. (Or bad, as the case may be.)

storrs19

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2010, 10:40:42 AM »
Yeah, I think the BNSF uses 66 around Centralia, IL don't they? 
Seems I was picking up stuff on that channel last June when I was out that way.
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Rick

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2010, 10:55:43 AM »
Is the noise you are referring to sound like the old dial up modems on computers?  I get that sometimes when the scanner is running.  I don't think cell phones have anything to do with it.  I have heard it with and without it, even talking on it while the scanner is running.
This noise lasts about 5 seconds or less.

sataraid1

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 09:10:11 AM »
Is the noise you are referring to sound like the old dial up modems on computers?  I get that sometimes when the scanner is running.  I don't think cell phones have anything to do with it.  I have heard it with and without it, even talking on it while the scanner is running.
This noise lasts about 5 seconds or less.

Short but powerful data bursts on railroad frequencies are almost always intermod from pagers. Believe it or not, pager interference isn't nearly the problem it used to be since so many people replaced pagers with cell phones. But in a city area, they can still shred the railroad bands on receivers with poor rejection. Cell phones work in the 800mhz range or higher, whereas most pagers operate in the 150-160 mhz range.

rrnut282

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2010, 03:56:44 PM »
Between pagers and NOAA wx broadcasts, I usually end up locking down my Radio Trash scanner to one channel when I'm on the West side of the fort.
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bosworthj

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Automobile Noise
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2012, 08:39:53 PM »
If you only hear it while plugged into the cigarette lighter of the car, consider that it could be computer hash from the on-board electronics.  There have been roving "birdies" eminating from several vehicles I have rented for long distance trips, I can't say that any one type vehicle is worse.  The bad part is you can't predict where they will pop up, so it makes running on scan totally impossible.

It also works both ways.  Turning on a laptop computer in the car, while powered off the cigarett lighter, often wipes out reception on the car's built in FM radio.
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CIOR

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 11:36:36 AM »
After I reread this, is it that you are getting alternator whine? 

There are issues when you tie into your cars power system.

SemperVaporo

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 07:40:31 PM »
My scanners (RS Pro92 and Pro94) will pick up my cell phone when the phone is sync'ing with a new tower as I travel down the road.  It produces a "clickety-click-click, clickety-click-click, clickety-click-click, clickety-click-click" and then sometimes a short buzz.  The faster I drive, the more often it does it.  When sitting still the cell phone and the closest tower will re-sync maybe every 15 minutes.  When it does it, the scanner will not even break squelch so the noise is coming in via the IF or AF stages and not from the antenna and main RF stage.  I will also hear it on my car radio if the cell phone is laying on the dash directly above the radio... of course I only hear it when the radio is on, but it occurs even if I am listening to a cassette tape.

Both of my scanners also pick up the local NOAA weather station if I am within a mile or two of the tower and the weather is just wrong.

I have also noticed, if I have the volume up all the way on either scanner, that some of the transmissions I hear have a very bad audio "feedback" sound.  At first I thought that the person transmitting had two radios on at the same time, one receiving and one transmitting and they were too close together such that the sound from the receiver was being picked up by the microphone and being retransmitted; producing a howl.  Then I noticed that it was happening on several different channels (different RRs) and different users on the same channel.  I discovered that if I turn the volume down just a very small amount from FULL, the noise goes away.  Sounds just like audio "speaker to mic" feedback, but it is something in the scanner audio circuit.

Does the noise you are hearing only occur at one particular parking spot?  Some power lines can cause problems.  Also, I understand that sometimes it is a problem with galvanic corrosion with aluminium eaves-troths and galvanized nails holding them to a house, acting as a re-transmitter of some other higher power signal; even altering the frequency!  RF can sometimes be really WIERD!

 
Semper Vaporo
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rrnut282

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 07:58:25 PM »

Both of my scanners also pick up the local NOAA weather station if I am within a mile or two of the tower and the weather is just wrong.

 

Only a mile or two?  You're lucky.  I hear them for ten miles.  It might be because I use a railgain antenna.
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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2012, 08:51:10 PM »
Only a mile or two?  You're lucky.  I hear them for ten miles.  It might be because I use a railgain antenna.

A good radio cures that..LOL
 ;D

Unless I go over to the NOAA channels I never hear them.  Now I got bleed over on the GRE I had, but not the Yaesu.

jjrailfan

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2012, 08:23:52 AM »
I tend to agree w semp. Noises were worse when my cell phone was near my scanner but it did it other times as well. For some reason my new blackberry bold doesn't seem to affect scanner near as much as my old POS phone.

-JJ

rrnut282

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2012, 08:53:35 PM »
A good radio cures that..LOL
 ;D

Unless I go over to the NOAA channels I never hear them.  Now I got bleed over on the GRE I had, but not the Yaesu.
NOAA bleeds over on the Yaesu FT50, too. >:(
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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2012, 08:58:30 PM »
NOAA bleeds over on the Yaesu FT50, too. >:(

FT250 and FT7900, don't have that issue.  Wonder why you do.  Maybe the 50 being older?

rrnut282

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Re: Scanner noise question
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2012, 05:44:25 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised :(
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