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Date: 10/25/18 07:26
Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: 611Fan

TIA 

Radar gun under 100 dollars
Scanner under 500 dollars plz



Date: 10/25/18 09:43
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: NKP715

Do a search on this site for scanners.  There have been
many, many reviews.



Date: 10/25/18 10:02
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: exhaustED

Scanner - look at the Yaesu FT270.



Date: 10/25/18 10:48
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: TCnR

Short story, for most folks a Bearcat BC125AT works just fine. For that someday when RR's move to 'Digital' communications there are NXDN capable scanners being developed and brought to market every few weeks. Searching the web for NXDN is a good way to find out what is developing, note that very few RR's are using NXDN or any other digital system, but that could change. Or they could cheap out and stay with what they have right now.

For more tech saavy hobbyists Yeasu HAM radios have a lot of attraction, for just a few more bucks than the Bearcat. The Yeasu FT-270 covers the RR band, has great audio and designed to be very rugged including waterproof. The FT60r covers the RR Band and the EOT/DPU band, a little less robust but well designed. The EOT/DPU band is good for finding trains in less developed areas but not so good in dense areas. The Yeasu line is clunky to make entries with but has a nifty aftermarket S/W package that makes it a breeze to program and have a place to document your frequency assignments.

RADAR gun to determine speed or RADAR detectors?



Date: 10/25/18 11:39
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: Railbaron

I'll be very honest about it, I have a Yaesu FT250R and I think the speaker on it is absolutely horrible - I often cannot understand what's being said. I have tried the remote mic but that doesn't help. I can hear everything else just fine so it's not my ears, it's the radio. 

Having said that the Yaesu radios are always talked about very positively here and the addition of the after-market programming software makes programming a breeze.
 



Date: 10/25/18 11:47
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: K3HX

I'm in agreement with TCnR  and exhaustED on the FT-270.  Had the model previous and
it gave good service for over a decade.

Some things to consider:
A measured improvement in performance on the RR band can be had with a MFJ-1717s antenna. 
The "s" indicates it has a conventional "SMA" connector which matches the connector on the FT-270.
A drawback is that the replacement antenna is  nearly 16" long and if you wear the radio on your belt,
the antenna will slap you in the back as you walk.  The antenna is about $22.

The radio is a pain in the patootie to program in that there are many features used by ham operators
that are worthless or even detrimental for railfan use.  I would strongly recommend the RT Systems program
which you can get directly from the good folks there or thru the merchant mentioned later. 
If you choose to go directly to RT Systems, get a programming cable and a disc, not the download.
This will cost around $50 but will save you a lot of hassle programming it one step at a time from the radio's
keyboard because if you screw up even one step, you get to start over again.  The folks at RT Systems are
accustomed to railfan users and will not condescend to you. Their customer service is very good.

The radio comes with a rechargable battery PACK and charger.  You may wish to invest in a battery CASE
which holds AA cells and can be rapidly switched in place of a depleted battery PACK.  Be sure
to get a genuine Yaesu brand battery CASE.  Some of the off-brand ones don't fit properly.  Yaesu model FBA-25.

Another useful accessory is a "clip-on collar mike-speaker" which allows you to hear traffic without having to
remove the radio from your belt and put it up against your ear.  All you need do when you hear something
is to tilt your head over to the speaker.  MH57A4B is the Yaesu model, I've also had good luck with a similiar
device from MFJ. About $30.

A standard earphone will not work because the connector on the radio is not compatible being 4 wire in
configuration.

I have found "DX Engineering" to be an honest merchant with exceptional customer service.  I live near Pittsburgh, PA
and delivery is 2 business days at the most. 

If you have the funds, get the radio and accessories at the same time and avail yourself of  free shipping for all the items.

https://www.dxengineering.com/parts/ysu-ft-270r     This page has the everything except the MFJ Antenna

https://www.dxengineering.com/search/product-line/mfj-1717s-dual-band-handheld-antennas?autoview=SKU&sortby=Default&sortorder=Default                                                         This page has the MFJ antenna.

Be Well,

Tim Colbert  K3HX










 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/25/18 17:43 by K3HX.



Date: 10/25/18 11:48
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: exhaustED

Railbaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'll be very honest about it, I have a Yaesu
> FT250R and I think the speaker on it is absolutely
> horrible - I often cannot understand what's being
> said. I have tried the remote mic but that doesn't
> help. I can hear everything else just fine so it's
> not my ears, it's the radio. 
>
> Having said that the Yaesu radios are always
> talked about very positively here and the addition
> of the after-market programming software makes
> programming a breeze.
>  

It's not necessarily the radio... or if it is, it might just be you've got a knackered one. My FT-250R has crystal clear audio. 



Date: 10/25/18 11:57
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: exhaustED

Hey Bill, thanks for the info on the battery case for the ft-250/270 - I had no idea that was an option! Would have been very useful on a recent trip where my battery died because i stupidly left the standard battery connected and the unit got switched on overnight accidently! I'm ordering a FBA-25 right now! Thanks again.



Date: 10/25/18 12:02
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: davebb71




Date: 10/25/18 14:17
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: BRAtkinson

TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For more tech saavy hobbyists Yeasu HAM radios have a lot of attraction, for just a few more bucks than the Bearcat. The Yeasu FT-270 covers the RR band, has great audio and
> designed to be very rugged including waterproof. The FT60r covers the RR Band and the EOT/DPU band, a little less robust but well designed. The EOT/DPU band is good
> for finding trains in less developed areas but not so good in dense areas. The Yeasu line is clunky to make entries with but has a nifty aftermarket
> S/W package that makes it a breeze to program and have a place to document your frequency assignments.

About 18 months ago, after a lot of online research, I finally replaced my 25+ year old Radio Shack scanner with a Yaesu FT-65R.  The big selling point for me was the optional software for programming.  Definitely buy the software and required adapter that goes with it.  I wouldn't even think about trying to program it 'the hard way'.  (The instruction manual is very complete, but there's waaaaayyyyy tooooo much for simple railfan users like me!)  Also buy the 6-AA cell battery adapter back plate and use Eneloop rechargeables.  I get 12-16 hours out of a freshly charged set while riding long distance Amtrak trains.

But if I had it to do over again, I would have paid the extra $$ for the waterproof 'big brother' commercial-grade model instead, the 270R, for example.  Why?  Because their consumer-grade, 'lower price point' radios have a simple 4-wire (headphone jack diameter) combined headphone/microphone jack.  I bought the Yaesu headphone/microphone splitter adapter as I need to use headphones most of the time due to hearing loss (and no hearing aid squeal).  No matter how I try, and, 3 different genuine adapters later (one got smashed in the tray table holder of a Superliner roomette! - it took 30 minutes to fish it out), all Yaesu brand, the ONLY way to keep it attached is gaffers tape!  The 'higher end' Yaesu's all have a screw in connector that won't fall out.  I can't believe they decided to save all of 2-3 cents for the connector on the lower end radios.  I'm toying with taking mine apart and putting in a screw-in connector.

One other 'sort of' negative about the Yaesu and I suspect ALL the small size scanners these days is the SMA antenna connector.  There's just no way I think it will stand up to the rigors of being screwed/unscrewed numerous times as my scanner gets packed in a suitcase quite often.  So, I bought a SMA-to-BNC adapter and use my old BNC-connector'd RR-frequency-tuned antenna I used with my Radio Shack scanner.

Would I buy a Yaesu again?   ABSOLUTELY!!!  Great radio, great size, and decent sound, even without headphones!

Lastly, the Yaesu is a ham radio, and has full transmit capabilities on certain frequency ranges.  Thankfully, the 160-161mhz railroad frequency range is not one of them or I might do something stupid.  I keep telling myself 'one of these days' I'll get a ham license, but it hasn't happened yet.
 



Date: 10/25/18 14:38
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: NKP715

Keep in mind that the antennas that come with many scanners
are not ideally suited for the RR frequencies.  I also highly
recommend the Yaesu FT-270, along with a Diamond SRH77CA 
antenna.  Once again, use the search function for both radio and
antenna reviews.



Date: 10/25/18 17:57
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: Railbaron

exhaustED Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's not necessarily the radio... or if it is, it might just be you've got a knackered one. My
> FT-250R has crystal clear audio. 

The more I read, I'm starting to think that. I have never read anybody complain about audio so it might indeed be my unit. Thank you.



Date: 10/25/18 21:14
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: BRAtkinson

Believe it or not, after writing my remarks earlier today and seeing the favorable reviews of the FT-270R, I convinced myself that's what I wanted so I bought one!!!  

Naturally, I first checked other reviews of the radio at Amazon and elsewhere, then checked various sources.  Like my FT-60R before (I thought it was the 65R, but it's the 60R after looking at it), I found the best price at Ham Radio Outlet (Ham Radio Outlet) ... $180 including the programming software!  Don't buy one without the software!!!

Now to sell my FT-60R on ebay...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/26/18 04:44 by BRAtkinson.



Date: 10/28/18 10:22
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: WW

I've posted this at least a dozen times, but, apparently, no one bothers to look at older posts.  So, here we go again:  Nearly ALL amateur radios (with the exception of several Chinese radios--some which the new FCC Enforcement Order flatly make illegal to use) WILL NOT tune the "splinter" narrowband analog frequencies created by narrowbanding in 2013.  A sole exception of which I am aware is the amateur Kenwood TM-281 mobile--it will tune the splinter frequencies.  The Yaesu FT-270, an otherwise fine radio, will not tune the splinter frequencies.  Simple as that.  Now, those splinter frequencies are not yet in wide use, but that could change.  Note here that the radios that railroads now use--specifically Kenwood and Icom radios with AAR firmware installed--will tune the 97 "original" AAR frequencies (narrowbanded since 2013), all of the splinter narrowband AAR frequencies, and the very narrowband AAR NXDN digital frequencies.  If one is counting, that approaches 500 different channels available on those radios--all AAR channels which a railroad could be potentially authorized to use.

I would also encourage everyone to read the post that I made on this forum on the September 2018 FCC Enforcement Order.  A lot of people seem to think that is has no impact on raifans.  I disagree, and a lot of amateur radio operators share similar concerns.  Distilling down what has been posted on other radio forums by people with some understanding of legal language, the recommendation they lean towards is this:

1)  Scanning receivers are unaffected by the order.
2)  If you own a radio capable of transmitting in the amateur bands, you had better have an Amateur Radio License to be able to carry it or use it.
3)  If you do not have a radio license, you still can carry a Part 90 certified (commercial band) radio, but you should never use it to transmit and you might consdier having its transmit capabilities disabled in the radio programming.

As the Enforcement Order is currently written, it does two things.  First, it bans the sale or use anywhere in the United States of two-way radios that lack either Part 97 (amateur) or Part 90 (commercial) certification .  This is the part of the order that has gotten most of the attention.  The second part of the order, however, changes what has a long-term policy of the FCC.  Until now, the FCC placed no real restrictions on the the type of two-way radio that person could own or carry, so long as the radio was not actually used for transmitting and the radio was not capable of receiving or transmitting within the cellular telephone frequency spectrum.  With this order, the FCC is effectively putting its toe in the water of prohibiting individuals from using (even carrying?) a radio that is capable of transmitting in the amateur frequencies unless he or she is a licensed amateur radio operator.  Some amateur radio operators, as well as some in the business of selling two way radios, believe this may be a prelude to making it illegal for individuals to own or use any two-way radio capable of transmitting in a frequency spectrum or channels for which the owner does not have an FCC license in which to operate.

For the record, I take this stuff pretty seriously--I hold both amateur and commercial business band radio licenses and do some management work concerning operation and maintenance of two-way radio systems.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/18 10:27 by WW.



Date: 10/28/18 11:22
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: RFandPFan

WW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've posted this at least a dozen times, but,
> apparently, no one bothers to look at older
> posts. 

I have appeciated the time and effort you and others have taken to provide expert and very valuable information about radios in general and specifically scanners and antenna issues.  Thanks very much for sharing your knowledge.

If you are at all familiar with 611Fan (Previously on TO as AC6000fan and ViewlinerSupporter) you would see that he does no research at all before posting every thought or hypothetical that enters his mind.  We have tried MANY times to encourage him to use the TO Search function, but it has fallen on deaf ears.



Date: 10/28/18 11:34
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: BRAtkinson

WW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
  Some amateur radio operators, as well as some in the business of selling two way radios, believe this may be a prelude to making it illegal for individuals to
> own or use any two-way radio capable of transmitting in a frequency spectrum or channels for which the owner does not have an FCC license in which to operate.

Thank you, WW for your warning.  Something tells me I better get my Technician level ham license, just to be safe with my Yaesu.  Given that the both city and RR police gave railfans a lot of problems after 9/11, It wouldn't surprise me if now if they see a 'fancy' radio, they'll want to see the license.  We could be 'dangerous' in their eyes.



Date: 10/28/18 12:10
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: TCnR

The 'splinter band' issue is more of a transmit issue than a receive issue. The Yeasu receivers will simply receive what's in those splinter bands, which is not ideal but the radio is still functional as a receiver. The idea of the splinter channels, as anything meant to be a splinter or seperate channel, is to not receive the adjacent channel. This could be an issue for dense areas where the splinter channels are being used, most likely a dense urban area. The Public Transit Agencies have a tendency to make use of newer ideas like this.

When transmitting, it's a big issue as the adjacent (in this case 'splinter') channels would be effected. Railroad hobbyists are not transmitting, it's just not part of the hobby, it's also contrary to the FCC regulations whether a person has a HAM License or not. Well designed HAM radios do not transmit outside of the HAM band, there's a whole side discussion about using HAM radios as Public Service Band receive scanners. In this case RR hobbyists are simply making use of a well designed receiver.

The recent FCC guideline is mostly about the Beofang radios being able to transmit outside of the HAM band, the intention of the guideline was not to eliminate reception. Most folks think the wording was badly chosen as it is not directly banning use of HAM radios by non-licesned hobbyists, but certainly implies that. Other discussions on other websites are hoping for a clarification by the FCC. From other discussions there seems to be complaints about people riding freight trains and using the inexpensive Beofang radios.

If all goes wrong, Yeasu radios have a good re-sale value in the HAM market.



Date: 10/28/18 13:49
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: ALCO630

Later on I will go back and read other posts but for now, how does that affect me having a CB radio in my truck at work?


WW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've posted this at least a dozen times, but,
> apparently, no one bothers to look at older
> posts.  So, here we go again:  Nearly ALL
> amateur radios (with the exception of several
> Chinese radios--some which the new FCC Enforcement
> Order flatly make illegal to use) WILL NOT tune
> the "splinter" narrowband analog frequencies
> created by narrowbanding in 2013.  A sole
> exception of which I am aware is the amateur
> Kenwood TM-281 mobile--it will tune the splinter
> frequencies.  The Yaesu FT-270, an otherwise fine
> radio, will not tune the splinter frequencies. 
> Simple as that.  Now, those splinter frequencies
> are not yet in wide use, but that could change. 
> Note here that the radios that railroads now
> use--specifically Kenwood and Icom radios with AAR
> firmware installed--will tune the 97 "original"
> AAR frequencies (narrowbanded since 2013), all of
> the splinter narrowband AAR frequencies, and the
> very narrowband AAR NXDN digital frequencies.  If
> one is counting, that approaches 500 different
> channels available on those radios--all AAR
> channels which a railroad could be potentially
> authorized to use.
>
> I would also encourage everyone to read the post
> that I made on this forum on the September 2018
> FCC Enforcement Order.  A lot of people seem to
> think that is has no impact on raifans.  I
> disagree, and a lot of amateur radio operators
> share similar concerns.  Distilling down what has
> been posted on other radio forums by people with
> some understanding of legal language, the
> recommendation they lean towards is this:
>
> 1)  Scanning receivers are unaffected by the
> order.
> 2)  If you own a radio capable of transmitting in
> the amateur bands, you had better have an Amateur
> Radio License to be able to carry it or use it.
> 3)  If you do not have a radio license, you still
> can carry a Part 90 certified (commercial band)
> radio, but you should never use it to transmit and
> you might consdier having its transmit
> capabilities disabled in the radio programming.
>
> As the Enforcement Order is currently written, it
> does two things.  First, it bans the sale or
> use anywhere in the United States of two-way
> radios that lack either Part 97 (amateur) or Part
> 90 (commercial) certification .  This is the part
> of the order that has gotten most of the
> attention.  The second part of the order,
> however, changes what has a long-term policy of
> the FCC.  Until now, the FCC placed no real
> restrictions on the the type of two-way radio that
> person could own or carry, so long as the radio
> was not actually used for transmitting and the
> radio was not capable of receiving or transmitting
> within the cellular telephone frequency
> spectrum.  With this order, the FCC is
> effectively putting its toe in the water of
> prohibiting individuals from using (even
> carrying?) a radio that is capable of transmitting
> in the amateur frequencies unless he or she is a
> licensed amateur radio operator.  Some amateur
> radio operators, as well as some in the business
> of selling two way radios, believe this may be a
> prelude to making it illegal for individuals to
> own or use any two-way radio capable of
> transmitting in a frequency spectrum or channels
> for which the owner does not have an FCC license
> in which to operate.
>
> For the record, I take this stuff pretty
> seriously--I hold both amateur and commercial
> business band radio licenses and do some
> management work concerning operation and
> maintenance of two-way radio systems.

Posted from Android



Date: 10/28/18 20:07
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: BRAtkinson

TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If all goes wrong, Yeasu radios have a good re-sale value in the HAM market.

For what it's worth, I put my Yaesu FT-60R on ebay last night with a good price including AA battery pack, software, mic/spkr adapter, RR tuned antenna and my RR programming files.  3 minutes flat...it was sold!  I price things at 'I want it gone more than I want top dollar', so they usually go pretty fast.  Of course, a ham picked it up for use while hunting in groups to replace a friends 'junk' Chinese radio.

In an email I received from him, he indicated he wasn't interested in the antenna and programming info I put on a USB drive.  But he ended is note with:

"I will keep some of the accessories, and look for good homes for others.  No ham equipment ever goes to waste."

So I know the radio went to a 'good home'.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/18 20:10 by BRAtkinson.



Date: 11/16/18 12:18
Re: Best Radar Gun/Best Scanner to Buy ?
Author: CPRR

So, where is the FCC police force? just wondering.



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