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Author Topic: ATC While Driving  (Read 4424 times)
DairyCreamer
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« on: July 27, 2005, 10:04:19 AM »

Just curious guys,

Any of you have hints on the best way to listen to ATC while driving... say across the (great?) state of Kansas?

I printed out all the ARTCC freqs from the link on the home page here, and whittled down the areas that were close to I-70 for our trip.  Anyone know where the actual transmitters are though?  Just trying to get a feel whether I will hear both sides of the conversation at any point.

Any ideas on antennas or anything either?  Other hints, tips, or tricks?  Thanks much!

~Nate
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dave
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2005, 10:28:33 AM »

The most important thing is having an external antenna, preferably mounted on the roof.  If you can't mount it on the roof, mount it on the trunk.

This magnetic mount antenna will work pretty well for you:
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&product%5Fid=20-032

You can find ARTCC frequencies and transmitter locations here:
http://www.milaircomms.com/artcc_frequencies.html
(clickable map thanks to Milaircomms.com)

For towers and TRACONs just find the airports along your route and look them up in advance on airnav.com.  That site has a good list of frequencies...mostly up to date.

Enjoy!

Dave
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IndyTower
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2005, 10:31:04 AM »

I'm really glad you asked this because I've been wondering about something related to this.  Honestly, I've never had much luck with listening to the scanner while driving.  I have a Radio Shack Pro-94 handheld.  I'll often turn the scanner on while driving to IND to watch the traffic, but while I'm in motion it is extremely choppy.  When I speed up it gets worse, and vice versa.  It's very hard to make out transmissions.

I have noticed though that it's fine when I listen to it while flying.  I don't believe it's bumps in the roads that make this happen.  It seems more like something having to do with being in motion, but like I said it works in aircraft.  Would a regular scanner as opposed to a handheld not do this?

As for finding freqs, before you leave I'd suggest finding a good freq and just stay on that.  Then just look for another one when that one's no longer picking up ATC.  I would urge you to pull over or have a passenger  change freqs for you. Doing this while driving could easily cause an accident, especially on an interstate like I-70.

Hope this helps!

Matt
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MIAMIATC
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2005, 03:21:47 PM »

actually that is the exact antenna's i have mounted on the car and the a/c at the house. ive been down to VA,PA,NY,NJ,DE,MD area with my scanner tuned in to all the artcc frequencies and i get great reception while driving when i am delivering packages while i work Tongue
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FlyCMI
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2005, 12:19:33 AM »

The reason why it cuts out so much is because VFR is line of sight, and when you are in the air you usually have a line of sight to the transmittor.  Listening to ATC while driving is hard because of this.
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JetBlue
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2005, 08:50:19 AM »

To tell you the truth, when I travel between NY and PA, I load up my R20 with all the frequencies, and just let it scan. I hear Huguenot ATC quite well along I 84 from Exit 15 NY to the PA border, then Elk Mountain along 84 in PA.
I use the Radio Shack glass mount antenna...I hate drilling holes and I didn't even want a mag mount on the car. For airband listening, this antenna actually does quite well, believe it or not.
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Kieran J O'Hagan
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2005, 10:01:00 AM »

i was in cape may yesterday and i heard coming up the parkway the transmitters for wash artcc 133.125,121.025 and ny artcc 128.3,132.15 for quite a distance and while i was in  the cent jersey area heard ny artcc transmitters for 127.175 and 125.325 as well as tracon's 124.75 frequency with thr mag mount for at least a good 30 miles from each transmitter. I was getting high level handoffs from wash artcc to jax artcc while working down in cape may yesterday and heard a few vectors for ORF
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