I just purchased the sp-200, and I am very pleased with it, although it serves as my IFR backup, I would like to use it at home to listen in on whats going on in my neck of the woods. I live here in kalamazoo, MI, and I can get all the local traffic just fine, but I was wondering is there a way to make it so I can hear the center that approach hands aircraft off to, or maybe even airports as far away as grandrapids(30NM) or lansing(30Nm), in other words is there a way to make this into an awesome reciever with lots of range?, without too much hassle?? any and all info would be great for this novice. thankyou
Currently, your transiever most likely has a "rubber ducky" antenna which does not have very good line-of-sight reception. You can probably hear the aircraft since they are line-of-site (at a higher altitude), but the controllers are being transmitted through transmitters which are most likely quite a distance away.
I'd recommend using a Discone Antenna and mount it on your roof if able and run Coax cable to a room you'd like to use the transeiver in. That way, you can most likely get improved reception at the same time as having a professionally looking setup. I even have it so that my coax cable gets routed down my wall and into a jack that is shared by my ethernet (for internet) cable and telephone lines.
Here are pictures of my setup: http://www.liveatc.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=651
I can link you to some radio shack products (Discone antenna, BNC connectors, Coax cable etc) which you will need.Here is a great link on scanner antennas.
I'll post later on with more details...in the meanwhile, check out LiveATC.net's FAQs and read some posts in the forums to better understand radio reception and what we do here at LiveATC.net.
Thanks and welcome!
P.S. I did receive your reply PM from the AOPA boards. Thanks for coming and registering here!