Digital scanning for newbie

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scanhermit
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Digital scanning for newbie

Post by scanhermit » 18 Apr 2014, 08:23

I've read bits and pieces on T1 about dongles and things that (i thinK) will let me scan digital transmissions via my computer but I'm not sure how to organise it i.e. get it all together. I'm used to analog radios so talk to me like a 4 year old. What dongle and software do I need? I know I'll need an antenna :D but I take it that I'll need some sort of USB adapter to connect it.

Can anyone give me the basics and any other helpful pointers? Ta very muchly.

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by NightProwler » 18 Apr 2014, 08:46

Im no expert on these but I do plan on buying one. They will not receive digital transmissions unfortunately. I think you mean something like this, Cheap as chips too :P

http://www.amazon.co.uk/KEEDOX%C2%AE-RT ... ds=usb+sdr

Plug in the USB stick, Contact the antenna and install the software, For that price it's worth a go.
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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by scanhermit » 18 Apr 2014, 09:17

That's a neat kit. Looks handy for being away from home with the laptop if one doesn't want to lump the scanner around (my PSR 295 is a bit big).

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by Admiral » 18 Apr 2014, 14:04

scanhermit wrote:That's a neat kit.
They're actually sh1te.

But a whole barrel of fun for less than a tenner.
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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by NightProwler » 18 Apr 2014, 14:08

I suppose you get what you pay for.
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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by kr0ne » 18 Apr 2014, 17:11

They're a lot better with some front end filtering but it's what you make of it really.

BTW, you can decode digital signals if you have the right software...

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by radiosification » 18 Apr 2014, 18:21

Admiral wrote: They're actually sh1te.
They certainly are not! They're incredibly useful. I use mine all the time to listen to virtually anything. In fact my scanner hardly even gets used anymore, since its so much easier to plug this in and look at the signals on the screen instead of searching around blindly with a scanner.

For the tv tuner dongle, you'll need SDR#. There are some guides online as well, if you search for them. I don't have any links but I remember seeing them before.
It decodes digital very nicely, with additional software. Look up digital speech decoder for more info. Although there is nothing out there that lets you decode any encrypted comms, so if the person you want to hear is encrypted, you can forget it.

Btw, if you look up digital speech decoder, you'll see one of my videos near the top. It won't tell you how to use the USB dongle thingy but it might give you an idea on how to use dsd. ;)
If you're interested in digital voice, check out my YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/radiosification

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by scanhermit » 19 Apr 2014, 05:49

Thanks all, much appreciated. So, in summary, I have to grab me dongle and fiddle about with it :D

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RogerD
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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by RogerD » 19 Apr 2014, 07:52

Opinions vary because there can be dud examples, and they can be overloaded if you have strong local signals, and sometimes it's difficult to avoid interference from the PC it's connected to.

But, for everyone else, they can be pretty impressive, especially for the price. Because of the variable pre-amp in them, I can actually hear things on them that I can't hear at all on a 'real' scanner, and clearly hear things that are just a slightly different background noise on the scanner. It's pretty awesome really. However, having had a good play with it, I have to admit I haven't touched it for a few months now already, like the scanner - I just don't find much worth listening to these days.

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by scanhermit » 19 Apr 2014, 08:49

Well, I do find it ironic that I get into scanning just transmissions are increasingly going digital and encrypted. I'm hoping digital won't infect HF too much.

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by EMarkM » 19 Apr 2014, 08:49

It's funny: I'd always wanted a proper scanner, and it was getting my little Uniden back in 2012 that got me to this forum and, via fellow forumite Jake, back into CB and started on Amateur Radio, for which I remain eternally grateful, but there really is so little of interest to listen to these days beside civil airband, and our scanner is seeing less and less use.
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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by scanhermit » 19 Apr 2014, 08:57

I get harrogate hospital, Wetherby YOI, an anonymous skip hire company, a taxi company and York OAP wardens where I am near Wetherby, which I don't count too bad for a location out in the sticks, and that's without an external ant. I take the scanner on the drive into work in York and get the buses, the Uni, hospital and parking wardens there. Leeds is full of data squeaks and traffic light interference, and plenty of taxis.

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by Admiral » 20 Apr 2014, 13:03

radiosification wrote:
Admiral wrote: They're actually sh1te.
They certainly are not!

Er, they are.

As much filtering as a Fidelity 1000 and more birdies than Bernard Matthews.

But, as I also said, lots of fun for very little money.
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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by radiosification » 20 Apr 2014, 15:04

Admiral wrote:
radiosification wrote:
Admiral wrote: They're actually sh1te.
They certainly are not!

Er, they are.

As much filtering as a Fidelity 1000 and more birdies than Bernard Matthews.

But, as I also said, lots of fun for very little money.
They decode digital a hell of a lot better than my discriminator tapped scanner. For that particular reason I can say that they aren't "sh1te". They're also significantly easier to use to find new frequencies when you have a large range to look in.
Maybe you should give them a bit more of a chance, and try one again.
If you're interested in digital voice, check out my YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/radiosification

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Re: Digital scanning for newbie

Post by kr0ne » 20 Apr 2014, 17:53

Some very crude filters work wonders...

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