Reliable Radio scanner suggestions? (1 Viewer)

Wc517

Newbie
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Iowa
First off, is a radio scanner worth it? It may tell me where the train is going and when its stopping, or an indication I've been spotted, but those can all be visually confirmed. If it is worth it, I'm looking for a lower power, cheaper radio scanner that can pick up Rail Frequencies at a reasonable price. Something that is just good enough for that, I don't need anything fancy. Thanks!
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
917
Location
The woods
Any cheap radioshack scanner is fine. I like trunking scanners cause they allow you to scan for active channels and save them to different memory banks so you can make custom lists for different locations. I have a radioshack pro 528 that I've been putting through a fair amount of abuse for about 5 yrs now and it's still kicking just fine.

Personally I've found scanners much more useful for listening to the bulls/cops than actually figuring out where any train is going. Police channels can be extremely entertaining to listen to just to pass the time.
 
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croc

Wise Sage
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
385
Location
Roads n rails
U cannot visually confirm ur about to get pulled off til it's too late. U can hear them calling train symbols and unit numbers and know sometimes if ur train is doubling back it's final time or just leaving etc etc and I find it incredibly useful to have one if u care where ur going, why ur stopped on this single track after ur train went into emergency, blah blah. Diff companies give diff info on the radio. UP often just says the unit number of the train they're talking to but csx and NS for example often call the symbol out. Then u know what train ur on or looking at.

I don't really know how many times we're gonna have to say this but:
Please
USE
THE
SEARCH
BAR.
We've all been trynna not be assholes about this but dear lord is it TRYING to see the same questions that have been answered pretty thoroughly get asked again.

Here's ur answers (took me about 30 seconds to find via "search scanner- titles only") on a silver spoon, delicately placed into ur tender mouth:


And here's my favorite comment on that thread
Screenshot_20201216-103438.png
 

Wc517

Newbie
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Iowa
Croc,
Sorry about the repeated question, and I understand your annoyance, but my account is still too new to access the train hopping threads, and searches I did came up with less than ideal scanners. Again, sorry about the worn out question and I will try to use the search bar more often.
 

Coywolf

Make America Freight Again
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
2,391
Age
33
Location
Texas
Website
www.youtube.com
U cannot visually confirm ur about to get pulled off til it's too late. U can hear them calling train symbols and unit numbers and know sometimes if ur train is doubling back it's final time or just leaving etc etc and I find it incredibly useful to have one if u care where ur going, why ur stopped on this single track after ur train went into emergency, blah blah. Diff companies give diff info on the radio. UP often just says the unit number of the train they're talking to but csx and NS for example often call the symbol out. Then u know what train ur on or looking at.

I don't really know how many times we're gonna have to say this but:
Please
USE
THE
SEARCH
BAR.
We've all been trynna not be assholes about this but dear lord is it TRYING to see the same questions that have been answered pretty thoroughly get asked again.

Here's ur answers (took me about 30 seconds to find via "search scanner- titles only") on a silver spoon, delicately placed into ur tender mouth:


And here's my favorite comment on that thread View attachment 58126

I was going to reply with just a 'UNIDEN BEARCAT 125AT @croc @Koala' to get a laugh, BUT, you beat me to it 😂
 

DrewSTNY

Vagabond
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
333
Location
Gang Mills, NY
If you are savvy with a computer, or have a lot of patience, you can program a Baofeng to scan all of the known train freqs. I live next to a sizeable switching yard and could pick up their convos with a very cheap UV5R with the stock antenna.

The programming cable is an extra $20 plus a free copy of CHiRP and you're golden. No, it doesn't do trunking or whatever, but if you just want to scan the RR, that will do it for pretty cheap. You have to make sure not to transmit, but that can be disabled using the programming software.

Also, you can program in the weather radio freqs and monitor them as well. It also has a broadcast FM radio tuner so you can listen to normal radio while scanning for RR traffic.

I can tell you that the stock battery in the little Baofeng lasts a really long time between charges.

If you want to do everything, Police, Fire, RR, etc, then the Bearcat is pretty sweet.

For an operator, the Baofeng is not a good radio, but for the casual listener/scanner, it's pretty good.

They don't like being run over at all. I've lost two radios due to them getting dropped and run over.
 

Groundscore

Rambler
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
49
Location
Southern Arizona
Another vote for the Uniden Bearcat scanners; most any of them will work great and last a long time. Just keep fresh batteries in it; and if you're not going to use it for a while, take the batteries out just in case they leak. I once ruined a nice little shortwave radio by forgetting to remove the batteries one year. I won't make that mistake twice, and always want to spare someone else the frustration of having that happen.
 

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