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Frequency Searching with Multiple Scanners
The best way to find new frequencies for your scanner is to use the "search mode". However for
the Military Air UHF band to use 1 scanner to scan the entire band (225 MHz - 380 MHz) would take
most scanners (assuming 100 ch/sec.) over 1 minute to scan the entire band. This simply is too long
as most MilAir comms are very short and you'll be missing alot of frequencies. So the key is to use
as many scanners as you have in your shake and dedicate several hours to searching. You'll be amazed
at how many new frequencies you'll quickly add to your list.
Most of my searching is done with 6 Uniden BC-780XLT scanners. I will evenly divide the 225 - 380 MHz
MilAir band between each of the scanners. Below is a photo of my bank of scanners used for searching. For
full size picture please click on the photo below:
Here is an easy way to figure how to divide the workload depending on how many scanners you have. First,
you are dealing with 155 MHz of spectrum (380 - 225 MHz = 155 MHz). You will want to plan on using
a search step size of 25 KHz (several years ago milair frequencies were spaced at 50 KHz, however now
they are 25 KHz). Also don't forget most of the milair comms are in AM mode. Now if you want to use
2 scanners to search the 225-380MHz range that is very easy, just put the first half (225.000 to 302.500 MHz) in
1 scanner and the second half (302.500 to 380.000 MHz) in your second scanner. Now instead of taking 60 seconds
to scan the entire range you'll be doing it in 30 seconds, much better and more rewarding as you'll quickly
be discovering new frequencies to listen to.
The more scanners the better. In my case I use 6 scanners so here is how I have search ranges arranged:
|Scanner #1|| 225.000 - 250.000 MHz
|Scanner #2|| 250.000 - 275.000 MHz
|Scanner #3|| 275.000 - 300.000 MHz
|Scanner #4|| 300.000 - 325.000 MHz
|Scanner #5|| 325.000 - 350.000 MHz
|Scanner #6|| 350.000 - 380.000 MHz
With 6 scanner and the above frequency arrangment I can cover the entire UHF MilAir band in about 10 seconds.
Here is another hint, be sure you do not have any frequencies locked out of the search from previous searchs. On the BC-780 scanner you
simply put the scanner in search, then press and hold the L/O button until you hear a series of beeps, now all lock-outs have been cleared.
The first couple of times your scanners searches its assigned range you're going to have the scanner stop on a few birdies, simply lock them out. Also a
scanner could stop on a frequency which you already know about, I lock those out as well to speed up the searching.
Another piece of advice regarding delay times. Most scanners allow you to adjust the "resume search time" from 2 seconds to infinity. On
the BC-780's I set them up to not resume until I hit the search button again (infinity). This way I have time to write down the frequency
before the scanner starts scanning again.
Try writing down a frequency when you're excited or when severals scanners all stop on new catches! If there is a lot of action in your shack its
harder than you think.
I hope this article helps you more efficiently search the MilAir UHF Bands!
If you want to see my complete monitoring station CLICK HERE.