New scanner user having problems with an RS 20-404

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New scanner user having problems with an RS 20-404

Postby njtcoastline » Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:52 pm

Hey railroad.net,
I am new to the radio scanner world and I bought the Radio Shack 20-404 scanner and the Center-Loaded Telescoping Whip Antenna 20-006. Is this fine to use for railroad radio scanning. And before I was listening into NJCL and I only heard the dispatcher, why cant i hear the engineer? And why cant I pick up the NEC from Freehold NJ, is it the whip antenna?

PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!

Moderator's note: Separated from "Scanners-what do you when railfanning? topic."
Last edited by njtcoastline on Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New scanner user having problems with an RS 20-404

Postby EMTRailfan » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:42 pm

It could be a number of things. Being that you said that you are new, I am guessing that this is your problem. Understand that I am not familiar with the specific area that you are listening to, and only making a general assumption.

Most railroads' radio systems consist of radio transmitter sites (tower/base sites). You are probably hearing the dispatcher because the tower throws out a stronger signal than the train crews in relation to their respective distance to you. Have you been track side with your scanner yet? Just curious if you heard a train that you knew is close by. Another possibility is that CSXT for example, uses a duplex system (rail traffic talk on one freq., and the dispatcher talk on another). Check to see how the RRs in your area operate and find the freqs. used.

A good site for finding freqs. is radioreference.com, or search for Yahoo groups specific to railfanning local to your area and make a request there.
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Re: New scanner user having problems with an RS 20-404

Postby njtcoastline » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:45 pm

I was railfanning on Nj Tranits North Jersy Coastline and was picking up trains but was not very clear, I have a telescopic whip antenna but so hard to get the signal right, what do I need, should I make my own?
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