Is scanning still possible?



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Author Topic: Is scanning still possible?  (Read 1071 times)

Offline N01zii

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Is scanning still possible?
« on: January 11, 2013, 05:01:31 PM »
So, a question. Is scanning for cordless phones or cellphones still possible in the digital era? I know it was possible when they were analog, and cordless phones were in the ~40 Hz range and all of that, but would it still be possible to pick up conversations now? I just think it would be a fun and funny thing to do.

Also, anyone know some place to get a cheap scanner? My local RadioShack had a portable one for $200, but that seemed kind of steep for me.

Also. I know that THIS drive through prank was fake: http://gizmodo.com/369819/how-to-hijack-a-fast-food-drive+thru-frequency (Funny to see that the article is still there after all this time, even though in the PLA book it says that it was a completely fake article) but I remember somewhere reading something along these lines: "We kept hijacking the speaker, much to the McDonald's confusion. The people sitting at the outdoor tables were confused, but laughing nonetheless" or something like that. I know that's not exactly it, and I'm not sure where I read it. So, was anything about this hack real? Is it actually possible? From what I understand (I'm really new to radio) it requires some sort of scanner through a modified radio. Not sure if that's 100% legit though.

Anyway, thanks!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 02:24:52 PM by N01zii »

Offline rbcp

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Re: Is scanning still possible?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 12:45:59 PM »
You're unlikely to have any luck picking up phone conversations on a scanner these days.  Even old people have upgraded their cordless phones to digital by now.  If you spend some time driving around with your scanner, you might find somebody on an old 25-channel phone eventually, but that's a lot of effort to hear some old lady talking about soap operas.  Analog cell phone frequencies have completely disappeared.

You'll find cheap scanners on eBay.  The scanners of 10 years ago are just as good as the scanners today for basic listening.  The only thing you'll miss having is a computer interface so that you can easily program channels into it.  I haven't checked, but I bet you could get a good one for $50 or less.

The drive-thru hijacking is possible with a Yaesu VX5 or VX7 ham radio.  Search these forums for more details on that.  Some fast food places are moving to digital, though, so that's going to become obsolete too.