Old 08-19-2004, 09:55 PM   #1
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Default What are your five railfanning essentials?

What are the five essential items (exlcuding a camera because that almost a given) you carry in your vehicle or on your person when you go out and railfan?

My five...

1.) Plenty of good rock and/or roll music
2.) Tripod
3.) Two way radio
4.) Folding chair
5.) Spare air hose (Hey, you never know when a crew might need it!)
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:08 PM   #2
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Lets see....

1) Scanner
2) The Bible (Canadian Trackside Guide)
3) Lawn Chair
4) Pictures (To prove to cops what I am doing)
5) a cold Coke!
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:10 PM   #3
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Here are my 5
1. Food and drink.
2. Two way mobile radio and scanner.
3. Tripod
4. Cell phone (for any emergency I might cause myself lol)
5. Off Deep Woods spray

The rock and roll is kinda like the camera (a given)!
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
3.) Two way radio
Quote:
2. Two way mobile radio and scanner.
What is the two way radio for? I can understand the scanner but two way?
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:42 PM   #5
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Well I am a ham radio operator and I have my two way 2 meter with me that also will receive up into the 162 mhz range and is much more sensitive than my scanner so I can hear further and better. I can also transmit on rail freq. with this radio but would never attempt that except in a life or death situation.
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:54 PM   #6
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Let's see...

1. Plenty of spare batteries.
2. Some snacks and drink.
3. Road map.
4. A watch to keep track of time.
5. Scanner.
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:03 AM   #7
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1: Radios....4 mobiles in my truck, plus at least One handheld, most of the time two, or the GE MPA mobile base, power source and antenna built into a small suitcase, for trips with friends who may not be properly equiped in the radio Dept. I for one, can not go out without proper radio coverage

2...Cell Phone, Nextel makes a mint off us on the weekends, when we have our favorite places covered from Cinncinati to Louisville to Chattanooga and everybody is calling with heads up, OS reports ect..also useful for calling the wife to explain why it will be "a while" before heading for home...like she would expect anything else, 12 hours out is just a short day

3. My little black book (really a BIG black binder) full of copies of NS, CSX and short line timetables, rule books, freq list, maps (topo, county, state), signal list, notes on photo locations, phone numbers ect.. doesnt get a lot of use in the places I have been shooting for 16 years, but always handy when we make that last minute decision to head to a less visited location.

4. A healthy supply of Copenhagen, Red Seal, Diet Coke, and Nabs...

5. One or more pistols and a good supply of ammo..

and while not in the top 5, lets not forget the vegatation clearing devices, reading material, tunes, elevation enhancing devices, goodies headache powders.....i dont travel light, I travel prepared.
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:09 AM   #8
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So what in the gun for, to shoot at the GE's that roll by or those WGRFs who piss you off?
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:11 AM   #9
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some of the places caleb and myself go...you better be protected There are some scary things in them Southern KY hills my friend, and I am not speaking of the wildlife...
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:13 AM   #10
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yea WGRFs can be pretty scarry, and I know because i am one myself
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Old 08-20-2004, 12:22 AM   #11
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LMAO Mr. Bell! I too have taken the 9mm on occasion but not for the same reason! Some of the places I go you are miles from anyone and target practice can be a fun way to pass some time. And yeah just in case I run into a maniac!
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron
What is the two way radio for?
The two way (a GE PCS) picks up better than a scanner ever will. Besdies, when I carry it on my person, I actually look like a railroad employee. Funny thing though is that as much junk as GE creates, their radios are actually good quality.

Quote:
some of the places caleb and myself go...you better be protected There are some scary things in them Southern KY hills my friend, and I am not speaking of the wildlife...
Yeah, there are a lot of lonely little hollers in southern KY. Some of those places that if you start hearing banjo music (more specifically, "Deuling Banjos"), GET THE HELL OUT!
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
The two way (a GE PCS) picks up better than a scanner ever will
That depends on the scanner. Here is rule of thumb, dont buy a scanner in the US. The scanners sold in the US are covered by many regulations about how much they can pick up what frequency bands, and many other regulations. Here in Canada anything broadcasted over the air is fair game for radio interception. Durham Radio has to ID everyone who buys radios because they are not legally allowed to sell to americans because of the regulations. I love my ICOM IC-R5 (Canadian Edition) picks up three times as much as my Uniden picked up. .5Khz -1.3Ghz with no gaps (none at all)

My puppy almost likes it as much as I do!
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:02 AM   #14
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Well, say what you want about the PCS, but here's the cold hard truth about scanners.

While scanners in Canada may be able to receive on more bands (such as cell phones which are blocked out of US scanners per the FCC regulations), the bands you can receive on have nothing to do with receive sensitivity. All scanners are tuned to receive on a broad range where as a two way radio such as the PCS is tuned to recieve on a more narrow frequency range (in this case, 137-174 MHz). With it being "zeroed in" on that range it will receive much better.

Case in point: While painting in an apartment in Nicholasville (MP 93 on the NS First District), I was hearing trains clearly call signals 30 miles away in all directions, plus all four detectors between MP 72.9 and 109.0. Could that be done with a scanner? I think not.
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:14 AM   #15
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Well Caleb, I dont want to argue with you because there is no physicall way for me to prove anything to you, but in newcastle, i can pick up american hotbox detectors on CSX in New York. I can also pick up things from cobourg and the CN Bala sub which is more than 30 miles away. Mind you these are only on clear days, but still can be done. Not to mention with the ducky antena
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:15 AM   #16
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Your right Caleb it's about sensitivity in the reciever. There can be as in the ICOM I use compaired to any scanner I have tried, huge difference.
Also a good antenna along with an external speaker is worth the investment for a scanner.

Some of the blocked freq in some scanners can be hacked by cutting a resistor or jumper inside. You can see if such hacks are available by searching the web using your model # ect.
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:49 AM   #17
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wow, this thread has really drifted off topic, guns, radios, hillbillys.

Kyrailfan is correct. Scanners in general are designed to have an average recieve sensitivity over a wide part of the spectrum. In order to do this, they are not able to be tuned in to any one specific area. The more bands they cover, the worse the problem is. They also have very little if any front end rejection or filtering, which means that spurious signals and intermod greatly reduce recieve. This may not be as much of a factor out in the country as it would be in urban areas, and the terrain and antenna will cause varied results as well.

most commercial and amatuer radios are tuned to a specific band, and thus can be much more sensitive. Once again, results will vary with antennas, terrain, weather conditions ect. The old addage of you get what you pay for is true on this subject!!
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Old 08-20-2004, 06:04 AM   #18
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1) Scanner (new to me; love it. Now I can hear!)
2) Bottled water
3) Hearing protection (little yellow foam plugs)
4) AC/DC and my air guitar
5) Alkaline Duracell's; I don't trust my rechargeable batteries two iotas
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Old 08-20-2004, 06:33 AM   #19
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1.) Radio
2.) Tripod
3.) Cooler with food and drink. It sure beats the drive thru at your local fast food place.
4.) Wireless phone
5.) Any AC/DC or Led Zeppelin album. Every now and then, one needs to be motivated when chasing trains.
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Old 08-21-2004, 03:22 PM   #20
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Well if your in KY you may wanna have your kid equipped with the "Redneck Pacifier" a future WGRF!
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Old 08-21-2004, 04:57 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren
Well if your in KY you may wanna have your kid equipped with the "Redneck Pacifier"
Warren, are you sure you don't mean Tennessee? As long as I've lived in Kentucky (my entire life), I've only seen one person that actually looked like that, and SHE wasn't even from the mountains...
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Old 08-21-2004, 05:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
There can be as in the ICOM I use compaired to any scanner I have tried, huge difference.
Damn Right! ICOM is the only scanner to use, I stand by mine. Throw an external car antenna on that beast and trust me you will have found your new lover. ICOMs are one of the best scanner by reputation and in my own experience.
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Old 08-21-2004, 06:12 PM   #23
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An off topic question, what frequencies do trains transmit on? I have a scanner that I use for aviation but would like to use it for trainspotting also but dont know what frequencies are being used.
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Old 08-21-2004, 06:16 PM   #24
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That all depends where you are located. I can hook you up with freq's for whatever you want. Just ask, and if I am not sure I bet a million other people can get them for you
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Old 08-21-2004, 06:17 PM   #25
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For train freq. try this link. Train Radio Freq.

Or this one may even be better! More Train Radio Freq.
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