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SCARP vs Bearcat Scanner???

Recently, we received comments on our Facebook posts that everything SCARP was doing could be done by a cheap Chinese scanner or perhaps by a Bearcat scanner.

Let's deal with that head on, OK?

The SCARP project is a Software Controlled Aviation Receiver Project, designed to be an Arduino project. SCARP can do some things a whole lot better than the Bearcat!

Here's some of what makes SCARP special:

  1. It's small, at 1.5" by 2.0" (not including knobs.)

  2. It's controlled by an Arduino (or a Raspberry Pi). This means you can use it to create your own ideas (such as a runway light controller, or a multi-channel web radio node.) Software is included with the Kickstarter purchase.

  3. It scans up to 200 channels per second.

  4. It has (IMHO) better sensitivity than most scanners. Because it does not use an SDR architecture, it is a purpose-built VHF RF receiver with better selectivity and sensitivity. Sensitivity out to 218 miles is proven using my moderate roof-top antenna. Yes, this is possible in theory with any aviation receiver, BUT, demonstration of it with clear reception is hard to find (but I've done it! on youtube-- SEE BELOW.) If you want to brag on a competitive receiver at that distance, show it to me, OK?

  5. It can do great tricks, such as scanning all of the aviation frequencies and reporting which ones are active.

  6. Another useful trick is tuning to off-center transmitters.

  7. It can interface via a serial port, so that control can be done by another computer. This enables some of the cool applications, such as designing this into an open-source cockpit.

  8. It allows tuning at 25khz or 8.33 khz intervals, or even 1 hertz intervals.

Here's some photos of the upcoming boards.

Backside of receiver board, PCB dimension are 1.5 x 2.0 inches:

Frontside of receiver board, with silver dollar for size comparison:

Front side of I/O board, showing LCD screen (170 x 320) and switches. This is an option; you can also hook an Arduino directly up to the receiver board, especially if you plan to use it in conjunction with a computer via serial interface.

Backside of I/O board, showing Arduino. The I/O board and the receiver board snap together via the 7 pin connector.

Here's an elliptic filter, which filters out everything but the aviation reception band. This is an option.

In summary, SCARP offers a fantastic aviation radio receiver, with great squelch, sensitivity, selectivity, scanning speed, easy programming, use with serial attachment to computers, small size, fun to learn from, works with Arduino (or raspberry PI).

Our Kickstarter debut is less than 2 weeks away. BTW, please sign up for the whitepaper, which covers a lot of this in deeper detail.

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