Cellular Listening with a TV

info provided by Case

One of our subscribers gave us a little bit of info in regards to the ability to listen in on cellular phones with an older, manual tuning TV. We should advise you that listening in to cellular phones is illegal under the ECPA, and that this info is for educational purposes only.

TV UHF Channels 70-83 had their allocation changed for trunked land mobile, and cellular phone use. This is shown on the allocation chart in this issue. So, by tuning to those channels, and adjusting the fine tuning, you will be able to hear cellular phone conversations. Each TV channel covers about 5 Mhz. with its fine tuning control. So, while you won't have an exact frequency readout, you'll have a rough idea what frequency something is on.

The sensitivity isn't too good, but if you are in a city, or right next to a cell site, you will pick something up. You will also pick up business transmissions on the trunked land mobile band if they are close. Those transmissions are not illegal to listen to unless their scrambled, so you can use that old TV to find out which local businesses went over to 800 Mhz.

Thanks Case for bringing this info to our attention.

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