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School me on Police radio scanners

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School me on Police radio scanners

Old 11-28-2016, 06:30 PM
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Default School me on Police radio scanners

Admiral had the "LUCK" of drawing her Dad's name for Christmas present this year at their family Christmas


Long story short his life is confined to a recliner in the den due to diabetes, COPD, Prostrate cancer that has moved to his bones and an amputated leg. Very sad situation


WIth all that said he loves listening to his police scanner and it is probably older than longer than I have been married to his daughter (31 yrs). Wife was telling me she was over there one night and had to screw with the antenna and then "NOT TOUCH IT" so it would pick up

I know most folks now use apps for phones and Ipads but she is wanting to get him a new scanner for Christmas .

I have seen some for around $85 or so


Have NO clue what I am looking for so would appreciate a little guidance on this. She would like to stay under 100 or so
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:45 PM
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Try going here for a start
https://www.twowayradiotalk.com/best...anner-reviews/
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:57 PM
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You can also look at radioreference.com. You will then need to determine what system is in the area he wants to monitor. Digital or analog, bUT gathering from what you said it seems like analog since he's been listening to the same scanner for years. Also, if you wanted to help him you can also get the frequencies in your area and find videos on YouTube showing you how to program. A base station sounds more suited to him over portable unless he'll want to listen during a power outage where the portable can run on 120V or batteries.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00IID3Q8O/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480388755&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=whistler+desktop+scanner& dpPl=1&dpID=41Suk%2B0-IeL&ref=plSrch

Last edited by mbfishing; 11-28-2016 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:11 PM
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Tprice I You may want to visit q local radio shack. They might offer some advice for your local area.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:54 PM
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Read this link. Be sure to click on the "compare scanners" link. It will give you recommended scanners for your area.

https://www.scannermaster.com/how_to...nner_a/166.htm
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:40 PM
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find a local ham radio guy or scanner nut in your area. Talk to them. In most areas you can't just go buy a scanner and expect it to work. The programming is the most important part of the puzzle - especially for the newer trunking systems. Some places that sell scanners provide this as a service. i suspect your price range is not going to net you a trunking scanner programmed ready to go. Thinking its more like $300 - $500. Its not like in the old days where your 10 channel bearcat could hear everything in the VHF band....
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:48 AM
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Be careful the scanner will do what you think

Alot of agencies are using 800kHz systems (at least in Florida) and you can not listen in. Just check and be sure he can listen to the busier agencies and get him code sheets so he can understand the lingo.... My dad always like to listen, when I worked at an agency he could listen to the radio. I then moved agencies, he enjoyed riding with me. I can remember bad guys I was taking to jail saying, "hey, who is the old man, he just got on my azz" because I had stepped out of the car and the bad guy was sitting in my back seat behind the cage.. Good memories of dad...
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:27 AM
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The last scanner I got was a Bearcat hand held, long time ago. The programming is so sophisticated now...Check with a local Radio Shack to see what is available in his area.

They should be able to tell you.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
Be careful the scanner will do what you think

Alot of agencies are using 800kHz systems (at least in Florida) and you can not listen in. Just check and be sure he can listen to the busier agencies and get him code sheets so he can understand the lingo.... My dad always like to listen, when I worked at an agency he could listen to the radio. I then moved agencies, he enjoyed riding with me. I can remember bad guys I was taking to jail saying, "hey, who is the old man, he just got on my azz" because I had stepped out of the car and the bad guy was sitting in my back seat behind the cage.. Good memories of dad...
I use this http://www.broadcastify.com/ and scanners cant pick the LEO up, but that site can, so OP if the scanner wont pick it up, try that link.....and its free
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:35 AM
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You may want to look at the online scanner options also. The advantage is you can listen to police/fire anywhere in the country.

I have an app on my phone that actual gives me a notification whenever a large number of people start listening to a particular channel. For example, yesterday I got a notification that 32,000 people were listening in Columbus Ohio (the Ohio State terrorist).

He could listen through a smartphone, ipad, maybe a amazon tablet, etc.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:44 AM
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Modern radio use by police agencies is not friendly to scanner use as it once was. The systems in use now require a higher level of sophistication, and a lot of the "juicy" info now goes digitally by computer. It is by design so the bad guys can't listen, but us hobbyists suffer. You will not find a scanner in your price range that does anything near what an experienced listener will want.

Having said all of that, I have a Bearcat scanner I would be willing to send you for free. It is collecting dust here. You will have to have the batteries reworked, as they are dead beyond recharge. I have the box, all cords, extra batteries (all dead) and can probably find the printed manual. It's a Bearcat BC3000XLT, top of the line in it's day. Send me an email or message with your email if interested.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:00 AM
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I got one from radio shack years ago that worked great and was under 100 bucks. Always liked listening to local PD and FD. Became obsolete a couple years ago when the county changed systems and would have involved buying a much more expensive unit.

I actually probably still have it somewhere. I'd be more than willing to send it to you for free if you're not set on buying a new one. Shows brand new. Would just naturally need to be programmed for whatever local frequencies he wanted.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:15 AM
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Eventually, it will get harder and harder for civilians to listen in. SC has a statewide 700/800 Mhz system and more and more agencies are encrypting their talkgroups (channels) to keep outsiders from listening. My department is debating doing that as I type.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:24 AM
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I don't know a thing about scanners but I do know a little about dealing with old guys... namely my dad. My experience with and old guy that has been using anything forever is giving them something new and modern to figure out pretty much makes 'em crazy. You may be better off figuring out how to make his old scanner better or more reliable or get better reception... new antenna maybe.
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Old 11-29-2016, 02:41 PM
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Nope, no antenna upgrading. 800mhz digital is a trunking system. Radios talk directly to the tower it affiliates with. Not other radios. The tower then decides which radios need the traffic and transmits out to them. Each radio has an individual I'd number entered into the system. Numerous radios can be talking at the same time but being on different "talk groups", won't hear each other. There is also frequency hopping involved. You can get a scanner that can keep up, but it needs to be able to get all the "finer" frequencies and won't be cheap. The app scanners would be a good way to go. They go off the IP addresses of the radio systems. There are still many agencies on analogue though, but they are getting whittled down.
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Old 11-29-2016, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bluffman2 View Post
I use this http://www.broadcastify.com/ and scanners cant pick the LEO up, but that site can, so OP if the scanner wont pick it up, try that link.....and its free
A scanner can pick them up, that's how those sites operate. You just have to shell out the bucks for a digital scanner if that's what your locality is using. The best way to listen and the most economical is broadcasting.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:55 PM
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You want to do it right, get him a Uniden Home Patrol 1 or 2. The ENTIRE U.S. database is on it, and is updated every Sunday night. So we are talking all radio services; Police, fire, ambulance, aircraft, military, ham radio, railroad; everything. It has a simple touch screen, so you can select which services you want to listen to. You can select your area code or zip code, and the radius around it or around a lat/long that you want to hear.

When it stops on a channel, it displays on the color touch screen, the service, and frequency that you are listening to.

It has a built-in recorder, so you can record transmissions while you're away,, and listen to them when you come back.

Buy it for him. He will love it.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
Tprice I You may want to visit q local radio shack. They might offer some advice for your local area.
Thanks, what I told the wife would be her best bet
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
Be careful the scanner will do what you think

Alot of agencies are using 800kHz systems (at least in Florida) and you can not listen in. Just check and be sure he can listen to the busier agencies and get him code sheets so he can understand the lingo.... My dad always like to listen, when I worked at an agency he could listen to the radio. I then moved agencies, he enjoyed riding with me. I can remember bad guys I was taking to jail saying, "hey, who is the old man, he just got on my azz" because I had stepped out of the car and the bad guy was sitting in my back seat behind the cage.. Good memories of dad...
What he said. The last county I lived in was 800mhz for everything except one FD channel. Luckily I could pick up the county next to me which was where all the action was anyway.

The county I'm in now has so little crime with so few PD or FD calls, they don't use codes or signals, just plain English.

And you'd be surprised how much better of signal you'll get by putting a small $30 outdoor antenna in the top of a closet or in your attic compared to the back of the scanner antenna.
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