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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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Old 12-16-2013, 10:58 PM
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Question What kind of equipment does the news media use for monitoring?

In the San Francisco Bay area we have Ch7. ABC news, Ch.5 KPIX news, Ch. 4 KRON TV, Ch. 3 news Not sure what company and Ch2. news KTVU.

On their vans I notice alot of different antennas. I recognize one antenna as the out of production Antenna Specialist Mon-51 which you can't get anymore unless you go on E-bay and pay twice the price for that antenna. I am curious as to which type of scanners/radios/ which brands and antennas the news media uses and where they get their equipment from.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:58 PM
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It varies on the station and on what they need to monitor. They often just use standard scanners like we use and buy them from the same sources. The antennas may also be standard scanner antennas and installed by the station themselves or they could be standard commercial radios installed by the radio company that handles the station's other two-way radio needs.

If what they need to monitor uses a type of system that the typical scanner won't pick up (or even if an agency is encrypted), they may work with that agency to get legal radios on that system to allow them to monitor specific channels. Most often, those radios are still owned by the agency so they can ask for them back easily and quickly if the station improperly uses the radios (say program in unauthorized channels themselves or rebroadcast the audio against the contract clauses allowing them use of the radios).
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:29 AM
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So this equipment is better than the scanners and equipment that we get? Or they are basically using the brand Uniden like most people do now? Their equipment must cost alot more too?
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Old 12-17-2013, 4:38 AM
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Default What kind of equipment does the news media use for monitoring?

As mentioned, if you go into most news rooms or vans you will find standard Uniden or Radio Shack scanners. For "unmonitorable" systems the agency will sometimes provide a standard public safety radio for them to use with the transmit function inhibited. Nothing mysterious and no special tricks.


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Old 12-17-2013, 4:47 AM
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Stuff Journalists Like - #16 Police Scanners | The List
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Old 12-17-2013, 8:35 AM
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I am a former assigment editor for a TV station here in Mississippi---they still use scanners. A couple of the stations called me for some direction in trying to determine what scanners they needed. They still have their sources and viewers still call in---a lot folk forget that it's the viewers (public) that have scanners as well....Gotta make those contacts some kind of way.


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Old 12-17-2013, 8:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingray327 View Post
In the San Francisco Bay area we have Ch7. ABC news, Ch.5 KPIX news, Ch. 4 KRON TV, Ch. 3 news Not sure what company and Ch2. news KTVU.

On their vans I notice alot of different antennas. I recognize one antenna as the out of production Antenna Specialist Mon-51 which you can't get anymore unless you go on E-bay and pay twice the price for that antenna. I am curious as to which type of scanners/radios/ which brands and antennas the news media uses and where they get their equipment from.
A recent news van I was able to look into had two Uniden BCD996XT's, two Motorola XTL5000's and a laptop computer. The antennas were two Austin Spectras, VHF quarter wave, and a UHF quarter wave. It looked like a typical professional install by Motorola.
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Old 12-17-2013, 5:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stingray327 View Post
In the San Francisco Bay area we have Ch7. ABC news, Ch.5 KPIX news, Ch. 4 KRON TV, Ch. 3 news Not sure what company and Ch2. news KTVU.

On their vans I notice alot of different antennas. I recognize one antenna as the out of production Antenna Specialist Mon-51 which you can't get anymore unless you go on E-bay and pay twice the price for that antenna. I am curious as to which type of scanners/radios/ which brands and antennas the news media uses and where they get their equipment from.
The same things you and I use.

The exceptions are in cities where encryption is used -- sometimes newsrooms have the option to lease radios from the encrypted agency.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:33 PM
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My town's newspaper just had a civilian report things into the station from his scanner. That was years ago and he has since retired and I have always wondered what they use now and who monitors. In 2015 the police will switch to enc so they will have to lease radios.

Funny thing is the cable news networks like to air audio recorded right here from this site. Or should I say Broadcastify. They will air the audio and you will see on the TV 'courtesy of Broadcastify.'
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsphotog View Post
The same things you and I use.

The exceptions are in cities where encryption is used -- sometimes newsrooms have the option to lease radios from the encrypted agency.
tHANKS that's good to know. They probably buy their equipment from diffierenct sources or through best bid?
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Old 12-23-2013, 9:05 AM
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most of the philly pa staions use scanners like we use the pio at pfd will provide them with a transmit inhibited radio to monitor fire channels police stuff they rely on scanners and the general public also a few dedicated social media groups that are locally based as for the surronding counties bucks delaware etc etc it depends i know a couple of the stations use commerical two way radios to monitor delaware county also good old fashioned minitor pagers to minitor the county dispatch channel for fire.
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Old 12-23-2013, 9:09 AM
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Default What kind of equipment does the news media use for monitoring?

If you take a look at the Baltimore City thread in the MD forum you will get a bit of insight in the Baltimore market. The thread was started by a local TV news helicopter pilot.


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Old 12-23-2013, 2:48 PM
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Some suburban disp centers like Bucks had a media program where we buy the radio and it is programed for us.

I have NEVER heard of the Philly FD doing that. Most use multiple scanners and maybe a few commercial grade radios.

i have never heard of the media getting encrypted radios.
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Old 12-23-2013, 5:14 PM
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During a recent job interview at a news station I passed right by the assignment desk in the newsroom. They had a couple Uniden BCD996XTs and a couple more Uniden BCD996Ts.
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Old 12-23-2013, 6:48 PM
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Back in the days before trunking scanners, I worked with numerous news media outlets in Texas on consulting engagements who owned radios that were loaned/leased directly from the departments they covered.
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Old 12-28-2013, 9:51 AM
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In Cleveland many of the stations had purchased radios for the city's former VSLEP system. It was a challenge following calls with only one radio, limited scan abilities and dozens of talkgroups to monitor. Though a skilled listener could really beat the competition to major stories because other stations in town had the same crude gear.

Someone was enterprising in town and built some stations assignment desks with constant updates for all the other departments, mostly Uniden base station products.

One station even had their engineering department put a scanner at their Kirtland microwave receive site and relay the scanner audio back for remote Lake and Geauga counties.

Now, the stations seem so tied to Twitter and social media, I wonder if some even still have the assignment desk monitor scanners?

Last edited by a388sig2; 12-28-2013 at 9:53 AM..
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:38 PM
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At my old station in Seattle, they had around 30 MTS2000-II and 15 MCS2000s in 800mhz from the county to monitor the countywide 800 system. They were purchased in the mid nineties from the county. They still have the radios to this day and they all still work.

In the news vehicles, the MTS2000s were mounted in MTVAs, which worked well. We had an 800mhz repeater network set up all over the area for dispatch purposes. The MTS2000s were also programmed for that.

The MCS2000s were mounted at the assignment desk. Only a few are still installed- the rest have been replaced with scanners.

On the assignment desk, they have around 20 996XTs set up for various agencies/talkgroups. For outlying areas, we installed two separate (north and south) remote scanner monitoring posts with one 996XT and one BCT15XT hooked up to a computer.

From the assignment desk, the assignment editors can monitor and control the scanners remotely. We used Butel scannerstation software for that purpose. It works really well.

Here's a shot of it while I was setting the system up in a spare office:


800mhz news dispatch:



At my current station in Los Angeles, we use an NXDN system for news crew dispatch and live shot coordination.

As far as scanners go, we have four monitoring positions. Each is equipped with Astro Spectras for LAPD, LAFD, LASD and LACFD. Then, there's a bank of computer controlled scanners similar to the Butel ScannerStation software.
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Old 12-31-2013, 3:01 AM
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^^^^ Pretty sweet! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikegilbert View Post
At my old station in Seattle, they had around 30 MTS2000-II and 15 MCS2000s in 800mhz from the county to monitor the countywide 800 system. They were purchased in the mid nineties from the county. They still have the radios to this day and they all still work.

In the news vehicles, the MTS2000s were mounted in MTVAs, which worked well. We had an 800mhz repeater network set up all over the area for dispatch purposes. The MTS2000s were also programmed for that.

The MCS2000s were mounted at the assignment desk. Only a few are still installed- the rest have been replaced with scanners.

On the assignment desk, they have around 20 996XTs set up for various agencies/talkgroups. For outlying areas, we installed two separate (north and south) remote scanner monitoring posts with one 996XT and one BCT15XT hooked up to a computer.

From the assignment desk, the assignment editors can monitor and control the scanners remotely. We used Butel scannerstation software for that purpose. It works really well.

Here's a shot of it while I was setting the system up in a spare office:


800mhz news dispatch:



At my current station in Los Angeles, we use an NXDN system for news crew dispatch and live shot coordination.

As far as scanners go, we have four monitoring positions. Each is equipped with Astro Spectras for LAPD, LAFD, LASD and LACFD. Then, there's a bank of computer controlled scanners similar to the Butel ScannerStation software.
Wow! That looks like some old equipment.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:09 AM
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I programmed the NBC station here and they had a psr600, 2 gre 500's and a pro 96. The desktops were hooked to a discone somewhere on their tower.
The news radio station I programmed uses a 996XT also to an outside antenna.
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