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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. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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Old 02-16-2018, 2:04 PM
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Default Cheapest Digital Scanner

Hello all,
I have a railroad feed that I have currently provided for the last 6 years. And of course those frequencies are not digital, as of yet. But I am want to start providing a scanner feed for my county/city police/fire and those frequencies are all digital now. This may sound really silly, but what I am wanting to know, is there a cheap digital police scanner out there that you can buy because I am only going to be scanning no more than 5 frequencies? I hate to spend over $300 just for that. Or where can I buy a good used one? I am hope someone on here can help me with this.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 02-16-2018, 2:17 PM
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Originally Posted by trnbuf View Post
Hello all,
I have a railroad feed that I have currently provided for the last 6 years. And of course those frequencies are not digital, as of yet. But I am want to start providing a scanner feed for my county/city police/fire and those frequencies are all digital now. This may sound really silly, but what I am wanting to know, is there a cheap digital police scanner out there that you can buy because I am only going to be scanning no more than 5 frequencies? I hate to spend over $300 just for that. Or where can I buy a good used one? I am hope someone on here can help me with this.

Thanks,
Mike
Not sure if you want to go the computer route but the sdr dongles are incredibly cheap 25 bucks or so. All you need is a computer and decoding software. The software is all free. https://www.rtl-sdr.com is a great place to start. I'm sure you can set up a feed with one. Hope this helps.

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Old 02-16-2018, 4:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BamaChad View Post
Not sure if you want to go the computer route but the sdr dongles are incredibly cheap 25 bucks or so. All you need is a computer and decoding software. The software is all free. https://www.rtl-sdr.com is a great place to start. I'm sure you can set up a feed with one. Hope this helps.

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That sounds like a good idea but I believe I will stick with a scanner in case I decide to do more with it.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 02-16-2018, 4:33 PM
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By the looks of Washington County, IL, you'll need a Phase 2-capable digital scanner. Check here, APCO Project 25 - The RadioReference Wiki, for some brand/model options. Then, if you are adventurous, and once you narrow it down to a few models, price them on ebay, or Amazon if you're looking to buy new.
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Old 02-16-2018, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bob550 View Post
By the looks of Washington County, IL, you'll need a Phase 2-capable digital scanner. Check here, APCO Project 25 - The RadioReference Wiki, for some brand/model options. Then, if you are adventurous, and once you narrow it down to a few models, price them on ebay, or Amazon if you're looking to buy new.
Thanks Bob for all the information and ideas what to do.

Mike
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Old 02-16-2018, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by trnbuf View Post
Hello all,
I have a railroad feed that I have currently provided for the last 6 years. And of course those frequencies are not digital, as of yet. But I am want to start providing a scanner feed for my county/city police/fire and those frequencies are all digital now. This may sound really silly, but what I am wanting to know, is there a cheap digital police scanner out there that you can buy because I am only going to be scanning no more than 5 frequencies? I hate to spend over $300 just for that. Or where can I buy a good used one? I am hope someone on here can help me with this.

Thanks,
Mike
You can look in the RR classifieds. I have seen a couple used digital scanners there for under 300 bucks. You can find a Radioshack Pro-668 for well under $300 on ebay, and send it to whistler to be upgraded for $60.

Last edited by DHAS12; 02-16-2018 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 03-13-2018, 1:23 PM
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I recently picked up a BCD396XT for $90 on Offer up...it's in 96% condition..came with charger and PC cable. I've also picked up a PSR-600 for $120 on Craigslist, and found great deals on analog scanners too such as $20 for a mint condition BC9000XLT on Offer up. I go there every morning to see if anyone is "giving away" their scanner.
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Old 03-13-2018, 1:36 PM
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Just keep in mind that some of the older digital scanners that you can find used do not handle Phase 2 digital. You can certainly find Phase 2 capable scanners used, but they will generally not be the less expensive ones. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the list of Phase 2 scanner models.
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Old 03-13-2018, 2:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fredva View Post
Just keep in mind that some of the older digital scanners that you can find used do not handle Phase 2 digital. You can certainly find Phase 2 capable scanners used, but they will generally not be the less expensive ones. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the list of Phase 2 scanner models.
Good point. My best deal on Phase 2 scanner was a PRO-668 for $160, and the next best was a BCD436HP for $200....saw a pawn shop selling it on Craigslist and was there ten minutes later buying it.
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Old 03-13-2018, 2:25 PM
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Good point. My best deal on Phase 2 scanner was a PRO-668 for $160, and the next best was a BCD436HP for $200....saw a pawn shop selling it on Craigslist and was there ten minutes later buying it.
Great catch on the 436HP. Just another reason to remind people looking for the lowest available cost solution for a 'new' (to them) scanner to check local pawn shops, garage sales, estate sales, and online sources for a bargain on a good working condition scanner.
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