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New User / Getting Started Forum The place for new users to discuss how to get started, and generally feel safe from the rest of the rabid technical community. If you just got your first scanner, this forum is for you.

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Old 11-10-2010, 10:02 PM
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Location: Jacksonville, Alabama
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Default Which scanner?

Hey, so Ive been looking to get a scanner for about a week now.

I live in Calhoun County. I want to hear local EMS, Police, Fire, and Hospital EMS communications.
Calhoun County, Alabama (AL) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

I went to purchase this scanner Pro-404 - The RadioReference Wiki today at radioshack for 100$.
I got there found the scanner and then the sales person comes up and tells me that im not going to be able to hear local EMS and such because that scanner does not support trunking and digital.

I am really confused on how to determine which frequencies and things require trunking or the digital signal to listen to? Could someone let me know if those calhoun county frequenices could be heard well with this scanner? Pro-404 - The RadioReference Wiki

Thanks a lot in advance. If I broke any rules in posting this im sorry Ive read the wikis and everything but I cannot find out how to determine what type of scanner is needed.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:47 PM
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I am not sure what is up to date in the database in terms of freq's that are no longer used, because nothing is ever deleted or archives when no longer being used... Which is my gripe with the database, but anywho...

It looks like he is talking about these...
Calhoun County/Talladega County Trunking System, Various, Alabama - Scanner Frequencies - Looks to be fire in the area and is analog trunked, which would need something like this Pro-164 - The RadioReference Wiki

Calhoun-Talladega Regional Public Safety Radio Trunking System, Anniston, Alabama - Scanner Frequencies - Looks to be the LE system for 4 counties, and is P25 digital... You would need something like this Pro-106 - The RadioReference Wiki

There would be other options, but those are the type of scanners that you would need for those two systems. Now, they are backwards compatible, so the PRO-106 would also do the analog trunking... What I am thinking is that they have gone to a trunked system, but the conventional freq's are still in the database, which leads some people to end up with the wrong scanner, because they see the conventional freq's and end up buying a scanner for them, only to find out they are defunct and silent. Hope this will help you out a bit.
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism611 View Post
Hey, so Ive been looking to get a scanner for about a week now.

I live in Calhoun County. I want to hear local EMS, Police, Fire, and Hospital EMS communications.
Calhoun County, Alabama (AL) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

I went to purchase this scanner Pro-404 - The RadioReference Wiki today at radioshack for 100$.
I got there found the scanner and then the sales person comes up and tells me that im not going to be able to hear local EMS and such because that scanner does not support trunking and digital.

I am really confused on how to determine which frequencies and things require trunking or the digital signal to listen to? Could someone let me know if those calhoun county frequenices could be heard well with this scanner? Pro-404 - The RadioReference Wiki

Thanks a lot in advance. If I broke any rules in posting this im sorry Ive read the wikis and everything but I cannot find out how to determine what type of scanner is needed.
The sales person was correct. There are two trunked systems for Calhoun and Talladega. One is a combination of analog and digital, the other all digital. There is going to be a big sale at RS for Black Friday. Pick up one of the digital scanners then if you can.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism611 View Post
Hey, so Ive been looking to get a scanner for about a week now.

I live in Calhoun County. I want to hear local EMS, Police, Fire, and Hospital EMS communications.
Calhoun County, Alabama (AL) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

I went to purchase this scanner Pro-404 - The RadioReference Wiki today at radioshack for 100$.
I got there found the scanner and then the sales person comes up and tells me that im not going to be able to hear local EMS and such because that scanner does not support trunking and digital.

I am really confused on how to determine which frequencies and things require trunking or the digital signal to listen to? Could someone let me know if those calhoun county frequenices could be heard well with this scanner? Pro-404 - The RadioReference Wiki

Thanks a lot in advance. If I broke any rules in posting this im sorry Ive read the wikis and everything but I cannot find out how to determine what type of scanner is needed.
Hi Chris, and welcome to Radio Reference.

In looking at Calhoun County (the link you provided), it appears that the sales person may be correct, as madhatter & N8IAA have also indicated. While there are some conventional frequencies listed on the county's database page, that the Pro-404 could receive, it appears that most of the activity will be on one of two trunked systems.

The first system is this one:
Calhoun County/Talladega County Trunking System, Various, Alabama - Scanner Frequencies
It's listed as a Motorola Type II system, but a number of the talkgroups are apparently digital. (That's noted by the "D" in the 'Mode' column.)
There's also comments in the text description about 'moving to the "new" system.

That may be this one:
Calhoun-Talladega Regional Public Safety Radio Trunking System, Anniston, Alabama - Scanner Frequencies
This system is a P25 Standard system, in other words, all digital. However, there are not that many talkgroups shown. There are comments in the first system listed about increased use of encryption in the 'new' system, but only one talkgroup ID in the P25 system is tagged as encrypted. Somebody down in the Alabama regional forum might be familiar with either, or hopefully both, systems, and could answer the encryption issue. Encrypted (scrambled) transmissions cannot be received by any scanner.

However, if they are digital, but not encrypted, then there are a number of units available. Unfortunately, all of them cost more than the $100 Pro-404. Current model, new scanners, range from the Uniden BCD396XT, about $500 from online sources, to the GRE PSR-500, selling for about $400. See the Wiki pages for both scanners to see the differences in features & included accessories. Radio Shack sells the Pro-106, which is functionally identical to the PSR-500 (only difference is the front faceplate layout) for a few dollars less, but they charge extra for the pc control cable & ac adapter that GRE includes with the PSR-500. However, see this thread for the Radio Shack Black Friday sale.

Among older, discontinued units, models that would work for both digital and analog (trunking or conventional) include the the Uniden BCD396T and Radio Shack's Pro-96. A good, used, 396T can probably be found for under $300, less if you look (but @ $299 for a "Black Friday' Pro-106, new, I'd lean toward that). The Pro-96 has less to offer, feature wise, than the 396T, but would work for the two systems shown. Used, if you look, expect to find one in the low $200's.

(Since you first indicated the Pro-404, a handheld scanner, I only listed handheld digital models. However, all of the scanners shown have corresponding base/mobile units if you were more interested in one for use on a desktop or in a vehicle.)
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:34 PM
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You may want to watch this thread as well Radio Shack Black Friday Sales! Folks are indicating an additional $25 off coupon (in addition to the RS $100 off sale price) but haven't posted a link yet. Shortly after RS released their new digital scanners (Pro 106 / Pro 197) I was able to use the coupon and their sale to get my 197 for about $275. My coupon was on-line only and couldn't be used in the store.
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Old 11-11-2010, 9:54 AM
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sooooooooooo glad I opened this thread. Black Friday is about the time I was thinking about getting a pro-106 and if RS is having them $100 off...score!

Last edited by desert-cheetah; 11-11-2010 at 9:54 AM.. Reason: wanted to change a word
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Old 12-17-2010, 1:27 PM
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Thanks for all the help. Im pretty sure im getting a pro 106 for Christmas.

It covers the Motorola Type II Smartzone just like the 4 counties stuff so it should be good.

Im reading how to program the scanner and stuff, and I have a question about what frequency to put in for a trunked system. Calhoun County/Talladega County Trunking System, Various, Alabama - Scanner Frequencies is the link to what I want to listen to.

Do I just program the frequencies in the box at the top :
Site Hex Name Freqs
001 1 Simulcast 855.71250c 856.26250c 859.26250a 859.76250a 859.93750 860.26250 860.76250 860.93750
866.05000 866.07500 866.30000 866.57500 866.87500 867.18750 867.67500 867.70000
867.75000 868.16250 868.61250 868.86250


or do I use hexes? And do those frequencies cover every single on of the talk groups or how do you know which covers what?

Sorry im new at this, just had some questions.
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