Originally Posted by chrism611
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
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.)