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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-29-2012, 12:48 AM
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Default What is the Best Police Scanner Currently Available

I am new to the world of scanners and am seeking to learn with the best scanner available that can monitor all Southern California Police Frequencies. Also have the ability to be upgraded to monitor other city and state frequencies.
I will be using this to oversee police activity and to record and report police officer misconduct. All suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You!
Note:
I want one that has alpha tags, trunking, P25, digital, and anything else that will make it be the best fully functional police scanner possible.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:56 PM
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You could save some money and just go to your local courthouse and sit in on some of the cases. You will hear more there than on a scanner.
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Old 08-30-2012, 1:25 PM
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Welcome to RR!!!

The real "Best in business" would probably be the GRE PSR-500/600, Pro-106/197 (essencially PSR-500/600s, but with RS's logo), and BCD396XT/996XT. These have everything you'll need. They have some differences. They all have the features that you want. P25, searching, alpha tags, all the features that are available (almost). The Pro-106/197 also have SOME preprogrammed data. They also each have their bugs.

Beware! The "Best Scanner" will probably be one of the six listed above, but picking one is picking windows/mac, chevy/ford, ect..if you ask six people, you'll likely get six different answers.

It all boils down to your personal preference. This is where some research comes in. You'll be able to find a wealth of info in the forums, and on the wiki.

I like the Pro-106.

Sincerely,
gr8rcall


P.S. I don't agree with cronst10, I think you'll enjoy a scanner greatly. I would sooner listen to my 106 then go to court. LOL.
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Last edited by gr8rcall; 08-30-2012 at 1:32 PM.. Reason: Corrected Grammar
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Old 08-30-2012, 2:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmadapuzzle1 View Post
I will be using this to oversee police activity and to record and report police officer misconduct. All suggestions would be appreciated. Thank You!
1.)How do you oversee Law Enforcement activty with a radio scanner?

---- Not everything goes over the radio. Radio traffic only tells part of a story in my experience, and radio
traffic can be misconstrued, taken out of text and misunderstood. Radio traffic ( recordings )
most generally is used WITH - statements, witness accounts, and or video to prove.. or coorborate
facts. Even people in everyday life "Slip up" on the radio and = get directions wrong, direction of travel
wrong ( excitement - adrenelin ), activitys and events described incorrect, and other reported particulars made not clear,
or completly defined.

2.)How do you record Law Enforcement misconduct with a scanner?

---- What "Sounds" like misconduct on a radio scanner, in all actuality..may not be misconduct.
And again, as even with a normal verbal conversation... what is said on a radio can be open to
opinion(s), and being misunderstood. Voices sometimes sound strikingly similar. Who you think made the statement
on the radio, may not have. SO... unless you are certified to anaylze voice..and have the proper equipment, I suggest
you forget that idea.

Radio Shack sells great scanners. Stop by one and ask a representative to help you.


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Last edited by ff-medic; 08-30-2012 at 2:04 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 08-30-2012, 3:52 PM
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Great, we need more police police. Once you hit the $ 400.00 - 500.00 mark the playing field is level. You are just going to pick Ford or Chevy. My advice, other than get a life is go "both ways" like I do. I have a GRE PSR-500 and a Uniden HP-1 with the upgrade. Between the two I hear all sorts of police misconduct, like getting shot at, thrown up on, and many other acts of misconduct. Good luck in your quest to "bust" the police. When I retire I'm going to stalk car dealership service departments and hunt for "misconduct" there.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:47 PM
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Default Information and Knowledge Appreciated

I appreciate all the quick responses by my fellow RR Forum Members. Gr8rcall you have given me some great suggestions and that will be my Blueprint to find what I need. I like the contrast comparisons eg. Chevy/Ford - Mac/PC. I hate macs and prefer a good old reliable Honda...LOL
I am on this path because of such incidents as such:
hxxp://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/brutal-lapd-arrest-caught-video-department-investigating-cops-bodyslamming-nurse-cell-phone-traffic-stop-article-1.1146962
There is a means to all and a scanner will assist partially in my plans. Once again thank you for the help and suggestions.
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Old 08-31-2012, 5:05 PM
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Sounds like your plan's have a personal vandetta, I hope you the best. Civil Lawsuits can be very costly. The WIKI FORUM may help in purchasing a scanner, check that out.
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Old 08-31-2012, 5:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmadapuzzle1 View Post
I appreciate all the quick responses by my fellow RR Forum Members. Gr8rcall you have given me some great suggestions and that will be my Blueprint to find what I need. I like the contrast comparisons eg. Chevy/Ford - Mac/PC. I hate macs and prefer a good old reliable Honda...LOL
I am on this path because of such incidents as such:
hxxp://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/brutal-lapd-arrest-caught-video-department-investigating-cops-bodyslamming-nurse-cell-phone-traffic-stop-article-1.1146962
There is a means to all and a scanner will assist partially in my plans. Once again thank you for the help and suggestions.
You're very welcome for the help. Feel free to PM me with any other questions.
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Old 08-31-2012, 5:54 PM
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Default Police Monitering

All i can say is Good luck, Most of the local police have gone Encripted, and use their Cell phones, so your not going to hear much more than a few traffic tickets, medics, Fire, and House/Office alarm calls...The good old days of hearing it all are long gone... You may pick up some general chit chat. ...... Just as a reminder, you DO NOT want to use your scanner to show up at a crime scean and try to film or find out Information, It's against the Law...

I have a Uniden BCD 996XT, and a BCD 396XT, and love them both.
Good luck in your vendeta....
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:18 AM
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Make sure you check to see what kind of system your state and county uses, I bought the newest GRE-800 to scan P-25 systems and found out later that my county is now using the nexedge system. I spent $400 and can't even hear them without hooking my scanner to computer and using downloaded software to descramble their calls.
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Old 09-01-2012, 7:58 PM
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The one thing that nobody mentions here is that the expensive scanners are also quite arcane and difficult to program without software. Membership in RR and a software package such as Freescan are nearly essential if you're a newcomer. The only alternative is to find someone who already knows these scanners well and the traffic you're listening for. I have programmed scanners for friends.

As for your motivations, be careful. I listen because I like to know what's going on around me. We listen in our household but not on the road. My scanner is not portable and it is not mounted in my car or truck.

Understand that I listen primarily for my own curiosity and amusement. You might want to read the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) before purchasing this thing for any particular causes.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ab3a View Post
The one thing that nobody mentions here is that the expensive scanners are also quite arcane and difficult to program without software.
Another way to look at it is that, as a hobby, scanning has evolved to requiring more involvement, sort of like ham radio. Meaning it's not enough to just decide in one day to get into it and have results later that night. Research before entry. There are actually very few scanners to choose from by the time you narrow them down.

As far as using it to "...record and report police officer misconduct", good luck with that. It would have to be pretty blatant misconduct to be evident in radio transmissions. If it's for the purpose of showing up on scene to monitor conduct, at some point you're likely to end up needing a very good plastic surgeon and an even better attorney.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:18 PM
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Good luck and welcome!! I love my Pro-197 best scanner I ever owned but I only had three of them...lol like most posted do your homework!! Base,Handheld,...? Folks said here some decode digital better than others? What are your scanning needs...? Probably digital! There is plenty of data righ on this site to help you.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:36 AM
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Testing..
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:00 PM
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August 2011 - First District Court tells the people of Boston - it is your job to police the police.

First Circuit Upholds Right To Videotape Arresting Officers - Law Blog - WSJ

“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest,” the First Circuit held.

The First Amendment lives. U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston says there is nothing illegal about shooting video of police doing their jobs. | STATter911.com

(The case is pretty simple actually - Glik says he has a right to videotape the police to keep them in line - the police say you are cramping our style - the Court ruled that Glik was the winner)

Here are some interesting quotes from the Court decision

The First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press, and the self expression of individuals, to prohibit government from limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw

"there is an undoubted right to gather news 'from any source by means within the law' "

Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting "the free discussion of
governmental affairs"

"News" helps in "uncovering abuses" and has a "salutary effect on the functioning of government"

The First Amendment right to gather news is, as the Court has often noted, not one that inures solely to the benefit of the news media; rather, the public's right of access to information is coextensive with that of the press

The right to videotape police and government officials " is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment

Fire Service Court Radio | Fire Law - 3 fire service lawyers talk about the issue of filming emergency scenes
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Old 09-02-2012, 2:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerg901 View Post
August 2011 - First District Court tells the people of Boston - it is your job to police the police.

First Circuit Upholds Right To Videotape Arresting Officers - Law Blog - WSJ

“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest,” the First Circuit held.

The First Amendment lives. U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston says there is nothing illegal about shooting video of police doing their jobs. | STATter911.com

(The case is pretty simple actually - Glik says he has a right to videotape the police to keep them in line - the police say you are cramping our style - the Court ruled that Glik was the winner)

Here are some interesting quotes from the Court decision

The First Amendment goes beyond protection of the press, and the self expression of individuals, to prohibit government from limiting the stock of information from which members of the public may draw

"there is an undoubted right to gather news 'from any source by means within the law' "

Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting "the free discussion of
governmental affairs"

"News" helps in "uncovering abuses" and has a "salutary effect on the functioning of government"

The First Amendment right to gather news is, as the Court has often noted, not one that inures solely to the benefit of the news media; rather, the public's right of access to information is coextensive with that of the press

The right to videotape police and government officials " is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment

Fire Service Court Radio | Fire Law - 3 fire service lawyers talk about the issue of filming emergency scenes
Hey Zerg,

In light of these findings by the courts, it's a wonder that the press corp has not used the same logic to sue public service agencies to keep at least routine communications around the nation in the clear.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems like it wouldn't be that much of a stretch!
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Old 09-02-2012, 5:50 PM
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As a retired Boston FF, yes you can record, photogragh, video record and do whatever you wish. Now when you turn such "EVIDENCE" over to a court of LAW, if you feel they were negligent, police, EMS, fire, you are liable for all suits, never mind you will not be appointed a court lawyer. Why don't when you hear the local news stations say we will have more of this as information comes available.
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Old 09-02-2012, 6:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmadapuzzle1 View Post
I will be using this to oversee police activity and to record and report police officer misconduct.
I saw this and was a red flag. Not going to touch this one.

Perhaps it would have been best of he left this part out, but too late now.
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Old 09-02-2012, 6:25 PM
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Can you spell "Troll"?
;-)
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Old 09-04-2012, 9:15 AM
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Jimru - here is a list of approx official scanner feeds - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...tRkN4dWc#gid=0 - note that some of them have been around for a long time - and the terrorists have not won yet.

"What is the best scanner?" - the best scanner is a scanner that can hear police and fire action (as opposed to a scanner that only blares the gibberish of encrypted radio traffic) - the UK got a new radio system recently and every single police, fire, and ambulance radio in the whole country is now encrypted
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