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Old 11-21-2013, 11:55 AM
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Default New Guy scanner advice

Sorry if this has been hashed out somewhere else on the forum. I am looking for a scanner that will allow me to pick up WCCCA, CCOM and other public service agencies. I am hoping that I can program it so that I can listen to actual ops channels rather than having it scan multiple channels while I am listening to a fire on ops35 for example.

I have been checking out the PRO series from radio shack, but since I have never owned or even laid my hands on a scanner before I have no idea what I am looking for. I am currently using my iPhone and an app to listen.

Any pointers on what I need to be looking for? I would prefer handheld.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-21-2013, 7:12 PM
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I too was a complete newbie to the scanner world and knew nothing about them or what I needed.

First, I got started by filling in the blanks here ~~>Finding the right Police Scanner.

Then I started doing research on what each scanner's capabilities were, and then I looked up the counties I might be interested in listening to in the Radio Reference database.

Then I went back and looked at the scanners that would work in my area and I researched their options, researched their reviews, and read any posts I saw in these forums here that pertained to my interested scanners.

I'll be honest with you, my research on choosing a scanner lasted at least a week, maybe a little more.

I finally picked the Uniden BCT15X and I'm glad I did.

Good Luck in your search for a scanner....
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Old 11-21-2013, 7:34 PM
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Awesome. Thanks for the info. Exactly what I needed.
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Old 11-21-2013, 8:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowwesty View Post
Awesome. Thanks for the info. Exactly what I needed.
For a handheld a PRO-162 can be rebanded without needing to use a software program. CCOM has 2 freqs. that must be rebanded or you will not hear everything. Portland works fine without rebanding. WCCCA , not sure, may be OK without rebanding..
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:41 PM
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Default New Guy scanner advice

Gentlemen, please keep in mind that any transactions are to take place in the Classifieds Forums.

I've deleted several posts that should have been in the Classifieds.

Thanks.
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Last edited by MikeOxlong; 11-23-2013 at 7:27 AM..
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:34 AM
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One more thing. Make sure you learn everything you can about trunked radio systems. All the major Portland-area agencies are on Motorola Type II systems. The good news is that Motorola systems are extremely common and are supported by every major trunk-tracking scanner. The bad news is that if you don't fully understand how the systems work, it might be tricky figuring out how to program your scanner.

Here is a really good page explaining how trunked systems work.
Understanding Trunking

Also, check out Mark's Scanners. He's written a lot of articles explaining radio systems, as well as writing his own manuals for all the major scanners on the market. The manuals are FAR superior to the one you'll get in the box with the unit.
Mark's Scanners

As far as scanners go, I would recommend the Pro-164. It's a good-quality, affordable scanner for someone who is new to scanners. It is also much easier to program than some of the higher-end Unidens. If you get a new one out of the box, you might need to upgrade the firmware to allow you to scan rebanded systems, but once you do that, it works like a charm. I have one, and it has everything I need to monitor the greater Portland area, at least, until the new Portland digital system goes online sometime in the next few years. Start saving up for a digital scanner when that happens.

P.S. I apologize if I misread you and you already know all about trunked systems...hoping that's not the case.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:28 AM
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More great info. I had no idea there was so much involved. Glad i came here first before buying something that would be completely useless. Thanks.
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Old 11-25-2013, 3:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowwesty View Post
More great info. I had no idea there was so much involved. Glad i came here first before buying something that would be completely useless. Thanks.
Here is a simple explanation of how Motorola trunking works. All 4 counties in the Portland area use Motorola systems.

The object of trunking is to allow many users to share a relatively few frequencies.
A trunking system is controlled by a computer. Information (data) is exchanged between the system radios and the computer on a control channel, sometimes called a data channel. It sounds like a strong buzz.

A large system can have up to 28 freqs., 4 of which may be used as control channels. The control channel may be changed once a day or as often as the programmer decides. Some scanners need only the control channels to track an entire system. Just put in the 4 Control Channels.

Each group of users (Fire, Police, etc.) is assigned TALK GROUPS. In a Motorola Type II system, the most common type, TGs are usually in 32 number steps starting with 16 and going up to 65536; 16, 48, 80 --- 4656, 4688, 4720 --- 28944, 28976, etc. System radios can have more than 100 TGs programmed into them.

After all the freqs. have been entered and it is "trunking", the Banks become SCAN LISTS where you enter the Talk Groups you want to hear. Use the Talk Group numbers in the DEC column in the RadioReference database.

When a user pushes the talk button on his radio, data is sent to the computer. The computer chooses an unused freq. and sends that data to all the radios using the TG of the originating unit. This all happens in a fraction of a second and it happens EVERY TIME a radio is used.

EXAMPLE:
Fire Dispatch calling Engine 4 (TG 4528 on 856.7125)
Engine 4 answering Dispatch (TG 4528 on 852.2625)
Respond to 73 Elm Street (TG 4528 on 855.9625)
Engine 4 responding (TG 4528 on 851.6375)

If you have entered TG 4528 into your scanner, it will decode the control channel data and change your scanner freqs. to follow the conversation on TG 4528.
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