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Texas Radio Discussion Forum Forum for discussing Radio Information in the State of Texas.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2012, 12:55 AM
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Default Monitoring Longview, Texas Police operations

Hello,

I live in Gregg County, Texas and am brand new to the world of radio scanning. I received a Uniden BC125AT scanner as a Christmas present, and I would like to monitor Longview, Texas Police and Union Pacific Railroad operations. However, according to my research and Radio Reference information my scanner only scans "analog" frequencies and the LPD uses a "digital" frequency. The Radio Reference says that all City of Longview departments operate on a "Project 25" system. Could anyone explain to me what this means?Do I have the wrong type of scanner? I am able to pick up railroad operations just fine. If I need to get a different type of scanner would anyone have recommendations for one that doesn't cost over $200? I don't have a lot of disposable income to spend on electronics. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:03 AM
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From what I understand, a lot of agencies, including the State of Texas are going to a digital trunked system. Your scanner is a analog scanner and will not pick up these frequencies. Its still a good scanner, but you will be limited on its use. You need to look at the newer, and unfortunately more expensive scanners that with digital and trunking capaticity. Project 25 refers to the new system that most of East Texas is going to. Most around East Texas also operate thru ETMC. Take a look thru the frequency listing for the various counties surrounding Longview and you will see what they are using. Hope this helps. I recently purchased a Home Patrol 1 and a BCD996XT. Both are good scanners but are a little hard to read up on and program. If I was going to spend the money, I would by another Home Patrol 1. Comes preloaded and more compact and more info on the screen to see who your listening to. Good Luck....
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smsled5 View Post
Hello,

I live in Gregg County, Texas and am brand new to the world of radio scanning. I received a Uniden BC125AT scanner as a Christmas present, and I would like to monitor Longview, Texas Police and Union Pacific Railroad operations. However, according to my research and Radio Reference information my scanner only scans "analog" frequencies and the LPD uses a "digital" frequency. The Radio Reference says that all City of Longview departments operate on a "Project 25" system. Could anyone explain to me what this means?Do I have the wrong type of scanner? I am able to pick up railroad operations just fine. If I need to get a different type of scanner would anyone have recommendations for one that doesn't cost over $200? I don't have a lot of disposable income to spend on electronics. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!
Hi smsled

Welcome to RadioReference & the Texas Forum.

In very simple terms, a "Project 25" system is another way of describing a specific type of digital system. Longview now operates on this system: Texas Wide Area Radio Network (TxWARN) Project 25 Trunking System, Various, Texas - Scanner Frequencies. That is also a trunked radio system.

In order to monitor Longview, as well as Texas DPS, or certain other agencies in your area, such as Tyler and Smith County, you would need to purchase a digital scanner. The two fulfordr mentioned, a BCD996XT and the Home Patrol 1, are among several scanners that would work. Unfortunately, none of these are in the $200 range new. Here's a more complete list:
Make Model Type
GRE PSR-500 Handheld
GRE PSR-600 Base/Mobile
GRE PSR-800 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-18 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-106 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-197 Base/Mobile
Uniden BCD396T Handheld
Uniden BCD396XT Handheld
Uniden BCD996T Base/Mobile
Uniden BCD996XT Base/Mobile
Uniden HomePatrol-1 Base/Mobile

Of the one's above, the BCD396T & BCD996T are discontinued models (replaced by the models with the same number sequence, but ending in "XT" instead of simply "T"). If you watch the classifieds here on RadioReference, or check eBay, among other places, you may find one of these two in the $250 range, sometimes slightly less. The new BCD396XT & BCD996XT are well over $400, though you may find a gently used one for less.

One other scanner pair that would work for Longview specifically would be the Pro-96 (handheld) or Pro-2096 (base/mobile). These have been discontinued longer, and can occasionally be found for less. However, a few sites on the TxWARN P25 system (the one that Longview is on) use frequencies that Pro-96 and Pro-2096 cannot track. That does not include the sites in Gregg County itself, but some sites in neighboring counties (Upshur, Panola, and the Arp site in Smith County).

As you've found, your BC125AT will handle the railroad traffic. It would also work well for aircraft, including airshows, if you attend those on occasion.

While Longview itself is not monitorable with the 125AT, you could still listen to the Sheriff's Office, and a number of the smaller cities in Gregg County. The same applies to many of the other neighboring counties, excepting Smith, which is largely on the same digital trunked system as Longview (TxWARN P25).
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Old 12-28-2012, 1:22 AM
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Thank you very much for the information! I will definitely bookmark this for future reference.
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Old 12-28-2012, 7:12 PM
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I'd suggest getting a cheap analog-only scanner just for the railroad stuff, so you can dedicate your P25 scanner to TxWARN. Anything will work for railroad monitoring.
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Old 12-30-2012, 2:16 PM
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Welcome. If you can't pickup LPD,(I can't either) i still recommend Kilgore PD and the rest of the conventional channels. You can PM me for some more specifics.
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Old 12-30-2012, 2:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiegtx View Post
Hi smsled

Welcome to RadioReference & the Texas Forum.

In very simple terms, a "Project 25" system is another way of describing a specific type of digital system. Longview now operates on this system: Texas Wide Area Radio Network (TxWARN) Project 25 Trunking System, Various, Texas - Scanner Frequencies. That is also a trunked radio system.

In order to monitor Longview, as well as Texas DPS, or certain other agencies in your area, such as Tyler and Smith County, you would need to purchase a digital scanner. The two fulfordr mentioned, a BCD996XT and the Home Patrol 1, are among several scanners that would work. Unfortunately, none of these are in the $200 range new. Here's a more complete list:
Make Model Type
GRE PSR-500 Handheld
GRE PSR-600 Base/Mobile
GRE PSR-800 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-18 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-106 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-197 Base/Mobile
Uniden BCD396T Handheld
Uniden BCD396XT Handheld
Uniden BCD996T Base/Mobile
Uniden BCD996XT Base/Mobile
Uniden HomePatrol-1 Base/Mobile

Of the one's above, the BCD396T & BCD996T are discontinued models (replaced by the models with the same number sequence, but ending in "XT" instead of simply "T"). If you watch the classifieds here on RadioReference, or check eBay, among other places, you may find one of these two in the $250 range, sometimes slightly less. The new BCD396XT & BCD996XT are well over $400, though you may find a gently used one for less.

One other scanner pair that would work for Longview specifically would be the Pro-96 (handheld) or Pro-2096 (base/mobile). These have been discontinued longer, and can occasionally be found for less. However, a few sites on the TxWARN P25 system (the one that Longview is on) use frequencies that Pro-96 and Pro-2096 cannot track. That does not include the sites in Gregg County itself, but some sites in neighboring counties (Upshur, Panola, and the Arp site in Smith County).

As you've found, your BC125AT will handle the railroad traffic. It would also work well for aircraft, including airshows, if you attend those on occasion.

While Longview itself is not monitorable with the 125AT, you could still listen to the Sheriff's Office, and a number of the smaller cities in Gregg County. The same applies to many of the other neighboring counties, excepting Smith, which is largely on the same digital trunked system as Longview (TxWARN P25).
Just a little side note, I monitor the Texas Dept. of Public Safety here in Beaumont, Texas with my RadioShack Pro-2096 without a NAC being programmed into it. And the signal comes in real clear, with weather cooperating...
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Monitoring: Southeast Texas Regional Radio System
RadioShack Pro-197 RadioShack Pro-2096 RadioShack Pro-106 Uniden BC355C
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Old 12-30-2012, 3:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revclstoner View Post
Just a little side note, I monitor the Texas Dept. of Public Safety here in Beaumont, Texas with my RadioShack Pro-2096 without a NAC being programmed into it. And the signal comes in real clear, with weather cooperating...
The Pro-2096 (or handheld Pro-96) will work for digital, non-trunked, Vhf agencies such as Texas DPS. Some of the counties in this region are also switching to digital, on conventional frequencies.

For the Tyler area, though, DPS also utilizes talkgroups on the TxWARN P25 system. As per my comments, the Pro-2096, or Pro-96 would work on Longview proper. However, several of the sites in that area (as I noted above) use 700MHz frequencies. The 2096 & 96 will not trunk-track frequencies in that band. That's why I recommended one of the newer scanners in the list. The BCD396T & BCD996T, though discontinued like the Pro-2096 & -96, will trunktrack systems using 700MHz frequencies. While they, like your 2096, cannot accept entry of the NAC codes, they still can monitor TX DPS or other conventional, digital, agencies. I have seen some of these sell in the $250 range, with a few for less.

The better, though more expensive, solution is one of the current model scanners in the list:
Make Model Type
GRE PSR-500 Handheld
GRE PSR-600 Base/Mobile
GRE PSR-800 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-18 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-106 Handheld
Radio Shack PRO-197 Base/Mobile
Uniden BCD396XT Handheld
Uniden BCD996XT Base/Mobile
Uniden HomePatrol-1 Base/Mobile

These all allow for NAC entry, which lets you separate and identify different users on the same frequency. TX DPS, as you know, re-uses the same frequencies repeatedly statewide, using different NAC codes to sort them out. The newer scanners will also track the 700MHz locations, and all have some form of multi-site programming capability. (The BCD996T also has multi-site, though it lacks NAC functionality.)
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Old 12-30-2012, 3:38 PM
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As a matter of fact, I will need to start saving to get a newer scanner, because our county system will become a larger, more digital system, and may be tied into other counties outside of Jefferson, Hardin, and Orange County. One county will utilize the 700Mhz trunking band...
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RadioShack Pro-197 RadioShack Pro-2096 RadioShack Pro-106 Uniden BC355C
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Old 12-30-2012, 4:13 PM
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As a matter of fact, I will need to start saving to get a newer scanner, because our county system will become a larger, more digital system, and may be tied into other counties outside of Jefferson, Hardin, and Orange County. One county will utilize the 700Mhz trunking band...
The 396T and 996T would work for 700MHz, but overall, you'd be better off with the newer crop. NAC capability is nice, though not absolutely essential. However, for a regional system, multi-site becomes very desirable.
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