• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

100% New to this. Need help.

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#1
Hello Everybody!

I'm Bryan, I have no experiance in radio communications whatsoever, although I work as an audio technician for a living if that helps. I'm looking to purchase my first scanner. I've read most of the Scanning 101 sections and I'm in the market for scanner that can meet these specs:

Digital Mobile/Base

Easy to operate.

Can pickup Military, Police, Fire, EMS, and any other bands you'd recommend.
(Do I need to get a seperate scanner for military frequencies? )

PC connectivity.

External ATT Input.

Durable.

Audio Output... If that exists.

All for $50 bucks.







Just Kidding...

I'm looking to spend around $700.

I dont know if that will be enough.
Would love to develop this into my number one hobby!
Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Bryan
 

mciupa

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#2
Welcome to RadioReference bryan808 :)

You should consider doing these three things:
- purchasing a BC 996XT,
- purchasing a premium membership to RadioReference
- downloading Freescan to assist programming your scanner

all can be done for under $700. :)
 

gmclam

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Location
Fair Oaks, CA
#3
...
Digital Mobile/Base
Easy to operate.
Can pickup Military, Police, Fire, EMS, and any other bands you'd recommend.
(Do I need to get a seperate scanner for military frequencies? )
PC connectivity.
External ATT Input.
I think you mean external ANT (antenna) input. ATT usually means attenuator.

Durable.
Audio Output... If that exists.
All for $50 bucks.
I'd suggest the PSR-600 (PSR-600 - The RadioReference Wiki)
You'll want WIN500 to program it.
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
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Messages
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#4
Welcome to RadioReference bryan808 :)

You should consider doing these three things:
- purchasing a BC 996XT,
- purchasing a premium membership to RadioReference
- downloading Freescan to assist programming your scanner

all can be done for under $700. :)
Welcome bryan! Just as MCI said,plus the BC 996XT will take care of your interest in military air too.
Enjoy!
N9ZAS
 
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
77
Location
Eagle, WI
#5
I have both the radio shack pro197 (gre600 with radio shack label) and the uniden 996xt. Having used them both for awhile now, I think the 996xt is much better than the pro197. The pro197 does have a bit better audio and a nice price tag at times, but its proneness to overload and intermod limits its usage and can be frustrating, especially to someone new to the hobby.

Bottom line...get the 996xt and welcome to the hobby Bryan!

Muskratt
 

tekshogun

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Messages
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Location
NC
#6
Honestly, a Uniden Bearcat 996XT or the GRECOMM PSR-600 (also equivalent to the Radio Shack Pro-197 will do the job for you just fine. Which one is better comes down to personal preference. They all have differences about them. One main thing I think (and someone correct me if I am wrong) is that the Uniden has GPS features (hooking up a GPS device will enable this) to let you program your scanner to scan your frequencies/channels/talk groups based on where you are in the world. Each model is capable of being installed into the car typically (mount it somewhere like under the dash or around the console) and each is capable of being installed in an available DIN slot with your regular car radio. This usually means removing the factory radio if you haven't already and putting in a new after-market radio as most factory radios take up more than one DIN slot.

With that said, each of those mobile/base scanners can do essentially the same thing (with regards to what I stated about the GPS devices).

I would also consider spending a little bit more than your $700 and get a handheld, matching is best (for Uniden, it will be the 396XT and for GRE/Radio Shack it will be the PSR-500 or the Pro-106, respectively) as the "matching" handhelds can be programmed with the same information as the mobile/base units and with the same software and cables.

The only units I know of that have free programming software are the Uniden radios and that is with the program, Freescan (as mentioned above).

There is a learning curve with each of these radios, so just read the manual and you'll get the rhythm of programming and changing functions down just fine. No matter what you buy, I would suggest learning and practicing how to program the scanner manually as you will not always be around a computer capable of doing it easily for you.

The Unidens, if you can find one, have control heads (expensive but nice) that you can get for the handhelds and the mobile units.

GRE and Uniden sometimes release updates for these radios as new technology or bugs come up or to help with changes in how the radio systems work, such as the rebanding going on all over the the country (just look up rebanding in the forums). The GRE firmware updates also work for the Radio Shack scanners since they too are built by GRECOMM.

As far as intermod goes, well, some radios may be a bit better than others, but I have a Pro-106 (PSR-500 handheld and have not had any intermod problems that I have noticed and I've used it for low band VHF, and 800MHz scanning.

I hope that helps.
 
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Astrak

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Messages
1,561
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Mesa, AZ
#7
2nd on the no intermod problems with the 106, that's living in Phoenix AZ. Also from what people have said around the valley here the GRE/RS radio's do better on Simulcast P25 than the Unidens. I also would concur that it comes to personal preference, as the Uniden's do offer some cool options that the GRE units do not and visa versa. Of course, if you haven't alread read, there is the Wiki that will allow you to compare options of the radio's.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
4
Location
Jacksonville, Fl
#8
Welcome to RadioReference bryan808 :)

You should consider doing these three things:
- purchasing a BC 996XT,
- purchasing a premium membership to RadioReference
- downloading Freescan to assist programming your scanner

all can be done for under $700. :)
Thank you,

I do like what I see when it comes to the 996XT.
Very long list of features although I hardly know what all that stuff means but I do hope to learn as much as I can!

How user friendly the BC 996XT?
Would you suggest to program via the software first or just programming via the unit and manual?

Also on a side note...
Do most of these Uniden base models all use the model, correct me if I'm wrong, 12v power supply?

Thank you for your help!

Bryan
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
4
Location
Jacksonville, Fl
#10
Honestly, a Uniden Bearcat 996XT or the GRECOMM PSR-600 (also equivalent to the Radio Shack Pro-197 will do the job for you just fine. Which one is better comes down to personal preference. They all have differences about them. One main thing I think (and someone correct me if I am wrong) is that the Uniden has GPS features (hooking up a GPS device will enable this) to let you program your scanner to scan your frequencies/channels/talk groups based on where you are in the world. Each model is capable of being installed into the car typically (mount it somewhere like under the dash or around the console) and each is capable of being installed in an available DIN slot with your regular car radio. This usually means removing the factory radio if you haven't already and putting in a new after-market radio as most factory radios take up more than one DIN slot.

With that said, each of those mobile/base scanners can do essentially the same thing (with regards to what I stated about the GPS devices).

I would also consider spending a little bit more than your $700 and get a handheld, matching is best (for Uniden, it will be the 396XT and for GRE/Radio Shack it will be the PSR-500 or the Pro-106, respectively) as the "matching" handhelds can be programmed with the same information as the mobile/base units and with the same software and cables.

The only units I know of that have free programming software are the Uniden radios and that is with the program, Freescan (as mentioned above).

There is a learning curve with each of these radios, so just read the manual and you'll get the rhythm of programming and changing functions down just fine. No matter what you buy, I would suggest learning and practicing how to program the scanner manually as you will not always be around a computer capable of doing it easily for you.

The Unidens, if you can find one, have control heads (expensive but nice) that you can get for the handhelds and the mobile units.

GRE and Uniden sometimes release updates for these radios as new technology or bugs come up or to help with changes in how the radio systems work, such as the rebanding going on all over the the country (just look up rebanding in the forums). The GRE firmware updates also work for the Radio Shack scanners since they too are built by GRECOMM.

As far as intermod goes, well, some radios may be a bit better than others, but I have a Pro-106 (PSR-500 handheld and have not had any intermod problems that I have noticed and I've used it for low band VHF, and 800MHz scanning.

I hope that helps.
Hey thanks for taking the time to write all that, very helpful!
I completely missed the GPS part. What kind of GPS device would I need?
I'm pretty sure my Garmin wouldn't work for this right?

It looks like the 996XT is my choice. Im just to much of a novice for more then one scanner at the moment of course I would like to purchase additional scanner in the future!

Thanks again!

Bryan
 

dracer777

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Messages
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South Dacono, CO
#11
Wirelessly posted (MOT-QA30/00.72 UP.Browser/7.2.7.5.610 (GUI) MMP/2.0)

I've had the Pro-106, which is the mobile version of the pro-197, for about a year, great receiver.... And while I am certainly not saying that one is better than the other, i just purchased the 396XT, which is the handheld version of the 996XT. This was after carefully reviewing the radio. While I still consider myself a n00b, I have a decent amount of in-field experience trunk tracking the state-wide DTRS in CO. So as an "experienced" newbie here, I recommend the 996XT for your radio, or the 396XT if you want to be able to move it easily. They are identical scanners essentially. With all that said, only get into the hobby if you can resist smashing things when during extreme frustration, as these have a huge learning curve, but do not get discouraged, after a few months or less you will know ALOT and will be helping the newer newbies. Hope that assists in your decision.

As a side-note, as a newbie, I do recommend a hand-held, unless you are absolutely positive you want a base model.
 
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