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800 MHZ frequencies

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East Patchogue, NY (Suffolk County)
#1
I haven't had a police scanner in years. I live in Suffolk County New York and the Suffolk Police use frequencies that are in the 850MHZ range. I actually thought they were still in the VHF range (150 MHZ) and now that I am aware of the current frequency range, I want to make sure that I buy a scanner that will receive the police transmissions. I was looking at a Bearcat-Uniden model number BC355N. This scanner covers (25-54 MHz) (108-174 MHz) (225-380 MHz) (406-512 MHz) (806-956 MHz) (excluding cellular telephone bands) but I have read that if the municipalities are using a digital system, some scanners might not receive the transmissions. Can anyone suggest a scanner that is in the $100 to $150 price range?
 

JStemann

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#2
The bc355 will not work for what you're wanting to monitor. The trunked system in use by the county is using analog and digital talkgroups. So, you'll need a digital trunking scanner. As far as I know, all of the new ones are $300+. You can probably find some used ones in the $200-300 range.
This is a link to the site wiki page on APCO-p25:
APCO Project 25 - The RadioReference Wiki

About halfway down you'll see "Scanner Support FDMA and TDMA", you'll need one of the ones listed under FDMA. The TDMA versions will also work but will be more expensive and don't appear to be necessary fir what you want to monitor. Generally, the scanners are listed left to right, from oldest to newest. Some were released at the same time and are just base/portable versions of the same scanner.

Jeff.
 
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East Patchogue, NY (Suffolk County)
#3
800 Mhz Frequencies

Thank you Jeff for responding,

Since I posted this and since you responded (just saw your response) I have bought a used Radio Shack Pro-433 scanner on Ebay. It receives quite an impressive coverage of frequencies 29Mhz to 1300 Mhz. It also is capable of receiving the Motorla Smartlink 2 system, which my police department uses. Just out of curiosity .......... Do I have to program this scanner for my PD's frequencies? Are you familiar with the Pro-433 or this type of scanner? I was expecting it to work out of the box. but I have not been able to hear any communications at all.

Chris
 
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East Patchogue, NY (Suffolk County)
#4
Pro-433 (radio shack)

I recently bought a used Pro-433 on Ebay. I have noticed it's scanning a few frequencies, some of which are in the 800Mhz to 850Mhz range, but I am NOT hearing anything but static. My police department (Suffolk County PD .... which is on Long Island) uses the Motorla Smart Link System, which the Pro-433 is designed to pickup. I think that this scanner was never properly programmed. But shouldn't I be able to receive the weather stations and aircraft and low band transmissions in my area? I have a few more days left before it can be returned to the seller on Ebay.

Thank you for any help in advance,

Chris
 

lucky43113

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#5
I recently bought a used Pro-433 on Ebay. I have noticed it's scanning a few frequencies, some of which are in the 800Mhz to 850Mhz range, but I am NOT hearing anything but static. My police department (Suffolk County PD .... which is on Long Island) uses the Motorla Smart Link System, which the Pro-433 is designed to pickup. I think that this scanner was never properly programmed. But shouldn't I be able to receive the weather stations and aircraft and low band transmissions in my area? I have a few more days left before it can be returned to the seller on Ebay.

Thank you for any help in advance,

Chris
i just bought the same scanner on ebay for 70 dollars shipped works great for aircraft im in ohio i can hear planes from one end of the state to the other lake erie to the ohio river but i put up a jtd1 antenna to get better range
 

wtp

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#7
if you want to hear aircraft

then you could get the 433.
if you want to hear suffolk police then get a digital scanner.
the 433 can get 850Mhz but will not get digital and can't be set up for rebanding and you need that too.
 
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East Patchogue, NY (Suffolk County)
#9
According to the frequency data base on this forum, the Suffolk County PD uses the Smartlink 2 system. According to the specs for the Pro-433, it can receive that system. I bought this scanner on Ebay and I'm trying to make every attempt to get this working. I have contacted the person I bought it from and he told me that he wasn't able to program it and he hadn't used in a long time. He found the programing to be too complicated. I have about 6 days left before I can't return it. I'm trying to figure out if this scanner is working correctly or if I am not knowlegable enough to program it correctly. What makes me think that this scanner might not be working, is because I can't receive any transmissions, not even low band. I would have thought that the weather frequency would be received as soon as I turn it on. The antenna is the stock antenna that comes with the unit. As of now, I am thinking of returning it.
 

dave3825

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#11
Chris, Suffolk is on an 800Mhz Motorola Type II SmartZone, Analog and APCO-25 Common Air Interface . Right now, any trunk tracker scanner that will handle rebanded systems should work. Some that cant be rebanded may work to an extent. I have a pro 95 and a pro 93 that follow the system, but because of the rebanded stuff, there are maybe 5 freqs out of 22 that the scanner will not tune to so you occasionally end up missing a few transmissions here and there. There is nothing exciting on the few digital channels they have and with any scanner you get , you will have to program it. There is software that makes that easier. Some is free and some costs money. Depends on what scanner you end up with. There is also a guy in Nassau that offers programming of scanners but I don't know for how much.

Right now, Suffolk county is in the process of upgrading to a 700Mhz Project 25 Phase II, APCO-25 Common Air Interface Exclusive. They are doing minimal testing as of now. Nobody knows what will be when they are done. Personally, I myself would not run out and drop a heavy chunk of change on a new scanner until I knew there would be something to listen to. Nassau locked there's up tight.

If you're into sdr at all then there are programs you can use with 2 10.00 dollar dongles. Right now, my 436 is running my local pct and local fire. It's also feeding a remote scanner over ip that my father is listening to at his house. I am running unitrunker with 1 dongle listening to the county's trunked system set to monitor the rest of the pcts. I have another unitrunker running on 1 dongle on the same system but on other talk groups. I also have sdrsharp running with an airspy mini just scanning around.
 
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East Patchogue, NY (Suffolk County)
#12
Thank You Dave3825, I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to send this scanner back.I'm going to research this scanner some more. Your information has been helpful. Years ago, when Suffolk was running (VHF) 150 Mhz range, it was simple. You bought a scanner and put in the frequency. I miss that simple stuff.
 

hiegtx

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#17
Can someone suggest a scanner that I should look into to receive the Suffolk PD? I have noticed that many of these scanners are REALLY expensive.
Chris,
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to only monitor what is currently in use, or be able to monitor the new, 700MHz Phase II system that dave3825 mentioned that your area is in the progress of upgrading to. While it may not be useful at this time, a Phase II capable scanner may be required in the not too distant future. If you occasionally travel to, or through, other metro areas, whether on vacation, for business, or in the process of visiting relatives, you likely will encounter P25 Phase II systems somewhere along the line if you take a scanner with you.

See this page. A scanner capable of P25 Phase I, FDMA, is what you need at this current time. There are a number listed in that category, many of which are available in good, gently used, condition in the classifieds on this site, eBay, and elsewhere. Some are, of course, older, discontinued, units, but in good condition they would do the job at a lower cost than brand new top of the line.

If and when your area makes the switch to the 700MHz Phase II system, you would need to choose among the scanners able to handle TDMA. While most of those are current models, there still listings in the classifieds, eBay, and other sources. Don't forget yard or estate sales, where someone is clearing out items no longer used. And occasionally, you may find a working model at a pawn shop, for less than market price.
 

ofd8001

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#18
Unfortunately some of the system mentioned in a previous post is digital. So it would require a scanner capable of decoding digital "stuff" and those are not cheap.

It looks like none of these are presently Project 25 Phase 2, so you could get by with an earlier version scanner such as Home Patrol 1, Uniden 396XT or Uniden 996XT. However they are no longer produced, so you may have to consider used or doing some major searching to see if someone still has them in stock. If you can find them, the price may be a little lower.

If it was me, I'd invest a little extra money as you never know what the future brings. So I'd go for the latest that are Phase 2 capable.
 

GTR8000

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#19
A scanner capable of P25 Phase I, FDMA, is what you need at this current time.
That's not correct. Suffolk's current system is primarily an analog SmartZone system, with very few digital talkgroups.

If he's on a tight budget, what he needs is to find an analog scanner that is capable of Motorola trunking and is capable of being rebanded. There are a lot of choices that fit that bill.

Uniden: BCT15X (base/mobile), BC346XT (handheld)

GRE: PSR-410, PSR-400 (base/mobile), PSR-700, PSR-310, PSR-300 (handheld)

Radio Shack: Pro-160 (base/mobile), Pro-163, Pro-107, Pro-162 (handheld)
 

hiegtx

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#20
That's not correct. Suffolk's current system is primarily an analog SmartZone system, with very few digital talkgroups.

If he's on a tight budget, what he needs is to find an analog scanner that is capable of Motorola trunking and is capable of being rebanded. There are a lot of choices that fit that bill.

Uniden: BCT15X (base/mobile), BC346XT (handheld)

GRE: PSR-410, PSR-400 (base/mobile), PSR-700, PSR-310, PSR-300 (handheld)

Radio Shack: Pro-160 (base/mobile), Pro-163, Pro-107, Pro-162 (handheld)
While an analog trunk tracker (one that is capable of handling rebanded systems), would work for most of what is in use in the county, to get all of current channels, including the digital talkgroups an the Type II system, digital would be required.
 
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