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DC scanning w/ pro-433

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command_z

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#1
Hello, I just bought a scanner from radio shack (pro-433, 1000 ch trunking desktop/mobile scanner).

I am curious to see if the scanner will be able to pick up metropolitan police with trunking? What about the WMATA? If not, I have 30 days to return the scanner.

Also, is there any good books or websites on how to program my new scanner? I'm a little lost with that part.

Thanks!!!
 

ka3jjz

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#2
It won't work very well; the DC system is digital, and the 433 won't decode it. You need a digital trunktracker (there are a few) which are listed in our wiki.
A lot of folks have questions about programming the DC metro system. There are several software packages for the digital trunktrackers, and some of the more popular ones, with specific tips on how to do it (it is a little tricky) can be read here...

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Programming_the_MPDC_in_Digital_Scanners

This link also has a link to our digital scanners article, which lists all the digital trunktrackers currently available. Anything in blue and/or underlined is a link

73 Mike
 
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command_z

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#3
Any other reasons

So I have to spend like 400-500 bucks on a digital scanner to monitor the police?

Can you tell me what else I can scan (I live in Downtown dc, there's got to be a lot).

I am interested in picking up strong signals of entire radio conversations.
 

ka3jjz

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Location
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#4
command_z said:
So I have to spend like 400-500 bucks on a digital scanner to monitor the police?
In a word, yes. Some of the traffic is rebroadcast on VHF channels - we'll get to that in a minute - but to hear it all, you need to sink some cash in a digital trunktracker.

command_z said:
Can you tell me what else I can scan (I live in Downtown dc, there's got to be a lot).

I am interested in picking up strong signals of entire radio conversations.
Anything listed in these links that is NOT APCO-25, Project 25 or Mototrbo might be a possibility, given a good antenna. Mototrbo is a product that cannot be scanned. LTR Passport systems cannot be tracked, but you can listen to the freqs in conventional mode. Of course, anything that's marked 'encrypted' cannot be copied by any scanner...

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=315

http://www.davidschoenberger.net/scanning/dc/washington.htm

http://dcscanning.blogspot.com/

Those first and second links will give you the VHF rebroadcast freqs from the trunked system. Not all traffic is rebroadcast, but it's better than nothing, I suppose.

And with a decent antenna, at least some of this is a possibility....

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Delmarva_Milcom_Monitoring

Depending on where you are in DC, you may run into a good deal of trouble with other signals overloading the 433 if you put up a decent antenna, such as a discone or scantenna. It's not surprising - even the cops with their Moto handhelds have trouble at times. You may find that you will need to add some front-end filtering to overcome this issue. PAR electronics sells a variety of filters for different purposes. They are a bit expensive, but their rep is top-notch.

73 Mike
 
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