• 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

Electricity

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#1
I have three scanners: a Pro 95, a Uniden BCD396T, and a Pro 433 all powered through electricity and running 24/7. How much electricity would you guess this burns a month or year etc....?
 

ScanTheFreqs

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#2
those 3 running together takes less electricity then a 25 watt light bulb, just to give ya some kind of idea
 
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#3
Scanner Electrical Consumption

JohnRhys54 said:
I have three scanners: a Pro 95, a Uniden BCD396T, and a Pro 433 all powered through electricity and running 24/7. How much electricity would you guess this burns a month or year etc....?
I estimate your usage is less than 63 Kilowatt-hours per year. At $0.10 per Kw-hr this would cost $6.30 per year. Not very expensive.

Jim41
 
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#6
lol same here but i have alas figured out a strategy!! i have a night scanner that runs when eerything is off...ony like 200 channels in that one and only have the really important frequencies in so i hear the intense stuff and donthave to listen to routine traffic at night

JB
 

gmclam

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#7
There are a lot of variables

JohnRhys54 said:
I have three scanners: a Pro 95, a Uniden BCD396T, and a Pro 433 all powered through electricity and running 24/7. How much electricity would you guess this burns a month or year etc....?
The power being consumed depends on the VOLUME setting on each, the frequency they are outputting audio and whether or not you have the backlight on.

Think of it this way; consider how long your batteries would last if you did or did not have an LCD backlight on. I find just using the backlight just about cuts my run time in half. Next, if you have the volume very low and/or there is light traffic on the scanner, the power consumed will be much less than if you have the volume up HIGH and there is a LOT of traffic. The audio section of these things (even as wimpy as they are) can consume quite a bit of power (from the standpoint of total power being consumed).

Another factor in considering AC power being consumed is the quality of the wall transformer or power supply you are using to power them. A scanner such as the PRO-95 wants 9 volts DC at 300ma of external power; but that is so it will have enough at "full" volume with the backlight on and charging batteries (worst case scenario). The reality is that while scanning (and no backlight) the current draw is very low but jumps up when stopped on a channel, mostly because of audio.

It takes me about 24 hours to fully deplete a set of 2500mah NiMH batteries that have been fully charged on a PRO-95. That's 2.5 amps at 6 volts though. Multiply that times 365 for a year (5475 watts). BUT, since you're using a wall transformer, there is more loss there (for example the wall transformer probably gets hot which is wasted power). My guess is that you're consuming about 100ma at 9 volts with an 85% efficiency - which is 9275 watts).
 

n5usr

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#8
Unless the scanner is very poorly designed, running 24x7 won't adversely affect it. If it runs hot enough, then certainly its lifespan could be shortened - but I haven't ever had a scanner that ran hot.

I've been working on a backup / emergency power system at home, and to that end measured the current draw of all my scanners. So I happen to have very specific info for a few models! ;)

My oldest, a PRO-2052 (which has an incandescent backlight), pulls 250mA scanning and 420mA full volume.

The PRO-433 pulls 120mA scanning and 340mA full volume.

And the PRO-164 handheld pulls 80mA scanning and 130mA full volume. Turning the backlight on adds 50mA. Let's hear it for handhelds! :)

All measurements were made in the 12VDC line feeding the scanners (or the 9V lighter-plug adapter for the 164) as I power everything off my ham bench power supply.

12V x 0.42A = 5.04W for worst-case = 3629 Wh/mo = 3.6kWh/mo
12V x 0.08A = 0.96W for best-case = 691 Wh/mo = 0.7kWh/mo

As others said, you have to add PSU inefficiency in. In newer cases, that might actually not be too bad - many newer units are switching supplies, so can be fairly high - maybe 75-80% at worst. If they are older-style transformer supplies, they'll be pretty bad. In my case, I am using an Astron linear supply, and it is down around 50%.

So, if my PRO-2052 had the volume all the way up and squelch open for 30 days straight (I'd destroy it first! :p ) my worst-case per-scanner cost would be:
3.6kWh x 2 (PSU inefficiency) = 7.2kWh x $0.10/kWh = 72 cents per month

At the other end, if the PRO-164 never received anything all month and I left the backlight off:
0.7kWh x 2 = 1.4kWh x $0.10/kWh = 14 cents per month

Obviously the actual total per-scanner will be somewhere in between, but I'm certainly not worried about the cost of leaving my scanner on 24x7! :)


One final note - if you are using the supplied wall-warts with your scanners, and they all use a common DC voltage (ideally 12V) you can:
a) reduce clutter
b) improve efficiency (less power loss in the conversion)
c) supply much better-quality power to the scanners (they may live longer)
by using a single high quality switching supply to feed them all. My PSU isn't a switcher, so I don't get nearly the efficiency, but it's still better than the lousy wall-warts were and definitely far better for power quality.
 

kb2vxa

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#10
If you want to burn electricity throw a battery in the fire. BOOM! I'm jumping Jack Flash I burnt my ash ash ash.

I expect to get flamed for that.
 
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#11
Less than how much power they're using, I personally would worry more about whether or not they are smart enough to know when to stop charging. Keeping them plugged in all the time might really degrade the batteries, which aren't cheap to replace. It all depends on how they designed the charging circuit though. I had an older 3000xlt that stayed plugged in all the time and use to get pretty warm. It toasted the batteries pretty fast and I just left them in there for a while instead of ruining another set.

Dave
www.DPDProductions.com
Antennas & Accessories for the RF Professional & Radio Hobbyist
 

n5usr

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#12
That's why I don't ever charge batteries in the scanners. I use the "non-rechargable" caddy to keep external power from doing so. I have two sets of batteries, and recharge as soon as I swap out, using a quality charger.

Of course, most of my gear is mobile/desktop form factor so no batteries to worry about...

Can't do that with my amateur handhelds, but I still am careful with them. The older one has re-celled NiMH packs, and their capacity is so wildly high now compared to the NiCd originals I can easily charge one on the trickle-charger before the other dies.

My new handheld annoys me - it's Li-Ion, built-in charger but that means any time it gets plugged in to power it charges. I don't like that. Can't do anything about it though, so I just don't plug it in until the battery is low. Fortunately I don't need it much, so it isn't a huge issue.
 
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#13
Na...

jb872033 said:
it might be best that your scanner isnt running 24-7...i think it might be best to give them a rest

JB
An old school fireman once told me that once you leave the station, you NEVER turn your aparatus off. It might not start again....

I do the same with my scanners in the house. They run 24 x 7. Never turn them off....They might not turn back on! I have a couple of old ones too. One is a Uniden/Bearcat "BC760XLT" that has been running a very long time!

Steve/KB8FAR :cool:
 
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#14
gmclam said:
My guess is that you're consuming about 100ma at 9 volts with an 85% efficiency - which is 9275 watts).
9275 watt hours, or 9 kWh, which costs somewhere between fifty cents and a buck fifty, depending on where one lives. Less than one Timmies extra large triple triple, so hardly worth worrying about.
 

kb2vxa

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#15
"An old school fireman once told me that once you leave the station, you NEVER turn your apparatus off. It might not start again."

Please tell us the name of your town; we have sense enough not to live there.
 
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nec208

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Jim41 said:
I estimate your usage is less than 63 Kilowatt-hours per year. At $0.10 per Kw-hr this would cost $6.30 per year. Not very expensive.

Jim41
The scanner uses power if it is on or off.If you want to save battery time remove it.
 
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#18
jb872033 said:
it might be best that your scanner isnt running 24-7...i think it might be best to give them a rest

JB
What? my scanners have not been turned off in YEARS!!! Except for the downtime during a "re-design" of the command center. My BC780 has been running since the day I bought it brand new when it first came out.......

My scanners and radios are ALWAYS going...
 

gmclam

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#20
glide said:
What good is it if you're asleep??
Some people are lighter sleepers than others. I have mine on 24/7 and I often wake to listen when there is a big incident going on. Otherwise it puts me to sleep and is something to listen to before dragging myself out of bed.

chrismoll said:
I would be interested also what do you do when you sleep? or do you not even sleep at all???
I lay down, I close my eyes, ......
 
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