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New Scanner Decision Help

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jbitzer

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
23
Location
Cherry Hill,NJ
Hello everyone and Merry Christmas! I want some advice on getting a new scanner. I currently have a Radio Shack Pro-2052 and live in Cherry Hill, NJ. I can pickup frequencies from Camden and Burlington county pretty clearly. I am looking to upgrade to another scanner and the one feature I am really interested in is name tagging each channel. With 1000 channels on my current scanner I have no idea what I'm listening to half the time when it stops on a frequency.

I am not really looking for anything too specific as far as what I want to listen to, I just like to sit here and hear what's going on. Cherry Hill police are using EDACS so this scanner can pick it up with no problem. I was originally looking at the Uniden BCT15 as well as the BCT15X which has everything my current scanner has plus a few more bells and whistles and the alpha tagging I am looking for.

A local electronics dealer advised me that this scanner would be useless when listening to anything in my area especially Burlington County because they are all digital. To be honest I wasn't exactly looking to spend $500 on a scanner for recreational listening in my area.

Can someone offer some insight on what I will miss out on in my area by not getting a digital scanner and some other alternatives to the BCT15 that may fit into the same price range. I have heard good things about the BCT15/BCT15X and think it may be a good choice for me but don't want to overlook other radios that may be the same or better at around the same price.

Thanks in advance!
 

W2SJW

Senior Member
Moderator
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Nov 22, 2001
Messages
3,153
Location
Northwest NJ
I hate to be the one to say this, but if you buy a unit like the 15X, you are locking yourself into a corner for future possibilities based on where you live.

Burlington is digital on their TRS, Camden County will be moving in a few years to a digital TRS from their current 500 MHz. analog channels. You would be left with only the ability to hear your home town & Camden City, along with the remaining analog FD & EMS channels in the area.

If Cherry Hill & Camden decide to go all ProVoice to meet the FCC narrowbanding mandate, then you would be really out of luck (no scanner made that will decode that flavor of digital - and I'm pretty sure ProVoice is still not a compliant format).

Now that Harris Corp owns the rights to all things EDACS, I wonder if they would try to push these larger customers towards P25 (they are a big proponent).
 

jbitzer

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
23
Location
Cherry Hill,NJ
Thanks for the reply. So it sounds like while the 15X is a great scanner if would not be future proof at least for my area. Might just have to wait and go digital. Will the higher end scanners made by Uniden be a good choice (996 line) or is there something in the works to be able to tune in Provoice? According to the wiki there doesn't appear to be any EDACS Provoice systems in the entire state of NJ as of yet.

Will have to do some research and see what the current plans are for Camden and Burlington counties.

Jeff
 

W2SJW

Senior Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 22, 2001
Messages
3,153
Location
Northwest NJ
No scanner will ever be able to decode ProVoice - GE/Ericsson made it a proprietary format, and they would not share the decode parameters with anyone else.

Almost all law enforcement on the Middlesex County TRS is ProVoice,
Camden City had ProVoice capability,
The DRPA system has all public safety ops on ProVoice,
Almost 98% of the law enforcement & 40% of the FD & EMS on the Atlantic County wide-area TRS use ProVoice (including Ocean City in Cape May county)...

The 996XT will do you just fine for everything else...
 
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