• 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

New to Illinois scanning

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jblave

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#1
Hello everyone. Man radio reference is awesome. I'm gonna have to get a full account. Anyway I'm fairly new to scanning and I'm seeking experienced and educated advice. I just got a PRO 164 for Christmas. I live in Clinton County, IL. I'm looking to scan fire, ems, police, and state police as far as mt scanner will reach. Possibly also use it in Missouri occassionally, but mainly at home in Illinois. After reading articles on the RR website I'm thinking of taking my PRO 164 back and getting a digital scanner. Due to Starcom21 and APCO abilities of other scanners. I want a trunking digital scanner and I'm considering the PRO 106. I would like input from others as to what you use in Illinois and what you think about the PRO-106 or other alternatives. Does the PRO 106 need software upgrades due to rebanding? Also any other tips to getting started in the scanner hobby in Illinois would be appreciated. I'm a newbie but I learn fast. I have started manually programming the PRO 164 but am having trouble with trunking. Not really understanding how to find TGID numbers and other values found on RR and then put them in the scanner. All this effort is lost if I get a another scanner! Also what do you guys think about programming software , any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any info!!!
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
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#2
The pro-106 and pro-197 are good scanners and a good choice. :)
Welcome to RR.


73,
n9zas
 
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Messages
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#3
Hello everyone. Man radio reference is awesome. I'm gonna have to get a full account. Anyway I'm fairly new to scanning and I'm seeking experienced and educated advice. I just got a PRO 164 for Christmas. I live in Clinton County, IL. I'm looking to scan fire, ems, police, and state police as far as mt scanner will reach. Possibly also use it in Missouri occassionally, but mainly at home in Illinois. After reading articles on the RR website I'm thinking of taking my PRO 164 back and getting a digital scanner. Due to Starcom21 and APCO abilities of other scanners. I want a trunking digital scanner and I'm considering the PRO 106. I would like input from others as to what you use in Illinois and what you think about the PRO-106 or other alternatives. Does the PRO 106 need software upgrades due to rebanding? Also any other tips to getting started in the scanner hobby in Illinois would be appreciated. I'm a newbie but I learn fast. I have started manually programming the PRO 164 but am having trouble with trunking. Not really understanding how to find TGID numbers and other values found on RR and then put them in the scanner. All this effort is lost if I get a another scanner! Also what do you guys think about programming software , any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any info!!!
I always was a Radio Shack scanner person, then I got my Unident 996, loved it, but complex with features.

Yes Illinois State Police, IDNR, IEMA, IL Dept of Public Health, MABAS and many other things are on starcom. Sometimes you have nothing to listen to, and then other times you realize how busy ISP actually is when you were used to not hearing anything but dispatch back in the pre- starcom days. I got a digital scanner probably in the 2-3rd year after the state went digital. I thought it was awesome back then. Now I am more interested in Nexedge and digital amateur radio modes.

Yeah and welcome to RR. Plenty of information shared and available here.

Info on the 106
Pro-106 - The RadioReference Wiki
 

N9JIG

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#4
You won't go wrong with the GRE/Radio Shack scanners, they work great. I have leaned toward Unidens myself, the 396XT and 996XT work great on StarCom21, especially if you use the GPS feature.

Also check out the CARMA website at www.carmachicago.com along with out profiles at www.carmachicago.com/profiles. We have a lot of info there that may help explain things for you.
 
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JBLAVE, I also live in Clinton county (New Baden) and have been monitoring since I moved here seven years ago. You may want to consider getting a digital scanner since the Clinton county sheriff (along with all smaller communities) are already repeating their VHF frequency on Starcom21 and it seems the only holdout is the sheriff's office itself. New Baden police used to use the New Baden common frequency, but since installing Starcom21 radios they have switched to the Clinton county frequency. I've also noticed 800 MHz antennas on the New Baden ambulance as well. I suspect within a year or two almost all of Clinton county law enforcement and EMS will be using Starcom21 (the volunteer fire departments will likely remain on VHF due to a lack of money) so if you don't have a digital scanner then you won't be able to monitor them for much longer. The problem with monitoring them on Starcom21 is that in the western part of the county they use the St Clair radio system, which uses a simulcast system (multiple antennas broadcasting on the same frequency). The only way I can monitor them is to use a yagi antenna pointed toward the O'Fallon tower. If you live in the eastern part of the county then you can monitor them easily on the Starcom21 towers in Greenville or Centralia.

You're also not going to hear as much anymore as we used to. Since installing computers in their cars, the vast majority of their dispatching is now done via computer aided dispatching over their car computers. They also tend to use their cell phones for a lot of their voice communications. What used to once be a fairly busy radio frequency has now gone mostly silent. It almost seems like they use their radios only as a last resort or for checking in at the start of their shift and checkout out at the end.
 
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jblave

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#6
dakota91: Thanks for the info. I live in New Baden also. Went ahead and spent the money for the PRO 106. Getting most of the area with standard rubber duckie antenna, but have only heard New Baden PD maybe twice.
 
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#7
Yea, New Baden and others don't talk much on the radio anymore. You can try to monitor some of the nearby agencies in St. Clair, but even though you have 5 bars on your signal meter they will likely be garbled due to the simulcast system. Some people are lucky to live in a sweet spot that blocks some of the towers so they get perfect reception (I have to use a yagi antenna and still get some garbled traffic).

With the 106 you can now monitor ISP, but you'll get better results if you monitor them from the Edwardsville tower. They used to use a 700 MHz tower in Mascoutah which worked great for those of us with scanners, but they turned it off and started using the St Clair simulcast system. Up until a year or so ago the New Baden PD operated on the New Baden frequency (shared by PD, FD, EMS, and village hall), but lately I've only heard them on the Clinton Sheriff frequency (seemed like they switched around the same time they installed StarCom21 radios in their cars). I once heard the county dispatcher telling a New Baden unit that he had 3 calls waiting on his computer so after not hearing much from them I realized that the computer is now their primary dispatch tool.

ISP is usually pretty active so when I do listen to them I only listen to their Group B trunk group since that includes St Clair, Monroe, and Clinton counties (Group A includes Madison and Bond counties). I don't listen to them that often since it's mostly nothing more than traffic stops (they announce the traffic stops on their radios so others know they're out of the car, but most everything else they do is via their in-car computers). O'Fallon used to be active with radio dispatching, but even they are much quieter than they used to be.
 
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#8
Probably in the future,not so far from now many agencies who have in car computers will do much of the dispatching by computer. The software is out there, and available for a competitive price similiar to a system for dispatch only. I think once narrowbanding comes around goes and as more and more agencies are supporting elected officials to budget and get the nationwide wireless system built for public safety that there will be a push to use what was asked to build more and more.
 
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I agree. I've been monitoring for nearly 40 years and I've noticed a big decrease in radio traffic since in-car computers and cell phones became widely available. In reality, dispatching over the computer is probably a lot better for them since they don't have to try to write the address while they're driving, it can give then turn-by-turn directions, and they can do their reports before they leave the scene. I also know they use the computer to send e-mails and instant messages to other LE's, keeping that information off the radio.

When you combine the in-car computers with cell phones and radio encryption, it isn't hard to see that scanning of police communications is rapidly coming to an end, especially in those areas that can afford the latest and greatest technology. I suspect even Homeland Security will dictate encryption to prevent unauthorized interception in the belief it will improve overall security. Once they start integrating smartphones and iPad type tablets into their system the radios will begin to disappear. Eventually, local governments will refuse to pay he high cost of maintaining radio systems or leasing their radio equipment when it gets little use. At one time taxi cabs all had radios, but they've mostly eliminated the radios and gone to computer aided dispatching with GPS tracking of the cabs. I think I've bought my last scanner since it's getting too expensive to keep up with the technology and I rarely even listen to my scanners anymore.
 
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