• 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

Newb needs a MARC scanner recommendation.

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rtwright68

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#1
Good morning,

We live in the Wayne County, Ohio area and understand that they are moving to a MARC system. Our very old scanner needs replaced, but I am not sure which one would be the most compatible and capable.

I would like to purchase a unit that would cover all of the local authorities along with OHP and any other services.

Would the Uniden BCD996P2 be an option? Or some other scanner?

Thanks in advance.

Randy.
 

hiegtx

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#2
Good morning,

We live in the Wayne County, Ohio area and understand that they are moving to a MARC system. Our very old scanner needs replaced, but I am not sure which one would be the most compatible and capable.

I would like to purchase a unit that would cover all of the local authorities along with OHP and any other services.

Would the Uniden BCD996P2 be an option? Or some other scanner?

Thanks in advance.

Randy.
Hi Randy
Welcome to RadioReference

While the MARCS system is a P25 Phase I system, buying a Phase II capable scanner, such as the 996P2 is a good idea. While I would not know if, at some point, they will convert that system to Phase II (that's happening to a couple in my area), it does give you a little future proof if that occurs. Also, if you travel, and take the scanner with you, odds are that at some point, you will encounter Phase II. Since you are a Premium subscriber, you can use FreeSCAN, among other software options, to download the information needed to program your scanner.

You might also consider the Whistler WS1095 or WS1098. These are also base/mobile scanners, that have the full RadioReference database in them on a memory card. Another option would be the Uniden Home Patrol 2, which also has the database loaded, and has the best display of any scanner currently on the market.

The BCD325P2 is the hand-held (portable) sibling of the BCD996P2. The Whistler WS1080 & WS1088 are the portable cousins of the WS1095 & WS1098.
 

rtwright68

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#3
Thanks for the reply. We were looking at the Whistler WS1065 but will definitely purchase the WS1095, so we are more future proof. I honestly can't see us taking this unit in a vehicle and will leave it as our home base unit.

Is it easy to update the Radioreference database on the WS1095?
 

Nasby

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#4

rtwright68

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#5
Randy,

Before you spend money on "futureproofing" please read this thread.

http://forums.radioreference.com/oh.../343146-transition-phase-2-any-time-soon.html
Interesting, so if is pretty far off, I would hate to spend the extra money. I know working in I.T. things change so fast that I generally try to buy more than what I need at the time.

I guess buying the WS1065 would be fine for now, and if they change in the next five-ten years (doesn't sound too probable), we would need to buy something else.

Are there any other differences between the two that would justify the extra cost (beyond the Phase II)?
 

hiegtx

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#6
Interesting, so if is pretty far off, I would hate to spend the extra money. I know working in I.T. things change so fast that I generally try to buy more than what I need at the time.

I guess buying the WS1065 would be fine for now, and if they change in the next five-ten years (doesn't sound too probable), we would need to buy something else.

Are there any other differences between the two that would justify the extra cost (beyond the Phase II)?
The "equivalent" Uniden model to the WS1065 was the BCD996XT. However, that has been discontinued. You may still be able to find one at a decent price, but the 996P2 is readily available.

Both the WS1065 & the BCD996XT handle the same system types (the 996P2 can also handle those, plus Phase II, which it appears you won't need very soon based on the above information).

The 1065 uses "Object Oriented" programming, whereas the Unidens use DMA (Dynamic Memory Architecture). The reader['s digest version of that is that the scanners are programmed in different ways, but the end result is that either one will get the same systems.

For the 996XT (or 996P2), you can use FreeSCAN to program them. As the name implies, it is free to use, though donations are accepted. ARC-XT and ProScan are also available. While both do have a 30 day free trial period (try before you buy), after 30 days you would need to purchase a license for either of these you wanted to keep using.

For the WS1065, there is no free software. There are three software packages that work for this scanner- WIN500, ARC500, & PSREdit500. All have free trial periods, but past that, you'd need to purchase a license.

There is a bit of a learning curve for either system, whether Whistler or Uniden. The software packages work well, and as you are a premium subscriber, downloading what you want would be relatively painless. Some people prefer the Object Oriented system used by Whistler, others prefer Uniden's DMA. But either one does get the job done, just in different ways.
 

Nasby

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#10
Good morning,

We live in the Wayne County, Ohio area and understand that they are moving to a MARC system. Our very old scanner needs replaced, but I am not sure which one would be the most compatible and capable.

I would like to purchase a unit that would cover all of the local authorities along with OHP and any other services.

Would the Uniden BCD996P2 be an option? Or some other scanner?

Thanks in advance.

Randy.
Police Scanner Radio Programming and Sales
 

rtwright68

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#11
It appears Wayne County, Rittman EMS is not on the MARCs system currently. I do have their conventional frequency programmed in via WIN500 but we are only hearing the initial dispatch and no other replies.

That is the same issue we had with our really old RadioShack dual trunking scanner.

The other odd thing is the Trunked System shows Rittman PD and they also have a conventional frequency (we can hear both sides of their conversations).

Not sure what I am missing.
 

W8RMH

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#12
It appears Wayne County, Rittman EMS is not on the MARCs system currently. I do have their conventional frequency programmed in via WIN500 but we are only hearing the initial dispatch and no other replies.

That is the same issue we had with our really old RadioShack dual trunking scanner.

The other odd thing is the Trunked System shows Rittman PD and they also have a conventional frequency (we can hear both sides of their conversations).

Not sure what I am missing.
I suggest you click on the little red and white triangle in the upper right corner of your post and ask a moderator to move this thread to the Ohio Forum. You will have a better chance of someone from your area replying to your question.
 
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#13
I've already posted my disagreement with the other thread that you were directed to. I would not wait at this time to upgrade to a scanner that is Phase 2 and TDMA ready. TDMA is MotoTRBO, a digital protocol the doubles channel capacity, allows for simultaneous voice on both channels or even separating them digital transmissions on one and digital voice on another. The voice quality is superior to even P25. If you are in an area where an agency is exceeding your channel capacity for perhaps a simplex system they are more likely to go to a TDMA solution than a P25 solution. P25 is rather long in the tooth and all these many years later large agencies are just now switching to phase II.

Older Phase I P25 systems use an IMBE vocoder. Phase II replaces them with AMBE. TDMA uses AMBE+2 which effectively yields even better audio quality. We are also learning that because of the improvements in the vocoder the range of the digital system has increased. I won't get overly technical except to say that an analog system that is barely audible at best is completely Audible and as for quieting as possible. I mention this for the following reason:

Don't expect your fire department to be switching to any form of digital anytime soon. For all the money they've had thrown at it they still have not licked the problem of a digital system hearing the sound of a high-pressure fire hose and digitizing the noise. That noise obliterates the human voice. They have made progress but you are not likely to find systems, even large systems, using any form of digital for fireground communications. Perhaps for dispatch but not likely fire ground. Having a scanner capable of both is therefore in your interest.

Now to answer your question. Buy the best scanner you can afford now. Radio is constantly advancing and with the exception of P25 that has taken more than 20 years to get to Phase II newer technologies have emerged and it's helpful to have a scanner that's capable of handling them.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

phask

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#14
Don't expect your fire department to be switching to any form of digital anytime soon.



Why not? The OP has already stated that his dept IS moving to MARCS. Nor surprising move at all in Ohio.
 

W8RMH

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#15
Don't expect your fire department to be switching to any form of digital anytime soon. For all the money they've had thrown at it they still have not licked the problem of a digital system hearing the sound of a high-pressure fire hose and digitizing the noise. That noise obliterates the human voice. They have made progress but you are not likely to find systems, even large systems, using any form of digital for fireground communications. Perhaps for dispatch but not likely fire ground. Having a scanner capable of both is therefore in your interest.
Most Ohio fire departments have or will be switching to the Ohio MARCS P25 System. Most if not all of the departments that have switched utilize this system for fireground communications and I am unaware of any problems as yet, and I listen daily to Columbus Fire, one of the busiest departments in the country.
 
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Nasby

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#16
I've already posted my disagreement with the other thread that you were directed to. I would not wait at this time to upgrade to a scanner that is Phase 2 and TDMA ready. TDMA is MotoTRBO, a digital protocol the doubles channel capacity, allows for simultaneous voice on both channels or even separating them digital transmissions on one and digital voice on another. The voice quality is superior to even P25. If you are in an area where an agency is exceeding your channel capacity for perhaps a simplex system they are more likely to go to a TDMA solution than a P25 solution. P25 is rather long in the tooth and all these many years later large agencies are just now switching to phase II.

Older Phase I P25 systems use an IMBE vocoder. Phase II replaces them with AMBE. TDMA uses AMBE+2 which effectively yields even better audio quality. We are also learning that because of the improvements in the vocoder the range of the digital system has increased. I won't get overly technical except to say that an analog system that is barely audible at best is completely Audible and as for quieting as possible. I mention this for the following reason:

Don't expect your fire department to be switching to any form of digital anytime soon. For all the money they've had thrown at it they still have not licked the problem of a digital system hearing the sound of a high-pressure fire hose and digitizing the noise. That noise obliterates the human voice. They have made progress but you are not likely to find systems, even large systems, using any form of digital for fireground communications. Perhaps for dispatch but not likely fire ground. Having a scanner capable of both is therefore in your interest.

Now to answer your question. Buy the best scanner you can afford now. Radio is constantly advancing and with the exception of P25 that has taken more than 20 years to get to Phase II newer technologies have emerged and it's helpful to have a scanner that's capable of handling them.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
Your info may be true for Cali but very little of what you have stated pertains to the digital radio systems in use in Ohio.
 
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#17
Which part of what I wrote is specific to California?

How many agencies in Ohio have switched to Phase II P25? Phase II IS TDMA. So is MotoTRBO. Or NexEdge/NDXN offered by Kenwood and I come. The OP was asked the best scanner to purchase and my answer remains the same. Buy the best you can afford at the time.

A fire hose is a fire hose and digital is digital. It doesn't know that we have dividing lines between states. It is a well-known fact that the noise generated by the high-pressure nozzle is picked up by the microphone, digitized, and then mixed with the voice communications making them difficult or completely unreadable. This also is not a California issue. You're certainly welcome to Google it. If you Google deep enough you'll find that Motorola has been experimenting by putting 3 microphone elements into a SCBA mask that allows them to use phase distortion elimination to minimize the effects of the hissing sound caused by the fire house. They have had some success.

Use the U.S. Forest Service as an example. Although they have purchased P25 radios they have not made the switch for the very reasons cited. The U.S. Forest Service is all over the United States.

Here's one interesting thing about the Forest Service and our local fire departments. Although County Fire is on a Motorola SmartZone they run in analog mode just as the Sheriff does. They are on 800 and are switching to P25 700/800. But regardless of this because we have something called Auto Aid where all agencies on the mountain I live on respond they all switch to VHF analog for interoperability. It's the only commonality that they have radio wise.

My comments regarding P25 remain current. It is primarily offered by Motorola for mission-critical Public Safety applications whereas MotoTRBO is generally offered for mission critical business applications. This is a sales tool used by Motorola. $$$ You will find many agencies throughout the country that do not have large budgets and are using low end Kenwood and Icom radios for not only their handhelds but for their mobile radios as well. They're cheaper! Not even the better grade Kenwood but the inexpensive ones with the itty bitty hand mics. Utilizing MotoTRBO allows smaller agencies the opportunity to have two channels without the physical infrastructure. They get the benefits of digital. What they don't get is the 20% cost offset for interoperability offered by the federal government.

For the life of me I'm not sure of your response and how you seem to feel it's California specific. The technology doesn't know border.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 
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