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Palmetto 25 System - What do I need

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jiwilliams79

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My father wants to get back into scanning and he told me he wants a scanner for a Christmas present. I am looking to get him a scanner, but I do not know anything about this...

What do I need? What is the cheapest and simplest scanner I can get him (I have a feeling I will be doing to programming for it so all he has to do is switch between the channels he is interested in)

I don't want to spend $500 on this. Any suggestions? Thanks for the help. I appreciate any advice!!!
 

brian

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Palmetto P25 is a digital APCO 25 system, and unfortunately for you, only the higher-end digital (ie, expensive) scanners are able to monitor this type of system. There are several models available now from both Uniden and GRE/RadioShack. They are all "older" models that have been available for several years. GRE is no longer in business and radios made by GRE are more difficult to find new and are no longer supported. Uniden and Whistler (the company that is apparently filling the gap left by GRE) have both announced new scanner models that will be available next year. These newer models might have better performance on these P25 simulcast systems - that remains to be seen.

You can search the RadioShack web site for the PRO-106 (handheld) or PRO-197 (base/mobile) scanners (same radios as the GRE PSR-500 and PSR-600). They aren't available online (since they're no longer manufactured, stock has been depleted), but do a search for stock in local stores. Many folks have had success with these models. You might find these on sale for around $400 new this time of year. Programming software and programming cables cost extra and most will tell you they are necessary

Uniden has the HP-1 as well as the BCD396XT and BCD996XT. THese are available online from many different retailers (probably none locally unless you're in a location near a ham radio store line HRO). Costs for these are probably higher than RadioShack, but they come with free programming software and programming cables, which cost extra from RadioShack.

You can also look for the GRE PSR-800, but the costs of these is rediculously high in my opinion.

You can also consider older digital scanners on the used market (eBay, RadioReference Classifieds, Craigslist). But keep in mind that older digital scanners like the PRO-96/PRO-2096 and the Uniden BCD396T and BC796D will probably not work as well on this particular system type. In the three areas of the state which the Palmetto P25 system is currently operating, all are simulcast systems. That means they transmit the same information on the same frequencies simultaneously from multiple tower sites in order to cover a large area. This type of system causes problems for many consumer-grade scanners and can cause frustration for the listener. One's location in relation to those various tower sites greatly affects how well the scanner will receive.

Out of curiosity, what area of the state does your father live?

Hope this helps.

One more note - regarding "simplest," very few people would agree that any of these scanner models listed above qualify as "simple." That's just a function of modern technology in this hobby. Be prepared to spend some time learning how these radio systems operate and how the scanners can be programmed best to monitor them. It's a rather steep learning curve.
 
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jiwilliams79

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Dec 3, 2013
Messages
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Dad lives in Mt. Pleasant, and he is really interested in Fire department frequencies. (He was a firefighter for several years in the 70's and 80's, and he likes to know whats going on).
 

SCPD

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65,126
Location
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hp1

Palmetto P25 is a digital APCO 25 system, and unfortunately for you, only the higher-end digital (ie, expensive) scanners are able to monitor this type of system. There are several models available now from both Uniden and GRE/RadioShack. They are all "older" models that have been available for several years. GRE is no longer in business and radios made by GRE are more difficult to find new and are no longer supported. Uniden and Whistler (the company that is apparently filling the gap left by GRE) have both announced new scanner models that will be available next year. These newer models might have better performance on these P25 simulcast systems - that remains to be seen.

You can search the RadioShack web site for the PRO-106 (handheld) or PRO-197 (base/mobile) scanners (same radios as the GRE PSR-500 and PSR-600). They aren't available online (since they're no longer manufactured, stock has been depleted), but do a search for stock in local stores. Many folks have had success with these models. You might find these on sale for around $400 new this time of year. Programming software and programming cables cost extra and most will tell you they are necessary

Uniden has the HP-1 as well as the BCD396XT and BCD996XT. THese are available online from many different retailers (probably none locally unless you're in a location near a ham radio store line HRO). Costs for these are probably higher than RadioShack, but they come with free programming software and programming cables, which cost extra from RadioShack.

You can also look for the GRE PSR-800, but the costs of these is rediculously high in my opinion.

You can also consider older digital scanners on the used market (eBay, RadioReference Classifieds, Craigslist). But keep in mind that older digital scanners like the PRO-96/PRO-2096 and the Uniden BCD396T and BC796D will probably not work as well on this particular system type. In the three areas of the state which the Palmetto P25 system is currently operating, all are simulcast systems. That means they transmit the same information on the same frequencies simultaneously from multiple tower sites in order to cover a large area. This type of system causes problems for many consumer-grade scanners and can cause frustration for the listener. One's location in relation to those various tower sites greatly affects how well the scanner will receive.

Out of curiosity, what area of the state does your father live?

Hope this helps.

One more note - regarding "simplest," very few people would agree that any of these scanner models listed above qualify as "simple." That's just a function of modern technology in this hobby. Be prepared to spend some time learning how these radio systems operate and how the scanners can be programmed best to monitor them. It's a rather steep learning curve.

The Home Patrol all you do is put yourzipcode in and set the clock,nothing is easier!Works great on this system!Ebay has em cheapest,I'd sell you mine,but mines not new.
 

jiwilliams79

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
4
He live is Mt. Pleasant and is interested in Fire Department transmissions for Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, and Lincolnville (maybe some more). He used to be a firefighter in the 70's and 80's and now he like to know what is going on (plus he does some training for volunteer fire departments)
 

jiwilliams79

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
4
Palmetto P25 is a digital APCO 25 system, and unfortunately for you, only the higher-end digital (ie, expensive) scanners are able to monitor this type of system. There are several models available now from both Uniden and GRE/RadioShack. They are all "older" models that have been available for several years. GRE is no longer in business and radios made by GRE are more difficult to find new and are no longer supported. Uniden and Whistler (the company that is apparently filling the gap left by GRE) have both announced new scanner models that will be available next year. These newer models might have better performance on these P25 simulcast systems - that remains to be seen.

You can search the RadioShack web site for the PRO-106 (handheld) or PRO-197 (base/mobile) scanners (same radios as the GRE PSR-500 and PSR-600). They aren't available online (since they're no longer manufactured, stock has been depleted), but do a search for stock in local stores. Many folks have had success with these models. You might find these on sale for around $400 new this time of year. Programming software and programming cables cost extra and most will tell you they are necessary

Uniden has the HP-1 as well as the BCD396XT and BCD996XT. THese are available online from many different retailers (probably none locally unless you're in a location near a ham radio store line HRO). Costs for these are probably higher than RadioShack, but they come with free programming software and programming cables, which cost extra from RadioShack.

You can also look for the GRE PSR-800, but the costs of these is rediculously high in my opinion.

You can also consider older digital scanners on the used market (eBay, RadioReference Classifieds, Craigslist). But keep in mind that older digital scanners like the PRO-96/PRO-2096 and the Uniden BCD396T and BC796D will probably not work as well on this particular system type. In the three areas of the state which the Palmetto P25 system is currently operating, all are simulcast systems. That means they transmit the same information on the same frequencies simultaneously from multiple tower sites in order to cover a large area. This type of system causes problems for many consumer-grade scanners and can cause frustration for the listener. One's location in relation to those various tower sites greatly affects how well the scanner will receive.

Out of curiosity, what area of the state does your father live?

Hope this helps.

One more note - regarding "simplest," very few people would agree that any of these scanner models listed above qualify as "simple." That's just a function of modern technology in this hobby. Be prepared to spend some time learning how these radio systems operate and how the scanners can be programmed best to monitor them. It's a rather steep learning curve.
Would this work? Single review: Refurbished: Uniden HOMEPATROL-1 Simple Program Scanner - Newegg.com
 

brian

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Yeah, that should work. Probably a little safer than buying from one of the usual used market sites. And the HP-1 does use an innovate method to program the radio using the database from this site. It still takes some massaging to get it to monitor only what you want to hear, but it's certainly easier than that more traditional scanners. It still has a learning curve, but perhaps lower than others.

You may find that you need a different antenna, but that's optional and a comparatively small investment.

Good luck. You seem to be more knowledgeable than you give yourself credit for.
 
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