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Pay for programming?

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#1
I am less than a newbie, don't have a scanner yet, but am thinking about going digital with either a PSR-500 or BC396XT. I live in Columbia and plan on primarily listening to RCSD and SCHP. I also travel to Charleston.

Is it worth paying the supplier to program the unit? It seems a bit steep. I know there is a learning curve, but I am pretty technical and think I could pick up the basics with a little trial and error.

Also, I'm open to recommendations on which scanner and/or accessories you recommend. Thanks for your input!
 

brian

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#3
You'll find folks on this forum who are willing to share their configuration files for your area at no cost. You can then use this as a basis for creating your own customized configuration that suits your needs and interests. But, in addition to the investment in the radio, this plan requires an investment in the proper programming software for the scanner you choose (there are multiple software applications for each model scanner, and the configuration files for this different apps are not interchangeable) as well as some time to learn how to edit and upload.

Personally, I use the GRE-made scanners, in my case a PRO-106 (which is the same as the PSR-500) and Win500 to program it. If you choose that radio and software, I'll be happy to share my Columbia and Charleston area configurations. I'm sure others that use the Uniden radios would do the same.

Another alternative is to pay for a premium membership here at RR. That allows you to import data directly out of the database on this site to create your custom configuration.

I find there are two basic type of scanner hobbiests - those who simply want to hear what's going on around them with no interest in the technology, and those who are almost equally interested in the "how" as the "what" of what they're hearing. If you're the former, you might consider a paid route, but if you're willing to devote some time to learn and experiment, you shouldn't need to pay for programming. Feel free to PM me as well.
 
Joined
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South East Pennsylvania
#4
My PSR-500 came 'pre-programed' with all the major Trunked Systems in the US. It has a Charleston City and County but no Columbia. It does have Horny and York counties as well as Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.


Good luck...
 
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#6
Thanks for the input Brian and Airbender. I have a lot of research to do!

Airbender, do scanners frequently come pre-loaded with most trunked systems, or was that a feature of where you bought it?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Cayce, SC
#7
I have the 197/106 and 396 so i can get you files for either, i also live in columbia if you need any in person assistance.... but get the cable/software no matter which radio you get, they are getting way to complicated to program by hand these days...
 
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#8
Dragon,
I can only speak for my PSR-500. It was my first digital scanner. It came that way from GRE and there was no additional cost.

I should add that I bought it at ScanMaster. You don't have to buy it from GRE to get the pre-programing.
 
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#9
Pay for Programming

I paid my supplier and didn't get very much in the way of useful programming. I have the PSR500 and, although it took a few days, I suddenly grasped everything I needed to know. I have had no problem since. I would highly reccomend a premium membership here and PSREDIT500 or WIN500. Once you see the features of those programs you will have a better idea of the way the scanner works.

I have had a lot of scanners, but I like the flexibility of the PRS500. It may not be intuitive at first, but the design makes a lot of sense once you understand it.

I should offer my services to my local retailer, because it is clear that I now know more than he does about the product he sells.

Dugan
 

brian

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#10
Regarding the pre-programmed data in the PSR-500/PRO-106 and similar radios, I would venture to say that most hobbiests do not find that data adequate for their listening purposes. Much of the data is outdated (it was created when the scanner was first introduced, and scanning data changes very rapidly) and is incomplete. If you're using only what came pre-programmed, you're missing a lot of radio traffic.
 
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#11
Well, I went ahead and ordered a PSR-500, so I'm well on my way! I'll do a lot more reading and download either the Win500, Arc500, or PSREdit500 software, upgrade to Premium RR subscription and get my hands dirty! I'm looking forward to it. [Why didn't I do this years ago??] Thanks for all of the input fellow Palmettos!
 

brian

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#12
Best of luck to you, and enjoy that new radio. I'm sure you will find it is a good investment. And come back here when you have questions about programming (which you most certainly will). There are many helpful folks here.
 
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