• 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

Scanner choices... too many.

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jassing

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#1
I'm not new to scanners, just not a technogeek (Positive term here) in radios.. I just enjoy it...

I've had a Pro-2026 for years. been more or less happy with it; it has served me well (love the small size). The other night; I got irked about not following trunk'd transmissions and decided to go get a new receiver.... When I bought the 2026, I don't think trunks, or digitial, or rebanding was on the minds of many.....

I live in rural Washington and travel yearly to rural california (Anderson Isl, WA to chester, ca)
Other than that; I use the scanner instead of the regular radio.... something to listen to while driving; occasionally deciding to get off the road and get a hotel if a wreck would slow me down...
I don't think Pierce County or the State of Washington is using digital (at all), just analog. I'm nearly positive Plumas County, Chester CA don't use digital either; not sure about the CHP.

I am a big believer in "don't buy the best, if you don't need the best" Since cost usually comes down over time -- no reason to get a digital receiver from what I can tell -- just a trunking one.

I did some (limited) searches and thought I'd like the Pro-163. Then I found the BCT15X; which seems to do everything I would need -- both are similar in price (150 vs 200) the bct15x gives me gps (program once for the trip...) The fire-tone out would be very nice -- I only really care about fire calls on the island... The extra $50 seemed worth it to me.

I have more research to do -- they differ in the trunking frequencies they'll handle; but thought I'd ask if anyone had advice on the two (or other options) that might help me decide.

Any advice?

Thanks
-josh
 

Rt169Radio

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I have the BCT15 which is about the same as the BCT15X,its a good scanner with alot of nice features.

I use it to listen to the my area town fire depts and ems company's

If I had a choice to buy either one,I would get another BCT15X
 
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#3
Josh, I'm going to go with the 15X. The memory management is excellent. For programming the radio, download FreeScan, www.sixspotsoftware.com . I'm guessing that you have a gps to hook up to the scanner. It will change the scan groups to where you are located. Neat feature I'm not using with my 396XT.
HTH,
Larry
 
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#4
The fire-tone out would be very nice -- I only really care about fire calls on the island... Thanks-josh
The fire tone-out only works on one frequency at a time, and you can not scan with the radio while you are in the fire tone-out mode. One thing that I thought would be neat when buying the 396XT.
Larry
 

jassing

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The fire tone-out only works on one frequency at a time, and you can not scan with the radio while you are in the fire tone-out mode. One thing that I thought would be neat when buying the 396XT.
Ah, that is good information... Then that's not something I would find that useful... if they get two callouts per week, it's a busy week (mostly "I fell off my roof" or slipped on my deck calls, or that one deer that keeps jumping out in front of kids to cause them to wreck...) So if I were just in that mode, I'd miss out on some interesting stuff going on elsewhere...

Josh, I'm going to go with the 15X. The memory management is excellent. For programming the radio, download FreeScan, I'm guessing that you have a gps to hook up to the scanner. It will change the scan groups to where you are located. Neat feature I'm not using with my 396XT.]


That's what it was (to me) a "neat feature" but truthfully, I spend most of my time locally, so it really wouldn't be something, but another gadget.... I have a puck/mouse type gps receiver here that could work (usb, but could have re-wired for serial)

I have the BCT15 which is about the same as the BCT15X,its a good scanner with alot of nice features.
I use it to listen to the my area town fire depts and ems company's
If I had a choice to buy either one,I would get another BCT15X
That's a good endorsement -- 3 of 3 say bct15x -- but the pro-163 seems to have better / more frequency coverage, if less features -- but I can't ignore the advice given...

I have some more reading to do ... I do appreciate the feedback/responses! Thank you.

The question now becomes one of "Do I really want trunking? then "Is $50 (+tax/shipping) more worth the gps?" - or am I missing something in the bct15x that I really want (just don't know it) over the pro163?

Thank you!

-josh
 
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#6
I too have and recommend the 15X. As previously stated you can use the free software "FreeScan" to program. I also use bcTool for logging which is also a free software.

Pierce county has a few digital users already. Bonney Lake and Sumner, found here:Tacoma/Puyallup Public Safety Trunking System, Tacoma, Washington - Scanner Frequencies

Pierce Transit is a FDMA Phase 1 TRS here:Pierce Transit Trunking System, Lakewood, Washington - Scanner Frequencies

Then there's the IWN:U.S. Dept. of Justice: Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) Trunking System, Various, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies

And the DoD P25 system: U.S. Department of Defense: Project 25 Trunking System, Various, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies

As you can see there's a fair amount of digital activity in Pierce county. It just depends on if these are things that would interest you enough to justify the price increase of a P25 capable receiver. Oh, and welcome to the forums!
 

jassing

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I too have and recommend the 15X. As previously stated you can use the free software "FreeScan" to program. I also use bcTool for logging which is also a free software.
So is it the 15x is a great scanner, or is a bct vs gme thing? From what I read, bct/uniden seems more of a workhorse / powerhouse than gme.
100% votes for 15x, sure makes my life easier....

Pierce county has a few digital users already. Bonney Lake and Sumner, found here:Tacoma/Puyallup Public Safety Trunking System, Tacoma, Washington - Scanner Frequencies
Well lookie there -- tacoma public safety - leaning more towards teh digital arena now...
Which is good; because in the digital arena, I had already narrowed it down to a choice of 1 radio.... well; I guess two BCD996XT and BCD396XT... Same price, and I doubt I'll fill up the memory on either any time soon; so getting a handheld might be nice. I've always liked "fixed mounted" things, less of a "impulse theft" thing.... Maybe I should get over that .. ;-)

And the DoD P25 system: U.S. Department of Defense: Project 25 Trunking System, Various, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies

As you can see there's a fair amount of digital activity in Pierce county.
Neat. Thanks for that wrap up -- as you can tell; I've been stuck in the 'old ways' for a long time.... a lot has changed in that time.

It just depends on if these are things that would interest you enough to justify the price increase of a P25 capable receiver. [/quote[

To be honest, I wouldn't mind spending the money, if I thought the scanner would keep me going for the next 15-20 years... I just didn't want to "overbuy" if all those features were just going to go to waste...

but I would imagine it's like a snowball gathering mass as it rolls down -- slow to start going digital; but the more that are digital, the more that will switch.. (at least it seems that way)

The biggest worry for me is at $500 will the radio last me? (ie: no new "digital trunking" systems will be put in place, rendering the scanner useless (er, less useful) before I really start to enjoy the benefits of the radio.

Oh, and welcome to the forums!
Thanks -- and thank you for the locally inspired info... it does help... part of the fun of scanning is discovering, but it's also fun to get led to good starting points.

If you make it north and over to the island, look me up.

Cheers
-josh

(ps: delayed responses as moderators need to approve 3 postings... so if anyone thought I wasn't grateful in a timely manor, t'wasn't me....)
 
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#8
That's a good endorsement -- 3 of 3 say bct15x -- but the pro-163 seems to have better / more frequency coverage, if less features -- but I can't ignore the advice given... Thank you! -josh
Josh, the 15X actually has better, more frequency coverage than the 163. I know, because I just picked up a new one to replace the older one I sold last year(163). Couldn't pass up getting it for $20 cheaper than the original:D Had a PSR-410 for a short time and it couldn't hold a candle to the 163 on milair. Just thought I'd throw that into the mix. If you don't want/need to monitor the P-25 government stuff, the 15X is a real good bet because of the better memory management than the 163. And, both do trunking.
Larry




















 

jassing

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Josh, the 15X actually has better, more frequency coverage than the 163. I know, because I just picked up a new one to replace the older one I sold last year(163). Couldn't pass up getting it for $20 cheaper than the original:D Had a PSR-410 for a short time and it couldn't hold a candle to the 163 on milair. Just thought I'd throw that into the mix. If you don't want/need to monitor the P-25 government stuff, the 15X is a real good bet because of the better memory management than the 163. And, both do trunking.
Right -- I've moved up to the digital scanners now; so where the price difference between the two was around $50 -- it's now around $150 -- which is a tad harder for me to justify to the wife... I like to buy locally, but unfortunately, that raises the price up even higher (couldn't find anyone selling it for less than MSRP.....
 
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I have both 163 and 15X. I have digital scanners as well. I am now running a 15X mobile instead of 163. I find the 163 to be user friendly. I find the larger display on the 15X harder to see. In my area some countys are digital and some are analog. Both receive about equal. It's a tossup. I use the MAXRAD Maxscan1K NMO antenna. Good Luck. Larry
 
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jassing

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I have both 163 and 15X. I have digital scanners as well. I am now running a 15X mobile instead of 163. I find the 163 to be user friendly. I find the larger display on the 15X harder to see. In my area some countys are digital and some are analog. Both receive about equal. It's a tossup. I use the MAXRAD Maxscan1K NMO antenna. Good Luck. Larry
Thanks larry --I've decided to just get the uniden digital and hope that technology doesn't outpace it in the next 10-15 years...

My current antenna is a 5' fiberglass antenna (it's a wide band antenna) I also have a 1/4 & 1/2 loaded whip (loaded @ the lower 1/4 and 1/2 way points) mag mount.. I tend to like the fixed mounts more. Somewhere I have a thru-window antenna that worked well the last time I used it.
 
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Thanks larry --I've decided to just get the uniden digital and hope that technology doesn't outpace it in the next 10-15 years...

My current antenna is a 5' fiberglass antenna (it's a wide band antenna) I also have a 1/4 & 1/2 loaded whip (loaded @ the lower 1/4 and 1/2 way points) mag mount.. I tend to like the fixed mounts more. Somewhere I have a thru-window antenna that worked well the last time I used it.
Technology has already made huge leaps in the type of digital formats being used. Phase II P-25 is going to be TDMA, which is narrower in bandwidth than Phase I. Motorola is experimenting with X-2 TDMA, and they are using MOTOTRBO. Kenwood has NEXEDGE. As of now, no scanner-digital, or, analog-can decode. Yes, you can use digital software to monitor. Oh, don't forget OpenSky, and ProVoice. Some new technologies are using VoiP. Scanner manufacturers have not stepped up to the plate yet. Just be forwarned, unless you are getting a Home Patrol 1E(xtreme), there have been no firmware updates for the 396XT, 996XT. Gre is coming out with a mobile PSR-800. I'm sure that they will have somewhere near the end of the year a replacement for the PSR-500/600 scanners. If you want to go with digital, get a RS 197/106 that's on sale. Buy the USB programming cable and get Win500 for the software. It will hold you until GRE and Uniden start making the newer scanners:)
HTH,
Larry
 

jassing

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Larry --

Thanks for that -- that is exactly what I was worried about... I know technology outpaces production... and "improvements" (new/or modified) to digital systems will, no doubt, require updates, possibly hardware modifications, meaning a firmware update may not be available...

For some reason, $300 seems a fair price to 'get me by' and the $460 (5 once I get shipping and/or sales tax) just seems too much (I cant explain it) - I was ok with spending the $ -- I had planned to go off island today to get the uniden; but if that's the case, that new schemes are already in the works; then I think I'll hold off on the higher end unit -- too much can change; and with most still using conventional; the options are wide open for them when they do decide to change....

Thanks for that ... and the software tips.
 
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