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Scanner Recommendation (NYC)

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#1
Hi!

Long time tech buff here but new to scanning. I'd like to purchase a used scanner, predominantly to monitor various agencies in NYC, such as Fire, PD, Aviation etc. I think I'd mostly do this from home, rather than on the go, but I'm open.

I'd also like the benefit of alpha-tagging so that I can see I'm listening to the 20th vs 24th precinct, rather than committing frequencies to memory.

Thank you in advance for your recommendation!
 

captclint

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#2
Long time tech buff here but new to scanning. I'd like to purchase a used scanner, predominantly to monitor various agencies in NYC, such as Fire, PD, Aviation etc.
Almost all scanners have alpha tags now. More important is digital vs analog. New York City Metro Area Scanner Frequencies has digital, but we would need to know your county, and maybe surrounding counties if you want to hear them, to see what systems are in play to know which used scanners can handle them.Depending on your answers, you may not need digital (typically twice the price of analog scanners)
 
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#4
I would just get a used Uniden BCD396XLT and call it a day. There's so much to listen to in NYC and while a lot of it is still analog, there's plenty of digital as well and you'll be glad you have the flexibility. The BCD396XLT has more than enough space for even NYC. If you travel, you can program in other cities and have them ready.

The other good thing about the BCD396XLT is that while it's much easier to program with a computer, you can also learn to program it by hand as opposed to a Home Patrol or GRE PSR800 (yes you can program these but less like a classic scanner). This will come in handy and you'll really learn how to use it. But you will definitely need computer control to program a lot of systems. Scanning has gotten more complex through the years but the principles are the same: Being able to pick and choose what you want to listen to.

Good luck and welcome to the hobby. There's so much more to listen to on either side of 88 to 108 MHZ !
 
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#5
That unit looks amazing, but even used seems a bit out of reach for me. I'm more in the $150 range :/
 
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#6
Ah ok, I should've asked your budget. $150 is tough for a digital scanner. I couldn't imagine getting a non-digital scanner these days even though there is still plenty to listen to in NYC via analog. You'll want something with trunking capability at least. Check out the Uniden BC346XT.
 

N2MWE

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#7
A non digital scanner will get you all NYPD division frequencies, plus many of the citywide. You can also get FDNY and FDNY*EMS channels as well. Believe me, an analog lower end scanner can be kept plenty busy in the Apple
 

Don57

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#8
The Uniden BC125AT would probably be good for you if you just want to monitor NYPD , FDNY , NYC EMS etc . For brand new one it's affordable , about $130 from Scanner Master . It has alpha tagging , 500 channels and it's easy to program . It's a very nice scanner . Look in to it .
 
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w2lie

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#10
There are only 4 decimal places on the display, and mine seems to round up.

I would suggest spending the extra $50 on the BC346XT. It might be a beast to learn how to program compared to the BC125AT, but you'll get larger memory capacity, Dynamic Memories, alpha tags on the bank names (no bank name tags on the 125AT), and you can monitor the 400MHz and 800MHz DoITT systems with the BC346XT.
 

Danny37

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#11
There are only 4 decimal places on the display, and mine seems to round up.

I would suggest spending the extra $50 on the BC346XT. It might be a beast to learn how to program compared to the BC125AT, but you'll get larger memory capacity, Dynamic Memories, alpha tags on the bank names (no bank name tags on the 125AT), and you can monitor the 400MHz and 800MHz DoITT systems with the BC346XT.
That would be problematic for anyone wanting to scan Fire and EMS with bc125at in NYC then. So the bc346xt def does the 6.25 needed for fire and EMS?
 
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#13
the BC 346 XT is the best radio i every had to date ! I live in suffolk county area can pick up to N.Y.City all systems and some NJ systems too ! very good scanner the new BC 436 HP will come out this month it's like the Uniden's HomePatrol-1 only hand held !
 

w2lie

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#14
True, the BC436HP will be out next month, but the price point puts it well out of reach of an "entry level" scanner. It is built on the idea of the HP-1, but it adds P25 Phase-II audio as well. For more information on the BC436HP, please check out this thread: http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-scanners/278120-bcd436hp-discussion-thread.html

To loop this thread back on topic, the BC436HP would be one of the three scanners that could monitor the DoITT 700MHz Trunk System if there are unencrypted talk groups on the system. This scanner should have no issues monitoring NYPD or FDNY, and would be able to import the data from the RR Database via PC Software.
 
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#15
Thank you for the lively conversation! If I can pick up a used BC346XT, I'd do that. Is it a better bet relative to the Pro-96?
 

w2lie

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#16
The PRO96 is probably easier to program, and will do Phase-1 P25.
That said, that is about the last of the pros for the PRO96.

The Pro-96 has 1,000 memories in 10 banks (plus the GRE/RS Virtual Banks) and only does 11 characters in the Alpha tags.

You would need to decide if you wanted and old P25 scanner, or a new analog BC346XT. That would be a decision I would leave to you.
 
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#18
Thanks all for the education and support, I really appreciate it! Keeping my eye out for a BC346XT that falls into my price range. What's the comparable base-station model?
 
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