• 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

Where to start for a newbie

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mwvnova

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First let me say that the amount of info in this forum is amazing. The problem is most of it doesn't make sense to me.

I was using a very old bearcat system in NJ and have recently relocated to James City County (Williamsburg), VA. My old bearcat picks up nothing at my new location so I need to find out where to go from here.

I looked through the frequencies pages and it looks like they are operating on a truncated system here, although I could be reading that page wrong as well.

My question is, where do I begin to find out what sort of scanner I will need to monitor police/fire/EMS in my new area?

I posted in the local forum for VA but I am also looking for general knowledge on the scanning world with regards to trunked systems and future change overs to 800MHZ.

I will admit that I am not the kind of person that will spend $400 on a scanner and will be looking for the bare minimum to get by.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

N8IAA

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Messages
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Fortunately, GA
Your county is trunked. It is an Apco P-25 system. Willmington PD and FD are on that system. You will need a digital trunktracker. RS Pro-96/2096(HT/Mobile), PSR-500/600(HT/Mobile), or Uniden BCD396/996(HT/Mobile). These are the only digital trunktrackers on the market for now. There are some conventional vhf and uhf frequencies, but, for the most part, what you want to monitor is trunked. Check the database for your county, and also ask questions in the Virginia state forum on the Forums page here.
HTH,
Larry
 

af5rn

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N. Tex / S. Fla
mwvnova said:
I will admit that I am not the kind of person that will spend $400 on a scanner and will be looking for the bare minimum to get by.
Well, it was nice knowing you. I hope you can find a hobby more in your price range. :lol:

In other words, the very minimum you will spend on a radio to work in your system is $500 dollars, and it would take you a good week at the least to even figure out how to program it. Doesn't sound like you're really that interested.
 

loumaag

Silent Key - Aug 2014
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Katy, TX
mwvnova said:
First let me say that the amount of info in this forum is amazing. The problem is most of it doesn't make sense to me....
Start on the RR Wiki FAQ pages.

If you feel you need to brush up on trunking, take a look at the Trunking Basics page. You can also find answers about APCO 25 questions on the Wiki also.

Based on what you said, it is apparent that you will need to get a newer scanner, if so (and the budget allows) take a look at the scanner decision page.
 

gmclam

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Welcome to RR!!!

mwvnova said:
First let me say that the amount of info in this forum is amazing. The problem is most of it doesn't make sense to me.
Whether you read it from the web or from a book, what it sounds like you need to do is read a lot regarding modern radio, scanners and the like. Certainly the WIKI here at RR is a good place to start. What I did was take notes on paper; write stuff down that I don't know and later add the definition. Or as I am reading, write stuff down that sounds important. It helps a lot with data retention (in our heads).

I was using a very old bearcat system in NJ and have recently relocated to James City County (Williamsburg), VA. My old bearcat picks up nothing at my new location so I need to find out where to go from here.
If your old BearCat uses crystals, then you might as well put it in the closet for now. If its frequencies can be programmed, then I'm sure you'll find something in your area you can pick up. Most people want to hear police & fire, and that will require a different scanner. But you should realize there is a TON of stuff to hear with an average scanner. Some people listen to aviation, railroads, or "the company down the street".

I looked through the frequencies pages and it looks like they are operating on a truncated system here, although I could be reading that page wrong as well. My question is, where do I begin to find out what sort of scanner I will need to monitor police/fire/EMS in my new area? I will admit that I am not the kind of person that will spend $400 on a scanner and will be looking for the bare minimum to get by.
This is a good place to find out what you need and what your neighbors are using. The stuff you want to monitor requires a digital scanner. For many years there have only been a very few models to chose from, all costing over $500. Recently some new models came out and people are upgrading. You might find a used digital scanner in the $300-$400 range. So as I see it you have 3 choices - spend that kind of money, change what you want to hear or just learn and not listen for a while.

Good luck!
 

mrova

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
74
Location
Chesterfield, VA
I decided!

I watched the forums forever, learned a lot about these new digital scanners, saved my nickels, and dived in. Waiting right now for that new psr-500 to arrive at my door!
I've been using my old uniden sportcat 180, and the other writer is right, there's lots I get with that right now that's pretty interesting. But the time was right to go ahead with digital!
Can't wait for it to get here!
 

SCPD

Member
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Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
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Virginia
WTG!!, you will not be dissapointed.. BUT overall BE patient..lotsa of learning ahead!
ENJOY!!
 

AZScanner

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Location
Somewhere in this room. Right now, you're very col
kd5dga said:
Always remember no question is stupid. I have learnt allot from radioreference.com
Yes I concur. There are no stupid questions. Just stupid people. :lol:

Seriously, welcome aboard and glad to hear that you decided to dive in with that PSR. When you hear your first digital transmission you will go "WOW". I did, and I've been scanning since I was 16 years old. Not too much amazes me anymore but hearing digital for the first time did.

-AZ
 

chrismol1

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Joined
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Messages
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Location
Saratoga
AZScanner said:
Yes I concur. There are no stupid questions. Just stupid people. :lol:
-AZ
I concur also doctor!

Wow, welcome, not many newcomes dive into a PSR digital for their first, but your in good hands
 
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