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Old 09-20-2012, 11:26 AM
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Default Loudoun Question

Received a call from a friend in Leesburg who would like to monitor police and fire in the area. He's a former ham and a retired Electrical Engineer and generally technically capable but would be new to scanning.

I've been largely out of the area for a while and not up on the current state of affairs in Loudoun. I told him that the technology in use in the county may not be monitored by most common scanners but that I would check with people who scan the county currently. (I use a Pro-106 myself and don't think I would have much luck, from what I read about a year ago.)

Is there a scanner he could buy which would let him listen to police and fire? Is most of it in the clear (if you can hear it) or encrypted?

Would appreciate some advice. Thanks.

Steve, N4TX
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:57 AM
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The only scanner that can handle Loudoun is the PSR-800. This is because the system uses TDMA talkgroups. I don't believe there is too much encryption on the system, so that should not be an issue.

Dave
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Old 09-20-2012, 2:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtscho View Post
The only scanner that can handle Loudoun is the PSR-800. This is because the system uses TDMA talkgroups. I don't believe there is too much encryption on the system, so that should not be an issue.

Dave
There is some on the CIRT TGs and a few other non-documented TGs. But for the most part, there is a lot of traffic to listen to.

As for the PSR-800, it has it quirks, but I love mine and have not had any issues with it. I would suggest buying it from Amazon or ScannerMaster (might want to ask them to price match Amazon). I would also suggest getting another microSD card, card reader (writing and reading using the scanner takes forever), some good rechargeable batteries (maybe two sets) with charger, and a USB wall charger if your friend wanted to use it away from the PC and maybe a USB car charger for mobile use.


What I use:

PSR-800 (a friend of mine has the Duracell batteries and charger listed near the bottom with "add all three to cart" and is happy with them)
http://www.amazon.com/GREAmerica-PSR...ywords=PSR+800

PowerEx Batteries
http://www.amazon.com/Powerex-2700mA.../ref=pd_cp_p_0

PowerEx Charger
http://www.amazon.com/Powerex-MH-C90...ef=pd_sbs_hg_3

Kingston 32GB microSD (not the fastest but it's not a camera)
http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-Digit...n+microsd+32gb

Coby Wall Charger
http://www.amazon.com/Coby-CA81BLK-A...b+wall+charger

this one should be good too
http://www.amazon.com/SCOSCHE-qusbh-...b+wall+charger

Scosche Mobile Charger
http://www.amazon.com/Scosche-Dual-C...OSCHE++charger

Sandisk USB Memory Card Reader
http://www.amazon.com/Sandisk-Mobile...+memory+reader

The only real issue I had with it is the headphone audio. The audio is enough for headphone but if you want to use it with an external speaker (say in a loud vehicle), it;s not really that loud. I fixed the issue with a small Pyle amp (http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PLMPA35-C.../ref=pd_cp_e_3), a ground loop isolator (http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PLGI35T-8...+loop+isolator) and a powered 12v speaker from Radio Shack.

Last edited by mike_s104; 09-20-2012 at 3:05 PM..
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Old 02-01-2014, 8:26 AM
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@Mike - on the Pyle amp does anything need to be done with the second channel? Does it need a load, or did you simply just keep it open? And is a specific 3.5MM tip configuration required at the radio or amp? Thanks.
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Old 02-03-2014, 9:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtscho View Post
The only scanner that can handle Loudoun is the PSR-800. This is because the system uses TDMA talkgroups.
That was true when it was written, but Uniden now has two units that will decode Loudoun transmissions.
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Old 02-11-2014, 8:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfletcher View Post
@Mike - on the Pyle amp does anything need to be done with the second channel? Does it need a load, or did you simply just keep it open? And is a specific 3.5MM tip configuration required at the radio or amp? Thanks.
Been so long ago I don't remember. I'll need to look when I get home. I think I just didn't use the other channel and used a stereo to mono 90 degree adapter.
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