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Old 12-30-2013, 7:52 PM
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Phoenix805 Phoenix805 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: NW Phoenix and NW Ohio
Posts: 422

That's a tough one that only you can answer. I don't know how many responses you'll get, but I know there are people who will say yes, get it, it's worth it, and others will say.....don't waste your money.

IMHO it has a lot to do with how much extra spending money you have laying around, how bad you want one, and whether or not you can justify it to yourself.

In my case I wanted one for several years after my agency and Phoenix PD went digital, but I just couldn't justify spending the money when there were so many other things to waste money on, like the house, cars, food, gas, insurance, etc.

To make a long story short, I came across about $500 'mad money' and my wife twisted my arm. 'You know you want it, I know you want it, we're doing all right, the money is a bonus..... BUY IT!' I couldn't argue with logic like that, and the rest is history.

I've been listening to fire/PD since the mid 60 when I had a transistor radio that could be manually tuned to the different frequencies. I got my first scanner in the mid 70s, I still have it and a second one that could scan 5-6 channels, and you had to buy separate crystals for each frequency. I probably still have 6-7 scanners around here, some pretty basic, a few better ones, and one digital.

I think a lot of it depends on what you want to listen to. If all you want to listen to is fire dispatches, get a cheap scanner. You won't hear the responses on the digital talk groups, and probably won't hear the analog responses if you're more than a mile or two away.

My primary enjoyment is listening to fire calls, and the digital scanner works great for that. I also like to listen to Phoenix PD 900 precinct and Glendale PD. Much of Glendale is still un-encrypted. I can hear the routine stuff and the original 'emergency' calls for Phoenix, but after the original dispatch the emergency calls are transferred to encryped talk groups. Bummer, but that's life.

Was it worth spending the money for what I listen to? Yes and no. Since I had a little extra money, I'm glad I bought it, If I didn't have that extra, I probably would never have justified it to myself, and would never have bought it.

As far as what to listen to, others on here can probably give you better insight as to what's available and what they like. Since much of the valley is on the Phoenix RWC system, most of the valley PDs use it. Maricopa County and the Sheriffs Office use digital. Luke AFB uses digital if you're close enough to listen to them. APS uses trunked digital. During storms it's interesting to listen to them to see where the power outages are.

Sorry, got long winded again, I do that sometimes.
Retired after 30+ years with the City of Phoenix
KD7PHX - DMR 3115681
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