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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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Old 06-01-2018, 7:12 AM
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Default Why no alternatives to RR?

Here is something I don't fully understand. Why aren't there any alternative sources of radio information other than RR for downloading purposes? I know it is possible to manually program radio systems, but owning a Whistler or Uniden requires information to be obtained from RR via internet. I don't see any other option listed in Sentinel or ARC. If competition is so wonderful, why is there no competition? It seems RR has the monopoly. I also understand that RR relies on the hypervigilant eyes of listeners. But, I would gladly pay more for another source, provided it was a good one. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-01-2018, 7:24 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect

The scanner manufacturers use RR as a data source because it has the largest network of active contributors.

RR attracts the most contributors because the scanner manufacturers use it.

You're free to build a web site with a frequency database, and attempt to recruit contributors nationwide, but you'll have to invest a lot of time and money to hope to rival RR.
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Old 06-01-2018, 7:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
Here is something I don't fully understand. Why aren't there any alternative sources of radio information other than RR for downloading purposes? I know it is possible to manually program radio systems, but owning a Whistler or Uniden requires information to be obtained from RR via internet. I don't see any other option listed in Sentinel or ARC. If competition is so wonderful, why is there no competition? It seems RR has the monopoly. I also understand that RR relies on the hypervigilant eyes of listeners. But, I would gladly pay more for another source, provided it was a good one. Any thoughts?
If you really look at the database of frequencies and other information, you'll find it's quite complicated and extensive. It is not something that was put together last week. It's years of accumulated entries and updates. Short of copying RR information, another source like this would be more than anyone should be required to undertake,

You said you "would gladly pay more for another source, provided it was a good one." Why? There's nothing wrong with this one.
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Old 06-01-2018, 8:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
Here is something I don't fully understand. Why aren't there any alternative sources of radio information other than RR for downloading purposes? I know it is possible to manually program radio systems, but owning a Whistler or Uniden requires information to be obtained from RR via internet. I don't see any other option listed in Sentinel or ARC. If competition is so wonderful, why is there no competition? It seems RR has the monopoly. I also understand that RR relies on the hypervigilant eyes of listeners. But, I would gladly pay more for another source, provided it was a good one. Any thoughts?
Just curious, what more information do you need?

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Old 06-01-2018, 8:15 AM
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but owning a Whistler or Uniden requires information to be obtained from RR via internet.
Not true. Digitalfrequencysearch.com is a source for P25, DMR & NXDN frequencies with options to export to Sentinel, EZScan or Butel Arc536. It does not rely on user submissions like RR does but still, it's another source. You can also copy + paste or export data from FCC's ULS database into these programs
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Old 06-01-2018, 8:21 AM
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You can also copy + paste or export data from FCC's ULS database into these programs
ULS is the source for the DigitalFrequencySearch site.... and is only a "starting point" based on FCC license data - full of errors and speculative (we might in the future or have in the past) information.

RRDB is somewhat more reliable but the degree to which varies greatly depending upon the area and the willingness of people to both submit and maintain the information. There's lots of missing and old/inaccurate data in some locations.

As I understand it, there are many "local" resources that some use (other than RRDB) - but again, this varies depending on the area....

I generally prefer competition vs. monopolies also but in this situation, given it's pretty much an all a volunteer effort, alternatives including some of these localized "side" resources result in neither being complete and accurate for wide-area and general use...
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Old 06-01-2018, 8:22 AM
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And those sites only have license info, which in most cases does NOT reflect actual usage. People get licensed for multiple modes, and generally only use one. And they have zero information regarding trunked system site organization, talkgroup IDs and their usage, or any of many other bits of data needed to properly scan a trunked system. They are useful for concentrating search and analysis efforts on a limited number of frequencies, rather than scanning entire bands. But that's it.
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Old 06-01-2018, 8:35 AM
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And those sites only have license info, which in most cases does NOT reflect actual usage. People get licensed for multiple modes, and generally only use one. And they have zero information regarding trunked system site organization, talkgroup IDs and their usage, or any of many other bits of data needed to properly scan a trunked system. They are useful for concentrating search and analysis efforts on a limited number of frequencies, rather than scanning entire bands. But that's it.
Understood and this only reinforces my point that although alternate sources exist, RR is the only viable one since it is user-submission maintained
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Old 06-01-2018, 8:36 AM
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Years ago, I created and maintained a site with all the frequencies I could find for Western Colorado. It helped that I was working for a company that maintained the radios for a large part of the area but I would use information gathered when I traveled and from other users in the areas.
Just that information was always out of date, in need of maintenance or upgrading to be usable on new platforms.
RR came along and I gladly used my knowledge to keep their database up to date. I no longer worry about server crashes, upset communication managers threatening to take me to court for disclosing sensitive information (that was in public domain before I published it) or any of the other problems associated with the site.

Thanks Lindsay!

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Old 06-01-2018, 8:44 AM
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I remember about 10 to 15 years ago there was fordyce.org & Jim, the owner would post active frequencies for the New England / Mid-Atlantic area. Users could email submissions to him & he'd keep the database updated. He also ran a nice forum & I had a fun time moderating, keeping people in-line. Not sure what happened to Jim...
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:00 PM
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If scanner owners were as plentiful as iPhone users, the Internet would be awash with hobby-related websites. You'd find scanners being sold in every Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and in any other number of retail stores. But, unfortunately, those of us that own scanners are in the minority, and that's reflected in the lack of resources.
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Old 06-01-2018, 7:03 PM
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Quote:
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I remember about 10 to 15 years ago there was fordyce.org . Not sure what happened to Jim...
At one point, many years ago, Jim's site was hacked Fordyce Site Hacked/No More - Scan New England

And more, https://forums.radioreference.com/443020-post1.html

If you go to Long Island Scanning Resources , the stuff is still there... The last site update was 2007.

And the Fordyce Family Archives are still up. Says the site is still maintained by Jim. I also thought I read on here that Jim was a member but I cant really remember ... Either way, the server is still running and someone is still paying for the domain name..



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Old 06-02-2018, 10:02 AM
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As I indicated, I just want a competitive alternative. I understand this is a monumental undertaking given the amount of data involved. I obtain a great deal of information from RR.

Yes, I used to have one of the original printouts from the TxWarn system from two great sources in Houston. There were pages and pages of documentation. I think it was called Starnet or something like that back then. No, you could not download anything with this list. But, it was rather extensive.
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Old 06-03-2018, 6:01 AM
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Competition is not always a good thing. In a niche "market" like this one, the availability of multiple sources becomes a headache for the scanner user. It is hard enough getting people to submit updates to RRDB (rather than complain about inaccuracies). How can one infer that several such sites would receive better support? How many sites would be practical for downloading direct to a scanner or its support software? How many data formats would scanner manufacturers support and still provide free software (or even inexpensive software)?

These are rhetorical questions and are not intended to lengthen the thread.
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Old 06-03-2018, 6:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ensnared View Post
Here is something I don't fully understand. Why aren't there any alternative sources of radio information other than RR for downloading purposes? I know it is possible to manually program radio systems, but owning a Whistler or Uniden requires information to be obtained from RR via internet. I don't see any other option listed in Sentinel or ARC. If competition is so wonderful, why is there no competition? It seems RR has the monopoly. I also understand that RR relies on the hypervigilant eyes of listeners. But, I would gladly pay more for another source, provided it was a good one. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-03-2018, 6:42 AM
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We are the RadioReference.

Your frequency and system knowledge distinctiveness will be added to our own database.

Resistance is futile.
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Old 06-03-2018, 6:59 AM
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Here is one alternative Intercept - Scanner Frequencies and Frequency Database
Their data for Texas and Oklahoma is mostly missing and what is there is as old as their web site.
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Old 06-03-2018, 7:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob550 View Post
If scanner owners were as plentiful as iPhone users, the Internet would be awash with hobby-related websites. You'd find scanners being sold in every Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and in any other number of retail stores. But, unfortunately, those of us that own scanners are in the minority, and that's reflected in the lack of resources.

Best Buy and Walmart do sell scanners.
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Old 06-03-2018, 7:24 AM
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Best Buy and Walmart do sell scanners.
Wal-Mart doesn't sell scanners in their stores, only online.
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Old 06-03-2018, 7:30 AM
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