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New User / Getting Started Forum - The place for new users to discuss how to get started, and generally feel safe from the rest of the rabid technical community. If you just got your first scanner, this forum is for you. Please note: Posts are only moved from this forum by OP's request only.

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Old 05-15-2017, 12:41 PM
   
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 2
Default Help Me Choose a Scanner for my area Please

Hi, I am completely new to this. From what I can tell, some scanners will work in a certain area based on the systems used, but others will not. I don't want to buy one only to find out that it does not work in my area.

So I have come to the experts

This is my city and I understand, anything with an "E" will not be listenable (which is most of my local PD):
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=5104

My local Sheriff channels:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=2743

My Local DPS channels:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=71
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/...Pop&scid=26639

I am not looking for anything that would just completely break the bank, but I have flexibility. (I'd like to stay under $300) Handheld or desktop, no preference really

I have looked at several online, but am just lost as to what features/etc that I would need to be able to monitor in my area.

I'm not even sure if I'm giving the right information for my question, but any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
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Old 05-18-2017, 4:46 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 4,278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingchris20 View Post
Hi, I am completely new to this. From what I can tell, some scanners will work in a certain area based on the systems used, but others will not. I don't want to buy one only to find out that it does not work in my area.

So I have come to the experts

This is my city and I understand, anything with an "E" will not be listenable (which is most of my local PD):
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=5104

My local Sheriff channels:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=2743

My Local DPS channels:
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=71
https://www.radioreference.com/apps/...Pop&scid=26639

I am not looking for anything that would just completely break the bank, but I have flexibility. (I'd like to stay under $300) Handheld or desktop, no preference really

I have looked at several online, but am just lost as to what features/etc that I would need to be able to monitor in my area.

I'm not even sure if I'm giving the right information for my question, but any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Hi Chris
Welcome to RadioReference.

For your area, Abilene/Taylor County, Texas, you would be best served with a scanner capable of P25 Phase II. For now, Abilene Police and Fire are on the ProVoice system. All of the PD channels except Patrol 1/Dispatch are encrypted. That TGID, as well as others on the system are ProVoice, which rules out many scanners. There are four Uniden scanners that can get a paid upgrade and follow ProVoice. Those are the BCD325P2, BCD996P2, BCD436HP, and BCD536HP. These units are also capable of P25 Phase II.

Based on comments in several threads down in the Texas Forum, the Abilene ProVoice system will be replaced by a P25 Phase II system. See here, and here. If the schedule mentioned in various threads is still on track, the changeover may be a year or two away. Once switched, communications will be on a P25 Phase II system, which is why that is recommended.

If the ProVoice capability is not of interest, and the Phase II capable scanner is not a requirement, then a scanner capable of P25 Phase I would cover the non-trunked P25 conventional channels used by Taylor County, TX DPS, and many of your neighboring counties. There are a number of scanners capable of that. Are you looking for a hand-held (portable) scanner, or a base/mobile, to either mount in a vehicle, or be used at home on a desk or table?

The BCD325P2 had been on sale on Amazon for $327, but they have sold out of their stock at that price, and cost is now back above $300. However, you may well be able to find a good condition, gently used, scanner in your price range for $300 or less either in the classifieds here on RadioReference, on eBay or other online sites. Also, keep an eye out for a good deal at a yard or estate sale, or perhaps a local pawn shop.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:55 PM
   
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Abilene, TX
Posts: 2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiegtx View Post
Hi Chris
Welcome to RadioReference.

For your area, Abilene/Taylor County, Texas, you would be best served with a scanner capable of P25 Phase II. For now, Abilene Police and Fire are on the ProVoice system. All of the PD channels except Patrol 1/Dispatch are encrypted. That TGID, as well as others on the system are ProVoice, which rules out many scanners. There are four Uniden scanners that can get a paid upgrade and follow ProVoice. Those are the BCD325P2, BCD996P2, BCD436HP, and BCD536HP. These units are also capable of P25 Phase II.

Based on comments in several threads down in the Texas Forum, the Abilene ProVoice system will be replaced by a P25 Phase II system. See here, and here. If the schedule mentioned in various threads is still on track, the changeover may be a year or two away. Once switched, communications will be on a P25 Phase II system, which is why that is recommended.

If the ProVoice capability is not of interest, and the Phase II capable scanner is not a requirement, then a scanner capable of P25 Phase I would cover the non-trunked P25 conventional channels used by Taylor County, TX DPS, and many of your neighboring counties. There are a number of scanners capable of that. Are you looking for a hand-held (portable) scanner, or a base/mobile, to either mount in a vehicle, or be used at home on a desk or table?

The BCD325P2 had been on sale on Amazon for $327, but they have sold out of their stock at that price, and cost is now back above $300. However, you may well be able to find a good condition, gently used, scanner in your price range for $300 or less either in the classifieds here on RadioReference, on eBay or other online sites. Also, keep an eye out for a good deal at a yard or estate sale, or perhaps a local pawn shop.
Thanks for the response, didn't realize they were so high!
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