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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2018, 10:08 PM
   
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Default New member / looking for a basic scanner

I would like info or someone to point me in the right direction for a simple police scanner for my local area 27360 . I normally listen on the app but would like to have a way to listen without the app any info will be greatly appreciated
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:59 PM
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It looks like a lot in your area is on VHF and UHF analog. For basic monitoring I would suggest getting a basic 100 channel scanner. I am in the same type of area where a VHF / UHF scanner works just fine without a lot of bells and whistles.

My main scanner (which is on almost all day) is a Bearcat 800 XLT made back in the 1980's. It is hooked up to a mag mount scanner antenna which I can put outside the window, or inside on my filing cabinet.

It is by far the most simple setup, so you can't possibly go wrong starting with that.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:35 PM
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While Davidson and Randolph Counties looks to be conventional, Thomasville is using a Motorola Type II Smartnet 800mhz trunked system. Also, if you are trying to listen to EMS a lot of ambulance to hospital traffic is probably going to be on the Viper channels. Finally, most counties are slowly moving to Viper or their own trunked system, and the majority of emergency comms during disasters, like Florence or Michael are on Viper. So if you buy a conventional scanner it may soon be out of date and/or you'll be missing a lot of comms.

There are a number of older 800 mhz trunking scanners available used on eBay or new from Amazon or specialty stores. You don't need the newest and best, I think you'd be a lot happier investing a little more to buy one of them.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:41 PM
   
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I currently have a older bearcat 80xlt but can't seem to pick up any local channels , mostly just looking for police an ems ... Maybe I programmed it wrong
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Old 10-13-2018, 8:13 PM
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It could also be that you are too far away to hear what you have programmed in, your radio has become deaf, or your antenna connection is broken.

If you try monitoring NOAA or even search the Ham bands, can you pick anything up with that radio?

It's been a long time since I've touched a BC80XLT.
Welcome to the hobby. Keep at it and keep learning! Eventually you'll be monitoring the VIPER system!

If you haven't done so already, you might want to jump into the NC forum and see if anyone local to you can give you a hand. I know a lot of guys in that forum are very friendly
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Old 10-13-2018, 8:17 PM
   
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How do find the nc forum , and yes still picks up weather an I'm still able to hear a ems station that was programmed from previous owner... Most of the numbers I have programmed are like 858.xxx but the one station that picks up starts with like 146.xxx
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Old 10-14-2018, 8:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelambertsrt4 View Post
How do find the nc forum , and yes still picks up weather an I'm still able to hear a ems station that was programmed from previous owner... Most of the numbers I have programmed are like 858.xxx but the one station that picks up starts with like 146.xxx
Joelambertsrt4,

The North Carolina forum is here:

https://forums.radioreference.com/no...cussion-forum/

The 858.xxx frequency might be part of a trunking system...

The 146.xxx frequency is an Amateur (Ham) Radio frequency...

Cheers! Dave
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:59 AM
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Joelambertsrt4 - your Zipcode is Mostly VHF/UHF but also your County has the Digital Viper system for Greensborough and Gilford as well as NC Viper in general. the good news its P25 Phase 1. you should be able to find a NEW in box or Used Radio Shack Pro-668 or Whistler WS 1080, both are EZ scan Radios and are capable of Monitoring P25 Phase 1. but Don't over pay, a good Price is about $250 - $300 max.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Joelambertsrt4 View Post
How do find the nc forum , and yes still picks up weather an I'm still able to hear a ems station that was programmed from previous owner... Most of the numbers I have programmed are like 858.xxx but the one station that picks up starts with like 146.xxx
If you are programming in any 850 MHz frequencies from VIPER, your scanner won't be able to decode them. You have an older analog conventional scanner.

However, you should be able to hear the county SO on the 460 MHz frequencies. Along with the FD and EMS on theirs.

NC1 is sort of correct about Thomasville. The city is on the Greensboro/Guilford county digital P-25 system.

Denton and Lexington are on VIPER, along with the Davidson SO and Davidson FD/EMS. So, if you're not hearing the SO, FD, and EMS, it's because they are on VIPER also.

A basic P-25 Phase I scanner like the WS1040 will provide you with what you want to hear.

HTH,
Larry
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:29 PM
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Look at the BC125AT. One of the best handheld scanners for VHF-High band I've ever used.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:39 PM
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<snip> A basic P-25 Phase I scanner like the WS1040 will provide you with what you want to hear. <snip>
Joelambertsrt4,

If you decide that you need a new scanner, feel free to ask a lot of questions. There are quite a few scanners that are APCO 25 Phase I capable. You might even want to consider a Phase II capable scanner in your search in case any system that you want to monitor goes Phase II. Then you wouldn't have to buy yet another scanner...

<edit> And if you do look for another scanner, also consider whether any system you want to monitor needs ProVoice, DMR, NXDN, etc. capability. There are lots of different types of systems out there that may dictate the model(s) of scanner(s) to look at.

Cheers! Dave
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Last edited by K4EET; 10-14-2018 at 12:55 PM.. Reason: Added some more thoughts...
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Old 10-14-2018, 2:28 PM
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I always look to the future and unforeseen circumstances, and radio logistics (and history) show that vhf/uhf systems will slowly but surely fade to digitally trunked systems and P25 digital in the name of mutual aid interops. I would think about investing in digital now rather than be forced into it at a later date. Better safe than sorry :/

JD
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by K4EET View Post
Joelambertsrt4,

If you decide that you need a new scanner, feel free to ask a lot of questions. There are quite a few scanners that are APCO 25 Phase I capable. You might even want to consider a Phase II capable scanner in your search in case any system that you want to monitor goes Phase II. Then you wouldn't have to buy yet another scanner...

<edit> And if you do look for another scanner, also consider whether any system you want to monitor needs ProVoice, DMR, NXDN, etc. capability. There are lots of different types of systems out there that may dictate the model(s) of scanner(s) to look at.

Cheers! Dave
<snip> Dave where he lives, ProVoice is not needed. Might be some distant DMR. Maybe even NXDN. But, the VIPER system is Phase I. As well as the Guilford system. Thinly veiled attempt at pushing an over priced scanner that is not needed.<snip>

Larry
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:23 PM
   
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Thanks everyone ! Does anyone have any digital model numbers they would recommend also how do I go about getting the codes for my stations locally
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Old 10-17-2018, 7:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelambertsrt4 View Post
Thanks everyone ! Does anyone have any digital model numbers they would recommend also how do I go about getting the codes for my stations locally
What scanner features did you decide that you need? That determines the digital model numbers recommended.

As for what to monitor, go to Databases ---> Frequency Database in the top menu bar, select your state, then county and you will see the systems in your area.

Cheers! Dave
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:12 PM
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Thanks everyone ! Does anyone have any digital model numbers they would recommend also how do I go about getting the codes for my stations locally
Whistler WS1040 is a handheld. Whistler WS1065 is a base/mobile. If you can find a 396XT (handheld) or, the 996XT (basemobile) or, the 996P2 (updated 996XT) would be best for your monitoring.

I know there are those who would suggest the SD card scanners, but they are much more expensive. Supposedly easier to program, but for a beginner they really aren't.

Feel free to PM me with questions

HTH,
Larry
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:46 PM
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For a beginner, the easiest scanner to use is the latest SD card ones. Why? All you have to do is punch in your zip code and you can start listening.

While you are listening you can learn how to manually program the scanner to listen to specific things. You cannot do this with the other scanners. You have to figure out how to manually program it first which can be frustrating for them.

Not only that, but an SD card scanner will have the entire database of the U.S. If he travels, he can punch in the local zip code and listen in! Very convenient and worth every penny..
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