757/7cities, what equipment do i need?

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757newb

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I used to be into scanning a lot about 10 years ago. Needless to say, a lot has changed since them. Back then 800 trunking was about the high point of technology. Well, I was thinking about getting back into the hobby again, but am a little confused. There's a lot of really good info on this site, but what I really want to know is what is the best radio for my area. I'm looking for Hampton Roads public service(police and Fire)

Portsmouth
Norfolk
Va. Beach
Chesapeake
Suffolk
Hampton
Newport News
Va. State Police

I've read the freq. section but still am not sure which radio will support the area.
I know that Chesapeake is "digital" and I think the only scanners that will cover that are almost $500. Will the lower priced units cover the other cities. If I have to sacrifice being able to hear Chesapeake, I'm ok with that.

In order of my preference(which happens to be cheapest to most expensive) Here are the radios I like. Can someone please tell me which ones will work with which cities in Hampton Roads.

Unidenbc95xlt
200 channels/10 banks
close call capture technology
$109.95
--I'm thinking this one is useless for my area--

Uniden bc346xt
"upgraded TrunkTracking with ESK support"
9000 memories
500 talkgroups per system
GPS option
$214.95
--I think this one may cover all but Chesapeake???

ICOM IC-RX7 consumer version
not a whole lot of info on the ICOMS
$329.95
--what is this unit capable of??

Uniden BR330T
.1-1.3Ghz except cellular
trunktracker III
2500 dynamically allocated channels
$399.95
--do i need the "dynamically allocated for any agencies in my area?
--Will this unit cover anything I want???

Bearcat BCD396xt
"upgraded TrunkTracking and improved p25 digital
25000 memories with 500 talkgroups per system
$495.00
--I think this is the one that will do anything and everything i could imagine??

ICOM IC-R20
price $539.95
--will this radio do anything the BCD396XT won't

As you can see I like ICOM and uniden, GRE, AOR and Radio shack don't look as good of quality, and don't really seem to be much cheaper with the same features.
I really appreciate anyone's help out there.
 

fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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Welcome to Radio Reference

1. ICOM radios will not trunk track.
2. VA Beach, Hampton Roads ORION, Yorktown/Williamsburg/James City and State Police are already digital or soon to be regarding VA Beach,
3. Dont short change GRE or Radio Shack as they have great scanners.
4. Langley AFB, NorNavBase and Norfolk Naval Ship Yard are digital Mot Trunking systems.
5. List of analog trunk tracking scanners in RR Wiki. Category:Analog Trunktrackers - The RadioReference Wiki ICOMS and BC95 not listed. I also noticed the Pro-51 on this list which is not a trunk tracker.
6. List of Digital trunk trackers in RR Wiki. Category:Digital Scanners - The RadioReference Wiki
7. Radio Shack has Pro-106 and Pro 197 at $399.99 until end of April.
 
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fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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Virginia Beach (Project 25) Trunking System, Virginia Beach, Virginia - Scanner Frequencies
I haven't looked at this lately but city may no longer be in process of setting this up, It is still in my scanner though no controls are active at this time.
The below ORION link is Fairly active,
Overlay Regional InterOperability Network (ORION) Trunking System, Virginia Beach, Virginia - Scanner Frequencies

Also, 165.7000 NAC 653 is a P25 Federal frequency used for Inter operations of all area public safety. They have a monthly roll call.
 

bep

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Looks like I am pretty safe with my BCT15 for Va. Beach right now. Definitely heading to digital when funds permit.
 

rescue674aa

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About vb going digital

I heard from a vb offical that they will no longer go digital just to give you guys a heads up. But Suffolk and Portsmouth and Norfolk are trying to go digital before the end of 2011
 

KE4NYV

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Williamsburg, VA.
I heard from a vb offical that they will no longer go digital just to give you guys a heads up. But Suffolk and Portsmouth and Norfolk are trying to go digital before the end of 2011
The funny thing is, when ORION went in, VB paid more into the pot to get the prime site at the EOC site. They did this because they intended to double-duty the prime site for their P25 upgrade. I used to help maintain ORION on the Motorola side, so I got bits and pieces from the VB shop when I could on the upgrade schedule.

Sounds to me like, if what you heard was true, VB is either looking to put the money elsewhere or they got way over their heads and decided they just could not afford it.
 

K9DUO

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Norfolk, Va
Go ahead and bite the bullet and get a digital scanner. You will need it in the future. A Norfolk radio tech told me that they will be switching over within a year. The digital capable radios are already in use on the street, so its just a matter of time. The other cities will be following along soon too I would imagine.
 

W4UVV

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Prince George, Virginia--Central Va.
Although you didn't list it I have a Uniden 996T with latest firmware installed in good condition programed for most central Va/SOVA/NOVA radio users including STARS; 91 quick key systems and 5,957 of 6,000 channels used for sale @ $375 plus shipping. If you or anyone is interested private email me.
 

tojohnso

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If you are going to spend the money, you may as well "future proof" yourself as much as possible and get a digital scanner. I was in the same boat as you a couple months ago and decided with many areas around us looking to go digital, I didn't want to find myself outdated like when VB and other localities went with the trunking systems. So, my vote would be with the RS or Bearcat digitals. The 106 is permanently at $399 now which you'd need to add the computer cable and possibly the A/C adapter. Figure that against the GRE 500 and see which is cheaper since it comes with those items.
 

wghiii263

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Chesapeake, VA
Pro-96 Works Great

I've been using the Radio Shack Pro-96 ever since Chesapeake went to Digital. Without the Digital scanner, you would be able to pick up the Fire dispatch channel and mutual aid channels, they are still analog. All Police channels are digital. Chesapeake has not rebanded the radios yet, the Pro-96 is able to be rebanded when it does happen. All other local cities are still analog.
 

rescue674aa

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Chesapeake

My dad is a swat medic for Chesapeake and I work for Suffolk. My dad said they are going to make all the tacs digital in the future. I listen to Chesapeake and Portsmouth and Suffolk all the time and isle of wight too.
 

W2NJS

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Digital monitoring in general...

One point that was not mentioned is that any agency can, and may, resort to encrypted operation at any time, in which case no scanner, analog or digital, will receive the transmissions. All you will hear on the channel is continuous noise.
 

jeff0780

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Portsmouth is already digital, all they have to do is add digital talkgroups to there radios and there good. The radio techs use talkgroup Hex 44C / Dec 17600 which is digital.
 

fmon

Silent Key Jan. 14, 2012
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Portsmouth is already digital, all they have to do is add digital talkgroups to there radios and there good. The radio techs use talkgroup Hex 44C / Dec 17600 which is digital.
Not sure they can do that until upgradeding to Smartzone.

From RR Wiki.
The characteristics of a Motorola SmartZone system are similar to Smartnet systems with the following changes:
 

jeff0780

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I believe they upgraded there repeaters a few years ago. When i was installing radios at the Portsmouth radio shop in there PD cars about a year ago one of the radio techs was talking to another on a XTS500 and i had my PSR-500 on wildcard and the radio tech confirmed he was using a digital talkgroup and they could switch to digital once all the non digital radios are replaced.
 
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