A good way to try scanning?

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RadioStart

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So I used a Motorola MTX 3000 a couple times at work but it belongs to my employer. It got me a little curious about scanning though because I was listening to several city PD/EMS around here and it was kind of fun when I was bored at work. I already posted some in this thread but someone mentioned that hijacking someone else's thread would be rude so I made my own.

The thing is, I just want to try out scanning to see if I'm interested and what it's like. Is there any cheap way to do this? I'd have to be a complete fool to go out and spend $200-$500 on a scanner if I may not even be interested. Not just the money either but the time. All of this stuff sounds pretty complicated (programming, settings, etc...) and honestly the part I liked about it was simply listening to the PD/EMS. I wish I didn't have to go through an arm, a leg, and a bunch of tedious labor just to hear some radio traffic that I may or may not even like. Do I? I live in San Diego County by the way. Is there any way I could test it out or something or get a cheap scanner and see if I'd like it? Thanks a lot for reading.
 
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Highpockets

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So I used a Motorola MTX 3000 a couple times at work but it belongs to my employer. It got me a little curious about scanning though because I was listening to several city PD/EMS around here and it was kind of fun when I was bored at work. I already posted some in this thread but someone mentioned that hijacking someone else's thread would be rude so I made my own.

The thing is, I just want to try out scanning to see if I'm interested and what it's like. Is there any cheap way to do this? I'd have to be a complete fool to go out and spend $200-$500 on a scanner if I may not even be interested. I live in San Diego County by the way. Is there any way I could test it out or something or get a cheap scanner and see if I'd like it? Thanks.
Maybe you can listen here and see if it gets your heart pumping.

http://www.scansandiego.net/cgi-bin/index.pl
 

steveh552

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go to yard sales. dont know about your area, but my dad goes to them all the time in our area, which is still conventional and finds scanners for less than 10 bucks, usually around five. Check online, your area maybe rebroadcast over the web, you can listen to them free that way, or listen to many areas that are online, Vegas is always interesting
 

af5rn

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Maybe you can listen here and see if it gets your heart pumping.

http://www.scansandiego.net/cgi-bin/index.pl
Stellar idea. There is no quick, easy, or painless way to get into scanning in SD county. Everything is trunked, and with a crapload of sites to program just to get started. Then comes the fun part of figuring out which talkgroups you want in and which ones you want out, which takes awhile.

The good news is, they are not digital (except for Camp Pendleton), so you don't need a $500 dollar radio. Any trunking scanner will do. For a really good one that will allow you to tag your channels with a name or description (alpha tagging), you're looking at the $200 to $250 range though. There are trunking scanners out there for half that price, but they don't have alpha tagging, which is a REALLY hard way to go for a beginner. Seriously, a beginner will get overwhelmed pretty quickly in a large, urban trunking system without alpha tagging.

So no, there is no way to kick it old skool in SD county, and just plug in a couple of frequencies and listen away. The 1970s are over. It's going to take a little investment. And all those used scanners you see on eBay are from someone who thought it looked fun, but then blew their money on something that either didn't cover the systems they wanted to listen to, was too complicated for them, or simply didn't turn out to be as fun as it looked.

Listen to the online scanners at the link Highpockets gave you. If you get the serious bug, then go getcha something like a BC330T handheld or BCT15 mobile/base, whichever you prefer. Just bear in mind that CHP has already awarded a contract for a P25 digital radio system to be implemented in the coming few years, and a lot of Kalifornia agencies will follow suit, so eventually you are going to have to step up to the more expensive digital radio. Hopefully, they will have come down by then.
 

DickH

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... All of this stuff sounds pretty complicated (programming, settings, etc...) and honestly the part I liked about it was simply listening to the PD/EMS. I wish I didn't have to go through an arm, a leg, and a bunch of tedious labor just to hear some radio traffic that I may or may not even like. Do I? .
If you wanted to fly an airplane you'd have to study, etc. You couldn't just "try" it.
 

ICP963

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Maybe you can listen here and see if it gets your heart pumping.

http://www.scansandiego.net/cgi-bin/index.pl
That is actually a great idea for anyone that is curious about scanning. There are tons of streaming scanner sites around the country. ScanSanDiego is one of the fancy ones too. People can check out ScanAmerica.us as well since there are many streams there as well.

I would think that sending people to sites like this that show interest in scanning would be a great way to get more people into our hobby. I would suggest the streams that do have alpha tagging for channel data since it is much easier to know what you are hearing if the stream keeps you updates with tags.
 

JoeyC

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The good news is, they are not digital (except for Camp Pendleton), so you don't need a $500 dollar radio. Any trunking scanner will do.
WRONG! What happened with Quality and quantity?

Most of SD county law enforcement is digital with the exception of San Diego PD and one of the 2 CHP freqs.
All Fire and EMS is analog
There are basically 3 trunking sites you need to program to get most of county - many people just listen to their immediate area and are satisfied with one system or maybe 2.
 

RadioStart

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WRONG! What happened with Quality and quantity?

Most of SD county law enforcement is digital with the exception of San Diego PD and one of the 2 CHP freqs.
All Fire and EMS is analog
There are basically 3 trunking sites you need to program to get most of county - many people just listen to their immediate area and are satisfied with one system or maybe 2.
So let's say, for simplicity's sake, that I purchase a Pro 433 and I use it in North County or somewhere around 30 miles from downtown San Diego. What will I be able to pick up? Nothing? The scanner says it's useable "out of the box." So if I bought it, plugged it in, and plopped it on a table, what would I be getting? Thanks a lot.
 

af5rn

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WRONG! What happened with Quality and quantity?
WTF is your problem with me? Why don't you ask the Kalifornia database admin who FAILS to say that in the San Diego listings? Why don't you call out all the people who posted before me without mentioning it? I was just trying to help the guy out the best I could. If you're so concerned about it, and you know so much about it, then why didn't you help the guy out? Why haven't you submitted this to the database? You went out of your way to crap the guy's thread, but FAIL to even try to offer him the slightest bit of constructive advice. Are you too busy with your childish little tantrums to help a brother out? Get out of my face, troll boy. You annoy me.
 

JoeyC

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WTF is your problem with me? Why don't you ask the Kalifornia database admin who FAILS to say that in the San Diego listings? Why don't you call out all the people who posted before me without mentioning it? I was just trying to help the guy out the best I could. If you're so concerned about it, and you know so much about it, then why didn't you help the guy out? Why haven't you submitted this to the database? You went out of your way to crap the guy's thread, but FAIL to even try to offer him the slightest bit of constructive advice. Are you too busy with your childish little tantrums to help a brother out? Get out of my face, troll boy. You annoy me.
The database has always said the SD RCS is digital for law enforcement, not sure what you're talking about. I was just correcting the incorrect information you gave. Its not my job to sift through and find every inconsistency in every thread. If I see something wrong, I'll mention it. Thats life. Move on.
 

af5rn

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Ah, okay, I see the "D" in the mode column now. In other digital systems in the database, there is a specific mention at the top of the page that the system is digital. There is no such notation on this one. That's what threw me off.
 

JoeyC

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So let's say, for simplicity's sake, that I purchase a Pro 433 and I use it in North County or somewhere around 30 miles from downtown San Diego. What will I be able to pick up? Nothing? The scanner says it's useable "out of the box." So if I bought it, plugged it in, and plopped it on a table, what would I be getting? Thanks a lot.
I'm not familiar with that scanner, but if it is a trunking scanner, you can use it for all the analog stuff. Fire, EMS and most of the other non law enforcement stuff is analog.

Usable out of the box? I'm sure most scanners fit that description, but you always need to program a scanner for it to be effective especially where there is trunking.
 

af5rn

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LOL! Yeah, I'm betting that really means, "Useable right out of the box after you program it, install batteries, and attach an antenna." :lol:
 

loumaag

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Ah, okay, I see the "D" in the mode column now. In other digital systems in the database, there is a specific mention at the top of the page that the system is digital. There is no such notation on this one. That's what threw me off.
I am confused by this; it says the same thing as all other mixed mode systems:
 
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af5rn

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I am confused by this; it says the same thing as all other mixed mode systems:
Yes, in that paticular slot it does. But on some other systems, there is specifically text on the page that tells you in plain English that the system is digital, without you having to read between the lines. On this particular system, nothing but the "D" in the column gives you any clue about it, and even that is a new feature.
 

loumaag

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Yes, in that paticular slot it does. But on some other systems, there is specifically text on the page that tells you in plain English that the system is digital, without you having to read between the lines. On this particular system, nothing but the "D" in the column gives you any clue about it, and even that is a new feature.
Uh, no. That "feature" you refer to has been around since before RadioReference was RadioReference. The same column was included in the TrunkedRadio.net database. There are no lines to read between, that "System Voice" block is the block that says what type of modulation is used on each and every TRS in the database and has been there for quite some time. Any "plain English" comment made anywhere else (like news items or system general information) about a system being digital or analog is superfluous.

Trust me on this, I do know what I am talking about. :)
 
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