Again for a Michigan Newbie Analog or digital?

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farstar2

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I’m new to the forum, I had a Uniden scanner back in the eighties (when times where simpler.) I’ve lurked on this forum for a couple of weeks now looking at the questions that have been asked before and still haven’t found a close to complete answer?

I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan – Washtenaw county. I know the the county (MPSCS) is going all digital (P25) come Sept. 2010. I’ve checked the RR database for the county and It lists at least 289 freq. for the different services. Currently only 15 seem to be on digital, the rest are analog or trunked analog.

If the county is going digital does that mean the Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, police, fire and EMS are also going to have to go to digital also? Or is it Just county services?

A long way around to the question is, can I get by with and analog scanner for the next couple of years or will it be totally obsolete come sept. 2010?

P.S. Due to the economy Ann Arbor is thinking of laying off 13 firemen I can’t see where the city as the funds to upgrade their communication systems?

I’ve been looking at the Uniden BC355C, BCT8, BC15XT for now, or should I save my money a wait till after the conversion? If its going to all Digital for the county, are they considering Open sky also?

Thanks for your patience, Ed
 

SCPD

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Digital

You live in Michigan. Go buy a digital scanner.

I'll let others tell you the pros and cons of going with Radio Shack or Uniden scanners, I don't get into recommending one or the other.

You mention OpenSky. Right now, the only area using OpenSky (that I know of ) in Michigan is Oakland County. There is no scanner made that will recieve OpenSky, so don't let that factor into your decision.
 

SEMTTP

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Ypsilanti Michigan
Ed,

First welcome to RR. This website has become more than anyone could have ever expected and is a great source of information.

If you are looking at the MPSCS system, you will only need to pay attention to the frequencies that are indicated in Red(which are CONTROL CHANNELS) and Blue(Which are ALTERNATE CONTROL CHANNELS)
A county may have one or more MPSCS towers. For instance, if you live in Ann Arbor and want to monitor the MPSCS system then you would look under "ANN ARBOR" however the database sometimes refers to it as Dexter which is not really correct. You would then program in the control channel and you would be good to go. Set your scanner for P25 and watch it come alive.

There are 6 tower sites that were built here in the county over the last year. The microwaves are up on all but I think two of the sites. Testing will probably begin sometime within the next couple of months as the backbone is already licensed. ALL Police, FIRE and EMS agencies within the county will be switching to the digital system. There are a few government agencies like roads and buses that will still utilize the analog system.

HVA, the EMS provider already is on the MPSCS system, however the central units(in our county) are on the Analog system

Your analog scanner will continue to work for probably the rest of this year, a new digital scanner will need to be on your horizon if you wish to continue to follow them. I highly recommend the GRE PSR 500 &600. You could also go with the Radio Shack line of Digital scanners. They are very easy to program, all their features work unlike the Unidens where you have to play with the audio setting and still to this day Uniden has not gotten it right. There are a lot of Uniden users here and most of them will disagree with that statement, but the fact is I have owned Uniden radios and for the MPSCS they are a huge disappointment. Go with the GRE's and it will save you a LOT of headaches.

The Washtenaw County MPSCS Sub System was funded by the people. It was a proposal that the people agreed to and thus has already been put into works. ALl the Consoles are here, mobiles and portables are sitting in a storage facility in Ann Arbor waiting to be distributed. Some of the mobiles have been installed but no portables given out yet to my knowledge.

M/A Com OpenSky is a complete failure. Only one county in Michigan is using it and that is Oakland County. Other states have sued M/A Com for failure to deliver a working system. It will NEVER come to Washtenaw County.
 

farstar2

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Jan 25, 2010
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thanks for the info Wyandotte and Semttp, that’s what I needed to know about the long and short term usage in Washtenaw county and cities.

Look like I’ll bite the bullet and save my money for another month or two and get a digital scanner (haven’t decided which brand yet).

I do know I want a base style and one that is easy to program, as all the digitals seem to have a learning curve on them. I just need a basic simple programming function for casual listening.

Ed
 

macari77

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Dec 27, 2007
Messages
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Location
Downriver, MI
Lets say you hear a Fire going on down the street and want to go check it out but now you cant hear radio traffic :'(
Thats why I always would recommend a portable as a first scanner. Set it on your desk and plug it in, now it essentially is a base station.

Just a few cents of mine
 

farstar2

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Jan 25, 2010
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Location
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thanks for the advice. I’ll take it under consideration. I have other hobbies that can get very expensive also but you can also enjoy them with just a modest outlay of funds. Its looks like wherever Digital is being installed the minimum outlay (for new) is going to be $500 plus Software etc…

That’s a bit much for someone who just wants to listen in on a casual basis.

I’ve been checking Craigslist for a good used Bearcat or PSR Digital in my area, but nothing so far that’s reasonable. Plenty of 5 years or older models available tho.

Ed
 
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