Amazed at Instant Frequencies

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nwiscan

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I have just getting interested in this hobby after a long while off and I am blown away by these new scanners where all you have to do is it enter your zip or let the gps detect the frequencies for you. Much like when I first saw frequencies listed on the internet.

For the old school guys that used to buy crystals or the police call betty bearcat books at radio shack.... when upgrading scanners, did you or are you going to go with these plug and play models or stick with manual (or USB enabled) entry?
 
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K9WG

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when upgrading scanners, did you or are you going to go with these plug and play models or stick with manual (or USB enabled) entry?
Stick with manual/USB entry. I like to have control over what I program into my receiver. Also, who knows how outdated the lists may/can be (just like my GPS that doesn't have my neighborhood on it). Just my opinion.
 

mrwilson706

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I'm not an old school guy, but I'd like to give you my opinion if it's okay.
I'm new to the hobby and ended up going with a bcd396xt versus one of the more "user friendly" plug and play models. I did consider a home patrol, but only because I thought my wife would be able to use it and maybe get more involved.
People are going full circle with these plug and play models, just look around at the recent posts here on RR concerning the home patrol; people purchased it for ease of use, now they're spending their time/money buying upgrades so they can have more control and access to features they could have had in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I think plug and play scanners like this would be great for people constantly on the road who have no clue as to the frequencies in use where they're currently at. This was not the case for me, I'm stationary and enjoy discovering new traffic and feel comfortable manually programing my scanner to suit my tastes. When I do travel with my scanner, I use freescan to program it. Good luck and happy scanning!
 

gewecke

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I have just getting interested in this hobby after a long while off and I am blown away by these new scanners where all you have to do is it enter your zip or let the gps detect the frequencies for you. Much like when I first saw frequencies listed on the internet.

For the old school guys that used to buy crystals or the police call betty bearcat books at radio shack.... when upgrading scanners, did you or are you going to go with these plug and play models or stick with manual (or USB enabled) entry?
Not such a great idea if you want "accurate" data. Most of what will be loaded into it may include outdated frequencies no longer used in your area.
direct entry may prove more accurate for you.

73,
n9zas
 

BeerNutz

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And now for a response from someone who actually owns a plug & play radio, the GRE PSR-800.

Using just the radio, frequencies can be stored using, Spectrum Sweeper, Service Search or Limit Search.

Some talkgroups systems are using TDMA modulation which can ONLY be monitored using a GRE PSR-800.
 

gewecke

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And now for a response from someone who actually owns a plug & play radio, the GRE PSR-800.

Using just the radio, frequencies can be stored using, Spectrum Sweeper, Service Search or Limit Search.

Some talkgroups systems are using TDMA modulation which can ONLY be monitored using a GRE PSR-800.

TDMA modulation which can ONLY be monitored using a GRE PSR-800.

Not necessarily.....

73,
n9zas
 

BeerNutz

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TDMA modulation which can ONLY be monitored using a GRE PSR-800.

Not necessarily.....

73,
n9zas
According to Radio Reference, Wiki concerning Project 25, trunked radio systems...

"Motorola's X2-TDMA protocol can be monitored with the GRE PSR-800 EZ-Scan Digital Scanner. The PSR-800 is currently the only scanner model with the hardware to support any form of TDMA decoding (as of August 14th 2011). "
 

nwiscan

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I expected the same sentiments addressed here. Although I am impressed with these plug and play models, I too would opt for the manual (or USB) entry. The GPS mobility option is intriguing, but I am listening from my den... no need for that.
 

BoxAlarm187

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Not such a great idea if you want "accurate" data. Most of what will be loaded into it may include outdated frequencies no longer used in your area.
direct entry may prove more accurate for you.
And since a new user would likely be using the database here on RR to get the freq's to manually enter into his scanner, which is the same database that's loaded into the "plug and play" scanners - what's the difference?

gewecke said:
TDMA modulation which can ONLY be monitored using a GRE PSR-800.

Not necessarily.....
Yes, actually, it's an accurate statement. Do you have proof otherwise?
 

BeerNutz

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Not such a great idea if you want "accurate" data. Most of what will be loaded into it may include outdated frequencies no longer used in your area.
direct entry may prove more accurate for you.

73,
n9zas
Just had to come back and reply to this false statement.

People come on here wanting info on a major purchase. There is never a reason to give uninformed or purposely false information.

The frequency database for the PSR-800 is updated weekly. Also, using one of the 3 search functions on this workhorse radio, frequencies found just 5 seconds ago can be stored on the fly without the use of a PC. To say this data is not accurate or outdated is an outright lie.
 

rwier

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Just had to come back and reply to this false statement.

People come on here wanting info on a major purchase. There is never a reason to give uninformed or purposely false information.

The frequency database for the PSR-800 is updated weekly. Also, using one of the 3 search functions on this workhorse radio, frequencies found just 5 seconds ago can be stored on the fly without the use of a PC. To say this data is not accurate or outdated is an outright lie.
Well said. A quick mind, coupled with a little imagination, can allow a user to extract significant value from a plethora of brands and models.
 

ScannerWayne

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I have just getting interested in this hobby after a long while off and I am blown away by these new scanners where all you have to do is it enter your zip or let the gps detect the frequencies for you. Much like when I first saw frequencies listed on the internet.

For the old school guys that used to buy crystals or the police call betty bearcat books at radio shack.... when upgrading scanners, did you or are you going to go with these plug and play models or stick with manual (or USB enabled) entry?
That could be a very difficult question to answer.

How much time are you willing to invest in the learning curve? Uniden and GRE both offer scanners that require very little time to learn about. The biggest problem with them from my point of view is deciding what you DON'T want to listen to. As for the Data Base offered here and thus in the two scanners mentioned; while it is indeed impressive it is by no means complete or comprehensive. But it is a good way to get started from scratch.

Other scanners require more time to learn about, but with the advent of programming software and the Data Base offered here, it doesn't take long to get up to speed.

What does take time, is setting the scanner up to have the data organized in a way that is meaningful and useful to you. Even though I've owned scanners since 1973, I am on a weekly basis changing things in my scanner (BCD396XT). Mostly I add things; sometimes I delete things. But I am constantly changing things to imporve the ease of use of my scanner.

So rather then ask which scanner they are going to use, it would be better to ask, "How much TIME are you willing to invest in learning about your scanner and your communitys radio systems?".

Just my random thoughts on the matter...

Wayne...
 

rico47635

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I have always thought that searching for frequencies to listen to has always been part of the fun in scanning. I can see how the new plug and play scanners are useful, but they do take away part of the fun.
 

W6KRU

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I have always thought that searching for frequencies to listen to has always been part of the fun in scanning. I can see how the new plug and play scanners are useful, but they do take away part of the fun.

I agree. A scanner that programs itself would be like going to the store and buying fish. I prefer to catch my own.
 

mhallack

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Well I've been out of the loop for a while. Plug N Play scanners eh? I think it would be good for travelling purposes, but if your stationary, I'll stick with programming myself. Though I would have to say having the database is extremely handy for me. No more checking outdated pages, etc.

But if someone is new to the hobby, or just loves new technology, I think the Plug N Play is a good idea.
 

SlyFerret

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I personally prefer to learn everything I can about my radios. I also prefer to customize how my scanners are configured and programmed. I have specific things I want to listen to, and I want to set up the scan lists or banks in a certain way so that it works the way I want it to for the things I want to listen to.

The plug and play scanners have their place though. For folks who don't care how things are organized or who don't want to take the time to learn their radio inside-out, they could be great.

I also see the advantage of those radios for people who travel a lot, like professional over the road drivers who move around so much that it isn't possible to program their scanner for every location that they might travel to.

-SF
 

gewecke

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And since a new user would likely be using the database here on RR to get the freq's to manually enter into his scanner, which is the same database that's loaded into the "plug and play" scanners - what's the difference?


Yes, actually, it's an accurate statement. Do you have proof otherwise?

It can be done with a IFR 1500 or better spectrum analyzer also. I am fortunate enough to have one at work that can be played with. :)

73,
n9zas
 

Baskt_Case

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So did I hear correctly that with the Plug N Play scanners you can not directly enter a frequency?

That alone would be a show stopper for me.
With HP1 you can directly enter a frequency and monitor it, but you cannot save it directly. You must connect with USB and use the included software.

Using the software you can program, save, and change just about anything.
 

kc9cra

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I agree. A scanner that programs itself would be like going to the store and buying fish. I prefer to catch my own.
Me 3. It' fun to listen to the marketing team's decision as to what's popular. I do listen to my local emergency comms quite a bit, so I guess I could use such a scanner, ut only one that I can use for other things as well. Like he said, listening to a wide variety of frequencies and radio traffic is part of the fun.

It's a ox of chocolates, you never know what your'e gonna get.
 
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