Any sense in searching LE anymore ?

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Xray

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I'm an old school scannist.
First radio was a Pro 34 that I got for airshows, I saw a guy using one and knew I had to have one. Got the scanner the day before the show when there is plenty of activity with arrivals and practice .... Put the batteries in, fired it up and waited to catch all the comms.
To my utter disappointment I didn't hear a thing, sat there half an hour with not a peep. Figured the unit must be defective so I took it to a local radio shack and told him the unit was fried.
He said Ok, so its not receiving, are you sure you got the right freqs entered ? This was something that never entered my mind, I thought you turned it on and it started picking up whatever was being broadcast.

Felt pretty foolish, I bought a police call book which had a few of the main freqs of the airbase I was at, and I finally started receiving and I was a happy camper - Happy until I ran into a guy picking up traffic that I wasn't, when I asked him if I could have his freqs he said sure, then said hold on.
Your radio can't receive them, they are in the 220-400 military aviation band.
So shortly thereafter I had a Fairmate HP-2000, which was pretty much an AOR 1000 clone. Back in them days there were very few scanners which could receive this band and they were expensive, $700 or so I paid for mine.
Got a Pro 2006 which I heavily modified [still have it], put up a discone on a mast on my roof [still there] and of course I started getting into other areas of scanning like police, ems ect. Back then before the internet, if you wanted to find freqs you got police call magazine, and/or you searched for them yourself.
Was a thrill of the chase type thing for me, and I found many discrete freqs in use not listed.

Once trunking came along I started to lose interest, and when things went digital I was lost, stopped scanning for years [except for airshows]. Talkgroups, unit ids ect are all greek to me, never took the time to learn. Digital scanners databases can be updated with the click of a button ... So since I'm starting to get into LE scanning again, is there any purpose searching for possible new freqs ?
 

RadioPatriots

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Joined
May 26, 2014
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101
Location
Florida
I'm an old school scannist.
First radio was a Pro 34 that I got for airshows, I saw a guy using one and knew I had to have one. Got the scanner the day before the show when there is plenty of activity with arrivals and practice .... Put the batteries in, fired it up and waited to catch all the comms.
To my utter disappointment I didn't hear a thing, sat there half an hour with not a peep. Figured the unit must be defective so I took it to a local radio shack and told him the unit was fried.
He said Ok, so its not receiving, are you sure you got the right freqs entered ? This was something that never entered my mind, I thought you turned it on and it started picking up whatever was being broadcast.

Felt pretty foolish, I bought a police call book which had a few of the main freqs of the airbase I was at, and I finally started receiving and I was a happy camper - Happy until I ran into a guy picking up traffic that I wasn't, when I asked him if I could have his freqs he said sure, then said hold on.
Your radio can't receive them, they are in the 220-400 military aviation band.
So shortly thereafter I had a Fairmate HP-2000, which was pretty much an AOR 1000 clone. Back in them days there were very few scanners which could receive this band and they were expensive, $700 or so I paid for mine.
Got a Pro 2006 which I heavily modified [still have it], put up a discone on a mast on my roof [still there] and of course I started getting into other areas of scanning like police, ems ect. Back then before the internet, if you wanted to find freqs you got police call magazine, and/or you searched for them yourself.
Was a thrill of the chase type thing for me, and I found many discrete freqs in use not listed.

Once trunking came along I started to lose interest, and when things went digital I was lost, stopped scanning for years [except for airshows]. Talkgroups, unit ids ect are all greek to me, never took the time to learn. Digital scanners databases can be updated with the click of a button ... So since I'm starting to get into LE scanning again, is there any purpose searching for possible new freqs ?
That's a very subjective question. The one and only real answer to it is, do you feel there's any purpose in it? Radio communications are going high-tech very quickly. It takes more "processor power" and know-how to monitor these days.

Personally I say yes to your question, because things change more quickly than they did back in the day. As a result, there are always unknown or new frequencies to be discovered, and even the RR database is hardly exhaustive.

The main difference between scanning then and scanning now can be neatly and succinctly summed up in only one word: digital.

Instead of having equipment capable of scanning only analog, you need equipment that can also scan for digital modes of transmission, namely APCO 25. As a frequency hunter, it could also be argued that it is now easier and more efficient to look for frequencies with a visual, "spectrum analyzer" type display, such as those found in hardware/software based receivers, typically run on a computer. This also has the added benefit of being able to log and store found frequencies for later analysis.

Of course, I am omitting the scourge of digital encryption in its entirety from my reply because that's yet another ballgame altogether.
 

Xray

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Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
565
Oh yes, I should have added that I do have digital scanners, a home patrol X and uniden digital handheld.
Haven't learned the 1st thing about programming the handheld and I doubt if I could run a search to save my life, might be easier with the HPX in that regards.
 

RadioPatriots

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Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
101
Location
Florida
Most folks use RSS (Radio Service Software) to program their scanners these days. Many of these programs are free, and they speed up and simplify programming greatly, to the point that it's almost a necessity. - And absolutely nothing to be afraid of here; the software can seem a little intimidating at first look, but after just a few hours using it, programming becomes a breeze.

Although most scanners are capable of being programmed from the front panel, to thoroughly program, number and name many systems using the scanner itself would take forever and a day, and would be a mind-numbingly tedious task.

Some of the latest scanners, such as the Uniden BCD436/536HP carry the entire database inside them.
 
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