Bloomington/Normal and Champaign Scanning

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Nattgew

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Apr 10, 2010
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Renton, WA
I have had my first scanner, a BC72XLT, for about a month now and have really been enjoying it. I really like all the things I'm able to pick up, but am a bit disappointed at the low memory capacity and not being able to get FMN or digitally trunked signals, and the limited frequency coverage.
I live near Bloomington/Normal right now, so of course I can get Bloomington but not Normal. I listen to the online feed sometimes, so I get a bit of a feel for what I'm not hearing with my radio.
I'm also planning on living in Champaign in the fall, where I will be able to pick up much less with my scanner.
I'm considering getting a digital scanner and and wondering what would be the best choice for me. I don't want to spend a lot, so I'm really considering the Pro-96 refurbished off of Overstock.
The Pro-96 appears to lack some frequencies and features that might be good to have, though.
I've looked at the 396T and PSR-500 also. I mostly want to listen to the aircraft band (which along with other random things my current scanner does fine with), but also police/fire (which would be nice to have a digital scanner for).Are there some people here that have experience with the area that could recommend a good handheld scanner?

Thanks.
 

bob_leach_3

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Nov 4, 2004
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Ashmore/Charleston, IL
I have tried my pro-96 in Chapaign to hear their digital trunked system and it cuts out often because of the simulcast towers, unless i use the attenuate button. I dont know if any other digital scanners would be better but I assume so. I do know the newer RS/GRE models are said to be very full-featured though. Might be better able to hear Champaign with those but im not sure..as for Bloomington, I never monitored them but heard it online:)
 

RoninJoliet

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Jan 14, 2003
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ILL
Up here in the north my 396XT works best on the 700-800mgz Starcom Digital system on multipath towers, when i travel to central ILL the GRE500 works very well on the stand alone 800mgz towers....The RS106/GRE500 are very prone to cell towers where the Uniden 396XT for me is hardly interupted.....
 

gewecke

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When you're in bloomington, you want these;
ch.1 453.1500 dispatch 127.3pl
ch.2 453.9250 events "
ch.3 460.1250 back up "
ch.2 high band is 155.130 car to car. Csq.

Mclean county,Isp,and normal pd are all starscam 21

n9zas
 

cubn

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medic29

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Champaign, IL
You're going to need one of the newer digital trunking scanners. I used to listen to all of the emergency services here in Champaign county for years, then they went digital and all I could hear was the aircraft frequency. I purchased the BCD996T and once again can hear all of the agencies I used to hear. In my research, the older digital trunking scanners will not work. For Uniden, only the 396, or 996 models will work, then there is the GRE brand that has a scanner as well.

The scanners are fairly pricey, right around $500, but are a necessary evil if you enjoy listening to the area agencies.
 
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