Buying my husband a new home based scanner

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nuttylory

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I know nothing about scanners but my husband has one for many years would like to get him a new one. I due know that my state went to digital and since then he can only get our town fire & rescue call's. Can any body help me . I would like to get him one for chistmas. THANK YOU NUTTYLORY
 

AC9BX

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Lockport, IL
I very much like my Radio Shack Pro-197. It's on sale currently. The Pro-106 is the portable version. These radios are virtually identical to the GRE PSR600. Some prefer Uniden suggesting it performs better on modern digital systems. There are others but at this price range basically it's basically between these two brands. I find the Radio Shack more intuitive. Others will certainly disagree. These scanners take a little time to learn to use. That's sort of the nature of things, the more complex and feature filled it is the more difficult it can be to use or learn. There is help here and for the Radio Shack there's an online "easier to read" manual which can be very helpful.
 

mk262

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For the price, pro-197 is pretty hard to beat.

I would also recommend buying a copy of win500 (google it). Programming the scanner by hand is slow even if you're good at it and most people find it unworkable. Win500 will make it enormously easier. Get the usb programming cable too.
 
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OCO

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I know nothing about scanners but my husband has one for many years would like to get him a new one. I due know that my state went to digital and since then he can only get our town fire & rescue call's. Can any body help me . I would like to get him one for chistmas. THANK YOU NUTTYLORY
Before recommending a radio to you, people should check what's actually available to listen to. In your area, it looks like most all jurisdictions have moved to the Rhode Island Statewide Communications Network (RISCON). Take a look at the third column (Mode) of the talkgroups in this report. If a line contains a "D", it is currently receivable with a digital scanner. If it contains an "E", it is encrypted and cannot be monitored with a current scanner (and would be illegal, if something was available :( ) . Hopefully someone from your area will have more comments, but from where I sit, it doesn't look all that promising for listening to local law enforcement (sorry)....
 

mk262

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Providence dispatch is not encrypted, but north providence is encrypted, so you can't listen to them. Some of the state police is unencrypted though. It's a fine choice of scanner.
 
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OCO

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Providence dispatch is not encrypted, but north providence is encrypted, so you can't listen to them. Some of the state police is unencrypted though. It's a fine choice of scanner.
Well, OK then, I'll throw my recommendation out there... For the absolute easiest digital scanner to get set up and running, I'd go with the Uniden HomePatrol.. Out of the box, put the batteries in, power up, answer a couple of questions , put your ZIP code in and let it start scanning. When you get a few minutes, load the Sentinel software, use it to update the Database and firmware. When you get more familiar with what you want to listen to, use the Sentinel software to create Favorites.

While there are questions about setting up all the current brands and models, if you look around this forum you'll soon notice that most of the questions come from new users of the more traditional GRE, Radio Shack and Uniden scanners. From reading some of those questions, it's obvious that unless you're determined to make this your new hobby the results may be disappointing with some of these more traditional programmed scanners. Here's the easier to read manual for the Pro-106 as an example of what's required to program it..

I still hesitate to recommend making any type of investment without more information from people in your area about what's really out there to listen to besides FD dispatch. :)
 
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ScannerWayne

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Mobile AL
Nuttylori,

Tell you what; Go to the "Regional Radio Discussion Forums" and find the Forum for your area. Ask your question there and see if you don't get some good replys from folks that are familier with what can be heard in your area.

Might want to mention what kind of scanner and antenna system your husband currently has.

The current crop of scanners have a pretty steep learning curve for those that have not kept up with the technology as it evolved over the past 10 or 15 years.

As someone mentioned earlier, Uniden has made a very good attempt to make scanner listening easy again with the introduction of the Home Patrol scanner. My dad has one and he loves it. I have the Uniden BCD396xt and love that. He was able to get his up and running the same day he got it. It took me 3 days to get mine going. Another week to understand the concepts and a month or so to be able to set it up intelligently for my area. Drove my wife nuts for a while LOL.

Anyway. Check with the Forum for your area and see what the people there are using to listen with. Good Luck.

Wayne...
 
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