Can a trunking scanner read non-trunking communications?

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jbclem

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I'm in Los Angeles County, and the Fire Dept uses analog non-trunking systems for their communications. I have a chance to acquire a used Radio Shack Pro-95, a dual trunk tracking scanner. Could someone tell me if I could listen to local Fire Department communications using this scanner.

Thanks,

John
 

ka3jjz

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If you mean the freqs found here in our database

Los Angeles County, California (CA) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

The answer is yes, with a couple of provisos - the 95 isn't capable of hearing narrowband transmissions correctly, so the audio will sound a good deal softer than the other analog ones. Also I don't believe that the 95 is capable of using PL/DCS - these are subaudible tones that are sent to limit the usage of many agencies that share a single frequency. Therefore if you program a frequency that is shared between agencies, you will hear everything - you can't limit the scanner by just selecting that agency's PL or DCS code.

Also keep in mind that while there is good programming software (free) out there for this radio, there isn't anything out there that can download data from our database (with a subscription); you will need to do a copy/paste or program it manually.

HTH...Mike
 

jbclem

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Thanks for the good information, Mike. Since I live in a brush fire area, my need is to be able to listen to local Fire Department dispatches, and also neighborhood FRS. I don't know much about scanning, so I'm not sure where narrowband plays into this, but it seems like the subaudible tones capability, in a crowded area like Los Angeles, might be a necessity.

If the Pro-95 doesn't use PL/DCS, then I might want to look at other scanners. Since I'm looking for a used one, are there any other older models (any brand) that carry the high marks that I've seen associated with the Pro-95?

John
 

gmclam

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PRO-95 and later

If the Pro-95 doesn't use PL/DCS, then I might want to look at other scanners. Since I'm looking for a used one, are there any other older models (any brand) that carry the high marks that I've seen associated with the Pro-95?John
If you want to save money, the PRO-95 will do the job. If you want CT/DC capability (tones), then you could get a PRO-97. After the PRO-97 there is the PRO-164/PSR-300; the same scanner with different brands on it. All of these models are now older scanners that do not fully support narrowbanding, however all but the '95 do have CT/DC capability.

If you can swing it, I'd get a PSR-310 or the equivalent base model PSR-410. This is the latest model in this series. I have all of the models stated here. Don't forget getting a USB programming cable and software. It is really essential these days. Software for the PRO-95 is WIN95 and I believe is freeware. Software for the PRO-97 or PSR-300 is WIN97 from the same author. The PSR-310 uses WIN500. There are other authors as well, depending on the scanner model.
 
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