can i use a ham radio as a police scanner?

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kaitlin4599

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ok so i live in tucson az aka pima county. my original police scanner stopped working it was non trunking and non digital and ever since tucson switches from analog to digital it wont work. if i buy a portable ham radio to use as a police scanner at the home even tho i dont have a ham license will i still be able to use it for monitoring police frequencies as long as i dont talk over them at all.


edit also just to be safe what type of police scanner do i need to monitor tucson as well as pima county
 

Phoenix805

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Sorry, a ham radio won't do you any good in the Tucson area. Like most major metro areas they've gone digital-trunked, and ham radios won't help. Here's a link to Radio Reference's Tucson page Pima County Wireless Integrated Network (PCWIN) Trunking System, Tucson, Arizona - Scanner Frequencies, and while I don't have any first-hand knowledge about their system, it appears they use at least some "Project 25 Phase II TDMA modulation which can ONLY be monitored using a P25 Phase II compatible scanner."

Here's some radios RR recommends or at least say will work. APCO Project 25 - The RadioReference Wiki Unfortunately a new usable scanner is going to cost you about $500, maybe even a little more. :(
 

KR7CQ

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I recommend the BCD436HP or Whistler TRX 1 or 1080..
You won't go wrong with one of the latest Uniden scanners....they really are better with simulcast systems than anything I've tried previously, and can do whatever you need to do including phase 2. They simply blow away everything else I have used, and I have used everything but the TRX 1, so I can't judge that scanner (full disclosure).

Ham radios are lousy as scanners, even if all you need is analog. The scan speeds are slow, and they are not designed for public safety frequencies.
 

milcom_chaser

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The Uniden bcd325P2 works good on the PCWIN system. The display is large, easy to read as well.
 
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