Clueless...

inkjunkie

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...is what I am. Wife wanted to get a scanner to hear what, if anything, is going on in our 'hood. We live in a rural area so not much anything ever happens so...
Where do I start reading? We are in Ford Washington, which is in Stevens County. We are, as the crow flies, about a mile from Lincoln County a d about 3 miles from Spokane County. Bought a Uniden BCD325P2 from a Spokane County Firefighter, pretty much has any/all frequencies used in Spokane County, WSP (highway patrol), Department of Natural Resources etc. Most of 5he frequencies are in the low 150mhz range. Ray told me that DNR does not use digital frequencies (think that is what he said). I purchased Proscan for multiple reasons. One of them was to load Steven's/Lincoln County frequencies. I downloaded all the frequencies, don't have the printout handy but I saw a lot of frequencies in the 150mhz range...as well as so e in the 800mhz area.
So....where do I start reading to understand all of this stuff? How do I know what frequencies are digital va analog? How about how this relates to an antenna? In looking at Lightening arrestors I see "gas capsules" 0-6ghz. How do I figure out which one is sufficient?
My hobby is photography. I am far from a pro. I shoot RAW and use several different programs to edit my images. As confusing as I thought photography was it looks simple, to me, compared to all of this scanner stuff. Any/all help would be much appreciated.
 
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CT
In looking at Lightening arrestors I see "gas capsules" 0-6ghz
You picked a great scanner to explore the hobby.

The scanner will detect whether it is digital or not if you leave it in the Auto mode.

As far at Lightning protection (Lightening is what you do to your hair) , I'll let the experts chime in, but you should follow the NEC (National Electrical Code Article 250)

You can buy a lightning protector like this:
Ancable-Lightning-Arrestor

Good luck!
 

WB9YBM

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Niles, IL
...is what I am. Wife wanted to get a scanner to hear what, if anything, is going on in our 'hood. We live in a rural area so not much anything ever happens so...
Where do I start reading? How do I know what frequencies are digital va analog? How about how this relates to an antenna? In looking at Lightening arrestors I see "gas capsules" 0-6ghz. How do I figure out which one is sufficient?
The only magazine out there that (as far as I know) still covers scanner stuff is a ham radio magazine called "CQ". Most PD have gone digital--don't know much about that, so unfortunately I can't help much there. The easiest frequencies to scan (and they're mostly still analog) might be the ham radio bands, plus GMRS / MURS, maybe even CB (if there are any users left in your area). Scanning the 162 MHz weather channels will give you an idea of how far your set-up can hear, assuming you're within range of a few of their stations (here in the Chicago area I get at least one weather station on each channel).
 

RBMTS

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hiegtx

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The only magazine out there that (as far as I know) still covers scanner stuff is a ham radio magazine called "CQ". Most PD have gone digital--don't know much about that, so unfortunately I can't help much there. The easiest frequencies to scan (and they're mostly still analog) might be the ham radio bands, plus GMRS / MURS, maybe even CB (if there are any users left in your area). Scanning the 162 MHz weather channels will give you an idea of how far your set-up can hear, assuming you're within range of a few of their stations (here in the Chicago area I get at least one weather station on each channel).
The Spectrum Monitor covers scanning, both in a monthly column, as well as occasional articles on specific topics, such as a review of a new unit, or more general discussions. This is an "e-magazine". Subscribers get an email with a link to download the current issue in *.pdf format. A number of the columnists were formerly associated with the now defunct 'Monitoring Times'.
 

trentbob

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So a lot of us have been around a long time and remember all of the great magazines we read and many people here have contributed articles to those magazines.

With all of the internet stuff the magazines are pretty much gone but if I might suggest the obvious. I see you just joined this month... Welcome.

You want some good reading? Try a site called radioreference.com LOL. Start with the Washington State forum. You can also look at The Archives and the forums that deal with the different brands of scanners and modes of listening.

There is no end to what you will learn on RadioReference and you can go back as far as you want.
 

GlobalNorth

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Start with the Wiki here and read up on the basics. Some Wikis are vacant and others have a lot of info, but it will give you the basics about much of the hobby, instead of jumping into the forums and getting discouraged at all the acronyms, 'industry speak', and tech talk.
 

TailGator911

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Yes, agreed, Spectrum Monitor is the closest thing I can get to Monitoring Times, or PopCom. I like physical paper stock that will fit in my cool magazine rack mounted on the wall directly in front of the commode, but I have adapted to the digital equivalent and now keep an iPad in the rack. I find that it holds so much more!
 

scanmanmi

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When you look at a frequency page if the Mode is anything besides AM, FM or NFM (narrow FM) then it is some type of digital signal. The Tone column is the next hint. If it's CSQ or a number with DPL, PL (private line) it's FM. If it says NAC or CC (color code) TG (Talk Group) then it's digital.
 

devicelab

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Bought a Uniden BCD325P2 from a Spokane County Firefighter, pretty much has any/all frequencies used in Spokane County, WSP (highway patrol), Department of Natural Resources etc. Most of 5he frequencies are in the low 150mhz range. Ray told me that DNR does not use digital frequencies (think that is what he said).
Overall it's a good scanner. It will let you listen to P25 Phase 2 -- which is type of digital mode. The other two types must be 'purchased' from Uniden directly. You get a code and enter that into the scanner to unlock the DMR and NXDN digital modes. The price is roughly ~$50 each. DMR is VERY popular right now with commercial business. NXDN isn't quite as popular but it is growing alebit slowly. DNR is still analog. WSDOT is currently working on their P25 Phase 2 system -- it's deployed on the western side of the state and soon the eastern side.

My hobby is photography. I am far from a pro. I shoot RAW and use several different programs to edit my images. As confusing as I thought photography was it looks simple compared to all of this scanner stuff.
Oddly a lot of us scanner people are also photographers. I had to cut my photo budget down quite a bit so while it's still a hobby for me it's not my primary or secondary hobby. [Good] photography is an art and takes a lot of practice (and patience.) Scanner stuff is easy (and a lot cheaper) by comparison. It's just a matter of learning the basics.
 

danesgs

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Here is another alternative even though it will pick up only one system at a time. Depending on whether you have a Iphone or Android cell phone, go to the Apple or Google store and download Scanner Radio.


It basically is a point an click app and also allow you to click on nearby scanners, then whatever is happening you can listen to in surrounding counties without having to much else. Don't get me wrong, you have a great radio scanner in the 352P2 and it will do much better but has a learning curve that is worth it. Radio services such as Aircraft, boating, railroads, Fire and EMS all take time to understand what frequencies they use and such. Next time you go to a Mall or shopping center, put the 352P2 into "search" and pick FRS/GMRS and you might hear Lowes customer service guys asking for stock checks of their employees in the back of the store LOL.

Don't be discouraged. We all started out in the "good ole days" (or bad) depending on your point of view when choices were much, much simpler. You will understand all this over time. Enjoy!

KJ4DGE
 

trentbob

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Here is another alternative even though it will pick up only one system at a time. Depending on whether you have a Iphone or Android cell phone, go to the Apple or Google store and download Scanner Radio.


It basically is a point an click app and also allow you to click on nearby scanners, then whatever is happening you can listen to in surrounding counties without having to much else. Don't get me wrong, you have a great radio scanner in the 352P2 and it will do much better but has a learning curve that is worth it. Radio services such as Aircraft, boating, railroads, Fire and EMS all take time to understand what frequencies they use and such. Next time you go to a Mall or shopping center, put the 352P2 into "search" and pick FRS/GMRS and you might hear Lowes customer service guys asking for stock checks of their employees in the back of the store LOL.

Don't be discouraged. We all started out in the "good ole days" (or bad) depending on your point of view when choices were much, much simpler. You will understand all this over time. Enjoy!

KJ4DGE
So all of these scanner apps that you can get for free from the Play Store use the streaming service provided right here on RR which is available even if you're not a paying member.

The RRDB will give you any information you want on any service, air, Marine, rail, fire, EMS and police anywhere, just look it up in seconds... also don't have to be a paying member.
 

trentbob

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What secret mode are you talking about? There's nothing like this on the 325P2..!
Just to clarify what we are talking about when we say modes, the radio does detect the mode being used while on auto but also referring to determining whether the radio is listening to analog or digital the radio does do that in channel options. The choices are analog, digital or all. When you choose "all", the radio determines whether a transmission is digital or analog. (y)
 

devicelab

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Just to clarify what we are talking about when we say modes, the radio does detect the mode being used while on auto but also referring to determining whether the radio is listening to analog or digital the radio does do that in channel options. The choices are analog, digital or all. When you choose "all", the radio determines whether a transmission is digital or analog. (y)
Yep no worries -- I have seen the AUTO setting before on my 996P2 but I normally use it for searches only. The AUTO function doesn't work that well when you force NAC or CTCSS -- then you're forcing analog/digital.
 
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