Crawford County

seagullplayer

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Feb 1, 2013
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Location
Marengo, IN
I have a Bearcat BC355N.

Looks like most of the county has finally went SAFE-T.
I live near English, I use to listen to the State police post out of Jasper and the Police out of Harrison County.
I want to listen to local police and EMS mostly; English, Marengo, Milltown maybe Paoli.

Will the Home patrol 1 work for the current SAFE-T (P25?)
Just interested in a base.
Is it better to just go with the HP2?

Does anyone know if the Crawford School is still on analog?

thx
 

VASCAR2

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Jun 5, 2011
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450
Location
So Illinois
My suggestion would be to get a Home Patrol 2 or a BCD996P2 as both are phase II capable. The Home Patrol II scanner is ok for a novice as it is easy to setup. I think the BCD996P2 is the best value for someone who is interested in radios and likes versatility. You can use programming software to setup the BCD996P2 or you can manually program it.

Checking the database the Crawford County schools are on DMR. To receive the DMR you’d need the DMR upgrade for the BCD996P2. I don’t think the HP 2 can be upgraded to DMR or NXDN. The Whistler TRX2 is another desk top scanner that might work for you.


 

seagullplayer

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Feb 1, 2013
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Location
Marengo, IN
After some searching today I had the BCD996P2 in my sites.

I found a good deal on a Radio shack Pro 197, but it wont work after they go to P2...

Is the DMR upgrade just a software download?
 

VASCAR2

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Location
So Illinois
The DMR upgrade can be purchased from Uniden’s web site. I upgraded my Uniden BCD325P2 with the NXDN and DMR upgrades. There are instructions on RR for installing the DMR upgrade. When you pay for the upgrade your provided a code to enter into your scanner that turns on/activates the DMR or NXDN capability on your scanner.

I think it is cheaper to purchase the DMR upgrade yourself than paying ScannerMaster or other vendor to install. I think it cost me $50 for each upgrade DMR/NXDN.

There are recommendations to update your scanners software prior to purchasing the DMR or NXDN upgrade. Using the menu you can look to see what software version your scanner has. On a new scanner more than likely it has the latest software. If not it is recommended to download and install the latest software version for your scanner. I did update the software with my BCD325P2 and it wasn’t difficult. You basically just need a computer with PC based processor (not apple or Mac) to update your software. I entered the DMR passcode using my scanners front keypad.

Here is a link to Uniden BCD996P2 firmware update page if you decide to get this scanner.



Here is a link to the Uniden DMR upgrade page for the Uniden BCD996P2. Looks like current DMR upgrade is $60.

 
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seagullplayer

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Feb 1, 2013
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Location
Marengo, IN
I need to do a little more research, if the only thing I need the upgrades for is to listen to the school bus drivers, I'll just pass.

You all have been very helpful.
 

VASCAR2

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So Illinois
I agree with you about getting the DMR. I bought the DMR because a utility and a couple of counties near me went to DMR. I bought the NXDN because my electric utility went to NXDN as well as a couple of LE Agencies not far from me. I’m retired and only have the DMR and NXDN in my hand held Uniden BCD325P2. I’m still using a Uniden BCD996XT for my at home scanner. Once the P25 Phase II starts getting used in my area I’ll probably buy a new BCD996P2 or SDS200.
 

seagullplayer

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Marengo, IN
Does anyone have a feel for how long it will be before the P25 goes to phase II? I think I found a deal on a pro 197.
If I thought it would be a few years yet, I might just buy it. And when they finally go phase II take a look at what advancements have been made at that time in scanners.

Otherwise I think the BCD996P2 checks my boxes.
 

VASCAR2

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Location
So Illinois
The way Motorola drops support for older mobile and hand held radios I suspect two to three years for Safe-T to transition to TDMA Phase II P25. If Safe-T is experiencing traffic at max capacity for the number of allocated frequencies for the majority of it’s sites this can give an incentive to transition to Phase II sooner.


Since narrow banding VHF high band isn’t as reliable at covering the same geographic area as prior to narrow banding. Most users of VHF in my area have moved to digital formats just to keep sufficient coverage. I personally think your better off buying a new Phase II capable scanner now. The only significant change I see needed in scanner technology is the need for decoding TDMA trunked control channel like used with the new Duke Energy trunked system. I don’t see encryption going away which will limit what a hobbyist can hear.

The only analog in my area are some Fire Departments, everything else has migrated to digital. Even the railroads are transitioning to NXDN. An analog scanner works fine for listening to aircraft and the weather service.

A Uniden BCD996P2 is approximately $400 which is cheaper than when I purchased my BCD996XT in 2009. My BCD996XT is still a very good scanner and if you divide the price ($500+ tax) over thirteen years it has provided a lot of cheap entertainment.

Even if a new scanner comes out in four years that is required in your area you could still sell the BCD996P2 to help off set the cost. With you living in English your not likely to be bothered with simulcast distortion and need a SDS 100/200.

You don’t have to upgrade a BCD996P2 with DMR,NXDN or ProVoice but can always update it later if needed.
 

seagullplayer

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Feb 1, 2013
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Location
Marengo, IN
The lead I had on the older radio shack scanner evaporated. So I do have the BCD996P2 on order!

Should get to me middle of next week. I am excited to get started on it.

I spent a couple of days looking for a local brick and mortar around that sold them.
Came up empty handed. So I ordered it.

I had a Home Patrol 1 a few years ago. I never really cared for it. Seems I spent a lot of time notching things
out.

There still appears several analog scanners being made? Is there still a large part of the country on analog?
 

VASCAR2

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Location
So Illinois
Most of the analog is in rural areas where agencies or businesses are small with small budgets. Most electric utilities in Illinois and Indiana have gone digital and larger utilities have gone to large area trunked systems.

One reason there is a transition away from analog is reduced range since narrow banding and age of equipment with no vendor support for repairs.

Like cell phones and computers the life cycle for two way radios is five to fifteen years whereas when I started in LE it was common to have radios twenty years old.

I think your buying a great scanner for your area and if you have any questions on programming I feel sure I could help with your BCD996P2.
 
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seagullplayer

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Feb 1, 2013
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Location
Marengo, IN
Thank you so much for the help. It is expected to be at my house mid week.
I should have Friday off work, so Thursday night will be program time!

I watched a couple of videos on programming, but I still have a couple questions. I am hopping they will be self evident once I get started.
 

VASCAR2

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Messages
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Location
So Illinois
If you have trouble send me a PM and I’ll give you my cell phone number and email. I’ve been able to talk others through programming over the phone or by email.
 
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