Daughter live in Waco. what scanner does she need

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ranger821

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From the database, it looks like the Waco area is going digital. Has that happened or can a regular scanner work for the area. I am in Florida. Anyone in the area????
 

rbarker

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Waco is partially digital so you definitely need the best scanner you can afford.
 

hiegtx

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From the database, it looks like the Waco area is going digital. Has that happened or can a regular scanner work for the area. I am in Florida. Anyone in the area????
As noted, she'd definitely need a digital scanner. Check this rather lengthy thread for a discussion of the Waco P25 system. Besides the Waco system, there are a couple of other smaller systems in McLennan County that are P25 as well. including Woodway (discussed here) and Lacy-Lakeview.

Besides Texas DPS, there is a small but growing number of agencies, including in neighboring counties to Waco, that use P25 (digital) transmissions on conventional (non-trunked) frequencies. So a digital, trunking, scanner that can also utilize the NAC codes would be preferable. Your Pro-197 (from your signature) is one example. A longer list is below.

GRE manufactured scanners:
GRE PSR-500 (Handheld)
GRE PSR-600 (Base/Mobile)
GRE PSR-800 (Handheld)
RadioShack Pro-106 (Handheld)
RadioShack Pro-197 (Base/Mobile)
RadioShack Pro-18 (Handheld)
The above were manufactured by GRE, which has ceased production and disbanded. While a few new units may still be found, they are rapidly diminishing in availability. For the PSR-800, its price has escalated considerably above the original market pricing. This is largely because the PSR-800 is the only current scanner that will handle X2-TDMA/Phase II talkgroups. Besides checking dealers for any remaining ‘new’ stock, don’t overlook the used market, either in the classifieds here, on eBay, other online sites, or occasionally local pawn shops. For any GRE manufactured scanner purchased used, make sure it's complete (all parts included, including battery holders), and in good working order. With GRE now no longer in the picture, parts and service support may be problematic.

Note that Whistler Group has acquired the intellectual property of the old GRE product line, and plans to start producing units using those designs in 2014. However, there has been no commitment that they will provide parts and service support for the former GRE units.


Current Uniden Models
Uniden BCD396XT (Handheld)
Uniden BCD996XT (Base/Mobile)
Uniden HomePatrol-1 (Base/Mobile)


Uniden will release two new scanners in January 2014. These will have some of the features of the Home Patrol, including the ease of programming via the stored RadioReference database, as well as functions carried over from the XT series scanners.
Uniden BCD436HP (Handheld)
Uniden BCD536HP (Base/Mobile)
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Slightly Older Models (Discontinued, but can be found in used, but good, condition. These cannot utilize the NAC codes for P25 conventional frequencies):
Uniden BCD396T (Handheld)
Uniden BCD996T (Base/Mobile)

[/FONT]For ease if use, unless your daughter is either 'radio savvy', or you feel you can handle support long distance, I'd suggest either the Home Patrol-1, or one of the new Uniden scanners due out in January. These can be set up within a few minutes, using location zip code and service types, and can be easily kept 'up to date' with the weekly database updates. It's also very easy to create and email a tailored *.hpe file that can be imported to load specific systems/channels. However, I would recommend a better antenna. The stock antenna is not idea, especially for 800MHz systems. I use the Radio Shack 800MHz on mine, when I don't have it connected to a rooftop antenna. That does require an SMA to BNC adapter, plus a right-angle adapter. Another choice, which does not require an adapter, is the SMA version of this antenna.
 

ranger821

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Thanks guys. That is what I thought from the radio reference page. Thanks Steve for the run down. The daughter and her husband are there in Waco for about another 2 years. He is active duty military there at Baylor Univ. They use the one on there phones and tablets for mobile ops but would like one for the house. I think something like the home patrol that is easy. I have a good knowledge of mine (scanners) but do not want to try do the long distance support thing. Brain is 67 years old and has been on overload for a lot of years.

Thanks again.

KB4OIF
John, 73
 

hiegtx

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Thanks guys. That is what I thought from the radio reference page. Thanks Steve for the run down. The daughter and her husband are there in Waco for about another 2 years. He is active duty military there at Baylor Univ. They use the one on there phones and tablets for mobile ops but would like one for the house. I think something like the home patrol that is easy. I have a good knowledge of mine (scanners) but do not want to try do the long distance support thing. Brain is 67 years old and has been on overload for a lot of years.

Thanks again.

KB4OIF
John, 73
John,
You can easily help program the HP-1 by creating a file for them, or they can simply enter location, select service types, update the database, and be scanning in less than 30 minutes (I'm including software download/installation as well as database, which are all straightforward operations).

The HP one is a good "listening" scanner. Large display, you can easily hold it on a single frequency (or talkgroup), or agency for a working incident. For traveling, using a GPS, it's hard to beat.

The Sentinel software for the current HP-1 can be found here. You can download & install the software, and update the database, without having the scanner connected. If you have other questions, or would like a few screen shots, shoot me a pm with them, and include your email address.
 

Russell

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BCD536HP is the way to go for a base/mobile. If you can wait until they start coming out it'll be the best scanner for the area hands down. Especially with all the different P25 trunked systems in the area; this scanner works very well.

Russell
 

ranger821

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Ok. a fly in the ointment. Her budget is 250 dollars. Will they be able to use a conventional scanner for a little while. They will be moving in about 19 months. they definately need one that can be programmed with the zip code.
 

hiegtx

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Ok. a fly in the ointment. Her budget is 250 dollars. Will they be able to use a conventional scanner for a little while. They will be moving in about 19 months. they definately need one that can be programmed with the zip code.
The closest you're going to get to a 'zip code programmable' scanner in the $250 range (of a little less) is perhaps a PSR-7oo, or it's near clone the Radio Shack Pro-107. I've never owned either, but they are location based scanners, similar in concept to the Home Patrol, but handled a different way.

Analog only would get them the McLennan County Sheriff (for now, anyway), and some of the smaller cities, but not Waco itself, nor those cities on either Waco's P25 TRS, or the two smaller ones (Woodway & Lacy-Lakeview).

Keep an eye out for used, but good condition, scanners. Either in the classifieds here on RadioReference, on eBay, or perhaps a local pawn shop. I have seen a couple of HP-1's sold in the $300 range, though most are higher. A member of one of the local Yahoo groups was selling his (stated) good condition 396T for $225, and his 396XT for $325. I've seen a number of 396T's sell below $250. The 396XT's usually go for more than was asked for this one. While neither of those are 'zip code programmable', they are easily programmable via FreeSCAN. You have a Pro-197. I suspect, that if you were patient, you could find a Pro-106, -197, or PSR-500/-600 in your desired price range. But again, those are not 'zip code' scanners.
 

Ensnared

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Waco Preferred Digital Scanner

Since I have not seen the new Uniden Phase II base and hand held scanners & have yet to hear about the new line of digital radios from Whistler, I cannot honestly recommend which radio to get.

If you look at the Radio Reference page for McLennan County, you will see that the Waco P25 is a Phase II system. This may mean, in the future, they will be migrating to Phase II talk groups. At present, I know of no Phase II talk groups here.

I am waiting to see what Whistler has to offer. In addition to Phase II radios, they might offer access to other types of radio systems that the new Uniden does not cover.

At present, I am doing fairly well listening to my GRE PSR 500 which is the same chassis as the RS Pro-106.
 
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Ensnared

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Pro-106 or Pro-197

I spoke to a lady at the Radio shack there in Waco. She said they had went digital already!!!! Thanks ensnared.
In Waco, knowing most of the RS sales representatives I've encountered here, I can assure you that most don't have a clue about the subject matter. On the other hand, I once walked into the RS on Waco Drive & heard a tactical channel being broadcast there in the store. In my opinion, they should have taken that talk group (channel) off the air in the store. I might add this was on the new digital radio system.

Waco PD was nice enough to walk me through the "freedom of information act" with respect to obtaining their fleet map. Many people who provide Radio Reference live scanner feeds will not broadcast tactical frequencies.

Again, I am waiting on Whistler to bring out their new line of radios since they bought GRE, the ones who made the Pro-106/Pro-197. Although I think Uniden makes some fine radios, I don't like how they handle the banking of frequencies. With the GRE/Whistler design, you can make your own scanning banks or "scan lists."

Due to the changes at GRE, I don't know whether or not RS will be providing repair service for the Pro-106 or Pro-197. I don't even know if they stock the parts for these great radios.

At present, if I were buying a Christmas present, I would certainly consider the new Uniden radio since it has incredible features with the GPS capabilities. It is also Phase II in case you want to listen to Houston, Texas.

You will not have GPS-driven scanning with GRE products. I don't think Whistler will provide this feature when they are manufactured, but I could be wrong.

After visiting family in the NW portion of Iowa, I can tell you one thing. I'm happy to be back in Waco where scanning is quite robust in comparison. In NW Iowa, the most exciting thing I heard was an active burglary. We have plenty of crime here to keep LE busy.

The key to quality listening is to not be a target of crime. LOL.
 
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SCPD

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Get her a late Christmas gift, the new Home Patrol's should be available in January 2014. And they trump anything out now.
 
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