decent scanner,decent price

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alok

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I haven't really used a scanner on a regular basis in years , occasionally I do but I have really old units that do not do trunking.
What is a decent trunking scanner that is available today ,at a decent price. Handheld and tabletop ?
I am looking for as much frequency coverage as possible for the price. Do these scanners cover all the trunking methods ?
Al
 

hiegtx

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I haven't really used a scanner on a regular basis in years , occasionally I do but I have really old units that do not do trunking.
What is a decent trunking scanner that is available today ,at a decent price. Handheld and tabletop ?
I am looking for as much frequency coverage as possible for the price. Do these scanners cover all the trunking methods ?
Al
Without at least basic information as to your location (city, or county, plus state), no one will be able to give you a very useful suggestion. A scanner such as the 325P2 or 996P2, that Doc suggested, cover the most common types of trunking systems. If you want, or need, to add DMR or NXDN, you can get a paid upgrade for each model. However, if your home area, or an area you often visit, is using simulcast systems, then you'd need to consider different equipment than the P2 scanners. It would also help to know what you want to monitor. Public Safety? (Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS ?)
 

mikewpu04

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I recently returned to scanning after a few years due to having some extra time and I found the scanners I had previously owned could not listen to some of the systems in my area. I bought a Uniden BCD996P2 from ScannerMaster as the price was reasonable and it could pick up everything available my area. I haven't paid for the DMR upgrade yet, but I'm glad the scanner has the capability.
 

Mastiff2013

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Without at least basic information as to your location (city, or county, plus state), no one will be able to give you a very useful suggestion. A scanner such as the 325P2 or 996P2, that Doc suggested, cover the most common types of trunking systems. If you want, or need, to add DMR or NXDN, you can get a paid upgrade for each model. However, if your home area, or an area you often visit, is using simulcast systems, then you'd need to consider different equipment than the P2 scanners. It would also help to know what you want to monitor. Public Safety? (Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS ?)
How does one know if one is in a simulcast system? Is there a map?
 

hiegtx

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How does one know if one is in a simulcast system? Is there a map?
Without knowing your location, I'll use a site in Hit Factor's state for illustration.

Let's use Detroit. It's on the statewide system, MPSCS.

Here's the Detroit site on MPSCS.
83673
In this case, it is labeled simulcast, but that is not always the case.
Click on the name, Detroit City Simulcast which gets you to this page:

83674

The site page shows that there are ten sites being used.
To see the tower locations, click on the small page icon at the lower corner of the map.
That gets you to a page with the tower locations.
83675

Depending on exactly you are located when trying to monitor a simulcast site, the multiple tower sites all use the same set of frequencies, transmitting the same voice traffic at the same time. But since these towers are at varying distances from your monitoring location, those signals arrive at your scanner out of synch, with enough variation to hinder the scanner's ability to receive it. The Uniden SDS series scanners, and the Unication pager have internal circuitry that handles that. Other scanners do not. But location is the key here. If you are very close to one specific tower, like a quarter mile or less, that close, strong, signal might be enough to override the other out of synch transmissions from other locations.

For more on simulcast, see this Wiki page:
Simulcast digital distortion - The RadioReference Wiki
 

N8IAA

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He's in the Sacramento area. No simulcast on any trunk system, according to the RR database. Go from there alok. The two Unidens are good choices. The Whistler 1040 and 1065 are a bit less and will do the same.
 

fredva

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This system, in Sacramento County, has a countywide simulcast.

Without knowing the OP's target system, can't really tell if there would be a problem.
Yes, definitely simulcast. Multiple towers transmitting on the same set of frequencies. Looks like if the OP wants to listen to public safety, the new scanner will need to deal with the simulcast system.
 

Hit_Factor

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Yes, definitely simulcast. Multiple towers transmitting on the same set of frequencies. Looks like if the OP wants to listen to public safety, the new scanner will need to deal with the simulcast system.
That means a Uniden SDS100 or SDS200. The scanners suggested in post #2 will not work.
 

hiegtx

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That means a Uniden SDS100 or SDS200. The scanners suggested in post #2 will not work.
Yep, unless the OP hits the 'simulcast lottery', and is either so close to one tower that it overrides the distorting signals, or is far enough outside of the system that he is unaffected. But without knowing the OPs actual location, and exactly what he wants to listen to, we're just guessing. Someone in his immediate vicinity might be able to provide useful advice, but that's more likely to happen once the actual location is specified, and the thread moved to the appropriate regional forum.
 

Hit_Factor

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This isn't true. We just don't know until he tries them.
Are you are going to pay for him to try scanners that are not specifically designed to handle simulcast? This isn't the first time you have given such reckless advice.

Trying the use the scanners you suggest may entail direction antennas, cabling, and knowledge. These quickly add up to more than the cost difference between the low end scanners you suggest and the correct scanner that is known to work.

A scanner that can't handle simulcast often receives nothing at all, the rest is garbled. How would you suggest someone measure the success of the low end scanners?
 
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alok

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Thanks for the input from all. One question ,why would a scanner not handle a simulcast signal easily. It looks like a simulcast scanner signal is no different then two analog FM radio station signals on the same frequency. The FM radio simply picks up the one that is the strongest and that is all you hear at the time.
Why doesn't the scanner do that with simulcast signals , are simulcast scanner signals analog or digital and or they a trunked signal, maybe that is where there is a problem ?

al
 

gmclam

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Thanks for the input from all. One question ,why would a scanner not handle a simulcast signal easily. It looks like a simulcast scanner signal is no different then two analog FM radio station signals on the same frequency. The FM radio simply picks up the one that is the strongest and that is all you hear at the time.
Why doesn't the scanner do that with simulcast signals , are simulcast scanner signals analog or digital and or they a trunked signal, maybe that is where there is a problem ?
When the modulation is FM, there is something called "capture ratio". Here we are dealing with digital modulation such as TDMA. With a typical receiver multiple signals end up polluting the eventually demodulated/decoded digital stream.
 

fredva

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Digital is much worse when you are getting out-of-sync signals on the same frequency from different locations. The radio has to decode the digital traffic, and the decoding often doesn't work well unless the radio is designed for those types of systems.

Trunking itself is not the problem. For example, there are what are called multi-site trunked systems, where each transmitter has its own set of frequencies and those frequencies aren't duplicated by any other transmitters in the vicinity. Those systems don't produce the garbling or the missed transmissions that digital simulcast can cause (unless you are simply out of range).
 
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a29zuk

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Thanks for the input from all. One question ,why would a scanner not handle a simulcast signal easily. It looks like a simulcast scanner signal is no different then two analog FM radio station signals on the same frequency. The FM radio simply picks up the one that is the strongest and that is all you hear at the time.
Why doesn't the scanner do that with simulcast signals , are simulcast scanner signals analog or digital and or they a trunked signal, maybe that is where there is a problem ?

al
And read post #8 again.

Jim
 
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