Deciding which Digital scanner to buy ???

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73cuda

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I think it's time to buy a new digital scanner and would appreciate some advice before purchasing. Considering I live in the Marion county/Ocala area, I've looked at the Pro 106 and the Uniden portables. But it looks like the base/mobile units cost a bit less so I'm thinking I'll go with a base unit and do a private stream to my Android.

My analog units are now pretty much useless to me so I think I'll sell them to recoup some money that goes to the new digital unit.

So please share some advice if you have any, on what you guys recommend,

Thanks
 

gewecke

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Pro-197/ Pro-106 or nothing! There's a reason that Pro is in the model number! ;)

73,
n9zas
 

khoelldobler

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I think it's time to buy a new digital scanner and would appreciate some advice before purchasing. Considering I live in the Marion county/Ocala area, I've looked at the Pro 106 and the Uniden portables. But it looks like the base/mobile units cost a bit less so I'm thinking I'll go with a base unit and do a private stream to my Android.

My analog units are now pretty much useless to me so I think I'll sell them to recoup some money that goes to the new digital unit.

So please share some advice if you have any, on what you guys recommend,

Thanks
PRO-106 the best choice, in my opinion, trouble free operation since day one... the base model would be nice for anyone living in Florida, since we can't always have these in our vehicles... but I highly recommend the 106. Buy one, and I will clone yours for you... remember, I'm in Ocala :)
 

KC4RAF

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With either the 106 or 197.

They have better sound for one thing. The other manufacturer's models have less quality in their audio. There's been some posts on RR concerning that matter.
The 197 is very close to that of GRE's PSR-600, and the 106 that of the PSR-500. Both great digitals.
 

73cuda

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Thanks everyone, that's the advice I was looking for. I think I'm going to go for the 197 so I can stream to my android as mentioned, that way I can connect to my external antenna and it would just be a lot more convenient for me.

Thanks also for the offer to clone Kevin, I appreciate that! I'll probably take you up on that.


One more question tho, I haven't seen it in the database but, are there any encrypted TG's in the MCSD or OPD ? I know they can't be monitored and it's no big deal to me, just curious before I buy as to how many TG's (if any) are now and if it's believed they will all be encrypted in the future ???


Thx again,

Steve
 

khoelldobler

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Thanks everyone, that's the advice I was looking for. I think I'm going to go for the 197 so I can stream to my android as mentioned, that way I can connect to my external antenna and it would just be a lot more convenient for me.

Thanks also for the offer to clone Kevin, I appreciate that! I'll probably take you up on that.


One more question tho, I haven't seen it in the database but, are there any encrypted TG's in the MCSD or OPD ? I know they can't be monitored and it's no big deal to me, just curious before I buy as to how many TG's (if any) are now and if it's believed they will all be encrypted in the future ???


Thx again,

Steve

Steve, to answer your question regarding MCSO or OPD using any known encrypted talkgroup channels.... MCSO has a SWAT Team TGID 1030 and IT IS Encrypted. It's the only encrypted channel on the MCSO radio system, and I have a friend on the SWAT Team, and there is no chatter going on regarding any future encryption, so I do believe this one channel is the only one and will remain so as far as I can tell.

OPD does not have any encrypted channels at the current time. They have a SWAT channel, which can be monitored (not encrypted)

Ocala's trunked radio system is relatively new, a digital system, and I have not heard anything as far as any future encryption useage, so Ocala and the Marion system are always fun to monitor. The only set back I can tell you about, is that both the OPD and the MCSO both operate an extensive network system on CAD and both the city and the county have been doing some silent dispatching lately.... many calls dispatched thru the VisionNet CAD system. This sometimes limits the radio traffic you would normally hear, but when they are busy, the radio transmissions are used for the most part, the mornings can sometimes be quiet, but as afternoon comes, alot of radio traffic can and will be heard, especially by the MCSO. Steve, you can swing by my home this evening, to see the Pro-106 and hear its audio if you would like, prior to making the purchase of the new scanner.
 

73cuda

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So, I did purchase a Pro-197 from RS and found when I got home that it was a returned unit which was obvious from the complete lack of factory packaging. It seemed to work ok but at almost $400. I wanted brand new. Before returning it, I re-read a PM from khoelldobler and his strong recommendation on the Pro-106 and I decided that that would suit me better than the 197. As well as gewecke's and rafdav's posts here.

So I swapped the 197 for a new 106 (I opened it at the RS store to make sure it was factory fresh) and I have to say I'm very happy with it!!! I also have to say that the RS employees, while not very knowledgeable on these scanners were still very nice and happily swapped the scanners with no problems. Even though I was advised several times during each purchase that these "WILL NOT PICK UP ANY POLICE OR EMERGENCY CHANNELS" And, I was questioned as to what I intended to monitor!!!!

I said, (knowing this was of course incorrect) Oh, you know, marine and aircraft stuff like that, lol. Their just misinformed and I wasn't gonna take the time to get into it.

I want to thank khoelldobler (Kevin) for inviting me to his home and cloning his radio to mine, this represents untold hours of his hard work and got me all setup in seconds and I really appreciate his kind help. And I enjoyed checking out all his radio gear and his beautifully restored Ford police interceptor loaded with comm gear !!!

Thanks again Kevin, my 106 is running right now and I'm very happy with it. BTW: Also using my homebuilt 11 element Yagi and a 15db amp.

Steve
 

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gewecke

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Hey steve keep in mind that your older scanner can still be used for plenty of great listening! Railroad,aircraft,ham,business to name a few even if it's a older unit. Enjoy your pro-106 :)
73,
n9zas
 

khoelldobler

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So, I did purchase a Pro-197 from RS and found when I got home that it was a returned unit which was obvious from the complete lack of factory packaging. It seemed to work ok but at almost $400. I wanted brand new. Before returning it, I re-read a PM from khoelldobler and his strong recommendation on the Pro-106 and I decided that that would suit me better than the 197. As well as gewecke's and rafdav's posts here.

So I swapped the 197 for a new 106 (I opened it at the RS store to make sure it was factory fresh) and I have to say I'm very happy with it!!! I also have to say that the RS employees, while not very knowledgeable on these scanners were still very nice and happily swapped the scanners with no problems. Even though I was advised several times during each purchase that these "WILL NOT PICK UP ANY POLICE OR EMERGENCY CHANNELS" And, I was questioned as to what I intended to monitor!!!!

I said, (knowing this was of course incorrect) Oh, you know, marine and aircraft stuff like that, lol. Their just misinformed and I wasn't gonna take the time to get into it.

I want to thank khoelldobler (Kevin) for inviting me to his home and cloning his radio to mine, this represents untold hours of his hard work and got me all setup in seconds and I really appreciate his kind help. And I enjoyed checking out all his radio gear and his beautifully restored Ford police interceptor loaded with comm gear !!!

Thanks again Kevin, my 106 is running right now and I'm very happy with it. BTW: Also using my homebuilt 11 element Yagi and a 15db amp.

Steve
Steve, it was a pleasure meeting you, and I'm glad I was able to help. I always enjoy meeting the locals, who are also radioreference members, and I will be here if you or anyone else locally needs me. Take care friend !
 

ke4crc

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Steve, it was a pleasure meeting you, and I'm glad I was able to help. I always enjoy meeting the locals, who are also radioreference members, and I will be here if you or anyone else locally needs me. Take care friend !
khoelldobler do you have a file for Ocala city in a free scan format or BC tool format ?
i don't understand the bandplan programing for the city trunk system I have a BCD 396 T

Thanks
 

JoeBowl2003

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I am no expert by any means but I understand some of the basic knowledge of 800mhz systems,VHF, and Digital Scanners. I live in Clay County and follow CCFR and JFRD..etc.. Mainly interested in the fire departments... I have a basic Uniden BC92XLT (still gets the job done, as far as tone outs and dispatch) but I just need help with what scanner will do what.. For example, what scanner would I need to listen to Fire-tac channels, fire ground operations etc... Or how to program mine so I would be able to.. Thanks everyone! Happy Listening!
 

Bolt21

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There are no bandplan settings to input for a pure P25 system. Rebanded systems are a different story, and use the "Mot Custom/Reband Type II" site type setting.

Here are my Ocala FreeSCAN settings for my 396T:
 

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krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

Congrats on the new toy. :)

73cuda said:
BTW: Also using my homebuilt 11 element Yagi and a 15db amp.
The GRE-built scanners have a rather sensitive front-end. The Yagi-uda, especially when put through an amp, might provide too much signal. (Unless you live a distance from the transmitting site.)
 
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khoelldobler

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khoelldobler do you have a file for Ocala city in a free scan format or BC tool format ?
i don't understand the bandplan programing for the city trunk system I have a BCD 396 T

Thanks
no I do not use freescan, and I do not use the BCtools either, I basically own Radioshack scanners now, they are extremely dependable for me in my listening area, mostly trunked 800 mhz systems here, and I use PSRedit-500 exclusively to tweak my Pro-106. If you have a programming software, such as psredit500 or win500 (if using a Pro-106 like I am) you would have access to download on your scanner from the radioreference database, the correct info thats listed in the database, onto your scanner programming software files, then upload the file into your scanner, and it should work fine for you. Many scanner programming software packages have a radioreference link in them, to make programming alot easier/faster. I havent had much experience with BC scanners, I have oned one or two many years ago, and can't help you much with programming, I am sorry, but I'm sure someone with a Bearcat scanner on here can help you out.

as far as the bandplan for the city of Ocala, it's already been rebanded, and the freq's in the database are current, so if you program in all the freq's it should work.... nothing special to tell about at this time, the freq's and the talkgroups are all correct in the RR database. Set your scanner on P25 Automatic, and try it again. If your too far from the transmit tower location, your stock antenna may have a hard time picking it up. Ocala PF/FD only has one tower site transmitting, so that too could be a problem depending where your located.
 
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73cuda

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Hey steve keep in mind that your older scanner can still be used for plenty of great listening! Railroad,aircraft,ham,business to name a few even if it's a older unit. Enjoy your pro-106 :)
73,
n9zas
I agree and had decided to keep the 92 and 97 for just that reason, thanks.


Congrats on the new toy. :)



The GRE-built scanners have a rather sensitive front-end. The Yagi-uda, especially when put through an amp, might provide too much signal. (Unless you live a distance from the transmitting site.)

Right, I had read on RR about that with the GRE units and I'm glad you brought that up as I was a little concerned about that.The amp, (which is a SVI Digital "Subscriber Amplifier" 53 to 1000mhz cable amp) is mounted at the bottom of the mast and then only about a 45 foot RG6 coax run to my home office on the lower level. I either have a problem with my yagi or coax as the 106 barely receives anything without the amp in line. I did have a Motorola 850mhz "pigtail" mobile antenna mounted to my metal chimney cap and this worked just fine with the Ocala PD and Fire before they switched to P25. I tried this with the 106 to start with and it didn't work too well at all so that's when I got the yagi out and mounted it higher then added the amp.

On the yagi, I have an RG6 and female F connector pigtail. I don't know if I should have used a 300ohm to 75ohm balun on the output of the yagi. I'm positive they're no shorts btwn the driven elements and/or the metal boom. I'm going to put new, higher quality F connectors on the coax and check it all out real well and see what happens. I'm not exactly sure where the towers are but I am pretty sure I'm quite a distance from them. Now the 106 works really quite good when I go upstairs and I also got one of the 800mhz rubber duckies from RS and I will say that that antenna really makes a difference, much more than I expected. I have about 5 BNC rubber antennas from various scanners over the years and this new 800 one works much better than all of them, especially the stock 106 rubber duck. The lower level is brick exterior with a type of aluminum house wrap behind the brick so it's kinda like a Faraday Cage I think.

Most people think that Florida is all flat, at least I certainly used to before I moved here but I'll tell you, Ocala has some decent size long rolling hills and they're at least two btwn me and the main town area so I'm not sure at this point if I can get any sort of "line of sight" to the towers.

So I'll check out the coax and antennas and see if I can get by without the amp, and see if I can find where the towers are exactly. I aimed the yagi by watching the signal level while on the Ocala PD control channel. Any suggestions and/or advice is always welcome.

Thx,

Steve
 

ke4crc

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Thanks Bolt next time I'm passing tho Marion I'll program my scanner for that





There are no bandplan settings to input for a pure P25 system. Rebanded systems are a different story, and use the "Mot Custom/Reband Type II" site type setting.

Here are my Ocala FreeSCAN settings for my 396T:
 
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