digital -- worth the extra money?

Status
Not open for further replies.

JeffBauman

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2006
Messages
1
Location
Puget Sound region
Is the premium being charged for digital scanners today worth it? How many analog systems are likely to be replaced over the next five years with digital systems, and how many digital systems will go encrypted, negating the use of a scanner at all? Your thoughts?

My scanners (BC-860XLT; PRO-71) are several years old and I'm considering adding new gear primarily to add trunking capability but also for increased memory storage. One question I face is whether to pay the premium for a digital scanner (say the BCD996T) or stay with analog (say the BCT15). Will the analog become largely obsolete anytime soon, thus offering false economy now? Will the digital become irrelevant due to increased use of encryption, thus representing "wasted" money?

Opinions are welcome!

JB
KC7ZWE
 

Stick0413

Member
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
1,118
Location
Hopewell, VA
It all depends on your location. Where I am at more systems than not are operating in or are strictly digital. So really I have to have a digital scanner to get most of the stuff. Everything around here is basically non-encrypted, most have talkgroups that are encrypted but rarely use them. As far as will the analog become obsolete. Depends on what you are planning to listen to and if they are planning to go digital soon. Out of my banks on my pro96 & 2096 5 are digital trunking systems and two others have digital trunking systems along with conventional analog frequncies. Its also looking like soon it will be 6 banks that are strickly digital trunking systems as one of the localities is probably soon to build a digital system (they already have at least one tower up for it.) Its all in where you live and what they chose to do. They could chose to stay analong (conventional or trunking system), could chose to go to digital, or could chose to encrypt everything. I am glad I live in an area that believes in using encryption only when needed.
 

DaveIN

Founders Curmudgen
Database Admin
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Messages
6,514
Location
West Michigan
If your area is analog only, both trunked and conventional, there is no need to buy a digital scanner unless you plan to use it when you travel. Do investigate and look at all the counties in your listenable area to be sure that none of them are using Motorola P25 digital voice in the database: http://radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR
 

UPMan

In Memoriam
Uniden Representative
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
13,296
Location
Arlington, TX
Here's a quick look at where there are P16 or P25 digital trunked systems, now. Yellow are mixed analog/digital. Green is P25. Of course, in areas that have a statewide digital system (making the entire state green), there are still many local agencies that are not yet digital. Also, some of the "statewide" systems haven't quite covered their entire state, yet. There are also agencies like TSA and others who use P25 nationally and several other local or state conventional P25 agencies that aren't reflected on this map.

Digital9-2006.jpg
 

UPMan

In Memoriam
Uniden Representative
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
13,296
Location
Arlington, TX
I colored (many, many hours). I think the thicker lines are all due to jpeg artifacts from the original map outline.

Someone want to volunteer to keep a map updated for rebanding? :*)
 

Joseph11

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
2,319
New Jersey should be yellow, we have a mixed mode analog and P25 digital statewide trunked system.
 

Mozilla

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2001
Messages
362
Location
South Florida
Digital

Your descision as to whether to purchase a new scanner, may be driven by something else.. If its an 800Mhz system you want to listen to. ...then REBANDING may force you to buy a different scanner if you want to continue. ( I'll also say again 800MHZ systems) for those who jump to post before they understand what they have read.
The 780 for example will not work if rebanding occurs on your local 800 systems. It may not affect some, but there are many it will. So please take this into consideration as you weigh upgrading. Do the research, and find out regardless of whether you stay analog or not, this issue may affect you.
 

fuzzymoto

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
1,046
I took the attitude that since I'm in a white state on Paul's map I'd get non-digital. By the time I have something interesting in my areas that IS digital I'll have a wider variety of digital scanner with even more cool features available. I debated this same choice almost a year ago and ended up with a BR330T. Still nothing digital in my area so far...

Also keep in mind that some of these digital systems (like PA's OpenSky) are NOT scannable anyway.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top