Don't know what I'm doing!

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Mar 21, 2012
Hey everyone,

My name's David and I work at the radio shack in maple grove. I know there was a time that radio shack was relevant in the scanner community, and I know that times have changed mostly because of employee churn and none of the new ones know or care about scanners. I want to fix that. The problem is, I fall under that 2nd part, about not knowing too much about them.

I understand how radios work, I know what squelch is and roughly how a scanner scans, but the more functional things like how to program or operate a scanner beyond the simplest "turn it on and punch in one channel" are above my head a bit. Also, I'm a bit fuzzy on things like what trunking is, and when or why you would need it.
I also, being a retailer of scanners, need to get a better understanding of what is legally allowed or not allowed in terms of use of a scanner in the state (and in the county, if it's any different).

So, what I'm asking is, help me help you! If you could direct me to some resources on things I don't know, or if you have personal insights, please share them with me, either here or visit the store. (It's always quiet after 6pm or so!)



Mar 5, 2011
Elk River, MN
Thanks posting David. We need more radioshack employees like you. I'll assume you want to program a pro 106 or pro 197.

Here is the software that is available to program them:

Win 500: Win500: PSR-500, PSR-600, PRO-106, PRO-197, PSR-310, PSR-410 Scanner Software for Data Management, Monitoring, and Control
ARC500: GRE GRECOM RadioShack PRO-106 PRO106 PRO-197 PRO197 PSR-500 PSR-600 PRO-106 PRO106 PRO-197 PRO197 PSR500 PSR600 Software
PSREdit500: PSREdit500 - Configuration Editor for the PSR-500, PSR-600, PRO-106, and PRO-197 Scanners

Each of these has a trial period. Try them all out and see which one you like best. They are $35 after the trial period. You'll need a programming cable. Radioshack usually stocks them, so hopefully that isn't a problem.

You'll want to go to the MN Database if you don't have RR premium. Navigate to the ARMER page: Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) Trunking System, Various, Minnesota - Scanner Frequencies

Now find which site is nearest to you. The HC West simulcast is closest. Enter in the control channel.

Now that you have that, you can start entering talkgroups. Maple grove is dispatched on the North Main. So enter in the talkgroup ID's you want. Save it up, and load it in your scanner.

Happy scanning


Sep 30, 2006
Davenport,Fl.- home to me and the gators and the s
It's really great to see someone

as yourself interested in helping others in the scanner radio field. Radio Shack of yesteryears was the local place to go and buy parts to build or fix radios of all sorts. The employees were generally well versed in the electronics of transmitters and receivers; including antennas, frequencies, capacitors, etc.
But cell phones and other electronics have taken over the market space and the knowledgable RS employee fast became a lost art.
For you to build a knowledge base on scanners, follow the leads that KD0OTK has posted. Also read through the various threads on RR relating to questions may have. The knowledge base is quite large and requires much reading, but if you really want to help others, it's gonna cost you some of your free time.
One other place here is the 'Wiki' = 'Radio Models' tab up above. Get to know all you can about the various models, the pro and con of what each model can and can not do.
And ASK questions when you need further enlightenment. Most of the members here are happy to answer questions. There are SOME who are just plain ol' #^%h0les and need to be ignored, so be prepared for snipes and other useless posts that they may post to your questions or statements.
Wished I could be of more help. But the vastness of this site that Mr.Lindsay C. Blanton created is huge.
Digital is becoming more the norm for scanners, so focus more on them, (analog will still be around so don't forget those radios though). Which I might add, use the 'Wiki' = 'Glossary' for explanations of term and meanings.
HTH a little in your endeavors to help the scannerist(?(that's a word?))


Premium Subscriber
Dec 19, 2002
Twin Cites Area MN
Minnesota Scanning:
Legal- MN law restricts scanner use in a vehicle to valid Amateur Radio License holders and those who hold a valid permit from the MN Department of Public Safety.License Minnesota: Mobile Monitor Permit - Non-Law Monitoring

What type of scanner needed to monitor Police and Fire- Other than most of the Northwest MN counties and Mower & Waseca Counties in Southern MN public safety is on or will be on the State 800 mHz didgital trunked System - ARMER- Participation MAR2012.pdf
to monitor this requires a 9600 baud capable digital scanner. Most fire paging is still on vhf analog.
Trunked Radio- there are multiple forms of trunked radio - the basic theory is shared radio frequencies with radios being system controlled to the available frequency and all radios on code 1234 are switched to that frequency and can hear each other.Trunked Radio Systems - The RadioReference Wiki
The main types in use in MN are:Minnesota Trunking Systems
APCO 25 - public safety
LTR commercial systems that rent to business users- tow trucks, schools buses, garbage trucks, delievery companies etc.
Motorola Conventional- mostly private business systems- Delta Airlines, Xcel Energy, but also some Commercial rentals
EDACS- GE trunking- RACOM Commercial system in Southern MN
IDEN- Nextel and Allaint energy- unmonitorable by scanner
Mototrbo - digital trunked and conventional - Business and commercial - unmonitorable by scanner- computer software that works with a scanner that can monitor this.
NXDN - digital trunked and conventional - Business and commercial - unmonitorable by scanner.

Here are a couple of discussions for the MN list recently on non ARMER monitoring :
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