Essex County - Will a 996XT suffice?

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W2IRT

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I'm about to retire my BC-785 that had been doing great work in my old Ford Ranger. I'm after something I can mount into one DIN-E slot along with an AM/FM/etc (the 2-way will be remote-headed). I was ready to pull the trigger on a 996xt but then saw all the info about the new TDMA-II capable Bearcats due out in a month or so.

I live in western Essex County and usually just drive around locally--I don't commute across the state, etc. I'm interested in public safety dispatch (PD, FD, EMS and NJSP, plus NYPD/FDNY and NYC Transit when I go into the city) on a casual basis. Almost everything near me that I'm interested in is currently monitorable with my analog 780 and 785 combination, with the exception of Montclair and a few places in Morris County.

Given this info, would I be wise to hold out for the new radio or would a 996xt be capable of giving me the services around this area for a few more years yet to come?
 

K2YYN

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I'm about to retire my BC-785 that had been doing great work in my old Ford Ranger. I'm after something I can mount into one DIN-E slot along with an AM/FM/etc (the 2-way will be remote-headed). I was ready to pull the trigger on a 996xt but then saw all the info about the new TDMA-II capable Bearcats due out in a month or so.

I live in western Essex County and usually just drive around locally--I don't commute across the state, etc. I'm interested in public safety dispatch (PD, FD, EMS and NJSP, plus NYPD/FDNY and NYC Transit when I go into the city) on a casual basis. Almost everything near me that I'm interested in is currently monitorable with my analog 780 and 785 combination, with the exception of Montclair and a few places in Morris County.

Given this info, would I be wise to hold out for the new radio or would a 996xt be capable of giving me the services around this area for a few more years yet to come?

W2IRT,
When considering a new scanner to purchase you must consider the following; do you want the new scanner to meet your current needs or something that will cover the ever progression towards digital modes, P25 Phase I and Phase II and scanner who's firmware can be updated to meet these changes? That is, If your budget can afford it.
Personally, I would consider a scanner that you can grow into, especially to monitor these newer P25 Phase 2 systems that are beginning to explode across NJ.
However, the only draw back here is you might get only a few months to a few years of enjoyment listening pleasure as many agencies are beginning to go ENC. One by one they are switching as I read about them here in the NJ forums, it seems an agency or two every few months switches. Continue to seek advise from others, gather as much info as you can and then make an informed and educated decision on what to buy. In My My Humble 25cent opinion. Good luck!


Max :cool:
 

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It's a gamble. Are you willing to part with more money for a new scanner with all of the current bells and whistles, most of which you don't 'need' today? The agencies you listen to could eventually go to P-25 Phase II but we don't know. As Max said, encrypted comms represent the current direction of public service agencies. Nothing we can buy will allow us to monitor them. Public service monitoring has a relatively short lifespan, in my opinion. As a fellow pilot (ASEL-I) I also sometimes scan the aviation frequencies. I imagine it will be quite some time before Unicom gets encrypted!

I'd look for a DIN radio to fit the dash that works today and worry about tomorrow when it happens. Should you decide later to get a Uniden BCD536HP or whatever, you could likely pick up a used one for a fraction of the new product price they demand today. I used an RS PRO-2096 as an in-dash scanner for many years and it worked just fine, albeit with an external speaker. It did,and still does, all I need in this area. Sorry to say my newer car will not permit the installation of a single DIN scanner without a lot of trouble and expense, so I went with a 996T with remote head and relegated the PRO-2096 to a shack scanner.

73
Jack
WA2OLZ
 

ansky

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I'm also in western Essex County and I'm doing perfectly fine with my analog scanner. The only thing digital that I'm missing out on is Montclair PD, but I don't care about them enough to pay for a digital scanner, plus their TRS is tough to pick up anyway. I don't plan on buying digital until more local agencies actually move to digital and I can confirm they are not encrypted.
 
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