Future-proof scanning

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benasdf

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Hi all - I've been using a Pro-97 for about 6 years now for casual scanning around the metro-Grand Rapids area. I'm thinking about upgrading and I'm wondering if I should go in for a scanner that can monitor MPSCS transmissions? Right now everything around here I'm interested in is plain old FM analog, but judging by the other threads here that could be changing soon. What're your thoughts?

If you're leaning towards a APCO P25 scanner, do you have any recommended brands/models? From my lurking/research I can see the Unident BCD396XT seems to be pretty widely used and generally has good reviews.

Obviously its a big jump (money-wise) to something like this from the $150 I was originally planning to upgrade...but I'd really like to avoid having to buy one anyways in 6 months.

Thanks!
 

SCPD

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The Wolverine State

....Thinking about upgrading and I'm wondering if I should go in for a scanner that can monitor MPSCS transmissions? Right now everything around here I'm interested in is plain old FM analog, but judging by the other threads here that could be changing soon ...
I'll refrain from recommending one brand over another, the only digital scanner I've ever owned is a PRO-96, I'm sure newer radios are a better choice.
But you need to bite the bullet, spend the extra money, and get a digital scanner.
You live in Michigan.
No matter where you are, it's only a matter of time before the first responders are going to be on some sort of digital system, either on the state system, or another system of their own.
 

Ronaldski

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I know I' might catch some flack but after years of of working with my uniidens and working with other peoples radio shack scanners when they bring em over to get programmed etc.

radio shacks what I have found:

1. "Far more complicated" than unidens to work with through the scanner.
2. Radio Shack won't program them for you.
3. So your on your own.
4. "Significantly" less channel capacity
I.e. for the pro 106 for what I have on the unidens I could only put ~ 40% of that into the 106 before it would fill the memory!
On the 396Xt it shows only 18% used.

5. Actually more costly. You have to:
• Buy a programming cable* $35
• Buy the software* varies $35-$60
• On portables, buy an ac adapter* w/adapter plug $30

* Included with uniden scanner & free software for unidens is available. (freescan)
 

rdale

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Hi all - I've been using a Pro-97 for about 6 years now for casual scanning around the metro-Grand Rapids area. I'm thinking about upgrading and I'm wondering if I should go in for a scanner that can monitor MPSCS transmissions? Right now everything around here I'm interested in is plain old FM analog, but judging by the other threads here that could be changing soon.
There are no indications that GR is going to MPSCS anytime soon that I've seen. You should be fine with your Pro-97 or another analog scanner. GR doesn't even use trunking.
 

benasdf

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Thanks all. I actually ended up winning a Pro-163 for $103 on eBay a few hours ago, so I'll stick with that for now...and start saving for the eventual digital scanner.

rdale is right, I haven't come across anything that I'm interested in around there is even trunked, so I think I'll be set for the foreseeable future.
 

rdale

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Because they had smarter people in charge and didn't buy the state's blankity-blank. Same reason Lansing left MPSCS and has no intention of going back. Yet they still interop just fine!
 

slash

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Michigan
The only truly future-proof scanning is software defined radios.
Some clever developers found that ~$20 TV tuners with a specific Realtek chip can be repurposed for receiving just about anything (the best receivers have a range of 64-1700mhz) so long as there's software written to decode it. It's a real game changer, and no more relying on firmware updates from manufacturers to add features or fix bugs.

Google RTL-SDR.
 
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