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465_engine

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Oct 31, 2016
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Hello everyone,
I am looking for a scanner or something that I can use to monitor one frequency and not spend an arm and a leg for. I have my TRX-1 that I use at home and in my car, but I'm now looking for something to just monitor my department's frequency and thats it. Could I potentially us a baofeng programed to the frequency I need? I'd like to keep it in my bunk room by my bed so I can listen to it when our westnet system is not in "monitor" mode. It doesn't need to scan multiple channels just our dispatch channel. Thanks for the help.
 

ChrisABQ

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Albuquerque, NM
I have a Baofeng UV-5R that I use to scan local VHF departments. It works very well and can also be set to NOT transmit using Chirp software.
 

Spitfire8520

I might be completely clueless! =)
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It is a bit hard to give a good suggestion without knowing what exactly you are trying to monitor. You may need another digital scanner if they only operate on a digital trunked system, or a Baofeng could work in some cases.
 

marksmith

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Anne Arundel County, MD
Doubt if s Baofeng is going to do the trick in 800 mz, and definitely not if digital or a trunking system.

If UHF or VHF it should work fine.

Mark
536/436/WS1095/HP1/HP2/996T/996XT/996P2/396XT/325P2/PSR800/15X/others
 

Muilisx

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Feb 26, 2017
Messages
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Location
Long Island, NY
If it's over 512 then you need a digital scanner which are much more expensive.

Amazon has a few digital handheld scanners

Here's the BC346XTC

http://tinyurl.com/hwv44nx

Here's the BCD325P2 which is better than the BC346XTC

http://tinyurl.com/jktecwh

The BCD436HP which I think is a little over the top price wise

http://tinyurl.com/jpvnhq2

You then have this mobile scanner which is much cheaper but CAN do 800

which is the Uniden BC355N. Now, again, this isn't handheld but it's going to be your CHEAPEST digital choice. I'm not sure how it can be hooked up outside of a car but it does reach those digital frequencies.

http://tinyurl.com/je4pvrn

Now, I just got myself a free BC125AT which is the Analog scanner which can only go up to 512 but they're cheaper.

http://tinyurl.com/hlnqvl4

Your cheapest option for a scanner is the BC75XLT

http://tinyurl.com/hm2a92h

Those are your Uniden choices. If you go with a Uniden, you're going to want to also purchase the better antenna that will give you much better reception.

http://tinyurl.com/jcapgch

You then have the Whistler scanners which are up there in price too.

You have the Whistler WS1040

http://tinyurl.com/h8aywkn

And the Whistler WS1080

http://tinyurl.com/hxpymkq

Now as for the Baofengs, I was originally going to order the UV-5R

http://tinyurl.com/jrnkndz

However, these aren't scanners. They're HAM radios. However, a lot of people buy them because they do have some scanning tendencies. It can scan but much slower but it's mostly a HAM radio which you cannot legally transmit on without your license. I myself still want the UV-5R but not going to get it right this instant.

Don't be pushed away from the analog scanners as there are still TONS and TON of things to listen to. Not all police are digital and there are still plenty of analog things to listen to when it comes to some form of law enforcement. For example, my local area is digital but there are still other things that have to do with police that are analog.

If you go with one of the Baofeng models, you're going to want to order 2 extra things along with it.

The better antenna which is the Authentic Nagoya antenna

http://tinyurl.com/hv55alm

The USB Programming cable

http://tinyurl.com/jydfctm

It took me a week to order my scanner as I looked into all of these choices. However, my current money situation kept be in the analog section. Don't be rushed into a decision.

I hope the links help as those are all the ones you want to be looking at IMO.
 
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Spitfire8520

I might be completely clueless! =)
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
1,912
Location
Colorado
Hello everyone,
I am looking for a scanner or something that I can use to monitor one frequency and not spend an arm and a leg for. I have my TRX-1 that I use at home and in my car, but I'm now looking for something to just monitor my department's frequency and thats it. Could I potentially us a baofeng programed to the frequency I need? I'd like to keep it in my bunk room by my bed so I can listen to it when our westnet system is not in "monitor" mode. It doesn't need to scan multiple channels just our dispatch channel. Thanks for the help.
For some reason I overlooked another fairly obvious choice that would probably work out a lot better than a scanner or a cheap radio that might not work.

Have you considered potentially keeping a department portable radio with you when you are at your bed? It would certainly be extremely straightforward without having to get another scanner/radio to program. If you have a desk charger or a charged spare battery around, you could keep your radio ready to go before a call. Maybe the radio shop would be a good place to ask if you need some accessories to accomplish this.

Of course you would want to clear this with your officer to see if this would all be alright.

If it's over 512 then you need a digital scanner which are much more expensive.

...
When talking about scanners, a digital scanner generally refers a scanner that supports the Project 25 digital standard. This means it supports decoding voice using the P25 standard. A fair portion of your suggestions would not apply. A complete list can be found on the P25 wiki page.
 

465_engine

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Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
9
I'll have to figure out what the exact frequency I need to program it too, I should be able to get that by the weekend.

I'm really trying to avoid buying another scanner, that's why I'm attempting to find a cheap alternative if possible.

Currently I do just use my portable, but it's hit or miss if we have an extra battery around and we don't have any desktop chargers.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
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VA
The exact frequency and analog/digital make a huge difference in what your options are. If it's analog FM in VHF or 400-520MHz UHF a Baofeng would be a cheap and effective way to hear calls. But if it's 800MHz P25 or other digital, then you're looking at several hundred dollars for a scanner that will work.
 

hiegtx

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Dallas, TX
I'll have to figure out what the exact frequency I need to program it too, I should be able to get that by the weekend.

I'm really trying to avoid buying another scanner, that's why I'm attempting to find a cheap alternative if possible.

Currently I do just use my portable, but it's hit or miss if we have an extra battery around and we don't have any desktop chargers.
Based on your earlier post, in a different thread, where you mentioned wanting to monitor Prince William County among other entities, it sounds as if what you are wanting to monitor is not a specific frequency, but instead a talkgroup on a trunked system. For that specific county, it does show that fire dispatch is on the trunked system, but it also is simulcast on a Vhf-high frequency, 154.325. If that simulcast is active, and carries what you want to hear, then one of the low cost radios or scanners already suggested would do for the Vhf channel. However, if that simulcast does not carry what specifically you want, then you would need either another digital scanner, or set the talkgroup you want as a priority on your WS1040. Using priority, you may miss part or even all of some transmissions, if the scanner is receiving a different system. Once you verify whether the Vhf simulcast will fit your needs, or it has to be a talkgroup, then someone may be able to provide a more specific answer.
 
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