Handheld scanner choices

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mjw1948

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Hello,

I am just getting back into scanning after a few years and just dug out my old BC800 XLT purchsed 21 years ago, still works but it is a little shaky. My reception is generally very good. .I do use a PRE-4 Preamplifirer and ANT-6 Hidden Antenna but I really don't think it is much more effective than the whip antenna on the unit. I think the higher elevation of my location, Sharon, Ma may help reception.


I would like to purchase a new handheld scanner in the $200 range, give or take a few dollars. I live in Norfolk County, Ma and monitor police, fire,EMS and Air traffic both in my local Norfolk County towns as well as Suffolk County which is Boston. I am also very interested in the amateur bands as well.

I have narrowed my search down to three models, the BC 346XT and the GRE PSR 310 and 700 models. I kind of like the simplicity of the PSR 700 but worry about no keys. The BC 346 and GRE 310 look a little intimidating to program, especially compared to my simple BC 800.

I would appreciate any opinions on these models or any others I may have overlooked.

Thanks
MJW
 

Rt169Radio

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I have and like the BC346XT handheld scanner and out of other two scanners I would recommend getting it.
 

eagleswings01

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While I absolutely love my GRE PSR-310, I don't think it's going to do what you want if the fire and EMS in your area is primarily digital. For aviation, it's a FANTASTIC scanner, but if you want to have digital capabilities then you need to go with the 700.

Good luck!
Mike
 

mjw1948

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Handheld Scanner Choice

Thanks for the feedback. I checked out the three models I was considering and took a chance and ordered the Radio Shack Pro 107, same specs as the GRE- PSR 700. It was on sale thru tomorrow for $149.99, marked down from $199.99, less a $15.00 coupon for on line orders. I could not pass it up for that price and I figure I have 30 days to try it out.

It looks and feels quite a bit different than the BC 346XT and the GRE-PSR 310, actually more like an MP3 player. Hopefully it will be easy to program and perform as well as the other two models.

MJW
 

mjw1948

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Franklin, Ma
Well, after four days of playing with the scanner, back it went to Radio Shack. The performance of the scanner seemed decent enough, pulling in anything my old 800XLT does, but I just didn't like the interface, missed a keypad, tough on batteries and the MP3 type buttons. Too bad because at $135 it was a deal and it is back on sale this week for anyone who may be interested.

My wife and I went shopping looking at a number of different scanners and she encouraged me to buy what I wanted, everything from the 346XLT up to the Home Patrol but I decided to purchase a Bearcat 95 XLT as sort of a stop gap as we will be upgrading to a digital sometimes in the future.

I know the 95 is limited, no trunking or digital but it covers most of what I want, it was inexpensive and is similiar in programming to my old 800XLT. In the meantime, I will be doing more research on advanced models and hoping prices will be coming down. The Home Patrol really looks good and that or a similiar model may very well be where we go.
 

mjw1948

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Handheld Scanner Choice

Did what I should have done the first time, bought the BC346XT. The reason I didn't buy this model in the first place was the intimidation factor. I'm just used to an old BC800XLT which is very simple to program.

I now have the Easier to Read guide and have made some progress with it. I have about 50 channels programmed and alpha tagged but I know I am just scratching the surface of this scanners capabilitues.

I wonder if anyone is using and could recomend a good software package that would make the scanner easier for me to program?

Thanks
MJW
 

Rt169Radio

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Did what I should have done the first time, bought the BC346XT. The reason I didn't buy this model in the first place was the intimidation factor. I'm just used to an old BC800XLT which is very simple to program.

I now have the Easier to Read guide and have made some progress with it. I have about 50 channels programmed and alpha tagged but I know I am just scratching the surface of this scanners capabilitues.

I wonder if anyone is using and could recomend a good software package that would make the scanner easier for me to program?

Thanks
MJW
Freescan

FreeSCAN - Sixspot Software
 

RoninJoliet

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The 346XLT is a very nice analog scanner, if you go into the settings and turn on the "R-UID feature on trunking you can see the radio #'s and put them in a group and they will show up when a call pertaining to theTG comes up.....
 

Ed_Seedhouse

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As said above, Freescan. It helped me far more than the "easier to read manual" ever did. Without it my 346 was mostly unuseable to me, with Freescan it became a nice easy to use scanner. Well, along with an upgrade here on RR to allow me to download talkgroups.
 

W2PMX

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Fayetteville NC
A third vote for Freescan. Aside from the price being right, the remote control is nice if the scanner isn't right in front of you (mine are both on the top of the computer hutch - too far to reach unless I stand up), and programming is a breeze once you get used to the program. I keep changing things for different trips, and it's as simple as loading a different file and programming the scanner. If you decide to get a 996 or 15 in the future, you can use the same files you use in the 346.
 

mjw1948

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Oct 26, 2011
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Franklin, Ma
Hand Held Scanner Choice

Just want to say thanks to everyone for their help. I downloaded FreeScan and hope to make some progress with it over the next few days.

Also, I just returned from Radio Shack with a Center-Loaded Telescoping Antenna and it definetly is an improvement over the rubber ducky.

MJW
 

eagleswings01

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Jul 27, 2011
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Awesome!

That antenna should be finding its way onto my 310 next month. I'm pretty excited about finally getting that!
 
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