Hello, I'm new and need some help

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Mattsworld06

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Hello guys, I'm sure you read posts like this alot and get tired of them so I apologize in advance for my questions. First off, I bought a scanner today from Radio Shack (pro - 164) but have not yet recieved it. It has to be sent over from another store and the manager said he could get it programmed for me. I live in Winter Haven FL and I'm curious what I'll be able to monitor if anyone is in this area and knows?

From what I've found online it seems that polk sheriff has went digital? Can anyone confirm or deny this? thats one of the main reasons I wanted one as I do live in county. I've read most of the faq's here but have not been able to find a simple how to for monitoring, expecially finding freq's, trunking..etc. Anyone mind helping me with this? All help is appreciated, I'm pretty excited about starting and can't wait to recieve it on friday. Thanks!

-Matt
 

tampatracker

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Hello Matt and welcome to Radio Reference! Go to the database tab on your homepage, click on Florida then Polk county and all the info you'll need will be right there for you. Polk Co is NOT digital at the moment so you'll have no problem listening to them. Try programming the sheriff's in first, the go put the individual towns in and then fire talkgroups and you'll be all set! Let us know if you have any questions or problems,etc, it's a pretty friendly group here and someone is always willing to help. Happy Monitoring, TT.
 

Bolt21

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Matt, I hate to break this to you, but your new scanner will be useless for monitoring Polk County within another month or so. Polk's switch to digital is imminent. The digital site is already up and transmitting data on the control channel.

You'll need a digital (P25) capable scanner. RatShack is pretty good about putting their scanners on sale on a regular basis. The catch is that digital scanners cost more than analog ones (like your PRO-164).

It's also a shame that your local RS isn't in tune with the scanning world as much as they used to be. They should have known that your 164 would be obsolete (for Polk County, anyways) in the near future. Also, take my word for it, don't have them program your radio. Everyone here can help you out if you have any questions/problems. RS is only knowledgable about cell phones nowadays.
 
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Mattsworld06

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Wow that is terrible news. Is it just for the sheriffs office or will I be able to monitor the cities winter haven and lake wales? Should I just take it back now? Radioshack programmer it bit for all the old channels and nothing comes in. Does anyone mind helping a noob from start to finish?
 

Mattsworld06

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Ok A couple specific questions if anyone has the time. Polk county for example, would I want all trunking frequencies in same bank? And when I find one do I just push and hold trunk to I'd lock and follow those transmissions? I'm so confused and annoyed with this thing. Haha. I'm not one to give up on things, but I'm extemely close to throwing in the towel and Relying on the news for my local info
 

fmon

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Ok A couple specific questions if anyone has the time. Polk county for example, would I want all trunking frequencies in same bank? And when I find one do I just push and hold trunk to I'd lock and follow those transmissions? I'm so confused and annoyed with this thing. Haha. I'm not one to give up on things, but I'm extemely close to throwing in the towel and Relying on the news for my local info
Your scanner is Control Channel only (CC) for Motorola systems so program the 8 red (CC) frequencies into one bank. Then program selected talkgroup ID's into same bank.

I just now imported all data into a software program called Win97 from www.starrsoft.com which has a 30 trial offer, You will need a
rs 20-047 programming cable for loading to scanner.

However, a 1 page programming shortcut in RR Wiki can be found below my signature. Use the data from Pro-97 for you scanner.
 

Bolt21

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Wow that is terrible news. Is it just for the sheriffs office or will I be able to monitor the cities winter haven and lake wales? Should I just take it back now? Radioshack programmer it bit for all the old channels and nothing comes in. Does anyone mind helping a noob from start to finish?
I'm not 100% sure, but I'd bet that the cities will be on the new digital system too, since they're already on the existing [mostly] analog Polk system.

If you can afford a digital scanner, I'd take the 164 back if I were you. A brand new RS digital scanner (the PRO-106) is $400 (web ONLY price), but you can find good deals on eBay for like-new used digital scanners. By good deal I mean the $200 to $300 price range. Some newer model digital scanners for RS/GRE and Uniden have recently been released, and folks that had earlier digital models are letting go of them to get the newer models. But that doesn't mean that the older models don't work just as well as the newer ones. It's just that the newer ones have a few more features than the previous models, and for me, aren't worth the upgrade. Some of the new models are the PRO-106 (a GRE radio w/RS name on it), GRE PSR-500, and the Uniden BCD396XT.

Search for Radio Shack, GRE (they make most of the RS models), and Uniden digital scanners on eBay (or even try Craigslist). The RS PRO-96 and the Uniden BCD396T are two of the most popular handheld digitals. I have a BCD396T and love it - it's really a sophisticated piece of hardware. As far as which brand to go with - it's like the classic Ford vs. Chevy debate. They both work well enough to get the job done.

Keep us informed of your progress.
 
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Mattsworld06

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Thanks guys. I decided to return the 164 and get a digital. The rs guy that sold it to me kept trying to tell ke it's to expensive for everyone to upgrade so it will be years before that happens. I returned it anyway. I figure I'd rather spend the money now and not worry about upgrades. I haven't decided on one yet but will be keeping my eyes open for a good deal. Are the digital ones easier to program? I used to consider myself pretty tech savy( was a computer science major for 3 yrs until switching to finance) vut that thing frustrated the tar out of me. I couldn't stand it for some reason. Haha. Thanks again guys. If anyone here is wanting to upgrade and wants to sell theirs give me a shout.
 

Bolt21

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Forgot to mention the classifieds here on RR.com: Main Index - RadioReference Classifieds

And no, the digital ones aren't any easier to program. Let us know what model you end up with and we can probably provide you with a link to an easier-to-read manual. RS manuals aren't known for being user friendly.
 
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ke4crc

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Polk County Digital Switch

I have been told by serveral people that work for Polk County the switch to P 25 will take place during the month of June and all agencies will be switching to the P 25 TG
also FYI all City fire Stations in Polk county (with the exception of the City of Bartow, City of Lake Alfred, & City of Lakeland ) operate on the county Fire TG
The city of Auburndale, City of Winter haven, Ft. Meade, Eagle Lake, Davenport, Lake Wales,Frostproof, & Dundee operate off the Sheriff TG
thats all i can think of right now
73's
 
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