Help on Scanner Update in Southwest Virginia

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greggyboy88

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I am an old scanner hound, going back to the days when you had ones with crystals for the frequencies !

Had several BC, using RS PRO2096 now. It has seemed awfully quite for some time, and didn't dawn on me.

Anyhow, they have moved to P25 Phase 2 which the 2096 will not get.

Not stupid about programming, and I think I understand the basics. Just want a base scanner for when it snows and when I hear fire and rescue go by.

Any recommendations ? I have not heard of Whistler but they seem pretty neat.

BC536HP ? or WS1098 ?

Does anybody know of anybody around Roanoke that tinkers with these things ?

What should I do with the old 2096 ?

Any feedback appreciated. Thanks
 

hiegtx

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I am an old scanner hound, going back to the days when you had ones with crystals for the frequencies !

Had several BC, using RS PRO2096 now. It has seemed awfully quite for some time, and didn't dawn on me.

Anyhow, they have moved to P25 Phase 2 which the 2096 will not get.

Not stupid about programming, and I think I understand the basics. Just want a base scanner for when it snows and when I hear fire and rescue go by.

Any recommendations ? I have not heard of Whistler but they seem pretty neat.

BC536HP ? or WS1098 ?

Does anybody know of anybody around Roanoke that tinkers with these things ?

What should I do with the old 2096 ?

Any feedback appreciated. Thanks
Hi Greg
Welcome to RadioReference.

Whistler entered the scanner market when they bought the intellectual property (as in patents) previously owned by the now defunct GRE. GRE is the company that manufactured your Pro-2066 for sales at Radio Shack under the Shack's label.

Either the Uniden BCD536HP or the Whistler WS1098 would work for what you desire. Opinions on which are like the old 'Pepsi vs Coke' or 'Ford vs Chevy' arguments. A lot of the advice you'll get will be based on personal preferences as much as anything. Having said that, my preference is for the 536HP. I prefer Uniden's 536HP, because I feel that I have more flexibility in setting up my programming using their DMA system. Others will tell you the system used by the Whistler scanners (Object Oriented Scanning) is better. Bottom line is that either will get the job done.

The WS1098 has a removable head for use in a vehicle. You can mount the scanner itself out of sight or out of the way, and mount the small control head in a convenient location on your dash. For desktop use at home, just leave the remote head on the scanner itself.

Both scanners can receive the P25 (digital) formats in use (both Phase I and Phase II), Both can also receive DMR (the best known version of this is MotoTRBO). However, for the Uniden scanners, such as the 536HP, DMR requires a paid upgrade ($60.00). For the WS1098, the DMR upgrade is available at no charge. Both scanners have the entire US & Canada databases from RadioReference loaded on their memory cards, and both come with supplied software to access that information to create a set of systems and frequencies to monitor.

I don't own the WS1098, so I can't personally speak for how it might perform. I have no issues with my 536HP here in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. However, certain systems in some areas seem to be handled better by one scanner type or the other., As that varies greatly by the specific system involved, you may want to check with someone in your state to get a better idea of which would be your best choice. To do that, do not create a new thread. Instead, click on the red-outlined triangle of your first post, to "report the thread". In the pop-up box that appears for your reason for reporting, make a request that your thread be moved to the Virginia State Forum, so that someone much closer to you is more likely to see it and respond. I would also suggest that you update your profile with your location, which will help in seeing what specific systems you may need to monitor. You'd get a much better answer than simply using saying you are in 'Southwest Virginia'. City (or at least County) and state would be sufficient.

For your Pro-2096, there may still be some analog channels in use, especially by small volunteer fire departments, which could not afford new digital radios for every member. Other possible uses include aircraft monitoring, and perhaps railroads (as long as the carriers in your area have not yet converted to NXDN, which will happen eventually).
 

greggyboy88

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Thx

All great advice. I have had 3 unidentifiable going back and like them better than the 2096. I will take all of your suggestions and I appreciate the feedback.

Greg
 

N4ANJ

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Lots to listen to

Welcome to Radio Reference. There is is still some interesting listening to be heard on a RS Pro 2096 in Franklin Co.and Rocky Mount. The Stars system which includes VA State Police. Specific programming required for the Pro 2096. https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=3783 . Fire & Rescue DISPATCH and some mobile units on 154.2275 pl 162.2 . Carilion & Life Guard helicopters+ other hospital helicopters on 464.8 pl 94.8 . Lifeguard Air-to Air on 123.025 . Med 9 462.975 & 467.975 also has Lifeguard helicopter traffic. All the marine (boat) frequencies from Smith Mtn Lake. All the FRS frequencies for within a mile or two of your location. VDOT on 47.34 pl 114.8 and 45.76 pl 77.0 . SIRS on 39.54 . You can program all 40 CB channels.You will have to research some here on Radio Reference.
 

greggyboy88

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Thanks for the feedback. I was already aware of most of those frequencies. I believe it time to step up and am leaning toward the BCD536HP- that should solve my dead air.
 

N4ANJ

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The 536

I have the 536HP. It can be very frustrating to really learn this scanner. Be prepared to have to do a lot of research and trial & error. A lot of Franklin County and Rocky Mount Police is encrypted. Some isn't. Fire & Rescue are in the clear. I don't know where you are located but my location is about half way between two simulcast repeater sites and this causes problems that come and go. Good Luck and watch for an Amazon-Wal-Mart "price war'"on the 536. This happens fairly often.
 

greggyboy88

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I am on the North side of Grassy Hill near the old Cooper Wood Products building. I could care less about most traffic except FRS. I can still get the dispatch channels, but when they go to tac x channels I lose them. I have tried to set tac 2 as a MO channel hoping it would pick that up, but it doesn't seem to work. The RS 2096 only does P25 phase 1 as I understand it. Don't want to spend $500 to hear scrambled traffic
 

fredva

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What do you mean by "pl" that over my head...pl 94.8 for example
Those are tones (pretty much silent to the human ear) that are transmitted by an agency and are used to filter out other users on the same frequency. For example, there might be another county 60 or 70 miles away using the same frequency as the local system. Any radio traffic from that other county can be filtered out by programming the local radios to only receive transmissions with the local PL/DCS/CTCSS tone.

https://forums.radioreference.com/maryland-radio-discussion-forum/11481-pl-codes.html
 

n4jri

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I"ve got a TRX-1 which does a pretty good job on Franklin Co. and Roanoke. Also DMR & NXDN capable.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

N4ANJ

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Depends on talk group. Some talk groups are entirely encrypted.Some both sides are in the clear. Some only the mobile side is encrypted and the dispatch is in the clear. You can tell who it is talking encrypted by crossing the unit id's un-encrypted to those encrypted if you keep a list and do some homework. Really the ones entirely encrypted are the best, you just "avoid" (delete) the talkgroup.
 

greggyboy88

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Thanks again.... still contemplating what to do and also trying to tweak the 2096 to see what I can find. Picking up something on 156.2400 that sounds local but not that is puzzling me.... just fyi
 

N4ANJ

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156.24 mhz is a Carilion ground channel frequency. They do a lot of ambulance transports in Franklin County, Roanoke, and surrounding counties. This is the repeater output frequency and 151.22 mhz is the repeater input frequency.
 

greggyboy88

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Looked in RR but couldn't find it. Might be Roanoke traffic, because I can get Lifeguard 10 traffic clear as a bell. Once again thanks for the feedback.
 

n4jri

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Didn't know anybody in Franklin was running NXDN, and had considered adding the DMR to the BCD. How much of Franklin would you guess is encrypted?
Haven't found any in Franklin Co., but it's growing in southwest VA. NS uses it in Roanoke on 161.07. Some DMR popping up but not in public safety.

I mentioned it because I scan a lot of different stuff. On top of police and fire, I listen to trains/boats/planes, and security guards whenever I can uncover what they're using. That's where the other modes come in the most handy.

73/Allen (N4JRI)
 

greggyboy88

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2096 anyone ?

Well, my 536 will be here tomorrow.
I have no use for my RS Pro 2096. I have the box, all the manuals, and pieces and parts. Going to give it away if anybody has a purpose for it. Works just fine, for what it is.
 
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