Help shopping for a scanner

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brinikcam

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Hello, I am new to scanning and am looking for any recommendations the forum members have for a reasonable scanner to purchase. I live in rural Placer County near Auburn and would like a portable scanner that will allow me to listen to Sheriff, CDF, CHP, and other agencies. The fires have us nervous in this area and I am hoping that a scanner would give us a little more information and lead time if a fire is moving towards us and we need to evacuate.

Thanks in advance,
 

KC0QNB

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Gothenburg, NE
First things first what bands do you want to listen to?, are they digital or analog?
give us this info, then maybe we can help.
 

gmclam

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Sep 15, 2006
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Fair Oaks, CA
Rural Placer County

Fortunately, you can monitor most of the stuff you want to with the most basic scanner. CHP = low band VHF. CalFire = high band VHF. Other local fire agencies and virtually all law enforcement is on one of the 2 VHF bands, mostly high band. The only exception currently would be the city of ROSEVILLE.

You can see the list of scanners I use below. I monitor Sacramento county and everything "fire" within about 100 miles in all directions. I note however, that you have to be fairly close to pickup actual "fireground" communications.

All things considered, price, capability, etc; I'd recommend the PRO-97. Now this scanner is not "future proof" and can not pick up digital voice; but it can certainly pick up everything you've said you want to hear (including the city of Roseville). It's a good value and can be had for about $100. Radio Shack puts them on sale from time to time, there is usually a store on eBay for that price, and people here on RR seem to be always selling one. As other parts of the country go digital or are rebanded, users must upgrade to something other than a PRO-97.
 

Sac916

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Dec 19, 2002
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Hello, I am new to scanning and am looking for any recommendations the forum members have for a reasonable scanner to purchase. I live in rural Placer County near Auburn and would like a portable scanner that will allow me to listen to Sheriff, CDF, CHP, and other agencies. The fires have us nervous in this area and I am hoping that a scanner would give us a little more information and lead time if a fire is moving towards us and we need to evacuate.

Thanks in advance,

I suggest the BC-246T by Uniden, available at www.scannermaster.com and www.grove-ent.com
(it's smaller and lighter than the Pro-97)

There are several of us here on the forum that live in Sacramento valley who will be very glad to help you with programming issues. (but read the manual first!)
 
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I suggest the BC-246T by Uniden, available at www.scannermaster.com and www.grove-ent.com
(it's smaller and lighter than the Pro-97)

There are several of us here on the forum that live in Sacramento valley who will be very glad to help you with programming issues. (but read the manual first!)
The way I handled programming the 246T (the 7th scanner I've owned in the past 15 years) was to invest a few dollars in the ARC (there are other brands) programming software, the connecting cable and a premium RadioReference membership. It makes programming easier because you can transfer entire systems from the RR database into your pc, edit them and upload them to your scanner.
 

gusbuster1217

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May 30, 2006
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Location
Manteca CA
Not mentioned yet, the scanner is not good to you if you don't have the proper antenna. What comes stalk with scanners are OK, but i would also consider buying an aftermarket antenna both for the scanner (mobile) and one for your vehicle if you intend to listen while moving.
 
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