Help....Want one, know nothing

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mckinncm

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Jan 29, 2010
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Ok let me start by saying that I know nothing about scanners. I want to get one though because they are fun. I like to know where fire trucks are going, listening to communication between EMT and hospitals, and frankly just eavesdropping. I know there a bunch of other things they can pick up too. Basically I dont know what else I would like to listen to but I would like a scanner with the options of listening to many different things (ie schools, airplanes, jails, buses)

I live in Winchester, Va, about an hour west of Washington D.C. I know the local police and fire and rescue still use the "old" system (like I said I don't really know anything) so I don't necessarily need a digital scanner. I believe that the Virginia State police use digital, though I could be wrong. The guy at Radioshack told me that all I needed for our area was the "regular" $100 radioshack scanner but then I asked him about more localities going digital and he said within the next couple of years most localities will go digital. For that reason, I'm assuming it would be a better idea to go ahead and buy a digital one now rather than have an obsolete scanner in a couple years. If my thought is correct could you give me some advice as to things I should know or think about.

As far as the two I've come across after researching for a little bit are the Radioshack Pro-106 ($400) and the Uniden BCD396XT ($525). I've read that there are pros and cons to both and frankly because I don't understand the "scanner lingo" I don't understand the pros and cons. I've heard they are pretty hard to program too. If anybody could give me some advice as to the basics and what I should be considering to buy I would appreciate it.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
74
Location
Janesville, WI
Ok let me start by saying that I know nothing about scanners. I want to get one though because they are fun. I like to know where fire trucks are going, listening to communication between EMT and hospitals, and frankly just eavesdropping. I know there a bunch of other things they can pick up too. Basically I dont know what else I would like to listen to but I would like a scanner with the options of listening to many different things (ie schools, airplanes, jails, buses)

I live in Winchester, Va, about an hour west of Washington D.C. I know the local police and fire and rescue still use the "old" system (like I said I don't really know anything) so I don't necessarily need a digital scanner. I believe that the Virginia State police use digital, though I could be wrong. The guy at Radioshack told me that all I needed for our area was the "regular" $100 radioshack scanner but then I asked him about more localities going digital and he said within the next couple of years most localities will go digital. For that reason, I'm assuming it would be a better idea to go ahead and buy a digital one now rather than have an obsolete scanner in a couple years. If my thought is correct could you give me some advice as to things I should know or think about.

As far as the two I've come across after researching for a little bit are the Radioshack Pro-106 ($400) and the Uniden BCD396XT ($525). I've read that there are pros and cons to both and frankly because I don't understand the "scanner lingo" I don't understand the pros and cons. I've heard they are pretty hard to program too. If anybody could give me some advice as to the basics and what I should be considering to buy I would appreciate it.
http://forums.radioreference.com/radio-shack-scanners/171452-deciding-handheld-scanner.html
 

tglendye

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Virginia
I haven't heard of any plans for Winchester or Frederick to go digital, but I am south of Harrisonburg and someone closer may know different than I do. That being said, there is a new state radio system (STARS) that is getting ready to roll out. It is behind schedule, but should be to the Winchester area soon. The state police will be on that system.

There are also counties around you that are digital. Loudon is one... but they have switched to a new system that is not working well w/ even the latest digital scanners at this time.

The ball in your court... you could by a cheaper (analog only) scanner now and listen to your city/ county (excluding state police when they go digital, shortly) or you could buy a digital and have some more to listen to. To me, either choice would make sense. The next generation of digital well have more features (who knows what all), if you would wait- but there has been no release of info as to a newer digital coming out that I have heard.

My digital scanner is a PSR-500 made by GRE. I love it. It is essentially the same radio (same guts) as the Pro-106. In the meantime while you are deciding you could listen on your computer @ Frederick County, Virginia (VA) Live Police, Fire, and EMS Scanners on RadioReference.com .

Hope this helps.
Todd
 
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