How do you scan?

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liquidcougar

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I've seen a lot of really neat shacks and mobile setups between RR and some of my friends. Now, I don't have anything spectacular, let alone enough equipment to have my own shack. Something I've always wondered about though, is what exactly do some of you do with all that equipment? (and honestly, some of the pictures I've seen on here of your shacks leave me in awe..)

I would imagine it would be pretty difficult listening to all those frequencies at the same time; so do you just keep them low and turn up the volume on any particular one you happen to be interested in at the time? Do you actually fill those scanners to their capacities with frequencies?

Personally, I've always been interested in this particular hobby.. but I have yet to acquire the means to go any bigger than a couple handhelds.

One day I'll have a shack of my own; but for now, I'd like to hear what you're doing with yours. :)
 
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reconrider8

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"I would imagine it would be pretty difficult listening to all those frequencies at the same time; so do you just keep them low and turn up the volume on any particular one you happen to be interested in at the time? Do you actually fill those scanners to their capacities with frequencies?"

ive wondered that to like how teh hell you listen to them all
 

jon_k

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ive wondered that to like how teh hell you listen to them all
You don't always. I've seen a guy with over 30 scanners, about 5 digital in his shack. About 20 connected to an actual feedline.

He only had two running when I was there and says he never really turns on more than 3 unless he's following something big.

He more or less collects them. Not to say I wouldn't mind a wall full of scanners!
 

KC0QNB

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"ive wondered that to like how teh hell you listen to them all"
The simple answer is you don't, the not so simple answer, is each frequency has its certain style and the dispatcher has his/her own way of talking, for example my local PD units has their own numbers 31, 51, 71 and so on the county deputies, use an abbreviated two digit ID like 1-3 but the whole id it would be something like 91813, the town east of me uses three digit ids all starting with 5, 517, 512,511 etc, the town cops in the county seat use an different system as well, 154, 160, 110 etc. after you learn the basic setup you can ID the agency talking with out looking at the display on the scanner, you can also key in on certain codes when I am driving and I hear a 10-47 I key in long enough to find out were the DUI driver is and relate that to my location, then I decide if it is important to me or not. Ham radio uses a different style as well.
So to sum up you need to learn each systems "fingerprints" then you can have several scanners going at the same time and know what is happening, and where.
 

af5rn

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So to sum up you need to learn each systems "fingerprints" then you can have several scanners going at the same time and know what is happening, and where.
Plus 5.

As mentioned in a thread about mounting scanners on top of the dash or on the windshield for good visibility, good visibility really isn't that important to the good scannist. He doesn't need to see the controls to operate them. And he knows what system he is hearing simply from listening to it, without the need to look at the alpha display. With five scanners going in my vehicle, I rarely ever have to actually look at them to know what I am hearing, to stop or start the scanning, or to change the volume and squelch settings. You have to be at one with your scanners and let them become extensions of your own senses.

Perhaps I need to write a book on the subject: Zen and the art of Scanning :D
 

KC0QNB

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omm, rather scannn, I will help you write the book lol
we can't forget a chapter on selective hearing.
 
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jmp883

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It's easy.....for me anyway, to listen to more than one radio at a time.
I've been dispatching for 16 years and one agency I worked for had 2 channels each for the PD, FD, and EMS, plus the statewide emergency frequency. 7 channels to listen to...fortunately we were the only ones on our respective frequencies. There were 3 radio dispatchers, one for PD-1, one for PD-2, and one for the FD/EMS channels. All 3 consoles, however, had all channels installed and operating. Even unselected and turned down, all channels were received at all consoles.

The agency I currently work for used to share 2 VHF-Lo PD frequencies with 7 other towns! 4 of those towns also shared a VHF-Lo FD frequency. With 7 towns on the same frequency you always had to have an ear for your units calling you! Fortunately in the last 2-3 years or so everyone has gone to their own individual UHF frequencies for both PD and FD. The old VHF frequencies have been retained as back-up and mutual aid channels.

When I'm home one scanner is monitoring the local non-trunked PD/FD/EMS frequencies. Another scanner is monitoring the NJSP medivac talkgroups and local railroads. If something interesting comes up I'll pull that frequency up in a 3rd scanner. That scanner is connected to my computer so I can record with the VoxToFile software if it's something worth recording.

By the way, my shack consists of 6 base scanners, 4 hand-held scanners, 4 ham radio transceivers, and a shortwave receiver.

Dispatching is a great job......and monitoring/ham radio is a great hobby! I'll never get tired of either one :D !
 

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Stick0413

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Plus 5.

As mentioned in a thread about mounting scanners on top of the dash or on the windshield for good visibility, good visibility really isn't that important to the good scannist. He doesn't need to see the controls to operate them. And he knows what system he is hearing simply from listening to it, without the need to look at the alpha display. With five scanners going in my vehicle, I rarely ever have to actually look at them to know what I am hearing, to stop or start the scanning, or to change the volume and squelch settings. You have to be at one with your scanners and let them become extensions of your own senses.

Perhaps I need to write a book on the subject: Zen and the art of Scanning :D
Plus another five... 99% of the time I can tell who I am listening to without ever having to look at the scanner. (Which was on a thread I started a long time ago in the Wasteland, You Know You Are Addicted To Scanners When.... that was one I had listed)

Now when traveling it isn't that way but then again when traveling I will not have more than 2 going at once. Now at home I may have 5 or even more at times going and I have no problems at all telling what is what. Yeah I can't hear everything at once but you can pick up the important stuff (you learn to listen to the tones of peoples voices etc and you can tell when something is happening, which is when you turn that scanner up just a little). I used to think the same thing how can you listen to all of that but you quickly learn and adapt to doing so.
 

N8IAA

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I have a minimum of three going at one time. As one person said, you recognize the dispatcher, the FD, PD, and SO units. Have a dualband mobile monitoring my two favorite DNR and Corps of Eng freqs. Digital going with one of the local county systems, the tv for entertainment. Digital makes it easy with the way it sounds. Thank God for alphatags:))
Larry
 
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