Is it even worth getting a scanner...SCPD/NCPD/NYPD?

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BigDogg795

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Looking to get back into the hobby but after facing the reality that SCPD and NYPD are probably going to go the same road as NCPD...is it worth it to spend so much on a scanner that I'll probably sell off in the next 12-18 months? I know there's other systems to monitor but NYPD and SCPD are the only two I'm really interested in so...maybe I already answered my own question....:(
 

GTR8000

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You can listen to NYPD with the most basic scanner, as they are nothing more complicated than plain old analog UHF. There is strong evidence that they are in the process of planning a move to encrypted P25, but no one knows when that will actually happen. So for now, you can listen with even the cheapest of scanners, and so no reason to deprive yourself of listening while you can.

The bulk of SCPD activity still takes place on the analog 800 MHz trunked system, and so you don't need to spend a ton of money on a P25 capable scanner.

Something like a Uniden BCT15X would work just fine for NYPD and SCPD 800 for the time being. Unfortunately no one currently offers an analog handheld scanner, but you can probably get a good deal on a used Uniden BC346XT or BC346XTC.
 

w2lie

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Right now the rumor is Suffolk will not encrypt their dispatch talk groups on the new p25 system. However, the rumor is that all of tactical will be encrypted.
I say rumor because nothing is definitive until we see things with our own eyes and hear them (or not) with our own ears
 

radioman2001

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For NYPD if you plan on upgrading to P-25 that might be a waste as the word on the street is once they get al their ducks in a row to go encrypted with AES. This comes directly from the NYPD radioshop who I work with nearly every day with the MTA.
There is a document about that floating around on this site somewhere. Personally I will miss listening to them when they go. I have always had an ear on them since my NYC EMS days (before FDNY).
Yea I'm old.
 

ansky

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It was mentioned a while back in another thread that the NYPD's transition to P-25 and encryption is likely a phased approach over the next 3-5 years. Given the size of the department I wouldn't be surprised if it takes even longer than that. For right now you can get a very basic analog scanner on Ebay for less than 100 bucks that will be able to monitor NYPD.
 

GTR8000

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The transition to P25 AES is already in the works. It's not going to take 3-5 years or longer. They've already issued out thousands of the new Vertex VX-P949 portables (Motorola APX 900 in disguise) and all of the P25 AES programming is already in those radios.
 

ansky

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The transition to P25 AES is already in the works. It's not going to take 3-5 years or longer. They've already issued out thousands of the new Vertex VX-P949 portables (Motorola APX 900 in disguise) and all of the P25 AES programming is already in those radios.
The 3-5 year timeline was mentioned in this post last year.

 

SteveSimpkin

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It was mentioned a while back in another thread that the NYPD's transition to P-25 and encryption is likely a phased approach over the next 3-5 years. Given the size of the department I wouldn't be surprised if it takes even longer than that. For right now you can get a very basic analog scanner on Ebay for less than 100 bucks that will be able to monitor NYPD.
The analog Uniden BC125AT scanner is currently only $88 on Amazon. Even if NYPD goes digital in 1-5 years and you don't find anything else analog that you like listening too, you can probably sell if for most of what you paid for it.
 

spongella

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I can still hear NYC police comms in the 470 - 476 mHz range and that's almost 50 miles away. More active at night though. Yeah I'd get something like what others have recommended, a BC125AT is good. You might need an outdoor antenna though, depending on your location. Good luck, hope you find what you are looking for.
 

ten13

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Keep this in mind: the City of New York is in dire financial shape, and was before the virus struck. Some are evaluating it as worse than 1975:


The virus has put the city AND the state close to, or into, bankruptcy status (but states can't file for bankruptcy since they can raise taxes as needed).

With the cloud of financial failure hanging over their heads, as well as, again, layoffs within the Uniformed Forces, I don't think the NYPD is going to put any priority on radios, especially when they won't have the manpower to hand out the new radios to, and they have a perfectly good system in place already.

Let's also keep in mind just why the NYPD got a waiver from the narrowbanding requirements: they sought the waiver because of the massive costs involved of narrowbanding...or replacing...the radios and repeaters. And that was several years ago.

And no matter how much money the Federal Government gives NY, it will be a one-shot deal, lasting probably only a few months. That will mandates substantial tax increases down the road which will, no doubt, increase the exodus of taxpaying citizens from NY, making things even worse.

If it cost the city ANY money to activate a new citywide radio system within the near future, it probably won't happen.

So buying a cheap, analog-only radio for your needs may be worthwhile at this point.
 
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4-crime

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I have heard from someone that there have been a lot of complaints about the new radios from cops who have been issued them. And some people have even said that they want the old radios back.

I also heard that with all that is going on right now, they have stopped issuing new radios to precincts. Not sure how much truth there is to it or not though.

even with all the new radios that have been issued, there are still a TON of cops who haven’t been. That will take some time. And they cannot switch to P25 or encryption until that very last radio has been issued to that last person. Last thing you want is someone with an old radio calling for help over a zone and there isn’t anyone that can hear them and the other way around.
 

Danny37

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I’ve noticed that Brooklyn and Manhattan tend to have the new radios but the other boroughs are still using the old radios.

Also, I’ve heard complaints about the batteries draining fast on the new radios and not lasting the entire tour.
 

4-crime

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I’ve noticed that Brooklyn and Manhattan tend to have the new radios but the other boroughs are still using the old radios.

Also, I’ve heard complaints about the batteries draining fast on the new radios and not lasting the entire tour.
Brooklyn north, Brooklyn south, Queens north, Queens south, Bronx have been issued new radios, for the most part, however there are still a lot of officers in those Boros who have not. Manhattan and staten island hasn’t had them issued yet from what I know, as well as any specialized units, the only exception is newer officers that have graduated from the academy within the last year and a half, who have had them issued to them in the academy.

I have heard people have complained about crappy audio, crappy battery life, and do not like the build quality and have to have them completely turned up just to be able to hear them in environments with medium noise levels.

To be honest, the APX900 (VX-P949) was not made to be a front line law enforcement radio, especially in New York City where the cops really beat up their equipment, radios included. It was made for public works and things of that nature. I personally I am still very surprised that they went with that model. Even the VX-P824’s seem more sturdy in the hand, and also have a very strong audio output with pretty good battery life for such a small radio.

The P949 is certainly not as loud as the VX-537’s or 824’s that is for sure.

If anything, I would have thought they would have gone with the APX6000, but what do I know.
 

Danny37

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To be honest, the APX900 (VX-P949) was not made to be a front line law enforcement radio, especially in New York City where the cops really beat up their equipment, radios included. It was made for public works and things of that nature. I personally I am still very surprised that they went with that model. Even the VX-P824’s seem more sturdy in the hand, and also have a very strong audio output with pretty good battery life for such a small radio.

The P949 is certainly not as loud as the VX-537’s or 824’s that is for sure.

If anything, I would have thought they would have gone with the APX6000, but what do I know.
I still see MOS looping the whip antenna and tucking/taping down to get it out of the way on the new radios.
 

4-crime

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I still see MOS looping the whip antenna and tucking/taping down to get it out of the way on the new radios.
I’ll lever understand that. Cops just do not understand/get that it wears down and degrades the antenna and messes with the radio after a while. It’s also crazy when they have 7/800mhz stubby’s or VHF stubbys or those bogus aftermarket dual band antenna’s. They don’t realize what using these things can do to a radio after a period of time. If you want a stubby at least get a UHF!

I mean, is communications not explaining this at all to cops?
 

62Truck

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I’ll lever understand that. Cops just do not understand/get that it wears down and degrades the antenna and messes with the radio after a while. It’s also crazy when they have 7/800mhz stubby’s or VHF stubbys or those bogus aftermarket dual band antenna’s. They don’t realize what using these things can do to a radio after a period of time. If you want a stubby at least get a UHF!

I mean, is communications not explaining this at all to cops?
I'll have to find the post on Instagram. There was a picture that the NYPD account posted a few months ago, and the one officer in the picture was issued one of the new radios however, the antenna was missing.
 

4-crime

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I'll have to find the post on Instagram. There was a picture that the NYPD account posted a few months ago, and the one officer in the picture was issued one of the new radios however, the antenna was missing.
I believe it! I’ve actually seen cops on the street without an antenna on their radio several times!
 

cyberock

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Brooklyn north, Brooklyn south, Queens north, Queens south, Bronx have been issued new radios, for the most part, however there are still a lot of officers in those Boros who have not. Manhattan and staten island hasn’t had them issued yet from what I know, as well as any specialized units, the only exception is newer officers that have graduated from the academy within the last year and a half, who have had them issued to them in the academy.

I have heard people have complained about crappy audio, crappy battery life, and do not like the build quality and have to have them completely turned up just to be able to hear them in environments with medium noise levels.

To be honest, the APX900 (VX-P949) was not made to be a front line law enforcement radio, especially in New York City where the cops really beat up their equipment, radios included. It was made for public works and things of that nature. I personally I am still very surprised that they went with that model. Even the VX-P824’s seem more sturdy in the hand, and also have a very strong audio output with pretty good battery life for such a small radio.

The P949 is certainly not as loud as the VX-537’s or 824’s that is for sure.

If anything, I would have thought they would have gone with the APX6000, but what do I know.
I'm sure it all came down to costs on why they selected it.
 

Citywide173

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I mean, is communications not explaining this at all to cops?
Probably not....academies are strapped for time and I'm not sure they have the time to bring them in. It's probably a "here's the on/of/volume, this is how to change channels, push this to talk" kind of thing.

I give a one hour lecture on the nuts and bolts of the XTS2500s that our new recruits are issued and I cover things like the department policies of not removing the speaker mic, keeping the radio in the leather holster and not replacing the whip antenna with a stubby as well as some common sense stuff like not clipping the speaker mic to the antenna and not taping the antenna over, all while explaining that this radio is their lifeline and they need it when they need it. I see the same recruits after they get out on the street with the radio out of the case, speaker mic off, antenna taped and carrying it in their back pocket while not taking it out when they get into the truck. You can talk to them until you're blue in the face, but there's no guarantee it will stick.
 
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