Is the hobby dying or should I get new equip.

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It's been at least 4yrs since I have been active in scanning. I have no equipmet at the present time and I am considering getting a AOR8200 mk3 I had 1st gen ar8200 and loved it. So here goes my question in general has scanning as a hobby died off due to slow convertion over to digital? Would it be worth getting another AR8200 as an analog receiver or should I consider getting ar8200 and a uniden trunk tracking scanner as well. Would I still be receiving or would I just pick up digital noise.

I miss listening to distant signals but if as hobby so just want your opinion buy equipment or save my money and get another hobby.
 
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mciupa

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If your budget allows it, buy the ar8200 and a digital trunktracker made by either GRE(RadioShack) or Uniden . This way you'll be happy on all fronts.:)
Is your home area using digital communications ?
 

Patch42

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I still have a fondness for my AR8k, but it's practically useless in today's scanning world. There are way too many systems that are trunked, with more than a few of them digital or soon to convert. Unless you know you'd get a lot of use from the AR8200, I'd save that money and get one of the digital-capable trunk tracking scanners.
 

Turbo68

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I look at this way i mainley listen to analog signals but already can listen to apco 25 signals but havent taking any intrest yet and u need to make sure buy a radio that will satisfy what u need to listen.

Regards Lino.
ALINCO-DJX2000
AOR-3000A/AOR-3000A/AOR-8200MK3
ETON-E5 HF PORTABLE
GRE-PSR500
ICOM-R3/ICOM-R5/ICOM-R20/ICOM-PCR1000/ICOM-PCR1500/ICOM-R2500/ICOM-R9500/ICOM-92AD D-STAR
JRC NRD-545
RADIO SHACK-PRO97
REALISTIC-PRO2035
UNIDEN-245/UNIDEN-396/UNIDEN-780/UNIDEN-996
YAESU-VX7R/YAESU-FT8800R/YAESU-VR500/YAESU-VR5000
 
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Well my thing is the ar8200 has a frequency range of 500 KHz to 3 GHz
and the uniden ones only go up to 25mhz to 1.ghz this is what has always bothered me why cant they make a scanner that incorporates frequency range and next generation trunk tracking.

I wonder where AOR and other companies will go with there products as we move away from analog. Will they partnership with others in order to benefit from there technologies.

Thanks for your opinions got me thinking now
 

Don_Burke

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Well my thing is the ar8200 has a frequency range of 500 KHz to 3 GHz
and the uniden ones only go up to 25mhz to 1.ghz this is what has always bothered me why cant they make a scanner that incorporates frequency range and next generation trunk tracking.

I wonder where AOR and other companies will go with there products as we move away from analog. Will they partnership with others in order to benefit from there technologies.

Thanks for your opinions got me thinking now
Those very wideband products sometimes have poor performance at the extremes. I would talk to someone who owned one before I plunked down the plastic.

The reason that you do not see very wideband coverage and trunk tracking in the same unit is that the demand is so small that it drives the price up well beyond what it would cost to buy three units.
 
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gcgrotz

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Right you are Don. I have an 8200 and it will do a fair job on hearing the big international broadcasts. It isn't the best for utility or ham listening despite the fact it has true usb/lsb detection. You can tune stuff with it but it won't be easy. I mostly use mine these days for air and military air monitoring and it does a fine job with that. It was turned on and monitoring on the morning of 9-11-01.

I've said it here before: if you get a good shortwave like an Icom R-75, and a good digital scanner like a BCD396/996 or a GRE, there won't be much that you can't hear if it is hearable.
 

N8IAA

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Well my thing is the ar8200 has a frequency range of 500 KHz to 3 GHz
and the uniden ones only go up to 25mhz to 1.ghz this is what has always bothered me why cant they make a scanner that incorporates frequency range and next generation trunk tracking.

I wonder where AOR and other companies will go with there products as we move away from analog. Will they partnership with others in order to benefit from there technologies.

Thanks for your opinions got me thinking now
Your posts have mentioned nothing about what you wish to monitor. Conventional public service, railroads, milair............ Why 3Ghz? I still use an Alinco DJ-X10 for various conventional frequencies. Have a digital scanner for what is P-25 in my area, and a couple of analog scanners used for a variety of monitoring.
Larry
 

KT4HX

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Larry is right. You need to define what you want to listen to in order to make a sound decision on what equipment to buy. Some people toss out the very general comment "I want to hear it all". That is a very difficult goal to stick with.

I've owned various "wideband" receivers, and I am not a fan. Sure they give you a lot of spectrum, but by packing so much coverage into a small package, you have to compromise in the design. I would rather have a decent portable (or desktop if you're really serious) LW/MW/SW radio and a separate trunking (digital if needed) scanner. You will get better performance in the long run. Besides, how many of us have heard anything in the upper ranges of those all-in-one receivers?

Plan out what your primary listening target will be, then research what will give you the most bang for the buck. Welcome back to the hobby, and enjoy the hunt.
 

Patch42

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I have to agree with the last couple posts. Different receivers for different tasks. My AR8k had wide range, but it didn't exactly excel in some areas. I have a $15 Sony AM/FM ultralight that would run rings around the AR8k for MW reception. I'm not sure if it's more sensitive on FM, but I'm sure it has FAR better sound. The AR8k would do a barely passable job on SW if hooked up to a good external antenna. I have a $30 portable that is functionally better on SW.

Once beyond the low end, the 8k did come into its own.

You really should define what it is you want to listen to and then look for receivers to cover those needs.
 

Tom_G

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Not sure where you live, but for the most part trunking has been taking over much of CT.
Even some of the smaller towns are now using Motorola and LTR trunking.

A conventional scanner is of very little value to us here in CT.
If I could suggest 1 portable radio I would make it a GRE PSR-500 or a Uniden 396.
Either of these will support all 3 trunking types and digital.
 
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Well I like to monitor military as I am fairly close to Mcguires and Ft Dix. I also would like to get an optoscout to get near field frequencies fast. Airport,Airshows,racetrack,Gov Installations etc.I have gov cleareance so it's interesting to get frequencies of buildings I visit.

But I also like to monitor NJ State Police Air Medivac and when visiting other states alot of towns are trunk also. Maybe I will pick up both scanners. I also have external WinRadio antenna I still have this antenna which is excellent. I know winradio has a solution for both of these criteria but they want $7k which is insane but there solution covers up to 25ghz I believe from what the rep told me even though I get Gov discount it's too much. And last to answer 3ghz band anything above 1.5ghz at times the FCC issues temp testing frequencies to companies which I would like to monitor as well.
 

ff-medic

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I don't believe that the hobby is dying. Events that take place, storms, natural disasters..people want to be on top of things. People who drive frequently monitor to keep track of road conditions, roads that are open and closed, delays and ect. In my opinion...Ham radios is picking up to.

Hobbiest get a little lagging behind, and not as enthused as they were, but I do not believe the hobby is dying.


FF-Medic !!!
 

Patch42

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Some of the higher end trunking scanners have features similar to what the Opto Scout provides.

The thing that annoyed the hell out of me with the Scout were the batteries. They used a fairly standard NiCad pack, but they soldered the leads right to the circuit board. If they used a simple coupling, replacing the batteries would be a simple user replacement item. As it is, you have to either send it back to them or start clipping wires or unsoldering and resoldering. Stupid design. Maybe they've changed it since I bought mine. Nope, a quick check of their web site shows they're still using NiCads and forcing you to recharge inside the unit. It would be far better if they included a standard battery compartment for AA batteries.
 

iMONITOR

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A lot of the Military is switching to more trunked, and digital systems. The AOR will not do either of these modes. The newer GRE PSR-500/PSR-600 would be your best choice for Military comms.
 

N8IAA

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A lot of the Military is switching to more trunked, and digital systems. The AOR will not do either of these modes. The newer GRE PSR-500/PSR-600 would be your best choice for Military comms.
I agree with SIG-INT, the PSR500 handheld would be the ideal radio. It does the new P-25 (380Mhz) the military has gone to for trunking, and it has Signal Sweeper (similar to the Opto). Generally, it will do you well. NJ SP haven't gone digital yet, but, the northern troop is a mixed mode of analog and digital. Plus, milair is included with this scanner. NAS Lakehurst uses the new P-25 trunking frequencies (380-400Mhz).
Larry
 

n5zap

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I don't believe that the hobby is dying. Events that take place, storms, natural disasters..people want to be on top of things. People who drive frequently monitor to keep track of road conditions, roads that are open and closed, delays and ect. In my opinion...Ham radios is picking up to.FF-Medic !!!
I would also have to ask where you live, and what kinds of communications are around you? I am just north of New Orleans, and recently Louisiana switched their interoperable systems over to 700MHz. My current scanners won't cover that range. However, all of the local systems in my area still have primary communications around 150 MHz, all analog. When hurricanes take the power down the trunked systems tend to fail as well, and everyone switches back to analog VHF.

I would get an inexpensive scanner and discone antenna, and listen around to see what you can hear. It may be that you get all of the entertainment you need for awhile on the cheap!

Chris Crayton, N5ZAP
 

Big_Ears

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Sorta hard to comment, because we don't know what your "hobby" consists of. The term "hobby" may consist of many different types of interests.
 
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