Katy, Tx - newbie needs some advice

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Thaellar

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May 15, 2008
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Katy, TX (Houston)
I live in Katy and I want to buy a scanner, but am confused as to what to buy. Do I need a particular type of scanner to hear the Katy, Harris County and Houston Police/Fire channels? Also, what else can be heard from Katy? I really want to focus on milair and coast guard as well. I would appreciate any insight from scanners near Katy as to what equipment works for them and what they can hear, especially on military frequencies.

edit: budget is $500 - $600.

regards,

Thaellar
 
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mfn002

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You would probably need something like a GRE PSR500 or a Uniden BC396D. If you want to listen to Harris County, you'll need to have one of these (I recommend the PSR500). They are on the massive (and still growing) STARNET system, which has been slowly establishing new antenna sites broadcasting in the 700MHz range around the region. As for HFD/HPD, they are analog UHF conventional channels. As for milair, I don't really know. Coast Guard should be rather easy. You just have to live near Galveston or the Ship Channel to hear them.
 
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Thaellar

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May 15, 2008
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Katy, TX (Houston)
Thanks for the reply. I picked up a Radio Shack Pro-97 for local law enforcement and its working great. Milair will require decent antenna. I'll wait on that and probably get a different dedicated scanner for that. Thanks again.

Thaellar
 

FlashSWT

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Galveston/Houston, TX
The Pro-97 should work fine until the users in your area start switching to the P25 (digital) system. There is no set timetable for this but it has started and will get to everyone at some point in the next few years. Also be aware that the Pro-97 will NOT survive rebanding so at some point in the future it will cease to work with Motorola trunking systems. It will however continue to work just fine for conventional (like HPD/HFD until they switch to the rumored 700Mhz TRS).

.
 

bpckty1

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The Pro-97 will also work well with LTR and EDACS systems. From what I've heard, you won't have any problems with EDACS rebanding. Just change the frequencies/LCN, and the talkgroups will reamin the same. The only problem is the only major users left in the Houston area are HISD, and Montgomery County. Montgomery County is rumored to be joining Borgnet sometime in the future. So, somewhere down the line, if you like to listen to school busses and maintenance vehicles, enjoy. But, the HISD EDACS system does support PHI air ambulances, who do operate in the greater Houston area, and they have a base in Richmond. As for Fire and EMS, the Cy-Creek Command Center (Westlake VFD, West I-10 VFD, and West Harris County EMS) and Cy-Fair VFD/EMS are on UHF conventional, and they are very active.

The Pro-97 will remain useful, just a bit limited after Borgnet either rebands or goes 700 MHz Digital.

Happy Scanning...
 
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FlashSWT said:
(like HPD/HFD until they switch to the rumored 700Mhz TRS).
It's not a rumor, it IS going to happen.. just maybe not for several years. See here.

Honestly, I would go ahead and save up and get a 396/996, depending on whether you prefer handheld or mobile/base. That way you're future-proofed against rebanding and P25, as they will handle both. I'm not really interested in aircraft monitoring of either the commercial or military variety, but if I was I'd probably want a separate scanner dedicated to just that.

Here's a simple breakdown of your area. Consult the Houston RR page or The Freq Zone for specific frequencies and talkgroups. When looking at the STARNET pages, you'll want to listen to the Clodine sites for your immediate vicinity. Fair warning: everyone that is on STARNET now will eventually be switching to P25.. it's not a matter of if, but when.
Katy Police - On STARNET
Harris County Sheriff - On STARNET (Dispatch 4/Tac 4/Tac West-A & Southwest-A for your area)
Harris County Pct. 5 Constable - On STARNET
Waller County Sheriff & Constables, Brookshire Police - ON STARNET
Fort Bend Sheriff & Constables - ON STARNET
Katy Fire - 151.115
Westlake Fire - 453.475
West I-10 Fire & West Harris County EMS:
-460.25 Dispatch for both agencies
-461.825 Tactical & working structure fires
Community Fire - 453.8375, 33.62, STARNET all linked together
Brookshire Fire - 155.58 (try 37.26)
All other Waller County fire departments - 155.76
All Fort Bend county fire - On STARNET
 

bpckty1

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Katy VFD has resumed testing on Starnet, so you may want to put talkgroup 21776 in the scanner. You may want to put Willowfork FD, tg 46192, and Ft. Bend EMS, tg 2864, in your scanner. Ft. Bend EMS station 9 is co-located with the Willowfork VFD. They are located in the southern part of the Katy area. Plus, since they are in the area, you most likely will be travelling in their areas going to the store or traveling. If you are in the northern part of the area, you may want to put Cy-Fair VFD, 463.6000, DPL 143, in your conventional list. Links to the tac and other freqs in the area are in the database.
 
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