Looking For First Scanner

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0x4a64

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Minneapolis, MN
After years of wanting to get into scanning I think I'm ready to take the plunge. I'd like to learn with an actual scanner in front of me so I was wondering if you folks could recommend a good starter unit for me that will also provide the functionality I need as I become more adept. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Hennepin County) and would like to scan all of the local city frequencies as well as aircraft and military if possible. I could go either way on portable vs. home base scanning but I'll probably be doing most of my scanning in the home. I'd just like to jump in with a unit that is easy to use and has good functionality. My budget for a scanner is in the sub $1,000 range.

I believe the city of Minneapolis is all digital and uses P25. From what I've researched so far, the Bearcat BCD396xt or BCD996xt might be my best bets but I'd like to hear if you have any better suggestions based on my criteria.

Thanks!
 

N8IAA

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Fortunately, GA
Welcome to Radio Reference:) I'm going to suggest the GRE500/600, or the Radio Shack Pro-106/197. They are almost twins. I've used the 106 for over a year and a half with excellent results. Changing scanlists is much easier, I believe, on the run than the 396/996. Doesn't have as much memory as the Unidens, but I've never filled the scanner up completely:D A good place to ask your questions about your metro area and the Minnesota P-25 system is in the Minnesota forum. After looking at your county, they are on the state system.
HTH,
Larry
 

eaf1956

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Evansville, IN
Reasonable Budget

After years of wanting to get into scanning I think I'm ready to take the plunge. I'd like to learn with an actual scanner in front of me so I was wondering if you folks could recommend a good starter unit for me that will also provide the functionality I need as I become more adept. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Hennepin County) and would like to scan all of the local city frequencies as well as aircraft and military if possible. I could go either way on portable vs. home base scanning but I'll probably be doing most of my scanning in the home. I'd just like to jump in with a unit that is easy to use and has good functionality. My budget for a scanner is in the sub $1,000 range.

I believe the city of Minneapolis is all digital and uses P25. From what I've researched so far, the Bearcat BCD396xt or BCD996xt might be my best bets but I'd like to hear if you have any better suggestions based on my criteria.

Thanks!

Well, the first time ever I see a guy actually expecting tp pay over $500 for a digital scanner. The GRE's are supposed to sound better with p25 (Wouldn't know never had one) I have a 996T and a 996XT and both work fine for me in my area. I want you to realize that no matter what DIGITAL scanner you buy there is a HUGE learning curve on programming it. Forget all the BANK/Channel stuff from the past. Radio Shack has a digital scanner on SALE for like $400, but you can get a GRE or a UNIDEN for about $500. You may want to consider programming software. The UNIDEN's I have I could, in a pinch, program manually but it is much easier to do on computer. Both brands have several programs available to program them. Good luck with your choice and hope everything turns out well for you.

KC9LVX
 

dracer777

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I had a 106, then, for the sake of it, sold the 106 and bought a 396xt. I was actually surprised at the audio quality over the 106. Seems to decode better also, but not as sensitive. But if you have good signal strength, I think the 396xt is much better.

As far as changing scan lists(or systems for the x96 scanners), it's not really that much harder on the unidens. I actually like having more control over what the radio scans.
 
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