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Moto 2-way or High grade scanner?

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hubbajuba

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I'd be using it mostly for fire buffing. I am friends with 2 other fire buffs, one of which has a 2-way. I'm not entirely sure if it was issued or not. Anyways, I was wondering if the 2-ways, since they allegedly have a greater distance for receiving transmissions, would be better vs a uniden or some other "good" scanner. Here in NC, we have the VIPER system, so I'm not sure which works better. And yes, it is 800Mhz, or so I've been told... Whichever you think is sufficient, scanner vs 2-way, what brand, make, model, would you recommend to best suit my needs? Thanks guys in advance for the help!!
 

hubbajuba

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Well, I was looking at the Xts 2500 or 3000, but now that you're recommending I stick to a scanner, What brand do you recommend and where would the best place to find it at. A quick side note, I do currently have a pro-94 but it's in bad shape. Also keep in mind I'll need an 800Mhz, because from what I've been told the Viper system is on those bandwidths. My only concern about the scanners, is that I wasn't able to get good reception on it... Not sure if that was a failure on my part, the scanner itself or the system they were operating on. Any suggestions, would be much appreciated. Thanks again in advance for the help!! :)
 

PeterGV

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VIPER = Trunked Radio System = you really want a scanner, not an XTS radio. An XTS 3K or 2.5K will give you nothing but a pain in the ass trying to monitor a trunked radio system, unless that radio has been put on the system by the system administrator. In addition, the XTS doesn't really scan like a scanner does and you'll be limited to the number of talk groups you can scan simultaneously.

Peter
K1PGV
 

hubbajuba

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Yeah, I understand now to stay away form 2-ways unless I want a big pain in my ass... :p I think I may have phrased my question wrong the first time... My question NOW is, From the needs I have specified above, Viper system on 800Mhz, etc., what would be the best scanner to purchase to suit my needs... Like I mentioned before I have a pro-94 so I am reasonably familiar with RS scanners. I'm am not opposed to other brands, I'm just out of touch with what I may need to help me do what I need to do. I've heard good things about the Uniden's, but wanted a first hand users' perspective on the different brands out there... I hope I clarified my question well enough to get the answer I was looking for this time.. Sorry if I confused anyone in the process... :)
 

n5ims

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My question NOW is, From the needs I have specified above, Viper system on 800Mhz, etc., what would be the best scanner to purchase to suit my needs.
Since the Viper system includes digital capability, this would force you into one of the higher end digital capable scanners. The GRE folks would say that a GRE would be best. The Uniden folks would say Uniden's best. Etc. Currently, the Radio Shack scanners (made by GRE) have a lower regular price so you may want to go there as well. Just remember when pricing to include everything you'll need to get. Some include power supplies, programming cables, etc. and others do not.

All of the higher end scanners would be a good choice, but what would be best is really up to you. With them all about the same price, coverage, etc. there really isn't a single best scanner out there. My "best" may be the most confusing for you and your "best" may be what I like the least!

Look at the WIKI for the various scanners and see what layout, feature sets, radio style, etc. suits you best. Since there isn't really a bad choice out there scanner wise, the one that suits you the best is the one you should buy and call "the best"!
 

RadioDaze

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Not a hijacking, but...

I have a question that's close enough to the OP's that I can recycle the thread title:
I need a HOT-HOT-HOT receiver for one specific VHF freq at around 164 MHz - it's a seismic telemetry channel. Weak signal. I can get it with my various scanners, but I want to set up a dedicated receiving system for it. Would a Moto VHF HT of some type perform better than any existing consumer grade scanner for this purpose? Yes, I know it's all in the antenna, but there are some limitations with that in my location. I would need to optimize both the antenna and the receiver. This would be a 24/7/365 use of the radio, so it would take a scanner out of service for any other use. I guess my statement points me toward a mobile, in any event.

Comments welcome.
 

SCPD

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Moto

I have a question that's close enough to the OP's that I can recycle the thread title:
I need a HOT-HOT-HOT receiver for one specific VHF freq at around 164 MHz - it's a seismic telemetry channel. Weak signal. I can get it with my various scanners, but I want to set up a dedicated receiving system for it. Would a Moto VHF HT of some type perform better than any existing consumer grade scanner for this purpose? Yes, I know it's all in the antenna, but there are some limitations with that in my location. I would need to optimize both the antenna and the receiver. This would be a 24/7/365 use of the radio, so it would take a scanner out of service for any other use. I guess my statement points me toward a mobile, in any event.

Comments welcome.
I would get a used commercial radio and put it on that freq.

You can get a used mobile on a power supply for $100. Tune up the antenna with a tuner like an MFJ, or one of the Agilent's. And since it sounds like you are listening to something that is not moving, think about making or buying a little end mounted beam and tune it to that freq. I bought a nice Cushcraft 3-element for $25 at a hamfest a couple years ago. You could really get serious and get a mast mounted amp tuned to the desired frequency.

So what does the device recovering the data need for an input? Just audio coupled? Or are you going to need to knock up a patch cord from the radio?
 

jim202

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I would get a used commercial radio and put it on that freq.

You can get a used mobile on a power supply for $100. Tune up the antenna with a tuner like an MFJ, or one of the Agilent's. And since it sounds like you are listening to something that is not moving, think about making or buying a little end mounted beam and tune it to that freq. I bought a nice Cushcraft 3-element for $25 at a hamfest a couple years ago. You could really get serious and get a mast mounted amp tuned to the desired frequency.

So what does the device recovering the data need for an input? Just audio coupled? Or are you going to need to knock up a patch cord from the radio?

If your only interested in just one fixed frequency, then you would be much better off with one of the
older radios before they came out with all these micro computer driven radios that covered the entire
band. Reason I say that, is the older radios had a front end that was narrow and had actual tuned
cavities in them. You could then also get a pre-amp with a pass cavity on the input that would
limit the front end noise also. The combination would be about the best you could come up with.

I am talking about an old crystal type radio. Something like a Motorola Micor or a GE Delta or
even a GE Master II type radio. Sure you will have to go out and BUY A CRYSTAL for it, but
you asked and that's what I would do.

Been in this radio service field for well over 45 years. Have seen radios come and go over that time.
These new wide coverage frequency agile radios can't hold a grain of salt to the older radios for
adjacent channel rejection. Put a filtered pre-amp on the older radios and you now have something.
 

KM4WLV

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Messages
1,050
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Rockwell (Rowan County), NC
I'd be using it mostly for fire buffing. I am friends with 2 other fire buffs, one of which has a 2-way. I'm not entirely sure if it was issued or not. Anyways, I was wondering if the 2-ways, since they allegedly have a greater distance for receiving transmissions, would be better vs a uniden or some other "good" scanner. Here in NC, we have the VIPER system, so I'm not sure which works better. And yes, it is 800Mhz, or so I've been told... Whichever you think is sufficient, scanner vs 2-way, what brand, make, model, would you recommend to best suit my needs? Thanks guys in advance for the help!!
If you're going to consider a scanner you'll want to get a digital capable one for sure. Especially if you're going to be monitoring VIPER. I do everyday. All of the SHP Disp talkgroups are moving to digital only, as well as all the other stuff that is worth monitoring at all. It may seem like a big expense now, but if you waste money on a non-digital, then have to go back & buy another one that is then you've spent twice the money.

Also as far as knowing the exact frequencies for VIPER & talkgroups and such check out the database under North Carolina. I'll be happy to help you more if I can. Also Marshall (KE4ZNR here on RR) lives in Raleigh and is the 'master programmer" up that way, lol. You can send him a PM, or post in the NC sub forum and he'll be glad to help I'm sure.

If I can help anymore please let me know !!
 

eaf1956

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VHF one freq

I have a question that's close enough to the OP's that I can recycle the thread title:
I need a HOT-HOT-HOT receiver for one specific VHF freq at around 164 MHz - it's a seismic telemetry channel. Weak signal. I can get it with my various scanners, but I want to set up a dedicated receiving system for it. Would a Moto VHF HT of some type perform better than any existing consumer grade scanner for this purpose? Yes, I know it's all in the antenna, but there are some limitations with that in my location. I would need to optimize both the antenna and the receiver. This would be a 24/7/365 use of the radio, so it would take a scanner out of service for any other use. I guess my statement points me toward a mobile, in any event.

Comments welcome.
If I was you I would just buy a cheap simple 2 meter HT or mobile radio. Being a single band radio it would have a much beter receiver and would probably work very well. I have a ICOM V-8 HT that has a very good reception in the VHF band. Or go to a HAMFEST and pick up a simple 2 meter mobile radio and it should work just fine.
 

eaf1956

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Scanners

what are the high grade scanners like
1) Pain In The A$$ to program w/o a computer
2) not really as sensitive as OLDER scanners were back in the day
3) Expensive
4) troublesome when a setting gets changed and you don't know why
5) Worthless if every agency goes encryted

But hey, I love em! :D
 

TheFantom

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Apr 21, 2010
Messages
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Go with the Uniden BCD396XT... much more flexibility in programming, multiple bands,etc... Also much more user friendly that the GREcom crap (G and E, the first and last letters in GarbagE....lol)

Besides a Batwings XTS3k or XTS5k only allows scanning 10-15 (!!!!) talkgroups at a time depending on what type of scan list you use.. On a mammoth statewide TRS you're going to want to scan more than 10-15 talkgroups at a time.

Fantom
 

RadioDaze

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I have a question that's close enough to the OP's that I can recycle the thread title:
I need a HOT-HOT-HOT receiver for one specific VHF freq at around 164 MHz - it's a seismic telemetry channel. Weak signal. I can get it with my various scanners, but I want to set up a dedicated receiving system for it. ...Yes, I know it's all in the antenna, but there are some limitations with that in my location. I would need to optimize both the antenna and the receiver. This would be a 24/7/365 use of the radio...
I'm quoting myself because there are two threads running here now...

Getting good advice so far... I like the idea of an older radio, crystal-tuned. What I'm trying to do is receive one of the few remaining analog seismometer telemetry tones in Southern California. It's located somewhere in the hills miles east of me, far enough away that when the steady, approx 1000 Hz tone wavers, it indicates an earthquake has registered in that area. If it's big enough, it gives me warning ahead of time that a quake's a comin' my way. I use an audio notch filter to cancel out the baseline tone. Since it's analog, the tone gives a pretty good indication of the amount of ground movement.

I used to have a Yaesu 2400H tuned to a freq 24/7, so long in fact that I killed the lamps in it. But that particular seismometer was taken offline years ago. I could receive that one with a fairly simple antenna. But I've since been told about another seismo, and I can marginally pick it up from spots around my location. But I'm in a very restrictive condo complex, and the optimal antenna would be a tuned yagi on the roof (not gonna happen). Second choice would be a tuned 1/4 up there. (Not a 5/8... I have to get UP and OUT.) There's a hospital parking structure within walking distance from me where I can pick it up full quieting with a rubber duck, and I was once up on the roof when the opportunity arose, and I did receive some traces of a signal up there with a duck.

I am hoping to get a 2m/440 Ventenna up there eventually, but it will take permission from the board since locked roof access is required. I'd probably make a tuned Ventenna-style antenna to hook up to a dedicated receiver if I ever can get up there, so I'm able to use the regular Ventenna for other comms and rx. I'm predicting that whatever I put up there, I'll still need a hot receiver.

P.S. hubbajubba hasn't joined us for a few months now, so I think it's okay to keep borrowing his thread.
 
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PeterGV

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I'd guess that your problem is not JUST sensitivity but also SELECTIVITY. Sensitivity is all well and good, but without selectivity your incoming signal will be swamped.

Scanners are often sufficiently sensitive, but their front ends are typically WIDE open... in other words, hideously poor selectivity.

This is where a radio like a Motorola shines. You can't have a radio that's not selective when you've got all sorts of different agencies working shoulder to shoulder at an incident.

Peter
K1PGV
 

davnick

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Mar 5, 2011
Messages
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personally i use a 2 way because im a fire buff, but the only other thing i used was a low grade scanner and its about the same, the only problem with my HT-1000 is the programming with the software its impossible to get really thats my only problem but otherwise i love it, and it looks nicer than a scanner it dosent matter but hey i like it.
 

gewecke

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I have a question that's close enough to the OP's that I can recycle the thread title:
I need a HOT-HOT-HOT receiver for one specific VHF freq at around 164 MHz - it's a seismic telemetry channel. Weak signal. I can get it with my various scanners, but I want to set up a dedicated receiving system for it. Would a Moto VHF HT of some type perform better than any existing consumer grade scanner for this purpose? Yes, I know it's all in the antenna, but there are some limitations with that in my location. I would need to optimize both the antenna and the receiver. This would be a 24/7/365 use of the radio, so it would take a scanner out of service for any other use. I guess my statement points me toward a mobile, in any event.

Comments welcome.

.....So some shaking going on in you're neighborhood? :wink:

Sorry, I had to ask.

73,
n9zas
 
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