Need a little helpful advice, Please?

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OldTrucker

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Hey folks. Been reading here for awhile but just joined. I've been listening to a scanner since back in the 80's but only analog stuff.
Well now the county sheriff dept. that I listen to the most (Grenada) has gone to this new digital or whatever thing.
I want to get a new scanner but I read on here that they are supposed to go to, I think, P25 phase II in the near future, or something like that,...I don't want to have to buy another scanner in a year or two. I would like to buy a unit that will last for a few more years ( I may not be here that much longer anyway...)
Being disabled from a trucking accident a few years ago....I am on a budget and from what I gather reading here on the forums I will have to spend around $350-$650 for a scanner to be able to hear this new fangle stuff that they are using and going to...Is that correct??

Suggestions and/or cheaper routes much appreciated.

Also would like to ask...would an Antron 99 ground plane work for the new scanners for this new digital stuff?
If not, are there some "budget minded" solutions for an external digital scanner antenna?

Thanks ahead for any time and help
Old Trucker
 

OldTrucker

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North Mississippi
I must add that I am way behind on all this new fangle scanner stuff....I have not bought a new scanner since 1999. I do have a little knowledge of some stuff like this, as I code/build web pages in html, and css.... and a tiny, teeny bit of java and php...LOL. So I think I should be able to "program" one of the new units...(maybe..LOL)

Again any help or suggestions are much appreciated.
 

Ensnared

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Investment

I'm writing you to discuss the purchase of a new digital radio for the Grenada area & beyond.

First of all, I've reviewed the Radio Reference Database & found no indicators of digital activity within your county; however, this surely does not mean they won't be migrating to digital.

At present, the only Phase II digital trunking system is MSWIN located at the bottom of the Grenada County page.

Personally, I believe buying a used or cheaper version of the current digital radios would be a huge waste of money; however, if you can find one for under $200, that is another issue. If you do buy a used one, I would make sure that it is one of the newer units capable of processing 9600 baud.

At present, the industry is in transition. GRE, the maker of some great digital radios has gone out of business. However, Whistler bought them out. They will be launching their new line in 2014. From what I've seen, some of the older model GRE models might be rebranded with Whistler. At present, we don't know if Whistler will provide the listener with newer radio systems to monitor when compared with the competition.

At this very moment in time, there are only two Phase II digital scanners. The first one is the older GRE PSR 800. Since it is unknown whether Whistler will provide service support for this model, I would certainly wait to see. If you find of these for a steal, then you might get it. However, if Whistler does not support this product, the firmware upgrades might not be available.

The newest scanners on the block is the Uniden BCD436HP (portable) & BCD536HP (base). This is a combination of a traditional button entry scanner with an intuitive one. Intuitive scanners typically use a toggle. You can also find radio systems using a zip code. The price of this is relatively low considering the PSR 800 was being sold for nearly $700 when it was believed GRE would not resurface.

Here is a video to help you with the overview. You can fast forward to the middle if you want to avoid the tedious testimonials. Uniden New Scanner Launch - YouTube

In closing, if I were you, I would wait on Whistler & then decide.

Good luck. Hopefully, your County won't be encrypted like other radio systems in your state.
 
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OldTrucker

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Thanks for the suggestion.


I find this info here about Grenada and the surrounding counties going to MSWIN and maybe phase II....

(MSWIN) Trunking System, Jackson, Mississippi - Scanner Frequencies

The line below is shown for Grenada county SO.

3 (3) 011 (B) Grenada Grenada 769.08125 769.85625 774.33125a 774.58125a 774.83125c

I can no longer hear any county units on my analog scanner. So they went to something new....???
 

Ensnared

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Digital Migration

Good find. I didn't see that before. Yes, it looks like your county has two sites listed for this rather large trunking P25 digital system. Yes, it is destined for Phase II as the database suggests; however, there are no Phase II talk groups (channels) showing up.

You can see for yourself under the heading "System talk groups." beneath the frequencies listed. The important things to look for is the "D" showing in the "mode" column. If it shows "E", it is generally an encrypted channel which may or may not encrypted on a full time basis. "T" in this column indicates Phase II mode. Again, I don't see any listed. Trust me, this might take years for the whole system to go to Phase II. As long as there is a "D" in the talk group mode column, you can monitor them with a digital scanner. Again, I see no Phase II talk groups listed.

For Motorola P25 digital systems, the presence of "D" means it is still in Phase I.

Since there are no Grenada talk groups listed, they are not yet identified & posted. This is what is likely occurring since you stated you can no longer hear S.O.

This is why the GRE/Whistler radios have a "wild card" feature. People with these types of radios can capture new talk groups (channels) as they emerge.

Here is a comparison chart which does not show the new Uniden Phase II digitals. I am including this in case someone identifies the talk groups & you find it difficult to wait on buying one. Digital Scanner Comparison Chart - The RadioReference Wiki

I own a GRE PSR 500 which is a great model. It is capable of storing 39,000 objects (talk groups, frequencies, etc.). If you can find one on sale, you can buy a PSR 500/Pro-106 (same handheld radio with different case, same chassis) or a PSR600/Pro-197 (base unit, same radio chassis). Please, remember, we don't know how long the GRE download page will be supported or if Whistler will pick up this service.

I would watch this forum for changes in your county. Hopefully, your area has an active scanner community.

If you want to call me, send me a PM for my telephone number. I am semi-retired.

One last thing. If you know of a Radio Shack dealer who employs competent staff, they might already know the talk groups. However, the likelihood of RS having employees with this skill set has a very wide variance.
 
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KE5TLF

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Because it has the dynamic option installed and several agencies regularly flip flop between modes. Any/all new agencies joining MSWIN are required to purchase radios that are at least upgradeable to TDMA/Phase II, even if they don't have the option enabled upon their initial purchase. (as an initial cost savings measure)

There are presently only 3 options that are even remotely future proof in MS.
The discontinued PSR-800, and fhe 2 newly released Uniden P25 Phase II capable products. (BCD436HP & BCD536HP) All 3 include everything needed to program them including access to the entire RRDB.

If things go the way they seem to be planning them to go, Whistler will be rebranding and resurrecting the PSR-800 under their banner and also bring the never released PSR-900 (mobile/base) to market at some point, but that's most likely still several months away from happening.
 

milf

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Whistler release to Radio Shack and any other retailers is to be done by March 2014 per their e-mail replies, and what the reps at CES 2014 told people. This is also in keeping with their press releases. All the GRE re branded/re labeled products will be on shelves by March. It will be at least an year for the Whistler Made scanners to hit.
 

Ensnared

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Whistler Hope For Mississippi

Whistler release to Radio Shack and any other retailers is to be done by March 2014 per their e-mail replies, and what the reps at CES 2014 told people. This is also in keeping with their press releases. All the GRE re branded/re labeled products will be on shelves by March. It will be at least an year for the Whistler Made scanners to hit.
Yes, & if I'm not stark raving mad, I believe I previously saw a GRE PSR-500-looking photograph of a Whistler scanner. It looked identical to my PSR 500. I don't think it was an altered photograph either.

So, sir, I am waiting on the innovative ones, the GRE-made scanner. rebranded, Whistler I've own several over the years. GRE made some very fine radios. I believe the same folks have relocated their expertise at Whistler. The GRE PSR 500/Pro 106 or GRE 197/Pro 197 are subject simulcast problems. Some have learned how to minimize this problem. Just so you'll know about this issue.

I say, wait until you see what is offered in March, 2014. Hopefully, the radios will go beyond Phase II & include radio systems currently out of reach. I'm sure one of these will at least equal to Uniden, but in their own special way.

Depending on the system, some P25 digital signals can travel an impressive distance, particularly with repeaters. Unless you encounter problems with multipath signals (consult glossary) in a large city or area, you should be fine with GRE/Whistler.

I've monitored part of Mississippi on the IH10 corridor & coverage was quite impressive.
 
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OldTrucker

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North Mississippi
A big "Thank You" to all for the replies and great help.

I think that since "I don't know what I'm missing" by not having the new stuff that I will just wait until March or whenever to see what comes on the market and then get more educated and informed about what will work best for my area.
In the mean time I can still hear the local PD and the SO in the next county over so I should be able to wait for a little while.
And I also really enjoy listening to Chicago PD on Broadcastify...

Thanks again for all the great info and suggestions, all are greatly appreciated.
 

milf

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No Problemo! Its what we do. MS has some good feeds on BCFY too... The Jackson one is pretty good, Warren one, Rankin.... Used to be an Madison one but he took it down for some reason... The Jackson County/MSWIN is awesome too. Have fun and enjoy! (Yeah, only F&W has been noted using any TDMA (Phase II thus far.... But with larger metro areas about to come on, we will have to listen and see what pops up.) Oh and for those that are in the Counties that are now running DMR.... Get an older scanner and tap it, run DSD+... If you can get an PRO-92, they are literally the easiest to tap in the universe.... Or if you have an newer model with the "line out" style jack that is directly from the tap point/s, use that. If the agencies are not running encryption, you can still monitor them this way. And with this and/or DMR Decode, you can get the Color Codes, and Timing Slots down also... We admins love this data!)
 
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