Need help buying a scanner

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Matthew49ers

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I need your help in buying a scanner, and here is what I would like.

Hand held, easy to carry around in public and can wear an ear piece so it won't disturb others.

Long range miles if possible and you can scan all freq. including channel 1-22.


I have a Motorola talkabout 2 way radio, but I would like a scanner that does more than just pick up 22 channels, I would like one that scan more than just that.
 

captclint

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You don't say how much you want to spend, or to what you want to listen. However, Fresno County seems to have fairly simple systems for which you don't need anything fancy. Uniden tends to have the smaller models like the BC95XLT and SC230 that should meet your requirements. Distance is not something a handheld radio is good at, but both these would work as well as any. To be sure, there are more expensive models with more features, but you may not need them. Of the 2, the 95XT is easier to program (and better for a newcomer) then the SC230, but it only has 200 channels. I think that is enough, but the SC230 has typically 1600. Now these channels are not like your Moto units. They can be programmed for ANY frequency or any Agency(sheriff, fire, EMS, including the 22 that you have in your Moto) Both can be found on the Uniden Like New site.
Bear in mind that I am not from you area, so you may hear from someone in your area that there are other considerations, not obvious on the Fresno County page, that would require a more expensive scanner.
 
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Matthew49ers

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I would like to listen to Mall Security if within range, Police, Fire, EMS, and regular people that might be using 2 way radios.
 

captclint

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I would like to listen to Mall Security if within range, Police, Fire, EMS, and regular people that might be using 2 way radios.
OK, then my recommendations still apply. Both have Close Call, which will allow you to search for Mall Security and other business users within 500' to 1/8 mile. This is different than a general search where you have a slim chance of ever hearing these types of communications. The only other feature I would not give up on the SC230 is Alpha Tags. What this means is you can type the name or type of agency for each frequency you enter, and that will display when active. On the 95xl, you only see the frequency. For us old timers, that was all we ever had, and we got good at associating the frequency with the agency, but this can be a great help. However, all this button pushing for Alpha tags gets painful, so you should get the free software program [FONT=&quot] FreeSCAN [/FONT] if you are going to get the SC230. The other reason for software is that the organizaton of the 230 is a little more complicated than the 95xl, so software helps there also.

The other consideration is that you can use the software to do an automatic download of any or all frequencies in your county and state from Radio Reference ]. This loads frequencies, PL Tones, and Descriptions, which saves you a lot of typing. You would need to become a paid subscriber to get the automatic down loads, but it very reasonable($7.5 for 3 months). This can save you countless hours of programming and frustration.
 
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N8IAA

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I would like to listen to Mall Security if within range, Police, Fire, EMS, and regular people that might be using 2 way radios.
Mall security is usually done on simplex frequencies, so a 2-5watt radio only has a certain distance needed to communicate. That is, of course, they are on a repeater, and you might have a better chance to catch them:)
PD, FD, EMS are usually on repeaters and do use higher powered radios. If you are talking about MURS, and FRS, those are limited in power also. Businesses sometimes use repeaters, and/or, simplex. Depends on the area they travel. Most, however, have gone to NexHell and other PTT carriers. I believe the 95XLT, the RS versions of the GRE radios ($100 and less) will work great for what you want to monitor. A conventional VHF/UHF 25Mhz-900Mhz scanner will work. If you want alphatags and basic trunktracking, $150 range is the target price. Have fun, I know I sure am:)
Larry
 

captclint

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I found this on Amazon, Amazon.com: Uniden SC230 Scanner featuring Pre-Programmed NASCAR / Busch Frequencies: Electronics (Not a fan of NASCAR very boring if you ask me)

Let me know what you think of this product. In the mean time I will be checking out the other scanners online and if I run across another one I might like I'll post a link to it.
That is exactly the same unit I recommended, and it is a lot cheaper with the Uniden like new link I gave you. You can erase or ignore the NASCAR info and just program what you want. Please see my comments on the SC230 above to be sure you know what the plus and minus are for each.
 
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captclint

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Don't you need an FCC license to operate one of those scanners?
A scanner can ONLY receive radio signals. It can not transmit. You only need a license if you have a transmitter (something that you talk into and other radios and scanners can hear you). However, there are a small number of channels that the FCC allows to be operated without a license, and I believe those are the ones (FRS) in your moto unit. To clarify, a scanner is nothing like your moto portable.
 
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Matthew49ers

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Frequency Coverage - 25-54, 108-174, 216-225, 400-512, 806-956, 1240-1300 MHz (Excluding Cellular)

Can anyone translate what this means or at least help me understand this?

Does it include a car charger or something like that? How long does 2 duracell batteries last?
 

captclint

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Frequency Coverage - 25-54, 108-174, 216-225, 400-512, 806-956, 1240-1300 MHz (Excluding Cellular)
Basically, it means you can receive all the available frequencies except VHF/UHF Military Monitoring, 225-380. Unless you live close to a military air base, probably not worth having. It does receive commercial and private aircraft.
Does it include a car charger or something like that? How long does 2 duracell batteries last?
I assume you are talking about the SC230. It comes with rechargeable batteries, and a wall charger. Duracell Batteries tend to last 9-12 hrs, but I don't use them, so this is from my memory.
 
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Matthew49ers

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I would like to take this scanner with me on a road trip from Fresno to Yellowstone, possibly all the way to South Dakota, and let it scan different freq, depending on the area I'm within range, would I have to program the freq into my scanner or are they there already?

With Alpha Tagging, do I have to text in the name of the group, or is that already programmed?

I will ask more when/if I think of any.
 

captclint

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I would like to take this scanner with me on a road trip Would I have to program the freq into my scanner or are they there already?
They are not in the scanner. You would have to program.
With Alpha Tagging, do I have to text in the name of the group, or is that already programmed?
No, Alpha tagging is NOT already programmed. However, if you become a paid subscriber to this site you can get the automatic down loads from this site for all the areas along your road trip, which will download frequencies and Alpha Tags' This is also very reasonable($7.5 for 3 months). This can save you countless hours of programming and frustration. You would need FreeSCAN software(FREE), and a USB converter from Uniden http://tinyurl.com/2cqyu4 or Radio Shack http://tinyurl.com/8dbgdj. Another source is http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10311&cs_id=1031104&p_id=2276&seq=1&format=2, for quite a bit less. It is reported to work.
 
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Matthew49ers

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I would also like to buy some headphones that will work with it too, I would like one that is just a ear piece, I don't want no big head phone drawing attention to myself when out in public.
 

whiskeytango

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radioshack has a single bud headphone that i use, its like 5 bucks. definitely poke around the wiki section for a lot of answers to basic questions. its a lot to learn but youll get it
 
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