Need help in SC!!

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JustSpeechy

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Ok. So...I go out and purchase what I thought to be a basic scanner for my parents. I purchased the scanner for them to be able to listen to local police departments. There has been a lot of burglary in recent months, they are both getting older and I am thinking of moving from the area. So my thought was this would be a good way of keeping them abreast of what going on in the area.

Well, we live in Orangeburg County, SC. I purchased a Radio Shack Pro 405 and I can barely pick up any stations (mostly at night only). I went out today and purchased an 800mhz antenna hoping this would improve things. No noticeable difference so far. I read posts and have found out that this area is on something called Palmetto 800 (whatever that means). I'm not sure if this particular scanner is adequate or if I just don't know what I'm doing(probably the later). Nevertheless, if someone could give me some guidance. I would appreciate. Otherwise, IT'S BACK TO RADIO SHACK I GO!
 

captclint

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The Pro-406 does not do trunking. Pro-405 - The RadioReference Wiki
the Palmetto 800 Trunking System, V is an analog & digital trunking system, so you are looking at $400-500 if you want digital, but look at the mode column. A=analog, D=digital, E=encrypted. The majority are A, so you are now looking at $150-240 for a non digital trunking scanner if you can live without digital. However, I would go to the SC forum and ask what they know about the future of this and other systems going digital. The bottom line is that you need to return the Pro 405 if you want to hear most of the action. And a good 800Mhz antenna is necessary. so you are OK there. I would strongly advise against having RS program any new scanner you get. You are much better off in the long run with either purchasing software, or learning how to do it manually. Things change a lot in a year, and you will need to be able to update it without going back to RS.
 
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hiegtx

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Ok. So...I go out and purchase what I thought to be a basic scanner for my parents. I purchased the scanner for them to be able to listen to local police departments. There has been a lot of burglary in recent months, they are both getting older and I am thinking of moving from the area. So my thought was this would be a good way of keeping them abreast of what going on in the area.

Well, we live in Orangeburg County, SC. I purchased a Radio Shack Pro 405 and I can barely pick up any stations (mostly at night only). I went out today and purchased an 800mhz antenna hoping this would improve things. No noticeable difference so far. I read posts and have found out that this area is on something called Palmetto 800 (whatever that means). I'm not sure if this particular scanner is adequate or if I just don't know what I'm doing(probably the later). Nevertheless, if someone could give me some guidance. I would appreciate. Otherwise, IT'S BACK TO RADIO SHACK I GO!
Welcome to RadioReference

(Note that any underlined in blue is a link. And it looks like Clint & I were typing at the same time.)

Palmetto 800 is a trunked radio system. Unfortunately, the scanner you purchased, the Pro-405, is not a trunking capable scanner, and according to the specifications found on Radio Shack's page, it also will not receive 800MHz frequencies, where the Palmetto operates. (The Wiki incorrectly shows the 405 as being able to receive 800MHz.)

Looking at your county in the database, some of the agencies are conventional (not on the trunked system), and some are over on Palmetto. Palmetto is a mixed-mode system, both analog, & digital talkgroups. Fortunately, in your case, it appears that the ones directly related to your county are analog. (You can tell that by the "A" in the "Mode" column.). Anything labeled "D" is digital, and would require a digital scanner. The talkgroups labeled "E" are encrypted (scrambled) and not monitorable by any scanner.

In order to receive the analog talkgroups on Palmetto for your area, you would need to exchange that Pro-405 for an analog trunk tracker, such as the Pro-163. This would also receive the frequencies that are not on the trunked system. Other comparable models that would do the job include the PSR-410 and the BCT15X. Previous models BCT15 and PSR-400, discontinued but often found in the classifieds here, or on eBay, among other places, would also work. A different option, such as the PSR-700 or Pro-107 would also work.

I would also suggest that you drop down to the South Carolina forum, to see if there are any changes pending that might affect a scanner choice in your area. More specifically, is there a move pending for some of the agencies to shift from analog to digital in the near future.
 

JustSpeechy

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Thanks so much for the advice guys! This definitely points me in the right direction. As you can tell...I'm TOTALLY new to this! But I'm learning thanks to you guys! I appreciate all your help!
 
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