Need some guidance

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co_jim

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Hello there. I'm new to the forum and have a few questions. We moved to Castle Rock from New Jersey in 2000 and have been using my Realistic Pro 2006 since. I am considering purchasing a new scanner as I understand most if not all the agencies near me are using digital equipment now. I can still receive dispatch and one of my questions is; how much am I missing beyond the calls to and from dispatch? Is there alot more to the conversations I am not hearing due to my current limitations? Are there more transmissions I'm not capable of hearing to warrant a significant radio upgrade? Another question is about ESK; I have read posts regarding this but what exactly is it and do I need a radio capable of receiving it? I am considering the Uniden bcd996t and want to make sure it is capable of receiving all the modes of local transmission. So to sum it up, I'm in Castle Rock, have really only ever been able to listen to Dispatch calls and am not sure of what else I am missing and what receiver I would need to upgrade to. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

jimmnn

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Hi Jim, You can only listen to fire dispatch 151.115 and yes there is lots more, all there operations on-scene reports size ups etc. Then there's CRPD and DCSO which you are completely missing.

Just check the Douglas County feed on www.scancolorado.com sometime to compare against what you are hearing.

ESK is an option for EDACS systems such as Lakewood, Denver, Aurora, Westy, Arvada not something you need to worry about.

Uniden 396/996T is a good choice but for ease of programming and superior audio I would recommend the Radio Shack Pro-96/2096 series.

Welcome to the forum.

Jim<
 

Scan-Denver

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Another question is about ESK; I have read posts regarding this but what exactly is it and do I need a radio capable of receiving it? I am considering the Uniden bcd996t and want to make sure it is capable of receiving all the modes of local transmission. So to sum it up, I'm in Castle Rock, have really only ever been able to listen to Dispatch calls and am not sure of what else I am missing and what receiver I would need to upgrade to. Thanks in advance for your help.
If you want a scanner that will receive everything in the state that is not encrypted, you'll need the GRE PSR 500 (hand held) or PSR 600 (base) and yes it does include the capabililty of receiving ESK enabled systems. It is also in the $500 price range along with the 996 which currently is not capable of receiving ESK. To answer your question on what is ESK, the data bits on the control channel of a ESK enabled system are re-arranged and therefore non-esk capable scanners aren't able to scan the system. The PSR 500/600 units are capable of recognizing this and switches to ESK mode to scan the system. So more bang for your buck.
 

co_jim

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Thanks for the input so far. Keep it coming. Especially if you monitor Douglas County. Thanks for the link, I will check that out when I get home. Sounds like I need to research the 996 and the GRE 600. While I suppose I don't need the the ESK feature in Castle Rock, it would be nice to have as you never know when a move might happen or taking the scanner mobile. It appears from what I've read on these forums so far that the 996t could be upgraded to include the ESK feature in the future; correct me if I'm wrong. That being said, it also appears that while the Uniden may be more "popular" (brand recognition I suppose) the the GRE seems to get the better side by side reviews. Another question that obviously comes into play is an external antenna. With my current scanner I just have the telescoping antenna and due to HOA rules (as I understand them) I would need an attic antenna to upgrade as we can't have an outside roof antenna. So, any suggestions? I will continue to research these two scanners. Can both be programmed with the same pc software or is different software needed for each. I want to start getting familiar with the radios so when I do receive one (Santa)I will be ahead of the curve. I imagine I should subscribe to this site for the added benefits of frequencies?
 

abqscan

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Or if you can wait for 2 1/2 months, RadioShack will have the new GRE radio. =)

and ::GASP:: someone at RadioShack knows how to use them...
 

co_jim

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I can certainly wait a bit as I need to let the wife know which one Santa should bring. I'm sure this will be the only box under the tree for me except for maybe an antenna, so I just want to make sure to make the best educated decision I can.
 

Scan-Denver

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Well it's like apples and oranges. Some prefer an apple and others an orange. That being said, you know how rumors are and here lately Uniden has taken their sweet time on any updates and/or newer scanners since the 396/996. GRE is ahead of the competition and I believe most of their bugs have been ironed out with the latest updates.

For whatever it is worth, most of us in the Denver metro area are leaning towards the PSR 500/600 and since you stated earlier that you wanted one that would scan everything - this in my opinion is the way to go.
 

co_jim

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From what I have seen so far it looks like I can't wrong with the PSR 600 and unless there's compelling evidence to go another route that is the one I will put on the list.

I have looked at the database and there doesn't appear to be much there for Douglas County. Am I missing something? Are there other good resources for the frequencies I will need or does anyone have colorado files that can be shared if that can be done? I definately want to be able to monitor Castle Rock PD, FD, CSP, Medivacs, and DSCO. I'm sure it will be a learning curve to program this thing.
 

DGroves

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The reason you are not seeing everything is because all of Douglas County except for the one or so mentioned is listed under the Colorado DTRS database. They are listed by talkgroups. I have a Pro 96 and a 396t. I am optimistic that once uniden starts to realize how many sales they are losing due to the ESK situation they will put forth some urgency in releasing an update to support that. I love the fact that I can scan the 700mhz towers. I'm not sure if the GRE's will do that. I just like the look and size of the Uniden. Plus it comes with all the accessories which others tag you on after the sale. The only thing I would gripe about the 396t is the speaker. It SUCKS. If you have hearing issues you will need to listen with a headset. The nanny society we live in definately got the best of Uniden when they decided not to allow their scanner to operate above a whisper. If you live in a noisy household I strongly recommend you find someone with one and borrow it to listen to while driving down the highway. I can barely hear the uniden full volume in my honda with the windows rolled up on I-25. I'm waiting for an update to increase the volume limit beyond where it's at now. I know electronics and I know it could be done.

P.S. The most recent update is 2.01.01 that will be e-mailed to you in the form of a zip file once you jump through all the hoops of the yahoo group. PM me if you don't know what the Yahoo group is. It took me a while to figure it out. It helped.
 
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co_jim

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Thanks for the scanamerica link. I have been listening non-stop since I got home, some interesting happening in Douglas County tonight.

I am continuing my research since I obviously have time before getting the scanner. My concern at this point with the GRE 600 is overload which seems to be a common complaint. The 996T's inability to receive ESK is a concern there but seems as though that could be corrected with firmware.

It appears like anything else there is loyalty to each brand so I'm not sure I can get to a point of which is best for me. I am comforted in hearing that many in the area are using the 600. I must say while looks should not play into such a decision, the Uniden definitely looks better.

Thanks for clarifying the Databas DGroves, I see the list is quite extensive.
 

co_jim

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Does CO have plans of utilizing provoice that anyone is aware of? Should I be concerned about this prior to spending money on a scanner?
 

abqscan

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I am optimistic that once uniden starts to realize how many sales they are losing due to the ESK situation they will put forth some urgency in releasing an update to support that.
Truly, I don't think Uniden worries too much about ESK. The one agency that is using ESK isn't going to affect their sales all that much. Uniden has to look at the bigger picture.

I love the fact that I can scan the 700mhz towers. I'm not sure if the GRE's will do that.
Yes, the GRE radios will scan 700Mhz.
 

abqscan

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Does CO have plans of utilizing provoice that anyone is aware of? Should I be concerned about this prior to spending money on a scanner?

Aurora uses Provoice, but not on the Main Dispatch channels. Denver has the option to use it, but I haven't really seen it used, but for a patch to an Aurora TG. If we all worried about what the future holds, none of us would ever buy a scanner. lol :D
 

NorthCOVideo

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Greeley also does use encrypting for one of their TG's which is used I think for SWAT ops and Drug task force ops, I think, but I won't ask questions. Like said by Eric there are not many worries, the agencies that use encryption are the ones newer to the game and even then they don't use it full time. It will cost more money to upgrade things to use encryption, so it will be awhile before the worries, I worried about it also before I got my 396.
 

co_jim

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Thanks, that makes me feel a bit better.

When I was listening to scancolorado.com last night on the douglas channel there was an incident in parker in which numerous units were involved and there was alot of comms with dispatch but no comms between units to be heard. Am I hoping to hear too much with a new scanner to hear the unit to unit communications? Don't get me wrong I was hearing stuff online that I certainly don't hear with my analog scanner and it was very interesting.
 

Scan-Denver

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Like said by Eric there are not many worries, the agencies that use encryption are the ones newer to the game and even then they don't use it full time. It will cost more money to upgrade things to use encryption, so it will be awhile before the worries, I worried about it also before I got my 396.
I believe Erik was talking about ESK and Provoice. None of which are encyrption. A good look at the wiki for ESK and Provoice explains them both.
 

co_jim

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ok, so Santa is asking for a model number. And now with the new Uniden 396XT coming out and the 996T's ability to now do ESK, and the prior recomendations of the GRE, has anyone's thought changed on what they would ask for? Also, does it appear from what we know so far that 396XT has a leg up on 996T? Thanks again for all the help.
 

scanlist

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Welcome to the Colorado neighborhood of scannists.

Keeping it simple for co_jim

Portables that have 700 MHz and ESK ability:

Currently available Uniden 396 or GRE PSR-500.
Future models Uniden 396XT (1st Q 2009) Radio Shack PRO-106 (4th Q 2008)

Desktop/Mobiles that have 700 MHz and ESk ability:

Currently available Uniden 996 and GRE PSR-600.

From talking to a few people Uniden "DMA" radios are easier to operate vs GRE "object oriented" radios which "require an engineering degree to operate".

Too early to tell if the 396XT trumps the 996 until the final release radio is in production as it has been stated that the pre-release specifications are subject to change.

Also take a look at both the Uniden and GRE forums here to get a better idea of what others have experienced with the radios that are out there. Both companies have unique products.
 
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