Need some help with a new purchase.

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soup1279

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My birthday is coming up and the fiancee is being nice this year so I'm getting a new scanner (Finally) I've pretty much narrowed it down to either a PSR-500 or the PSR-800. I'm not new to scanners but I'm not really a super geek when it comes to them either so please forgive any novice questions I ask. I just want to listen to the local police/fire/ems as well as NOAA during bad storms etc. I mainly want something that can be programmed easily (software or manual doesn't matter so much) Something that has AC power as well as batteries.

I really like the 500 and was going to buy it but then I saw the 800 and it has some features that may come in handy. I know most of the local frequencies are in the 800 range and according to RR they use Motorola Type II SmartZone and have Analog and APCO-25 Common Air Interface listed.

My old scanner can't pick up any of these so I'm very limited to what I can pick up. What is this P25 Phase II? Is that something I have to consider when purchasing a scanner? The price difference between the two isn't a huge issue. It's more about the ability for the scanner to do what I want. I'm looking for suggestions as to which to buy. I don't have a local place to check them out side by side so I'm relying heavily on user reviews.

Thanks,
Anthony
 

N8IAA

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Since you don't stated where you're from, answering about whether or not you need Phase II (currently not scannable by any scanner now). What features do you think are better on the 800 than the 500? I have an 800 and a 106 (same radio as the 500, but is RS branded). Lots of stuff I truly like over and above the 800. Battery life, ease of putting in frequencies. Not having to depend on the RR database being updated. Something to think about, with either scanner, if you are listening to NOAA WX broadcasts, the scanner only listens to the WX broadcasts, not the public service. Same the other way, public service, not WX broadcasts.
HTH,
Larry
 

soup1279

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Sorry, I'm from Souteast PA, Montgomery County.

I'm used to the manual entry and I like the idea that I can enter things manually but would also like to hook it up to the computer (I understand both are able to do this?)

I like the battery life of the older scanners (I've heard the 800 eats batteries) and sometimes where I'm at I can't plug it into a USB port to charge. Having a standard wall adapter is nice as well as batteries that last a while.
 

N8IAA

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Programming software makes the new scanners a breeze to get up and running. Having used both flavors of scanner, I'll take my 106, or 396XT for portable scanning. The 800 is not easy to operate while mobile. It requires to many button pushes. I know there are those here on RR that will only program their scanners by hand. Not me. I don't have enough hair left:lol: Hope you're not getting it for the PA state system. No scanner will work on that.
HTH,
Larry
 

soup1279

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Well I picked up the PRO-106 (on sale from radioshack) With the cables and software this is a really nice model. Hopefully it'll last as long as my old scanner did.

Thanks for all of the replies.
 

GrumpyAeroGuy

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I understand that the 106 is nearly identical to the PSR500. I just got the 500, only because it came with the cable and a wall charger, and, w/o a good RS sale that became sort of a wash price-wise.

I am largly happy with it, only it suffers the industry-wide challenge of P25 monitoring. If there are P25 systems in your area, spring for a RS 800Mhz rubber duck. IT WILL improve things significantly, though it will still not be perfect as the capability monitoring an 800 analog system.

If you're interested in programming it via software/cable, I use Win500, and I highly recommend that software. That's not to say the other software packages are inferior in any way.... I just happen to like WIn500 and it works great for me.
 
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