• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

New Cecil County System and Buying a Scanner

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MrUnknown

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I was going to purchase my first scanner so I set out to learn all I can about the technology and which brands are well known for their scanners. I then learn about Trunking and that Cecil County is moving to one of these types of systems, but I am getting mixed messages on weither or not I can listen into these transmissions.

I was looking into purchasing either the Uniden BCT15 or BCT8 scanner. If I purchase one of these scanners will I be able to listen in to the trunking system? Or will I have to limit myself to listening to the re-broadcast on the frequencies listed in the thread on here about the change?

My main motivation for wanting to purchase a scanner, like many people, is the ability to listen into all the happenings around you through the Police, Fire and EMS but if I can not listen due to the new system, then there isn't much of a reason for me to spend the $200 for a scanner.

Sorry if I sound lost, because I am very confused with trying to learn all the technology and purposes of a scanner.
 
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TinEar

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If all you want is Cecil County, save your money. It is a ProVoice system and there is no scanner on the market that can listen in to it.

If your listening interests extend to surrounding counties, you're going to have to go with a digital scanner since many of the Maryland counties have gone to digital trunked systems and more counties are planning the same.
 

MrUnknown

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Well, thank you for the response. Going to digital scanning is too expensive for me to want to try.

Ah well. At least I got into buying a scanner at the right time instead of buying one a month or two before they switched =]
 

doctordave

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You'll be able to get some of the FD/EMS activity off of a conventional frequency & some of the PD activity off of another conventional freq (these will simulcast a portion of the new digital system comms). See 155.5275 & 39.84 MHZ.
 

MrUnknown

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Yeah, I was reading about that. But I would want to hear everything, of course. For me, $200 to hear a portion and possibly discontinued sometime in the future isn't really for me.

Because I am not really into the whole scanner thing, I can't think of using the scanner for much else. Also, I live in Elkton, so the activity for other things would probably be very low.

It would be nice if I could just barrow a scanner or something to see how "into it" I can get before investing the money.
 

MrUnknown

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I am still very interested in buying a scanner so I have a question.

If I buy a BCT15 can I listen to any of the trunked systems on this page:
http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&tab=trs&stid=24

That are listed as Motorola (such as Motorola Type II Smartnet and SmartZone), LTR and the ones listed as "EDACS Standard" ?

Ive noticed that some of the EDACS systems say "ProVoice" and some are "Analog", can I listen to the analog transmissions using the BCT15 ?

Also, how far away could I expect reception from Elkton, MD with the standard antenna on the BCT15? Like, I was wanting to monitor the Aberdeen Proving Ground (Motorola Type II SmartZone system) or even BWI, could I?

Sorry for all the questions, I am new to all of this. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
 
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ka3jjz

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MrUnknown said:
I am still very interested in buying a scanner so I have a question.

If I buy a BCT15 can I listen to any of the trunked systems on this page:
http://www.radioreference.com/modules.php?name=RR&tab=trs&stid=24

That are listed as Motorola (such as Motorola Type II Smartnet), LTR and the ones listed as "EDACS Standard" ?

Ive noticed that some of the EDACS systems say "ProVoice" and some are "Analog", can I listen to the analog transmissions using the BCT15 ?

Also, how far away could I expect reception from Elkton, MD with the standard antenna on the BCT15?

Sorry for all the questions, I am new to all of this. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Before you go any further, I would strongly recommend that you read the Trunking FAQs that are found in the Wiki. There's a couple of good basic articles that will help you get your feet wet.

A few brief points need to be made;

a. Anything that's listed as ProVoice cannot be monitored by any scanner; but you possibly could hear anything that is in analog. The same applies to any digital system that also has a few analog users. Many of the trunktrackers today can handle EDACS standard without any real problems.

b. Many of the public service (i.e. police, fire) systems that are listed as Motorola in Central Maryland - with the exception of Baltimore County, Anne Arundel and Prince George's - are digital. They are listed this way because (highly oversimplifying here) they are using digital audio on a Motorola platform. There are 1 or 2 'P25' systems in the area (for example, the one at No Such Agency) which, for reasons I won't go into here, cannot be decoded by any scanner.

Unfortunately, where you are located, being able to receive digital is almost a must. However, you don't need to spend almost USD600 on a newer scanner - a PRO96 or 2096 will no doubt go on sale over Labor Day probably around USD399. An Uniden BC296 or 796 will also do the job, and if you shop carefully, might cost even less. Yes, the DMA radios are more flexible with their memory arrangements - no argument there - but wallet considerations apply, too.

c. With just the little antenna inside a building, your range is considerably decreased. Likely as not, depending on where in Cecil you are, you probably could hear Harford's 460 mhz UHF dispatch, maybe - just maybe - some of the closer Delaware fireground channels, and perhaps Baltimore county, probably pretty weak and noisy (if at all). Flights coming in and leaving Aberdeen are also a possibility.

An outside antenna, with the right coax, is almost a necessity. That is a whole 'nother story, and everyone's situation is different - some can't put an antenna outside, others can but not as high as they'd like it, which antenna to use, and so forth.

Our Wiki has extensive pages on each of the digital scanners, and we also have lots on Scanner Antennas as well. But first, before you plunk down money on potentially the wrong scanner, read the Trunking FAQs first. I can't stress that enough.

Just click on the 'Wiki' word in the blue toolbar; the Trunking link is right on that page. 73s Mike
 

MrUnknown

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Yeah, I have been reading some of the articles in the Wiki, but based on your last comment I don't think I will be buying anything. The cost for me to go into any good scanning in my area just seems too great. I need a digital scanner, $400 or so on sale, and get a semi-decent antenna because I am surrounded by trees. Sounds like it would be a very expensive hobby to get into for my area.

Thank you for the very detailed response and for all the great information. I know if I had gone anywhere else I would have gotten useless information. Thank you for saving me a lot of money.
 
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