New guy here!

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KompactKites

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Sep 13, 2011
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Hey everyone, just thought I would introduce myself and tell my story in hopes for some help/to help others in my situation. My name is michael, and I just recently got into a Radio Shack Pro - 528 portable scanner ( Pro-528 - The RadioReference Wiki )
And the Radio Shack programming cable and driver software still in the package.

I am a complete noob when it comes to this item, as i mentioned i just recently started using this.
I decided to give it a whirl today (even though im running windows 7, and of course thats not on the listed supported operating systems on the package) and got the driver installed successfully.
What brought me to this site is realizing I would still need some programming software. Just in the last week I have had it, I have just allowed it to "scan" but doesnt seem to be scanning too many channels and I often get static channels and whatnot so I figured a software programming would be best.
Now granted this scanner is old, but I figured what the hey, and downloaded two programs, the demo scancat and I found software called "scanner software" on this website.
The scan caat program has to be run in affinity cpu 0 mode in order to run properly, but often crashes and freezes. The scanner software program is also a demo and I am about to try to upload the free web service frequencies.
I thought I would post this in hopes to help some others in my situation and to receive some tips if you guys have any. I will spend some time reading some threads after posting this, and try to tackle this issue, I would like to get this scanner running well.
Thanks in advance, and hope everyone's week is going good!
 

satosi

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The static channels might be noise from local repeaters, transmitters, and various wireless devices. If it's really bad, try turning the squelch up. I don't think the PRO-528 has an attenuator, but if it does, that might reduce the noise from unwanted signals and interference.

As for programming software, it isn't absolutely necessary, but it makes programming the scanner a lot faster. If you seem to be having compatibility problems with Windows 7, you could try getting a hold of an old PC with something like XP or 2k and using that as a dedicated control or programming station for your scanner.
 

ka3jjz

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Hi Kompact and welcome - as you have discovered, Scancat software is a POS - much better to use ARC433 from BuTel and get a subscription to our database, assuming you want to use software to do any loading.

We have a special deal for RR users here...

Radio Shack Scanner Programming Software

best regards..Mike
 

Rt169Radio

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Hi and welcome to Radio Reference.

Progamming software makes progamming your scanner easily,but to me the best way to get to know your radio is by progamming it manually.Also try playing with the squelch and see what happens.The static channels could be from interference.

Are you using the stock antenna? If you are this is a better antenna:

Diamond RH77CA Amateur HT Antenna
 
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KompactKites

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Sep 13, 2011
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PDX Oregon
Thank you for the replies everyone!
Since i live in downtown PDX, i assume thats where a lot of the static is. I have power lines and electronics everywhere near by, so some static is to be accepted im sure, and last night I went to the roof where I received even more channels, but more static as well.
Nope no attenuator in the pro-528 at least not that I saw mentioned in the manual.

Unfortunately I do not know anyone with an older pc. I tried incompatibility mode for windows xp, vista, and 2k but no luck, scan cat (or as i now call it scat cat) is still bugged. Which technically is ok because when I downloaded the database from scat cat, it gave me a bunch of channels my scanner did not pick up, and i had to lock out almost all of the rest for noise issues.

Thanks for the programming link - this is what I downloaded last night so now I figure I got 7 days to program it.I am headed to some shops today in hopes of finding a better antenna, and once I do that, i will do a more thorough search for channels and possibly prepare my own database. I figure that is best since last night i spent about 2 hours compiling a database from sources on the web, but was same issue, lots of static and l/o channels.
I will keep you guys posted on my antenna purchase today!

Glad to be apart of radio reference, this site has been a huge help! Thanks for the links...
BTW, in that link i notice the pro-528 is attached to the base model with a wire, is this for simple programming or do they somehow work together? Are base models more efficient?
 

KompactKites

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Sep 13, 2011
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PDX Oregon
Well after an hour of looking for an antenna @ 3 radio shacks later (they are all close enough by, i walked to em all and got some good exercise after sitting on my a%% last night trying to program my radio) I found out radio shack is basically phasing out the radio scanners. I remember a time when radio scanners were one of the if not biggest reasons to visit the store, and now they only either don't have any scanners, or only a few to pick from (older models from what i can tell), and only the same small portable 800 mghz stock antenna that I already have.
So I am hoping someone could help save me some time, as I've been looking online but not sure what I am looking at will work for my setup in hopes of getting better reception in a new antenna. Please forgive the noob ideas but brainstorming here,

I live in an APT building, 4th foor corner of the building.
Now as I see it I have two options and tell me if this is incorrect or possible;

I could purchase a F to coax adapter, use a 15 foot coax cable and attached to Coax to F connector, then to the stock antenna or the Diamond RH77CA that RT169 was kind enough to post, with a suction cup glued to it to stick on the exterior window of the apt?
Something tells me this isn't possible or there is a better way to do it?

Or, ideally I am looking to purchase online a moderately priced hopefully portable antenna that will have about a 10-15 foot wire that leads to a small adjustable angle antenna that I can mount on the outside of my living room window or window ledge?
Does such an antenna exist for my pro-528 portable scanner so I do not have to make one?

Also, ive been reading up and it seems just owning a radio shack scanner isnt the best of ideas, is this pro528 worth investing time/money into, or should I be upgrading at this point?

Thanks for any advice, hopefully my account will be active soon so I wont have to worry if my posts will post
 

DickH

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Mar 12, 2004
Messages
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Well after an hour of looking for an antenna @ 3 radio shacks later (they are all close enough by, i walked to em all and got some good exercise after sitting on my a%% last night trying to program my radio) I found out radio shack is basically phasing out the radio scanners. I remember a time when radio scanners were one of the if not biggest reasons to visit the store, and now they only either don't have any scanners, or only a few to pick from (older models from what i can tell), and only the same small portable 800 mghz stock antenna that I already have.
So I am hoping someone could help save me some time, as I've been looking online but not sure what I am looking at will work for my setup in hopes of getting better reception in a new antenna. Please forgive the noob ideas but brainstorming here,

I live in an APT building, 4th foor corner of the building.
Now as I see it I have two options and tell me if this is incorrect or possible;

I could purchase a F to coax adapter, use a 15 foot coax cable and attached to Coax to F connector, then to the stock antenna or the Diamond RH77CA that RT169 was kind enough to post, with a suction cup glued to it to stick on the exterior window of the apt?
Something tells me this isn't possible or there is a better way to do it?

Or, ideally I am looking to purchase online a moderately priced hopefully portable antenna that will have about a 10-15 foot wire that leads to a small adjustable angle antenna that I can mount on the outside of my living room window or window ledge?
Does such an antenna exist for my pro-528 portable scanner so I do not have to make one?

Also, ive been reading up and it seems just owning a radio shack scanner isnt the best of ideas, is this pro528 worth investing time/money into, or should I be upgrading at this point?

Thanks for any advice, hopefully my account will be active soon so I wont have to worry if my posts will post
The photo shows a 528 being cloned to or from a 433.
The Radio Shack 800MHz antenna will improve reception, but it might also increase your noise. It's hard to say what your noise is without hearing it.
You don't need to be outside the window. Glass does not impede radio waves.

You don't need any complicated downloads for the Portland trunked system. There are hundreds of active talk groups. Just put in the 4 control channel freqs. and you will hear everything. 858.7125, 858.7375, 859.2625, 859.4625.
 

KompactKites

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Joined
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PDX Oregon
Thank you for the info, but there are lots of other frequencies I enjoy listening to. You are saying just plugging in those frequencies will allow me to listen to everything?
Edit:
Also, simply moving around my apt gets me better/worse reception (ie taking my scanner to other rooms) , so wouldnt it stand to reason an antenna outside my apt would help?
 
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If you can put an antenna out side your apartment you might get better reception.As you said in your apartment as most you do have to move around to find the strongest signal.

Radioshack is phasing scanners out in the stores and they will be strictly online eventually.
 

KompactKites

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PDX Oregon
So does such an antenna exist for purchase online thats moderately priced, or am I going to have to do some sort of build/adapting?
 

Rt169Radio

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DickH

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So does such an antenna exist for purchase online thats moderately priced, or am I going to have to do some sort of build/adapting?
If you place your scanner next to the window glass it will work the same as if it is outside the glass. When someone puts up an outside antenna, they usually put it on the roof to gain added height. It's the height that makes the difference. Also some outside antennas have gain over a rubber duck.
 

DickH

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Thank you for the info, but there are lots of other frequencies I enjoy listening to. You are saying just plugging in those frequencies will allow me to listen to everything?
Everything on the Portland trunked system - police, fire, sheriff, MAX trains, water dept., etc. Look at the database.
 

KompactKites

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PDX Oregon
Ok guys thanks for info, I will work on getting the trunked frequencies into the scanner. I am guessing I will need to set them up as trunked when i plug them in?
 

KompactKites

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Well I went ahead and plugged those trunked frequencies into my scanner, 2 of them have the diesel engine sound at any squelch, and the other two are as quiet as a mouse fart.
 

KompactKites

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PDX Oregon
So why is it that i can manually program some frequencies but gives me an error for others that are similar.... Wont let me input any 400.0000 frequencies,will let me plug in 860.2625 but not a different 860. Whatever, why is that?
 

DickH

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Well I went ahead and plugged those trunked frequencies into my scanner, 2 of them have the diesel engine sound at any squelch, and the other two are as quiet as a mouse fart.
Earlier in this thread I gave you the 4 control channel freqs. Only 859.4625 is active, so it's not possible for you to be hearing the data sstream on more than one freq.
You should not be entering 860.2625.
I suggest you read the info. in the FILES section of the PRO-433/528 group. Start with the last file in the list. It explains how a trunking system works.
 
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