New guy looking for info

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scott71

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Hey folks on RR!!

Just signed up to the forum and have been lurking for a few days now. Pretty neat site here.

I'm still old school. I have a Bearcat BC600XLT with GRE super converter 9001 , Uniden BC890XLT & Realistic pro-2006. Basically I'm looking to upgrade and was trying to figure out if my area (Berks/Schuylkill Co. PA) is now digital or still analog with trunking and all that good stuff. I rarely hear the state police on my scanners anymore just local town cops, fire and ems. I also try to listen to other counties in my general area with pretty decent results.

I have been looking at the GRE brand or Uniden (desktop) just unsure which one I should go for based on my area's system.

So if you could point me in the right direction it would be appreciated.
 

trap5858

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Hi, welcome to the board. So far neither of those counties are digital. All the various public safety services appear to be analog. PSP will be using a new system that is not monitorable.

Both the GRE and the Uniden are excellent radios.
 

captclint

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I have been looking at the GRE brand or Uniden (desktop) just unsure which one I should go for based on my area's system.
I notice that Reading Trunking System, has both analog and digital. However, Police use encryption (see the "E" under mode), but fire & EMS(Dispatch) are mostly analog . Bethelehem just went digital, so it looks like your area is headed in that direction. Still, you'll pay almost twice for digital, and so far, there isn't much l. My usual advice is wait to go digital until there is more, because digital scanners improve at least every year, at essentially the same price. But if this is your LAST scanner (heh, heh), then go for it.

Whether you spring for digital, or analog, there are really only 2 choices: GRE Radios and Uniden Scanners . RS is customer unfriendly(and getting worse), and very slow to incorporate firmware fixes and improvements. Uniden and GRE make radios for them, and the are both good about firmware updates, but RS delays firmware updates from both. GRE is the most aggressive and slightly better on customer relations. Also see: Digital Scanner Comparison Chart - The RadioReference Wiki

The basic considerations are as follows:
  1. GRE is more sensitive(gets weaker signals), but that very feature makes them prone to overload if in the city or near any type of radio/TV/cell towers. Previously, GRE was better with digital, but I think that difference has been minimized with the latest firmware from Uniden...see how important firmware can be.
  2. Uniden does not overload as much (hence is not as sensitive), and generally has more features, which you will probably appreciate once you are familiar. For example, they skip over encrypted communications, while GRE just hangs on them producing annoying noise. Also has GPS system control (limited value for a Base unit), Temporary Lock-out, Channel Number Tagging -- lets you quickly select a channel much like bank scanners, and Fire Tone outs (limited value IMHO)
  3. You really need software to program and better understand radio without banks. There is an excellent program for Unidens that is free: FreeScan. GRE typically costs $30-$40
You will find diehards in either camp, but I think they all generally agree on the points above, so you need to decide if you are far enough from the radio signals to justify a GRE, or if the extra features of Uniden are worth it.
 
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scott71

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Jan 17, 2010
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Location
PA
Thanks for the info guys!!!

I figured PSP was one it's own since I haven't heard anything. Still plenty going on locally to listen to. I have to read more into all this new stuff. I've been out of touch with the scanning world for some time now, so much has changed. I do listen to when the local fire alarm goes off but usually miss the first set of tones dropping thus missing where the fire trucks are off to. Right now just have under 30 channels of local freqs tuned in. I'm working on expanding my listening area. Thanks to this site I'm able to find some frequencies that I lost years ago I had compiled in a notebook. Along with a ton of new ones.
 
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