New member needs lots of advice

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TBales

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Joined
Mar 3, 2010
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4
Location
Deer Park/ Cincinnati
Having used an "Old Fashioned" scanner for years, I'm looking at Radio Shacks Pro 197. I believe most all the police and fire units in my area have gone digital trunked.

Not having much in the line of patience, can these be programed somewhat easily?
Does Radio Shack offer to set it up for me???

I've read a few of the threads and it's all Greek to me! I just want to listen to police and fire calls in and around the greater Cincinnati area.

Thanx, Tracy

P.S. feel free to contact me via e-mail if you want!

kimtra78@fuse.net
 

captclint

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Dec 31, 2005
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2,452
Location
Mountaintop, PA
Welcome to RR. In general, Radio Shack does a poor job of programming, and in some cases, can screw up your scanner.
There is software that will not only help you program, but help you learn about the features of your radio more easily. I am not a Radio Shack fan for a lot of reasons, but the 197 is a good radio. Here's a thread with my reasons: http://forums.radioreference.com/1271946-post2.html. With the right software for any radio, you can automatically download all or some of the data from this site ( Hamilton County ), and then send that data to your scanner . Note: You would need to become a paid subscriber to this site to get the automatic down loads, but this is also very reasonable($7.5 for 3 months). This can save you countless hours of programming and frustration.
 
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phoenicks

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Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
61
Location
White Tanks, Surprise AZ.
This is my experience with Radio Shack. Radio Shack had always been my favorite for scanner purchases. When it came time for a digital scanner, of course I went to Radio Shack. I had my sights set on the 197, When I got there, I knew more about the radio than the manager of the store did. I went ahead and bought it and they said come back tomorrow, we'll have it programmmed for you. Went back the next day, nope hadn't
had time to do it. Need to come back Monday, when the guy who programs these things is here. Well,l finally got it back, brought it home and could'nt hear a thing on it. PLEASE NOTE: This was all before I found Radio Reference. I worked and worked on it, read the directions and still couldn't figure it out. I took it back to RS and they said, well I've got a guy who can program these things in his sleep. Well to make a long story short, I ended up taking it back and getting my money back. Found out about Radio Reference and started reading and comparing scanners. Ended up with the BCD396XT, with the programming cable and software. I read and read and alot of trial and error, but I finally got it figured out. Yes...it does take patience, but when you finally figure it out it is well worth it. Also note: In no way I am bashing Radio Shack scanners. Part of the problem was mine for not understanding digital scanners. I would probably have kept it if I know what I know now. Thanks. Nick
 

sjlamb

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 27, 2007
Messages
883
Location
Sarasota County, FL
Having used an "Old Fashioned" scanner for years, I'm looking at Radio Shacks Pro 197. I believe most all the police and fire units in my area have gone digital trunked.

Not having much in the line of patience, can these be programed somewhat easily?
Does Radio Shack offer to set it up for me???

I've read a few of the threads and it's all Greek to me! I just want to listen to police and fire calls in and around the greater Cincinnati area.

Thanx, Tracy

P.S. feel free to contact me via e-mail if you want!

kimtra78@fuse.net
From what I'm reading; you lack the single most important quality that is required to make the leap from analog to digital scanners.... Patience. If you proceed anyway.... find someone very knowledgeable and, if need be, pay them for the time and effort that it will take to set-up the radio for the area and agencies that you want to monitor.

Regardless... you will need to spend a good deal of time learning how to actually makes use of all the features and functions of a digital radio. This site, however, is a great source for "on the job training".
 
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