New scanner help

n3or

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Feb 28, 2005
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street, md
I was a volunteer firefighter and Paramedic in Harford County for 30 years, but had to back out due to my wife's advancing Parkinsons disease. I still like to listen though. My 20 year old programmable scanner is on it's last leg. Can anyone suggest a relatively inexpensive digital scanner (money it tight due to my wife's medical bills). I only listen to Harford County Fire and EMS, Sherriff, State Police and EMRC. Also, is there any one in Harford County who could program it.
Thank you, N3OR
 

JohnnyGent

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Chicago Burbs, IL
I was a volunteer firefighter and Paramedic in Harford County for 30 years, but had to back out due to my wife's advancing Parkinsons disease. I still like to listen though. My 20 year old programmable scanner is on it's last leg. Can anyone suggest a relatively inexpensive digital scanner (money it tight due to my wife's medical bills). I only listen to Harford County Fire and EMS, Sherriff, State Police and EMRC. Also, is there any one in Harford County who could program it.
Thank you, N3OR
I dont believe inexpensive goes with digital, but since the SDS100 came out my BCD436HP is not as expensive as when I bought it new. Check the classifieds here first, I looked around, gonna spend $300 and up, or take your chances elsewhere. But I love both my SDS & 436, wouldnt sell either one, I'm a Uniden guy, the BCD436 has been on 23hours a day for 5 years, and the SDS100, well it's AWESOME.
Scan On!
 

u2brent

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Welcome to the forum!

The following link will assist you and lists several manufacturers and models..
I recommend seriously looking at a Uniden BCD436HP
Any scanner listed as P25 FDMA (PH1) will work for the CMARC system (Unsure if/when they'll change/upgrade to TDMA PH2)
here are links to a few radios that will work for Harford Co. If hearing the FIRST System is also desirable you need a radio capable of P25 PH2 (TDMA) (Which all the following are capable of without any upgrading)
More expensive.. but for many good reasons..

You can purchase from many reputable vendors. viewing the Scanner Master web site will provide a general idea of pricing of the individual models.. (And I have used them for many purchases)

There are many members on the forum that are willing to provide programming assistance when you get to that point.. (y)
 

JohnnyGent

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Welcome to the forum!

The following link will assist you and lists several manufacturers and models..
I recommend seriously looking at a Uniden BCD436HP
Any scanner listed as P25 FDMA (PH1) will work for the CMARC system (Unsure if/when they'll change/upgrade to TDMA PH2)
here are links to a few radios that will work for Harford Co. If hearing the FIRST System is also desirable you need a radio capable of P25 PH2 (TDMA) (Which all the following are capable of without any upgrading)
More expensive.. but for many good reasons..

You can purchase from many reputable vendors. viewing the Scanner Master web site will provide a general idea of pricing of the individual models.. (And I have used them for many purchases)

There are many members on the forum that are willing to provide programming assistance when you get to that point.. (y)
All Good info, I prefer Bearcatwarehouse Uniden Online Store - Bearcat Warehouse however both them and Scanner Master can program for you, if that's what you choose.
Scan On!
 

tvengr

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Monkton, MD
I was a volunteer firefighter and Paramedic in Harford County for 30 years, but had to back out due to my wife's advancing Parkinsons disease. I still like to listen though. My 20 year old programmable scanner is on it's last leg. Can anyone suggest a relatively inexpensive digital scanner (money it tight due to my wife's medical bills). I only listen to Harford County Fire and EMS, Sherriff, State Police and EMRC. Also, is there any one in Harford County who could program it.
Thank you, N3OR
Are you interested in a handheld or desktop/mobile. I have programmed scanners for a lot of Harford Co firefighters and have all of the scanners mentioned above, except the HP2, and the software to program them. I can give you Harford Co as well as all of the surrounding jurisdictions. The Harford Co system can be problematic to receive at some locations. I would be happy to come to your location and check which scanners receive OK there so you can make a good decision before purchasing. I really appreciate you putting your life on the line for me and this is one way I can try to repay the firefighters for what they do for us.
 

eyes00only

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I dont believe inexpensive goes with digital, but since the SDS100 came out my BCD436HP is not as expensive as when I bought it new. Check the classifieds here first, I looked around, gonna spend $300 and up, or take your chances elsewhere. But I love both my SDS & 436, wouldnt sell either one, I'm a Uniden guy, the BCD436 has been on 23hours a day for 5 years, and the SDS100, well it's AWESOME.
Scan On!
Gotta ask: What happens for the 24th hour everyday?
 

u2brent

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Whatever/Wherever you decide to buy.. Please, Don't pay someone to program your radio.. o_O It's pretty much a scam to steal unsuspecting customers of more of their hard earned cash. (You need to learn how the radio works for yourself anyway) Most of these modern scanners come with free software and the whole USA Canada database already included.. Same goes for Uniden upgrades if you go that route,, Get them direct from myUniden - Customer Product Registration and Support Area not from someone who inflates the price just for having them do it for you... It's so easy to create your own customized programming and install any upgrades yourself.. Plus folks here will help for free if help is needed..
 

tvengr

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I don't charge for helping people, especially first responders. This is a hobby for me, not a business. I am listening to Harford Co as I am responding to the last post and have the programming already done for my area and ready for uploading to a scanner. I want to determine the lowest cost scanner that will work satisfactorily at his location. He doesn't need the nationwide database for monitoring his local system. The BCD325P2 or BCD996P2 may be adequate, depending if he wants a handheld or desktop/mobile scanner. The only way to know if a particular scanner works is to try it at his location.
 

u2brent

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Sorry,
I was referring to the extra charges by "Vendor name here" when a zip code is just as effective, I wasn't directing that at you... You keep helping.. (y) Yes the older/cheaper model radio would need to be programmed, I just think paying for it in the dma scanners is a crock.. A scanner owner ought to willing to become familiar enough with the purchased product to (eventually at least) program for themselves.. Help getting one up and running out of the box is very commendable.
 

tvengr

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Monkton, MD
I enjoy programming scanners for our first responders. That is the least I can do for them. The SDS scanners are the only ones that will receive Baltimore Co and Harford Co at my location. You know how critical location can be. That is why I would like to see if one of the lower priced scanners will work at his location. I do all of my own programming from scratch. In some of my scanners (BCD325P2 and BCD996P2), I have all of my surrounding counties on separate quick keys without worrying about any extraneous information from the database. I create my own favorites lists for the BCD436HP, BCD536HP, SDS100, and SDS200 and have custom favorites lists and profiles for firefighters in Baltimore, Harford, and York Counties and Baltimore City.
 

boatbod

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Talbot Co, MD
The absolute cheapest way to listen to Harford Co is by opening up one of the broadcastify feeds.

Next cheapest would be an SDR solution, which would involve a $25 RTL dongle and a computer along with the appropriate software (DSD+ FL if running Windoze, or OP25 if linux). These solutions can be complex to set up, but the price is right.

Finally, if you absolutely want a scanner you'll need something that can track P25 systems, preferably with good handling of simulcast. e.g. SDS100 but you're going to pay $600+ for that.
 

Bob1955

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Dec 20, 2016
Messages
396
I was a volunteer firefighter and Paramedic in Harford County for 30 years, but had to back out due to my wife's advancing Parkinsons disease. I still like to listen though. My 20 year old programmable scanner is on it's last leg. Can anyone suggest a relatively inexpensive digital scanner (money it tight due to my wife's medical bills). I only listen to Harford County Fire and EMS, Sherriff, State Police and EMRC. Also, is there any one in Harford County who could program it.
Thank you, N3OR
Sorry to hear about your wife's Parkinson's Disease. My Dad had that for (14) years.
To answer your question, the least expensive handheld that is good: Bearcat BCD-325P2 and the base/mobile is the BCD-325P2. Just make sure on both scanners that you get someone to program them for you as it is not like the (20) year old scanners with channel number. These do both analog/digital/trunking. You probably don't need the SDS-100 handheld at $649.95-way over-priced.
Hope you have a good Thanksgiving.
 

fourwd1

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Jun 24, 2002
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Baltimore, MD
If you're just interested in Harford county, a used RS Pro-106 or GRE PSR-500 will work great on the CMARC system.
The current version of those twins would be the Whistler 1040 which is $204 at Walmart online.
 

tvengr

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If you're just interested in Harford county, a used RS Pro-106 or GRE PSR-500 will work great on the CMARC system.
The current version of those twins would be the Whistler 1040 which is $204 at Walmart online.
How well those scanners work depends upon your location. Some of the firefighters I know have problems with them on the CMARC system. The only way to be sure is to try it at the location. I have a Pro-197, the desktop/mobile version of the Pro-106. Mine worked fine at my house when Harford Co was using the Motorola Type 2 system. When they switched to P25, I lost it completely. I am only about a mile from Harford Co.
 

maus92

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Yup, using a non-optimised scanner on a P25 simulcast system is highly location dependent. It can literally be deaf or semi-usable within the system's service area.

Also, don't listen to Bob1955 - he's an anti-SDS troll. The scanners he recommended will likely be unsat in Harford County due to simulcast issues.
 
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tvengr

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Yup, using a non-optimised scanner on a P25 simulcast system is highly location dependent. It can literally be deaf or semi-usable within the system's service area.
I totally agree. That is why I want to see which scanners will work at his location before he purchases one. That is the only way to determine the lowest priced scanner which will work. The Pro-106 or my Pro-197 or similar scanners may be OK at his location, but you will never know unless you try them first. By the way, I think optimised is the British version of optimized.
 
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