New user Intro and guidance needed

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js415

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Joined
Feb 10, 2017
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14
Location
Newnan, Georgia Coweta County
Hello,

I wanted to introduce myself and ask for a little guidance.

After just recently finding my 20+ year old Uniden BC200 XLT, I decided I wanted to get back in to listening to a scanner again.

It did not take very long for me to figure out things have changed a lot on 20+ years, I have a couple of questions.

1. Is my Uniden scanner still of any use for my local law/fire/ems, etc?
2. I also have a Racing Electronics RE2000 Alpha that I can use. Will it work for these needs as well?

I am in Newnan, GA, Coweta County. The link for my local offices is here:

Coweta County, Georgia (GA) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

I am completely lost by all the new digital applications, but I'm thinking neither of my scanners will handle the new type of communications.

If this is so, what would be a good scanner to buy for my needs? I started to buy a Whistler TRX1 yesterday, but decided I better hold off until I get a better grip on what I need.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions,

Jerry
 

hiegtx

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6,341
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Hello,

I wanted to introduce myself and ask for a little guidance.

After just recently finding my 20+ year old Uniden BC200 XLT, I decided I wanted to get back in to listening to a scanner again.

It did not take very long for me to figure out things have changed a lot on 20+ years, I have a couple of questions.

1. Is my Uniden scanner still of any use for my local law/fire/ems, etc?
2. I also have a Racing Electronics RE2000 Alpha that I can use. Will it work for these needs as well?

I am in Newnan, GA, Coweta County. The link for my local offices is here:

Coweta County, Georgia (GA) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

I am completely lost by all the new digital applications, but I'm thinking neither of my scanners will handle the new type of communications.

If this is so, what would be a good scanner to buy for my needs? I started to buy a Whistler TRX1 yesterday, but decided I better hold off until I get a better grip on what I need.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions,

Jerry
Hi Jerry

Welcome to RadioReference.

Looking at your county, Coweta, I see that this P25 Phase I trunked system is in use. I also see that the County Sheriff has a couple of DMR channels, as well as the hospital and and the tech college. As you already realized, those are beyond the capability of your two scanners.

In addition to the above, for one of your surrounding counties, Fulton, I see a P25 Phase II system, and in another nearby county, Douglas, I see that the county uses a DMR system.

The TRX-1 would receive all of those, via the free DMR upgrade. However, the Whistler WS1088 would handle all of that as well, and also has a free DMR upgrade. The TRX-1 also has a free upgrade to add NXDN systems, but I do not see any of these in the immediate area at this time. Eventually, railroad traffic is supposed to migrate to NXDN, but that will not be overnight. If rail is also an interest, then the TRX-1 might be a better choice. Otherwise, go for the lower cost of the WS1088.

In the Uniden line, the BCD436HP would work, as would the BCD325P2. However, the DMR upgrade for these is $60 compared to no charge on the Whistler units. The Uniden Home Patrol-2 would work as well, except that there is no DMR upgrade for it. While a number of members, including myself, hope that comes to pass, nothing has been announced or promised. Note that I am listing hand-held/portable scanners as your original suggestion of the TRX-1 is hand-held. All of these scanners (except the HP-2) have a comparable (in features) sibling that is a base/mobile version, to be installed in a vehicle, or sitting on a desk or table at home.
 

jonwienke

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The advantage the Uniden has over the Whistler is that Uniden tracks trunked DMR, the Whistler does not.
 

js415

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
14
Location
Newnan, Georgia Coweta County
Thank you both for the info. You have pretty much confirmed what I had figured out with my limited knowledge of the new systems.

One of the reason I thought about buying the Whistler TRX was because of the zip code programming. My wife and I camp and travel a lot during the fall and winter. I thought that maybe for simple, basic use, the zip code programming might be a lot nicer while parked at a campground.

I would not have a PC or any other software to worry about. Plug in the zip code and go....

Is it really that simple?

Thank you both,

Jerry
 

gonefishn1

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Jun 22, 2016
Messages
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Location
Clark County Nevada
I suggest the Uniden BCD536HP. Its very easy to learn and load up with your favorites. Also suggest getting the PROSCAN software. PROSCAN will let you monitor and control your scanner from a laptop via wireless.
 

hiegtx

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Thank you both for the info. You have pretty much confirmed what I had figured out with my limited knowledge of the new systems.

One of the reason I thought about buying the Whistler TRX was because of the zip code programming. My wife and I camp and travel a lot during the fall and winter. I thought that maybe for simple, basic use, the zip code programming might be a lot nicer while parked at a campground.

I would not have a PC or any other software to worry about. Plug in the zip code and go....

Is it really that simple?

Thank you both,

Jerry
Jerry

There a number of "zip code" scanners, where you enter your location, specify what you are wanting to listen to, and the scanner loads the frequencies from the database. Besides the TRX-1, the WS1088 fits that description, along with the previous handheld model WS1080. That also applies to the Uniden HP-1 and HP-2, as well as BCD436HP and BCD536HP. In the Whistler line, 'zip code' scanners in a base/mobile format include the TRX-2, WS1095, and WS1098. Add to that the RadioShack Pro-668 and the discontinued PSR800; these two are handhelds.

However, you would still need access to a pc, at least occasionally. When you receive any of these scanners, the database in the scanner will be out of date. How far out of date would depend, at least partly, on when it was manufactured. So the first thing to do would be to update the database to make sure it's current, before you entered your location for programming purposes.

Also, things change in the database. New systems come online, older ones are taken down or reconfigured. Agencies may join with a neighboring one to establish a combined dispatch to save money. Any number of reasons. Go to the map of the U.S. in the database. The states that are green had had some sort of update in the last 24 hours. Click on the state to see which county; often more than one. If it is a yellowish color, instead of green, then an update has been made in the last 7 days. While you might not need a database update every week, it's to your advantage to refresh the database occasionally, whether that is once a month, or every few weeks. For all the 'zip code' scanners listed, software is provided by the manufacturer, whether Whistler or Uniden, to do the updates, which are at no charge to you.
 

js415

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
14
Location
Newnan, Georgia Coweta County
You guys have really helped a tremendous amount. I "think" I have a better understanding now if what I really need.

Having access to a PC, and using some software for programming is no problem at all. I would welcome the challenge and learning experience.

I mostly was looking for the easy 'zip code" functions for any sort of last minute camping trip I might take, where I would not need to do a bunch of programming before I left. Sort of "throw it in the truck and mess with it when I get there".

Keeping the database up to date at home every few weeks or month would really be no big deal for me.

So basically, for just a casual listener, I think I should stick with one of the less expensive Whistler or Uniden models listed above.

Do either of these have any real advantages over the other?

I see links from several forum sponsors here. Is that the bet, or just go with an Amazon or online site?

I also so a few listed in the Classifieds? What are your thoughts on those? Buying used a concern?

Thanks,

Jerry
 

js415

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Feb 10, 2017
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Location
Newnan, Georgia Coweta County
I could not wait, so I used my vast amount of knowledge I have gained over the last two days and made a decision.

I ordered a Whistler WS1088 from Walmart for $350.00 and 2 day shipping to my house.

Tonight I downloaded the software to get used to it, and maybe by next weekend I will have it up and running.

Thanks for all your help, and I will be sure and let you know how I progress with this little journey.

Thanks,

Jerry
 

hiegtx

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I could not wait, so I used my vast amount of knowledge I have gained over the last two days and made a decision.

I ordered a Whistler WS1088 from Walmart for $350.00 and 2 day shipping to my house.

Tonight I downloaded the software to get used to it, and maybe by next weekend I will have it up and running.

Thanks for all your help, and I will be sure and let you know how I progress with this little journey.

Thanks,

Jerry
Jerry,

The WS1088 will cover everything currently active in your area, and allow you to set your location. Congratulations.
 

js415

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
14
Location
Newnan, Georgia Coweta County
Downloaded the software last night and played around a little with it.

I'm wondering now, if I need to wait until my scanner is here, and hooked up, or can I go ahead and use a SD card I have here at home to start mapping out what i want?

Is there software on the factory SD card that I will need to make it work correctly?

Or if I follow the settings from the software and create my own scanlist, can I then just pop it on the scanner and start working?

If nothing else, I guess I could practice making a scanlist without my unit here, just to follow the procedure, and make sure I have it down.

Thanks,

Jerry
 
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hiegtx

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Dallas, TX
Cancel the last question. I see that it comes with a 4GB card.

Thanks,

Jerry
It comes with a 4gb card, but Uniden "supports" using up to a 32gb card. I would suggest getting an extra card, as a backup.While card problems are not being reported nearly as much as they were when this model first came out, they occasionally do occur. Plus, if the time ever comes that you power up your scanner, and all it does is sit there & 'look at you' (not working at all), the most likely thing, and one of the first to check, is trying a new, known good, card. The larger cards mainly give you more space if you like to record what is going on. You don't need a larger card simply for normal operation.

Several members keep an extra card handy for this sort of potential problem. Others keep extra cards with a different profile and Favorites list mix on the card. One card for the home area, another for an area where they visit often, such as a family member or close friend in another state. UPMan's suggestion for an extra or replacement card can be found here.
 

js415

Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
14
Location
Newnan, Georgia Coweta County
My new WS 1088 arrived today, and I'm already in the middle of trying to figure it out.

I am going to move my questions and comments over to the Whistler forum, since I am obviously going to need more help!!!

Thanks to all here that got me this far.

Jerry
 
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