Newbie From NC looking for some help

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sifd4x4

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Salisbury, NC
Well I recently purchased a Radioshack Pro-164 used and am getting into learning how to operate it. Its my first time really getting into scanners so I really dont know alot about it. Anyways I live and grew up in Woodleaf NC right outside of Salisbury. But I go to NC State so I am usually in Raleigh during the week and back in Rowan County on the weekends and holidays.

So I took the scanner and got it cloned at the Radioshack in Salisbury but the program they had did not label everything like I would want. So I was wondering if there are any radio shops or businesses that could program this scanner for me. I was going to try and program it myself but I got really overwhelmed with all the information and it seems alot more difficult then I thought.

I would like to monitor Rowan Communications (especially fire since im a volunteer fireman) and other local Rowan freq, Iredell county, and Davie county. And if its possible to program it too listen to Raleigh and Wake while im at school that would be great too.

Im just a new guy with almost no knowledge about this so take it easy on me haha and any advice would help.

Thanks, Aaron
 

KE4ZNR

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Aaron-
Welcome to RR.com!
Good to have you with us.
A couple things to start you off:
1) NEVER trust Radio Shack to program the radio correctly. The Shack quit training their employees on scanners and how they are used a long time ago. These days you are lucky if you find someone in the store that even knows what a scanner really is. :)
2) While the Pro 164 is a great analog trunking scanner it cannot decode the digital format that the majority of Wake County Public Safety communications use on the statewide "VIPER" trunking radio system. The only public safety agency in the Wake County area that does not use a digital format for their comms is the NC Highway Patrol and they have plans to switch to digital this year.
Basically a digital capable scanner is a requirement to be able to monitor Public Safety comms in the Central NC area.
I and the other NC Forum members would be glad to continue helping you learn more about the hobby.
Hope this helps!
Happy Monitoring
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

sifd4x4

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Thanks KE4ZNR for the welcome. So is all of North Carolina switching over too this Viper system? and monitoring Raleigh was not that big of a deal to me (well its not enough to go buy a digital scanner right now just for that). So is their anything at all interesting that I can pick up with this scanner in Raleigh?
 

KE4ZNR

KE4ZNR@radioreference.com
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Agencies have been given the option to partner with the NCSHP on VIPER. Some do, some don't. Wake County is one of the partners that uses VIPER heavily.

And as far as Raleigh/Wake County:
Well, I don't mean to sound too gloom' and doom.

There are a few things to monitor in Wake County that are still analog:

1) NCSHP on VIPER (They are analog).

2) Cary's 800Mhz System. They are still analog for the time being.
On Cary's system you will hear Cary PD, Cary Fire, and Cary EMS when they are using one of the Cary TAC or Mutual Aid channels.

3) VHF Alert dispatches of Raleigh/Wake Fire & EMS. You will hear the initial automated Locution dispatch on one of the 3 freqs:
154.370Mhz = Raleigh FD Alert
154.190Mhz= Wake County FD Alert
156.225Mhz= Raleigh/Wake EMS Alert

4) Under the VIPER listing in the database anything in Wake County/Central NC with an "A" in the 3rd column "Mode". That stands for Analog.

5) And of course there is always aircraft out at RDU Airport.

Marshall KE4ZNR
 

CFP387

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Aaron, your best bet is to purchase a digital scanner. Here in Rowan County, the plan is to switch over entirely to P25 digital trunking by 2013. Since the Raleigh/Wake County area is already digital, you might as well go ahead and be ready for it here at home as well. Between Daniel (FD5722) and myself, we should be able to answer any questions you have about the Rowan system, both in it's current analog form and later when it goes digital.

Right now, you can simply listen to county fire and EMS dipatches on VHF if your scanner is not programmed the way you'd like it to be. Marshall is right: never trust anyone at Radio Shack for anything in the field of scanning. I've had several people bring their PRO-164's to me to get reprogrammed because they were missing conversations.

I don't know what volunteer department you are with, but it's most likely those guys at your station can help you with any information you need as well. But if you have the time and the money, go ahead and invest in a digital scanner. It will come in most handy now while you're away at school, but it won't be long until you'll be glad you bought it when you're at home too.
 

sifd4x4

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Salisbury, NC
Alright thanks for the info. I may try to catch those frequencies here in Raleigh that you mentioned. CFP387- Id like to get a digital but on a college budget I can't really swing it. So I'll probably just hold out for a year or two. And I'm in Scotch Irish fire department but there isn't anybody in there that's really into scanners that much. And the problem with the clone I got is that it doesn't label any of the firegrounds or dispatch. I know Davie is still VHF since we have to keep a VHF mobile in our firetrucks to talk to them, but what does Iredell use?

Thanks, Aaron
 

CFP387

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CFP387- Id like to get a digital but on a college budget I can't really swing it. So I'll probably just hold out for a year or two.
I understand completely. Digital scanners aren't exactly cheap these days but give them time. Anything new always drops in price after a while and later you may be able to get a good Uniden or Radio Shack scanner at an affordable price.

And I'm in Scotch Irish fire department but there isn't anybody in there that's really into scanners that much.
I kind of thought you might be with Scotch-Irish (station 73) because of your username but I wasn't sure enough to call it in the earlier post. It also could have meant South Iredell as well. I hate that no one there at your department can help you with your scanner issues but you always have us and it doesn't cost a thing to ask!

And the problem with the clone I got is that it doesn't label any of the firegrounds or dispatch.
That's typical for Radio Shack and I know exactly what you're talking about. I've seen quite a few with the same symptoms which leads me to think that they have all been programmed with the same clone by "scanlite". They need to either update the program or do away with it all together.

I know Davie is still VHF since we have to keep a VHF mobile in our firetrucks to talk to them, but what does Iredell use?
I'm glad to hear that yet another Rowan VFD still has VHF capability in their trucks. I know that you have to use it to talk to Davie County, but could you lobby a little for it's use to talk to Rowan too? There are a couple departments getting back to VHF on fire dispatch and I'd like to see you all doing the same. They are using a VHF radio on fire dispatch and an 800 radio for the FG communications and they're not having to change channels on a single radio.

There are a couple of threads that can be found here and here that can help you with your Iredell County, Mooresville and Statesville 800 questions.

Thanks, Aaron
You're quite welcome!
 

sifd4x4

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CFP387- I will definetly check those threads about Iredell county and I have always sort of liked how basic Davies communications is. I know it doesn't have all the features of Rowans but it just seems like everytime somebody in the department tries to do something on the 800's it either wont work right or takes forever to figure it out.

Daniel- thanks for the info, the reason I started this thread was because my user cp never showed me sending you that pm haha
 

KE4ZNR

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Aaron-
I live in West Raleigh not too far from NCSU. Drop me an email sometime and we will go grab lunch somewhere around campus and I will bring my Uniden BCD396XT for you to check out so you can get an idea of what is needed down the road. And I should be able to answer other VIPER related questions as well.
Just let me know brother!
Happy Monitoring!
Marshall KE4ZNR
KE4ZNR@radioreference.com
 

sifd4x4

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Thanks KE4ZNR if i ever get some extra time I might have to email you.

Also CFP387 you had mentioned that you have programmed some PRO-164's before. So would you be willing to program mine and how much would you charge. If you want to you can PM me with more info instead of posting all that on here.

Thanks, Aaron
 
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CFP387

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Also CFP387 you had mentioned that you have programmed some PRO-164's before. So would you be willing to program mine and how much would you charge.Thanks, Aaron
I'll send you a PM and let you know the details. I never charge anyone for programming because our hobby is expensive enough as it is. We will try to make our busy schedules meet some time. I have another guy ahead of you at present. Look for a PM soon.
 

sifd4x4

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Salisbury, NC
Well i just wanted to post up and say thanks everybody for all the responses and advice that I have gotten so far. I am a member on quite a few forums and this has been by far one of the quickest responding, most informative, and friendliest ones that I have ever posted on.
 

KE4ZNR

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Well i just wanted to post up and say thanks everybody for all the responses and advice that I have gotten so far. I am a member on quite a few forums and this has been by far one of the quickest responding, most informative, and friendliest ones that I have ever posted on.
:) Believe me, we have all been there in this hobby. There is a lot to take in and learn but once you start down the monitoring hobby road you won't be able to stop. It is by far one of the coolest and most fun hobbies around.
You will hear the news as it happens.
We are very lucky that we have a great group of people here such as CFP387, FD5722 and others that know the hobby and don't mind
sharing the knowledge with others.
Glad to have you be a part of RR.com!
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

NCFire11

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I Think Franklin County is going to switch over to digital sometime next year. Not sure though. Going to make a lot of listening ears unhappy :S
 
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