NEWBIE in NJ

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opentoe

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May 18, 2008
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I want to start a hobby like this and live in NJ. Central NJ really inbetween Burlington and Brick, but will be all over. A lot of people tell me the Bearcat 96T Uniden is a great handheld and will mostly work in all cases since it scan just about everything. Would I be able to listen to local stuff just by having the unit inside and no outside antenna? The price of such a small handheld is over $500 and don't want to buy $500 worth of extra stuff on top of that. I don't mind purchasing a "package" type deal, but would like to have a handheld for portable. If any other NJ people out there that know this technology well and know what's going on I'm all ears and willing to learn and listen. First though, I need a good scanner to start with first.

Thanks!
 

policefreak

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Jan 5, 2007
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Berlin, NJ
welcome aboard. As far as your question, the radioshack Pro-96 is a good radio since it is digital, and so is the PSR 500, PSR 600, and the Uniden BCD396T (which is the one I have {:>D). Yes, in this area of New Jersey you should get a digitally capable scanner. Depending on what you want to monitor you really shouldn't have a problem with a rubber duck antenna. But you might want an outside antenna if you wanted to try picking up NYC frequencies or maybe to pick up the simplex fire frequencies (I don't know how much of that goes on over near Brick, but Mercer County and Middlesex Counties use them.) You should buy the Radioshack 800 Mhz rubber and the UHF/VHF rubber antenna. Thats what I use and I can pick up repeater signals on average about 12 miles away.
 

opentoe

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May 18, 2008
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welcome aboard. As far as your question, the radioshack Pro-96 is a good radio since it is digital, and so is the PSR 500, PSR 600, and the Uniden BCD396T (which is the one I have {:>D). Yes, in this area of New Jersey you should get a digitally capable scanner. Depending on what you want to monitor you really shouldn't have a problem with a rubber duck antenna. But you might want an outside antenna if you wanted to try picking up NYC frequencies or maybe to pick up the simplex fire frequencies (I don't know how much of that goes on over near Brick, but Mercer County and Middlesex Counties use them.) You should buy the Radioshack 800 Mhz rubber and the UHF/VHF rubber antenna. Thats what I use and I can pick up repeater signals on average about 12 miles away.

Since I've read good reviews everywhere I look I think I'll get the Uniden 396T model. I have heard it is an advanced scanner which does it all. I basically don't want to drop $500 and not be able to use it. So far it seems this one is the way to go. Eventually a longer antenna and an outside antenna will be added to the simple setup. Anyone scan or live around the Burlington/Pemberton area? That is where I'll be.
 

DJ88

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Jun 26, 2003
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Brick Twp., New Jersey
The Uniden BCD396T is a great little unit. I love mine and I'm sure you'll enjoy yours. However, I would recommend getting a telescopic (length adjustable) antenna for it because the rubber duck antenna that comes with it doesn't provide the best reception. You'll be able to pick up a lot more with the telescopic. Scannermaster has them for $22.95 plus a few bucks shipping. I use one and it works well. Click here:

http://www.scannermaster.com/Base_Antennas_s/25.htm

It has a BNC connector on the end. Your scanner should have a small BNC adaptor in the box, in a plastic bag in one of the corners of the box. Unscrew the rubber duck, screw on the BNC adaptor and then plug your new antenna into the adaptor and turn it untill it locks. Just be careful when you're outside with the antenna extended, not to knock it into something and bend it. It is pretty durable though.

Just a reminder about digital. Some municipalities that use digital radio systems encrypt trheir police transmissions. Some all, some just the sensitive stuff. There's no scanner on the market that will decode encryption (it's against the law) so just because you have a digital scanner doesn't mean you're always going to hear everything. Just about all fire and EMS is not encrypted, so you'll be able to pick uip all of that.

Good luck and happy scanning!
 

policefreak

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Jan 5, 2007
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Berlin, NJ
I have a BCD396T and also have few complaints about it. I like the dynamic memory system (you can put as many talkgroups or frequences in one bank as you need) which is something the Radioshack models do not offer. I have heard that Radioshack and PSR models handle digital transmissions better, but my 396 does ok. Especially after free upgrades online (again, something that radioshack doesn't do). For Burlington County, you would probably monitor the North or Northeast system. I have been up that way and monitored those systems. North sounds excellent (very little breaking up and machine gun noises), and the Northeast doesn't sound bad either, but a little more in the way of breaking up and machine gunning. I listen to the West system and sometimes the Northwest system, which both carry Northeast Response 1 and North Response 1. All police are in the clear and so are EMS and Fire. Just a weird thing about Burlington County, though. Both EMS and Fire apparatus respond on the same talkgroup. Its much better for 2 reasons (1- so that both agencies can work closely together, and 2- because thats less talkgroups I have to plug into my scanner!) But Burlington is action packed and always a good listen.
 

opentoe

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Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
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The Uniden BCD396T is a great little unit. I love mine and I'm sure you'll enjoy yours. However, I would recommend getting a telescopic (length adjustable) antenna for it because the rubber duck antenna that comes with it doesn't provide the best reception. You'll be able to pick up a lot more with the telescopic. Scannermaster has them for $22.95 plus a few bucks shipping. I use one and it works well. Click here:

http://www.scannermaster.com/Base_Antennas_s/25.htm

It has a BNC connector on the end. Your scanner should have a small BNC adaptor in the box, in a plastic bag in one of the corners of the box. Unscrew the rubber duck, screw on the BNC adaptor and then plug your new antenna into the adaptor and turn it untill it locks. Just be careful when you're outside with the antenna extended, not to knock it into something and bend it. It is pretty durable though.

Just a reminder about digital. Some municipalities that use digital radio systems encrypt trheir police transmissions. Some all, some just the sensitive stuff. There's no scanner on the market that will decode encryption (it's against the law) so just because you have a digital scanner doesn't mean you're always going to hear everything. Just about all fire and EMS is not encrypted, so you'll be able to pick uip all of that.

Good luck and happy scanning!

I would most likely be interested in listening in on the police freq's to see what is going on in the area. I live closer to the Browns Mills area and there is always a little activity going on there. Years ago, when I use to play around with my Dad's stuff it was all so analog and it seemed he could channel in on just about everything having a big antenna.

Would a handheld be able to pick up any air traffice? Local or enterprise? Curious.
 
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