Newbie seeking advice

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I have been looking to purchase a scanner for sometime, but I am just overwhelmed with all of the information out there. This site appears to be a great resource and I was hoping for some help in making a decision to purchase a scanner. Basically I am thinking about buying a Uniden Bearcat BCT8. Is this a good scanner?

Also, I have questions about analog versus digital. I keep reading in numerous locations about local agencies switching to digital, so that would render an analog scanner obsolete. I just worry about purchasing an analog scanner and having it end up being useless in a short period of time. Any thoughts on this? I live right on the King/Snohomish county line in Edmonds and Shoreline is right across the street if this helps with frequencies, what I can pick up, etc.

I would greatly appreciate any advice that anyone can give me. I am just trying to make sure I do the right things the first time. I hope all of this makes sense as I feel somewhat lost. Thanks again!
 

kd7kdc

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Hi
I can't help you on the Bearcat BCT8 because I have never owned one.
As far as Digital vs Analog you are correct, if you buy an analog only scanner
and the agency or agencies you wish to listen to switch to digital you will be out
of luck and will have to upgrade to a digital equipped scanner.
The other problem is some agencies are going to digital and encrypted so no scanner
is going to help you in that case.
My best advice is if the agency is on analog is buy a cheap analog scanner and wait to see
how the digital plays out in your area or if money is not a problem go with a digital scanner
and your good to go for the most part.

Best wishes for the new year and welcome to Radioreference :)
-Steve
 
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Thank you for the info! I went ahead and bit the bullet by purchasing the Uniden Home Patrol 1. Figured I would like to have something with both analog/digital capabilities. Thanks again.
 

lowboy654

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Wow, thats a big investment, for our area most stuff that is digital is encrypted, you will receive very little digital that is not encrypted. the scanner you bought relies on this sites database, unless you shell out $99.00 more for the extreme upgrade, you scanner will be limited to whats in the database, and not everything is here. If I where you I would have followed Steve's advice and started out with a cheap scanner.
Don't get me wrong here the HP1 is a great scanner, I own one but with the upgrade to it and buying the GPS setup, as I have done your looking about $750 bucks.
I would think like a PRO-163 or the 164 or the GRE-300 etc. would be a better deal for you and there about $149.
 

OCO

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2.0 Upgrade only Sentinel features

........." the scanner you bought relies on this sites database, unless you shell out $99.00 more for the extreme upgrade, you scanner will be limited to whats in the database, and not everything is here"........
A common misconception, I suppose because most people who bought the extreme upgrade never looked at the features available in the "update only" Version 2 of Sentinel. You can create new systems (not in the HPD Database) in Sentinel and save them to a Favorite. Refer to UPMan's blog entry here that describes the features of the Sentinel upgrade. I quote in part, "Complete programmability for new or existing systems. Create or edit any system in a Favorites list to personalize alpha tags, apply some of the newly available settings (read on!), or set up systems that have not yet made it into the main database"

Lowboy: This is not intended as a contradiction of your coverage of what's available to monitor in your area, nor the fact that the HP1 is one of several digital scanners that are expensive...as a matter of fact I don't recommend the Extreme upgrade to anyone just getting into scanning with an HP1 and while I've got that and the GPS, I'm less than fully happy with the Rube Goldberg wiring setup you end up with there.:D
 

lowboy654

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I stand corrected, I did the update and the upgrade at the same time, I missed that thanks for pointing that out, and the wiring for the GPS what can I say. but like I said most digital is encrypted in this area. my digital scanners are a 96,500,600 and the HP1 to this date in my area of north Snohomish County Washington State, I have never received anything in clear digital and it was not for a lack of trying.

Why spend well over $2000 and not try.
 
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OCO

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Why spend well over $2000 and not try.
Ouch....while not quite as bad off, my township and county LE dispatch is Provoice - I'm just lucky enough to get a lot of other things.. What I've learned is there is a lot to listen to besides the LE dispatch. With all the storms and power failures, my favorite system is Consumers Energy.....:D
 
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