Over My Head

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trunkerman63

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Any more, due to the growing complexity and mumbledy jumble of scanner monitoring, I can truthfully say the Pro 433 scanner is going to be the last and only radio I will ever own.

The more I read about these digital radios, the less I want to do with it. I mostly lurk here now, don't know enough about what everyone is talking about to participate anyway.

By what I read, if you want to go digital, you are going to be out at least $500.00 for the radio alone, then you have to buy software and cable to program it. I wonder what was so wrong with just having a radio you could punch in frequencies and hit "enter"? That was too easy. Each time the radio manufacturers come out with something to try to keep up with law enforcement's efforts to keep the public from hearing what they say, and a select few electronics geniuses figure out how to set the radios up, law enforcement goes another step, and the whole process starts all over again.

I couldn't even set this 433 up by the "retarded" Shack manual. I had to have a guy walk me through setting up the trunking for Abilene EDACS, by long distance phone! I doubt it will be long before all law enforcement does as the DPS is doing, do it all by computer. Then where all all the digital scanners be? I know of nothing that can pick up computer communications in your living room.

On my dinasaur 433, I can still get Taylor Co. analog, Callahan Co., all the VFD's, local and out of town ambulance calls. I have lots of stuff I can still get and enjoy hearing. Nah, this new technology ran off and left me long ago. I'm an old dog with the old school way of scanner monitoring, and it will be all I need.
This new stuff and the tons of headaches that go with it all, plus empyting a bank account to get it all going, I can do without.

End of commentary -
 

saratojo

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A shame.
Yes, a new digital scanner like the uniden bcd396xt will cost you $500 or so.
But it's a beaut.
You can get free programming software (like freescan) or buy butel software to program the scanner.
It's pretty easy once you do it.
Programming a new scanner by hand is, on the other hand, intensely hard.
I am 69 years olkd and have adapted to the new ways just fine from the old days of crystals.

Getting used to new technology is always a bit intimidating.
But I suspect you have adapted to cell phones, flat panel tvs, cable TVs, computers, etc.
You can adapt to the new scanner technology too.
 
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trunkerman63

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Howdy! True I do have a Sony 40" panel, and can do computer blindfolded. You've kinda got me in a mind changing mode now. lol! I may eventually get into that. I learned something just from your post like there is free programming software. That would help.

Thanks for some encouraging comments. I may have to do some shopping here soon! :)
 
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trunkerman63

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While we're gabbing about digital radios, is there anyone here who knows what would be good for Abilene? I'd like to have a radio that can do both analog and digital, but also get the EDACS trunking like I have now, to hear the fire dept. I guess doing both analog and digital could be called a hybrid radio. :) Thanks-
 

kf7yn

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The learning curve for new trunking systems really is steep but I suggest the Home Patrol or GRE PSR-800, it doesn't get any easier. Do a youtube search for both and see how easy it is!

They are both expensive but since you need digital and analog, there's no choice but to pony up for a digital scanner.
 

jasday

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Also look at the pro106. The software is easy to use, and you can get a nice used scanner with out breaking the bank. I got a used pro 106 at a ham fest with the cable and everything but the box for 240. Now its not as easy to use as the home patrol, you do have to program it, but the butel software is easy to use. The dynamic memory is great to program different areas into one bank and it is totally customizable. I have really enjoyed mine.
 

reedeb

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I decided long ago that when I need a new scanner I will be forgetting it and just use it for monitoring Ham and the FRS/GMRS HT's around the area
 
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trunkerman63

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That's what I'll probably wind up doing. I think the analog stuff like hospitals ambulance will probably remain analog. For sure, Taylor Co. has digital stuff, but they always usually xmit on analog. I always have it on when I watch TV at night, so if it got too chatty picking up all that other stuff, I'd miss what's on TV. I almost forgot the railroad channel, it's analog too. Still lots to hear.
 

tglendye

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I didn't understand trunked radios until I got computer software. When I saw it layed out in front of me on the computer screen, it all came together in my mind. Now there are pre-programmed scanners and options to download from radioreference's database. There's still a lot I don't understand, but just ask as necessary.
 

Sportster77

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One thing to watch for is a Radio shack employee that doesn't know anything!
I picked up my digital base for $166 because someone had mislabeled the display shelf and they had to honor it!
 
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trunkerman63

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I've never seen an RS employee that DID know anything. The one that sold me this 433 said yeah, this is a digital scanner! DOHH!
 

hiegtx

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While we're gabbing about digital radios, is there anyone here who knows what would be good for Abilene? I'd like to have a radio that can do both analog and digital, but also get the EDACS trunking like I have now, to hear the fire dept. I guess doing both analog and digital could be called a hybrid radio. :) Thanks-
As the others have already indicated, the newer digital scanners will handle both the analog and digital systems, as well as EDACS. Out there in the "Big Country", many of the country systems are beginning to shift from analog to digital, either completely, or mixed mode. (A nearby example of mixed-mode is in Stephens County. The county S.O. is now using digital, but, on the same frequency, dispatching the various V.F.D.'s using analog transmissions. See this thread up in the "Announcements" section regarding Nolan County, next door to you.

Scanners that would work (current models):
Handhelds- Uniden BCD396XT, GRE PSR-500, Radio Shack Pro-106 (built by GRE for The Shack; same scanner as the 500, just a different front panel layout).
Base/Mobile- Uniden BCD996XT, GRE PSR-600, Radio Shack Pro-197 (built by GRE, same as the 600)

Uniden Home Patrol-1, which runs on batteries, but is made to sit on a desk. Does not have a belt clip.

Older models that would work include the Uniden BCD396T & BCD996T.

GRE PSR-800 could be considered a handheld, based on form-factor.

The learning curve for new trunking systems really is steep but I suggest the Home Patrol or GRE PSR-800, it doesn't get any easier. Do a youtube search for both and see how easy it is!

They are both expensive but since you need digital and analog, there's no choice but to pony up for a digital scanner.
The PSR-800 has been on sale, once already, for about $400. I would expect it to go on sale again before Christmas. If not on sale for Black Friday, at least somewhere between now and the end of the year I'd expect another sale.

I got my Home Patrol at Fry's for $449.99. There are other sources online

The advantage for either of these that no "programming" is required. You select the type of systems you want to listen to, and give the scanner your location, it does the rest. You connect it to the pc once a week to get the latest database updates. The method of telling the scanner what you want, and where you are, differs between the PSR-800 & the Home Patrol, but both easily get the job done.
 

SCPD

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I feel your pain Brother Scanner enthusiast!

The Pro-433 is a pretty retarded scanner, it was hard for me when I got one even after owning several UNIDEN scanners. I donated my 433 to the Sheriff's office incident command trailer and still have to read the manual to operate it.

I remember quite well when I got my PSR500 and how I came very close to returning it for a Pro-96. Transitioning from bank programing to object oriented scanning was a MF'er! but now, today I can't fathom the thought of using a bank scanner ever again.

The 996XT is well worth the money and if you shop Amazon.com and other online places it's not quite 500 bucks, and yeah FreeScan and BCTool will get the radio programed in a flash! For FREE!

But for a gentleman such as yourself I'd recommend a Radio Shack Pro-197 and Don Stars WIN500 software, the 197 is a mere 299 bucks and WIN500 is free the first 30 days, then what 25 to purchase? I own a copy and it will really and easily re-train your brain in understanding Object oriented scanners or UNIDEN DMA scanners.

Us old dog's learn slowly and through the bashing of the fist on the desk, but by golly we can do it! I promise you man, buy a Shack Digital scanner or a GRE first and in time you will wonder how you scanned on a bank scanner with no Text tags!
 
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I've never seen an RS employee that DID know anything. The one that sold me this 433 said yeah, this is a digital scanner! DOHH!
I retired from the State of Texas 5 years ago with a background in computer science, cable television and telecommunications. I happened to go into my local RS store and asked the owner about a part time job just to give me something to do and put a little extra extra change in my pocket. I was promptly informed that there was no way that I would ever be hired by them because I knew more about electronics than the owner did. Go Figure.

Richard
 
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harleyrider

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Interesting

I notice at the local RS stores there are notices they are hiring. I too have a electronics background and when I, or if, I apply for a job with RS I'll keep my electronics background to myself.

Thanks for the info.
 

loumaag

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trunkerman63:
I read through this pretty quickly so I may have missed this point if it was mentioned, but I should point out that the Abilene PD is not just digital, but ProVoice digital. You are not going to find a scanner that will work for the PD.
 
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trunkerman63

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Hi Lou! Yeah, I was aware of the pro voice stuff. They really wrecked our choo-choo with that move. I was thinking of just having a digital to listen to what little there is ON digital which ain't a lot here. I think I've decided to stay with the 433 a while longer. Thanks, and have a great day.
 

KC5EIB

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I retired from the State of Texas 5 years ago with a background in computer science, cable television and telecommunications. I happened to go into my local RS store and asked the owner about a part time job just to give me something to do and put a little extra extra change in my pocket. I was promptly informed that there was no way that I would ever be hired by them because I knew more about electronics than the owner did. Go Figure.

Richard
Must have been a franchise store. A company store would never say that.
 
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