P25 Trunked Scanner Recommendations

Kklewin

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Sep 15, 2016
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I need to catch up I guess. Havent kept up in years....familiar w scanning multiple freqs, but trunking is new to me.
 

u2brent

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Jul 17, 2010
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KRWDPAXKRS1

devicelab

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Jul 18, 2016
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Bothell, WA
...it is silly if you don't get a Phase II capable scanner... blah blah blah -- SO GO BUY THE UNIDEN SDS-100/200 NOW!!!
There are plenty of Phase 2 scanners that don't cost $650+ -- and there's no guarantee that his system will even go Phase 2.
 

trentbob

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Feb 22, 2007
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Bristol, Pa.
For value I'd suggest the BCD996P2 (mobile/base) or BCD325P2 scanners. The TRX-1 is also a good choice (especially if you want to record and playback later) but at slightly higher cost. All (3) scanners are capable of P25 Phase 1/2, DMR & NXDN modes -- the Uniden scanners require a paid upgrade for each of those modes however. The TRX-1 has support for all three out of the box.

IMHO, I believe the Unidens are easier to configure and set up. If you've never done it before then it can seem daunting but it's really not that complicated. The P25 mode handles just about everything for you. All you need is the control channel frequency of the site you're monitoring and you're essentially done. Then you can let the scanner run and find Talkgroup IDs (channels) which you can later add friendly labels, etc.

There are plenty of videos on YouTube on how to configure these scanners and for the most part they're the same -- with subtle differences in the software used. For the above Uniden scanners I'd recommend using FreeSCAN (a free 3rd party software package.) There's also paid 3rd party software which may have more features, etc.

(And yes a [Windows] computer is required to program the scanners these days. For the most part it's a one time configuration of the scanner.)

I highly recommend learning how to do it yourself. It makes the hobby more enjoyable and you'll become more proficient in how your particular scanner works.

The newest line of Uniden scanners are very expensive and their programming is completely different. If this is your first scanner then I'd recommend one of the above to keep your investment costs down
I just have a question for the o p, is this your first scanner? Was your last scanner decades ago before trunk tracking was developed?

This is all good advice from devicelab, The Uniden scanners that have been suggested that are less cost than the two newest and most efficient scanners, the SDS 100 and 200 could work for your system. I would avoid the trx-1 if you're trying to pick up a simulcast system or you need reliable DMR or nxdn.

Basic rules apply here, you get what you pay for but you pay what you can. How serious are you about getting back into scanning or starting new, whichever it is?

I would never recommend that somebody hire a programming service from a scanner vendor but by some of the questions you've been asking this might be one of those times that it would be worth it and your radio would come all set up for you to just pick the talk groups that you want. You could learn programming from that point on.

First you want to find out what radio will work on your particular system from people who actually monitor it nearby you.
 
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aprswatcher

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Mar 22, 2007
Messages
555
Location
Lewistown, Montana
I live in Lewistown and am able to monitor the State Trunked radio system (MPSCS) using Radio Shack Pro-94, Pro-2094 these are older Phase I scanners, GRE PSR-500/600 scanners, a Whistler TRX-1, and my newest a Uniden BCD-536 HP.
All of these monitor the system just fine no problems here in Lewistown or when I lived in Helena.
You may have to experiment with tower sites and see which ones you receive the best and program them in, you may not need all of them in the Bozeman area.
I sent a private message to another scanner listener in Bozeman I am hoping he may contact you.
You can send me a “PM” if you have any questions.
73, Rex
 

akuter

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Mar 27, 2004
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Bozeman, Montana
Hi guys, wow all this information is great. I'm learning somethings too. I would also recommend the 996P2 & the 325P2 I have both & the bozeman sites on the MTstatewideP25 work fine. I also run the 396 & 396xt, 536 for a base. I use ProScan for programing/recording/logging.
Let me know what radio you get and I may be able to program your radio with one of my scan lists. I've lived here for 12yrs, and bozeman is just getting on the system. I had a Pro96 when the system online 10yrs ago, but it was mostly Helena traffic.
 

IAmSixNine

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,784
Location
Dallas, TX
@akuter On the bozeman 800 system how far out have you gone to RX their system?
My brother in law lives / works in the Bozeman / Belgrade area and about a year ago i sent him a BCD396T programmed up with the state system, Bozeman system and a few other things in his area.
he has grown to like it and has told me about a few wrecks and chases (which i paged on IPN for the locals up there) but im afraid im not able to teach him how to update it and make changes.
He says it works good but im always wanting to help him tweak it.
If he is open to meeting a local and someone up there is open to meeting him perhaps he can get local help if/when he needs it.
 

akuter

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Mar 27, 2004
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Bozeman, Montana
Yup, would always like to help out. tho I depart back to WI after memorial day.
I agree too.
East -Livingston - 1/2 to Gardiner.
South -haven't made much trips to W Yellowstone or Big Sky, but 4 corners has great coverage.
West -maybe 20 miles with the terrain towards Norris. I-90 Three Forks/top of Cardwell hill.
North 35 miles
I don't have an external mobile antenna but comms are good.
I'm unsure of certain sites, but everyone is mostly on 800mhz. I'll start a log for a bit, n report back.
 
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