Paid Programming ?

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BYPASS999

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Central Ct.
I need a little help. Im not new to scanning, Ive had one for about 20 years, (Pro 34 ) and every 20yrs i buy a new scanner even if i dont need it, just like to stay on top of things. J/K, Problem is that my PC is is 10 yrs old with windows 98 and it wont take the software for the new scanners. Ive looked around and i see that several places will pre program scanners for a extra fee. My ? , is it worth it, and how well does it work?. 2nd ?, I know that there will never be a perfect scanner, But i keep reading about the problems with digital scanners , rebanding. and how some are waiting for new scanners to come out thinking thell be better. Are they right ? Maybe this is just a bad time to buy a scanner. Id like to know what you think. Thank you in advance.
 

hoser147

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Dec 17, 2005
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Grand Lake St. Marys Ohio
New models are always going to be better, for the most part. Have you already gotten a new one?? As far as paid programing if its not local and updatable forget it.
 
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Grog

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You could always ask in your state forum to see what the locals prefer. If you like what they use, they might allow you to clone their scanner to your new one, or otherwise assist you in programming until you get the hang of it.

I did that for a local guy here on RR, and he was able to load up a complete five county file with several trunked systems as well as the complete conventional template for his county so he was able to hit the road running.
 

fineshot1

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Sep 17, 2004
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NJ USA (Republic of NJ)
This is a "educational" hobby and your programming data is in a constant state of change. Towns, Counties, States and even private agencies change, add and drop frequencies frequently. So each time this happens your going to go back and pay someone to program these changes??? That's insane! Do yourself a favor and "learn" how to program (or purchase the software & a new pc that will run it) what ever new scanner you purchase. You will never be satisfied unless you do since freqs change a lot.
 

ka3jjz

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Bowie, Md.
To add to Grog's answer; not only can you check with the locals here on RR, there are a great many Yahoo (and likely others) based scanning mailing lists, many of which have programming files that their members can download. Too, these days there are several scanner-based mailing lists (for example, there's at least one - maybe more - for the BCD396), and sometimes even software based lists (such as the one for BCTool).
Sometimes frequencies change often, other times not. Use the database and the various forums along with the Yahoo based groups to become familiar with the radio scene in your area. You say you've been in scanning for 20 years - just how well do you know your area?

Hopefully you are running 98SE - the original 98 had many stability and other issues. If so, you do have a few choices in software, depending on what scanner you decide upon. Our Wiki (in the blue toolbar above, click 'wiki') has articles (wiki speak for pages) on each of the popular scanners, and software as well. For example, ProScan for the Unidens lists 98SE compatibility, as does Scan Control. And I think Don Starr's programs (for the RS PRO series) will also run on 98SE.

Doing your homework ahead of time will save you grief later. Yes, the digital scanners have more of a learning curve, but like any hobby, the more time you put into learning it, the more you are likely to get out of it. Rebanding is proceeding at a snail's pace; it is something to consider, to be sure, but it's not going to happen overnight. At least some of the issues with the digitals turns out to be user error - again, it comes down to learning your equipment. At least in the case of the Uniden and RS digitals, we have Wiki articles that can help.

Research!! 73 Mike
 

blantonl

Founder and CEO
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Dec 9, 2000
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San Antonio, TX
Just so everyone knows - ScannerMaster has a complete dedicated service that is officially endorsed and supported by RadioReference.com. They will interview you over the phone, and program your scanner based upon your location and requirements, and then send it back to you. If you choose to purchase a scanner from scannermaster, they will also program your scanner in the same method.

Their prices are very reasonable, and I've worked closely with Rich Barnett (president of scannermaster) to make sure their service is well supported and performing to expectations. Rich has made a significant investment in this portion of his business, and even has a dedicated team of individuals that do the scanner programming.
 
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Phoenix Arizona
The best solution is to find a local guy you can clone from, then open the file up in one of the programs you can download, and try to understand what he has done. Then make your own adjustments and learn to do your own programming. Half the fun (for me) is being able to tweak everything to be just what I want. Whatever your first program is, whoever does it, you are going to want to tweak things with time. Besides, as others have stated, things change, are added, and deleted from any given list of frequencies or talk groups. It is ever-evolving, and you need to be able to do your own programming.

It is really pretty logical, and you shouldn't underestimate your own ability to do this. Read the manual a half dozen times and it will come to you. It really isn't as hard as it may seem at first.
 

andy404ns

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Oct 21, 2005
Messages
355
Location
Wethersfield, CT
Maybe it's just me but I actually have fun programming my scanners. Well, the ones that are PC controllable anyway. I'd be more than happy to sit down with someone new to the hobby and walk them through how to program anything and I bet a lot of people on RR would do the same. That said, I'm happy to help anyone in the central CT region if they need it.
 
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