Pearland Texas

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Texvet

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Hello -

Newbie here, looking for clairification. I am member of the Citizen's Police Acamemy and want to purchase a scanner to monitor the Pearland PD. I've gotten mixed info. regarding whether a digital scanner is needed or not. I looked up the frequencies and am not knowledgable enough to use that information to answer the question.

Any advise would helpful.

Thanks in advance,
Brad
 

rattlerbb01

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You don't need a digital scanner. Just a regular trunking scanner. BCT15, BCT8 are uniden base scanners, and BR330T, BC235 are handheld uniden scanners. Also, I am not too familiar with the Radioshack/GRE scanners, but I know that a PRO-97 is a very capable handheld scanner.

The basics:
Digital Voice: Now, not needed. 2010, maybe. 2015, definitely.
Rebanding: Must be supported, or it will be dead in the water for tracking Motorola systems.
Trunktracker: Yes

I started to type why these features are needed/not needed, but I might ramble, so if you need a clear, thorough explanation, feel free to PM me.
 

hiegtx

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Texvet said:
Hello -

Newbie here, looking for clairification. I am member of the Citizen's Police Acamemy and want to purchase a scanner to monitor the Pearland PD. I've gotten mixed info. regarding whether a digital scanner is needed or not. I looked up the frequencies and am not knowledgable enough to use that information to answer the question.

Any advise would helpful.

Thanks in advance,
Brad
Welcome to the site, Brad.
The question you're asking has been kicked around off and on for quite some time. As Pearland PD is on STARNET, I'd presume that's the system that's giving you mixed information. Being in the DFW area, I'm obviously out of range. But from what I've been reading in past threads, there has been some teting of digital radios on the system. And the system description indicates it is at least capable of digital operation. However, I have not seen anyone post any comments about any of the current users switching to digital radios as yet. That obviously could change (and likely will) at some point. If, and when that starts to happen, and digital talk groups are identified and reported to this website, they are usally noted with a "D". Groups that are still analog are noted with an "A".

Note that the Texas DPS is also converting their system to digital communications. It is on conventional, not trunked, frequencies, but headed for digital none the less. Also, many of the federal agencies, if not encrypted as well, are at least digital. Those are points to consider in weighing which scanner to buy.

If your sole interest, for now, is STARNET, in it's present form, a non-digital scanner would work at this time based on what I've seen posted. Somebody from the Houston Metro area may well have a more complete perspective & could provide corrections to that opinion. If, after a few months, one or more agencies, or more specifically the one of main interest to you, Pearland, decides to switch to digital, then at that point you would have to buy an additional digital scanner, or trade up to one. Going non-digital now you will be forgoing TX DPS once your region converts to digital.

Hopefully, someone from the Houston area, with a little more info on any impending moves to digital, will comment as well.
Edit: I see rattlerbb01, who is in your area beat me to part of my answer while I was typing. And I'd definitely agree. Whatever scanner you look at, must be supported through rebanding.
 

red8

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Texvet,
With DPS going digital in the Metro Houston area, I would just go ahead and get the digital scanner. Because if you get something like
the BCT15 or Pro 97 you will not be available to monitor DPS in the
Metro Houston area. DPS does have a link to STARNET but their regular channels are conventional VHF high APCO 25. Therefore I agree with hiegtx
 

loumaag

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rattlerbb01 said:
You don't need a digital scanner. Just a regular trunking scanner. BCT15, BCT8 are uniden base scanners, and BR330T, BC235 are handheld uniden scanners. Also, I am not too familiar with the Radioshack/GRE scanners, but I know that a PRO-97 is a very capable handheld scanner. ...
First, a BC235???? Think you mistyped there, other than eBay, where would you find it? :lol:

I think rattler meant BC246T. As to the RS/GRE models, well I have hinted at this, but until the rebanding issue is dealt with, I would not buy a GRE model radio (or indeed an older Uniden built one) except for the Pro-96/2096 (digitals) because at this time those are the only ones that look like they will survive the rebanding issue. (Before anyone jumps on that, this is not the place to debate rebanding.) For information on that, you can check the Rebanding page on the RR Wiki.

As to your specific question, the STARNet system is indeed capable of handling P25 CAI digital signals, but so far no one has reported actual subscriber use of digital radios on the system. Pearland and all of the surrounding area (not HPD or HFD) are all on the STARNet system. And as red says, DPS will be digital in the Houston region before too long.
 

rattlerbb01

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loumaag said:
First, a BC235???? Think you mistyped there, other than eBay, where would you find it? :lol:
Yah, just a going to work running out the door type of typo! HEHE, there are so many numbers I get them mixed up!
 

Texvet

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Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll go ahead and get a digital unit, most likely a Radio Shack brand because there is a new store here in Pearland.

I suspect I'll be back with questions soon after my purchase!! I really thank you for the advise. This forum seems "newbie friendly", not always the case with some forums - very refreshing!

Brad
 

rattlerbb01

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Well, a Pro-96 is a good investment. I love mine. More channels, multisite trunking, good quality digital voice decoding, and I love the instant ctcss/dcs tone detect. The Uniden models don't stack up with the multisite trunking/tone detect IMHO.
 

Tim-in-TX

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Pearland TX
If you go to Rat Shack, and can afford it, I say go for the Pro-96. Then, become a paying member here. Then proceed to http://www.starrsoft.com/software/win96/default.asp and pay up for the complete program. Might as well go for the 96 since it will most likely make it past the rebanding, and digital is the future.
I did all the above a year ago and everything has been worth every penny I have spent!

My wife and I have just moved to Pearland and am loving it! I plan to attend the citizens Police academy sometime in the near future.
 

VintageJon

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Must agree with Tim-in-Tx as I have a 96 with every bell and whistle I can find.

It ain't cheap but it's worth it. Especially as it's re-bandable, or so present lore predicts. (Nobody really knows what re-banding will do, or when, or if it'll occur here.)

For VHF Air my old 91 was better BEFORE I got the 1.3-fix. Now they are pretty much the same! Pro96 is better with original antenna or 3/4 wave ground plane than 800 Mhz Ducky. Better in 860MHz Digital with 800 MHz Ducky even better with 1/4 wave ground-plane at home or 3/4-Wave ground-plane at shop.
(You'll find that the antenna is a critical part of the whole in any situation with any receiver, speaking from 40 years of experience in SWL and antenna building.)

Thus a Pro96 is my choice, with WIN96, RR Membership, antenna selection, and 1800mAH-2400mAH batteries.
(The damn thing will reboot when you plug in the adapter to re-charge! Thus if you are locked on a bunch of cops looking for a long-horn steer in the woods and your "battery low" warning goes off you are likely to loose them... This happened to me this evening and I'm still looking for them again! Weird story but this ain't the place to tell it ... email or pm me. muse@ texas.net)
Well that even got longer than I thought it would! The point is to get the re-chargable AA's
with the most hair you can find. The difference between 1000mAh and 1800mAH was like night and day.

Yes it's a Pro96 here with everythng you can find/build.

73's,
Jon
 

red8

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denham springs la.
The Pro 96 and I believ the 2096 has pre programmed systems for 55 of the most popular areas in the United States and I also believe that
in fact I know because I had a Pro 96 and it had the talkgroups for
the Harris County Metro area including Pearland on the Harris County
STARNET. I recently purchased a Uniden BCT396 D and in STARNET
I am pretty sure that Pearland in pre-progammed into the scanner.
 

Texvet

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Sep 16, 2006
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Pro96

I'll know what's set-up soon. I went to my local Radio Shack, and they didn't have a 96 in stock. They found one at another store 25 min. from my house. I'll probably pick it up Friday.
 
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