Question: Can ham radios receive the same channels as those on a scanner?

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SCPD

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I am relatively new to this and i was just wondering if a ham radio can be used as a scanner to listen in on local law enforcement and fire channels. If anyone can answer this please let me know. Thanks.
 

W8RMH

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I am relatively new to this and i was just wondering if a ham radio can be used as a scanner to listen in on local law enforcement and fire channels. If anyone can answer this please let me know. Thanks.
Here is an example :

The Yaesu FT-60R dual-band 2 meter/440 MHz HT boasts 5 watts output on both bands. It also features wideband receive from 108-520 and 700-999.990 MHz (less cellular). This radio has a heavy, commercial feel and construction, and has great sound and alpha tags.

At $150 it makes a great conventional and air scanner. http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/0060.html

It can monitor small trunked systems. I use mine at times to monitor this system Grove City Trunking System, Grove City, Ohio - Scanner Frequencies.

I scan all five frequencies, without delay, and lockout the active control channel. I hear everything and no group IDs but this system isn't that busy.

I also have it programmed with all the air and conventional frequencies in central Ohio. It does very well on air band with a mobile mag mount dual band antenna.
 
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SCPD

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Thank you so much. My buddy has that model I do believe and he said he got it from a friend at $250. So I was wondering if I could find a cheaper model with the same functions. This helps a lot. Thanks again.
 

N8IAA

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Being that your county is conventional VHF/UHF, an amateur dualband (145/440MHz) radio will receive your county public service frequencies. If you are interested in the CHP, you will need a scanner that receives in the 46MHz range.
Larry
 

SCPD

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Being that your county is conventional VHF/UHF, an amateur dualband (145/440MHz) radio will receive your county public service frequencies. If you are interested in the CHP, you will need a scanner that receives in the 46MHz range.
Larry
I am just interested in the county sheriff main and tac channels and possibly surrounding agencies. Good to know CHP is different. That info would probably help me out in the future. Thanks.
 

krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

While various ham radios can receive various conventional public safety signals, your money is better spent on a scanner. (If listening is your only concern.)

Even a low-end scanner will give you more frequency options than a ham radio, or LMR radio.
 

SCPD

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While various ham radios can receive various conventional public safety signals, your money is better spent on a scanner. (If listening is your only concern.)

Even a low-end scanner will give you more frequency options than a ham radio, or LMR radio.
I am a sheriff explorer for this county and when we do events we are paired up and get one radio per team and transmit on a tac channel. So I was hoping to get a ham radio of my own to be able to have that same send/receive function. But if I am not able to get the ham model talked about above, a scanner will be my next route.
 

joen7xxx

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My ICOM IC80-AD DSTAR radio receives the CHP low band just fine. Might not be quite as sensitive as a true low band radio, but it seems to work ok for me.
 

N4DES

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I am a sheriff explorer for this county and when we do events we are paired up and get one radio per team and transmit on a tac channel. So I was hoping to get a ham radio of my own to be able to have that same send/receive function. But if I am not able to get the ham model talked about above, a scanner will be my next route.
If your looking to transmit, that is a whole other animal. A ham radio is not FCC certified for the public safety spectrum. You can put the agencies license in harm's way as well as your amateur license.

If your looking for a radio that can do both, get yourself a commercial grade radio and put amateur frequencies in it. That would be perfectly legal, but I would make sure that you get the agencies approval in writing before putting any of their channels in your personal radio.
 

SCPD

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If your looking to transmit, that is a whole other animal. A ham radio is not FCC certified for the public safety spectrum. You can put the agencies license in harm's way as well as your amateur license.

If your looking for a radio that can do both, get yourself a commercial grade radio and put amateur frequencies in it. That would be perfectly legal, but I would make sure that you get the agencies approval in writing before putting any of their channels in your personal radio.
Yeah I was wondering the legality of it all. My buddy is my captain he got a ham through a friend who has some relation with programming the radios or something. I do believe my advisor has knowledge of it and has gave him approval and I'm sure it would be the same for me.

But how would using a commercial grade radio with amateur frequencies work, and be legal? I have absolutely no knowledge of this, so sorry if I sound rediculous. Just interested.
 

gewecke

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You'll be just fine legally, with a commercial radio loaded with public safety and ham frequencies just not the other way around.
No ham radios "should" be transmitting on the PS spectrum at all. ;)

73,
n9zas
 

SCPD

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You'll be just fine legally, with a commercial radio loaded with public safety and ham frequencies just not the other way around.
No ham radios "should" be transmitting on the PS spectrum at all. ;)

73,
n9zas
Makes sense. Thanks for clearing it up.
 

N4DES

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Yeah I was wondering the legality of it all. My buddy is my captain he got a ham through a friend who has some relation with programming the radios or something. I do believe my advisor has knowledge of it and has gave him approval and I'm sure it would be the same for me.

But how would using a commercial grade radio with amateur frequencies work, and be legal? I have absolutely no knowledge of this, so sorry if I sound rediculous. Just interested.
It just works that way...over time you will learn why. ;-)

You also want to check your local and state laws to make sure that you aren't breaking any laws that forbid monitoring of public safety frequencies by the public. I saw that you were a sheriff's explorer, but that doesn't make you a sworn officer. I'm sure someone in your state will chime in to clear it up, but I thought that I should bring it up as well.

But like I said earlier, make sure you get the agency's permission in writing. They might want to limit what you program into the radio that has transmit capability, which they have every right to do.
 

MTS2000des

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aside from all the legal points, the biggest issue you may encounter is that very few ham radios will do narrowband channels, especially splinter channels on VHF. This is because ham radio is exempt from narrowbanding requirements.

For dedicated monitoring of public safety, a scanner is usually a better choice, as most current ones are capable of all channel steps for narrowband, trunking formats, and some even do fire tone out decoding. Scanners usually are easier to program, and you never have to worry about getting in trouble for accidentally transmitting anywhere, as they don't have transmitters!
 

SCPD

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It just works that way...over time you will learn why. ;-)

You also want to check your local and state laws to make sure that you aren't breaking any laws that forbid monitoring of public safety frequencies by the public. I saw that you were a sheriff's explorer, but that doesn't make you a sworn officer. I'm sure someone in your state will chime in to clear it up, but I thought that I should bring it up as well.

But like I said earlier, make sure you get the agency's permission in writing. They might want to limit what you program into the radio that has transmit capability, which they have every right to do.
I did some research and found out that in the state of California, it is legal to have and listen in on public service radio. It is also legal to have a ham radio outfitted to transmit on public service frequencies, but becomes a major crime if you do transmit without permission. The laws on scanners are much more harsher in the city of Los Angeles. I will have to do a bit more digging to find out about local laws on it.
 

SCPD

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aside from all the legal points, the biggest issue you may encounter is that very few ham radios will do narrowband channels, especially splinter channels on VHF. This is because ham radio is exempt from narrowbanding requirements.

For dedicated monitoring of public safety, a scanner is usually a better choice, as most current ones are capable of all channel steps for narrowband, trunking formats, and some even do fire tone out decoding. Scanners usually are easier to program, and you never have to worry about getting in trouble for accidentally transmitting anywhere, as they don't have transmitters!
From all te research I've done and from other people there is only one model of ham radio that will transmit on those types of frequencies. But I think there is a little modding to do to make it that way.. But I don't really know much about it.
 

cknizeski

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It is also legal to have a ham radio outfitted to transmit on public service frequencies, but becomes a major crime if you do transmit without permission.
I am not sure where you got this info from, but it is not legal to modify a ham radio to transmit on Public service frequncies. It is not up to the state to make this legal. It would be in violation of FCC rules.
 
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