Radio Recommendation for San Antonio Please

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Madhouse

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I think I know how Rip Van Winkle must have felt.

I turned my unblocked BC200XLT off in 1996 (those were the good old days) and just turned it on again last week. I discovered that while I was asleep, practically all of my stored channels had become inactive and there was little to listen to. An email to Scannermaster support for a radio recommendation was answered with: "Some bad news... The city of San Antonio, TX is using a digital communications system that can't be monitored by any scanner made." ProVoice seems to be one of the evil words that took everything away.

Considering what is left to listen to, could anyone suggest an appropriate scanner? An older model (read cheaper) would be fine. Any help would be most helpful and greatly appreciated.
 
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captclint

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Considering what is left to listen to, could anyone suggest an appropriate scanner? An older model (read cheaper) would be fine. Any help would be most helpful and greatly appreciated.
Here are a bunch of links to San Antonio Metro Area. I did not go through all of them, but I am betting you have a lot of trunking and some digital systems besides the SA ProVoice. That means $500 no matter what scanner you get. Since there may be enough analog(non digital) to satisfy you if $500 is an issue, I suggest you ask this basic question in the Texas Radio Discussion Forum. Be sure to tell them your county, and if you want to hear all of San Antonio Metro Area. (Bear in mind that you probably will be limited to 20-25 miles from your home, unless you plan to travel with the scanner.) Also decide if you want a handheld or a base/mobile. If you already know you can't spend $500, then they can tell you what you will be missing, and if you really need a trunking scanner(I'll bet you do).
 
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Madhouse

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Thanks for your reply and the links.

The price range I had in mind was around $250...Uniden BC246T. In looking at the San Antonio city frequencies I'm wondering if something like an old RS Pro-95 might be sufficient or maybe just sticking with the old BC200XLT. I must say the "Close Call" feature of the new Unidens is an appealing feature.
My primary interest is EMS, fire and police. Since that has been ruled out it would seem the best bet would be in hoping to catch the analog signals from the nearby small towns. Regardless ,the discone is definitely going back on the roof.
 

davidbond21

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If you can't afford a digital scanner, then instead of getting the PRO-95, try getting a PRO-97(they were $250 new when my friend last bought one, a used one would be even cheaper). The 97 will do everything the 95 will do and more. I work in San Antonio and I had been using a PRO-95 up until about a month ago, when I got a 96 which opened up a whole lot of new stuff for me, but now that I have a PSR-500 I can listen to LTR systems too(which the PRO-97 is capable). The stuff you hear on these isn't as great as public safety systems, but you can hear some pretty random things, enough to be worth listening to. So my recommendation is the PRO-97 is your held down by price constraints.
 

texasemt13

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I'll agree with David, either the Pro-97 or, if you're wanting to stick with Uniden, the BC246T would be a good one too (as you thought). Now, you wouldn't be able to listen to the military bases, as they are all APCO-25 digital (http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=4154), or much of Texas DPS (some are conventional digital and some are analog: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=71). But with an analog trunking scanner you can get most of the suburbs (like the Alamo Heights, Converse, Selms shared EDACS system here: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=2345). You definitely want the trunking ability though.

Look at this page here for Bexar County, http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=2537, then view the "All Trunked Radio Systems" to see which types of systems you most want to monitor.
 

Madhouse

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Good suggestions, all.
Since I can buy a new BC246T for about $60 more that the average selling price of a nice PRO-97 I am leaning toward the Uniden. Would the Pro-97 offer any advantages over the BC246T?
 

hiegtx

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Good suggestions, all.
Since I can buy a new BC246T for about $60 more that the average selling price of a nice PRO-97 I am leaning toward the Uniden. Would the Pro-97 offer any advantages over the BC246T?
The one advantage of a Pro-97 over a 246 would be listening to military aircraft. If that interests you, consider one of the BR330T's on the Uniden site. More sensitive, in my opinion, than the 246, more frequency coverage. You may also find one in the 'for sale' forum here. Occasionally, Uniden will have 'like new' units for sale at a substantial discount.
 
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