Regarding the best Police Scanner to listen to Farmers Branch PD-FD Harris system

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tonypl056

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Greetings fellow listeners, it's been a while since i last logged on here and did some reading
and conversing. we all know that a new radio system is coming to the Carrollton, Farmers Branch, etc. area. when i was last here several months ago all you good folks were giving me excellent intel on the new system and the best or at least a decent scanner to get and be able to listen to these cities. i can not find all the posts and comments from that time everyone gave their input so i am humbly asking for some help please.. i believe to the best of my knowledge the new system is going to be a "Harris" system although i am not familiar with it whereas i am an old school Motorola, GE, etc. system listener this could prove to be very educational. someone had mentioned that there was a dealer i believe Al's radio sales or something like that somewhere here in Texas that sold the portable and mobile scanners that would receive this new system i do not remember the brand or style of the scanners but i do remember they were a bit pricey $495.00 + but that's beside the point right now.
Anyway i would greatly appreciate all the info. and help i can get the time is drawing near for
this new system to be online if it isn't already i know their license application has been floating around for awhile and as a volunteer for the area i would like to make sure that i have all my "ducks" in a row and have the right radio(scanner) ready.

Thank you all in advance. God Bless.

Tony
 

hiegtx

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Greetings fellow listeners, it's been a while since i last logged on here and did some reading
and conversing. we all know that a new radio system is coming to the Carrollton, Farmers Branch, etc. area. when i was last here several months ago all you good folks were giving me excellent intel on the new system and the best or at least a decent scanner to get and be able to listen to these cities. i can not find all the posts and comments from that time everyone gave their input so i am humbly asking for some help please.. i believe to the best of my knowledge the new system is going to be a "Harris" system although i am not familiar with it whereas i am an old school Motorola, GE, etc. system listener this could prove to be very educational. someone had mentioned that there was a dealer i believe Al's radio sales or something like that somewhere here in Texas that sold the portable and mobile scanners that would receive this new system i do not remember the brand or style of the scanners but i do remember they were a bit pricey $495.00 + but that's beside the point right now.
Anyway i would greatly appreciate all the info. and help i can get the time is drawing near for
this new system to be online if it isn't already i know their license application has been floating around for awhile and as a volunteer for the area i would like to make sure that i have all my "ducks" in a row and have the right radio(scanner) ready.

Thank you all in advance. God Bless.

Tony
Hi Tony

The Carrollton system, which also includes Farmers Branch and Addison, is being upgraded to a P25 Phase II (TDMA) system. Once the new system is online, Coppell is slated to move from the Lewisville system to join Carrollton and the others. Based on the timeline indicated here, I would expect changeover to be somewhere in the mid- to late-summer of next year.

Irving is also upgrading their system to P25 Phase II, and already have a control channel up. They will be operating as a "layer" (or site, if you like that term better) on the Fort Worth Regional Radio System. They are doing testing right now I suspect that changeover will be by the end of the year. That falls in line with a projected timeline given when the new system was announced last year. The only current Phase II system operating in the DFW Metro area is the small Forney system.

Your current choices for scanners compatible with the upcoming Carrollton system are the two new Uniden models, the BCD436HP (hand-held) and BCD536HP (base-mobile), or the PSR-800.

The 436HP & 536HP are taking a bashing in the Uniden forum. That's largely because a couple of features for these models are not yet available, such as the Siren app whereby you can use a smartphone to control the 536HP, and the Analyze feature (for both scanners). A few people have had genuine problems, including some with the memory cards, but many of the "problems" and frustrations are due to, frankly, operator error. I have both units. They both can receive the Forney Phase II system, and work well on the other area systems. The only memory card issues I've had were self-inflicted. The 436HP can be found at a number of online dealers at or slightly below the $499.99 retail price. The 536HP is about $100 more.

The PSR-800 would also work on the new system, after a firmware update (if that had not already been done). This scanner has been out of production since GRE shut down in the4th quarter of 2012. You can find one occasionally in the classifieds here on RadioReference, on eBay, other online sites, and perhaps at a local pawn shop. However, as it is currently an "orphan", you do want to make sure it is operable, with all accessories, as repairs and parts could be problematic.

Whistler Group, the radar detector manufacturer, has purchased the intellectual property (i.e. patent rights) to the former GRE scanner product line. Later this year (watch the GRE forum), Whistler should be releasing their version of the PSR-800, labeled as the WS1080. There will also be a base-mobile equivalent, the WS1095. Pricing on these has not been disclosed, and Whistler has not committed as to whether they will provide repair service for the GRE units such as the PSR-800.

Note: The Radio Shack Pro-18 is very similar to the PSR-800, but cannot be updated to receive a P25 Phase II system.
 
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The only current Phase II system operating in the DFW Metro area is the small Forney system... They both can receive the Forney Phase II system, and work well on the other area systems.
FYI, both Forney and Terrell are single-site systems, so your scanners will have no problem tracking them. Irving and the Metrocrest system are both simulcast. However well your scanners work on Plano or FWRRS is how well they will work on the new systems.
 

hiegtx

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FYI, both Forney and Terrell are single-site systems, so your scanners will have no problem tracking them. Irving and the Metrocrest system are both simulcast. However well your scanners work on Plano or FWRRS is how well they will work on the new systems.
I'm far enough outside of Plano (well to the southwest) that the simulcast problems don't really affect me, unlike those who live in the coverage area.

So far, I've only seen sporadic radio testing on the Irving system, too soon to say whether simulcast issues there will be a factor or not. Again, I'm well outside of the city limits, though much closer than to the nearest PAWM site. The closest Carrollton ("Metrocrest") site is probably 15 miles or so away. Once the system is on the air, and the (apparent) two additional sites are operational, I'll have a much better idea whether it's a problem or not.

FWRRS is well west of me, and reception on some sites from home is marginal, again due to distance. But for those in the coverage area, there have been a number of posts about simulcast and reception issues. I get good reception on the Northeast Tarrant layer, but Layers 1 & 2, used by Fort Worth, Tarrant County, and the smaller cities, are marginal at best.
 

SCPD

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Do any of these new systems plan on encrypting routine traffic or is that unknown at this time?
 

hiegtx

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Do any of these new systems plan on encrypting routine traffic or is that unknown at this time?
Unknown, or I should say, I have not seen anything specific regarding the Carrollton and Irving systems.

Arlington will be upgrading their system as well (joining FWRRS), and there was an article linked quoting the police chief that implied that they would follow Fort Worth's lead & move to encryption. Mansfield, however, did not when they moved to FWRRS. Eventually, Grand Prairie will also move to that system, but no word if any other significant change is in the works.
 

SCPD

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Yeah, I am the RR broadcaster for Arlington police comms. Yes, they have made the unfortunate decision to encrypt all comms including fire broadcast by end of '14. Total BS!!! I really would like to interview different police chiefs and sheriff's to elicit thought processes on choosing encryption or not. Would probably enlighten us in several areas.
 

tonypl056

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Location
Texas
Hi everyone!!, Thank you all for the awesome info.. Steve thanks for the info on the scanners
it is greatly appreciated.. and thank you to everyone for their thoughts and ideas.

As far as Encryption issues i have not heard of anything over my way but of course if it does happen here it will be last minute notice. and if it does happen this will put a huge damper
on many of us who rely on our scanners and being volunteers because none of these cities will furnish us with radios so we can be kept in the loop and it will also put a damper i imagine
on "Scanner Radio" sales because no person that i know of would spend the kinds of money these dealers want for these new radios when they would be unable to listen to what they want to. i personally am going to wait before i invest in any scanner that will be able to receive
what i want to listen to, should the cities where i live throw the "Encryption" curve ball out into play at least i did not waste hundreds of dollars on a "Scanner" that is useless.

Thank you again to everyone for your input, please keep posting and adding if you will
the more info . we have the better, i am a true believer in There is Strength In Numbers"
and we have an AWESOME group here! ( Please feel free to private message me "

Take Care, Stay Safe and God Bless!!!

Tony
 

wiz4769

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This may be a stupid question, but my understanding is that most system must be Phase II compliant by 2016 in the DFW area. But does that mean they will be actually all using Phase II? For instance the PAWM system is Phase II capable , but nobody uses it. So just curious if any local area systems might be getting a new system that is II compliant, but use what everyone else uses. Or is the forced plan to make everyone actually use Phase II before long. Heck they just forced everyone to go digital and some are just now getting over to P25 still.

I will not pretend to understand all the radio jargon , but my dad lives in Rockwall Tx and they are getting a new system, and the wording says because they have to be Phase II compliant, but not that they are for sure going to use Phase II or not when the system is done, they just got the OK to get the funding and start the process. Thankfully there is still time and when the time does actually come, the Whistler 1080 will be out and maybe some of these prices can be more competitive.
 

tonypl056

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May 12, 2007
Messages
59
Location
Texas
Hey Wiz! in my book there is no such thing as a stupid question, you do have a valid point.
i am sure our radio "Guru's" here would be happy to answer. they are extremely knowledgeable and they won't steer you wrong. fellow listeners, please indulge
with your wisdom and help as listeners and so forth we are all in this together
is we still choose to be able to "hear" what we want too.

Thank you to everyone!

God Bless !!

Stay Safe

Tony
 
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