Scanners that can only be programmed by computer

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goodmore

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You are going good to find many out there that feel the complete opposite. Personally I love doing it by computer. Using sentinel is quick and easy.
 

AA6IO

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Early analog conventional scanners with 10, 20, or even a hundred channels were a lot easier to program because all you had to do is enter a frequency. But today's scanners offer so much more in the way of features such as alpha tags, setting delay, attenuation, trunking systems, etc
Entering digital trunking systems manually is tedious at best. I can download large systems from RR database in a matter of a few minutes that would take me a longggg time to program by hand.
You can easily program a Uniden BC75XLT or Whistler 1010 by hand. But those are entry level scanners that only do conventional analog and show the frequency in the display. Any scanner more complicated, and the computer and software are your friends.
 

tampabaynews

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As radio system technology becomes more complex, so do the scanners. For many areas, the days of entering just a frequency and tone are gone.
 

bob550

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Perhaps the OP can further explain his statement.

Technically speaking, all scanners can be programmed manually. Some simpler analog models sold today don't appear that much more complex than those sold 20 years ago. So if you're happy listening to what they can offer, you won't need to program by computer. But if your monitoring needs are more complex, computer programming is almost mandatory. That said, I'm sure this Forum has a wide variety of members with differing technical capabilities. For some, interfacing their Uniden or Whistler with their computer is fun and easy. For others, it may be like trying to perform neurosurgery.
 

ofd8001

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Without knowing which particular scanner is involved, I can only make a general statement. Every scanner that I've seen that is software programmable can also be programmed by hand.

I've been in the hobby going on 50 years and consider computer programmable scanners a blessing. Hand programming is a pain and can lead to all kinds of errors.

To the OP: Are you having a specific problem we can help you with? As much as I like computer programming scanners, I too had problems getting the hang of everything.
 

marksmith

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Perhaps the OP can further explain his statement.

Technically speaking, all scanners can be programmed manually. Some simpler analog models sold today don't appear that much more complex than those sold 20 years ago. So if you're happy listening to what they can offer, you won't need to program by computer. But if your monitoring needs are more complex, computer programming is almost mandatory. That said, I'm sure this Forum has a wide variety of members with differing technical capabilities. For some, interfacing their Uniden or Whistler with their computer is fun and easy. For others, it may be like trying to perform neurosurgery.
Doing it manually is now more like neurosurgery than doing it with a computer.

Mark
536/436/HP1/HP2/996XT/996P2/396XT/325P2/PSR800
 
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Sorry, I suppose I'm frustrated because I want to purchase the TRX1 (or the Uniden) and I just want to be able to program it by hand (I have time) I live in Vermont now so the database really has nothing for me, also, since I don't own a computer I'm going to have to purchase a laptop as well. I understand the ease of computer programming, I would just like a manual option
 

relay99

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Programming scanners

I can understand the challenge to really get to know your radio by programming manually and to have the time to do so, and I have done so to learn how myself, but with a broad range of things to listen to that process seems very complex to say the least! Just a suggestion would be the consider bcdx96 unidens and utilize the zip code feature and you may just find that you will be able to hear a broad range of things and between the two methods still not ever needing a computer and the whole listening experience will be less aggravating and more enjoyable.
 

fredva

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The TRX-1 can be programmed by entering a zip code as well.

I don't understand the comment that the database has nothing for you because you live in Vermont now. Vermont has agencies and frequencies in the database, just like Tennessee and the other states. There's got to be some source of information for programming, whether you are programming manually, entering a zip code, or using software.
 

WPXS472

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I kind of feel the OP's pain. It seems that everything you do today involves some kind of software controlled device. Remember when you had to know how to adjust a BFO control just right to even hear SSB? Well, those days are gone for good. Back in the day, I had acquaintances who were into scanning with a passion. There was some kind of scanning underground where you could learn all the "secret" frequencies. Things like DEA body bug frequencies and special Presidential detail frequencies. That may still be going on, I don't know. Suffering from OWMD, old white man disease, I sometimes long for the old days. But I also enjoy my SDR, which wouldn't exist without the PC and software to run it. I am not a Luddite. I don't necessarily think the old ways are the best. I realize this is the digital age and even old brains like mine can learn new things. I get frustrated by the odd goings on with the newer versions of Windows, but I persevere and sometimes at least, learn something new. I think you just need to learn how to jump through the hoops necessary to manually program the newer scanners. You may find that you want to get that laptop and program it the easy way.
 

jonwienke

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I just want to be able to program it by hand (I have time) I live in Vermont now so the database really has nothing for me, also, since I don't own a computer I'm going to have to purchase a laptop as well. I understand the ease of computer programming, I would just like a manual option
Basically, you want to try to bail out the Titanic with a fork.

It is not feasible or realistic to try to program a trunked system with several hundred talkgroups, dozens of sites, (each of which may have 10 or more frequencies active) and dozens of departments, all of which need to be accurately tagged with service type flags and GPS coordinates tor ZIP code / location-based scanning to work properly, by hand. Especially when you make a mistake (and you WILL make mistakes entering all that stuff by hand) and the scanner doesn't scan anything after hours of tedious work.

Complex trunked systems are exactly what radio systems are migrating to, and trying to stay in the game without learning and using the new technology is going to be more frustrating than you can possibly imagine.
 

marksmith

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"I live in Vermont now so the database really has nothing for me" ????

What is that supposed to mean? They don't use public service radio equipment in Vermont like they do in the other 49 states?

If there is nothing in the database for Vermont, then buying a scanner will not be much use to you. There will be nothing to hear.

Mark
536/436/HP1/HP2/996XT/996P2/396XT/325P2/PSR800
 

ofd8001

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You can do some very basic hand-programming on the Unidens and have a decent experience.

It doesn't take much of a computer to program scanners. Used computers are just fine, though you'll need internet access to download updates. Wifi cafes might be good because updates are occasional things.
 
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what I mean is I have every local frequency for my area already, (there's not very many) probably more than the paid database, also I'm not a scanner enthusiast who only listens to Police/Fire/public safety
 

jonwienke

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