Should I buy a scanner?

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eng15ine

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Hello, I am a volunteer for my local fire dept and would really like to listen to working incidents and just know what is going on around the county. In my county we have a digital trunking system. I have an app on my phone that steams Dis Opts and two fire talk groups. I would really like fire tone out though. I just finished High School this week and got $530.00 from family/friends. I do not have a job because I spend so much time volunteering at my local fire station. So my question is do you think that I should spend ALL my money on a scanner?

Thanks
 
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Thats your choice. Scanners can be expensive. Especially digital. Even though some may be on sale you still have to by some accessories sometimes. Save it open a savings account your young. Let it grow intrest IMHO.:) Just remember wants vs. necessities which is more important to you.
 
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judas12

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Hello, I am a volunteer for my local fire dept and would really like to listen to working incidents and just know what is going on around the county. In my county we have a digital trunking system. I have an app on my phone that steams Dis Opts and two fire talk groups. I would really like fire tone out though. I just finished High School this week and got $530.00 from family/friends. I do not have a job because I spend so much time volunteering at my local fire station. So my question is do you think that I should spend ALL my money on a scanner?

Thanks
Yes, get the 396XT and enjoy it. Or go take your buddies out for drinks. Those are my 2 best options. Or u can buy a nice handgun
 

weisej

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I agree with osloviking save your money right now dont spend all your money on a scanner. Because once you buy one then you never stop wanting more things for your new hobby. On the other hand if your despite for a scanner look in to the RS pro 96. Very cheap used price can find them for 250.00-300.00 maybe even cheaper. I maybe wrong but the Pro 96 is the cheapest digital scanner on the market right now that you can buy. That was my first digital scanner I owned and I bought it right out of HS and loved it. I now have the Pro 106 which I got when I found a good deal on. Judas said get the 396xt which is ok if your looking to spend 500.00 on even a used one. Hope this helped
 

joneil2000

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IMO, for anyone new to scanning, all scanners should come with some kind of warning that goes something like this:

"Warning, if you buy this scanner (any brand), you will afflicted by a strange disease that will make you buy a better/bigger antenna, software,maybe a programming cable and a sub to RR." :)

The sub to RR is a life saver, IMO. Others may have no problem programming a scanner or typing in freqs or doing and edit-copy, edit-paste, but I'm a bit dyslexic, and for me it's the way to go.
 

scanchs

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Should I buy a scanner...

Hello, I am a volunteer for my local fire dept and would really like to listen to working incidents and just know what is going on around the county. In my county we have a digital trunking system. I have an app on my phone that steams Dis Opts and two fire talk groups. I would really like fire tone out though. I just finished High School this week and got $530.00 from family/friends. I do not have a job because I spend so much time volunteering at my local fire station. So my question is do you think that I should spend ALL my money on a scanner?

Thanks
eng15ine,

First, congratulations on finishing High School! Now, with your current interests (i.e., volunteer fire fighter), I think you should buy a BCD396XT as a graduation present from your family and friends and enjoy it. :D The last I heard, Uniden scanners were the only ones capable of doing fire tone out, which you mentioned you would really like. I'm also guessing that the folks who are recommending that you to save your money already own their scanner(s). At your age, there's plenty of time to make more money, but it sounds to me like you "need" a scanner... ;)

ScanCHS
 

NE1C4NSC4N

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My scanner's are the best investment I've made in a long time, when I consider the hours and hours of enjoyment I have gotten out of them...you can always get a part time job, and make more money if you need it, I vote for buying a scanner...maybe you dont need the 396XT, but if you can affored it thats the way to go, or you might be able to save a few bucks and get a 396T, which is almost as capable as the XT.
 

trace1

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So my question is do you think that I should spend ALL my money on a scanner?
Well since you asked, perhaps first you should take your great big giant step into the "real world" by seeking gainful employment and/or the furthering of your education.

Take that $500+ and open up a checking/savings account and then when you start getting your paychecks, if you decide to go that route, you can add that to your already gaining a little interest account and have more money to buy the newer, better, with all the bells & whistles type scanners on the market, you'd also have a little extra spending cash to enjoy other things in live besides scanning and monitoring. Also you could be learning, while you're earning, a valuable trade or occupation to help even further enhance your potential to gain workforce experience that could lead to also help further enhance your pocketbook that give you the opportunity to purchase more than just one scanner, because you can never have too many radios to discover and listen to what is going on out there in that great big world of yours.

But then again on the other hand you could just blow that little sum of money to have fun and waste your time... ;)

By the way congratulations on your recent graduation from high school and also a thanks for the volunteering of your time and effort in helping to protect others.
 

scanchs

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Good call...

The 396XT will not do Fire Tone Out on a trunked system.
Eng74,

Oh, wow! Since I don't personally use the FTO feature, I hadn't considered that limitation (but it makes perfect sense when you consider how it would have to work). :confused: OK, that being the case, then no current scanner can do precisely what the OP has requested. Now he will have to decide if he wants to save his money and wait for a new scanner to come out (that might have that capability), or just dive in and get his feet wet with the rest of us. :D

ScanCHS
 

KE4ZNR

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Eng74,

Oh, wow! Since I don't personally use the FTO feature, I hadn't considered that limitation (but it makes perfect sense when you consider how it would have to work). :confused: OK, that being the case, then no current scanner can do precisely what the OP has requested. Now he will have to decide if he wants to save his money and wait for a new scanner to come out (that might have that capability), or just dive in and get his feet wet with the rest of us. :D

ScanCHS
Ok,
Let me help out with some clarification here.
The Uniden Fire Tone Out Feature will work with trunked radio systems that also silmulcast their dispatches on VHF/UHF. A majority of systems are setup this way so that Fire & EMS users can still use Minitors to be alerted of dispatches.
Example: Here in Wake County there are 3 VHF "Alert" Channels:
Raleigh Fire Dept VHF Alert 154.370Mhz
Wake County Fire Depts VHF Alert 154.190Mhz
Raleigh/Wake EMS VHF Alert 156.225Mhz.
The 3 above VHF channels are also simulcasted on the Wake County 800Mhz system in digital voice format on the 3 following Talkgroups:
34000= RFD ALERT
33088= WAKE FD ALERT
35168= EMS ALERT.
Using the awesome Uniden Tone Out Feature I program in the 3 VHF Alert Frequencies in with the specific Tones I want to monitor (Chiefs, Asst Chiefs, etc) and the tone out feature works great!
So as long as the trunked system you want to monitor also silmulcasts their dispatches on VHF or UHF conventional (again most do for Fire & EMS notification), and uses one of the standardized tone sequential paging you will be ok.
Hope this helps clear up some confusion!
Happy Monitoring (and Tone Out'ing!)
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

eng15ine

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Wow let me first say thanks for all the great responses. As Trace1 said I should get a job/further education, this fall I am going to be a full time student at college and I can not get a job because I am set to volunteer 8am - 5pm M-F for the majority of this summer. My parents are helping support me so I do not "need" money for any necessities (gas, food) as my parents will cover this. So the way I look at it is I will not be getting a paying job for some time so that money I got will not grow that much. I have decided to get a Uniden BCD396XT from amazon for $530. I am looking forward to spending every waking moment on it (hopefully it wont be too hard to program)!
Thanks again for all the responses!

--------------------------------
Eng15ine
 

scanchs

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Now I get it...

Ok,
Let me help out with some clarification here.
The Uniden Fire Tone Out Feature will work with trunked radio systems that also silmulcast their dispatches on VHF/UHF. A majority of systems are setup this way so that Fire & EMS users can still use Minitors to be alerted of dispatches.
...
Hope this helps clear up some confusion!
Happy Monitoring (and Tone Out'ing!)
Marshall KE4ZNR
Marshall,

Thanks for the clarification. It certainly cleared things up for me. The OP didn't mention where he's from, but as long as the Fire and EMS dispatches are being simulcast on VHF/UHF in his neck of the woods, then the BCD396XT will still be able to do what he wants... :)

Personally, I think a scanner would make a perfect graduation gift, don't you? :D

ScanCHS
 

KE4ZNR

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Marshall,

Thanks for the clarification. It certainly cleared things up for me. The OP didn't mention where he's from, but as long as the Fire and EMS dispatches are being simulcast on VHF/UHF in his neck of the woods, then the BCD396XT will still be able to do what he wants... :)

Personally, I think a scanner would make a perfect graduation gift, don't you? :D

ScanCHS
Glad I could help clarify the situation :)

The fire tone out is an awesome feature as it allows me to only be alerted when something big is going on.
And I do wish when I was going through different graduations many, many moons ago that someone had graced me with a new radio...but then again I would have ended up with a Pro43 or a Pro2006 instead of today's great receivers! For the record: Both the Pro 43 and Pro 2006 are both still great VHF/UHF non-trunking radios!
I am more fiscally conservative these days so I have to agree with some of the other posters and say get a summer job (even part time) open a savings acct, save up and when you have some extra "chedda" in the acct then get a radio a little later on. you will feel take pride in the ownership of your new radio :)
Thanks for your service in your community and thanks for being
a part of Radioreference.com!
Happy Monitoring and Congrats!
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

KE4ZNR

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1) the above looks alot like spam
2) the "scanners" pictured in the ebay link will not work for what he needs as they are very old analog only non-trunking scanners. Hell, one of them is actually a CB and not even a scanner. Hell, another radio is a shortwave radio.
3) The original poster needs a digital scanner. None of the scanners linked can monitor the digital trunked radio system he is trying to receive.
3) Why the hell did you post the above link? The only reason I can come up with is you are the seller trying to pawn off your old, crappy scanners on a naive, uninformed shopper.
Yet another reason to avoid buying stuff off ebay.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

eng15ine

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I think I am going to go with the 396XT! Now I need to start looking for software and programing stuff. My friend has a scanner and he will help me with mine so I cant wait till I get it

Thanks
Eng15ine
 

KE4ZNR

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I think I am going to go with the 396XT! Now I need to start looking for software and programing stuff. My friend has a scanner and he will help me with mine so I cant wait till I get it

Thanks
Eng15ine
As far as software for the 396XT:
You have a bunch of choices.
My recommendation, start with Freescan. You can also use the other "for pay" software on a trial basis but if you try Freescan and like it you are not out any money.
I would recommend if you go with Freescan think about making a donation to Assaf for
all the hard work he has put into the program. However it is ok if that is not possible.
We have alot of folks here that can help you out if you get stuck somewhere in the
process.
Happy Monitoring
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

pudmiester

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1) the above looks alot like spam
2) the "scanners" pictured in the ebay link will not work for what he needs as they are very old analog only non-trunking scanners. Hell, one of them is actually a CB and not even a scanner. Hell, another radio is a shortwave radio.
3) The original poster needs a digital scanner. None of the scanners linked can monitor the digital trunked radio system he is trying to receive.
3) Why the hell did you post the above link? The only reason I can come up with is you are the seller trying to pawn off your old, crappy scanners on a naive, uninformed shopper.
Yet another reason to avoid buying stuff off ebay.
Marshall KE4ZNR

First off i'd like to apologize for hurting your feelings. and secondly i'd like to point out that the radio shack pro 94 is capable of following certain trunked analog systems as per RR wiki
Motorola Type I
Motorola Type II
Motorola Type IIi Hybrid
Motorola Type II Smartnet
Motorola Type II Smartzone
Motorola Type II Smartzone Omnilink
EDACS Standard (Wide)
EDACS Standard Networked

Pro-94 - The RadioReference Wiki



and lastly, this isn't my ebay listing, i was just giving the kid some ideas, maybe a good way to start out monitoring the bands instead of blowing 400$ on a uniden uniden bcd996t or something.
 

KE4ZNR

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First off i'd like to apologize for hurting your feelings. and secondly i'd like to point out that the radio shack pro 94 is capable of following certain trunked analog systems as per RR wiki
Motorola Type I
Motorola Type II
Motorola Type IIi Hybrid
Motorola Type II Smartnet
Motorola Type II Smartzone
Motorola Type II Smartzone Omnilink
EDACS Standard (Wide)
EDACS Standard Networked

Pro-94 - The RadioReference Wiki



and lastly, this isn't my ebay listing, i was just giving the kid some ideas, maybe a good way to start out monitoring the bands instead of blowing 400$ on a uniden uniden bcd996t or something.
You didn't hurt my feelings you just provided info that is not gonna help him out. The Pro 94 is an analog only scanner. The original poster said that the system he wants to monitor is digital.
I get that your heart was in the right place and I understand that you were trying to help.
However if eng15ine wants to be able to monitor the system he says he does then none of the radios in your ebay link will work for him.
He does need to consider a digital capable scanner which run in the price range of $300-$500.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 
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