Subscription Scanner Service

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pfd461

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Hello people. I had posted this maybe 6 months or so back but I was rethinking about this idea or maybe I should fantasy. Do you think the day will come when instead of going out and purchasing a $500, 600 scanner we could subscribe to a service almost like SIRUS XM for being to listen to anything not encrypted on th RR database ? I know we have Broadcastify I,m speaking of nice crystal clear audio from anywhere we want. That way we can enjoy this hobby without all the problems that a lot people are having. I know there are a lot people who defend these scanners but there are also plenty who think there not what there cracked up to be. Anyway any thoughts on this do you it would fly?
 

ecarvalho

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I think that by doing that, you take away a big part of the hobby fun which is building your own setup and learning all about radio waves. The service itself could exist as an option for those not interested in thinking much. So one would basically pay for convenience. So if offered as an option I think it would be ok. However, keep in mind two things:
Satellite services require hardware anyway.
In an off-grid situation you would still have to revert back to your scanners (but by then they are outdated and you got lazy and forgot how to program them).
Most people into scanners would never want to pay unless they rather tired of problems with their radios.
Don't get me wrong! Most good ideas are rejected at first .
XM radio was hated at first


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sparklehorse

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Unless new technology is developed, there would be no way to control what exactly you are scanning with a service like that. You are stuck with whatever is presented, just like you are with Broadcastify. So one day you hear a big car chase on the County Sheriff talkgroup, you'd have no way to stop and hold on just that talkgroup. To me that's a sucking vortex of misery.

.
 

SCPD

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With encryption .. I will be lucky if I make it the next 6 months.

There is just not a market for scanner listening and why there is really only 2 scanner manufacturers and 1 does poorly at it.
 

ecarvalho

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i still think scanners are cool
fun listening to my walmart store while waiting for my groceries outside:)


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newsphotog

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Free scanner apps killed this idea before it was ever put on paper.

Beyond that, scanning still is, and always will be, a niche market.
 

pfd461

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Well a lot of good points brought up. Like I posted it was I guess just a fantasy. Probably because of the frustration with these new scanners which I think like myself if people are going to be honest are not really happy with. It doesn't matter if your talking Whistler or Uniden they don't deliver. Every day I read posts about one problem after another with these radios. Yes I know there a few lucky souls where these scanners work for them and of course there just the best scanners they ever had but so many people have loads of problems that's why I came up with this pipe dream
 

sparklehorse

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<snip> Probably because of the frustration with these new scanners which I think like myself if people are going to be honest are not really happy with. It doesn't matter if your talking Whistler or Uniden they don't deliver. Every day I read posts about one problem after another with these radios. Yes I know there a few lucky souls where these scanners work for them and of course there just the best scanners they ever had but so many people have loads of problems that's why I came up with this pipe dream
I like to look at these issues as challenges rather than problems. When you throw up your hands and quit trying to find solutions you deny yourself the pleasure of success.

.
 

jonwienke

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It doesn't matter if your talking Whistler or Uniden they don't deliver. Every day I read posts about one problem after another with these radios. Yes I know there a few lucky souls where these scanners work for them and of course there just the best scanners they ever had but so many people have loads of problems that's why I came up with this pipe dream
First off, where do you think your subscription feeds would come from? People with scanners. Keep in mind that most people who have scanners are not having problems with them--there's no interest in posting about celebrating 2 years sin you had your last scanner problem. The only motivation to post is when one is having a problem. If every scanner sucked, and nobody ever got them working, Uniden and Whistler would have been sued out of existence years ago.
 

pfd461

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I respect everybody's opinion on this issue. With that being said why do I read every day on the other forums they can't get P25 phase 2 to work, or there having problems with EZ scan just to name some of the problems that supposedly nobody is having. There are a lot of people out there having issues with these units. Unless what I read on the other forums isn't true.
 

radio3353

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Your idea would just lead to more encryption, just like existing online scanner rebroadcasts do.
 

Wackyracer

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I respect everybody's opinion on this issue. With that being said why do I read every day on the other forums they can't get P25 phase 2 to work, or there having problems with EZ scan just to name some of the problems that supposedly nobody is having. There are a lot of people out there having issues with these units. Unless what I read on the other forums isn't true.
I have helped a lot of people on RR since I joined. I also help other places, and with everything from computers to cell phones, tvs, cable boxes and more...the common denominator is there are a lot of people who are technology challenged.

Today's scanners are far more complicated then they were 15+ years ago and those that could work those old models find today's scanners challenging and intimidating. The new systems our public safety departments are going to are driving the need for higher tech scanners and a higher skill to program them.

WIth all of that comes many different systems in different geological locations and even rapid changes in the systems for some locations are all complicating the hobby.

What works for you probably, won't work in my area. These modern scanners need to be custom programmed and tweaked for each area they're used, from antennas to advanced settings ...these are not your grand fathers scanners!
 

baptistjcat

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I have to deal with simulcast distortion everyday some days worse then others. Im always having to place my scanner in different areas looking for that sweet spot. Experimenting with different antennas. Yagis, rubber duckies ,paper clips or tv anteenas. Its like im on the hunt for that clear crisp digital signal. Yes i could get frustrated and turn to live brodcast from RR but for me its not the same. I really feel a sence of accomplishment with the hobbie when i do it for my self.
 
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jonwienke

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I respect everybody's opinion on this issue. With that being said why do I read every day on the other forums they can't get P25 phase 2 to work, or there having problems with EZ scan just to name some of the problems that supposedly nobody is having. There are a lot of people out there having issues with these units.
It's not that what you're reading isn't true, it's that you're too clueless to realize that people don't generally post unless they have a problem. People who have figured out how to operate their scanners are using them, rather than posting questions online.
 

ecarvalho

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Having problems and working them out, to me, is part of the hobby. Yes I get frustrated at times but always go back and enjoy trying again. Lately I managed to improve my reception of a P25 phase II system that suffered from simulcast issues by using a directional antenna and the attenuator.
New project is OP25 on an Ubuntu VM.
So much fun to discover!
Come on guys! Yeeeaaahhh
ok ok.. back to Earth


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pfd461

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In response to jonweinke post like like I said I respect your opinion and all posts. But I'm not clueless I have a Whistler 1080 and HP 2 and I have them programmed for the systems that I listen to including EZ scan and Sentinal installed with no problem. That really has never been issue it is the results you get with these scanners as far as listening. What they should say when they claim it will do XYZ is maybe put a disclaimer stating will not work in certain areas or under certain conditions. I know people say that's part of the fun of the hobby trying to solve problems with reception. Maybe so but do you really think you should have to go around where your listening looking fir that magical spot one day and then the next day look for another spot or have to buy all kind of antennas. I don't expect the radios to pick up stuff miles away just the stuff you used to be able to get with no problem. When we put on our tvs we expect it work don't we or we would livid that we have to tweak our tvs just to watch it. That's all I'm trying to say.
 

csgaraglino

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I strongly disagree with many of the counter complaints posted here!

Here is the why (in my opinion anyway) I feel that there could me (if done right) a huge potential for a subscription based service - or at least for someone to sit down and vet a serious business plan.

I base my opinion on my experience. I am a internet application software engineer and my company builds internet applications for Corporate America (25+ years now). I am also a freelance photojournalists and works with various news organizations on and off line. I have scanner experience that dates back to the late 90s.

So why do I disagree - first, why I think so many folks here are pop pooing the idea. A large portion of the actively posting folks on here are retired or simi-retiered hobbyists and preppers. You guys live and breathe this stuff and if it was not for you and all the work you do in this area - the rest of us would be toast! And the though of your hobby going mainstream in a paid subscription service is sacrilegious at best!

So the the OP you are asking the wrong crowd!


Why I think there is potential - simply put I see a HUGE commercial use for this!

For starters, services news broadcast, print & radio organizations (all that service them) with an internet/app based application would/could (alone) support a commercial business application. Then throw in all the different transportation services like taxi, bus & shuttles, Uber, then all the courier services like UPS, FedEx, local messenger services, and potentially local delivery services. Volunteer Fire Departments, Search & Rescue, Forest Services, etc - anyone commercial business needed solid accurate road and route conditions.

Then there is ALL the non-commercial people out there that don't want to deal with the headache that comes with scanning; the hobbyists, railroad fans, amateur photogs, storm chasers even people that just want to listen for the entertainment value.

Scanning hardware, software and programming can be difficult at best. Then there is, antennas, location placement, upgrades, trunk system, Phase I & II, MDR, NXDN, etc. etc! It's technical Rubik's Cube if I ever saw one!

So lets look at some of the posts below

I think that by doing that, you take away a big part of the hobby fun...
Now everyone wants to be at the technical hobbyist level to get the information that need.

Satellite services require hardware anyway. In an off-grid situation you would still have to revert back to your scanners
"Satellite services" yes - but not an internet based service. Even in a off-grid scenario, the bulk majority of folks are still relying in their cell services for things like noes, GPS location, etc. - this would just be another app.

(but by then they are outdated and you got lazy and forgot how to program them)
Exactly - that's why this is so appealing - it eliminates this problem completely!

Unless new technology is developed, there would be no way to control what exactly you are scanning with a service like that. You are stuck with whatever is presented, just like you are with Broadcastify. So one day you hear a big car chase on the County Sheriff talkgroup, you'd have no way to stop and hold on just that talkgroup. To me that's a sucking vortex of misery.
Nope the technology already exits - I record with ARC500 and ARC500 is create files with the Talkgroup ID in the file name. The only thing ARC500 would have to do is put the file in a Talkgroup IDed folder. The interface/app could then stream the whole selects feed (scanning mode) of at the users request the specifically Talkgroup (manual mode) - too easy.

First off, where do you think your subscription feeds would come from? People with scanners. Keep in mind that most people who have scanners are not having problems with them...
These folks that have figures out the Rubik's Cube could sell back to the "company" their feeds for a small
residual check that shows up in their mailbox each month . Think of it this way - oil jacks, solar panels, wind farms, (days of old), internet affiliate programs, like google ad words, amazon, etc. (days of new). In the days of old and still going today, these started on some farmers property where some get thousands or even ten's of thousands each month - days of new, bloggers and such are making hundreds and even thousands of dollars each moth for little to no real work.

Having problems and working them out, to me, is part of the hobby. Yes I get frustrated at times but always go back and enjoy trying again.
To your point, this is exactly why a commercial/subscription based business plan could work - a vast majority people are inherently lazy and the American Dream has always been and always will be based on the idea of taking something complicated and hard and making it easier for these "exact" people - the masses.

It's a better mouse trap (or the perception of) that will always liquidate cash form someone's pocket!

Just my 2 cents
 

jonwienke

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In response to jonweinke post like like I said I respect your opinion and all posts. But I'm not clueless I have a Whistler 1080 and HP 2 and I have them programmed for the systems that I listen to including EZ scan and Sentinal installed with no problem. That really has never been issue it is the results you get with these scanners as far as listening. What they should say when they claim it will do XYZ is maybe put a disclaimer stating will not work in certain areas or under certain conditions. I know people say that's part of the fun of the hobby trying to solve problems with reception. Maybe so but do you really think you should have to go around where your listening looking fir that magical spot one day and then the next day look for another spot or have to buy all kind of antennas. I don't expect the radios to pick up stuff miles away just the stuff you used to be able to get with no problem. When we put on our tvs we expect it work don't we or we would livid that we have to tweak our tvs just to watch it. That's all I'm trying to say.
Actually, you are. TVs have the same issues receiving broadcast signals over the air as scanners. If you don't buy an antenna, you won't receive crap. If you don't buy and properly install an outdoor antenna, reception will be poor, and frequently subject to random multipath and reflection interference and nulls. Even if you buy a good outdoor antenna, if the station you're trying to receive is far away, reception will be poor, especially if there is not a clear line of sight between your antenna and the station.

I grew up playing with rabbit ear TV antennas and squares of aluminum foil, and it was a constant frustration trying to find the best antenna orientation that minimized static and ghosting. Nothing has changed over the years, especially in the physics of RF propagation. Indoor antennas are always going to suck; unless the signal source is nearby, you're going to have problems pulling it out of the noise, and you're going to have randomly fluctuating issues with multipath propagation and reflections.

Having a good outdoor antenna will solve most reception problems, whether TV or scanner related.
 
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