The best handheld

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JERSEYHAWG

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I am just getting started on my new hobby. I found this site to be very informative and thought I would ask a question that I am sure has been asked many many times before. Any and all replies would be greatly appreciated as there is a wealth of information here by seasoned members, thank you for your time to get me going in the right direction. I had thought maybe a handheld would be starting off on the right foot.

Glenn
 

rwier

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I am just getting started on my new hobby. I found this site to be very informative and thought I would ask a question that I am sure has been asked many many times before. Any and all replies would be greatly appreciated as there is a wealth of information here by seasoned members, thank you for your time to get me going in the right direction. I had thought maybe a handheld would be starting off on the right foot.

Glenn
NoHandHeld "No Answer" answer, lol:

I travel only about 6000 miles a year by car. This involves AZ, CA, and NV, said travel being contained within about only 6 large counties. Even having such a small travel scanner use, I would pick the HP-!(E), if I only could have one scanner.

Handheld answer:

If, for whatever reason, my travel options were restricted to air, taxi, or to no travel at all, I would pick the GRE-800. For vehicle excursions to loci within 10 miles of my home, I use both radios, without a clear pick for "just one".
 

scannerboy01

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I would say that the GRECOM PSR-500 is a good portable scanner because it's easy to program and it can scan many different types of radio systems. I've had my PSR-500 for about three months and I have nothing, but good things to say about it except the belt clip could be made better.
 

KJ6VIP

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I am just getting started on my new hobby. I found this site to be very informative and thought I would ask a question that I am sure has been asked many many times before. Any and all replies would be greatly appreciated as there is a wealth of information here by seasoned members, thank you for your time to get me going in the right direction. I had thought maybe a handheld would be starting off on the right foot.

Glenn
First of all, welcome to RadioReference. You can be assured that anything related to radio communications can be handled here. Great resource with fantastic members.

Now, regarding your initial inquiry. Unfortunately, without additional information such as where you live, what various agencies your interested in monitoring, and of course, what is it are you willing to spend on the radio.

With that said, I can only offer you general guidelines. First of all, we need to determine what it is you wish to monitor. Once that has been determined, you will then need to find out if what it is your interested in monitoring is analog, digital, or a combination of the two. Also, are any of the agencies using trunking systems. Lastly, assuming the agencies you wish to monitor are all using conventional analog systems, you will want to do some research or ask members of RadioReference who monitor agencies in your area, if whether or not there are any plans to upgrade to trunking and or digital modes.

There is a plethora of handheld scanners on the market ranging from the very basic conventional analog scanner, to the most exotic digital scanner.

The entry level scanners on the market are conventional analog only. Meaning these scanners do not support trunking systems, nor digital. These model scanners also do not support alpha tagging, which allows you to enter a description of what it is your monitoring. Finally, these scanners have very limited frequency coverage. On the plus side however, these basic scanners are very easy to operate, have the ability to be programmed via a computer, and are more than adequate if you monitor conventional analog only. GRE America manufactures the PSR-100 as well as the Radio Shack PRO-404 model. They both sell for around $100 dollars.

The middle level scanner is essentially the same as the entry level scanner, but with the added support of analog trunking systems.. These scanners cover both conventional analog frequencies as well trunked analog systems. The frequency coverage of this level scanner are better, but still limited. Depending on the model, these scanners may or may not support alpha tagging, however programming these units via a PC is possible, so programming trunking systems will be easier to deal with.

The top of the line level of scanners are pretty self explanatory. Not only do they scan your typical conventional analog systems, and trunking systems, they support digital modes, such as P-25 etc. These scanners do support alpha tagging making what your listening to much easier. Of course these scanners also support programming via the PC, as manually programming these units are very difficult. These are sophisticated pieces of equipment. Depending on the model, the frequency coverage is superior. Some may have small gaps between various bands, while others will not, save for various exclusions such as cell etc.

With all that said and done, and to better understand your wants, we need to know what area you intend to listen to. Such as your state and city. Next we will want to know what agencies interest you. Such as Police, Fire, EMT, Amateur Radio, Aircraft, Military, etc. Once you provide us with that information, we can figure out what scanning equipment supports your interests, and proceed from there.

I hope the basic information I gave you will help in some capacity. Again welcome to RadioReference. By all means, please feel free to ask additional questions if needed. Someone will be happy to address them, and help you.

-Rylak
 
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krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

"Handheld what?" would seem like a decent question, aimed at the original poster. Scanner? Wide-coverage or general receiver?

It makes a difference. :)
 

JERSEYHAWG

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additional info

I guess you can tell what a "novice" I am. Handheld scanner, sorry for the confusion and thanks for the replys so far. I think the 300 to 500 dollar range would suffice for me. I would like to monitor POLICE, FIRE and EMS. Frankly the more input I could get on the scanner the better, trains, county, government etc. I have been doing some research and GRE, UNIDEN and RADIO SHACK seem to put out some nice scanners. I thought if I spent a bit more I would be able to purchase a scanner with more capabilities, ie. digital and analog recepetion. But being so new at this I am reading all replies before I come to a decision on purchase. I hope this explains my needs a bit clearer and once again thanks for the replies to date.
 

scannerboy01

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I think that what you would need is a digital scanner because I have noticed that there are quite a few digital systems in New Jersey. With regards to your price range, it depends what kind of scanner you get and where you buy it from.
 

JERSEYHAWG

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I think that what you would need is a digital scanner because I have noticed that there are quite a few digital systems in New Jersey. With regards to your price range, it depends what kind of scanner you get and where you buy it from.
Thank you all for the information so far. In regards to my scanner preference I have been looking at the GRE psr 500 and the UNIDEN BCD39XT, would anyone have a preference of one of these scanners over the other. They both appear to be nice scanners. I dont know what shortcomings would be with either of these. And thanks again for the response.

BTW, what do you mean , "where you buy it from"
 

Rt169Radio

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I would recommend getting the Uniden Bearcat BCD396XT handheld scanner.
 

W6KRU

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I would recommend getting the Uniden Bearcat BCD396XT handheld scanner.
I have a 396XT and a PSR-500 and I strongly disagree. The GRE is vastly superior at digital decoding on my local system. It doesn't matter what else the scanner does when you can't understand the audio.
 

Rt169Radio

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I have a 396XT and a PSR-500 and I strongly disagree. The GRE is vastly superior at digital decoding on my local system. It doesn't matter what else the scanner does when you can't understand the audio.
Really? Is it just because of the type of system you have?
 
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W6KRU

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Really? Is it just because of the type of system you have? Or is the scanner just that bad ?
The system is a simulcast Moto II mixed and the 396XT is just that bad on this system and a few others judging by posts here.
 

W6KRU

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The GRE's would excel in sensitivity on a desert island without any strong signals to over load. :lol:
My GRE works fine here in the small burg of San Diego using a variety of external antennas. Overload? Never experienced it.
 

W6KRU

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hey, i like my psr-500 too. i had to sell off my psr-600 because of overload. my 500 does also overload. i just prefer the 396. no overload. pretty darn good digital decoding too.
Yeah, I really wish I could like my 396s but on the local system, the digital decoding is just pathetic compared to my PSR-500. Since I have to use the GRE for the local 800 system, I use it for VHF-Lo and 150Mhz jobs as well. That leaves the 396s with very little to do.
 

pdfdems286

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i know i've said this before. i've become somewhat of a "radio snob". while i enjoy listening to all the band's,i now prefer to carry a commercial ht, or dual band amateur portable. the reception and audio are far better than a hh scanner. of course you have drawback's. no trunking,close call etc. i was even considering getting a second yaesu vx-6r. one great little portable. then of course i'd have to hear my wife say "what the hell do you need 2 of the same radio's for ?".
 

w2csx

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I think it depends how much you want to spend. I have the BCD396XT and for the most part I have no problems decoding digital.Even the pro radios like Motorola aren't 100% in decoding digital.
 
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