the Cost of Scanning (CoS)

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GumbyCT

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== the Cost of Scanning (CoS) ==

I thought I'd try to figure out just how much I have spent by recently returning to scanning after a long hiatus. So pardon me if I talk out loud. If you'd rather not hear it read no further.
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If you are new to scanning and decided to get either the Pro-106 or Pro-197 both usu. run about the same price. You can expect to pay about $500 (+tax) unless you get them on sale.

I will use the Pro-106 for the rest of this bc it turns out buying the HH (106) is the more expensive option because it doesn't include things like the AC/DC power supply or batteries. Imagine buying a car w/o tires or a battery?

For an AC power adapter I paid $18.88 (+tax) for a 1300mA Universal power supply at Walmart. The 106 requires 9V/500mA.

Even if you have a 9V/500mA adapter you will likely need the coaxial connector to fit the Pro-106. It is a size 'C' and not mentioned in the manual. Enercell™ Adaptaplug™ C Catalog #: 273-336 $7 (+tax)
RadioShack.com

Then you will need AA batteries - either a boat load of Alkalines or 4 rechargeables. I paid $19.99 (+tax) for 8 Duracell rechargeables at Staples.

Either scanner will require a USB programming cable. Manually entering frequencies into either is not recommended.
USB Scanner Programming Cable Catalog #: 20-047 $35. No this is not something you can make.
USB Scanner Programming Cable - RadioShack.com

Then of course you will need a subscription to RR to get all the frequencies you want.
180 days $15.00 or 360 days $30.00

Premium Subscription Information Page

Then you will need software to connect to RR database and download the frequencies to the scanner. There are several programs to choose from all cost the same and all offer a 30 day free trial.
So try em all then choose one. Try em 1-at-a-time and get 90days :)
I think they all cost $35 (+tax)
There is -
* PsrEdit500
* Arc500
* Win500 - I think they say this is the most popular.


So then you will be on your way to this very steep learning curve. Lots of reading with lots to learn.

Now let's total up the CoS.
*Scanner = $500
*AC power adapter $20.
*4 AA Batteries $20.
*RR Subscription $30.
*USB Scanner Programming Cable $35.
*Software $35. more if you want more than one ;)

*Add $7.50 (+tax) for a cloning cable (1/8" Stereo Cable)
**6-Ft. Shielded Cable, 1/8" Stereo Plug to 1/8" Stereo Plug Catalog #: 42-2387
6-Ft. Shielded Cable, 1/8" Stereo Plug to 1/8" Stereo Plug - RadioShack.com

*TOTAL $647.5 Plus 6% CT sales tax = $38.85
**Plus Shipping & Handling if any applies to you.
*Add another $500 if you want to get both the 106+197
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Enercell™ Adaptaplug™ C Catalog #: 273-336 is $7 (+tax)

Luckily, the Pro-197 comes with a DC cable but you need to buy the cigarette lighter plug. $6.59

Beware the young kids don't know what a cigarette light plug is - they may call it a DC power plug or something else.
Enercell™ 12V/10A Solderless Vehicle Adapter Plug - RadioShack.com

I am not sure where you could find the DC connector that plugs into the back of the Pro-197. I have never seen one before and not sure if RS even carries them? Why would they do that?

Also add more if you want or need an automotive plug for the Pro-106.

Remember the Pro-106 requires 9V. I am not sure what happens when 12V is applied but if you have found out - kindly let me know.

I was able to find a Universal auto power adapter on closeout for $8. But then getting the right coaxial DC connector can be another expense.

Add a battery charger for the AA batteries if you don't already have one.

I hope this helps give an idea of the Cost of Scanning.
 

TES

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== the Cost of Scanning (CoS) ==
. . . I am not sure where you could find the DC connector that plugs into the back of the Pro-197. I have never seen one before and not sure if RS even carries them . . .
The connector is an EIAJ RC-5320A type 5 plug. The plug dimensions show up on this Radio Shack chart as Adaptaplug T.

The connector is available as Adaptaplug T at Radio Shack.
 

abqscan

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Your "COS" has many extras that are not needed so the total cost is a bit skewed. However, there are the people who just have to have every extra in the world, and you got almost all of them, ya missed getting a new antenna! ;-)
 

GumbyCT

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Your "COS" has many extras that are not needed so the total cost is a bit skewed. However, there are the people who just have to have every extra in the world, and you got almost all of them, ya missed getting a new antenna! ;-)
An example of the extras would be what?
 

N0IU

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I have a $99 Pro 404 sitting on my desk. Yeah, its analog and only has 200 channels, but that suits me just fine. I scrounged through my "junque" box and found a power supply with the proper voltage and current rating with right size plug. (I did have to reverse the wires to get the proper polarity)

OTOH, it is good for newcomers to get an idea of what it could cost to get into digital scanning. It might prevent threads like I see al the time on another radio forum (but I doubt it) where the OP asked what kind of radio he should get to work HF but his budget is only $150.00!

Hello all,

OK, here is my question.

What do you suggest?
I need the following criteria met in order for me to get on HF.

1. 10, 20 or 30 mts HF rig
2. All mode or just ssb and or cw
3. under $150.00
4. QRP is ok, but not necessary
5. new or new-used condition
6. prefer not from ebay
Name withheld to protect the innocent! Personally, #4 is my favorite!
 
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N8IAA

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Most new, or, returning people do not jump in head first with all of the extras. The smart way would have been to read the Wiki on the different scanners and what they include as options. There have been many posts about how you get the whole package by getting the PSR-500, or, the 396XT. The only thing after that is the cost of the software (which generally is free for thirty days), and, if neccessary, the subscription to RR. Oh, by the way, $20 for 8 rechargeable batts and the charger is not a bad deal.
Larry
 

SCPD

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You must not realize that you do not need a subscription to Radio Reference to get frequencies, as copy and pasting works quite well. Now if you wish to download the data from RR you need the subscription.

Downloading from RR gives you 'what you see in the db is what you get downloaded." That's all well and good, but there are several talk groups that I don't listen too, so downloading them I would have to go in and edit my talkgroups. I can save time by copying and pasting what I want into Excel, formatting it the way I want, with text tags I want.

I also don't know where you get your batteries from but I can buy 4 rechargable AA batteries cheaper than $20. One also has to consider the cable costs, as you cited. However, if you've been around a while, you likely already have that cable as I do. Since it is only needed for programming, there is no need to buy a second one when purchasing a second scanner (unless it uses a different cable of course).

All in all, good post on the CoS, but I think it could be scaled down some, as a previous poster pointed out.
 

kevin390

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I am lucky, in my neck of the woods the only digital that I am aware of is West-Point. I never listened to them much when they were analog. So I think from my point of view scanning has gotten cheaper for me. Example I bought two Pro-160's when they were on sale and paid $118.00 each shipped to my house. My BCT-15 was about $240.00 shipped to my home. Now just to name a few of my first scanners. I paid $300.00 for a Pro-2050 and close to $400.00 for a pro-2052. If I can remember right I paid $150.00 for my first scanner a Pro-51 on sale. Location and terrain, knock on wood..............Ray
 

rdale

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$20 for AA batts, and $35 for the cable? Are you serious? Ever heard of this invention called EBay? You could have had both for $15-20 including shipping.

And why do you need a cloning cable?
 

GumbyCT

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Unfortunately, I had been unable receive many broadcasts over the past (quite a few) years because everyone was changing frequencies and going digital. Like CT State Police. Or I would have just stuck with my Pro-2004, 34, & 32.

I know I have some dead Bearcats laying around that I suppose could have kept me busy trying to repair them but then they could receive anything digital much less use Alpha tags.

But I have always wanted to be able to use my computer with my scanner and the use of Alpha tags. Who could resist? In fact, I think I have an AOR somewhere that made a primitive attempt at a computer interface back in the 80's.

So when I started researching, I was looking at the Pro-163/4. But life has taught me, if you are gonna spend - get what you want, this way it may last a few years.

As for the GRE, yea I thought about those but thought I'd support a store in my area. Where is the nearest GRE store?

Batteries - as life sometimes does, the day AFTER I bought the AA batteries, I found some off-brands on sale 4/$2. I cautiously tried some which seemed to work so I bought more. However, I doubt they are as good as the Duracells. Only wish I could have found Energizers for a decent price.

Keep in mind, I was going thru this battery buying at the same time I was trying to find out why my Pro-106 would NOT scan when plugged into the AC adapter. And none of you guys knew what was wrong.
Voltage Level for Pro-106 Question

You'd have to show me links to any savings on Ebay after shipping. Show me the savings - Show ME? Talk is just that.

Plus, after my experience with RR member CharlesDom, I am still a bit gun shy.

I hope that answers some of the questions.

oh, Oh NO way I was gonna even try to program 3-400 frequencies into the 106 without making some kind of frustrating errors. Just NO WAY! Yes, I actually had my Pro-2004 FULL, for years.

So if you call this jumping IN with both feet then I guess I'm IN ;)
 

GumbyCT

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Your "COS" has many extras that are not needed so the total cost is a bit skewed. However, there are the people who just have to have every extra in the world, and you got almost all of them, ya missed getting a new antenna! ;-)
fwiw - it came with an antenna - so don't give them any ideas.

It did NOT come with batteries. I needed batteries to even evaluate the antenna.

You may find this hard to believe but I like the sensitivity and reception of both the 106 & 197 and thus their antennas.

But no I didn't even think of having to buy another antenna.

See Radio Shack used to make some of the very best batteries - back in the day. If the scanner was $200 I could see not including everyhting you need to "use as designed".

But that is JMMO - Just My Meaningless Opinion. You are certainly entitled to yours.

So what is it YOU consider "Extra"? ;)

Guess we'll neva no.
 

GumbyCT

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GumbyCT said:
It did NOT come with batteries. I needed batteries to even evaluate the antenna.

See Radio Shack used to make some of the very best batteries - back in the day. If the scanner was $200 I could see not including everyhting you need to "use as designed".
Correction - sell some of the very best batteries- not cheap either.
 

Gadgetman728

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COS divided by the amount of time spent programming + time spent listening = Cheap entertainment.

Buy a boat and all the goodies. Buy a Hand held GPS and all the goodies. Build a new computer, it's all relative. Hobbies cost money, accessories cost money.
 

GumbyCT

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COS divided by the amount of time spent programming + time spent listening = Cheap entertainment.

Buy a boat and all the goodies. Buy a Hand held GPS and all the goodies. Build a new computer, it's all relative. Hobbies cost money, accessories cost money.
Agreed, And now COS has been quantified. Well at least for the Pro 106 or 197. :)
 
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John_M

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Dak48 Wrote:

I can save time by copying and pasting what I want into Excel, formatting it the way I want, with text tags I want.
You can also use OpenOffice.org calc which is free. Download here:

OpenOffice.org - The Free and Open Productivity Suite

I also use the program to generate Object ID's 1-(how many frequencies you have). Copy and paste the Object ID's so the scanner scans the frequencies in the order the scan lists are in.
 

GumbyCT

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You can also use OpenOffice.org calc which is free. Download here:

OpenOffice.org - The Free and Open Productivity Suite

I also use the program to generate Object ID's 1-(how many frequencies you have). Copy and paste the Object ID's so the scanner scans the frequencies in the order the scan lists are in.
You must not realize that you do not need a subscription to Radio Reference to get frequencies, as copy and pasting works quite well.
OK, Now you got me curious - using either method, how do you upload or download this data to/from the scanner?
 

Springfieldscooter

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You dont have to be old, to be wise:

Gumby,

You have stated that you have invested aprox. $700 in your equpment.

Im young, and I know what a cigarette adapter is, but let me show you a few other options:

Option #1 - Check and see if you can lisen live for free, right here on Radio Reference!
Live Police, Fire, and EMS Scanners on RadioReference.com
(Assuming you have a computer, and internet service)

TOTAL COST: FREE


Option #2 Buy a used Radio Shack Pro 106 for $301.
For Example:
LN PRO-106 39000-CHANNEL DIGITIAL HANDHELD SCANNER - eBay (item 280435161618 end time Dec-07-09 17:50:11 PST)
Then take it to Radio Shack and let them program it for you!

TOTAL COST: $301.

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