Three scanners to choose from ... which would you recommend?

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sandyrb

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Jan 12, 2005
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Hi folks.

I'm planning on buying a scanner as I have been without one for a few years. I used to have an AOR 8200 Mk1 which I loved using.

Currently I have three models on my 'radar'; the Alinco DJ-X2000, the Icom IC-R20 and, if I don't feel too guilty about spending the extra cash, the current version of the 8200. I want a scanner which is both flexible and versatile with lots of features and fairly 'future-proof'. I intend to use it on the road and also at home where I will buy a decent antenna for it.

The feature sets of these three models are comparable and, with the exception of the AOR, the price difference is negligible. So, I wonder whether anyone here could please offer some guidance? Can anyone please advise me of the merits of one model over another?

Thank you in advance of any and all responses, I appreciate you taking the time to answer.

With kind regards,
Sandy B.
 

ka3jjz

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Sandy, you didn't say anything about what you want to hear with the radio you select. If you are trying to hear your local RCMP, forget all 3 - you need a digital trunktracker to do it.

If you want something for HF and scanning, you're far and away better off with separate radios, rather than any of the above.

More specifics, please 73 Mike
 

sandyrb

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you didn't say anything about what you want to hear with the radio you select.
Yes, you're absolutely right, my bad.

I'm interested in aviation, military stuff, emergency services... well, pretty much anything. I have no interest in eavesdropping on peoples' private conversations so that doesn't really matter.

I suppose I would be interested in the RCMP channels and I guess that will mean a separate receiver.

Thanks!
 

ka3jjz

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Let's start off with the scanner portion first - as you are in Saskatchewan, I would suggest jumping down to the Western Canada forum and nosing around in the various threads there about hearing the RCMP and the various digital scanners. To give you something of a starting point, become familiar with our wiki which has extensive articles and links to begin to inform you. Note that, both here and in our wiki, anything in blue is a link.

Go to the blue toolbar under the Scanner Master logo, float your mouse over Wiki and select Wiki homepage. When you do that, scroll down some and examine the articles in the areas marked 'Links for Newcomers' and 'Popular Topics'. In the latter, click on 'Digital Trunktrackers'.

In the trunktrackers category (which is a way of gathering articles with a common theme in the wiki world), a list of model numbers is presented. To learn about a particular model, simply click on the model number.

Now as to HF...to learn a little about hearing aircraft, military, and other services, we need to jump a little. In our wiki, on the left you see a topic called 'Below 30 Mhz'. Click on the HF Gateway. When you get there, there are several articles in the utility area that describe hearing aeronautical, maritime, digital and military communications. If it seems that the receiver requirements are redundant, that is intentional - many times they can and do overlap.

If you are taking this radio, whatever you purchase, on the road and also use it at home, then we're talking about a portable, or a radio that can be used in a portable mode. Being able to receive SSB is also paramount. Fortunately there are many choices - from the Eton E1XM, the Sangean ATS909 (particularly a RadioLabs modified one), a Sony ICF7600G (excellent, if you can find one) and several others. To research this topic, on the wiki home page is a link for 'Receiver Reviews'. This category is chock full of places that you can read about user level (and some more technical) reviews of many different radios. Another choice that can be powered by batteries, but is fairly bare bones (and in a travel environment, this can be an advantage) is the Palstar R30A. Here is the page at Universal Radio, to show you what this radio looks like...

Palstar R30A Shortwave Radio Receiver

That should be enough to get you started. We have dedicated HF forums here; take advantage of them. When you decide what you want to get, start asking questions about things like antennas and so forth. But for now, this will do for a start. 73 Mike
 

pdfdems286

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let me qualify my answer. the only one i ever had was the alinco dj-x2000. what a useless piece of garbage. i do admit that i didn't take much interest in trying to figure it out. the horrible audio,sub-par sensitivity & really tough learning curve were kind of the deal breaker's. it sat for a few year's. i finally traded it to another member for a used bc785d without the card. i've heard good thing's about the icom & the aor. i hesitate to recomend radio's i've never used. communication's receiver's usually do not make great scanning radio's. i also made the mistake of buying an alinco dj-x30. never another alinco for me, never.
 

N8IAA

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Fortunately, GA
I would heed the advice on asking in the Western Canada forum. You can get a more informed direction on whether or not you will need a communications receiver, the DJ-X2000/ R20. Or, a digital scanner to monitor your provincial police and emergency services.
HTH,
Larry
 

sandyrb

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Jan 12, 2005
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Location
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Okay folks, thanks for the replies, I appreciate the time and trouble.

Seems things have got a lot more complicated since I last had a scanner, what with all this "trunking" lark. So whilst I'm really grateful for everyone's reply, I now have more questions than answers haha! :)

However, I've taken the hint to avoid the Alinco from here and other sources, so I guess that one's off the list. Added to this list now is Uniden... maybe more, who knows?

Thanks again folks, I'm off to the Western Canada forum to follow up on your excellent advice. :)

Cheers,
Sandy
 
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