Time for a New Scanner?

Status
Not open for further replies.

1250GPM

Newbie
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Greetings. I have just joined Radio Reference, and thought I'd put out my first question. Although this issue has probably been dealt with in previous postings, I hope I won't upset anyone by posting this subject.

I have a Radio Shack 200-channel programmable handheld scanner that I purchased in 1996. Although I cannot read the nomenclature plate on the back of the unit clearly, I think it says, "...Cat 20-315." Whether this is a Bearcat or Uniden model with Radio Shack's name on it, I do not know. My issue is that I have noticed in the frequency listings posted on this site that a vast number of them are up to 8 digits long. My scanner only programs 6 digits. I have also noticed that I am unable to monitor the Kern County Fire Department when they switch to their "TAC" channels. Added to this is the fact that Los Angeles City FD appears to run in the "800" MHz range. My scanner won't even touch these frequencies.

So I guess it is time I thought about a new scanner. Do I need the "trunkable" model or one with more programmable abilities? I will also check out the "Scanner Master" site that Radio Reference supports. Thank you for any comments/suggestions.
 

kb2vxa

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
6,131
Location
Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
May I recommend the RR database? Check out what's in your area and decide according to your needs. That comes first, then if you have some questions you can't figure out for yourself we'll be glad to answer. At this point we don't know the issue, rather unsure how to advise you.
 

N8IAA

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,046
Location
Fortunately, GA
Greetings. I have just joined Radio Reference, and thought I'd put out my first question. Although this issue has probably been dealt with in previous postings, I hope I won't upset anyone by posting this subject.

I have a Radio Shack 200-channel programmable handheld scanner that I purchased in 1996. Although I cannot read the nomenclature plate on the back of the unit clearly, I think it says, "...Cat 20-315." Whether this is a Bearcat or Uniden model with Radio Shack's name on it, I do not know. My issue is that I have noticed in the frequency listings posted on this site that a vast number of them are up to 8 digits long. My scanner only programs 6 digits. I have also noticed that I am unable to monitor the Kern County Fire Department when they switch to their "TAC" channels. Added to this is the fact that Los Angeles City FD appears to run in the "800" MHz range. My scanner won't even touch these frequencies.

So I guess it is time I thought about a new scanner. Do I need the "trunkable" model or one with more programmable abilities? I will also check out the "Scanner Master" site that Radio Reference supports. Thank you for any comments/suggestions.
The reason you won't hear your county FD on TAC, is because they are using handhelds at the fire scene. So, unless you are nearby to the incident, not likely you'll hear them.
LAFD on 800MHz will also be a problem. Those signals do not travel as far as the old VHF/UHF ones did. You may want to ask in the California state forum further down the forums page for better info.
HTH,
Larry
 

nanZor

Active Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,807
So I guess it is time I thought about a new scanner. Do I need the "trunkable" model or one with more programmable abilities? I will also check out the "Scanner Master" site that Radio Reference supports. Thank you for any comments/suggestions.
If you are only really interested in Kern fire and LA City FD, both are conventional so you don't really need any trunking capabilities. You can get your LA City FD fix with something as simple as a Uniden BC95XLT which does 800 mhz conventional. BUT, you also want to do Kern fire which has some narrowband tacs. In this case, I'd recommend something a bit more capable, like a Uniden 346XT for a handheld, or perhaps something like a Uniden BCT15X for a mobile/desktop. They have the capability to handle those tac channels and 800 conventional LACFD. I tested the Kern tacs on my 396xt, but the 346xt is similar in setup. They are a bit more complex (but ultimately satisfying) than what you have now, so take that into consideration.

There are a lot of choices to be made here, especially since your need is for those narrowband tac channels. I'd be tempted to pick up a 95xlt to get going with LACFD and the old non-tac Kern freqs now, while perusing these threads to see what a more advanced scanner would be to your liking.

AND, like the others have mentioned, no matter what scanner you choose, to hear fireground comms, you may need a very very good antenna system. A RS 800mhz duck would certainly be better for lacfd on a handheld than the oem one that comes with them.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

1250GPM

Newbie
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2
Location
Bakersfield, CA
Time for a new scanner?

Thank you one and all for your answers to my question on my scanner and the details for my local area fire frequencies. Only one point was not addressed in your answers, and that was my question on noticing that the frequencies listed for Kern County all had 8 digits. I am able to program the bulk of the frequencies into my scanner, despite that it only shows 6 digits. That would mean that the extra "0's" in the frequency are just there for extra space or for confusing "amatuer scanners" like me. However, I did notice one peculiarity. In one of the KCFD frequencies, there is a listing 154.45250. When I program this into my scanner, it "drops" the frequency to 154.450. A quandry, to be sure. Any answers or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top