total noob amateur radio question

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pdfdems286

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hi, i am considering buying a mobile amateur radio for monitoring purposes. yes i know the argument about using a scanner for monitoring. my question is this. can any mobile radio's be front end programed,or do you need software for them all ?. thank's for any help.
 
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DaveNF2G

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Amateur equipment can be programmed by hand. Some units can also be programmed by computer.
 

JStemann

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As far as I know they can all be programmed from the front panel. Some things to keep in mind, though. These radios do not have the same user interface as many scanners.I haven't used them all by any means, I have Yaesu and Kenwood mobiles and Yaesu and Icom handhelds. On the ones I have used, the manual programming is a real pain, some more than others. There is no handy front panel lockout. If you get a noisy channel while scanning, you'll have to go into the menu to skip that channel. To "me" selecting/setting up scan banks has been a real pain with all of my ham radios, I guess if I did it more often I'd get the hang of it.

I originally setup the Yaesu to scan local pd/fd/ems and to use as a ham transceiver. I have since installed a dedicated scanner(996t) and dedicated the ham radios to just ham radio.

If you do decide to go with a ham radio for scanning, make sure you get one that does wide band receive. Most dual band (maybe all) have wide band receive, just make sure whatever you get does. As for programming software, some have it for free download others don't. Don't expect an easy usb, serial cable connection for programming by pc, most need some sort of special connector and/or level converter. Also, the programming software user interface is usually not as friendly as scanner programming software.

If you're on a budget and need a "do-all" radio and plan on getting your ham license, then by all means go ahead and get the ham radio. If you just want to scan and have no plans for going after the license then I'd definitely suggest a dedicated scanner or receiver over the ham radio.

jeff.
 

fineshot1

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I have some of my ham gear programmed up with both ham and local commercial
freqs just for monitoring while I drive around town. I dont scan through it just use it
for monitoring single freqs but it does come in handy when there is a fire or ems call
so I know whats going on locally. I have both the IC-208H and its digital cousin the
IC-800H and they do well with this setup however I would recommend using the
software for programming as it is a pita without it.
 
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N_Jay

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hi, i am considering buying a mobile amateur radio for monitoring purposes. yes i know the argument about using a scanner for monitoring. my question is this. can any mobile radio's be front end programed,or do you need software for them all ?. thank's for any help.
The question "Why" comes to mind?

If you know the reasons why not, and you are a noob, then what is the driving force?
 

SCPD

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To add on to Jay's question: *what* is it you want to listen to?

Amateur mobiles (for example) cannot listen to most Police/Fire if your City/County uses a 800mhz trunk.

Some amateur mobiles do not have wideband frequency coverage so that may also affect your decision.

Again, it depends on what you want to monitor. A mobile trunking scanner (BCT-15x or BCT-996xt) would be an example.
 

pdfdems286

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n jay is kind of/sort of right. i know the reasoning behind using a scanner for scanning. i also have several amateur portable's for public safety listening. i figured i could get a cheaper mobile amateur rig that would make a good public safety receiver <sensitivity wise>. after reading the helpful post's here, i've changed my mind. i figured it would be cheaper than buying a band specific commercial mobile radio. <not in my budget right now>. as alway's, my hat's off to you guy's for the help.
 
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