Want a digital scanner for my car. Which will work?

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Roveer

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Sounds easier than it really is. Let me explain.

I want a digital scanner for my car. Can be portable or mounted. I currently own a 536HP and a 436HP. 536 is staying in the house. 436 is used mostly when something big is happening and I want to carry it around the house. Would consider moving the 436 to the car BUT...

Here's the big set of problems.

1. Must be able to power on when car is started, no fiddling around pressing power buttons.
2. (The biggie). I want this scanner to start in FTO mode.

I really want a fancy plectron for my local FD (which is 3 different departments). I then want the ability to open it up for all the fire channels and police if something is happening.

I considered a plectron/pager but then I don't get a scanner.

Has anyone tacked all the challenges of FTO and auto power on in a car? Currently both my 536 and 436 are giving me the clock problem when powered off so I don't know if either are good candidates.

Was thinking a BCD325P2 would be a nice size/choice but it has to be able to do those 2 things without isssue.

Don't mind an older solution if it works. Again, must be digital.

Thanks,

Roveer
 

Roveer

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OK, I tested my 436 & 536 in a simulated auto intallation. First I updated firmware to get around the clock problem. My 536 was stopping at the clock prompt but the firmware update added the 5 second bypass.

So it seems that my 536 if set in FTO when the power is removed will return to FTO once power is restored. I'm testing further right now.

My 436 (which is what I'd like to use in the car), will NOT return to FTO after power is removed and restored. It will automatically turn on, but it goes to scan mode instead of whatever it was last doing.

If we can fix that I'd be very happy and would use my 436 in my car.

Roveer
 

ofd8001

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I'd suggest looking at eBay for a used Minitor pager with an amplified charger. The amplified charger can be modified to operate with 12 volts. Let that function as your FTO and then scan with the scanner as needed.

Alternatively you could create a separate Favorites List with just the frequency used for paging, assuming the only thing they do on that frequency is tone and voice paging. Leave just that one FL on and have other FLs turned off via Quick Key. Then when something happens, turn the other FLs on. (Could also be done with startup configuration keys too, but a little more cumbersome.)

I noticed you've posted this in a couple of forums. You might flag this so a moderator will consolidate it and possible suggestions won't be scattered all over.
 

Roveer

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I looked at the minitor pagers. They were expensive after programming costs. The reason I want FTO is that the frequency that supports my FD also supports 10 other towns and without FTO it's never quiet and that's not what I really want.

All Uniden needs to do is to make the 436 act like the 536 which returns to FTO after power interruption.

I'd really like to use one of the BCD325P2 scanners. I like its size. So if it can be powered over USB without batteries, automatically turn on when power is applied and return to FTO I'd be very happy.

Going to post in the forum for someone who has a 325P2 and see if they can test it.

Roveer
 

ofd8001

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I just looked on eBay and you can probably get what you need at half the cost of a 325P2. I searched for Minitor IV, but other recent models do the same.

Programming these isn't so bad - if you can program FTO in 536/436, programming a Minitor is child's play.
 

Roveer

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I just looked on eBay and you can probably get what you need at half the cost of a 325P2. I searched for Minitor IV, but other recent models do the same.

Programming these isn't so bad - if you can program FTO in 536/436, programming a Minitor is child's play.
I'm going to take another look. Last time i looked there was basically no way for me to get the software and they wanted big bucks for both the unit and programing. If its more reasonable than maybe it makes sense to go that route.

Thanks for taking the time to look.

Roveer
 

Roveer

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My FD goes out on 476.2875. The only Minitor's that I'm seeing that work in that Range are the VI's which are 400 bucks. If a Minitor IV can handle that range (I'm not seeing that it can), I could buy one and a charging cradle for less than 150 bucks. Only problem is that they are really made to run on batteries so I'm not sure how well that would do full time installed in car. I'd have to rig some sort of battery eliminator (which can be done)

Roveer
 

ofd8001

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Minitors in the UHF Range are a little less common, but have been used. So you should be able to find something "pre-owned" on eBay.

The amplified charger will run on 12 volt power. Our fire department, previous to CAD "stuff" installed Minitors with amplified chargers in fire apparatus and command vehicles. We used the store voice models and their primary purpose was for address repeat.
 

Roveer

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Makes sense. I'll keep an eye out for the UHF models as well as pursuing getting one of my other Uniden's to return to FTO on power on. My 536 does, my 436 does not and I'm trying to find out what a 325 does in that situation.

Thanks for all your help.

Roveer
 

Roveer

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I think I've gotten my 436 to do what I want. Upman gave me a suggestion which now allows the scanner to power up and go right into FTO mode. This is what I was looking to do. It involved putting the batteries back in, powering on, putting it in FTO mode, powering off, then removing the batteries. All to get the last state properly written to the SD card which is what will get read every time in the future when on car power.
 

kb3isq

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Why not just get a minitor for the proper freqs and tones and wear it. Plug it into the charger when you go to bed. Works fine and it is always with me on my belt.
 

Roveer

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Why not just get a minitor for the proper freqs and tones and wear it. Plug it into the charger when you go to bed. Works fine and it is always with me on my belt.
Had considered that. Don't want one for my belt, just in the car. Was finding it problematic finding a cheap minitor in the UHF range.

Now have a workable solution with Uniden 436 or 325 products. Came across Unication G5 paging radio (which is pretty cool looking), supposed to have superior P25 decode quality, which will probably also do what I want, but pricey. Also, some suggested P25 radio but not sure how that would handle all the analog FTO stuff.

So all in all, I've got a workable solution with equipment I already have, and a bunch of suggestions for other equipment. Very happy with the outcome and thanks to everyone who put out their suggestions.

Roveer
 
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