What is the bottom line TODAY?

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guruuno

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As a previous enthusiast with multiple scanners, of which I've sold all of them, the question remains; is the day over when it is a enjoyable hobby to listen to scanner transmissions as it has been for many years or given the introduction of scrambled, encrypted, difficult to listen to transmissions, is the day over, is it more difficult, is it finished, or are e looking for the magic "hole" with a open frequency here and there?
My question is: Is it worth the investment in a $500 +/- scanner to try to enjoy the hobby as it was/has been, or or those days to be remembered?
I'd love to continue, but if town A or city B has communication that cannot be listened to as in the past, whats the point? Why spend the money?
I see people selling model A or version B here and there with capabilities to do this and that, but the question remains; will it ever be or is it over?
 

rbrtklamp2

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I have many receivers but the day is quickly approaching when there will not be much to listen to left except for air and trains with the occasional town with a dispatch on the clear left to monitor. Around where I live multiple counties have encrypted police comms and since I'm not very interested in fire dept's there's really not much to listen to in NE IL.

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wbswetnam

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As a previous enthusiast with multiple scanners, of which I've sold all of them, the question remains; is the day over when it is a enjoyable hobby to listen to scanner transmissions as it has been for many years or given the introduction of scrambled, encrypted, difficult to listen to transmissions, is the day over, is it more difficult, is it finished, or are e looking for the magic "hole" with a open frequency here and there?
My question is: Is it worth the investment in a $500 +/- scanner to try to enjoy the hobby as it was/has been, or or those days to be remembered?
I'd love to continue, but if town A or city B has communication that cannot be listened to as in the past, whats the point? Why spend the money?
I see people selling model A or version B here and there with capabilities to do this and that, but the question remains; will it ever be or is it over?
You seem to imply that there are fewer public services to listen to than in the past. However, my experience is that there is much MORE to listen to today than there was 20 or 30 years ago. Back in the 1980s, I could almost never hear the state police cars communicate with the base. I could hear the base stations OK, but because the base and mobile operated on separate frequencies in simplex, I almost never heard the mobile units. Now, with a statewide digital network, I can hear both sides of the conversation. Also, there are many state agencies that I can hear on the statewide network (specifically, I am referring to the Arkansas AWIN network) such as the Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, statewide mutual aid channels, and much more. So many users of these forums whine and cry about "our dying hobby", and how "there's nothing to listen to anymore." This is far from my experience, however. For me, scanning is the best that it has ever been, and I've been in this hobby since my grandfather gave me his Bearcat III scanner when I was in high school in 1980.
 

mauiblue

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My local police department went encryption so only thing left to listen to is dispatchers of bus companies, utility companies, air, and other boring stuff. I personally wouldn't invest into another scanner.

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kma371

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As a previous enthusiast with multiple scanners, of which I've sold all of them, the question remains; is the day over when it is a enjoyable hobby to listen to scanner transmissions as it has been for many years or given the introduction of scrambled, encrypted, difficult to listen to transmissions, is the day over, is it more difficult, is it finished, or are e looking for the magic "hole" with a open frequency here and there?
My question is: Is it worth the investment in a $500 +/- scanner to try to enjoy the hobby as it was/has been, or or those days to be remembered?
I'd love to continue, but if town A or city B has communication that cannot be listened to as in the past, whats the point? Why spend the money?
I see people selling model A or version B here and there with capabilities to do this and that, but the question remains; will it ever be or is it over?
There is other stuff to listen to than public safety. That's the bottom line
 

SteveSimpkin

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Location, Location, Location.
Listening to people describe their local radio scanning options is like listening to three blind men describing an elephant. One says it feels like a rope. The next says no, it feels like a wall. The third says you are both wrong, it feels like a tree.
I am very lucky at my location. I live in Southern California where there is still a *lot* of analog radio (even Public Safety) to listen to. I am sorry for those that have less options.
 

rbrtklamp2

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Yeah but if your main interest is listening to your local law enforcement and they encrypt it really isn't worth buying a new scanner. Especially from Uniden as they can't get even get trbo right to listen to those "other services" unless they are like a few towns and counties around me who have encrypted PD, FD, and PW for the local areas. There is nothing left to listen to there.

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mauiblue

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Location, Location, Location.
<snip>
I am very lucky at my location. I live in Southern California where there is still a *lot* of analog radio (even Public Safety) to listen to. I am sorry for those that have less options.
Living in Southern California is "lucky"? [emoji12] I guess it's all about perspectives. Ha! Just joking! Well when looking at the perspective of scanner listening I'm sure there is a lot to listen to. For me, since there isn't much to listen to on my scanner locally, I've upgraded my ham license and will be going HF soon enough.



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SteveSimpkin

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Living in Southern California is "lucky"? [emoji12] I guess it's all about perspectives. Ha! Just joking! Well when looking at the perspective of scanner listening I'm sure there is a lot to listen to. For me, since there isn't much to listen to on my scanner locally, I've upgraded my ham license and will be going HF soon enough.
LOL:)
Yes, I should have clarified that "I am lucky to be in an area that still has something to listen to." I do not consider myself lucky to be living in So Cal.
I have often thought about moving up to General so I could try HF. Someday...
 

jonwienke

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As a previous enthusiast with multiple scanners, of which I've sold all of them, the question remains; is the day over when it is a enjoyable hobby to listen to scanner transmissions as it has been for many years or given the introduction of scrambled, encrypted, difficult to listen to transmissions, is the day over, is it more difficult, is it finished, or are e looking for the magic "hole" with a open frequency here and there?
Short answer: NO.

Long answer: YMMV depending on your location, but overall there is still plenty to listen to. I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but you can go into the Radio Reference database, look up your state and county, and see what there is to listen to in your area before buying a scanner. That will probably be more useful to you than general answers or anecdotes.
 

jonwienke

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Perhaps mauiblues scanner only receives Phase I and he mistakenly thinks that the Phase II comms are encrypted.
 

rwier

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Phoenix, AZ
As a previous enthusiast with multiple scanners, of which I've sold all of them, the question remains; is the day over when it is a enjoyable hobby to listen to scanner transmissions as it has been for many years or given the introduction of scrambled, encrypted, difficult to listen to transmissions, is the day over, is it more difficult, is it finished, or are e looking for the magic "hole" with a open frequency here and there?
My question is: Is it worth the investment in a $500 +/- scanner to try to enjoy the hobby as it was/has been, or or those days to be remembered?
I'd love to continue, but if town A or city B has communication that cannot be listened to as in the past, whats the point? Why spend the money?
I see people selling model A or version B here and there with capabilities to do this and that, but the question remains; will it ever be or is it over?
Now-a-days, it depends nearly totally on the location of your primary listening position. I am very fortunate to reside in a "sweet spot". Local Channels/TGs that I hear regularly at home are:

Phoenix FD and PD
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
AZ DPS (HWY Patrol)

and another ~20 FLs that I rarely monitor.

A "neighbor" recently posted as to the paucity of listening pleasure at a location just Northwest of the White Tanks Mountain. This is about 30 miles from me. To match (or even exceed) my listening experience, he would "simply" need to mount a small $20 antenna on the top of said White Tanks Mountain and somehow (wifi, bluetooth, 10 mile long coax?) connect said antenna to his scanner/s. A feel sad for my "neighbor".
 

mauiblue

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Perhaps mauiblues scanner only receives Phase I and he mistakenly thinks that the Phase II comms are encrypted.
Ha! I stand corrected and my apologies for my error in assumptions. Maybe it's time to research the facts better. Thanks you guys for the correction.

Maybe I will look for a scanner that will allow me to get back into listening.

All the best!

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scan18

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Ha! I stand corrected and my apologies for my error in assumptions. Maybe it's time to research the facts better. Thanks you guys for the correction.

Maybe I will look for a scanner that will allow me to get back into listening.

All the best!

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Hi MauiBlue,

I am on the Big Island and I listen to Maui County's phase 2 system on occasion. I can confirm that some of the Maui PD traffic is encrypted, but many times it seems to be just some of the users are operating with encryption turned on. So sometimes half the conversation is encrypted.
 

marksmith

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It very much depends on your location and the thinking of your local public service agencies.

Many have remained unencrypted except for specific tactical channels because they know the public assists them in many respects, and also to keep a good relationship with those they serve.

Many who have gone to encrypted comms have later changed that decision back.

536/436/ws1095/996p2/996xt/325p2/396xt/psr800/396t/HP-1/HP-2 & others
 

Chronic

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Nov 7, 2004
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Another doom and gloom thread. If its not worth it to you , then don't buy into the hobby. be creative , you can make a makeshift digital scanner with a couple cheap sdr dongles .
 

mauiblue

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Maui, Hawaii
Hi MauiBlue,

I am on the Big Island and I listen to Maui County's phase 2 system on occasion. I can confirm that some of the Maui PD traffic is encrypted, but many times it seems to be just some of the users are operating with encryption turned on. So sometimes half the conversation is encrypted.
Thanks scan18. So if the main public safety department (enforcement) that I normally would listen to is transmitting encrypted half of the time I would be a bit hesitant to invest into a pricey scanner that would be able to pick up these transmissions. I save that money for my new HF portable rig and antenna.

It is interesting to listen to the scanner but not if I can only hear half the transmissions.

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