What Scanner Should I Be Looking For?

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bjard

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hiegtx

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Hi everyone! I'm new and have been wanting to get a good, but not too expensive, scanner. Here are the frequencies and info that my county is using (at least these are the ones I would be listening to the most):


Rooks County, Kansas (KS) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference



AND



Ellis County, Kansas (KS) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference



What type of scanner should I be looking for? Also, what type of $$ range would be reasonable?

Thanks for your help!!

- Barbara
Hi Barbara
Welcome to RadioReference

For both of the counties you list, at least some of their communications are shown to be on this system: Kansas Statewide Interoperable Communication System (KSICS) Trunking System, Statewide, Kansas - Scanner Frequencies
That's a digital system, more specifically, P25 Phase I.

Take a look at the agencies shown using that system, and if you want to listen to them, as well as the others on the two county pages you indicate, then you would need a digital trunk tracking scanner. Unfortunately, they are not cheap. New, the least expensive, if you shop carefully, would be either the Home Patrol 1 or BCD396XT, which can be found near $400 new online at various dealers and/or Amazon, among other sources. For a used one, in good condition, I have seen some in the low $300's, with a few of the older 396T series going in the mid-200 range.

Scanners that will work for the KSICS system:

GRE manufactured scanners:
GRE PSR-500 (Handheld)
GRE PSR-600 (Base/Mobile)
GRE PSR-800 (Handheld)
RadioShack Pro-106 (Handheld)
RadioShack Pro-197 (Base/Mobile)
RadioShack Pro-18 (Handheld)
The above were manufactured by GRE, which has ceased production and disbanded. While a few new units may still be found, they are rapidly diminishing in availability. For the PSR-800, its price has escalated considerably above the original market pricing. This is largely because the PSR-800 was the only current scanner that could handle X2-TDMA/Phase II talkgroups (before Uniden released the 436HP & 536HP). Besides checking dealers for any remaining ‘new’ stock, don’t overlook the used market, either in the classifieds here, on eBay, other online sites, or occasionally local pawn shops. For any GRE manufactured scanner purchased used, make sure it's complete (all parts included, including battery holders), and in good working order. With GRE now no longer in the picture, parts and service support may be problematic.

Note that Whistler Group has acquired the intellectual property of the old GRE product line, and plans to release units using those designs later in 2014. However, there has been no commitment that they will provide parts and service support for the former GRE units.


Current Uniden Models
Uniden BCD396XT (Handheld)
Uniden BCD996XT (Base/Mobile)
Uniden HomePatrol-1 (Base/Mobile)


Uniden also released these two new scanners in the first quarter of 2014. They have some of the features of the Home Patrol, including the ease of programming via the stored RadioReference database, as well as functions carried over from the XT series scanners. They also are capable of P25 Phase II decoding.
Uniden BCD436HP (Handheld)
Uniden BCD536HP (Base/Mobile)

Slightly Older Models (Discontinued, but can be found in used, but good, condition. These cannot utilize the NAC codes for P25 conventional frequencies):
Uniden BCD396T (Handheld)
Uniden BCD996T (Base/Mobile)

The same comment about checking eBay, the classifieds here on Radio Reference, as well as local pawn shops apply to the Uniden scanners as well.

The older PRO-2096 or PRO-96 might also work, but these have been out of production quite some time. As they were also manufactured by GRE, parts are also becoming hard to obtain, so if you find a used unit, make sure it's complete (all parts included, including battery holders), and in good working order. Be aware that neither of these scanners can trunk track systems in the 700MHz band. Make sure that none of your systems of interest use that band, of considering either of these two scanners. The same “no 700Mhz” applies to the older Uniden BC296D & BC796D.
 

bjard

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Plainville, KS
After reading your reply and doing some more research, I think I'm going to try to find a used Uniden BCD396XT. Thank you so much for your reply!!

Thanks!
 
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