What Scanner to buy?? Been a while!

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Machria

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Hi guys,
New around here, but NOT new to scanning. I've played around with scanners for 30 years, but never got real heavy into it. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being a newbie, and 10 being a "professional scanner", I'd say I was/am a 6. I'm an IT guy, with a technical background but I'm NOT a radio genius, I just used to know my way around a radio/scanner.

BUT, I have not really touched mine for over 5 or 6 years or something. I currently have a Bearcat 245XLT with the old privately written BCint freeware software (think that was the name of it??) to control / program it, which worked fine for me over the years. The software was a bit rough, but it got the job done with some workarounds...

So here I am now, with an outdated Scanner and wanting to get back into it. I mostly just listen to local Fire, Police, Air and Marine activity, but sometimes go searching for other stuff. I live on Long Island, NY, in Suffolk County. The old 245 is not digital, and won't get the Suffolk County police's new digital system I would image.

So what scanner should I buy? Money being no object. I'm lucky enough to have plenty of beans to spend on it.

Requirements:
- Portable (HH), I can bring on the boat...
- Has to have software available for control, saving/downloading and programing my freq's...
- Not so complicated that it requires an engineering degree to understand, but....
- Has plenty of advanced features
- Alpha Tagging
- BIG display, I just turned 50 and can't see anything anymore! ;-)


Is the BCD396XT a good choice? It's 5 years old now, nothing updated, newer available? I hate buying "old" stuff. I prerfer the latest and greatest!

Thanks for the help!!
 

pinballwiz86

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Yes, the BCD396XT is a great choice! As long as you don't need to decode P25 Phase II it will decode Phase I easy peasy. Great scanner..the newest models have too many problems for me to recommend just yet. Whistler/GRE are coming out with some models sometime this year. Be on the lookout for that.

But, for right now, the 396XT is the one to get, IMO.
 

Ensnared

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Recommended Radio

Yes, the radio you mentioned would work on the county you mentioned. When I looked at the Suffolk County Smart Zone trunking system, I saw a mixture of conventional & digital talk groups (channels).

Yes, the days of simple scanner programming are behind us. Yes, there is a learning curve associated with programming digital scanners, but it is not insurmountable. With patience, you will likely be programming with ease in time.

I also own a BC245XLT radio. It is a great radio.

I agree, I would wait on Whistler to release their new radios before buying one. We are hoping that Whistler makes a radio capable of listening to some of the radio systems currently out of our reach such as MOTOTRBO & NEXEDGE. At present, scanner enthusiasts have to use modified radios coupled with a computer to monitor some of these systems.

The new Uniden Phase II scanners bring mixed reviews from customers. Of course, the bugs need to be worked out. Some people have opted to buy GRE PSR 800 radios; however, at present, there is no official support for this radio. The scanner community is hoping Whistler provides such support since they purchased GRE.

If I were you, I would wait on Whistler or take a chance with the new Phase II Unidens.

Your county may eventually migrate to a Phase II Digital system.

Here is a link for the new Hand Held Uniden Digital Scanner. You can beat this price elsewhere.

The Uniden BCD436HP HomePatrol Series Digital Mobile Scanner with WiFi
 

LIScanner101

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Machria,

As a fellow "Lawn Guylander" I highly recommend the Pro-18. It decodes the Suffolk County 800MHz system flawlessly. As far as Nassau County's 500MHz system goes, same - perfect decode. I do admit that the latter is Phase II capable but so far it's all just Phase I TGs so you don't need a Phase II scanner - yet. I would grab a Pro-18 if you can't wait for later this year when Whistler SUPPOSEDLY will release Phase II scanners. I'll be watching the early adopters as they struggle with what I am certain will be early roll-out issues ;)
 
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