what scanner to buy???

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Winston123

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I need some help deciding what scanner to buy for a gift for my dad. Can someone answer some questions so I don't buy the wrong one? Is buying the digitally trunked type worth buying over the analog type. I live in pittsburgh pa and am in allegheny county where all the townships seem to be dispatched out of pittsburgh 911. Is this a digital system???
 

mule1075

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AGH County And The City of Pittsburgh are conventional analog.That being said if your father is interested in other counties communications that are close to him i would go with a digital scanner as if he is close enough you can put in the Westmoreland County system which is p-25 digital and their is alot of p-25 systems in ohio and WV that might be of interest to him if close enough.if have any other questions feel free to ask here i am sure I and a few others will be glad to help out.
 

ocguard

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Most large public safety communications systems will, within the next few years, likely migrate to digital radio systems. If money is not an issue, to invest in a digital trunk tracking scanner is the way to go. You may not need the digital now, but it's a safe bet you'll need it soon. That being said, check the wiki section of radioreference for "digital trunk tracking scanners"
 

ka3jjz

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If you bring up the wiki main page, go down about 2/3 to a yellow box named 'Popular Topics' and click on the link that says 'Digital Trunktrackers' you will be brought to a category that lists them. Click on the item you want to read.

best regards..Mike
 

pghscanner

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Feb 18, 2011
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You will likely be OK with a regular analog scanner. You will need PL/DPL at the very minimum. Due to narrow banding there are frequencies that will receive two different zones. For example South PD 472.575 and East PD 472.5875. Using PL will enable you to hear only one user, and perhaps the zone you want to hear without hearing the other.

The county was requesting that all radios be P25 capable. I would not count on the switch to digital will be happening any time soon. They are still working on getting all zones to UHF. I would think that the eventual move to digital would be years down the line.

If you are close to Westmoreland county you will need a digital scanner to listen to them.

There is very little to listen to that is trunked. Pittsburgh DPW, animal control, and Heinz Field are trunked. The University of Pittsburgh, USAir, and Allegheny county jail are also trunked.

Decide what you want to listen to. If interested in only listening to public safety, a basic scanner with PL/DPL will work. If you want trunked capability then get a trunked scanner. The benefit is that you usually gain text tags, which is number two on my must have list. This is the next step up in radios, and I guess you could say middle of the road radio.

If you are looking to scan more, then a digital radio would be the way to go, especially if you may use it in other locations, as digital and trunking is used more in other areas. Be advised that most of the newer digital radios have a STEEP learning curve, and may lead to frustration. I don't think digital will be required for quite some time, and by then a newer digital model will be out, and likely have new features. If you are looking for long term, more than 5 years, then digital may be what you want. I personally would only consider the digital radios, but its not what everybody needs.

Consider what the needs are and choose what serves what you need.
 
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