• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Which scanner to get?

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RockMSockM

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Hi all!

I'm new to this site, so I apologize in advance if this message is posted in the wrong place--but I wasn't sure how else to classify it!

Anyhow... I have used a scanner before (an old RS PRO-51!), but it's mostly been a very casual hobby. In short, I guess you could say I'm a bit of a newbie--especially since it's gotten more complex in the last few years.

I am looking to buy a new scanner, and many sources have recommended the Radio Shack PRO-97. I live in the Westchester County area (40 mins north of NYC) of NY state, and I was wondering if this is a good scanner choice. I would usually be listening to local (Westchester) frequencies, with an occasional listen of NYC activity.

What do you think?

I also have another quick question: I have noticed that some users have had their scanners programmed at RS stores... unfortunately, my local RS store had no clue what I meant when I asked about this... Anyone know of a store in the NY area that actually does this? I've skimmed the manual, and it looks amazingly complex. (I am a hardcore MAC user, and thus, do not own a PC. I would like to avoid using Virtual PC to program my scanner... lol)

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me with either question!!!
 

rpowley

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RockMSockM - Welcome aboard
The PRO-97 is a good choice for your area. Being a MAC'er can present a problem with some of the fantastic software available for the scanner. A lot of the Radio Shack Store's nationwide don't or can't program scanners anymore. You can program your scanner by hand. It can be a slow go and will probably take a couple of hrs unless you have done it before. Read the manual a couple of times and then go back and read the programming section again and you should be ok. There are some frequencies pre-loaded in banks 0 & 1, but at least to me, they are worthless. On the chance you know someone that has a 97 and a cloning cable, that would be a quick fix to the programming issue- Good Luck -
 

RockMSockM

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Hey thanks guys! I was afraid maybe I'd have to get some $500 digital scanner for my area. I just can't afford that kind of purchase.

I do, however, wish that there were other programming options availabile to me.... but I will find a way somehow :) Perhaps I can borrow a friend's PC, etc. The last scanner I programmed was the old pro-51 I mnetioned above, so this looks like a whole other world. lol
 

RockMSockM

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Thanks, Intrepid!

The only reason I was worried is that it's very complex compared to my 'stone age' Pro-51 process using Police Call... :) Plus, I'm a bit more casual of a scanner compared to many people I've seen here--I hope I have the patience!
 

RockMSockM

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lol... well, the manual would disagree with you, but here's hoping YOUR instructions are more accurate.
 

RockMSockM

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Hey one more thing: I know practically ZILCH about programming trunked frequencies and/or trunk tracking on the whole. Is the programming of those frequencies just as simple as what you mentioned? My apologies if I sound uninformed but, to an extent, I am! lol
 

nexus

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Go back and talk to the manager. He should be able to do it for you. If not, then go to another RADIO SHACK. I can't stand the stupidity that pours from that place. I went to two different stores asking them if they had the PRO-96 in stock and they looked at me with a dumb stare having NO CLUE what a PRO-96 was....

Programming the PRO-97 by hand will be quite a challange, it's totally different than the PRO51 which I have one. My suggestion is that you go ahead and buy the 24 dollar CABLE for it while you're there. You can always go some place like a public library or a internet cafe. or some place that has a windows machine with internet.. DOWNLOAD win97 (FREE programming software by starsoft) http://www.starrsoft.com/software/win97/default.asp

and then install it on the computer, and use the cable to program it.
 

RockMSockM

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Yea, I hear ya Nexus... the people at ONE of my local Radio Shacks are total idiots... however, I'm lucky enough to live in a rather large metropolitan area, so I have a couple to choose from--even though it's kinda hit or miss with the staff... *sigh*

If I do get the Pro-97 (which everyone seems to be recommending), I may make an attempt to program it manually, and then take a shot at the software based win97 solution--on another computer or via virtual PC...

If anyone else has opinions on either question I started with, let me know! Thanks everyone.
 

califzeph

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Let me know how prgramming via Virtual PC works. I'm hoping to ditch my old Compaq laptop and be able to run Win96 and Win97 on my iBook.

BTW, Starrsoft software for the 97 is NOT free as mentioned above! It has a 30 day TRIAL!
 

RockMSockM

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Thanks Cali, for the info--I think I may have noticed that, too on the site.

I haven't gotten my Pro-97 yet, but if and when I do, I will try to come back here and give you the lowdown.

As always, if anyone has any other input. let me know! :)
 

quixote0

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RockMSockM said:
Thanks Cali, for the info--I think I may have noticed that, too on the site.

I haven't gotten my Pro-97 yet, but if and when I do, I will try to come back here and give you the lowdown.

As always, if anyone has any other input. let me know! :)
Just wanted to add my two cents. I too am a hobbiest and n00b when it comes to scanners, but recently picked up the Pro97. I looked at a fleet map and, I am very technically adept, did the whole head spin, wow. I downloaded the Win97 software and it opened a door that I've yet to climb back through. You'll also need to, if you like to have the ease, pay RadioReference.com some cash to use their conventional and trunked freqs, but it has been well worth it. It's been kind of buggy on my side with conventional channels, but easily overcame them. Good luck and have fun! ;)
 

RockMSockM

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Thanks quix! Like I said, I will definitely hop on the win97 bandwagon if and when I get the 97, and find out I can't grapple with manual programming. Any other thoughts are appreciated about the scanner itself and/or programming options!
 

VintageJon

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Mar 1, 2005
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I'm not a 97 owner, but do have a 96,Win96 and RR membership. This is the BEST thing I could have done for my hobby.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND Win and RR Membership. The combo is unbeatable. (I'd get a 97 but it's all MOT here in Austin TX.)

I guess I'm lucky, RS within 2 miles has a cat that will program it with latest when you buy it and update whenever you want. (I got RR and Win shortly after purchase, but it came programed and functioning.) ALL RS are not the same, some have only idiots and others have Pros that will do a pro job for you.

73's,
Jon
 

RockMSockM

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To be honest, I'd love a digital scanner (long term), but I can't afford that price tag--so that's why I'll probably end up wth the 97. If I pick one up, I'll find some way to use the pro97 software... even though some people here have said programming isn't THAT difficult. Thanks for the input :)
 
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