Which type of scanner do I need?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Circa

Member
Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
180
Location
Ohio
I want to get a portable, battery powered, scanner for our local fire/police/ems/weather/etc for the next power outage we have.
I am new to all of this so I don't know exactly where to start.

Looks like Frequencies 39.4, 151-158, and 463-464.
[I'll edit this with a link to my counties RadioReference Frequencies page. All I wrote down were the freqs]

Found some "two-way" radios has a freq range of 136.00-174.00 MHz 400.00-480.00MHz.(Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com)

Would one of those work for my area?

Thank you.
 

Circa

Member
Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
180
Location
Ohio
Are you a Firefighter or you just want a police scanner to listen to all the action ?
Thank you for the reply.
I will be using it just to listen in.
Our current one needs to be plugged in and doesn't help in the event of a power outage.
 

N8IAA

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,088
Location
Fortunately, GA
I want to get a portable, battery powered, scanner for our local fire/police/ems/weather/etc for the next power outage we have.
I am new to all of this so I don't know exactly where to start.
The best place to start would be with what state, county, and local public service you are trying to monitor.

A Baofeng does not make a good scanner at all. It is a two way transceiver meant for ham radio.

If you are looking for an analog scanner, the Uniden BC125AT is a good basic handheld scanner, that gives you what you want.

Let us know where you are so we can help:)
Larry
 

pinballwiz86

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 15, 2013
Messages
1,492
Location
Missouri
You might also consider a Uniden BC346XT and a Uniden BCD396XT.

They have "fire tone out" which might come in handy.
 

N8IAA

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,088
Location
Fortunately, GA
You might also consider a Uniden BC346XT and a Uniden BCD396XT.

They have "fire tone out" which might come in handy.
The problem with this, is, you have to park the scanner on a single frequency to hear the tone out. Not good for scanning the rest of the frequencies.
Larry
 

KD9KSO

Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
113
Location
Midwest
As has been mentioned the BC125AT is a great analog scanner if you aren't needing to go above 500 Mhz.

Battery life isn't the greatest but if you manage the light settings and volume it isn't too bad. My rechargables might be getting a bit long in the tooth too.
 

Circa

Member
Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
180
Location
Ohio
I already ordered the BaoFeng UV-82, but if it doesn't work for the purpose I can easily return it.

Are there any that are around the price of the BoaFeng? (~$25-$30)

I'm sure the bearcats are likey better quality, but they are $100-$400.
I wouldn't mind spending that much if I wern't a beginner, but that's a crazy amount for me to put into one at this time.

A side question: Am I able to EDIT a post I made?
I don't like being unable to correct or make a previous post look nicer.

Thank you for the replies so far everyone.
 

AronDouglas

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
366
Location
Southeast Georiga
Yah, some Bearcats can be expensive but they are worth it. If you live in an area with analog only frequencies, there are plenty of cheaper ($50ish) scanners that work wonderfully. Just browse the database for your location and see what you want to monitor, then make the determination on what scanner you should get. I just got myself a BC72XLT for cheap, around $20~ and its a nice little receiver. You can get any scanner really, just get a decent antenna with it and you'll be set.

As for editing your post, you have about 20minutes after you've posted it to make any changes. After that its set and only the forum staff can change it.
 

Circa

Member
Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
180
Location
Ohio
Thank you everyone for the replies.

I received my UV-82 today and it seems to be receiving everything that my plug-in only scanner is receving, which is basically what I wanted. The UV-82 sounds better and is receiving stuff that the other one is not. (Found out the plug-in one is a uniden)
However, after learning a bit more, maybe I am better off getting a digital scanner.

My state uses MARCS.
Since I can't edit my OP, this is the RR DB for my area.

Would something like the RadioShack PRO-107 be more suitable/universal or my area?

And here's a noob question... Do I have to use the CTCSS tone to receive on channels that use it? or does an empty CTCSS receive everything?

I just got myself a BC72XLT for cheap, around $20~ and its a nice little receiver. You can get any scanner really, just get a decent antenna with it and you'll be set.
Where do people normally find scanners like that, cheap?
 

Spitfire8520

I might be completely clueless! =)
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
1,904
Location
Colorado
My state uses MARCS.
Since I can't edit my OP, this is the RR DB for my area.

Would something like the RadioShack PRO-107 be more suitable/universal or my area?
The Pro-107 will not suit your needs for digital scanner as it only does analog voice. It will only be able to hear just about what your UV-82 can hear now, but will probably be able to scan those frequencies faster. It might also give you some coverage on trunked radio systems that are analog (anything that operates Mode "A" in the trunked system). If you want to listen to anything on MARCS, you will need at least a P25 Phase I scanner, but it also wouldn't hurt to consider a P25 Phase II scanner as it is backwards compatible and in the event MARCS switches over to Phase II. Here's a list of the portable battery powered digital scanners on the market right now.

Current Model P25 Phase II Scanners:
Uniden BCD436HP (Handheld)

Current Model P25 Phase I Scanners:
Uniden BCD396XT (Handheld)

Special Case P25 Phase II Scanners:
The following model is discontinued but may still be found online. Will eventually be resold under a different name in the future.
GRE PSR-800 [Future Whistler WS1080] (Handheld)

Special Case P25 Phase I Scanners:
The following model is discontinued but may still be found in local RadioShack stores and online. Will eventually be resold under a different name in the future.
RadioShack Pro-106 [Future RadioShack Pro-651 & Whistler WS1040] (Handheld)

Discontinued P25 Phase I Scanners:
GRE PSR-500 (Handheld)
RadioShack Pro-18 (Handheld)
Uniden BCD396T (Handheld)

Older Discontinued P25 Phase I Scanners (Lacking 700 MHz):
RadioShack Pro-96 (Handheld)
Uniden BC296D (Handheld)

And here's a noob question... Do I have to use the CTCSS tone to receive on channels that use it? or does an empty CTCSS receive everything?
You do not need the CTCSS tone to receive transmissions on a frequency, but a CTCSS tone may help eliminate interference that you might get on a frequency. If you don't get any interference on a frequency without CTCSS then it really optional if you want to put in the CTCSS.

Where do people normally find scanners like that, cheap?
A lot of people seem to find them at pawn shops, thrift stores, or just online where people just want to get rid of their scanner for a little bit of cash.
 

AronDouglas

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
366
Location
Southeast Georiga
Craigslist, I love searching craigslist because people will put things up for sale with little knowledge of what they have resulting it great prices. Just search key words like major scanner makers (Icom, Uniden, Motorola ext). Just searching 'Uniden' in your area I found 3 scanners I wanted.

Its nice to have a digital scanner just to be ready for when everyone goes digital. But your area looks to be mostly analog.

Here is a decent, easy to understand explanation of CTSS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAQYfpETDdM
 

phask

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,351
Location
KZZV - SE Ohio
You say Eastern Ohio - Marcs. Columbiana is fairly close.

Probably close to you - you will need MARCS for any OSP, many sheriff and others, plus more or going to MARCS every day.

There are actually currently 2 MARCS systems - you will need a digital scanner to hear it.
 

Circa

Member
Joined
May 20, 2014
Messages
180
Location
Ohio
Craigslist, I love searching craigslist because people will put things up for sale with little knowledge of what they have resulting it great prices. Just search key words like major scanner makers (Icom, Uniden, Motorola ext). Just searching 'Uniden' in your area I found 3 scanners I wanted.

Here is a decent, easy to understand explanation of CTSS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAQYfpETDdM
Love the video on CTCSS for "preppers". Kind of my secondary reason for getting one of these.

I couldn't find any digital ones on craigslist. :[

The Pro-107 will not suit your needs for digital scanner as it only does analog voice. It will only be able to hear just about what your UV-82 can hear now, but will probably be able to scan those frequencies faster. It might also give you some coverage on trunked radio systems that are analog (anything that operates Mode "A" in the trunked system). If you want to listen to anything on MARCS, you will need at least a P25 Phase I scanner, but it also wouldn't hurt to consider a P25 Phase II scanner as it is backwards compatible and in the event MARCS switches over to Phase II. Here's a list of the portable battery powered digital scanners on the market right now.

Current Model P25 Phase II Scanners:
Uniden BCD436HP (Handheld)

Current Model P25 Phase I Scanners:
Uniden BCD396XT (Handheld)

Special Case P25 Phase II Scanners:
The following model is discontinued but may still be found online. Will eventually be resold under a different name in the future.
GRE PSR-800 [Future Whistler WS1080] (Handheld)

Special Case P25 Phase I Scanners:
The following model is discontinued but may still be found in local RadioShack stores and online. Will eventually be resold under a different name in the future.
RadioShack Pro-106 [Future RadioShack Pro-651 & Whistler WS1040] (Handheld)

Discontinued P25 Phase I Scanners:
GRE PSR-500 (Handheld)
RadioShack Pro-18 (Handheld)
Uniden BCD396T (Handheld)

Older Discontinued P25 Phase I Scanners (Lacking 700 MHz):
RadioShack Pro-96 (Handheld)
Uniden BC296D (Handheld)



You do not need the CTCSS tone to receive transmissions on a frequency, but a CTCSS tone may help eliminate interference that you might get on a frequency. If you don't get any interference on a frequency without CTCSS then it really optional if you want to put in the CTCSS.



A lot of people seem to find them at pawn shops, thrift stores, or just online where people just want to get rid of their scanner for a little bit of cash.
Amazing post!
I really do appreciate the list of P25 scanners, now I know what to look for if I ever come across one.
Thank you very much for typing this all up.
And thank you for saving me from mistakenly getting a Pro107, I didn't read the whole article on it from RR. It does clearly mention: "This scanner is not a digital scanner".

I'm going to look around and maybe post a few wanted ads in a few local places.
I tired Craigslist from the west side of Ohio to the east side of PA and didn't see any digital scanners.

My local departments said they aren't using MARCS due to the cost for the hardware upgrades; after looking for a digital scanner, I can see why that is.

I think my UV82 is going to be the best I'm going to get until Digital Scanner's prices drop a bit.

Thank you everyone for your answers. They've helped a bunch and I've actually learned a good bit. :D
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top