Wife wants scanner

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Mam1526

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Hello all
I am so confused with reviewing all these scanners. Years ago I had a bearcat scanner. So easy to program. Wife wants to listen to local PD department and fire. As I was doing some research I discovered that most of my state(MA) is analog. However they are starting to change over to "trunk". My local police department I found out swithed to a digital freq. It's a 8 digit number. So my question is do I need a digital scanner. Some of the scanners are over 400 dollars. So confused. I like the brand uniden. I was looking at the bst15x or radio shack pro-163. I feel if I am going to invest in one I should at least buy something that I can hold on to a bit. Please some one help me. Thanks
 

w2xq

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You would need a digital scanner. Just a thought. Are you aware that Scanner Master (see atop any page here) has a full offering of scanners and they do programming? They are in your area, and could probably provide the best one-stop answer for you. HTH.
 

grogan

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Also at the top of the page is a tab for live audio! If there is a link for your county you can listen online for free! I also have a free app for my Iphone and listen to scanners there as well. Nothing beats your own scanner. But make sure you are interested and not going to let it collect dust at the end of the month. A digital scanner is not cheap.. Good luck and enjoy the new toy!!!
 

Mam1526

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I'm interested in the Reading Ma//Middlesex county area. I would like my local police and fire plus state police.
 

captclint

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I'm interested in the Reading Ma//Middlesex county area. I would like my local police and fire plus state police.
At the moment, nothing is showing as trunked or digital for Middlesex County,
except the state police. If you want that, you will need a trunking scanner. The State Police are moving to digital, so you really need to be sure you want to spend an extra $250 for the state police. Also, you should really ask about what you need on the MA forum.
 

Mam1526

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Thanks jack103
The more research I do I'm finding out that I need to go digital just for Reading. When I went on scanmasters and plug my info in they recomended some models. Most of the models are "non digital"so I'm still confused why they surgested them?. I would like the BCT15x ($219.00) but that is "non digital" which is one of the recomendation. It looks like my only option for Digital is the BCD996XT scanner ($449.95) Am I missing something here. Thats a heavy price to pay just to listen to your local PD. I went to Radio Shack and Best Buy. These people don't have a clue either about scanning. I don't mind paying the price. I just want to make sure I'm buying the correct model that will work in my town. Plus I believe in you pay for what you get. I grew up with a bearcat and I enjoyed the hobby as well. Any other input would be appreciated.
Thanks
Mark
 

jack103

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The best bang for your buck is the GRE PRO 500 HANDHELD or the RADIO SHACK PRO 106 .Same radio but prices vary check the web.
 

scanchs

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... It looks like my only option for Digital is the BCD996XT scanner ($449.95) Am I missing something here. ... Plus I believe in you pay for what you get. I grew up with a bearcat and I enjoyed the hobby as well. Any other input would be appreciated.
Thanks
Mark
Hi Mark!

Yes, you are missing something. Uniden also offers the HomePatrol (HP-1). This would be a much better option for someone like your wife, who might not be as familiar with scanner operation. It is also much easier to update with current database information. Check it out at HomePatrol. Good luck with your decision.

ScanCHS
 

NESN

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FWIW, my wife likes to listen to a scanner also, but can't be bothered with all the other "chatter" we love. I put a Radio Shack Pro-197 (same as the GRE 600) in the family room set to our local PD channel. When she turns it on, it automatically goes to the channel and stays there, no muss, no fuss for her. Could be a big plus for you, too.
 

fxdscon

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Thanks jack103
The more research I do I'm finding out that I need to go digital just for Reading. When I went on scanmasters and plug my info in they recomended some models. Most of the models are "non digital"so I'm still confused why they surgested them?. I would like the BCT15x ($219.00) but that is "non digital" which is one of the recomendation. It looks like my only option for Digital is the BCD996XT scanner ($449.95) Am I missing something here. Thats a heavy price to pay just to listen to your local PD. I went to Radio Shack and Best Buy. These people don't have a clue either about scanning. I don't mind paying the price. I just want to make sure I'm buying the correct model that will work in my town. Plus I believe in you pay for what you get. I grew up with a bearcat and I enjoyed the hobby as well. Any other input would be appreciated.
Thanks
Mark
I used to live in Reading, and still monitor them from a neighboring town. As mentioned, Reading PD is Digital - Conventional (not trunked), but the State Police are trunked (not digital... YET).

If you want to monitor the State Police as well as Reading, you will need a digital trunking scanner. The Uniden BCD996XT you mention will work fine, that's what I am using right now.

The Uniden BCD396XT is the hand-held version of that scanner and will work also if you want something to carry around, although most agree that the base units have a better sound quality to them.

The Radio Shack/GRE radios (both made by GRE).... PRO106/PSR500 handhelds, or the PRO197/PSR600 base units will work as well.

The Radio Shack/GRE can be had for a cheaper price, but there are two reasons you might like the Unidens.

Although both can be manually programmed, programming software for the scanners will make your life a lot easier, and Unidens can be programmed with excellent free software called "FreeScan".

FreeSCAN - Sixspot Software

As of this date, I don't believe there is any freeware for programming the Radio Shack/GRE radios. Most have a 30 day free trial, and then a license must be purchased to continue to use them. (~$35).

Secondly, Reading PD mostly transmits in the clear (normal voice), but occaisonally they do use encrypted voice transmissions. Encryption is not monitorable by any scanner.

The encrypted transmissions produce a very annoying sound, and the Uniden will mute those sounds automatically, the Radio Shack/GRE radios do not.

For another Uniden choice, since you seem to like their products, the Home Patrol may interest you... it's also digital/trunking.

HomePatrol

Let me know if you need any other help...


.
 
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Mam1526

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Mar 16, 2012
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Thanks FXDSON and all, I'm glad I heard from a local that lived in my town. How lucky is that! I downloaded an app on my ipad called police scanner. I have to say I think I'm getting hooked again listening to the chatter. Also confirmed she enjoyed it as well. I really like the new home patrol. A bit pricey but looks so simply to use. Plus these scanners last forever. I think the Home Patrol maybe the way to go. I was not expecting to spend this much but if I'm going to jump in I want to do it right the first time. Thanks guys.
 
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