Worth getting an APCO-25 scanner?

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RedPenguin

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I currently have the Uniden BR330T and BCT15 scanners.

I travel to NYC and Atlantic City, NJ and noticed that a fair amount of systems now of days are going APCO-25.

I will soon have enough money to buy my self something really nice, but is getting an APCO-25 scanner for like $500, really a wise move right now?

I mean should I just wait until more systems go to it and since my county doesn't use it at all?
 

af5rn

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That is entirely dependent upon your personal finances and how badly you need or want to listen to those agencies. If this is just a hobby, that's a pretty hefty investment. And I am generally of the opinion that, if you have to save up for something, then you probably shouldn't buy it because you can't afford it. It would really suck to spend five bills on a scanner that you can't even figure out how to program, then wreck your car and not have the $500 deductable to get it fixed, wouldn't it?

This isn't a poor man's hobby anymore. Do some introspective analysis of your personal situation and see if this is really worth it to you or not, because once you open that box, you just knocked a hundred bucks off of the price you can sell it for.

Good luck!
 

sirsmiley

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by your reasoning then people shouldnt save up to buy cars, bikes, furniture, a computer, etc? theres nothing wrong with setting aside money to buy anything, theres a difference of buying something when you know you cant pay it off soon and saving to buy something (setting aside say 50 bucks each pay seperately)...this is no different then just not buying anything for a few months and then saying hey i got 1000 in the bank, 500 is no biggie....in fact, the saving way is more responsible
 

NWI_Scanner_Guy

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That is entirely dependent upon your personal finances and how badly you need or want to listen to those agencies. If this is just a hobby, that's a pretty hefty investment. And I am generally of the opinion that, if you have to save up for something, then you probably shouldn't buy it because you can't afford it. It would really suck to spend five bills on a scanner that you can't even figure out how to program, then wreck your car and not have the $500 deductable to get it fixed, wouldn't it?

This isn't a poor man's hobby anymore. Do some introspective analysis of your personal situation and see if this is really worth it to you or not, because once you open that box, you just knocked a hundred bucks off of the price you can sell it for.

Good luck!
Not if you're selling it on e-bay. I've seen used digital scanners going for the same price, and in a couple of cases more than the original price.
 

N8IAA

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That is entirely dependent upon your personal finances and how badly you need or want to listen to those agencies. If this is just a hobby, that's a pretty hefty investment. And I am generally of the opinion that, if you have to save up for something, then you probably shouldn't buy it because you can't afford it. It would really suck to spend five bills on a scanner that you can't even figure out how to program, then wreck your car and not have the $500 deductable to get it fixed, wouldn't it?

This isn't a poor man's hobby anymore. Do some introspective analysis of your personal situation and see if this is really worth it to you or not, because once you open that box, you just knocked a hundred bucks off of the price you can sell it for.

Good luck!
AF5RN:
No, it's not a poor man's hobby anymore. Puttng aside the money for a new scanner, ham radio, whatever, is the fiscally responsible way to do it. The credit card companies must LOVE you. Most of the time you give sound advice, this time, however---I disagree. If he wants to buy a P-25 digital capable radio, that is his choice.
RedPenguin:
Where you live in PA, a conventional scanner is the way to go. You can't listen to the PSP on their digital system. Don't buy new unless that is what you want to do. You are familiar with the programming of the Uniden line. Stick with a radio you will understand get a used 396 or a refurb from Uniden.
Larry
 

RedPenguin

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Yea

That is entirely dependent upon your personal finances and how badly you need or want to listen to those agencies. If this is just a hobby, that's a pretty hefty investment. And I am generally of the opinion that, if you have to save up for something, then you probably shouldn't buy it because you can't afford it. It would really suck to spend five bills on a scanner that you can't even figure out how to program, then wreck your car and not have the $500 deductable to get it fixed, wouldn't it?

This isn't a poor man's hobby anymore. Do some introspective analysis of your personal situation and see if this is really worth it to you or not, because once you open that box, you just knocked a hundred bucks off of the price you can sell it for.

Good luck!
Well, I don't mean I have to literally save, I mean I defiantly have the money, but mainly I was concerned because I'm not really "dying" to listen to these agencies. Most of the "good stuff" I want to hear, is on analog still so far or just "basic" trunking that my two scanners can already do.
 

RedPenguin

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Yea

AF5RN:
No, it's not a poor man's hobby anymore. Puttng aside the money for a new scanner, ham radio, whatever, is the fiscally responsible way to do it. The credit card companies must LOVE you. Most of the time you give sound advice, this time, however---I disagree. If he wants to buy a P-25 digital capable radio, that is his choice.
RedPenguin:
Where you live in PA, a conventional scanner is the way to go. You can't listen to the PSP on their digital system. Don't buy new unless that is what you want to do. You are familiar with the programming of the Uniden line. Stick with a radio you will understand get a used 396 or a refurb from Uniden.
Larry
Yes, if I were to get one, it would have been a Uniden that I would have gotten again most likely.

I'm not saying the other brand of scanners are not nice, but I just love the features of the Uniden's and they seem rock-solid, even though someone here might say there is a much much better scanner brand. LoL.

I have to admit that controlling the scanner by a computer even remotely over the Internet is one hell of a cool feature, much more advanced then my mother's old Realistic Pro 45 Channel. LoL.
 

Airdorn

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Yes, get it. It's worth it.

Ignore all the above drivel and just do it.
 

Dubbin

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I'm not really "dying" to listen to these agencies. Most of the "good stuff" I want to hear, is on analog still so far or just "basic" trunking that my two scanners can already do.
If thats the case then just hold off until the time that you are dying to listen to them. By that time maybe the next generation of digital radios may be out.
 

af5rn

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Puttng aside the money for a new scanner, ham radio, whatever, is the fiscally responsible way to do it. The credit card companies must LOVE you. Most of the time you give sound advice, this time, however---I disagree. If he wants to buy a P-25 digital capable radio, that is his choice.
Of course it's his choice. But, by asking the question, he obviously is interested in making the choice intelligently and informedly, not just impulsively. He asked for our opinions, so I gave mine. I very clearly stated that it was dependent upon HIS financial situation. I made no judgement about what his financial situation is, because I obviously don't know anything about him. Just give him food for thought, that's all. Because I see way too many people pop in and out of this hobby, constantly buying radios, then selling them when the bills come due.

If thats the case then just hold off until the time that you are dying to listen to them. By that time maybe the next generation of digital radios may be out.
Plus 5. That's prime advice there. The technology is changing so rapidly that, if it weren't an urgent need, I wouldn't buy anything right now either.
 

RedPenguin

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Well...

Well, that's what I thought.

No need for another scanner, I'm still getting plenty use out of my current BCT15 and BR330T.

Maybe if my county switches to another system, other then what my radios can track, perhaps, but I have no dire need for another one.
 

K4DHR

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As easy as it is for agencies to encrypt their systems, I don't think I'll be investing in a digital scanner anytime soon. Just seems to me that with the flip of a switch your $500 scanner is reduced to the capabilities of a $150 model.

To those who say it won't happen, there are a couple of Atlanta area agencies that decided to encrypt their ENTIRE system as part of their switch-over to digital. Not just a few tactical channels for SWAT, detectives, etc., but everything down to the dogcatcher.

Perhaps if railroads and/or aircraft go digital I'll buy one, but right now it just seems like a bad investment.
 
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Why agencies feel the need to encrypt normal traffic I will never understand. Why miss out on tips from citizens that might help? Why shut the media out? Why close all those eyes and ears?

Oh well, I am glad only tactical stuff is encrypted around here I guess.

In my case, I am better off with the switch from VHF High to 800 mhz p25 and I'll tell you why. They didn't use repeaters before, so I missed the mobile side of things too often, even with an antenna high up. There was little encryption to speak of (killed their effective range), but I usually couldn't hear the guy in his car. Now a small part of everything is encrypted, but since I hear both sides on the clear stuff, I end up hearing more overall.

Every now and then the locals even do some "neat stuff" in the clear, an extra bonus.

Around here half of everything is now p25, so it is a must have. If you don't have a situation like this, save the bucks and invest in a better antenna setup if possible, something that WILL make a real difference.
 
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steveh552

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If you can listen to what you want now, why spend the money? I THINK the digital scanners will come down in price sooner or later, thats when I will get one. But around here, most is conventional except for the agencies that are using the state radio network (Marcs), but my local PD, SO and FD are all VHF, so no need for anything special.
 
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They won't be coming down in price since half the money goes for licensing. The rest is just to pay for a scanner with all the modern features. No price breaks on digital scanners, I wish.
 

K4DHR

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Why agencies feel the need to encrypt normal traffic I will never understand. Why miss out on tips from citizens that might help? Why shut the media out? Why close all those eyes and ears?
Probably for the reason given to me by a cop once when I actually helped them catch a mugger about 10 years ago. They found a couple of scanners in a car belonging to a guy who had robbed a few houses. Hell, they sounded shocked that I could listen to them in the first place, evidently one of the reasons why they converted to a trunked system was because it would be "impossible" for people to listen in on entire conversations. :rolleyes:

In short, I imagine that these departments do it to eliminate the small minority of criminals that are smart enough to actually think about using a scanner in the first place. Honestly, if my county even thought about doing it, I'd raise hell simply on the basis that it is a complete waste of taxpayer funds.

My county went to P25, but there are feeds on the 'net for each precinct, plus fire and the other cities in the county that use the system. So I have no pressing need to run out and get a P25 scanner myself.
 
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I don't know how much good monitoring normal traiffic is going to do any criminal.

Criminal commits crime.
Criminal runs.

Then what?
He listens to the call come out after he is miles away? For what purpose?

Now obviously, drug dealers would love to have full access to the coms of the local detectives, and the guy barricaded in his home holding hostages would probably wish he could listen in to tactical ops, and I can think of other scenarios like this. But normal traffic?

I don't know how much use any of it would be to most criminals.

Most thugs now are dopers anyway, and would probably have long ago sold anything of value for dope. If they do have several scanners in their car, they are probably stolen, and they wouldn't have the knowledge or experience to operate them efficiently.

I know FOR A FACT though, that scanners have been used many times by honest citizens to help cops. I have done so myself as a matter of fact, helping to catch a pretty bad guy.
 

N8IAA

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My county went to P25, but there are feeds on the 'net for each precinct, plus fire and the other cities in the county that use the system. So I have no pressing need to run out and get a P25 scanner myself.
I agree with K4DHR. There are many online feeds. I bought my 96 basically to listen to a local county that went P-25 digital. I missed moitoring them, especially when they stopped simulcasting on their old VHF frequencies. My county is in the process of going digital with total encryption. Will I bother to get a newer digital scanner because there is one? No. My 96 is functional for all areas that I travel. Only two things missing are milair and LTR. Not enough reason to purchase a newer radio.
Larry
 

Stick0413

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Knock on wood but there is very little encryption here. A whole lot of digital (I would say 95% of everything I listen to locally is digital). The only things that are encrypted are one county's tacs. Even our new state system (STARS) isn't encrypted. So really I need several digitals for how I monitor (have 3 and would like to have a couple more but its not a priority).

To answer the OPs question it is totally up to you. If you feel that you need it then get one. If you don't then don't get one. You are the only one that can make the decision.
 
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