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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of getting a handheld police scanner but have no clue what to get. I figure one of these things would be handy to have if something like the cali fires happened in my very fire prone part of the world. Also have a big druggie/hippie crime problem in my area so when I hear sirens I can't help but wonder what is going on.



Maybe something like this? Any recommendations?



TIA
 

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rondo said:
Thinking of getting a handheld police scanner but have no clue what to get. I figure one of these things would be handy to have if something like the cali fires happened in my very fire prone part of the world. Also have a big druggie/hippie crime problem in my area so when I hear sirens I can't help but wonder what is going on.



Maybe something like this? Any recommendations?



TIA


In a lot of areas, they're considered highly illegal. Check your laws first.
 

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Wow, technology has changed the looks of these things... but I had a Uniden handheld back in the 80's and it worked great. The challenge is finding a current list of frequencies for your local agencies, but who knows, the internet can probably solve those issues nowadays. Used to be able to buy a book with all US freqs, but I don't know if they still print those.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Grimwulff said:
In a lot of areas, they're considered highly illegal. Check your laws first.


Good point. It appears scanners are perfectly legal in the entire state of Oregon. I found a list of all the frequencies no problem. Heck, you guys could even listen to my local Sheriff radio feeds online. (Link is to live feed, may have to listen for awhile to hear anything)



I could save a bunch of money just listening to the internet feed, but I want something mobile and a bit more convenient.



I have no local police, and if you call 911 you might get sheriff to respond. The fastest possible response to my residence would be 35 minutes. The Sheriff does a great job with the resources he has, and I admire the guy a great deal. Everyone around here knows you are pretty much on your own if you need help right away. Just part of the fun of living out in the sticks. It’s real easy to get a CCW permit here.



I sounds bad, but I love it. No complaints. :wink:
 

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Before you buy check online to see what frequencies your local PD and Fire use. I bought a hand held on the cheap ($45) and it doesn't have the High band for my area. Not really a problem since we use mostly low band. The legality has changed and many departments use encrypted channels. Good luck getting some of those radios the encrypted ones we use cost around $10K. They also have a different encryption keys.
 

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just remember that $++ does not always mean better.



a few years back I bought a 300 channel handheld with trunk tracking.



well, no departments near me use trunk tracking (and its a lady to figure out anyway) and I only have my local PD's two channels and the town-wide FD channel programmed into it because otherwise its over kill.



so i paid WAY to much for what I have because I use 3 channels. I don't need 10 banks for 30 channels with feature i have no clue how to use.



so find your towns freqs on the internet and buy the cheapest scanner you can find that allows you to hear them.



on a side note, anyone wanna buy a 7-year old Uniden 300 channel trunk tracker bearcat (BC235XT - the model before they started including USB ports)
 

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I don't know of any fire depts scrambling their communications, but these days a lot, probably the majority of law enforcement radio is scrambled so unusable to normal scanner users, in addition most of it has gone to the UHF frequencies, 800+mhz, and the cheaper scanners usually don't go that high. I had scanners for a number of years, I really enjoyed hearing the calls, and knew about a lot of things that never got in the papers, then the local police got a new radio system, UHF and scrambled so you couldn't listen in anymore, I was very disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here are the frequencies I would like to get (from www.joco-scanning.info):



Josephine County Sheriff Dispatch - Grants Pass 154.8300

Josephine County Sheriff - Tactical 154.7250



It sounds like a cheap-o scanner would work. Yes?
 

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make sure you get the trunking type, not to far down the road most dept.'s are going to go to it any way. Radio Shack has a very nice 1000 channel (yea I know but it was the only one that had trunking and didn't come with all the nascar crap), I got mine on sale for 149.99. KIt actually comes preprogrammed with about 125 freq.'s, some you would use some you would not. I'll have to find the link but there is a site that has all the freq.'s listed by area.
 

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Trunking is something you need to consider. Our county fire, EMS and police system are all trunked. They switched a few years ago. My radio is programmed to pick up all the county fire and EMS channels. I'm not sure how to program a trunk-aware scanner if you ever need one, so YMMV; get help




The frequencies you listed are able to be scanned by even the cheapest of the cheapest scanners RadioShack has to offer.
 

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Scanners

Rondo,



As some of the other posters said, the first thing you have to do is ascertain what frequencies are active in your area. There are many sites on line that have this information, you could buy a book or find a local amateur radio operator and ask him/her. Most hams have a scanner. After finding out what frequencies are active, then start doing a web search as to the scanners. Icom, Yeasu, AOR all produce excellent hand held scanners. I know Icom makes one which will even receive AM and FM radio, so it can double as a portable radio. Cheap buys, look on E-bay. Dealers, some of the better ones are Texas Towers, HRO and AES in Ohio. Then check local laws to ascertain if your scanner is allowed in a vehicle. I know some states have no restriction about having a scanner in your home, but its illegal to have one in a car unless you are an LE or a licensed amateur radio operator (only because many of the pieces of ham equipment can be tuned out of band to receive other broadcasts). Questions, let me know...
 

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Welcome to the world of scanning. Appears the bug has bitten you, so start saving your $$$.




I've been monitoring agencies for some years and finally got my Ham radio license (Technician) a couple of weeks ago. Now I can spend even more $$$ buying new toys.



Regarding scanners, I have several, mostly Uniden's, the latest being trunk trackers with digital capabilities (one digitial card fits both my handheld or my desk model.) I lived in LA when I bought them and LAPD was digital. Now I'm in the Houston area and the public agencies in the entire area are on Star-Net, a trunked system.



If you have a little extra time, seriously think about getting your Ham license. Piece of cake now that the FCC dropped the Morse code requirement. Study the test questions on-line at QRZ.com and/or get the ARRL Technician licensing manual and you'll pass the 35 question exam with no problem. There is very little real technical knowledge required for the Tech license, mostly procedural and rules.



After you get your license you can talk on the 2 meter band (plus other bands) via local repeaters using handhelds or mobile rigs that you can buy for about the same price as a good scanner. Many of them have scanners built in (haven't found one that trunk tracks though) so you can monitor many local agencies as well as talk with a lot of good people in your area.



PM me if you want more info. 73's.
 

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Don't put too much faith in the frequency information you might find on the net, I've seen websites with frequencies that were showing the local frequencies that were out of date 10 years ago. Your best bet for frequencies are someone local who is into scanning, I used to suggest Radio Shack but after hearing a bunch of reports of them selling scanners that won't cover the local frequencies and the Radio Shack sales people telling them it would work.



Those frequency guides they sell are often out of date also!
 

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csprick said:
I've been monitoring agencies for some years and finally got my Ham radio license (Technician) a couple of weeks ago. Now I can spend even more $$$ buying new toys.


Now that you're a ham, make sure you join the ARRL :)



(of course, I'm a little biased: I work at the ARRL HQ and recently built their new online membership application)
 

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micah said:
[quote name='csprick']

I've been monitoring agencies for some years and finally got my Ham radio license (Technician) a couple of weeks ago. Now I can spend even more $$$ buying new toys.


Now that you're a ham, make sure you join the ARRL :)



(of course, I'm a little biased: I work at the ARRL HQ and recently built their new online membership application)[/quote]



Check your membership database --- I'm there and awaiting my free "New Ham Kit" from ARRL.



Is is as good/useful as the range bags and free mags from S&W ?



I don't suppose you could send me a free mobile antenna or a desk mic, huh?
 

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csprick said:
Check your membership database --- I'm there and awaiting my free "New Ham Kit" from ARRL.



Is is as good/useful as the range bags and free mags from S&W ?



I don't suppose you could send me a free mobile antenna or a desk mic, huh?
You didn't get the free 2kw amp free with your membership?
















John

WB5ONL
 

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LOL,

they're not to big on giving stuff away...



I suppose I should have checked to see that you are a member before posting.



Ironically, I'm one of the few non-hams (at least, non-licensed I should say) who works there. I just took my job here at the beginning of the year and, though now fully immersed in the ham culture, I haven't quite gotten around to taking the test.



I'm not sure what all comes in the new membership packet. I know you get a card with your membership number on it. And I'm sure there will be some sort of solicitation to donate more money. (we're almost as bad as the NRA)



Your first issue of QST magazine will probably come much sooner then was indicated in your confirmation e-mail. Theres a glitch in my program that doesn't calculate the dates right and implies that your first issue will be a month or so later then when it is actually sent.
 

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Congratulations CS!

CS,



Congratulations on passing the techniciation exam, but don't stop there. I was an advanced for years as the best I could do on CW was ~18 words a minute (of course I didn't try that hard to learn any faster:).





Micha,



Congratulations on your new job. ARRL does solicite money, maybe once or twice a year, but nothing like NRA, who seems to send out a "we need money" mailing once a week. Hummm, maybe its because I have sent NRA money in the past and they now know I am an easy mark...



Anyway... N3KSP here.
 
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