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Old 02-06-2004, 10:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
Professor of Drinkology
 
Police scanners

Does anybody know anything about them? What's a good brand? What's up with trunked vs. non-trunked? Will it work in any area?
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Seattle
I have one in my closet that's about 4 years old. It was neat for awhile, but it got boring.
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They can be very interesting, if you are into following your local Police, Fire, or Government. It can be used to be the first on the scene, if you are into getting pictures of disasters, fires, or accidents.
Bearcat is probably the best known of the brand.
http://www.uniden.com/product.cfm?ca...cat%20Scanners
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Old 02-08-2004, 10:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
Professor of Drinkology
 
Quote:
Originally posted by ChrisJericho
I have one in my closet that's about 4 years old. It was neat for awhile, but it got boring.
Would you consider selling it?
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
eat more fruit
 
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Location: Seattle
LoL I'm not sure how much it would work anymore because most police/fire departments upped their frequencies to around 700 mhz I think. But seriously dude, it's cool for a few weeks but then you just realize you're wasting your time.

BTW I have tritium in my seals watch, pretty bright stuff.
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just think it'd be kinda fun.
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Old 02-10-2004, 02:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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it is fun. My job means I can buy them and write them off, so I have a very good collection

Trunking: Many police departments are tired of civilians listening in to their radio calls, so they've started moving to trunking radio systems. Simple explanation is that it's a frequency hopping system. It constantly switches frequencies according to a specific algorithm. A regular scanner can't listen in on these conversations because it can't shift frequencies along with them. That's why you need a trunk tracking scanner to do it. It doesn't end there though. There are a couple of different trunking systems out there in use. Some trunktrackers can only work with one of the systems.

Myself I like the Uniden Bearcat 785D scanner with the APCO25 digital chip. It can track just about anything you'd ever want to track, and is designed as either a base or a mobile unit. I have one in the scanner rack in my news car. It's quite expensive though.

A much cheaper scanner that works very well with most police radio systems (because most police departments still haven't moved to trunking systems 'cause they're very expensive) is the Uniden Beartracker BCT-10. It's a very small mobile unit that tracks only police frequencies. It will also give an alert if it detects police radio transmissions in the area - theoretically this will give you warning about that speedtrap down the road, but that part I haven't really seen work too well - after all it's not like the cops are gossiping on the radio, so unless the guy at the speed trap has something to say, he won't transmit and the scanner won't pick him up.

Check your state mobile scanner laws also - many states require you to have a base-level HAM license to have a mobile scanner. (the test is very easy)
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Old 02-12-2004, 09:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Flint, MI
Quote:
Originally posted by shakran
Check your state mobile scanner laws also - many states require you to have a base-level HAM license to have a mobile scanner. (the test is very easy)
As a former reporter for a now defunct local newspaper, I know that you can also get permission from the local police chief to carry one. Check local laws because some places it is illegal to use one to make money (eg. a tow truck business, insurance/ambulance chasing, or even news reporting.)
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Old 02-15-2004, 09:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Uniden makes all of Radio Shack's scanners, so you might get a better deal if they have a sale going on.

Grab all the freqs you need online, since I'm in CT, I use http://www.fordyce.org/scanning/

You hear everything with the right frequencies. Police, fire, ambulance, school bus, military aircraft, Verizon Voicemail (pretend you didn't hear that.)

If you're not sure that you're going to be keeping up with it, and don't want to blow a few hundred on a toy that you'll throw back into the toybox after a few weeks, try a yard sale, if someone has one, it'll already have freqs in it, and you won't empty your pockets
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Old 02-15-2004, 10:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: California
check out http://www.police-scanner.info/ . I have listened to a bunch of the streaming live feeds and determined that I do not want to buy a scanner. As one of the previous posts stated, it is cool at first, but then... Try them out to see...
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Old 02-16-2004, 06:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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AOR make some nice scanners.
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