What Type Of Scanner Do I Need?
Well, the above answer is somewhat correct, but could use a little clarification.
A radio that transmits in a P25 format is digital. Digital transmissions can be trunked, but don't have to be (as is the case here). In the case of scanners, every major brand scanner out there that works on digital transmissions will decode trunked of conventional digital and analog transmissions.
The current digital models run anywhere from $399 to $599. Radio Shack has 2 newer models out that will do digital...the PRO-106 (handheld) and the PRO-197 (base/mobile). These have been on sale recently for $399. Uniden also makes digital trunking scanners..the latest models being the 396 (portable) and the 996 (base/mobile). While the 996 has the capability to be used with a GPS in a mobile setting, this feature isn't really worth the added cost, especially when compared to the feature rich PRO-197.
There are older model digital scanners, such as the Radio Shack PRO-96, PRO-2096 and the Uniden 250D and 796D. While these receive digital transmissions, the newer scanners have upgraded digital decoding algorithms that provide better audio quality and intelligibility. Also, the older scanners may not be able to decode the 700 MHz public safety band, which is becoming increasingly more popular since the 800 MHz band is quickly filling up.
One word of caution...be sure that the agency you are trying to monitor is not using encrypted transmissions. If you don't know...look up the system on radioreference.com. Channels that are encrypted usually have an "E" designation under the "mode" column. These transmissions CANNOT be decoded by any of the scanners currently on the market, even if you do have the encryption key.
I hope this helps you with your buying choices. Good luck!
Sep 11, 2008 |
Uniden BC72XLT Handheld Scanner