Old 08-26-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
JMC
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Default Scanner Recommendations

My old scanner bit the dust fairly recently. Does anyone have any recommendations on a fairly priced hand held scanner?

I've heard something about railroads switching types of freqs this year (which is greek to me). Any insight is welcome.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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Any newer model should be OK. Definitely go with a direct entry programmer vs. a search and save type as you will have more freedom to program what you want. Do your research and make sure that you get one that has the new VHF spacing, although you can still receive the new channels if you get an older model as explained in the following link which conveniently uses a few RR freqs. in the VHF Land Mobile section:
http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Narrowbanding
I haven't heard of any of the railroad "road use" frequencies changing to the new VHF spaced in-betweens. Just some of the MOW, police, etc. A lot of people confuse the new mandated spacing and narrowbanding as the same thing.

The narrowbanding if a "fix" to alleviate the older frequency wave amplitude bleed over onto the new "in-between" frequencies. Narrowbanding shortens the wave height, and unfortunately reduces coverage distances by about 10%, so make sure that you have a good antenna too.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Kevin,

Thank you very much for your reply and guidance.
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:53 AM   #4
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I have a uniden bc346xt. It's a really nice, full featured, albeit expensive scanner.

It's also difficult to program to some degree and has a steep learning curve, but it's good. I had 2 older scanners die within a short period of time, an older bearcat 50 channel and some radio shak thing. This is superior to them as far as functionality and quality of reception. From a usability standpoint my original bearcat from circa 1994 was superior. It was so easy to use it hurt, but didnt have many bells and whistles. And it's funny how much "better" my new one sounds and receives signals compared to both the other ones.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:27 AM   #5
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I have a Yaseu FT270. I have never loved a radio scanner more. It's beyond complicated to program (I had to get help from a ham guy), but man is it beautiful... rugged... and has amazing reception.

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd...F39179AB3B1511

I got a RR frequency diamond tip antenna from Antenna Farm.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks View Post
I got a RR frequency diamond tip antenna from Antenna Farm.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/
I bought one of those but didn't like how tall and visible the antenna was. Nothing screamed GEEK more than that antenna. So, I took an old radio shack antenna that was painted black and a bit shorter and replaced that tall, bright silver whip with it. No loss in reception as far as I can tell.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I bought one of those but didn't like how tall and visible the antenna was. Nothing screamed GEEK more than that antenna. So, I took an old radio shack antenna that was painted black and a bit shorter and replaced that tall, bright silver whip with it. No loss in reception as far as I can tell.
You were always far less geeky than the rest of us.

I'll bet you can't even tell the difference between a GP7 and a GP9 on the fly.

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Old 08-29-2013, 06:03 PM   #8
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This what I have.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2973252

All we did is go to a radio store and bought a regular scanner antenna and it works great. Programming can make you mad sometimes.

We got all the RR frequencies in fine but when we started to put emergency frequencies in, it started rounding them all off? Anybody know why it works that way?
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:58 PM   #9
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Just curious on those who aren't using diamond tip attenas or hand-held ham radios, but stating the reception is just fine... have you stood next to someone with the higher grade antenna and the hand-held ham at the same time with both scanning?

It was this experience that moved me from a Uniden Bearcat and rubber ducky to the better equipment. I had thought I was picking up a lot and getting good reception. Then I stood next to someone scanning the same channels with the other equipment and I was shocked at what I was missing.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CSX1702 View Post
We got all the RR frequencies in fine but when we started to put emergency frequencies in, it started rounding them all off? Anybody know if still works that way?
Sounds like you have one of the "older" scanners that I mentioned above and as described in the link that isn't compatible with the new spacing. I am assuming that you are still hearing the emergency channels OK even though they are rounded up? A few of our old VHF PD channels did that on my home scanner and still picked up OK, but when the county converted to UHF, the scanner programmed fine.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:28 AM   #11
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I bought one of these lately and like it a lot. I am also a Ham and it seems to pick of the railroad frequencies just as well as several of my much more expensive Ham portables. Plus it is PC programmable which makes it really easy to program. The software was free from Uniden. And the display is easy to read and is backlit.

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http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-Bearcat...ywords=bc125at
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMTRailfan View Post
Sounds like you have one of the "older" scanners that I mentioned above and as described in the link that isn't compatible with the new spacing. I am assuming that you are still hearing the emergency channels OK even though they are rounded up? A few of our old VHF PD channels did that on my home scanner and still picked up OK, but when the county converted to UHF, the scanner programmed fine.
No we just deleted them off, we never tried to see if they would work. We have all of them on a handheld scanner anyways.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:37 AM   #13
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By the way, I just saw you wanted a hand held so I guess the scanner I recommended wouldn't be of much help.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks View Post
I have a Yaseu FT270. I have never loved a radio scanner more. It's beyond complicated to program (I had to get help from a ham guy), but man is it beautiful... rugged... and has amazing reception.

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd...F39179AB3B1511

I got a RR frequency diamond tip antenna from Antenna Farm.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/
I have an Yaseu radio as well. Blows a regular scanner away in terms of range.

Being from Yumtown you can pick up the Po Po with it as well.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:25 PM   #15
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Thank you all for the advice. I hope to pick one up soon. After having a one, then going out without one, it amazes me how much in the dark I am!
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