Trunking Scanner (Police/Fire/Emergency) Suggestions

Old 12-11-19, 03:18 PM
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Trunking Scanner (Police/Fire/Emergency) Suggestions

Wife wants a Christmas list. I've been wanting a scanner for quite sometimes but havent been serious enough to break the bank & get one.

So, what scanner should I put on my list? I've looked around on Amazon but haven't found what I am looking for without breaking (her) bank.
1) I'd like something for under $200
2) Its got to be able to receive trunk systems. (I've got a 200 channel Uniden I bought in the very early 90's. I like it but it isn't designed for trunking systems)
3) Prefer handheld but can be desktop if it comes to that.
4) Must to be able to accept an external/outside antenna even if an adapter is needed.
5) Obviously, programmable.

Local police, fire & emergency medical is my primary interest right now. Just saying.... AFAIK, any scanner will do that but just FYI.

I'm familiar with Uniden & BearCat........ but I dont know about some of these Chinese sounding brands or Whistler, etc. I'm just trying to look at ratings.

I think I am outta luck for a decent scanner like this for under $200... actually even under $350... but I thought I'd ask here for suggestions on brand etc.
Old 12-12-19, 06:54 PM
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Bearcat is Uniden. In my book..... Uniden is #1 for consumer scanners. At my mobile electronics store I sold hundreds of them.

Trunking systems can be somewhat of a pain to monitor. A trunk is usually five channels. Four operating and one control channel. The control channel transmits 24 hours of data noise. This is what tells the radios what channel to receive and transmit on. You may hear a transmission on one channel and a response on another. Every day the control channel changes to one of the operating ones and one of the operating frequencies becomes the data channel. This insures equal wear on the system. Some scanners will lock out the data channel as it changes. Other scanners you need to manually change it.

I've been out of the retail biz for 10 years and haven't really kept up with the newer models.
I know there are two good handhelds but the prices are at the upper end of what you want to spend.
The BC346XT (BC346XTC new model. Won't charge internal batteries)
The BC325P2.

Most Bearcat scanners use a BNC type antenna or can use an SMA to BNC adapter for external antenna.
Dixie2012 voted this post useful.
Old 12-14-19, 07:32 PM
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Unfortunately, a lot of areas are going encrypted so no matter what you buy you might hear zilch. Minnesota isn't too bad yet but it just might happen.

Here is a map where you click on your parish and it'll show what they have...

My first scanner was a Bearcat III I bought in the early 70's that still works, I'm now up to two BCD996XT's. Very nice scanners but a Bear-Scat to program unless someone sends you a file with most of what you want.

Maybe you could tell her this will be for Christmas, birthday twice?

Good luck, less than $200 ain't gonna happen unless you find one used.

Edit: I see a few Phase II down there which a 996XT will not pick up.

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