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Posted: 7/1/2015 8:33:17 AM EDT
Budget is 100, just want something to monitor local pd, fire. Not even sure where to begin looking. There was a Uniden on Amazon that had good reviews for 75, just wanted to see if that was really the only option in my budget
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:34:01 AM EDT
If you have a smart phone just download an app to do it.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:34:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:39:30 AM EDT
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Quoted:
If you have a smart phone just download an app to do it.
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This. You can even listen to the cops in other countries.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:41:02 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:41:44 AM EDT
The apps aren't limited to what they can pick up?
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:42:19 AM EDT
The only thing you'll be listening to for $100 is a bunch of old retired guys near death on 2m/70cm talking about recent hospital visits and what they had for lunch that day.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:42:36 AM EDT
I would love to be able to own a working scanner but the county I live in deemed us lowly peasants not good enough to listen in.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:43:40 AM EDT
What type of radio system does the PD and FD in your area use?
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:51:06 AM EDT
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Quoted:
What type of radio system does the PD and FD in your area use?
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https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=591
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:52:37 AM EDT
Be sure the scanner you buy can even pick up the local emergency services freqs or you are just wasting your money
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 8:59:37 AM EDT
Tag for info.

Broadcastify only has local County, no City Police or Fire
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 9:00:03 AM EDT

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Quoted:


The only thing you'll be listening to for $100 is a bunch of old retired guys near death on 2m/70cm talking about recent hospital visits and what they had for lunch that day.
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Keying up the PTT button just to hear the curtesy tone. Talking about how does may radio sound.  As well as airwave propagation...

 
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 9:00:24 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Be sure the scanner you buy can even pick up the local emergency services freqs or you are just wasting your money
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That's the idea
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 9:13:22 AM EDT
$100?
Doubt you'd find a good one for that price that does trunking and freq you need.
Also depending on where you're at they may be digital or encrypted.

You can use one of the online streaming sites. The only problem with that is when they switch over to another channel to say something to keep the main channel open you won't be able to hear it.

I got a radioshack portable one but I think it was around $200
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 9:14:17 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 9:18:49 AM EDT
I have not tried this yet, maybe someday when I get some time

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-19-Police-Radio-Scanner/
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 9:20:53 AM EDT
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Quoted:
The only thing you'll be listening to for $100 is a bunch of old retired guys near death on 2m/70cm talking about recent hospital visits and what they had for lunch that day.
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If he lived near NYC he could listen to all NYPD transmissions with a $10 used scanner off ebay. With a $30 radio off ebay he could even transmit right along with them.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 9:27:46 AM EDT
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Quoted:


https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=591
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Quoted:
Quoted:
What type of radio system does the PD and FD in your area use?


https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=591


It appears your local police, fire and EMS use a pretty old system without even squelch tones on some frequencies. A cheap dual band VHF/UHF walkie talkie would work for most of the frequencies if you get your ham license and can control yourself enough not to transmit on frequencies you shouldn't be transmitting on.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:41:13 AM EDT
The scanning hobby got expensive with the switch to digital.  Find out exactly what the locals use before making any purchase.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:45:44 AM EDT
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Quoted:
The scanning hobby got expensive with the switch to digital.  Find out exactly what the locals use before making any purchase.
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I think the smartphone apps can listen in on the digital.  I think I paid $4.99 and only then because I was sick of the ads on the free version.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:48:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:50:46 AM EDT
Police don't seem to use open frequencies for much except tag DL runs , most use trunk tracking , scrambled or just good ol cell phone for sensitive subjects.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:51:22 AM EDT
Yeah, digital is expensive. I am glad my area doesn't require it. You can use a $30 Baofeng to listen if you use CHIRP to lock out the transmit capability. Once an area goes digital, you are looking at $300 -$500 scanners, and hope it isn't encrypted.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:51:36 AM EDT
Download an app for your phone or tablet.  100 dollars won't even touch a good police scanner nowadays.  My digital scanners are in the vicinity of 500 dollars new.  Even used they were 200 and 275.  

My RadioShack pro106 was relatively easy to program and works well.  I do believe it is actually a GRE scanner.
My Uniden 396xt was an enormous mother fucker to set up and program,  but also works very well.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:52:29 AM EDT
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Quoted:
I would love to be able to own a working scanner but the county I live in deemed us lowly peasants not good enough to listen in.
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wait what?
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:52:31 AM EDT
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Quoted:

See if you can get the city police of Hastings,MI on your paid app.

Maybe that's the key.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
The scanning hobby got expensive with the switch to digital.  Find out exactly what the locals use before making any purchase.


I think the smartphone apps can listen in on the digital.  I think I paid $4.99 and only then because I was sick of the ads on the free version.

See if you can get the city police of Hastings,MI on your paid app.

Maybe that's the key.


For Barry County Michigan I got
1. CMEN Mi5 MotoTRBO Network Repeater System
2. Barry County Sheriff, Fire, and EMS
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:53:16 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Police don't seem to use open frequencies for much except tag DL runs , most use trunk tracking , scrambled or just good ol cell phone for sensitive subjects.
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That depends where you are.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:53:57 AM EDT
Most of the good comms these days are encrypted
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:56:51 AM EDT
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That's the idea
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Be sure the scanner you buy can even pick up the local emergency services freqs or you are just wasting your money


That's the idea


Looking at the database entries it appears they are mostly VHF analog. You could go with one of the low end current models that support narrow FM modulation and be fine.

However, if you want to listen to State activity and other agencies on STARCOM21 you will need P-25 trunked capability.

Personally, I would go with one of these PRO-668

It will do everything, including the newest Phase II P-25 trunking and it's super simple to use. It has one of the best receivers made and also has a built in audio recorder.

It's a $500 unit for $200. They have flooded the market after the RadioShack closeouts and are just rebranded GRE PSR-800 models.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 11:57:15 AM EDT
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Quoted:
Most of the good comms these days are encrypted
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Not here they aren't.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 12:00:08 PM EDT
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Quoted:
The apps aren't limited to what they can pick up?
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someone with a physical scanner is capturing the audio in real time and streaming it to the internet. the app listens to the stream.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 12:01:07 PM EDT
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Not here they aren't.
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Quoted:
Most of the good comms these days are encrypted


Not here they aren't.


Only time they are encrypted here is for phone numbers,  addresses,  SSN or tac channels,  and even then the TAC channels are not always encrypted.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 4:17:50 PM EDT
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Quoted:


I think the smartphone apps can listen in on the digital.  I think I paid $4.99 and only then because I was sick of the ads on the free version.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Quoted:
Quoted:
The scanning hobby got expensive with the switch to digital.  Find out exactly what the locals use before making any purchase.


I think the smartphone apps can listen in on the digital.  I think I paid $4.99 and only then because I was sick of the ads on the free version.

Probably been said but the smartphone app is just someone streaming the transmission, it doesn't actual do anything so if there is a digital setup someone chunked out the money to get a digital scanner.and stream it.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 4:29:11 PM EDT
$100 is not going to get you a ready to run scanner that is worth a damn.
Your local PD and FD most likely use APCO-25 so you will need a digital scanner.
You can roll your own for about $20-30 but it is not ready to go out of the box.
You need a SDR that you can find off of amazon and some free software.

Link Posted: 7/1/2015 4:42:59 PM EDT
http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-Channel-Scanner-Weather-BC345CRS/dp/B00ALNPM2C/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1435782845&sr=1-1&keywords=bearcat+scanners

That is the one I have. I picks up all my local PD, FD, Ambulance, & Sheriff's frequencies.

Adams County (from seeing your link) isn't to far from me.

ETA: Correction. After taking a look at mine on the end table I have the Uniden BC370CRS model, not the one linked above. It is a little more than your $100 budget.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 4:49:15 PM EDT
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Quoted:


https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=591
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Quoted:
Quoted:
What type of radio system does the PD and FD in your area use?


https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=591


Hmm. Looks like they just use narrow fm analog radios.
You may get by with a $100 scanner.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 4:50:23 PM EDT
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Quoted:
I have not tried this yet, maybe someday when I get some time

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-19-Police-Radio-Scanner/
View Quote


It works but it is not that portable.  
It is a lot cheaper than my $400 handheld though.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 4:51:28 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Police don't seem to use open frequencies for much except tag DL runs , most use trunk tracking , scrambled or just good ol cell phone for sensitive subjects.
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Most "scrambled" systems are not encrypted.  Just digital.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 5:05:07 PM EDT
If ALL you want to do is listen to your local police, then you can use a cell phone app.
But, none of the cell phone apps I have tried scan anything. They are on a fixed frequency. So, depending on who is streaming the feed and what you actually want to hear, this may be an issue for you. As an example: here where I live, you can listen to EMS and Fire in the northern end of the county on a cell phone app. No one streams a feed of the police. No one streams the rest of the county Fire and EMS either. And,  if you want to hear radio traffic other than this county's northern end, you would have to switch "channels" on the app because again, it is not a scanner. This has been mentioned previously but these scanner apps as well as the stuff streamed on Radio Reference is just a guy in that local area streaming a feed from his scanner. You are at his mercy what content he streams. FWIW, I know the guy that streams our local feed.
I enjoy the scanner apps and use them quite a bit. They are the only way to go when listening to an event unfold in a distant city. For me, I am retired from a department on the other side of the country and I get bored occasionally and listen to my old department on a cell phone app. But if you are listening to local stuff,I would buy a real scanner, and I would pay more than $100 for it.

For an actual scanner, again, it depends on what equipment the people you want to listen to are using. If they are using a trunking system, you need a scanner that can do trunking. If they are using digital as well, you need a scanner that will do digital........................ Then you get into programming the scanner. If they are using trunking, this can be a real pain in the ass to program.

So this brings us to my recommendation of a scanner. FWIW, I am a radio geek and have owned various scanners for probably close to 40 years. I have a scanner going 24/7/365. I have worked in public service for my entire adult life and even worked briefly at the 911 center as a dispatcher.
I would get a Uniden Home Patrol Scanner and I would get this for several reasons. First of all, it does pretty much everything you can do with a scanner and it does it in the easiest possible way.
You input your zip code and a radius of how far away you want to listen, and this scanner will program itself. It programs all the trunking stuff effortlessly. It does all the research for you. It is easy to change what you want to listen to as far as types of stuff like police, fire, local government, utilities, businesses, railroads, maritime.................You can listen to it all, or you can tell it what you want to hear.
Updating the frequency database is simple. Updating the scanners firmware is simple.
It is compact, it has battery backup, it can be used portable or mobile. If you want to run it in the car, you can attach a GPS to it and it will program itself on the fly based on where you are.
It has a really nice display that tells you specifically what you are listening to.
It is capable of more exotic stuff if you want to use it, but you don't have to.

HOWEVER, it isn't a hundred bucks.

I think the link I provided is for the Home Patrol 1 and I think there is a second generation of the Home Patrol. Just do a search and I am sure you will know what the latest and greatest is within seconds.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 5:15:44 PM EDT
Research your local area first, recently my local interest went to Digital and Encrypted everything.  I guess the old analog system will get occasionally used by the Jr. Gumshoe Squad when directing traffic at special events.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 5:24:33 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Police don't seem to use open frequencies for much except tag DL runs , most use trunk tracking , scrambled or just good ol cell phone for sensitive subjects.
View Quote


Depends on where you are.
Most places (I would think) have a laptop (MDT Mobile Data Terminal) in the vehicle and they can "text" back and forth with dispatch (which you won't be able to copy). The police can run plates, IDs and stuff like that themselves from their MDT.  How much this is actually used varies widely. Where I live now, it is used very little. Where I worked for most of my career, it was used almost exclusively. I am sure one factor in this is how busy the department is. If you are running hundreds of thousands of calls per year, the dispatchers don't have time to do this stuff. Where I worked as a firefighter, we were dispatched on calls through the MDT, the MDT provided mapping with turn by turn directions, it showed where the closest hydrants were, we could view call history from that address, we could see if any haz mat was stored there, we could see the times of other responding units, we could see fire pre-plans of the location if it was a commercial building, we could see the information on the caller, we could see who owned the building, alarm company contact information, key holder information,......................................................... We used our radios very, very little. Most of the calls I ran, we never said a word on the radio.

I know that where I worked (as a firefighter/paramedic), when I needed to communicate with dispatch about anything beyond the very basics, I called them on my cell phone.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 5:30:28 PM EDT

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Quoted:


The phone apps don't have all the specific departments.



I can't get my local PD. Only sheriff / fire.



Same with Broadcastify.
View Quote
There are a number of police departments that are encrypted. Check out APCO Project 25 before you buy a scanner.



 
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 5:32:35 PM EDT
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Quoted:


Depends on where you are.
Most places (I would think) have a laptop (MDT Mobile Data Terminal) in the vehicle and they can "text" back and forth with dispatch (which you won't be able to copy). The police can run plates, IDs and stuff like that themselves from their MDT.  How much this is actually used varies widely. Where I live now, it is used very little. Where I worked for most of my career, it was used almost exclusively. I am sure one factor in this is how busy the department is. If you are running hundreds of thousands of calls per year, the dispatchers don't have time to do this stuff. Where I worked as a firefighter, we were dispatched on calls through the MDT, the MDT provided mapping with turn by turn directions, it showed where the closest hydrants were, we could view call history from that address, we could see if any haz mat was stored there, we could see the times of other responding units, we could see fire pre-plans of the location if it was a commercial building, we could see the information on the caller, we could see who owned the building, alarm company contact information, key holder information,......................................................... We used our radios very, very little. Most of the calls I ran, we never said a word on the radio.

I know that where I worked (as a firefighter/paramedic), when I needed to communicate with dispatch about anything beyond the very basics, I called them on my cell phone.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Police don't seem to use open frequencies for much except tag DL runs , most use trunk tracking , scrambled or just good ol cell phone for sensitive subjects.


Depends on where you are.
Most places (I would think) have a laptop (MDT Mobile Data Terminal) in the vehicle and they can "text" back and forth with dispatch (which you won't be able to copy). The police can run plates, IDs and stuff like that themselves from their MDT.  How much this is actually used varies widely. Where I live now, it is used very little. Where I worked for most of my career, it was used almost exclusively. I am sure one factor in this is how busy the department is. If you are running hundreds of thousands of calls per year, the dispatchers don't have time to do this stuff. Where I worked as a firefighter, we were dispatched on calls through the MDT, the MDT provided mapping with turn by turn directions, it showed where the closest hydrants were, we could view call history from that address, we could see if any haz mat was stored there, we could see the times of other responding units, we could see fire pre-plans of the location if it was a commercial building, we could see the information on the caller, we could see who owned the building, alarm company contact information, key holder information,......................................................... We used our radios very, very little. Most of the calls I ran, we never said a word on the radio.

I know that where I worked (as a firefighter/paramedic), when I needed to communicate with dispatch about anything beyond the very basics, I called them on my cell phone.



This.  It really depends on how many old guys are working.  The younger officers will go an entire shift  just firing texts back and forth on the MDT.  
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 5:33:40 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Police don't seem to use open frequencies for much except tag DL runs , most use trunk tracking , scrambled or just good ol cell phone for sensitive subjects.
View Quote



You certainly aren't going to get the call info that is seen on the MDC.  Most plates are run on it too, along with ID checks and checks for previous calls at residences.  All you are going to hear are check ins, check outs, calls for 78, etc.  Most will run a channel per sector with several scrambled tac channels.  

Just watch Cops on TV.  
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 5:42:57 PM EDT
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Quoted:
Research your local area first, recently my local interest went to Digital and Encrypted everything.  I guess the old analog system will get occasionally used by the Jr. Gumshoe Squad when directing traffic at special events.
View Quote


All departments will eventually be digital.
I use this, SDR#, and DSD+ to listen to digital on my laptop.
The software is free, the hardware is $20.  
It is not user friendly.   There is a slight learning curve.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B009U7WZCA/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1435786918&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SY200_QL40&keywords=sdr+dongle&dpPl=1&dpID=41ueR6cvyHL&ref=plSrch
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 6:02:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 6:05:10 PM EDT
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Thanks.
Looks like the free app gets the same. No Hastings PD.
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Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
Quoted:
The scanning hobby got expensive with the switch to digital.  Find out exactly what the locals use before making any purchase.


I think the smartphone apps can listen in on the digital.  I think I paid $4.99 and only then because I was sick of the ads on the free version.

See if you can get the city police of Hastings,MI on your paid app.

Maybe that's the key.


For Barry County Michigan I got
1. CMEN Mi5 MotoTRBO Network Repeater System
2. Barry County Sheriff, Fire, and EMS

Thanks.
Looks like the free app gets the same. No Hastings PD.



The apps are only going to work if someone in that area has a scanner and streams the audio to broadcastify or someone similar.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 6:09:10 PM EDT
$100 is pretty low for a budget.

If your town/municipality has a digital system you won't find anything to pick them up in the $100 range.

Same if they're using a trunked system.

Go here and lookup the frequencies and types of systems you're looking to pickup.

https://www.radioreference.com/

At a minimum you want a digital unit with alpha tagging (so you can name what the frequencies are) that picks up trunked systems.


Police/fire and rescue services are fun to listen to, but I like listening to aircraft, taxi companies, and construction companies more.
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 6:14:05 PM EDT
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If you have a smart phone just download an app to do it.
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I have one, deleted it for not having anything within 70 or 80 miles
Link Posted: 7/1/2015 7:20:20 PM EDT
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wait what?
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Quoted:
I would love to be able to own a working scanner but the county I live in deemed us lowly peasants not good enough to listen in.


wait what?


All law enforcement frequencies are scrambled in the county I live in.

We cannot buy a scanner and go home and listen to the police anymore.

We always had a scanner growing up. Not anymore.
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