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Explain Police Scanners and the like

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by oofy15354, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Nov 3, 2009 at 7:14 PM

    xodeuce mmmmmmbourbon.

    Oct 16, 2009
    2004 UZJ100
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but just in the interest of full disclosure. Being friends with the local police, and breaking federal law are in different boats. Radio transmissions are governed by the FCC, and breaking the law where they're concerned is a federal offense. Around here Ham operators will help local authorities and the FCC if there are folks using things they shouldn't be.

    For a basic scanner, I'd say go with something handheld like a Uniden handheld unit. If you want more range you can always get a magnetic antenna and use it with the handheld unit, plus it'll be portable. I'd think something in the <$200 range would be fine for your purposes. A note on the magnetic antenna. Being inside of the truck will be a pretty significant signal degredation vs. something magnetically mounted to the roof. If you're out in the sticks trying to pick up LEO a ways away, that could make the difference b/t hearing them with some static in the background, and not hearing them at all.

    It's worth mentioning though that some departments use trunked systems, where the frequency changes with every transmission. In order to listen to these you have to have a scanner that will follow the trunking protocol. There are websites for scanner hobbyists that have that kind of information by geographic location I think. Not sure though.
  2. Nov 3, 2009 at 7:56 PM

    oofy15354 [OP] Proud Tundra *****

    Nov 2, 2009
    First Name:
    Herculiner, Access Tonneau, Uniden cb, firestik antennae, Bosch Wipers, JVC Ipod headunit, Boston Acoustic Speakers
    good point. well ive looked it up and its perfectly legal for what we use it for. well maybe not for avoiding the police but its not illegal for what we say its for ;)
  3. Nov 7, 2009 at 10:47 PM

    doingfinein09 Member

    Sep 21, 2009
    First Name:
    So Cal LA/OC
    09 Magnetic Grey Standard Cab PreRunner
    AVS Ventvisors, Wheelskin, GT Covers, Extra-HD self-designed electric tailgate lock...
    Check out http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/ to see what's going on in your neck of the woods. Punch in your zip code, and see what's on the list that is in AM/FM "Mode".

    Anything that's digital (i.e P25 system), or trunked will require something a bit more than cheap.

    I'm in So Cal and while the wonderful LAPD is on a digital system, mostly everybody else in range is not (yet). But the PD in the next city over is on a trunked system, so I had to spring for that feature.

    I too wanted something "cheap" and ended up going with the Uniden BCT15X and it's super sweet.

    Scanner and CB is the way to go. Ham rigs are sweet but not cheap.

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