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Thread: Police Scanner for home use

  1. #1
    Throwing the deuces RareBreed's Avatar
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    Police Scanner for home use

    Would like to buy a scanner for my mom to use at home. Need something very simple to use and program. Any suggestions? I've looked around the Internet but since I've never used a scanner, I don't really know what features to look for and what's a decent price for them. TIA

  2. #2
    Won't do you any good if she's in St. Mary's.

    I'd hit up a Radio Shack and see what they have to offer.

  3. #3
    Throwing the deuces RareBreed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris0nllyn View Post
    Won't do you any good if she's in St. Mary's.

    I'd hit up a Radio Shack and see what they have to offer.
    Actually she's in Northern VA if that makes a difference.

  4. #4
    I use the internet - broadcastify.com

    No hardware to buy, and you can listen in on scanners that you might not be able to receive over the air.

    I also use the Scanner Radio app on my phone. You can set alerts that tell you when a lot of people are listening, which usually means something is going on.

    Of course, there's still no way to hear what the cops are doing in St. Mary's. Just fire.
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gude View Post
    Ok, I am wrong.

  5. #5
    Throwing the deuces RareBreed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMDad View Post
    I use the internet - broadcastify.com

    No hardware to buy, and you can listen in on scanners that you might not be able to receive over the air.

    I also use the Scanner Radio app on my phone. You can set alerts that tell you when a lot of people are listening, which usually means something is going on.

    Of course, there's still no way to hear what the cops are doing in St. Mary's. Just fire.
    She doesn't have a cell phone or computer. That's why I was looking for an actual unit to get for her. Otherwise I would have suggested she use an app or website.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RareBreed View Post
    Actually she's in Northern VA if that makes a difference.
    Just depends if the police agency in the area has encrypted the comms.

    I'd look up the town/city to be sure before buying one.

    http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?stid=51

  7. #7
    Registered User acommondisaster's Avatar
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    What do you anticipate her to use the scanner for? If you just want it for her to listen to local police (if they don't encrypt) and fire, you probably don't need anything too complex. Someplace like Radio Shack should be able to help you with what you want in the area she lives. Since you're wanting it in a metropolitan area, you may want to be sure that you can fine tune it, as some scanners only allow channels in fixed increments and you may find you need the granularity that you can't get with fixed increments, you also want it to have a certain amount of sensitivity, so that it will reject the (I dont know the right word) sidebands of interference. (You might want to call it bleedover from channels you don't want to listen to). A lot of police departments use trunks - or like a block of frequencies, so if you find that where she lives does that, you may want to look for a scanner that does trunk scanning.

    Sounds like you don't expect Mom to do more than listen, so make sure it's easy to turn on, press the channel she wants and easy for you to tune. The Radio Shack guy in her area should be able to help you. (I don't work for Radio Shack, but it's one of the few places that still actually have people who understand what they're selling when it comes to this kind of stuff.)

    My husband's cousins all live in PA and everyone seems to have a scanner that sits on a shelf in the kitchen, always on. The name I remember is Bearcat....that's as specific as I can get.....sorry
    Chaos breathes life into routine.

  8. #8
    Throwing the deuces RareBreed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acommondisaster View Post
    What do you anticipate her to use the scanner for? If you just want it for her to listen to local police (if they don't encrypt) and fire, you probably don't need anything too complex. Someplace like Radio Shack should be able to help you with what you want in the area she lives. Since you're wanting it in a metropolitan area, you may want to be sure that you can fine tune it, as some scanners only allow channels in fixed increments and you may find you need the granularity that you can't get with fixed increments, you also want it to have a certain amount of sensitivity, so that it will reject the (I dont know the right word) sidebands of interference. (You might want to call it bleedover from channels you don't want to listen to). A lot of police departments use trunks - or like a block of frequencies, so if you find that where she lives does that, you may want to look for a scanner that does trunk scanning.

    Sounds like you don't expect Mom to do more than listen, so make sure it's easy to turn on, press the channel she wants and easy for you to tune. The Radio Shack guy in her area should be able to help you. (I don't work for Radio Shack, but it's one of the few places that still actually have people who understand what they're selling when it comes to this kind of stuff.)

    My husband's cousins all live in PA and everyone seems to have a scanner that sits on a shelf in the kitchen, always on. The name I remember is Bearcat....that's as specific as I can get.....sorry
    Thanks for the info. I will look into what Radio Shack offers for her area.

  9. #9
    Registered User Eventer29's Avatar
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    I am also looking for preferably a handheld scanner for my hubby. Not looking to spend a lot on it though. He likes to be super up to date on the local happenings and has family involved with Fire dept and EMS. Does not need 2 way communication. Just wants to listen. Preferably hand held. One think I am finding in my search is there are analog and digital. i read something about most Police Depts switching only to digital. Any truth to this? We are in Calvert. Is there any major programming to be done once we get a scanner?

  10. #10
    Registered User Roman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eventer29 View Post
    I am also looking for preferably a handheld scanner for my hubby. Not looking to spend a lot on it though. He likes to be super up to date on the local happenings and has family involved with Fire dept and EMS. Does not need 2 way communication. Just wants to listen. Preferably hand held. One think I am finding in my search is there are analog and digital. i read something about most Police Depts switching only to digital. Any truth to this? We are in Calvert. Is there any major programming to be done once we get a scanner?
    Your husband should ask his family members that are in Fire/Rescue which hand-held would be best. Radio Shack can help you find a good one for your area also, and help you set it up.
    You have become responsible forever, for what you have tamed. "Antoine de Saint Exupery"

  11. 11-27-2014, 12:25 PM

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