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looking for a police scanner

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posted on May, 11 2018 @ 02:40 PM
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as the title reads, i'd like to purchase one. but i know nothing of what brand is considered good. whether or not to go with an app. i'd prefer hardware over an app. i don't like to be on the phone that much.

anyone here with first hand experience with them?
what should i look for?
what should i avoid?

any brand stands out as being better than others?

my neighborhood has had an unusual uptick in police activity over the last year. swat team was at a house down the street two days ago. police responded to the neighbor's house yesterday. recently one set of neighbors were evicted due to not paying rent. they lost custody of their children two weeks before christmas and had police called on them for domestic violence.

it would be nice to hear in real time what is going on in my once quiet neighborhood.

thank you for your input.
edit on 11-5-2018 by subfab because: typo correction




posted on May, 11 2018 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: subfab

Depends where you are i suppose but it might not be exactly legal to monitor Police frequencies.

That being said it sounds rather interesting.


Edit: Looks like if you own a smartphone you basically own a police scanner too.

With a simple download of a police scanner app you can apparently do so quite easily, might not be available on Play store all the same. LoL

My advice, try Googling "Download Police scanner apk"

apkpure.com...

www.apkhere.com...
edit on 11-5-2018 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake

i never thought of the legal angle.
i'd like to stay away from apps. though it may come down to that. i don't know yet.

thank you for taking the time to respond.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 02:51 PM
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a reply to: subfab

Just thinking it might be cheaper.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake

i've been saving up for one. i can afford about $250 usd.

to look at my neighborhood, you'd see a quiet little community. but lately?......... :-(



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: subfab

Here's a list of the top picks of 2018.

As far as the legality goes, some states (not many) have restrictions on using a scanner, like while you're driving. A few other states have made it illegal to use one to aid in the commission of a crime. In the states that don't have a specific statute about it, you'd likely catch another charge anyway (like obstruction) if you were caught using one while doing something illegal. I think a few states require a radio operator's license to be able to use them, but I'm not positive.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:22 PM
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a reply to: subfab

Here you go.
You can listen to many police, fire and atc channels.

www.broadcastify.com...



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: grey580

checking it out now.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 03:43 PM
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You need to do a search for your local EMS and police frequencies and find out if they are open or encrypted. Some areas have police encrypted and not EMS while others have both or none. I would look into buying a used scanner, there are some really good prices on some surplus sites where you can get a very nice unit that is 3-7 years old for anywhere for 5-50% (estimate from my looking before) the original price. Look for police auctions or military/state auctions and you should be able to find some nice units for that money.

Also, there is a site that has police, ems, fire, etc broadcasts listed by state and county and you can listen with any computer. There is a slight delay of a few seconds but it is pretty nice if you have no other options. I've used it with Google Chrome and it seemed to work with the browser alone, no app needed!



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 04:33 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Good point worth noting.

To piggyback off that point, a lot of agencies will have unencrypted dispatch talk groups, so you'd be able to hear calls being dispatched at least. Tactical channels are basically always going to be encrypted.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 05:36 PM
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a reply to: subfab

I used a little uniden bct-12 for years, great little unit. It could run in the car or with a 12v pack. I used the bipole suction cup antenna in the car and it gave me not only all the bands at the time, but also gave me rough distance to network equipped vehicles, both ground and airborne, in ranges of 1/3rd of a mile out to 3 miles. It saved my ass many times between Buffalo and Florida. It probably helped that I had microwave and laser detectors as well as active jammers front and rear lol.

If I were going to get something now, it would be uniden again, probably a trunk tracker with a network signal distance analyzer.

Cheers - Dave



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 05:46 PM
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digginfotroof's post is good info

if yr in the USA should be legal but check.

some locales use clear channels (any scanner can get), many use trunk systems (most scanners can get), some are digitalized (few scanners), some encrypted (no scanners).

the Radio Reference site is full of great scanner info. they have an interactive map which will tell you what systems they use close to you, which will help you select the right unit.

ebay often has good used scanners.

among frequencies, 121.5 is air sos and 156.8 is maritime sos. any scanner should be able to get those.

police are more likely to be encrypted than fire/ambulance.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 07:33 PM
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Don't use them to commit a crime or try to circumvent the voice security some channels have and you should be OK


In general, do you require hardware for this purpose or would the web suffice? You can get on broadcastify.com and look up virtually any state/county/city authorities



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 09:38 PM
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a reply to: subfab

I think most police forces are using computers now. A lot communicate on cell phones too.



posted on May, 11 2018 @ 09:54 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

And both of those communication mediums are perfectly secure.



posted on May, 12 2018 @ 05:17 AM
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I'd save my money and just roll with an app, it's free, I use 'Police 5-0'.

The reason I say this is because after the Las Vegas shooting, which many of us were listening to live, the LVPD went digital and encrypted their channels, and its my firm belief that this encrypted system will be rolled out across the board as soon as adequate funding is in place, as happened in the U.K.

Once that happens, your expensive hardware becomes useless, and essentially worthless.

All the best



posted on May, 12 2018 @ 12:04 PM
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originally posted by: MerkabaTribeEntity
I'd save my money and just roll with an app, it's free, I use 'Police 5-0'.

The reason I say this is because after the Las Vegas shooting, which many of us were listening to live, the LVPD went digital and encrypted their channels, and its my firm belief that this encrypted system will be rolled out across the board as soon as adequate funding is in place, as happened in the U.K.

Once that happens, your expensive hardware becomes useless, and essentially worthless.


All the best


unfortunately true. more and more offices are doing this.
big pet peeve with scanner listeners like me but there just aren't enough of us to change anything.
happily there's still a lot of open stuff.



posted on May, 13 2018 @ 03:06 AM
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It all comes down to location.

My area is still analog and very little is covered by internet feeds so a scanner app is limited as far as local emergency communications is concerned. An inexpensive, used, tabletop (radio shack pro-2018 for basic use) is more than sufficient. In 5 years, who knows?

If the system you want to listen to is trunked, trunk trackers are available at a reasonable cost. Uniden's Close Call and RadioShack's SignalStalker,  while not frequency counters, help sniff out new frequencies.
A few years ago, the FCC required all new systems be narrow banded. Older scanners may not take the new frequencies exactly, but in using whatever it rounds to will work. Just not quite as clear. The big elephant in the room is...
digital.

As with all other electronic media, the change over from analog to digital modulation has been coming for a while. I have an old issue (1996 I believe) of Monitoring Times magazine that was covering the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) P25. P25 was a guideline for standardizing the upcoming move to digital. There are several methods of digitized voice modulation and standardizing the process, mitigated future issues concerning interoperability.
That made too much sense. While many systems are P25, manufacturers have many tricks up their sleeves and some are proprietary. Everyone is chasing the tax dollars. Unfortunately, "unscanable" systems are a selling point for some municipalities.

This makes it rough on a scanner enthusiast. Its all on what your local jurisdiction is doing. The above mentioned radio reference website is the best info resource I have ran into. A scanner that is digital capable will set you back a bit, just bite the bullet on that one. If they have encrypted the system, save your money. There is still other interesting stuff in the clear.

The scanner apps are a handy tool to use. You are at the mercy of those uploading. Some feeds change or go down from time to time, but for free or almost free, you can't beat it.
An additional thing I've ran into, is that the user base is quick. Amazingly so.
You can set the app to alert you if a feed goes above a preset number of users. If something big is going on, you get a heads up. Many times, before big media make a "breaking news" announcement.
As an aside, the difference between the media coverage and what was heard on the scanner feeds during the 2016 Democratic and Republican conventions was amazing. But, I digress.

Scanning can be fun, informative, and sometimes, heartbreaking. It sometimes gets a bad rap, but many things worthwhile have that same issue.
Monitor responsibly. 73



posted on May, 17 2018 @ 02:27 PM
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originally posted by: grey580
a reply to: subfab

Here you go.
You can listen to many police, fire and atc channels.

www.broadcastify.com...


the link is intermittent. it works one time then it does not. thank you for the link. i added it to my favorites bar.


(post by ut12345 removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

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