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Regarding radio scanners for when the SHTF

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posted on May, 6 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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(Mods please move this post if I've chosen the wrong forum)

Well, I'm just about convinced that it's only a matter of time before our existence takes a turn for the worst. I'd like to be prepared for when this happens and the first thing on my list is acquiring a radio scanner..

I figure a handheld model would be the best.. but as this is the first scanner (and hopefully last) that I am about to buy I'd like to ask everybody here on ATS what they would recommend

I'm not sure if I should buy a digital or analog scanner or exactly what the difference is.. (it's my understanding at this point that the digital can do everything the analog does in addition to scanning transmissions from digital trunking systems, beyond that I'm unsure)

Currently I'm looking at 3 different models:

1) The GRE PSR500 Digital Apco-25 Triple-Trunking Handheld Scanner
2) The Uniden BCD396XT Handheld TrunkTracker IV Digital Police Scanner
3) And the analog counterpart of #2, the Uniden BC346XT Handheld TrunkTracker III Analog Police Scanner

Could anybody with some radio communication experience please share their experiences and opinion on those 3 scanners?
I want to make sure that I buy one that will give me access to vital information in the time of a communication breakdown and I would rather pay more money to ensure that I get access to as many features as possible.

Thanks for reading and appreciate your input!
edit on 6-5-2012 by hombero because: (no reason given)

EDIT: Just discovered that scanner #1 has a nonstandard battery... this is certainly a strike against it
edit on 6-5-2012 by hombero because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 6 2012 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by hombero
 

I am no expert, but i know when law enforcement here completely failed when they tried to switch to digital. They have tried again and again over the years, but always end up back on good old analog because digital drops out completely and becomes useless when signal drops below a certain threshold. With analog the quality will just deteriorate but you will still be able to communicate and make out what is said even when signal is weak.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 01:08 PM
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I would seriously keep in mind that most communications in a WWIII/SHTF scenario would be in the



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 02:54 PM
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Thank you for both of your replies -- from the information you've shared I'm starting to feel that what I'm looking for may be a wide-band receiver and not an analog/digital trunk scanner,

I did some research and found this wide-band receiver:
Wide Band Communications Receiver DJ-X11E/T

Its specifications say it can receive .05-1299.99mHz, so it sounds as though it should be able to receive the majority of audio transmissions, right?
Nevermind, the frequencies you mentioned are well below this unit's capability, back to researching further

Thanks again for your insights!
edit on 6-5-2012 by hombero because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-5-2012 by hombero because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 03:10 PM
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Nope this thread must be deleted because in some parts of the world it is illegal to use scanners and it's off topic, well because i say so.

"Discussion of illegal activities are not permitted on ATS. "

Little green men is OK but energy, medicine, bartering, fighting has nothing to do with survival so scanners for use when SHTF is just being silly unless we have double standards on ATS and posting to complain in Board and questions about posts being delete is also the wrong place and also gets deleted so I guess i will do it all over the place until my concerns have been addressed by Mr "intrepid"



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 03:20 PM
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I'm sure it is illegal to use scanners in some part of the world but I doubt that it's illegal to talk about using them..
Besides, how is having a scanner "off topic" when it could be used to receive potentially life saving information in a war situation? Especially in these modern times when an enemy would likely preemptively cripple the receiving end's modern communication systems i.e satellites, cell towers

P.S. are you actually being serious?



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 03:56 PM
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reply to post by hombero
 


I would look at a cheap HAM radio(or short-wave receiver) and a scanner as well.

Due to the frequencies involved, you will find that separate units will give you a clearer signal. The Antennas are tuned to specific frequencies and will perform poorly outside of this "tuned range". This is why the scanners standard antenna performs well in the 450MHz range(UHF) but needs a 130MHz antenna for VHF(Aircraft) unless the source is close to the receiver.

As to the whole legality of scanners.....it depends upon the country. Here in Australia, there are bandwidths that it is an offence to listen to (military) but, receiving emergency services is allowed provided that scanner/receiver in question is not used for criminal purposes.

One thing that I have always been prepared for if I ever had to sit in court for receiving transmissions is that my scanner antenna is inside the house. If anyone were to try and sting me.....I would counter-sue for invasion of personal space, EM radiation, trespass, etc....

It probably wouldn't hold up as a defence but I would give it a go anyhow.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 03:59 PM
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Originally posted by hombero
I'm sure it is illegal to use scanners in some part of the world but I doubt that it's illegal to talk about using them..
Besides, how is having a scanner "off topic" when it could be used to receive potentially life saving information in a war situation? Especially in these modern times when an enemy would likely preemptively cripple the receiving end's modern communication systems i.e satellites, cell towers

P.S. are you actually being serious?


Yes i am serious, see www.abovetopsecret.com...

" I doubt that it's illegal to talk about using them."

Yes my point too but just talking about how to make ethanol or uses for it in the survival forum got my post deleted and the mod is too chicken to defend his move but i intend on standing my ground, its my duty else others will waste time posting here because the mods think they can act like little Hitlers and get away with it.

I would say you need to get a radio hams setup with a 2000w burner but i'm sure that would be illegal in this forum too if someone wanted to be silly like they have been.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by Master_007
 



I would say you need to get a radio hams setup with a 2000w burner but i'm sure that would be illegal in this forum too if someone wanted to be silly like they have been.


It isn't illegal to operate an Amateur Radio with a 2000W linear amp providing that you are licensed.

I wouldn't do it in a city though.


I find it amusing that you are allowed to own a HAM radio just about anywhere in the world but you may only use it if you are licensed. There are a lot of yachts that have HAM radios fitted on that loophole.

BTW I agree, the ethanol thread that was closed was due to mod ignorance not because it broke T&C, but it doesn't really change anything as my opinion is not the one that matters there.




edit on 6/5/2012 by OccamAssassin because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/5/2012 by OccamAssassin because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by hombero
 


I personally do not have a lot of experience with radios other than my 15 year old handheld scanner that just broke, so I was in the market for a new one. All of the old police and emergency channels I used to listen to are rarely used now so I really only used it for weather updates during storms. This is a must-have in my area where there is a high potential for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. It was much better for weather updates than FM radio or TV. I decided on this radio Kaito KA500 Emergency Radio It has AM/FM/Wx/Shortwave all in one unit with solar and dynamo power and many other functions. It can even charge a cell phone enough to make an emergency call. It doesn't recieve signals in the frequencies that police use but those are nearly useless where I live anyway. They are easily found for $50 on several internet retail sites. Sorry I can't give a review it hasn't arrived yet



posted on May, 10 2012 @ 08:32 AM
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Alot of this will depend on your location of coarse, but I have had a scanner for years and can hear everything in the DFW area you would ever want to hear or could hear. For some reason 99% of the DFW and surrounding areas are NOT encrypted, I believe this holds true for most of the US. They have almost all converted to digital, except for Dallas proper, all suburbs are on digital now and only 1 city in the entire DFW metroplex is encrypted, McKinney Tx. The FBI and DHS is encrypted for the most part, you can hear some federal stuff like some DEA field agents but you guys have to understand, when they have to cooperate with local police and fire, they have to use the open channels so you will get that info. When used you can hear SWAT as well, no idea why they are not encrypted, but in Dallas they are not.

I listen to all local police and fire, DPS, I listen to the local ARES HAM frequencies for weather when it gets bad, they are the guys that actually chase the storms and report directly to the weather guys(NOAA). Im sure if there was an emergency these guys would be involved on the backup side of things. I programed the local power company as well for the bad weather, power goes out at home, I know where the problem is and how long they think its going to take to fix, I know the moment its about to get turned back on. With a good scanner you can hear just about anything that transmits, CB, HAM, FRS, GMRS, Marine, aircraft. You would be amazed what you can hear sometimes. Go to RadioReference and they maintain the frequencies for pretty much the entire US, and I mean pretty much everything is there to program into your scanner.

A scanner is a wonderful tool to add to your "stuff". I would for sure get a DIgital unit, any of those you named would work fine, also might want to include the Radio Shack units as well, they are normally the cheapest cost when they go on sale you can get one for $250, most the others if new will run you $400ish



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