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  1. #1
    Speed Demon
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    Default How do you use a scanner?

    I'm guessing the purpose of having a scanner is to know where VASCAR is running. How do you pick out what the cops are saying that's pertinent though? I mean, isn't there a lot of noise? ANd do they speak so blatantly about what they are saying to say like (hey let's set up vascar between exits 21 and 25). Oh, and if anybody's curious, I think I know what set up I'm saving up towards: V1 (arrives tomorrow), Blinder M-40, VEIL, BCT-12. I think that should have me set up right, no? Too bad it's gonna take a while to save up that much dough (considering that I've got some camera stuff to buy too).
    Richard

  2. #2
    Advanced Member
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    Default

    If it is VASCAR using multiple vehicles, one officer to time vehicles and another to chase, then you'll probably hear the clocker relaying such things as the vehicle make, color, and speed to the chase vehicle. You might hear this multiple times. Usually they won't use the "normal" police frequencies for this, they'll use simplex tactical frequencies for direct car to car communications. If you're lucky, the BCT-12 highway patrol alert might go off, depending on if your state still uses the same freqs that are programmed in the BCT-12.

    If it is just one cop running VASCAR, then nothing can protect you.

    If you want to be safe and listen to the radio traffic, then of course you will hear a lot of regular communication that isnt related to speed enforcement. It might help you avoid taking a route with a big backup because of an accident etc, and there have been times where I have heard police announce the mile marker where they were located, not often though.

    There is one thing I can recommend for your setup, if you travel the interstates a lot: a way to listen to CB channel 19. This can be very valuable, I've heard about speed traps hundreds of miles in advance just by listening to the truckers going the other way. If there's a cop around, you'll probably hear about it on CB before you ever see him, as long as there are truckers on the road. If you have a regular CB radio, you can also ask the traffic going the other way what they've seen, I do this sometimes. But you can gain a wealth of info just by listening. There always seems to be more "smokey reports" around interchanges. Of course, your mileage may vary...



    Jim

  3. #3
    Speed Demon
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    Default

    Hmm...well the route that does worry me most is my I-85 to I-95 to I-395 and then shot bit of roads I know well and won't speed on because I know them too well for that route between college and home. So...CB channel 19 eh? Have they come up with a way to have CB without a big antenna on your car yet?
    Richard

  4. #4
    Advanced Member
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    Default

    There's a few solutions, the best I have really found is to use an antenna adapter to connect to your vehicle antenna. I ordered my adapter from Grove Enterprises I think, but I couldn't find it. It is similar to this though:
    http://www.bearcat1.com/item0104.htm

    Not a perfect solution, but it is a lot better than mounting a big antenna on your vehicle, and will give you reasonable receive range.

    The second best way is to use a "suction cup" wire antenna that connects to the inside of your window. An antenna like this came new with the BCT-12, but you can find them sold by themselves.

    Or, get a handheld CB (not good range though). I actually tried using a regular CB with an antenna from a handheld CB in the back window, it didn't work too well.


    Jim

  5. #5
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Default

    Now that I've got my new RX65 and am becoming more aware of my surroundings while driving, I'm thinking of going whole hog and getting a radio scanner too. I stopped in a Radio Shack this weekend and learn that the Colorado emergency agencies are all on digital trunked bands which means I would need a $500 scanner (ouch!). I wanted a portable one like the Pro-96. Would that get decent range in a car, or would I need an additional attentenna as discussed on this thread to be useful? Should I just get a cheap scanner and leave it on CB19? I planing a couple trips to California this year, and I remember one year I had a CB radio and it was a lot of fun to listen to the trucker traffic on cross country trips. I also drive from Colorado Springs to Denver a couple of times a month (about 1 hour away) and occassionally traffic gets backed up from accidents. It would be nice to be able to get emergency/police and weather alert info.

  6. #6
    Advanced Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by COBEL
    I stopped in a Radio Shack this weekend and learn that the Colorado emergency agencies are all on digital trunked bands which means I would need a $500 scanner (ouch!).
    I feel your pain.... Michigan is the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by COBEL
    I wanted a portable one like the Pro-96. Would that get decent range in a car, or would I need an additional attentenna as discussed on this thread to be useful? Should I just get a cheap scanner and leave it on CB19?
    If you are looking to avoid speed traps, the CB receive would be best. For that, you'll likely need to use one of the solutions above to get any range at those freqs. CB is low freq so it needs a long antenna.

    Digital trunked radio is 800-900 MHz so it doesn't need a long antenna. You might get decent range in your vehicle with a stock antenna on a portable scanner like the Pro96. But, an external antenna is always better.

    Also keep in mind that some other places you drive through probably have standard VHF/UHF police radio, so you'll have to account for that....

    You'll just have to experiment until you find a decent compromise between range and antennas. I won't mount an external to my vehicle...

    Jim

  7. #7
    Radar Fanatic
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by COBEL
    Now that I've got my new RX65 and am becoming more aware of my surroundings while driving, I'm thinking of going whole hog and getting a radio scanner too. I stopped in a Radio Shack this weekend and learn that the Colorado emergency agencies are all on digital trunked bands which means I would need a $500 scanner (ouch!). I wanted a portable one like the Pro-96. Would that get decent range in a car, or would I need an additional attentenna as discussed on this thread to be useful? Should I just get a cheap scanner and leave it on CB19? I planing a couple trips to California this year, and I remember one year I had a CB radio and it was a lot of fun to listen to the trucker traffic on cross country trips. I also drive from Colorado Springs to Denver a couple of times a month (about 1 hour away) and occassionally traffic gets backed up from accidents. It would be nice to be able to get emergency/police and weather alert info.
    If your goal is only cb19, Midland CB radios can be picked up for less than $40, and Cobra for less than $60. That's a lot cheaper way to go than a scanner (don't know how good they are though.)

  8. #8
    Advanced Member
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    Here's the CB I use, the Cobra 75 WX-ST.
    All of the electronics are in the mic:



    It seems pretty decent, but I'm not a big CB buff or anything...

  9. #9
    Radar Fanatic
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    Those all in the handpiece units seem pretty nice. Out of the way and all. I'm seriously thinking about trying one of the $40 midland units from walmart just to see if they're any good.

  10. #10
    Speed Demon
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    Default

    Out of curiosity, how did channel 19 become the hotness? Oh, and Jim, do you have a cool CB handle like Rubber Duck? I think when I go back home I'm going to talk to the speedshop about wiring in a Blinder (I know they are dealers) and a CB that utilizes my OEM antenna.
    Richard

 

 

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