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  1. #1
    Advanced Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Northern Michigan

    Default Not enthused with new line of scanning receivers...

    I don't know about everyone else on here, but I am not really all that impressed with Uniden, nor GRE, or Radioshacks new lines of scanners. I do not like how they are doing away with direct entry. The ability to direct enter a frequency is crucial. It is one of the most important things for me. Yet they are all putting out in essense, "Scanners for dummies." The problem with that is, this electronics hobby is not for dummies. It is for enthusists, people whom care to indulge and learn new fun interesting things. I feel like they are taking away a very grave learning, and steping stone to Amature Radio. Being able to key in your own frequencies by button is also faster, and much more reliable than depending on some computer to think for you. Just doesn't seem right to me. Not jiving. Anyone else out there feel the same way? Or, am I alone in this matter/emotion?

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  2. #2
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Great Lakes

    Default Re: Not enthused with new line of scanning receivers...

    Glad this was brought up. Thanks. This is very true as I have noticed this too. I can remember my first scanner I got as a present the Radio Shack Pro 43. 1993. Wow, and that had direct entry into the scanner. Can we not handle entering frequencies into a scanner anymore?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    SE MA

    Default Re: Not enthused with new line of scanning receivers...

    Why no more user programing? As they say, "follow the dollar". My guess is that it's much cheaper to design a scanning receiver that is programed with a computer. After all, direct entering a frequency is not rocket science.

    I recently bought a VHF/UHF dual band HAM mobile transceiver and everyone hasseled me for trying to program hundreds of freqs manually. My reply was that if I accidentally pushed a wrong button on this complicated radio, I wanted to know how to correct my mistake if it happens (its a mobile radio) away from home. Yea, it took me a couple of months to learn the ropes but now I can "fix" any operating problems away from home. Being a HAM operator, I use my dual band (VHF/UHF) radio as both a scanner and a mobile radio for HAM use.

    An old company that used to publish frequencies for New England use for decades now does not anymore. Now the co. only sells software-programable scanners. You pay a bundle for the scanner then have to buy or have them install the software for whatever you want to listen to. Man, have times changed from the early days of scanner listening of the 50s and 60s

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Canon City, CO

    Default Re: Not enthused with new line of scanning receivers...

    Don't know about if what you're saying is true or not. I remember my first scanner being programmed by direct entry using buttons. I currently own a BC996T and I can either program it by using the buttons on it or by using my computer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Not enthused with new line of scanning receivers...

    Well, the bottom line is that American's are STUPID and LAZY.
    They do not want to do things themselves anymore - unless it saves them money!

    As a member of a local ham radio club, I can remember the President telling me about how tired he was of having to program radios and scanners and handheld radios for the club members.

    The club members were mostly CB radio people that got a license by what ever means available, when they realized that if they continued to free band CB radio, they would eventually get caught.
    Nothing else drove them towards becoming a ham radio operator, and they had no desire to actually learn anything or do anything.

    The club members spent a majority of their time on two meters simplex - 146.565 MHz and did not talk on the HF.
    6 meters for them was a lot of fun when they started, because 6 meters allowed them to talk both locally and distant with the same radio and antenna, and there were clubs at that time that had nets on 6 meters in Ohio that would talk to them on a weekly basis.

    When a radio would malfunction and loose a memory, they would go into panic mode and would demand that my friend Steve drop everything and reprogram their radio's.

    A scanner that does nothing but listen to preprogrammed frequencies and does not allow direct entry is useless in my opinion.
    First off - frequencies change, that is a part of life.
    Second off - public service is going to migrate to VOIP Digital - something called FirstNet, which will be Propriety Software - such as Open Sky in Pennsylvania.
    When you block the police frequencies, what do you have left? Fire and Ambulance.
    How many people just wants to listen to Fire and Ambulance.

    The gripe I have with the new Bearcat Home Patrol is that it doesn't even have a BNC connector to attach a external antenna.
    This takes for granted that all of the signals you wish to monitor can be received via it's external antenna.
    What about people living in steel reinforced concrete buildings, or inside of foil faced insulated walls, or aluminum siding, or low E glass on their windows.

    I wouldn't mind buying a new scanner, as long as the scanner offered the ability to listen to all of the digital modes, but even Yaesu came out with a new mode of amateur radio repeater that is both analog and digital, that has a digital scheme that is not available for scanner use. Nor is D-Star ( ICOM ) from what I understand.

    My best advice would be to buy a new Yaesu FTM 400DR and petition Yaesu to make available the technology to upgrade it so it will monitor D-Star and also P-25...
    Tell the vendor to keep the microphone for the non licensed amateurs and offer free programming for those that would like to use it as a scanner.
    At $540.00 - this radio will not break the bank, and will offer incentive for the user to become a amateur radio operator.

    As in the case of my friends that started out Freebanding CB radio, when it was time to upgrade to amateur radio, they already had the equipment, all they needed was the license.

    Having come from both the CB radio - back in the day when you had to have crystals and only 23 channels, and an avid scanner listener, I still have my old Bearcat III and IV scanners, I can tell you that if a person has the desire to talk on amateur radio, they will apply themselves and get a license.

    The Yaesu FT1DR handheld radio is also a excellent tool for listening to both analog and digital conversations and is a lot easier to carry portable then the Uniden Bearcat Home Patrol.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    SE MA

    Default Re: Not enthused with new line of scanning receivers...

    Ham man - I agree. When I go on a site for the Kenwood 71A radio, it seems everyone is concerned with programing software and not being able to program the radio manually. I spent the time and aggravation to learn how to do it out in the field (when mobile) so when I pushed a button by accident, I would know how to correct the mistake. And this task was not easy with the writing of the user manual. In fact, a lot of the site questions involve tasks that are covered in the manual but no one seems to be reading it. Why not? It's easier to go on such a site and have others solve their problems. I would expect this behavior on CB but Ham radio?

    And yes, I too "evolved" from CB to Ham radio after putting up with that insanity for some 40+ years. Yes, Ham radio is not perfect but a far cry better than CB. To save my sanity (what little is left) I spend my time on 2 meters where the traffic is more sane. HF? Yea I got the General upgrade but after a short time on HF, I gave up with all the profanity and low class operators - its just like CB - you have to weed out the idiots to start an intelligent conversation. So I now sit on 2m with mostly simplex operation with a few old friends. Ah, those CB free banding days...brings back some fond memories but even a single celled life form should strive to evolve, which I did and never regretted it.

    Sorry for hijacking your thread a bit but wanted to keep it alive - its a good one!
    Last edited by Mr Q; 10-06-2014 at 11:15 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: Not enthused with new line of scanning receivers...

    Well Mr. Q = my radio days started around 1969 - 70 and ended around 1979 when I realized that all of the class had left CB radio.
    By 1979 I was prepared to take the amateur radio exams, but there was no one in my area to administer them.

    I think that what you were looking for, you did not find on HF because you didn't want to leave the safety and security that local CB radio chat gave you.

    Two meters is local communications, a bunch of good buddies, all hanging out together.
    The only difference between CB radio and two meters is that the people on two meters should have a license and should id every 10 minutes - which most do not!

    Because the Technician Class License today is a joke, you got your license a little bit too easy and now you were exposed to radio, without the benefit of an Elmer to guide you along the way.

    I sometimes hesitate when I talk about this because people today are nothing more than CB'rs in my book. Most of them, after they get their license, doesn't want to listen to someone telling them the proper way to do things and they avoid getting the help they need to get on the air and make real contacts with real people.

    Most of the HF is congested with nets, a group of people that are afraid to call CQ and can't make contacts without a net control rounding up a group of people for them to talk to.

    There are some rag chewers - but not many.

    There are some groups that dominates a particular frequency and uses it locally like a telephone to talk to friends and neighbors and they don't particularly contribute much if anything to actual amateur radio. 75 and 160 meters is really bad and 40 and 20 is not much better.

    I feel sorry that you were deprived of actually being able to find yourself an elmer and actually being able to learn how to use the HF radio. 10 meters is a gateway to the world.
    I have had thousands of conversations with people from all over the world, with nothing more than a Solorcon A 99 antenna and 100 watts or less on 10 meters..

    The best way to hone your radio skills is to log contacts on 10 meters and participate casually on some of the contests. I made 20 contacts last weekend on the California QSO Party.
    20 contacts isn't much - considering how many counties there is in California.
    But I was privy to one contact that I had never heard before.
    One person that made a contact with a ham in California before me was from Africa.
    The Africa station was very robust, and had I had the chance, I would have been able to add him to my log.

    One good contest can net you as many as 100 new countries - hence if you do it long enough, you can get certificates for working all states, working all countries, etc..
    That isn't really important to me, I have yet to submit a log sheet for a contest.
    But I have helped others to work all states and all counties in those contests.

    In an emergency, it is very important to be able to copy information and call signs in a timely manner. Might I suggest that you join the ARRL and you contact your county EC and get put on the list for RACES and join ARES and participate in the Emergency nets?

    Find yourself a viable club and participate in club activities.
    Field Days
    State QSO Party
    VHF Contests
    are all a good way to find your place in the radio world today...

    I have more fun working 6 meters then most people does hanging out on the HF with their friends. Each time I work a new state, it is a real accomplishment. Especially since it is hard to make many contacts from Western Pennsylvania just using a dipole antenna and 100 watts or less, from a tower 30' off the ground..

    That is the sad part about scanners today.
    Most of the pre programmed ones do not include amateur radio frequencies or 6 meter FM and 10 meter FM frequencies anymore, nor does any of them do single side band.

    A general coverage receiver would be a much better investment then something that just picks up local public service .. We could probably increase our local amateur radio presence if we had more hams to talk to and more educated people to operate on the ham bands.

    The walkie talkie people are the ones I have a hard time talking to.
    Too many people uses amateur radio like a telephone and they make a call, but they only want to talk to one person. With all the ham frequencies programmed into my quad band radio, by the time the radio stops, I don't know if it is someone wanting to call CQ or someone just wanting to use the repeater to talk to one of their good buddies!

    Even the fire dispatch doesn't like repeating the address of the emergency - like they did 10 years ago. Everyone thinks that all you have programmed into your radio is the couple of frequencies used locally and they can't understand that you might be listening to 100 or 200 frequencies on scan.. Everyone is in their own little world....



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