04/03/10 99 W - + 5 - 10 Scanning

The objective: three simultaneous audio streams. City fire dispatch (VHF), county fire dispatch (VHF), and trunked talkgroups both VIPER and Cary (800mhz). The equipment: two VHF scanners for city and county fire, and one digital trunking scanner for talkgroups. Same configuration for base and mobile, each with three radios. The question: can three simultaneous streams be accomplished short of three separate radios? Sure, you can use Priority on a scanning radio, but that just lets one channel override a second. What other options are there? And why hasn't someone invented a radio that plays multiple channels at once?

Why hasn’t someone invented a radio that plays multiple channels at once? Well you basically need 2 receivers in one case. As far as P25 Digital: both GRE & Uniden have to pay $$ to DVSI for each vocoder used in each scanner which is why digital capable radios cost around $500. And that is just for one receiver. Could you imagine the cost for multiple receivers in one case? :-)
The answer is simple: More radios :-)
I usually only carry 2 with me: Yaesu VX-5r and Uniden BCD396XT. At home though I have the following:
—A Pro96 Digital scanner only on RPD
—A Uniden BCD996XT Monitoring Various Wake County & Federal Public Safety
—A Uniden BC895XLT Monitoring Various VHF/UHF Freqs
—A Radio Shack Pro 2037 Monitoring Various VHF/UHF Freqs
—A Uniden BC246T Monitoring Cary 800Mhz and various VIPER analog TGs (including NCSHP VIPER).
—A Pro95 Monitoring various analog VHF/UHF
—A Uniden BC3000xlt monitoring VHF/UHF
—An old Regency Base scanner only monitoring SHP Low Band VHF.
And even with all of the above I still miss stuff from time to time.
We are extremely lucky in NC to be able to monitor public safety at all.
When I am out and about I usually monitor the 3 locution alert VHF channels and
RPD on my 396XT. That covers a good bit of anything interesting that may come up.
My Motto: You can never have too many radios :-)
—An old
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 04/03/10 - 17:27

One additional comment: For those licensed as Hams: Many Ham Handheld transceivers do have dual VHF/UHF Receivers in one radio which gives the capability to receive on 2 different VHF/UHF freqs at the same time. So in theory you could program Fire into one spot and EMS into another and be good to go.
It is just on the Trunking side that things get kind of tricky :-)
Uniden does have a Priority type of feature for Moto Systems in their latest scanners (XT Line) which allows a TG to be marked as
Priority and if that TG becomes active the radio will switch to it even if the radio is parked on another TG on that system.
So I have all of the Wake Co Emergency TGs programmed in and if someone hits their emergency button my 396XT/996XT will immediately
Switch over to their predetermined EMERG Talkgroup. Works pretty darn well.
Sorry to be so long winded Mike.
To sum up: We do the best we can with what is out there :-)
Happy (and safe) Monitoring to all!
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 04/03/10 - 17:49

Yeah, that’s what I need, a ham radio. Looks like my latest dual mobile VHF arrangement is going to be a pair of side-by-side Regency low-profile crystal scanners from the late 1980s. They’re workhorses. For trunking, my Pro-2096 is going to be mounted somehow, somewhere in my new Accord. Somehow. The dash construction in these things is tighter than a [insert colorful phrase as desired].
Legeros - 04/03/10 - 18:25

Yeah, my car has little to no room for radio mounting either. I usually just clip my BCD396XT to the visor with a rubber duck antenna and sit my Yaesu VX-5R in a drink holder.
I have been asked in the past many times if I would be willing to give a “Basics of scanning in Central NC” presentation somewhere in Wake Co.
Especially with the challenges involved with monitoring VIPER. I am willing if the demand is out there.
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 04/03/10 - 21:41

Marshall, I know I’d be willing to go to that kind of presentation.
Paul - 04/04/10 - 13:49

@Paul Thanks. I am gonna try to see if I can’t put something together for sometime soon.
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 04/04/10 - 14:01

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