Scanning / Monitoring
After much discussion and the prompting of others I am going to be setting up and coordinating a Get-Together for scanner users in the St. Louis area. It is going to be held on a Saturday morning and I am going to find someplace centrally located for us to meet. I hope to have a page up with all the details within the next few days.
Today UPS delivered my Pro-97 handheld scanner from RadioShack. It isn't in the stores yet so I had to order it. The Pro-97 comes in a blister pak like the Pro-89 does. Apparently RadioShack has decided to move away from the red and white boxes and go to see-through blister paks for their new scanners.
The Pro-97 is a Triple-Trunking scanner with 1000 channels and the Signal-Stalker feature. It is also the replacement for the now discontinued Pro-95 handheld. I will post a review of this scanner after I have had a chance to play with it and test out all of its features.
The St. Louis Mardi Gras is coming up within a few short days. If you are going to be attending the parade or any of the festivities and would like to take your scanner along try out these frequencies: 464.200 464.225 462.125 462.3375-(Line Up) 463.600-(Medical). There will probably be quite a bit of activity on the GMRS/FRS frequencies too.
RadioShack has finally released their 200 channel Pro-83 Signal-Stalker scanner. I will be posting a review of this scanner here in the very near future.
St. Louis County has hired GennCom to put together a feasibility study on upgrading their radio system to a 700mH digital trunked system with 19 stations and 40 channels. The county council will use a bond issue to raise the necessary funds for upgrading the radio system.
I've been asked about the manufacturer of the RadioShack scanners. I've found that most of them are manufactured by GRE, but several are manufactured by Uniden (Bearcat) too. You can find more information on GRE at their website: http://www.greamerica.com.
The RadioShack Pro-96 scanner has a problem with its main CPU chip. RadioShack is aware of this and has an updated chip available. All you need to do take your Pro-96 into your nearest company owned RadioShack store and they can send the scanner to the repair center in Fort Worth to have the chip changed at no cost. There is a very specific way that the repair ticket needs to be worded to get this chip update. If the Manager in the store you take your scanner to doesn't know how to do this tell him to call his DM for the information or he can contact the manager at 01-6636 for details.
On March 16, 2004 the St. Louis County Police Office of Emergency Management conducted a test of the tornado warning system. There was a simulated "watch" broadcast to test schools, hospitals, etc. The countys warning sirens were also activate at this time (for 3-5 minutes). This was followed by the National Weather Service issueing a statement to the public that a "warning" exercise is in progress. You can monitor the SKYWARN frequency at 146.940.
I've been asked about the software update for the Pro-96 Scanner from RadioShack. It is available on the RadioShack.com website. This software update enables CQPSK reception and fine tunes the digital audio level to better match that of analog audio levels. It also provides some improvement to reception of C4FM digital signals in very weak signal conditions. All Pro-96 users should download this update and apply it to their radios.
I've been asked about what type of scanner I carry. I carry the Pro-95 from RadioShack. It is a 1000 channel, dual-trunking scanner. The image to the left here is the Pro-95. This scanner won't pick up the digital signals from departments like the City of St. Charles or the St. Charles County Sheriffs department, but it does pick up everything that I personally listen to.
There is software available for programming the Pro 96 scanner using your computer. You can get the software from Starr Soft .com.
RadioShack has finally released the Pro 96 (20-526) Digital Trunking handheld scanner to their stores. It is retailing for less than $500.