Affordable 200 channel scanners? (1 Viewer)

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Hello everyone! Its been a while since there has been a discussion about buying a scanner here (according to what I've seen by searching "scanner"). Does anyone have a recommendation for a 200 channel scanner that has descent battery life and will not "break the bank"? I'm a total noob so I dont really know what to look for :).
 
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Coywolf

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Uniden BC75 75$

I have a Uniden BC125AT 100$ better scanner than the 75 and has alpha tags and close call feature. Check out Uniden's website.
 

Eng JR Lupo RV323

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If you're into just geeking out on railroad jargon, I suppose a scanner might not be a horrible purchase. If you're looking into getting a scanner to make your first train hopping experience a little easier, it's probably going to let you down. It's basically gonna be a bunch of hotbox/defect detectors, high wide detectors and a lot of railroad jargon, releasing track authority and repeating each other. I bet it would take months of listening to scanners to hear something that's actually of use to a rider.

Then you'd have to figure out all the different frequencies, and sometimes there's silence so it's hard to scan for them. I'm not trying to talk you out of buying one, but it might be a good idea to try and find some conversations between dispatchers and train crews on YouTube. Have a listen to those, and decide if you think it was helpful enough to spend upwards of $75.00 on.
 
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pretty much what @Eng JR Lupo RV323 said, a scanner isnt going to do shit for you unless you know what yer listening to. same with reading or tracing trains you really need first had experience before any of this more i hate to say it but advanced stuff starts to make any sense. sure you could show up day 1 with a scanner and tracys number and yer fun rail road atlas but if you dont know what yer looking for its not going to make any sense.

and im not trying to be rude or harsh, but there really is no shortcut if you want to hop trains.
 
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Dmac

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You can listen to train communications on this site: http://www.railroadradio.net/
I use an app on my phone for listening to the local cops and fire departments It's pretty interesting listening late in the evenings. I just fount this app that claims you can listen to freight trains as well as cops, etc. I have not tried it but you might look into it
http://www.androidfreeware.net/tag-railroad.html
good luck!
 
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Thanks for all the advise everyone!

I took a look at the BC75 and BC125AT that @Coywolf mentioned. From what uniden said on their sight, it seems that the bc75 doesnt go into the ranges used by railroads or any other similar ranges, plus the price difference between the two doesnt justify getting the bc75 since the bc125at has many more feature that appear to be almost required.

I decided to do as @Eng JR Lupo RV323 advised and listened to radio chatter for about an hour and a half. Personally I think just hearing whats happening in the yard to have a better idea of where people are justifies the purchase.. But then again maybe its fairly easy to spot people. Right now I'm not really sure as I have yet to take a look at a tain yard in person. (I will probably go when its not 110 degrees where I am)

I'll be sure to check out the sights @Dmac and @Coywolf mentioned when I get the chance. They sound very promising!
 

Coywolf

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Alot of people have been saying that you need a digital trunking radio to listen to railroad frequencies as of late. I can pretty much say that is BS, for west coast railroads at least. Or unless you want to hear the Bulls traffic. Just throwing that out there.
 
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Sorry.. you just lost me. xD

I am unfamiliar with the term trunked so I could totally be talking out of my ass here, but from the terms used on unidens sight it seems like analog trunked is a radio that uses analog as its data type (like a vinyl record) or digital trunked which seems like it uses digital as its data type (like a .mp3 file). If I am correct then they use a different frequency range. But aside from all that which in retrospect doesn't particularly matter all that much, uniden doesnt list either the BC75 (well.. BC75XLT) or the BC125AT under either catagory, nor do they even mention the terms "digital" of "analog" anywhere in either description. I think it would be pretty cool and usefull to hear the bulls traffic, but I am also not willing to drop the cash for a digital trunked radio. So I really dont have a clue what either the BC75XLT or BC125AT actually are.
 

Coywolf

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If you don't know what it is, don't wrry about it.

Trunking is esentia)y channels with more precise frequencues ...I 600.0006 versus 600.06. It allows for more radio channels. Some radios are not sensitive enough to pick up these subtle differences, like the BC75XLT. The BC125AT can. It has "analog trunking"

Digital versus analog is a whole other beast that I won't go into detail here. It essentially allows for clearer traffic and the abikity to encrypt radio messages so Jon Q. Public cant listen in, mainly for Law Enforcement. It is extremedy expensive to upgrade a system from analog to digital and I don't see railroads doing it any time soon.

Analog radon will work just fine for the time being.
 

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