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WHAT IS P25 Phase 2?
AURORA'S NEW RADIO SYSTEM
Trunking Radio Models (all radio systems in metro Denver
are trunked, except Boulder County)
Not all scanners can receive all radio systems.
  • The listed radios can only receive a system if YES is shown in the table.
  • To see if a digital scanner is needed for your area, see Colorado Radio Systems on this site.
  • Digital scanners, which are needed to monitor the Colorado State Digital Trunking Radio System (DTRS) including the Colorado State Patrol, and

    most counties, and for Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, West Metro Fire, Colorado Springs and El Paso County, are highlighted in yellow.

  •  Radio systems requiring a digital scanner are also highlighted in yellow.
  • If a handheld scanner also has a base/mobile version, they will both be listed with a "+" between.
  • To download a scanner manual (free), go to Accessories-Scanners-more on denver-radio.com.
  • Some of the radios are discontinued, and are indicated with a red highlight and strikethrough.
  • If you find a scanner on sale at a very low price at Radio Shack, it may not receive much in the Denver metro area. If you do end up with such a scanner, remember Radio Shack's return policy: within 30 days of purchase, in original condition, you can get a refund or exchange.
  • The Radio Shack PRO-404 scanner (now discontinued), and PRO-649 and PRO-650 WILL NOT receive any trunked or digital radio systems!

    This means it will NOT receive most of of the metro Denver area radio systems. It will only receive the conventional frequencies used in Boulder County, the Denver Fire Dept. alerting channel, and some of the Jefferson County mountain fire departments.

  • NOTE: If you bought the wrong radio, Radio Shack will give a refund or exchange within 30 days of purchase, as long as you return it in like-new condition, with the box and packing materials, manual, and your receipt.

 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K L

 

M


 

System or Agency

you would like to monitor:

 

(Digital systems, and current digital scanners, are highlighted in yellow)

 

Digital scanners will receive both digital and analog channels and systems.

Bearcat

BC-245

BC898T

BCT-8


Radio

Shack

PRO-90/91

 
 

Bearcat BC-780(analog)

Bearcat BC-296

+796 (with digital card)

 

Bearcat BCD-396T+

BCD-996T

 

 Bearcat BCD-396XT +BCD-996XT

 

Radio Shack PRO-

92+2067

93+2053

94/95/

97+2055

164+163

528+2051


GRE PSR 300+400

and PSR-310+410


Uniden BC-246T

(replaced by BC-346XT)

 

Radio Shack PRO-96

+2096

*Radio Shack

PRO-106+197

 

*GRE PSR-500+600

Replaced by the Whistler WS-1040+

WS-1065,

which are sold by Radio Shack as the PRO-651+652
 

*The Radio Shack and GRE models are identical except for slight differences listed below. Otherwise they are essentially the same radio.

Bearcat BC-346XT+

 

 BCT-15X
 

Radio Shack PRO-107

I-scan**

discontinued


GRE PSR-700

 

Uniden

Home

Patrol 

See the Denver Radio review of this radio.

Uniden BCD436HP+
BCD536HP




Uniden's newest scanners, with the full RadioReference
national database programming
built in!

Uniden BCD996P2 base/mobile

(no national database)

GRE PSR-800

 

Replaced by the Whistler

WS-1080

 

 

 

 

Available from Radio Shack as the PRO-668 $499.95

 

 

 


Denver Public Safety

(Police/Fire/Ambulance)

Lakewood Public Works




YES-with 3.xx firmware upgrade

YES



YESYESYESYES YES 
YES

Aurora trunk

DIA trunk

Denver Public Works

YESYESYESYES

YES

YESYES

YES

YESYESYES YES 
YES

Arvada/Westminster

Arvada and Westminster have switched to a P25 digital trunk; Arvada and Westminster PD are now encrypted and not monitorable.  Fire Dept. and other city services may be monitorable.

  

 

 

 YES (police are encrypted)

YES (police are encrypted) YES (police are encrypted) 
 YES (police are encrypted)YES (police are encrypted)  YES (police are encrypted)YES (police are encrypted)YES (police are encrypted)
Lakewood Public Safety

West Metro Fire

Wheat Ridge

Note: the Lakewood/West Metro/Wheat Ridge system converted from an EDACS trunk system to a P25 digital trunk as of 12-14-11.



YES YES

YES


YES YES

YES  YES YES

Boulder County conventional

(non-DTRS only)

YESYES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YESYESYESYESYES  YES YES
Other Front Range counties not listed (Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Douglas, Weld, Larimer)

YES

YES

YES


YES

YES



YES

 YES

YES

Colorado Springs
(now part of DTRS)



YESYES

YES


YESYES

YES  YES YES
Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Digital Trunking Radio System (DTRS)

YES

YES

YES


YES

YES



YES

 YES

YES

Has alpha tags (name of channel you are receiving)

no

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

 YES

yes

Approximate current price (without programming)


check Ebay

Check Ebay

396T $399

996T $399

at HRO 

 

(may no longer be available; have been replaced by the XT models)

$350 at HRO

(CLOSEOUT SPECIAL)

 

Radio Shack is now stocking these radios in some stores

priced at $469

 

(scanners are often on sale at Radio Shack) click here to check or click here

PRO-164+163 $199


PRO-97

discontinued 2009, now available from Denver Radio

 

 

$399

HRO

(303 745-7373)


$399

Radio Shack

 

(These scanners are sometimes on sale)

See the 

Radio Shack website

for more info.


 

$269 HRO

Discontinued

 

$499 at HRO


 

$495 (436)

$590 (536)

$450 (996P2)

at HRO


$499 at HRO?


Any radio not listed, but labeled 'Trunktracker II', or 'Trunktracker III' should have the same receive capabilities as radios in column F above.

** The new Radio Shack PRO-107 uses a new concept in scanning. It uses an SD memory card like many digital cameras use, and the entire RadioReference.com national frequency database is loaded on the card. The user must choose from this database the areas and systems desired to receive. An SD card completely programmed for the Denver area is available from Denver Radio. The PRO-107 will not receive any digital radio system, including the DTRS, or the El Paso County trunk system. Important in the Denver area: it will receive EDACS ESK radio systems (Denver Public Safety and Lakewood Public Works (not Public Safety) out-of-the-box. The only other alternative to receive ESK systems is to buy a $400-$500 digital scanner, or a Bearcat BCT-346XT or BCT-15X. If you don't need digital reception, this radio could be a good choice. See the Radio Shack information page here.

HRO is Ham Radio Outlet, at 8400 E Iliff Ave, phone 303 745-7373, website www.hamradio.com, link to scanner info at http://www.hamradio.com/search2.cfm

For Radio Shack information, go to www.radioshack.com.

 


 

Personal digital scanner recommendations:

 

Your best choice today would be one of the new Uniden HP radios; either the BCD-436HP handheld,

or the BCD-536HP base/mobile.


These radios contain the complete Radioreference.com national frequency database, plus the ability to build your own Favorites lists (or purchase a pre-programmed SD card

with metro Denver Favorites).  They will receive the latest radio systems, including the new

P25 Phase II mode, which most other models will not.


Your preference may differ.

     

    Prior recommendations:

Uniden Bearcat

BCD-396T + BCD-996T

(discontinued by Uniden)


Pros:

  • 6,000 channels
  • 100 systems

(like banks)

  • Very solidly built, very compact, nice feel
  • Uniden programming software is available for free download with registration.
  • BCD-396T uses 3 AA-size rechargeable batteries or alkalines.
  • The 110 volt power supply and 3 rechargeable batteries are included with the 396T.

Cons:

  • Radio is shipped from the factory with 1.xx firmware, must be upgraded by the user (or Denver Radio) to 3.xx to receive Denver and Lakewood (ESK systems)
  • Receiver not as sensitive as GRE/Radio Shack models
  • BCD-396T display has a blue backlight, which can be difficult to read.
  • No longer produced by Uniden, may be available from some dealers, or on Ebay.
  • Programming the radio with the software is very slow; the time required to transfer a file with the full capacity of these radios is about 45 minutes.

Uniden Bearcat

BCD-396XT + BCD-996XT


BCD-396XT

Pros:

  • 25,000 channelsBCD-996XT
  • 100 systems

(like banks)

  • Very solidly built, very compact (same chassis as BCD-396T+ BCD-996T)
  • ESK reception for Denver and Lakewood without firmware upgrade
  • The BCD-396XT adds some functions which the 396T does not have
  • More sensitive receiver than the BCD-396T.
  • Display has a backlight which can be customized with different colors for various channels. Each channel can be individually set to display one of several backlight colors for about 5 seconds.
  • BCD-396XT uses 3 AA-size rechargeable batteries or alkalines.
  • The 110 volt power supply and 3 rechargeable batteries are included with the 396XT.

Cons:

  • Display can be difficult to read, especially with some color choices.
  • No Uniden programming software is available, but third-party software is available (see News dated 4-22-09)
  • Programming the radio with software is very slow, but not as slow as the T models.  Transferring a file of about 6,000 channels (which is the number of channels included in Denver Radio programming) takes about 15 minutes.

Uniden has an interesting comparison of the 996T and 996XT on their web site.  Most of the differences should also apply to the 396T and XT.

GRE PSR-500+PSR-600*

(Radio Shack PRO-106+197)*

 


 

 NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

  • Receiver is slightly more sensitive than BCD-396T + BCD-996T
  • ESK reception for Denver without firmware upgrade
  • P25 digital decoder for DTRS works very well
  • Shows ID of radios transmitting on trunk system
  • 7-color LED can be programmed to indicate type of agency received
  • Display has an orange backlight, and is very readable
  • V-Scanner function can back up 21 different programming configurations inside the scanner
  • The handheld and base/mobile units have identical electronics inside.
  • PSR-500 uses 4 AA-size rechargeable batteries or alkalines; comes with separate battery holders for rechargeables and alkalines.

Cons:

  • 1800 channels (quite a bit, but less than Uniden)
  • 20 systems (like banks)
  • Handheld radios are larger than Unidens, have a plastic case

Differences between GRE and Radio Shack versions:

  • GRE includes a 110 volt power supply for the PSR-500 handheld;
    RS sells it separately for $21.
  • GRE includes a PC programming cable; RS sells it separately for $30.
  • GRE has the manual on a CD in the box; RS includes a printed manual.
  • The faceplates look slightly different, but inside, they are really the same radio.  The PRO-106 and PRO-197 are manufactured by GRE for Radio Shack, with the RS name on the radio.

*The PSR-500 and PRO-106, and the PSR-600 and PRO-197 models are identical except for slight differences listed above. Otherwise they are essentially the same radio.