Added a scanner to the mix, and I think it paid for itself on my first drive.

robbyb413

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This method will be about as effective as following a Honda or Acura while using a $50 Cobra radar detector. Not to mention the fact of having to look at your scanner and taking your eyes off the road. How many different users of this LMR system are there? Many are non LE. What about locals? What are they using? Same system or their own? Pretty soon your scanner needs to scan everything from DC to daylight.
I think you mentioned you have a SDS100 earlier in the thread, correct? Please don't take this the wrong way, but politely, your post comes across as if you have not yet reviewed the manual or activated CC in the field if you do in fact own that unit. You may enjoy taking a look at that section and giving it a try.

It's a simple system. Disable the frequencies you don't want to have alerts on, set it to the mode you want, and when it beeps at you if the audio sounds like an officer then that means there is one close to you. Consider being vigilant and taking an extra look around you. If it's the fire department, medical or whatever just ignore it and it will go back to regular scanning mode in a second on it's own, however that situational awareness has value too in terms of your safety so also a good time to check up and look around. You don't need to look at, touch, or interact with the scanner at all. It just sits there and makes noise.

You're already scanning these frequencies anyway, aren't you? So then CC is just jumping to a priority signal on one of those frequencies because whatever is producing that signal is close to you. As a mobile countermeasure, that signal is much more important than the chatter from the local dispatch or whatever else is going on, isn't it?

I suppose if you don't see value in it that's fine, your SDS100 is for you. You have to configure it the way you want and to have it do the job you want it to do. :thumbsup:
 
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astronuts

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I think you mentioned you have a SDS100 earlier in the thread, correct? Please don't take this the wrong way, but politely, your post comes across as if you have not yet reviewed the manual or activated CC in the field if you do in fact own that unit. You may enjoy taking a look at that section and giving it a try.

It's a simple system. Disable the frequencies you don't want to have alerts on, set it to the mode you want, and when it beeps at you if the audio sounds like an officer then that means there is one close to you. Consider being vigilant and taking an extra look around you. If it's the fire department, medical or whatever just ignore it and it will go back to regular scanning mode in a second on it's own, however that situational awareness has value too in terms of your safety so also a good time to check up and look around. You don't need to look at, touch, or interact with the scanner at all. It just sits there and makes noise.

You're already scanning these frequencies anyway, aren't you? So then CC is just jumping to a priority signal on one of those frequencies because whatever is producing that signal is close to you. As a mobile countermeasure, that signal is much more important than the chatter from the local dispatch or whatever else is going on, isn't it?

I suppose if you don't see value in it that's fine, your SDS100 is for you. You have to configure it the way you want and to have it do the job you want it to do. :thumbsup:
Sounds like you have it all figured out, except, you don't. Thus my comparison to following a Honda with an el cheapo radar detector. You're using Close Call to monitor a specific range of the state system, got it. There are other users on that same system, right? You're in Massachusetts, right? According to Radio Reference there are not as many other users on the system as compared to Ohio's system. Our new county site that is now part of MARCS is extremely active with just about all public safety, city services, and even private entities are on the system. The scanner would be very active responding to constant nearby activity, and if I understand that you set to monitor that Close Call, it will be locking up to mostly irrelevant nonsense. I also suspect it will respond to the tower site more than it will to mobiles and portables. For anyone that travels outside of the area you know well you're not going to be able to discern whether that traffic is LE, FD, or the dog warden. If you follow this logic I doubt you will ever exceed the posted speed limit. :)))
 

robbyb413

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Listen, you have confirmed rather than dispelled what I assumed in my previous post. Close call is not a technology you are familiar with and have not used. Further I'm not sure you're well versed in MA frequencies, but also that comment seems to tie back somewhat to the prior point - you're just not clear on how CC works.

Give it a shot though. Break out your SDS100 manual and learn how to configure it for the proper service types and proper GPS usage. Also play close attention to how to configure CloseCall to exclude the things you don't want alerts for. Put it in your car, plug in your GPS, and hit the road. I can't speak to the usefulness of the general chatter. We're in two different areas. It sounds like maybe in Ohio you're telling me all the traffic is on one channel, whereas in Massachusetts it is not, so I can see why you might find that less useful than I find it. I have most stuff shut off except for law enforcement, sounds like you might not be able to that in Ohio if I'm reading your correctly. Regardless, the point of this thread was really about how close call was a useful tool. So focusing on close call only, you'll see that close call very rarely goes off if you've configured it properly, but when it does something is around you that might be worth looking at. Situational awareness. Even if the frequency is shared like it sounds like it could be in your case, that means something is happening right in your immediate vicinity so you might want to have a look around. The range is not long. This will be someone keying their mic right somewhere in close proximity to you and you'll immediately hear what they're talking about. So go try it for a while and after that come back in and sound off. We can hear about how in your environment, which my be different from that in MA, the technology works. Because here in MA it is useful. Maybe for you it's a different situation. It's not unlike arrows on a radar detector. I would not use one without them because I find it to be useful info. You may not care because you don't find it useful info. :)

A dog catcher... I know you think you're being funny, but you know what? I think that's a good example of why Close Call is useful. If Close Call did go off for one, good, that means I am off the highway and rolling through residential streets, and the dog catcher is working right in the immediate vicinity. So, depending on what the dog catcher chatter is about, I may want to slow down. I'm sure that person is having a tough enough time wrangling up whatever dog or dealing with some irate owner, they don't need me whipping past them above the PSL while they're trying to deal with that.

There is nothing negative about knowing that there is a signal right on top of me. What's bad about having extra information if it's just out there and available? Nothing. Nothing at all.
 
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GTO_04

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I have the SDS100 and love it! I'm also an amateur radio operator so I know my RF gear. I had to get this because our county recently switched from a standalone P25 trunked system to a simulcast site of the statewide MARCS. The only scanner that can deal with the simulcast distortion is the Uniden SDS100 and SDS200. Anyway, it's worth its weight in gold due to chatty troopers and aviation units calling out where they are, or where they are heading. I remember some years ago another super nerd friend of mine had discovered that OSP put their GPS locators for their cars on an open data channel, if you had a computer running it would show you where they all were.
Have you had much luck listening to OSP air enforcement operations? I have had a hard time finding out monitoring information since they switched over to MARCS. It was much easier to monitor air enforcement when they were on VHF Lo! I could hear the planes 15-20 miles away on my handheld scanner. It was cool seeing drivers both behind and in front of me being pulled over, while I made it through unscathed!

GTO_04
 
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astronuts

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Have you had much luck listening to OSP air enforcement operations? I have had a hard time finding out monitoring information since they switched over to MARCS. It was much easier to monitor air enforcement when they were on VHF Lo! I could hear the planes 15-20 miles away on my handheld scanner. It was cool seeing drivers both behind and in front of me being pulled over, while I made it through unscathed!

GTO_04
They run air ops on the respected talkgroup of the district they are patrolling. Not every district has an encrypted TAC talkgroup, so a lot of the times it's in the clear. However this bring me back around to monitoring the traffic and not wasting time with the Close Call function as Robbyb413 was discussing. Close Call will be of little to no use when monitoring a trunked system, which so many agencies have gone to.

For example, trooper x will call in that they are enroute to the hangar on their dispatch talkgroup, then when taking off on their way to their hunting grounds which they usually announce, then depending on where they are you can listen as they are calling out cars. A telltale sign will be visible on Waze with numerous reports along a stretch of highway. I'm spoiled because the local District Headquarters is close by and they now dispatch for a large region over multiple districts, so all of the talkgroups affiliate on the local sites so I can hear the traffic over a very large area. I'm in Stark Co. and have listened to air ops on the turnpike. ;)
 

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