If you are in the market for digital police and fire scanners, you are going to be overwhelmed by the number of options on the market. Luckily for you, we are experts. We have narrowed it down for you. When it comes to digital police and fire scanners, you aren’t going to get anything better than the Whistler TRX-2. Let us explain why.
Digital Police and Fire Scanners – Say Goodbye to Analog
There are some analog radio scanner devices on the market, but we can’t imagine that they are going to be kicking around for all that long now. This is because analog radio signals are being slowly phased out. Police and fire departments are broadcasting on digital radio frequencies only. Well, at least in most locations. You may still be able to use an analog radio in some locations for a little while longer, but eventually, you won’t be able to pick up any sort of signal.
This is part of the reason why we recommend that Whistler TRX-2. While it is more expensive than your typical analog radio, it is one of the more affordable digital radio scanners. Well, at least ones that are actually worth using.
Good for Beginners
It seems that Whistler has nailed the whole idea of simplicity with the TRX-2.
One thing that has always baffled us is the fact that many companies make their radio scanners needlessly complicated. You just need it to browse through radio channels in your local area. There is no reason why you need to be fiddling with countless menus to do the simplest thing with your radio scanner. Not a problem here.
Assuming that you have purchased your TRX-2 in the United States, it will be ‘ready to go’ out of the box. It has already been pre-programmed with all of the public radio stations in the United States. About the most complicated thing you will need to do is tap in your zip code. We are positive that you can manage that.
One interesting thing (but something that can be annoying to some people) is the fact that once you have entered your zip code, all of the potential radio stations will be added to a single scan list. This could potentially be dozens and dozens of channels. It won’t just be the police and fire departments being broadcast here.
A Drawback In It’s Simplicity
So, why is this an issue? Well, a couple of reasons:
- It is slow. If you are in a major area with dozens of channels. the radio scanner will need to cycle through all of them, and this means you can miss important conversations.
- It means you will be hearing a lot of radio chatter that you probably don’t want to listen to. It can get confusing.
Thankfully, once you start dabbling into some of the more advanced features, you can rectify this problem. Whistler is pretty much the only company that will allow you to do something like this.
Advanced Features of Digital Police and Fire Scanners
While we wouldn’t necessarily class updates to the channel list as an advanced feature, there are so few companies out there that automatically update your channel list, that we assume that it is a rather complicated thing to put into place. The Whistler TRX-2 allows you to plug the device into a computer and keep that channel list current. This means that you will always be tuned into the right radio frequencies for the police and fire departments in your area.
The main ‘advanced’ feature, however, is the ability to program your own scan lists. As we said before; the default lists are slow to scan. Whistler enables you to create a ton of different scan lists, each featuring as many or as few radio channels as you want. For example; you could set one to all the police frequencies in your area, and the other to all of the fire frequencies. It is your choice. It just makes things a little bit easier to listen to.
Both Portable and Stationary
A lot of people look at the TRX-2 radio scanner and think “this is too bulky for my vehicle, surely”. Although, possibly in a slightly less elegant way.
We admit, the TRX-2 is one of the larger radio scanners on the market, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t portable. In fact, Whistler actively encourages you to have it in your vehicle. You even get all the fittings that you need included in the box.
That being said, we wouldn’t really recommend using the TRX-2 if you are never going to be using it at home, or at least you are going to be mainly using it ‘on the road’. This is because it does not have a GPS built into it. This means that unless you have programmed your scan lists in advance, you will have to constantly re-enter a zip code to ensure the channel list stays ‘up to date’.
You know all that editing and scan list functionality? Well, you can only use this function if you have a Windows computer. The software is not compatible with Apple devices or systems running Linux. 99% of the time, this isn’t going to be a problem. However, if you are using something that isn’t a Windows computer, then you are limiting yourself with this device. You can’t use some major functions, and thus it probably wouldn’t be worth spending cash on it.
In addition to this, a lot of people report that the antenna isn’t that good. If you are in a bustling town or city, then you probably shouldn’t have any issues listening to police and fire department transmissions. However, if you are a little bit out of the way, then you may want to invest in something a tiny bit better.
Are you interested in the Whistler TRX-2? Fantastic! Head on over to Amazon (one of the few places to keep it in stock) and pick it up today. We are 100% positive you will love this for a long time to come.