This is a tricky question to answer. This is not because we are necessarily against the idea of discount police scanners. It is more the fact that you still need to pay attention to the actual scanner that you are purchasing. Let’s look.
As a note; we are going to recommend the Whistler TRX-2 radio scanner at several points on this page. This is because we do feel that this is a scanner that is worth looking at, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced listener. You can tend to pick it up a rather awesome price too, but more on that in a short while.
Discount Police Scanners are Analog & Becoming Useless
This statement may be bordering on the ‘harsher’ side. We are sure that analog scanners do have their use. However, we can’t imagine that they are going to be useful for all that long when it comes to listening to police radio broadcasts. In fact, a lot of police departments only broadcast on digital nowadays, which means you won’t be able to pick up their signals with an analog scanner.
It is worth spending a little bit more cash and getting a digital radio scanner like the Whistler TRX-2. Yes. It is more expensive, but do remember that if you start to take this hobby seriously, you will need to pay to replace it in the future. You may as well just go the whole hog and pick up a digital radio scanner now.
Perfect for Beginners & Advanced Users
A lot of the cheaper radio scanners on the market don’t have much when it comes to features. Sure. They are going to be fine for people new to the hobby. For most folks picking up a radio scanner for the first time, it’s hard not to get bitten by the bug. It isn’t too long before they are investing in better equipment. When it comes to digital police and fire scanners in general, you’re going be spending a few hundred, minimum. Why not just buy the good quality equipment, to begin with? If you truly don’t end up getting much use out of it, you can always sell it on later and recoup most of your investment.
This is why we feel that the Whistler TRX-2 is such a brilliant device. It is designed for beginners and advanced users. You won’t have access to those advanced features right away, but this is probably one of the most customizable radio scanners on the market once you do.
When you buy the Whistler TRX-2, it will come loaded with an SD card. This SD card contains a list of every known public radio channel in the United States and Canada. This includes:
- Local government broadcasts
- Public military broadcasts
- Police broadcasts
- Fire broadcasts
- Ambulance broadcasts
- And a whole lot more
Chances are that if somebody is broadcasting on a public channel, your radio scanner will be able to pick it up. Once it arrives, all you need to do is update the channel list by hooking the TRX-2 up to a computer. After that, tap your zip code into the radio scanner and it will automatically load all the channels in your local area into memory. It will then start to scan them. You can’t get much simpler than this, and it is fine for most people’s purposes.
Easily Customized with Computer Software
This is where the more advanced features of the radio scanner start to come into play. There will eventually come a point where you simply do not want to be scanning so many channels. While the TRX-2 is a fast scanning device, scanning dozens of channels is never going to be a fast process. Luckily for you, with the TRX-2, you are able to create custom scan lists.
What does this mean? Well, it means that you can program scan channels. This means you can select the individual channels you want the radio scan. So, if you only want to listen to police channels in your local area, you can set your device up to do that. You have a lot of customization here, and you can create the most eclectic list possible if you want. You can make hundreds of these scan lists, so go crazy!
The Best Way for Discounted Police Scanners – Used Units
So hopefully it’s clear now that most of the cheaper police scanners are analog, and since the world is moving away from it, it’s not recommended. It is however fine to buy used, as long as you are sticking with digital. With things like the Whistler TRX-2, this is a radio scanner that is only ever going to attract the people who actually care about their equipment. This means that even if you buy it used, you are going to end up with somebody that hasn’t been shoddily treated.
We recommend that you buy your used radio scanners through Amazon for the best possible price, and the best customer support if something does go wrong. They tend to be pretty good if you end up with something that isn’t as described, although if you take the time to buy from the right seller, this probably won’t be an issue anyway.
Reputable Vendors of Used Equipment
If you want the best possible prices, and the largest possible range of radio scanners, then you need to use Amazon. Their prices are exceedingly competitive, and we can’t think of a single radio equipment supplier that is able to come anywhere close to the prices that Amazon offers, while still offering the best customer support. Honestly, we love our radio scanners, and we wouldn’t purchase from anywhere other than Amazon (and we buy a lot of kit!)
Why not hop on over to Amazon now? We suggest that you look at the Whistler TRX-2. This is a bit of kit that is built to last you for a long time. However, if you are still not a fan of the price (even though it is discounted), there are plenty of other radio scanners that may be better suited for you. Just make sure that you do not buy something that works with analog signals!