Narrow Band Scanners

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Thu Nov 25 08:51:09 EST 2010

Hi Mike :

I asked my local ham radio friend the same question (below is his reply).
I personally am asking Santa Claus for a "Rain Check" till I hear what my
current scanner will do after the change. You could ask your local radio
friends & staff a Radio Shack for their opinions.

According to the November Railpace Magazine CSX begins converting to
narrow band in January 2011. So I will soon be able to see what my scanner does
on the CSX channels.

I will be interested to read other members posts on this topic.

Regards to all,
Terry Marshall
Hagerstown, MD


When my local digital trunking system (Burlington County NJ APCO 25) goes
to the narrow band, how will it effect the use of scanners.I have been
asked by the local fire dept to gather research on the effect it will have on
scanning prior to them purchasing new scanners for the station and the
command vehicles. As we understand it, all of our department radios must be on
the narrow band by 2013 so we want to be sure to make a purchase that will
last well into the change.

As far as how narrowband effects scanners, This is what I can tell you, So
hopefully it helps you out.

If you've got a scanner that doesn't do narrow-band, It'll just round off
the frequencies, and for the most part, you'll recieve it all the same, But
from what I've found, if it's a distant/weak signal, You'll hear it better
if you're actually using a scanner that does the true narrrow-band
frequency, Especially if you've got it toned squelched.

I'm also 99% Certain that all digital trunking scanners can also do
narrow-band VHF, So As long as you have scanners that can do the current system,
You shold be fine when it goes narrow-band VHF, Although I'm not exactly
sure how VHF APCO trunking works exactly, Because I have never done it.

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