Multiple scanners in one car - Why?

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Ninjapower
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Multiple scanners in one car - Why?

Post by Ninjapower » 23 Jan 2018, 23:42

I'm currently watching an excellent series on Netflix called 'Shot in the dark' which is about 'Stringers' in Los Angeles. Stringers are cameramen who drive the city streets every night and race to any police/ambulance/fire incidents that they hear over the scanners in their cars and then film the incident, and sell it to the news channels.

Their cars are quite something, and covered in antennas and filled with equipment.

But the one thing that confuses me is that they all seem to have a stack of Uniden Bearcat scanners in each car. And by a stack I mean probably 6 or 8 identical scanners in a rack, all in operation constantly.

Any ideas why this would be?

Surely one scanner would be enough to pick up the local emergency frequencies?

The whole point of a scanner is to listen for activity on numerous channels at the same time.

I must be missing something.

But anyway, it's an excellent programme if you are looking for something to watch.

jhampton2000
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Re: Multiple scanners in one car - Why?

Post by jhampton2000 » 24 Jan 2018, 21:31

I've not seen the show but I could guess that if they're off chasing a blue light incident you wont know if news of an incident that would first pop up on say a fire, ambulance or police channel. Think of the shear scale of LA: there will be multiple areas and multiple trunked networks. The networks will get really busy but with a combination of routine and high priority comms. I'd probably want to dedicate one scanner to - at minimum - the police channels, one for fire and one for ambulance. Relying on one scanner for everything you'll likely miss the start of an incident, and it sounds like their business relies on them hearing it/getting there first. Not sure how many scanners one individual can realistically listen to at any one time though !!!

humaxf1
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Re: Multiple scanners in one car - Why?

Post by humaxf1 » 26 Jan 2018, 11:22

Further to what the last poster said, some police/fire/ambulance departments will use either analog or digital or a mixture so to catch transmissions on different modes you will need multiple scanners capable of different modes.

I watched it for the first time last night and it seems it's going to be a good show albeit a bit typically 'dramatic' at times. The odd re-enacted radio call audio dubbed into the show sounds fake - anyway you have to remember the producers of shows like these probably have zero background in radio so there will be some inaccuracies.

Bryer
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Re: Multiple scanners in one car - Why?

Post by Bryer » 18 Feb 2018, 10:13

I've heard of this show and it sounds pretty interesting. Is this really a thing? Do people do this in real life?

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elliotg
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Re: Multiple scanners in one car - Why?

Post by elliotg » 19 Feb 2018, 15:00

Yes it is a real life documentary. Is really quite good actually i really enjoyed it.
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humaxf1
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Re: Multiple scanners in one car - Why?

Post by humaxf1 » 22 Feb 2018, 13:20

I watched the whole series, worth watching (if dramatised a bit in parts). There's competition between the Stringers and they tend to throw their toys out of the pram at times.

The guys in the cars seem to use Zello to communicate to each other and their base who also are scanning for incidents and who in turn alert the cars where to go.

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