Well, I splurged on myself today and bought my first scanner, a hand-held RadioShack PRO-97. It's an analog scanner (triple trunking) and picks up plenty of signals (but not standard FM 86-108 - my only complaint - this would have been a simple inclusion).
The battery life is pretty good (it takes 4 AA's, but I've been using it about 12 hours almost non-stop), the signal strength is good, the squelch is analog/by-feel.
In just a day, I've learned how to search for signals and save the channels I find. A little harder was comprehending how to program the trunking system here (there's two Motorola systems, one digital, one analog...I kept trying to program in the digital system and didn't understand why all I got was squeals). Now that I know I need a digital trunking scanner, I know what I want for Christmas, a BearCat BCD396T, RadioShack Pro-96 or GRE PSR-500 (digital trunking scanners).
I got the cable and downloaded successfully with some software I found on the NET (Win97) -
Can anyone recommend a FREE software that does this? I went ahead and bought Win97 already, but it'd be nice to have a backup.
Any suggestions, etc, from you hams on the list? So far, this has been better than watching TV ;)