Buying Scanners

Emergency services in the Louisville area operate on an 800MHz Motorola P25 digital trunked radio system. In order to monitor this system you must have a scanner or radio capable of 9600 baud P25 trunking. Click here for information on trunking. A presentation on the basics of trunked radios systems was done at Defcon 15 in 2007 and a video of that presentation is available here.

Here's a list of current and past models that are compatible with MetroSafe.


BCD-396T portable

BC-296D portable

BC-796D mobile

BCD-996T mobile

BCD-996XT mobile

BCD-396XT portable

HomePatrol-1 mobile/portable

HomePatrol-II mobile/portable

BCD436HP portable

BCD536HP mobile

Radio Shack/GRE

Pro-96 portable

Pro-2096 mobile

Pro-197 mobile

Pro-106 portable

PSR-500 portable

PSR-600 mobile

I receive many questions asking "Why is my reception of MetroSafe garbled/dropping out?" The most likely reasons are either simulcast distortion or weak signals. If you're inside Jefferson County, weak reception is unlikely due to the system's excellent coverage so simulcast distortion is the probable culprit. This page explains simulcast distortion in detail. There are a few things than can be done to improve simulcast reception such as loose/open squelch, Attenuation of the signals sometimes helps, Keep your firmware updated in your scanner, Use a directional Yagi antenna and point it at the nearest transmitter site.

If all of the above fail, your only option may be to ditch the scanner and get a used digital radio such as an XTS3000 or Astro Spectra.


Programming a digital trunking radio in a receive only manor is very difficult and requires a lot of technical skill. Improper programming can result in illegal and disruptive transmissions being sent over the system.

Here's a list of digital radios that are compatible with MetroSafe and can monitor a trunked system without affiliating.


XTS3000 portable (ONLY IF flashed for 9600 trunking)

XTS2500 portable

XTS1500 portable

XTS5000 portable

XTL5000 mobile

XTL1500 mobile

XTL2500 mobile

Astro Spectra Plus mobile (ONLY IF flashed for 9600 trunking)

Astro Saber portable (ONLY IF flashed for 9600 trunking)

Visit the LouisvilleScanMan Facebook Group for info about digital radios.



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