"Wow. That’s kinda spendy. Anybody know of an alternative for those of us whose wives are accountants?"The short answer to that question is "No.", and here are the reasons why.
- The vast majority of public safety agencies are switching over to APCO P25 systems, and you need a scanner capable of decoding P25 modulation to hear them. The Home Patrol II does this.
- The Uniden Home Patrol II is the easiest scanner to program. You simply turn it on, enter in your zip code, and it loads your local frequency data in automatically. You are ready to go in seconds.
That's important, because most of you when you buy something, such as radio gear, that perplexes you, you stick it in closet or a corner of the basement and forget about it, thinking you'll get to it during the great TEOTWAWKI / WROL / SHTF fantasy event. The police scanner is for the here and now. Buy another P25 scanner, and I guarantee that'll happen unless you have a resident techie who can set it up for you. Buy a Uniden Home Patrol, and you'll be up and running in no time. Getting the intel feeds you'll need to ride the storm(s) out.
Yes, it does cost $464 from Amazon. Good quality tools will cost you some money, and I know you spent more on that for your M4orgey. In fact, if you own more than one gun, especially if you have a duplicate, sell it and you'll be able to afford a Home Patrol II. Then you'll be able to know what's going on around you, as in the raw unfinished truth of the signal. That's important.
Your wife is an accountant, you say? Then sell some excess crap you don't need, and come up with the money. Put aside a measly $25 a week, and you'll have it in four and a half months. By then it'll be warm enough for you to install a proper antenna.
As an alternative, provided you don't need P25 Phase II reception, you can find a used Uniden Home Patrol I. That'll do P25 Phase I, but not Phase II. They're going for $200-$225 on Ebay. You'll have to do some research to find out if that'll suffice for your area. That's half the price of a new Home Patrol II. Get off your ass and do some research.
Finally, if your spouse isn't on board with your self-reliant and prepared lifestyle, then you have a problem that goes beyond money. Fix it before she gets pissed off and files that false police report before handing you divorce papers.