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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 04-05-2012, 3:08 AM
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Lightbulb Lack of durable/rugged p25 handheld scanners

What are the chances of a scanner with beefed up audio/processor/battery compatable with p25/fdma and TDMA being in the pipeline? As well as having a rugged design.
One that you can drop without worry, a higher heat resistance as well as water.
To test my xts5000r I threw it out a window and dropped it in a 5 gallon bucket of water.
A scanner that is even half the tough would be pretty sick.

I'm not holding my breath. Why make neater handhelds when there is an app for that... :0
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Old 04-05-2012, 3:19 AM
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I think the answer is that anyone who needs a radio that can stand up to that sort of real abuse is going to need one that will transmit also. After all, scanning is a hobby, and most scanner listeners wouldn't be running into burning buildings (I hope). People that do that for a living also need to transmit, and wouldn't need a scanner.

But I do understand what you are asking for. I was setting up a base radio in an office today and they asked me to put a few frequencies into a new scanner they bought. I did it for them, and I was really surprised at the crappy construction and quality of the scanner. It's been a long time since I've laid my hands on one, and I don't recall them being so flimsy and cheap feeling.

Also, funny part of it was that the person in the office went to Radio Shack to buy a scanner that would listen in on the new digital radio system we put in. Radio Shack happily sold her a P25 scanner. Too bad we went NexEdge. I had to break the news to her that there was no way that radio was going to receive what she wanted.
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Old 04-05-2012, 3:40 AM
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Unfortunately most scanners are not built to handle the riggers that even a hobbyist may put it through. If you are out doing yard work just moving around can cause the radio to fall from your belt. just that short fall can break the radio, let alone having it get knocked off a table. With the amount of money they charge for these new radio's the cases should be more durable and the electronics should be able to handle the shock of a 3 foot fall to the ground. Most two way radio cases for hand held radios are much more durable than scanners.
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Old 04-05-2012, 4:03 AM
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Lol. Running into a burning building with a scanner is just silly. I dropped my psr 800 from a chair and the antenna adapter cracked off the board. To hot "error error". Charging ports degrade with use. A working USB port is kinda important for charging and programming. On that note

I guess I'll clarify. I don't want to worry about leaving it in the 135+ car. Though going back to the burning building thing, how baddass of a selling point is that. You could throw it in a oven at the booth at an expo.

Sarcasm gets sarcasm.
Using moto already, I choose kenwood! A scanner comparable in strength to an ltr business portable is a step in the right direction. Color screens are nice too. Meh...

An answer to my question is why I posted here.

Ps with the burning building thing I guess I have to clarify. Don't throw you scanner out the window or in water. It probably won't work when u go out to get it.i shall return in a few days so I can skip troll posts. Otherwise I would feel the need to reply like an a hole. Thus adding double to the existing counter productive posts.
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Old 04-05-2012, 4:09 AM
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I wish nexedge and trbo would be given a chance. Now I'm off...
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Old 04-05-2012, 4:26 AM
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

This topic has been discussed, many times, before. The common theme has been cost compared to demand. Sadly, for most of us serious radio buffs, there just are not enough profit-base, to build a more robust scanner.
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Old 04-05-2012, 7:15 AM
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Just for discussion. A PSR500 currently sells for around $350. How much would you be willing to pay for a comparable scanner with the rugged features?
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Old 04-05-2012, 8:27 AM
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A rugged scanner the size of the 125AT, with SDR, better frequency and mode features, and the newer digital modes (we know that Provoice won't be one of them), high capacity lithiium ion batteries. I'd be willing to pay $850. Even willing to pay $25 to upgrade the firmware when neccessary (not $100 like the extreme upgrade for the HP-1, main reason there is not one in my shack).
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krokus View Post
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

This topic has been discussed, many times, before. The common theme has been cost compared to demand. Sadly, for most of us serious radio buffs, there just are not enough profit-base, to build a more robust scanner.
Most recently in this thread:
http://forums.radioreference.com/gen...not-exist.html
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Old 04-18-2012, 2:05 PM
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Default i agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefireguy07 View Post
What are the chances of a scanner with beefed up audio/processor/battery compatable with p25/fdma and TDMA being in the pipeline? As well as having a rugged design.
One that you can drop without worry, a higher heat resistance as well as water.
To test my xts5000r I threw it out a window and dropped it in a 5 gallon bucket of water.
A scanner that is even half the tough would be pretty sick.

I'm not holding my breath. Why make neater handhelds when there is an app for that... :0
I created the thread about opinions on rugged scanners and I know one day it will be produced. It seems it would be a simple as removing the transmit function from any 2 way digital transmitter and enable it to scan using tkgp IDs instead of using hex ID's to connect to the system. I recently sent an email to Harris radio's which products are manufactured in the USA! If the Unity multi band radio could be converted to this capabilities it would be a winner.
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Old 04-18-2012, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
I think the answer is that anyone who needs a radio that can stand up to that sort of real abuse is going to need one that will transmit also. After all, scanning is a hobby, and most scanner listeners wouldn't be running into burning buildings (I hope). People that do that for a living also need to transmit, and wouldn't need a scanner.

But I do understand what you are asking for. I was setting up a base radio in an office today and they asked me to put a few frequencies into a new scanner they bought. I did it for them, and I was really surprised at the crappy construction and quality of the scanner. It's been a long time since I've laid my hands on one, and I don't recall them being so flimsy and cheap feeling.

Also, funny part of it was that the person in the office went to Radio Shack to buy a scanner that would listen in on the new digital radio system we put in. Radio Shack happily sold her a P25 scanner. Too bad we went NexEdge. I had to break the news to her that there was no way that radio was going to receive what she wanted.
Running into a burning building, You are correct when I do run into that building I have a motorola radio owned by the county and kept on the engine. Its really about the process of responding to the fire house or monitoring the county while im home until a call gets dispatched. In the United states more the 70% of the fire departments are still Volunteer with home response in many areas. Most departments do not have the money to purchase digital p25 2 way radios for each individual member. Yes there are cell phone apps but its a phone not an effective listening device. Today most fire department career and volunteer still dispatch with pagers on low band / vhf / or uhf analog, after the dispatch all additonal info must be relayed. Most fire departements have already switched over or are begining to change over to an all digital radio systems which requires a light weight plastic super expensive scanner that will break with time to monitor the call. This scanner is our only way to continue our size up responding to the fire house to respond on the call.

I apologize for venting to you but I think the understanding is I activily use my scanner as another part of the response tothe fire station for a house reported on fire or a person trapped in a car. Its my only way to hear additional info about the call and I would rather spend my money once on an expensive scanner instead of mulitple times on less durable scanners.

I recently purchase an motorola apx7000 and no I am not made of money. I am a local fireman and it cost me a lot but I figured this would be the last scanning capable 2 way radio I would ever need. I found out the hard way that there are so many security keys, you need an I button and system admin rights. It was a waste of money and I sold it a week later. It met all requirments I needed but is locked down with security. With all of these rescrictions today on a digital 2 way radio and the crappiness of the cases on most digital scanners there has to be an improvement made one day.

Last edited by fireboat61; 04-18-2012 at 3:05 PM..
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Old 04-19-2012, 4:34 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.4; en-us; LG-MS910 Build/GINGERBREAD) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireboat61
This scanner is our only way to continue our size up responding to the fire house to respond on the call.
Your dispatch isn't simulcast onto the analog and the digital? That is how many places accommodate on-call firefighters.
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Last edited by krokus; 04-19-2012 at 5:10 AM..
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Old 04-19-2012, 4:34 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.4; en-us; LG-MS910 Build/GINGERBREAD) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

Stray post. (I'm getting used to a new phone, which seems to re-post when I press the "back" button.)
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Old 04-20-2012, 7:25 AM
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I recently saw a youtube video of one of the 'latest' handheld digital scanners being pulled apart.
The owner was complaining that dust had accumulated behind the LCD or it's protective screen making the display hard to see. The video documents the owner disassembling the scanner to the point where he could wipe the dust from the inside of the screen. The pictures show a pretty flimsy looking plastic case and to me, it looked like some cheap kids toy. The fact that dust ingress was a problem confirms to me that really more attention needs to be placed on the ruggedness of some of these units.

After all, if you are going to spend $500 on a piece of electronic equipment, you would expect that it was going to give you at least a few years of reliable service!

But, what would I know..
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Old 04-20-2012, 8:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post

I apologize for venting to you but I think the understanding is I activily use my scanner as another part of the response tothe fire station for a house reported on fire or a person trapped in a car. Its my only way to hear additional info about the call and I would rather spend my money once on an expensive scanner instead of mulitple times on less durable scanners.
Not a problem, you have a very legitimate need that is not being met by the new technology. To me that isn't a failure of the scanner manufacturers, but a failure of the people who are choosing the technology that is being used by fire departments. The feds are pushing everyone to P25 by requiring that technology be used when grant money is involved. The result is that departments can only afford a few radios, pagers are not an option, costs go way up, etc.
p25 has it's place, but it's being way over applied. Fire agencies should be retaining some analog capabilities at minimum. I think even most departments should be staying 100% analog. This would reduce costs, allow pagers to be used, and make interoperability a very simple task.

Technology is being abused. This is due to the government forcing it on agencies, and the radio manufacturers pushing it way to hard for the sake of increasing profits. The bureaucrats that are running many agencies are choosing these technologies because often they don't have enough knowledge to make an informed decision. The sales guys are pushing the higher priced stuff due to the profit margin. In the end, it's the guy who actually uses the radio that looses out.

Yep, digital radio is a fact of life, but it isn't the only option. Analog radio still works fine. I don't think I've seen a modern radio released, even p25 digital high end radios, that won't do analog. Why agencies are not using this is troubling. Analog is about as interoperable as you can get, yet they choose to overcomplicate things. Job security, I guess.

I recently retired an 18 year old Motorola analog trunked system. There were a fair number in very upper management that were either pushing for P25 or assuming it was the only option. I had to spend some time explaining what P25 was and why we didn't necessarily need it. In the end we went with NexEdge. What that choice got us was more radios in the hands of people. While we could have spent $1500 to $2000 (or more) per radio, we chose the system that allowed us to purchase $600 radios. We still got exactly what we needed, and in the end we were able to get more radios in the hands of people in the field. Sure, there are interoperability issues, our garbage trucks can't communicate with a police officer 3 counties over anytime they want, but so what? Why do they need that. The radios do analog just fine, so we put up a conventional analog repeater and our interoperability issues are solved. Cost savings were in the area of $600,000 between the P25 and NexEdge systems. In the end, the average Joe radio user doesn't know the difference. They can still talk to who they need to, and we saved a lot of money.

Too bad that you are stuck on the loosing end of this. This shouldn't be the case. It doesn't need to be this way.
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Old 04-20-2012, 9:41 AM
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Wont a good (leather or plastic) case solve the dust and durability issues?
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Old 04-20-2012, 2:42 PM
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I'd like uniden to put the HP-1 in a watertight case like their Marine radios or atleast a tougher Motorola style Plastic case to make it a bit more like a HT portable. I have the fitted Soft case from scanner master but wouldn't mind a hard leather case that the Hp-1 could stand upright and be better protected. Anyone make a tough Leather case?

I also use a padded ACOG scope Molle case to transport it but take the antenna off so it wont get damaged but the case is tough as nails and will protect the HP-1 from almost any normal drop or damage. Anyone looking for a serious transport case should atleast consider it it's made right and can be found online for 20-30$

Last edited by Essexscan; 04-20-2012 at 2:47 PM..
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Old 04-20-2012, 2:57 PM
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I too would like to see a more rugged case design for
scanners.

One of these 3 in my collection is more rugged than the others.
Can you spot which one?



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Old 04-20-2012, 4:36 PM
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Quote:
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I too would like to see a more rugged case design for
scanners.

One of these 3 in my collection is more rugged than the others.
Can you spot which one?



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Old 04-20-2012, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
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Wont a good (leather or plastic) case solve the dust and durability issues?
No. It will significantly reduce some of the issues, but not solve them.

Plus, if you need/want access to the front panel controls, you are hampered by the case, at least if it offers decent protection.
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