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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2013, 12:06 PM
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A FACT is that GRE started doing direct marketing by showing up at the DaytonHamvention (r)
several years ago with a booth headed by a Japanese-American with the amateur radio vanity call sign, W6GRE. He demonstrated their radios with a PC and large screen, he gave out sales literature, answered questions and directed you to dealers if you wanted to make a purchase. He even showed up at smaller ham trade shows such as OrlandoHamcation (r) and the Lawrenceville GA show (also known as the Stone Mountain hamfest). I talked at him at some length but he never mentioned nor showed the vapor ware model 900. The last time I saw him was in 2011. I don't think he was a "design engineer" but was rather a sales engineer employed by GRE-America to promote these technical products in the US market. Either his English was not perfect or my explanation was not clear enough because he "sold" me on an HT that he claimed would display UID and it would NOT, I kept it about 2 weeks until I determined it did not meet my needs and then I dumped it at a loss. (and I gave away my souvenir GRE ball cap, should have kept it as a 'collectable').
Like one of the other posters, the story from GRE-America about the reason for quitting the scanner market never sounded very convincing to me. I think they made a half-hearted attempt to build up other sales opportunities and for whatever reasons decided to throw in the towel and put the IP up for sale.
Maybe it will all work out, maybe not. I have not seen any definitive statements from the new owners about Who is on their Team, What their backgrounds are? Nor what the plans really are, I guess Time will Tell.

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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2013, 1:37 PM
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I think jackr and lep have the correct analysis of what happened to GRE. They wanted out. It reminds me of the old statement "you pay your money and take your chances". What annoys me about the whole GRE mess is that they left us the hobbyist with crippled software that does not allow us to export data from the 800 or copy paste to the 800 like we could with the 500 through Win500/PsrEdit/ARC500. I have read Don Starr's explanation and Craig_Nut's explanation of this but it is too technical for me the hobbyist to understand. I don't want to invade the scanner's firmware, I just want to program frequencies and talkgroups!
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2013, 2:17 PM
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If you ask me, GRE never really embraced the whole idea of computer programming your scanner to begin with. Take for example the Uniden way of doing things - a robust serial interface protocol that lets you program an indivdual frequency, talkgroup, change a setting, query the display, etc. with simple commands that any idiot (even me) could understand. Superb! Now contrast this with talking to a GRE scanner. Now mind you, it's been a while since I tried - I gave up on this with the PRO-95 back when I was trying to get it to talk to the Police Call CD (remember those? I was the guy who wrote the software that ran them. So you probably either love me or hate me now, LOL). Anyway, what you had to do was grab a system dump from the scanner, make your updates, calculate some arcane checksum value from the whole she-bang and then rewrite that to back the scanner one byte at a time. Fun part: If you got the checksum wrong, it would happily chug along taking each byte of the updated system dump up until the very end when it checked your checksum value and if it didn't like it (which for me it never did) then it rejected the whole submission and changed nothing. We complained to GRE and got back some "engrish" explanation of how to calculate the checksum which to me made about as much sense as a pig latin version of the star spangled banner. Hats off to Don Starr for figuring all that out - he must be a super genius. We eventually just gave up and instead offered a CSV formatted file export that Don's software could read. So if you ever had the Police Call CD rom and wondered why in the hell couldn't you directly program your Radio Shack branded scanner with it, wonder no more. I think I would have had better luck getting their scanners to fly than I did trying to program them from the computer.

If Whistler really wants to have a chance of competing with Uniden, the need to seriously revamp how these scanners work when tethered to a computer. I should be able to do everything I can do on the front panel in software, and that includes reading the display, changing a frequency, editing a talkgroup, adjusting the volume and squelch, everything. Writing a new data dump to the scanner and calling it a day just won't cut it anymore, guys. Unless of course, you LIKE being second banana to Uniden.... (whistles)...

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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2013, 3:50 PM
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Oh really, Puzzleriddle? It just hearsay that there are other electronic product manufacturers in China? It is just hearsay that there are other countries in the world that manufacture electronic products? I could go on but why bother, I've made my point.

It is true that I don't have the inside track on what is happening at GRE or their future plans. However a little deductive reasoning using known facts puts the lie to what they have said.
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Old 11-25-2013, 4:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msradell View Post
That Makes Perfect Sense, the design engineers are the ones that make the product and make it better. Support and marketing services are basically interchangeable between any company and another and since I'm sure Whistler already has those positions it will make for a much more streamlined company. Besides, since GRE failed it's obvious that the marketing group wasn't doing very well! The design engineering group is the only one that really made the product what it was and they kept them is a good thing.

I haven't found much with the front end on most of the scanners recently that really worked well. Seems these so called design engineers need to learn how to make a receiver front end work in a high RF community. This has been the weak spot in all the scanners that have hit the market over the last several years. If they can't get it right, then these companies need to hire a good communications engineer that knows what he is doing.

In many cases, just the selection of the correct part for the front end amp will solve the problems. But none of these boys seem to have ever been in the commercial market. They don't seem to have a clue how to solve front end overload problem. Plus front end overload leads to intermod problems and a crappy receiver when your all done talking about it.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2013, 5:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackj View Post
I hope Whistler can make a go of it but, from what I've read, they are going to start by marketing cheap, analog-only scanners. I don't think they will sell enough to pay their expenses without a digital product. I'm afraid that Whistler's management will look at the first 6 month's sales figures and decide they have made a mistake and close shop. If that happens then we all lose!
Evidently you did not read the very first post in the thread that announced the buyout.

Quote:
The following models will be manufactured for Radio Shack by Whistler:

PRO-652 - identical to the previous PRO-197 model. Digital trunking full coverage base scanner
PRO-651 - identical to the previous PRO-106 model. Digital trunking full coverage handheld scanner
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Old 11-25-2013, 5:45 PM
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From what I understand, Wayne Wilson does work for Whistler, but that is all I know.
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Old 11-25-2013, 6:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milf View Post
As to whether Whistler will also do a RS deal to make scanners and other gear under the PRO series livery is up in the air as far as I know currently.
Whistler Group acquires GRE's assets to manufacture Radio Shack scanner product line
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2013, 6:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricCottrell
I get the impression that Whistler only hired GRE design engineers, and nobody from GRE's Support/Marketing staff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonS
I cannot comment further, but that is exactly backwards.
This is very sad. It sounds like the new company is trying to get this going with as little of expenditure as possible. We all know it takes $ to make $$ and shortcuts often lead nowhere.

Everyone should remember that it was not all that long ago we didn't have the GRE or GRECOM brand; it was only Radio Shack brand made by GRE. With RS sales (and company) falling, GRE made a brave move to sell under their own name. Unfortunately, they didn't do enough. Now it appears that the company taking over their IP is on that same path.
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Old 12-03-2013, 5:50 PM
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I have to wonder if GRE packed up and got out, in part, due to the increasing "chatter" about, and implementation of, encryption. The fact remains that if encryption becomes financially feasible, or for some other reason takes hold, then it would seem the entire scanner market becomes pretty fickle.

Perhaps GRE had the long view on this issue, and that the potential for encryption to really change future of scanners being viable may have been a part of that decision?

Just thinking out loud...
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Old 12-03-2013, 8:45 PM
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Not to get too far OT, but I think a likely scenario is the original founder passed away, his son took control and ran the company into the ground with wild personal spending.

I think that's more likely than they "lost" their factory.

But I could be wrong.
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Old 12-03-2013, 8:48 PM
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It would be re-assuring if someone from Whistler-GRE would step up for the company as a spokesperson to let us know that they are there. IMO... That is the right thing to do and a good first step.
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:45 AM
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I just hope they make a version of the PSR-900 to compete with Uniden's less tham impressive offerings.
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Old 12-04-2013, 7:25 AM
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I agree also,a PSR-900 would be nice.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:19 AM
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I would hate to hear that Imazeki Sr. (GRE's founder) had passed away...he is a man I have a great deal of respect for and consider to be a friend (although we have not spoken in years). I do know that he retired a few years ago.
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2013, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarmFamily View Post
I have to wonder if GRE packed up and got out, in part, due to the increasing "chatter" about, and implementation of, encryption. The fact remains that if encryption becomes financially feasible, or for some other reason takes hold, then it would seem the entire scanner market becomes pretty fickle.

Perhaps GRE had the long view on this issue, and that the potential for encryption to really change future of scanners being viable may have been a part of that decision?

Just thinking out loud...
Oh no you are not just thinking out loud. You are on the right track about your posting above. I have thought that all along. Research and Development cost big bucks and I mean millions and millions of dollars which requires a lot of salaries and head count for a company and expensive labs to run and test these technologies.

I think the long term decision as a corporation was to cut the ties because of the future of scanning and the limitations that are slowly driving the demand down for these units. If you as a company and you don't have deep and I mean deep pockets then the game is best to stop and put your research and development money somewhere else for the shareholders. Honestly and this is my opinion

Number 1 is that sales are down because of the economy and spending big bucks on these radios are only for certain people that still love what is left of this industry.

Number 2 is that secure transmissions is driving the demand down too. If you can't listen then why buy

Number 3 is SmartPhone apps. Some people are on the fence about either buying one or not because of the cost and everybody has a smartphone now and you can stream from all sorts of site and hear around the world for free.

My conclusion on why these units will sale is that you add some more cool extra features like Wifi and streaming to your phone and the hot spot and stream your own feed is pretty cool. You have to offset with some cool feature to turn the blind eye over systems that you can't listen to anymore. Companies will bank on the extra features to drive sales and throw the dirty monkey of secure transmissions under the carpet for now.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:10 PM
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I am intimately (and confidentially) familiar with the reasons for GRE's demise. I would not be breaking trust to say that none of those issues were a factor in any way, shape, or form.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by cherubim View Post
I just hope they make a version of the PSR-900 to compete with Uniden's less tham impressive offerings.
What makes them "less than impressive"? I'm just curious - what were you hoping to see that you did not?

You know what impresses me most about Uniden? They have a staff member willing to come in here and take all the Uniden bashing that folks here can dish out. Where's the GRE counterpart? Where's "GREMan"? Nowhere to be found and hasn't been from day one. The closest thing GRE has to a representative here on the forums is Don Starr, and he sounds less than thrilled with the new owners of the GRE scanner line. So I don't expect to see a "WhistlerMan" on here anytime soon either, and that's a damn shame.

I think the new owners of the GRE scanner line should watch what Uniden is doing and take notes. Give me a live human being who interacts with the community on a regular basis (as well as some really innovative products - I was quite impressed with what Uniden announced last month and have been with previous releases as well) and you'll get my business.

-AZ
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2013, 12:26 PM
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Trust me I am not bashing anyone. I own GRE equipment and love the way that radio preforms because of the digital modulation receive and I just bought some older new stock of the BCT15X because of the price now and the features that Uniden has to offer like Fire tone out and Close Call features. When you have a gift card that was given to me for free and Amazon prices for these
BCT15X scanners you can be out the door and delivered for 100 bucks for me. That was a steal for older NEW equipment still.

Having an analog trunking scanner will never be a loser buy for a 100 bucks delivered.

Look for some great steals on the older new stock like the BCD996XT at the end of January when the new models start to ship. As you notice now those people that own the GRE PSR 800 were getting top notch money for their used radios on the auction boards. Now they are stuck with the hot potato now. You can't barely give them away

Last edited by pepsima1; 12-06-2013 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 12-06-2013, 2:41 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Opera/9.80 (Android 2.3.4; Linux; Opera Mobi/ADR-1309251116) Presto/2.11.355 Version/12.10)

I wish that pricing bit were true. The prices seem to be back near original prices; hardly giving them away.
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