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GRE COM PSR 500 vs 500c

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AKG

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Can anyone please tell me if there is a difference between the PSR 500 and the PSR 500c. I'm about to purchase one online, but the only one I've seen in action is the 500c. I live in Canada, if that helps.
Thanks.
 

LesWurk

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Can anyone please tell me if there is a difference between the PSR 500 and the PSR 500c. I'm about to purchase one online, but the only one I've seen in action is the 500c. I live in Canada, if that helps.
Thanks.
VHF band plan I believe is set for Canadian bandplan and the V folders have Canadian Provinces systems pre programmed.
 

AKG

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Thanks Les, I guess I'm trying to figure out whether I can buy the PSR 500 for almost $200.00 cheaper, and still have it work in Canada. I don't mind programming it myself if that's the difference...It was just by chance that I even noticed the "c".
 

Ensnared

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PSR 500 Canadian Model in Texas

Can anyone please tell me if there is a difference between the PSR 500 and the PSR 500c. I'm about to purchase one online, but the only one I've seen in action is the 500c. I live in Canada, if that helps.
Thanks.
While living in Texas, someone sold me a PSR 500. However, when I sent the radio to GRE repair, they refused to fix it. They indicated I owned a Canadian model. Eventually, they replaced it with an American model. So, to answer your question, I could not tell any difference in the performance of both radios. However, I don't know if firmware updates, etc. would be affected. Furthermore, I don't know how GRE handles radio repairs for the Canadian models.
 

AKG

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An answer...

Thanks for your help guys. I still wasn't sure, so I e-mailed GreAmerica directly, and just incase this question ever comes up again....here's his answer :

No, the USA version will NOT work for CANADA. They are set differently. The one is for CANADA and the other version is set for the USA.



Not sure I understand how the settings can be different, but I guess it's better to err on the side of caution and spend the extra cash if you live in Canada :(
 

kd8ati

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LOL that is just a typical answer from GRE, so they can get more money. There only difference is the band-plans are a bit different. For example, scanners sold in the US are required by federal law to block the cellular portion of the bands out, and must comply with FCC part 97. Everything else is the same, including firmware updates. Just go to their site and look for yourself. Same file for both the 500 and 500c. I have taken my PSR-500 in to Canada many times (living in Detroit), and it does not magically explode or self destruct. In fact back when cellular phones first became popular, before the digital encrypting, many U.S. residents bought scanners from Canada / Europe so they could listen to cellular.

There is an option in my PSR-500 program software (PSR Edit) that all oyu do is check a box that says use canadian bandplan, and it does the rest. According to the help file, by setting this option it does the following....

Use Canadian Band Plan (VHF/UHF):
This option changes the default step size between 138MHZ and 174MHz to 5KHz, and the range 406-420 to 12.5Khz. This option is especially useful in Canada or near the Canadian border with Ontario where the Bell Fleetnet system operates. This option allows the radio to tune the proper steps for this system.

Save yourself a lot of money and just get a PSR-500.

Thanks for your help guys. I still wasn't sure, so I e-mailed GreAmerica directly, and just incase this question ever comes up again....here's his answer :

No, the USA version will NOT work for CANADA. They are set differently. The one is for CANADA and the other version is set for the USA.



Not sure I understand how the settings can be different, but I guess it's better to err on the side of caution and spend the extra cash if you live in Canada :(
 
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lep

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MInor point - FCC part 97 is not relevant to scanners standards

I think you are confused if you think that FCC Part 97 has anything to do with scanners and the blocking of cellular frequencies. That doesn't detract from the main thrust of your comment however.
 

mikey60

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The Primary difference between the PSR-500 and the PSR-500C is the default band plan. The firmware loads for each model are separate and not compatible with each other.

Mike
 

kd8ati

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You are right, I meant to say Part 15, which does not have anything to do with the blocking of cell freqs, but I was giving it as another example of what would make our scanners different. Good catch Mikey, they do use different files, it was the DSP file I was looking at, that are the same file for both versions. Fact still remains though... the US Scanner would work seamlessly in Canada.

I think you are confused if you think that FCC Part 97 has anything to do with scanners and the blocking of cellular frequencies. That doesn't detract from the main thrust of your comment however.
 
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AKG

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500 it is...

Thanks, I think I'll go with the 500, assuming that I can get around the firmware issue?
The only scanner I've owed prior to this has been the 100 analog, which is basically redundant now. So I'm new to it....but I'll keep you posted, and may have more questions. Thanks for all your help, and what a great forum!
 

Ensnared

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Wireless?

LOL that is just a typical answer from GRE, so they can get more money. There only difference is the band-plans are a bit different. For example, scanners sold in the US are required by federal law to block the cellular portion of the bands out, and must comply with FCC part 97. Everything else is the same, including firmware updates. Just go to their site and look for yourself. Same file for both the 500 and 500c. I have taken my PSR-500 in to Canada many times (living in Detroit), and it does not magically explode or self destruct. In fact back when cellular phones first became popular, before the digital encrypting, many U.S. residents bought scanners from Canada / Europe so they could listen to cellular.

There is an option in my PSR-500 program software (PSR Edit) that all oyu do is check a box that says use canadian bandplan, and it does the rest. According to the help file, by setting this option it does the following....

Use Canadian Band Plan (VHF/UHF):
This option changes the default step size between 138MHZ and 174MHz to 5KHz, and the range 406-420 to 12.5Khz. This option is especially useful in Canada or near the Canadian border with Ontario where the Bell Fleetnet system operates. This option allows the radio to tune the proper steps for this system.

Save yourself a lot of money and just get a PSR-500.
So, when I operated the Canadian model in the U.S. I had access to wireless frequencies?

I never noticed any difference between the two radios, Canadian or American. Oh, there was a "C."
 

kd8ati

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If you are talking about cellular frequencies when you say "wireless frequencies", then yes you did have access. I do not believe there is any Canadian law that requires that scanners sold in Canada have cellular blocked. However just because you can monitor the frequencies does not mean you will hear anything. Many cell providers encrypt their transmissions, or use a digital transmissions that many scanners can not decode.

So, when I operated the Canadian model in the U.S. I had access to wireless frequencies?

I never noticed any difference between the two radios, Canadian or American. Oh, there was a "C."
 

darrylcn

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Ha! That's funny that they said one for one country won't work in the other.. Maybe they meant out of the box. I've taken my 500C to the US and to make it 'work' in the US I only had to put the Maine, Mass. etc frequencies in it.
 

AKG

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Confident!

Thanks for the posts, I feel very confident buying the 500 model and dropping the "c" . A little ticked however, that the sales guy sent me that e-mail. (And I have kept it!)
 

Ensnared

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US Customs

Ha! That's funny that they said one for one country won't work in the other.. Maybe they meant out of the box. I've taken my 500C to the US and to make it 'work' in the US I only had to put the Maine, Mass. etc frequencies in it.
When I had the unfortunate experience of inadvertently ordering a Canadian model GRE PSR 500 in the U.S., GRE representatives appeared to be thinking aloud when they said, "how did they get this through customs?" If I am not mistaken, radios are supposed to bear a label indicating the FCC has blessed them and given the go ahead to come into the country. But, in this day and age, I bet legal radios are at the bottom of their list of priorities.

So, I am asking the same thing. How did you get that radio through customs? Perhaps, I am a bit naive since I've never crossed the U.S.-Canadian border, but I would like to learn what happened, if anything did.
 

darrylcn

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Easy, we crossed the border in a car ;)

The Customs officer asked what we were bringing into the US and we told him we were visiting for a week, said where we were from and the purpose of the visit etc. No issues whatsoever. I didn't have the scanner sitting on the dash but I didn't stuff it under the seat either. He either noticed and didnt mind or he missed it and since we weren't suspicious in any way away we went.

Not sure how flying into either country would go, but I've flown with both my scanners within Canada and had no issues.
 

lep

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Customs and radios

Some Canadian scanner dealers used to advertise in radio magazines for US Customers with the guarantee that if the scanner was seized by US Customs the dealer would "make it good", presumably indemnify the buyer for the loss. This was an attempt from some Canadian radio dealers to take advantage of the difference between US and Canadian regulations about the "blocking" of cellular reception frequencies.
Although I subscribe to the only national Canadian radio magazine (TCA) I don't recall seeing those adverts in recent months.
 

Ensnared

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Interesting comments. Yes, I recall reading articles about U.S. Customs seizing radios that were not FCC approved & were capable of receiving cell phones. If I am not mistaken, this was a big issue when analog cell phones were being used. I think the seizure activity was accelerated after several politicians were monitored talking on their bag phones. It is amazing how this hobby undergoes changes and still survives.
 
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