• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

GRE PSR-500 vs. GRE PSR-800 (Help Me Decide On GRE's Top 2))

Which GRE PSR Do You Reccomend For Max Monitoring?


  • Total voters
    67
Status
Not open for further replies.
M

missionmankind

Guest
#1
Hello Radio Reference'rs,

I am somewhat new to the DIGITAL scanning world but not the old.

I have been looking at the GRE PSR-500 and I was sold until I noticed the PSR-800 for just a few more bucks. Even the PSR-900 is coming soon but well skip that for now..

Now besides the obvious cosmetic differences and missing keypad on the 800, what are the differences between the two?

My goal is to have a portable scanner that picks up more of everything than less.

I understand the 500 doesn't pick up certain things that the 800 does, and the 500 picks up a frequency the "New Federal Frequency" that the 800 doesn't? is that correct or misunderstood?

My needs? I want a GRE scanner that can hopefully pick up HAM, Analog/Digital Trunking, all traditional frequencies, ALL frequency types, SKYwarn, Repeaters, ALL public safety (sheriff, police, fire, etc.), Aircraft (military as well but don't know if this is possible), FEMA (highly important to monitor them since I cant stand that agency), CB radio (2 way radios) and if im missing any others...wondering if these things pick up AM/FM as well.

Basically i want as much monitoring as possible in a time of crisis or civil collapse and to monitor things as a hobby to stay informed vs. watching the horrible news media.

The PSR-500 or the PSR-800? Which is better? Why? Which offers something the other does not?
Id like the experience of scanner programming (id like to learn that rather than skip it but i also want a better GRE scanner which trumps that preference).

THANK YOU ALL! [Cast A Vote On My PSR Poll]

missionmankind

Littleton, Colorado
 

Attachments

Joined
Nov 22, 2004
Messages
166
Location
Great West
#2
My observation is that they are both very capable radios, the performance differences I think are slight. They both require using software and programming from a computer to get maximum versatility. You can makes changes from the keyboard with the 500, the 800 is awkward to do much with just the radio. The computer cable hookup and charging is with one included cable with the 800, separate jacks and cables for the 500.

The stock antenna is a poor performer, I would replace it right away with something better.

They both utilize the RR database, it is stored in the 800 and can be updated. This is handy but I do wonder what would happen if the Feds decided to shut down the website if they deemed for security reasons that they didn't like all of the freq. information and discussions being published...Keep some paper backup lists of important freqs.

The 800 is slightly shorter and narrower than the 500. Speaker is down below the screen and keys on the 800, above on the 500. The size difference is not nearly as great as your photo above implies- the 800 is only about a half an inch shorter.

At the end of the day it depends a lot on your preferences, how often you think you will be programming and perhaps the size. It's taken me several rounds of programming with each to get them set up to my liking, but I really don't have a strong preference. Slight nod to the 800 because it newer and a little easier for simple import from the database programming.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
766
Location
Fremont NE
#4
They both utilize the RR database, it is stored in the 800 and can be updated. This is handy but I do wonder what would happen if the Feds decided to shut down the website if they deemed for security reasons that they didn't like all of the freq. information and discussions being published.
that has also crossed my mind. not necessarily feds shutting it down, but what will become of these radios if the website/database does ever shut down.
 

kruser

Retired
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
2,943
Location
St. Louis County, MO
#5
I prefer the 800 mainly for one single reason. It will mute the encryption noise from P25 systems that have both clear and encrypted transmissions on the same talkgroup. Not much more annoying than hearing the r2d2 of encryption while trying to monitor your local law system that is mostly in the clear!
I was very glad GRE addressed that in the PSR800. It is not perfect as the 800 still locks on the encrypted channel and holds up the radio from scanning but at least you do not have too listen to it.
Why they can't do the same for the 500/600 is beyond me as both are capable of showing ENC in the display indicating they are aware the comm is encrypted. You would think a good firmware engineer could use that to an advantage and mute the audio at least like can be done in the 800.

Otherwise, I like the 500/600 as they have a full keybord and are not dependant on a website that is internet based. Same goes for Unidens HP-1. What happens if this site goes down? Will GRE and Uniden take over and offer updates via their own sites but how will they get the new user data? This was pointed out by BCFlash and is a valid concern for these radios should the internet as we know it go away or god forbid, the RR site goes offline. Another bad thing would be if say one manufacturer purchased the RR site and then locked the other out from accessing the data. That would be bad for at least the owners of one brand!
Let's just hope things do not change in a bad way.
 

rwier

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 6, 2006
Messages
1,908
Location
Phoenix, AZ
#6
I prefer the 800 mainly ..................... It is not perfect as the 800 still locks on the encrypted channel and holds up the radio from scanning but at least you do not have too listen to it................................
I have never seen that with either of mine. Every agency around me has some (or more) encryption. The only time (for many years) I have seen any scanner of mine lock on a TGID/Channel/Frequency, and not speak, is quickly followed by an "Open mike on .........Open mike on........", lol.
 
Last edited:

troymail

Silent Key
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
9,977
Location
Supply (Lockwood Inlet area), NC
#7
Both are the best radios for digital but each has it's own strengths and weaknesses....

If you want VERY easy programming and access to the RR data for programming at no extra cost, you want the 800. In fact this radio has all of the programming data on the radio SD card itself. For basic listening, no cables, software, or cables required (save for getting the database updates). There is no keypad so entering data/frequencies, etc. on the fly is really not an option.

The 500 works equally as well but is designed for more manual programming. It has a keypad. The amount of programming required is significantly higher. Manual programming can be tedious. It has an open computer protocol so you can find more vendors for programming software (unlike the 800 which is a proprietary protocol and you are limited to the GRE provided software). There are many many more "nerd knobs" on the 500 that can be tweaked but most of the time you won't mess with them anyway. The memory capacity is much less on the 500.

Overall, although it takes some getting used to, the 800 is a much more capable/valuable radio in my opinion but YOU need to evaluate the options against what you need/want.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
708
Location
Washington DC, Alexandria/Fairfax County /Loudoun
#8
The 800 is X2 TDMA capable where the 500 is not however TDMA is not an issue for the majority of users. The question remains if the 800 will be able to upgrade to Phase II TDMA via a firmware update. At this time the 800 cannot decode Phase II TDMA voice. Outside of that and as mentioned above, the 800 is easier to program and you do not have to be a Premium Subscriber to RR in order to pull frequencies. Some systems can be difficult to program even with software yet I have not had any trouble programming any digital or analog trunked system with the PRS 800 (or any Conventional system). Although I try to be objective, I feel it is the best scanner I have ever owned.
 

kruser

Retired
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
2,943
Location
St. Louis County, MO
#9
I have never seen that with either of mine. Every agency around me has some (or more) encryption. The only time (for many years) I have seen any scanner of mine lock on a TGID/Channel/Frequency, and not speak, is quickly followed by an "Open mike on .........Open mike on........", lol.
You are talking about the PSR800 correct? And on P25 systems? I do think I read something about them doing something weird on non P25 systems.
I suspect you have yours set to emit a tone. Then if you chose the tone as an encryption indicator, there is also a volume setting for that tone. If that volume is set all the way down, you will hear nothing.
Or you may have yours set to emit the "busy" signal tone. I don't know what that sounds like but I think it is also affected by the same encryption volume level setting as the pure tone can be set and if you have yours set to a lower level, you may hear what sounds like an open/closed mic. There is also a setting that just give silence and another setting that allows the encrypted audio to flow out of the speaker normally. Regardless of which setting you chose, the scanner will still hold forever on the channel while encrypted talk is occuring regardless if you can hear it or not. The only way to get it to advance to the next channel is by hitting the front panel buttons (not sure which buttons advances it though) or wait for the signal to drop. Once the signal drops, then the scanner will continue scanning normally without you doing anything.
The above pertains to the PSR800 only as the 500 and 600 do not detect and mute encryption. They let encrypted audio through to the speaker as a normal signal.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Messages
388
Location
Tallassee, AL
#10
As others have stated, both radios are very good. I would have to give the nod to the 800 for me. One thing I didn't see mentioned in the previous post, is the sound quality. To me, the 800 has the best sound across the board. I do a lot of aircraft monitoring (civil & military) and I think GRE made big strides in the sound with this radio. Is it perfect...no. But I have to say that from VHF conventional to trunked systems, this radio sounds fantastic.

Good Luck,
Keith
 
M

missionmankind

Guest
#13
Whichever you choose you need something like a Sony 2010 in addition to cover the needs and times you wish to address.
what is a Sony 2010? I was thinking about getting a Diamond RH-77CA all band antenna. are you talking about an antenna or software program?

Sent from my R2D2
 

kruser

Retired
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
2,943
Location
St. Louis County, MO
#14
what is a Sony 2010? I was thinking about getting a Diamond RH-77CA all band antenna. are you talking about an antenna or software program?

Sent from my R2D2
Shortwave radio. Sony sells some popular models for those into shortwave broadcast monitoring.

Many people that find themselves in the scanner hobby also end up with a shortwave hobby.
I think that is what was meant by that anyway.
 

N0WEF

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
600
Location
Mpls, MN.
#16
I think most of the arguments have been made on both sides.

I just love the recording option on the 800! (Especially after the highspeed, shots fired, tied up guy in the trunk, multiagency, with helicopter chase last night)
 

pirate6955

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
11
Location
painesville, ohio
#17
i brought up the 2010 [shortwave] because you said you wanted to prepare for collapse of civilization or something to that effect. realizing that as things start to fall apart technology will move backwards. you'll need more than just your scanner with line of sight frequencies to maintain contact with the world around you. having a CB stashed somewhere might be a good idea too. probably come in real handy if things go the way you are thinking.....

i didnt mean to get way off topic and stuff here. and i apologize. i just was covering your comments, which i feel are valid points.
 

DaveIN

Founders Curmudgen
Database Admin
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Messages
6,508
Location
West Michigan
#18
I'd say the 500 for battery life, keypad entry and editing, and system display options for unknown trunked sites. If you don't need P25 decoding, then select the PSR-310.

The feature I would miss the most on the 800 is the recording and playback on the radio.

Maybe we will see a PSR-510 with recording and the Radioreference DB in the future.
 

kruser

Retired
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
2,943
Location
St. Louis County, MO
#20
I have the PSR-500 and have never seen ENC displayed when it stops on encrypted audio. Is there an option I have to set?
Sorry, I think I may have my Unidens and GRE's mixed up although I do think something changes in the display when it encounters encryption.
Maybe the T up in the top left changes to an E?
I may be way off and will need to fire up a 500 or 600 this evening and look!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top