• 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.

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Official DMR Upgrade for PRO-18 and PRO-668 by Whistler

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#1
For those who perhaps missed the posting in the RR Whistler forum, Whistler will be offering official DMR upgrades for the Radio Shack PRO-18 and PRO-668 (as well as the GRE PSR-800) beginning June 1st. The cost will be $59.99 plus the cost of shipping your radio to Whistler (with return shipping paid by Whistler). Turnaround time is estimated at "up to 2 weeks." You will be able to purchase the upgrade on the Whistler website starting June 1st.

Here's the link to the thread in the RR Whistler forum: https://forums.radioreference.com/whistler-scanners/353415-new-legacy-scanner-upgrade-program.html

Perhaps the current Radio Shack bankruptcy/demise cleared the way for Whistler to offer this official DMR upgrade for the PRO-18 and PRO-668?
 

IAmSixNine

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#3
Its nice to see them trying to do this but to send the unit in for a firmware upgrade. hummm..
Wonder if they are doing anything other then just hooking it to a computer to update the firmware.
 
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#5
Nice?

:wink: Maybe as an added incentive, they could throw in a protective cover? Surely their cost for the 'cover' is lower than 5 bucks... If it did include said cover, I think I would 'upgrade'. BTW (even if they don't throw in a cover), will they 'warrantee' the radio for 'operability/operation? If so, for how long? :wink:

:) Just a thought... :)
 

WhistlerWendy

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#6
Whistler to Offer Update to Legacy Scanners

Beginning June 1st Whistler will offer a feature upgrade program for the Pro-18, Pro-668 and PSR-800 scanners. For the cost of $59.99, customers will be able to send in their scanner to Whistler where the unit will be upgraded to receive DMR. You will cover the cost to ship the unit to use and we will cover the cost of shipping the unit back to you when the upgrade is complete. Upgrades are expected to take up to 2 weeks and all units must be in working condition with no visible damage to be eligible for this upgrade program.

By upgrading your scanner, you will now receive DMR making them capable of monitoring the following unencrypted channels/systems which were previously not available for legacy scanners:

Conventional DMR (Entered as a DMR trunked system)
Hytera XPT
MotoTRBO™ Capacity Plus
MotoTRBO™ Connect Plus
MotoTRBO™ Linked Cap Plus systems

The upgrade will be available for purchase on our website beginning June 1st.
Reply With Quote
 

DJ11DLN

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#7
It's all conjecture until the radios start to cycle through Whistler's upgrade department (or whatever they call it), so I'll throw in my $0.02. We might all just get reconditioned WS-1080s and the RS scanners we send in will go off to never-never-land. 5 years from now either of these scanners may be absolute rarities in private hands.

Just joking...I don't know what they will change out and I don't really care. Both of my scanners were bought on the "RS Fire Sale Plan" at far below retail. For sixty bucks a pop, plus one-way shipping, I'll still have far less in each than the cost of a new WS-1080, and now they'll finally be officially supported. Therefore I am not about to complain!:)
 

scan18

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#10
So reading the announcement I still am not sure about this. Are they going to do a single thing Eric hasn't already provided?
Based on what I am reading, the advantage is that Whistler will turn your 668, etc. essentially into a "real" WS1080. Since Wendy has indicated that future firmware upgrades will be possible via EZScan, I am assuming they will need to add more flash memory (or whatever).

I am certainly interested in this because I am eagerly awaiting a firmware upgrade that is supposed to contain a fix that will allow me to monitor my local VHF Phase 2 system. I was resigned to the fact that when version 4.7 came out there was a good chance that Eric's process would not allow it on my Pro668. Now I know that I should be able to get version 4.7 if I am willing to pay the fee, which I am.

I guess if you are perfectly happy with version 4.6 and are fine with the possibility of no future firmware upgrades, then this program probably has no advantages for you.
 
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#11
Based on what I am reading, the advantage is that Whistler will turn your 668, etc. essentially into a "real" WS1080. Since Wendy has indicated that future firmware upgrades will be possible via EZScan, I am assuming they will need to add more flash memory (or whatever).

I am certainly interested in this because I am eagerly awaiting a firmware upgrade that is supposed to contain a fix that will allow me to monitor my local VHF Phase 2 system. I was resigned to the fact that when version 4.7 came out there was a good chance that Eric's process would not allow it on my Pro668. Now I know that I should be able to get version 4.7 if I am willing to pay the fee, which I am.

I guess if you are perfectly happy with version 4.6 and are fine with the possibility of no future firmware upgrades, then this program probably has no advantages for you.
In all seriousness, with joking, praises and criticisms aside, you are right. How one sees this is going to be based on how they use and/or plans to use their Pro-668. For those that are happy with its native configuration and how it performs for them, they may simply choose to do neither Eric's update nor send it in to Whistler. Though honestly doing neither of those is definitely a dead end. Still for others, Eric's way forward may be all they need for their location and scanning habits. While others will certainly jump on board with the Whistler program for the potential that it certainly opens up.

Of the three options the latter certainly does have the most potential for longevity. In fact it is smart of Whistler, now that RS is swirling in the toilet and with the conversion capability available, to move in the direction they are. It is a perfect time for them to build some goodwill with those that have purchased their parallel products marketed by RS. Should be an interesting development to watch.
 

pro106import

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#12
I'll tell you what. If they are going to make the Pro-668 / Pro-18 / PSR-800 "genuine" 1080's, they wouldn't be making much if any money on this deal. I believe the only way to make it genuine is to replace the CPU which isn't "replaceable" as far as I can see. They would have to replace the whole PC board. And then the front panel too. Plus they pay the shipping back to the owner. Wow. But if so, you would have to think they are just doing it for PR and to stick their tongue out at Uniden and take their losses. :evil:
 
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#15
Is there any chance of having an update for the GRE-500? I've had mine for nearly a decade and still works well.
Thanks.
While your PSR-500 is basically equivalent to the WS-1040, I think I would be safe in saying no. The announcement of this legacy support only specified the PSR-800 and Pro-668 - equivalent to the WS-1080. When GRE went down, Whistler acquired the intellectual rights and started producing scanners based on the GRE designs and still sell equivalents to your PSR-500 (WS-1040) and my PSR-600 (WS-1065). However, they are not going to provide continuing support for those older GRE scanners. They have to draw the line somewhere of course.

My PSR-600 has the last update that was rolled out for it some time ago, and it continues to perform well for what analog I still have, plus P25 Phase 1. So I am happy with it for what it does and I am ok with the fact that it will never be updated again.
 

EricCottrell

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#17
Hello,

My mom got out of rehab recently, so not much radio activity for last couple of weeks.

This is surprising news from Whistler and I am planning on taking advantage of it. Why? Because it will make it easier to do upgrades without having to figure out patches and updating my program. So expect no further updates when the next version of firmware comes out.

The PSR-800, Pro-18, Pro-668, and WS-1080 all have the same flash size, so no hardware changes are needed. I suspect the upgrade is replacing the bootloader in the scanner, so WS-1080 firmware can be loaded directly. There could also be firmware changes to handle the slight differences in hardware between the scanner models.

No contact with Whistler other than any responses on the this public forum. I do not expect any money or payment for this as it is Whistler's product and they know what is possible.

73 Eric
 
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#18
Hello,

My mom got out of rehab recently, so not much radio activity for last couple of weeks.

This is surprising news from Whistler and I am planning on taking advantage of it. Why? Because it will make it easier to do upgrades without having to figure out patches and updating my program. So expect no further updates when the next version of firmware comes out.

The PSR-800, Pro-18, Pro-668, and WS-1080 all have the same flash size, so hardware changes are needed. I suspect the upgrade is replacing the bootloader in the scanner, so WS-1080 firmware can be loaded directly. There could also be firmware changes to handle the slight differences in hardware between the scanner models.

No contact with Whistler other than any responses on the this public forum. I do not expect any money or payment for this as it is Whistler's product and they know what is possible.

73 Eric
First off Eric, I hope your mom is doing well. And second, I wish to thank you for all the time and hard work you put into the project to breathe new life into those models. It did indeed highlight just what is possible for them, and hopefully Whistler has now opened the door for a way forward to keep them more current. A lot of us owe you a debt of thanks.
 

IAmSixNine

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#19
Thank you Eric for allowing us to band aid patch our units (Pro-668 for me) until Whistler was able to step up and get a permanent fix.
I will be sending in my unit.
For those of you who dont see why they are charging for it, keep in mind there are licensing fees for DMR, some of their own time for making this happen and shipping back. I think 60 bucks is reasonable, especially since it will now be supported going forward.

I hope your mom is doing better now and continues to improve.
 

EricCottrell

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#20
Hello,

Thanks, my mom is doing well. I am currently wading through the bureaucracy to get her more help so I can work more in the office instead of from home.

It could be Whistler saw how popular the unofficial upgrade was and figured out how they could offer it to past GRE/Radio Shack customers. I was surprised at how many people tried my little experiment.

73 Eric
 
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