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SDS200 The best airband scanner!

werinshades

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Jan 21, 2002
Messages
2,592
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Chicago , IL
#5
Obviously that is not the case for the OP.
He's still bitter about paying $900 for his SDS100 and instead of returning it for repair due to lack of receive (sounded like that cold solder joint issue some have had), comes on here to rain on the parade of most others who are enjoying the SDS series. I think he has a pager now...:ROFLMAO:
 

KR7CQ

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May 20, 2013
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Phoenix
#9
Glad you are happy with the SDS200, I like mine as well. I posted a few videos showing that it could hang in parts of the milair band with my BC780XLT, and wasn't too far off on AM civilian air band (aside from interference issues). It actually performed better than expected.

I would say that if you are serious about AM airband you might want to look into a BC780XLT though at some point in the future. On the same multicoupler it can outperform the SDS200 in most cases, and doesn't suffer from "bleed over" from nearby frequencies as the SDS200 can. It can be had for around $100, and would allow your SDS200 to work on digital stuff. It's universally agreed-upon to be one of the best scanners for airband and will also have a faster scan speed than the SDS200.

Still, in the end, if you are content with your setup that's all that matters, good to hear a positive report.
 

gootch

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Feb 8, 2003
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72
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Sun Prairie Wisconsin
#10
Glad you are happy with the SDS200, I like mine as well. I posted a few videos showing that it could hang in parts of the milair band with my BC780XLT, and wasn't too far off on AM civilian air band (aside from interference issues). It actually performed better than expected.

I would say that if you are serious about AM airband you might want to look into a BC780XLT though at some point in the future. On the same multicoupler it can outperform the SDS200 in most cases, and doesn't suffer from "bleed over" from nearby frequencies as the SDS200 can. It can be had for around $100, and would allow your SDS200 to work on digital stuff. It's universally agreed-upon to be one of the best scanners for airband and will also have a faster scan speed than the SDS200.

Still, in the end, if you are content with your setup that's all that matters, good to hear a positive report.
Nice reply!
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
130
Location
Everman, TX
#11
Not that I care to get into a stupid flaming war with a bunch of fanboys, but given a good aircraft band antenna, a scanner that does a good job with the AM mode will probably do a good job with the commercial aircraft band. Unfortunately not all scanners do well with the AM mode. If one merely wants to listen to commercial and MilAir aircraft and conventional (non-trunking) analog sites, then the BC125AT at less than $100 is a really great choice. I see no reason to spend $700 on a premium scanner unless you need its added features or simply have more money than sense to spend. I'm sure the SDS line is good on most bands and modes too, but it would be extreme overkill unless you want the added features and capability. As for as MilAir goes, that is perhaps the most disappointing of all the services to scan. The military is taught to use the airwaves sparingly, generally use coded language, and quite frankly it trends to be extremely boring. Commercial aircraft on the other hand is always full of chatter, although they are sometimes difficult to hear too, which is the nature of AM mode and pilots who don't use their mics that well. Buy the bottom line is that the antenna is more important than the scanner when listening to aircraft on the AM mode. Spend you money on a decent scanner, but get a damn good antenna and erect it in the best possible location. Put a crap antenna on the best scanner in the world and you won't hear much.
 

kc2kth

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Mar 27, 2004
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397
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Toms River NJ
#12
...then the BC125AT at less than $100 is a really great choice.
I finally picked up a 125 a couple of weeks ago and it does a great job on civ and milair. I'm not terribly close to any airports so I stick to listening to N90 and ZNY mostly as well as EWR approach/departure and the milair in the area. In my use cases it outperforms my 436 by a bit and equals my Kenwood TH-F6A. It does nearly as good as my trusty old PRO-2006 connected to the D130J as well. Can't beat the simplicity of the 125. The 125 really is a bargain if it does what you need.
 

MisterLongwire

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Jan 1, 2014
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San Marcos,Escondido, CA.
#16
Let's see....got a 996XT that will be of no real use to me since my area is going to Phase2 soon...oops! Forgot my 396 will be of no use either. Got a HP2 that is awesome and is being used as well as my Bearcat 300 that I feel does circles around the others for airband. I feel it ties with the SDS200. So I only have 2 units to receive Phase 2.... <content>
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
888
Location
Somewhere monitoring the air.
#17
Glad you are happy with the SDS200, I like mine as well. I posted a few videos showing that it could hang in parts of the milair band with my BC780XLT, and wasn't too far off on AM civilian air band (aside from interference issues). It actually performed better than expected.

I would say that if you are serious about AM airband you might want to look into a BC780XLT though at some point in the future. On the same multicoupler it can outperform the SDS200 in most cases, and doesn't suffer from "bleed over" from nearby frequencies as the SDS200 can. It can be had for around $100, and would allow your SDS200 to work on digital stuff. It's universally agreed-upon to be one of the best scanners for airband and will also have a faster scan speed than the SDS200.

Still, in the end, if you are content with your setup that's all that matters, good to hear a positive report.
Yeah I always am on the look out for one of them 780s on eBay for a good price, to compliment my sds200 I listen to many simulcast systems as well and it is on par with my g4 which is saying something. My unit is 880002xx unit so i have the part coming to put in but its not really humming that bad.
 

KR7CQ

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May 20, 2013
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#18
Yeah I always am on the look out for one of them 780s on eBay for a good price, to compliment my sds200 I listen to many simulcast systems as well and it is on par with my g4 which is saying something. My unit is 880002xx unit so i have the part coming to put in but its not really humming that bad.
That's a good plan. Scanners are like potato chips, one is never quite enough.

On my most important systems, the SDS200 with rooftop antenna can match my G4 transmission for transmission 98% of the time. I do have a few "problem" systems, but may luck shine on you so that you have no such issues.

I have an early production model as well and the hum out of the box was very minimal. I put the part in anyway but I suppose I could have left it as-is.
 

kruser

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Nov 25, 2007
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St. Louis County, MO
#19
My SDS100 works very well in the Civil AirBand but only when I use an external AirBand bandpass filter.
Those filters can also help with the older models like the 780XLT and can even help with much more expensive Icom Communications receivers but are usually not needed. They sure do make a difference with my SDS100 in the VHF AM Air Band though.
I'm using one of the airband filters made by AOR back in the day.
I'll also sometimes throw and FM Broadcast band filter inline depending on the radio.
 

iMONITOR

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Sep 20, 2006
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MACOMB, MI.
#20
I'm really encouraged by all the positive feedback on the SDS series and air bands! Initially all I was reading was negative feedback in that regard but some time has passed and it seems to be doing much better! Firmware maybe? Learning how to use filters? More appropriate antennas? Maybe a combination of things? I might even have to buy one soon! :cool:
 
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