• 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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Why Scanners today so Limited ?

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#21
W4KRR - Correct, the Whistler scanner does not do Digital Trunktracking and the ICOM/AOR Recivers cannot do any Trunktracking but, just like a Whistler, you can program in Trunked Networks , Conventional or Digital into a Scan Bank then set it to Voice Scan. the ICOM and AOR also have Dual Watch , which allows Receiving TWO frequency at the same time , and you can record Both conversations at the same time. you can Lock out or Omit all togeather the Control FREQ.
Yes, I know the ICOM in particular does not do DMR, but I was referring to Whistler scanners.
 
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#22
Citywide - the Customer base doesn't know what they are Missing, because they don't know Communications Receivers (CR) Exist. or don't understand how to use them.
I agree 100%. The reality though is that the majority of people buying scanners want to plug them in and listen to what's going on around them with a minimum of effort on their part. The whole zip code based scanning is a result of the radios becoming harder to program. I remember my first programmable scanner at age 13, a Bearcat 220. I had a sheet (legal size-2 sided) from the store that it came from with all the local frequencies on it. All you had to do was punch in the numbers and hit "E" to listen. Now, if you want to manually program your scanner, it is a steep learning curve and a lot of time, especially if you aren't adept at the process.

Additionally, I'll use my department as an example. We have somewhere between 75-100 vehicles with scanners in them. We run the gamut, with BC780XLTs, 785Ds, BCT-8s, PSR-600s and 996XTs in use. The majority of our people have no idea how to use them, so they have a generic program installed when they are new and it's hoped that it will be plug and play from there. This is the reality for most public safety officials and news media that use the scanner as a tool. We forget that not all people want to be radio geeks (although for the life of me I don't know why) and just want to hear what's going on. Those of us here at RR are the exception, not the rule.

Overall my complaint is on both Scanners and Receivers, both can be Elevated, both should have the Latest Technology, there is no excuse .
+1 on this!
 
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#23
personally, I really want to see Whistler up their game. I know Whistler announced 2 NEW SDR based I/Q scanners for receiving Digital Phase 2 transmissions better. I am curious of the price and the actual specs are, I think the WH TRX-100 and TRX-200 will give Uniden a run for their money. as Usual with Whistler they never charge for "Updates" only upgrades when a NEW Digital mode is available. I did suggest to Whistler Wendy to include Built in GPS and Bluetooth, at least we are getting Bluetooth Audio.
also, Uniden …..Where is the SDS Mobile Scanner ? will is be as bad as the SDS100.
Whistler is coming out this Fall with the TRX-200 Mobile Scanner.
 

KK4JUG

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#24
from Reading all your comments, it seams like there is NO Technical reason why scanners are not Continious coverage other than being cheaply made. there is also No reason for Scanners NOT to include SSW, CW and HAM radio Digital Modes.
You're right, there's probably no technical reason for those so-called "shortcomings" but there are at least 2 practical reasons: 1) No one buys scanners to listen to those and, 2) the cost would be prohibitive.

What kind of antenna are you gonna mount on the scanner? Or maybe I should ask how many antennae are you gonna mount on the scanner. Can you construct a tower, mount the antennae and design a way to hook up the scanner?

The truth is, yes, a scanner like you want can be built but the cost might be more than the budget of most third world countries and that doesn't include the trailer you'll need to make it "portable."
 
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#25
Citywide173 - agree with you there. but there is a compramize , Scanners NEED to Evolve into Communication Receivers and CR need to do what Scanners Excel at, like Digital Trunking .
its not expensive for them to do it, but I suspect Uniden and Whistler don't have RF engineers like ICOM and AOR have. I really like my ICOM R-30 , it has a Smartphone app and Bluetooth. Why don't Scanner at Minimum have Bluetooth ? and a smartphone app would be Great on a Whistler scanner, remote control while Mobile or on your hip.
 
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#26
KK4JUG - don't know what you are talking about.
I have been using the Same Radio antennas over the years with my Scanner and Receivers,
my Primary HH antenna is the RS telescoping Center loaded HAM antenna with 26 - 1300 MHz.
performance, its Center loaded so no Ground plane is needed, its Closed at 6" and opens to 26" Fully Extended, its Tuneable as well and can handle 5 Watts if you like to Transmit, My secconary antenna is the RS 800 Mhz antenna and I have an Assortment of High Gain HAM antennas including the Top Rated Diamond RH 77 CA. I can even attach a Long Wire roll up Antenna on the Center Loaded antenna for HF and Shortwave reception. though I Really like the NEW ICOM Antenna as its Double Fold over Telecoping type.
 

KK4JUG

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#27
KK4JUG - don't know what you are talking about.

I can even attach a Long Wire roll up Antenna on the Center Loaded antenna for HF and Shortwave reception. though I Really like the NEW ICOM Antenna as its Double Fold over Telecoping type.
Good idea. I'll hook up a "Long Wire roll up Antenna" on my SDS100 and see if it improves the reception. It's a portable and I can't go anywhere but I'll get good reception.

I know enough to know that one antenna will not give optimum reception all across the spectrum like you want and no one wants to keep switching antennae,
 
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#28
frazpo - but When you consider the Price of a Sporty's AIR scanner is almost the same Price as a Budget scanner and that Budget Scanner cost MORE than a Entry Level Receiver from ICOM. then I think in general CR are a better value even for people who want just an Analog Scanner, a ICOM R6 just performs Better and has continuous coverage (cellular locked).
I've owned an R6 in the past. The receive is great but it is not a scanner in the design of what the "scanner" industry has turned into as far as options go. I think most scanner enthusiast are into public safety, Air, and military. They sit in their easy chair or at a desk and monitor and search. Its just two different flavors of radio hobbies. One really doesn't need the other. I am not getting into the price of them and why one costs more or less.
 
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#29
zz0468 - ICOM R30 receiver is HF and its only $599, compare that to a SDS100.
short answer to Trunking, YES the ICOM can Receive and Demodulate the Audio from Trunking any Trunking system, just not Trunktrack.
BTW, my Whistler does not Trunktrack either, but it tunes Trunking just Fine.
as for Tuning steps, Scanners do not correctly tune HF tuning steps, even for non HAM frequency.
The SDS is a HH scanner, sure you could use it as mobile. but HAM radios have had GPS Mic for a long time now. and I am using the ICOM R30 as a HH receiver, I have ALL the Local Police Towers programmed with my GPS, and I can see their Position relative to my position wethin 100 Miles. and I can SCAN them as well. If AOR and ICOM were capable of Built in GPS then its NOT much of a stretch for Whistler and Uniden to have Built in GPS.
As I mentioned before, the ICOM R30 is $599, about $50-$100 cheaper than Uniden depending on where you buy it. even a ICOM $160 Receiver has 25-1300 MHz continuous coverage and SSB.
Uniden charges for "Updates" that are Locked Out, but the Scanner is capable of receiving. ICOM, AOR and Whistler All are FREE to use and All Digital Model are Free for Life.
 
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#30
KK4JUG - I have tested all the stock antenna for Scanners, throw them away, they are Dummy Loads for Dummy. I have Tested many HAM High Gain Dual Band and Triple Band antennas, they are all quite good but are Expensive. but, work really well with Scanners. the Reason I chose the RS Center Loaded HAM antenna, its really portable at 6" closed and works for All Microwave frequencies up to 2000 mhz.
but the Biggest Draw for me was the HF performance fully Extended at 26" and the Center Load means no Ground Plane is needed, BONUS the Antenna can be Tuned to the Frequency you are on and its it Resonant at 25 - 1300 MHz (perhaps more ) .
If you like to QRP its great for that as well due to its High Gain nature.
its also a great Tranceiver Antenna for 5 Watts.
 

W4KRR

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#31
For me, trunk tracking, either digital or analog, is important. Only Uniden and Whistler scanners can do that. On other receivers, it's true that you can enter the individual frequencies and scan them conventionally, you won't be able to follow single conversations, especially on any system that's even a little busy.

As for shortwave, my experience has been that hand held radios don't do very well in receiving shortwave, when compare to a dedicated shortwave receiver. The type of antenna needed for decent shortwave performance doesn't do well at VHF and UHF frequencies.
 

garys

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#32
Most of the people don't even use the scanners, Ed. I can think of maybe a dozen people who were or are interested in scanners. Three of them are retired. There were two people who had the software to reprogram the scanners that I know of. One is you, the other is some old retired guy. :D

The radio shop guys hate scanners and did the bare minimum programming that they were ordered to do.

A couple of specific vehicles were custom programmed by someone NOT in the radio shop. Which made them happy, but made the radio shop guys unhappy.

I don't know if you inherited that job when the old fart retired, or if anyone is doing it at all.

As to people who want to just hear their local public safety traffic, there are a lot of them. I have a friend who is about 80 and has no idea how to program a scanner. He bought a 436HP, entered his ZIP Code, picked his Service Types, and off he went. That's the HP part of those scanners. The BCD part is for the rest of us who like to program their scanners to suit their preferences.



Additionally, I'll use my department as an example. We have somewhere between 75-100 vehicles with scanners in them. We run the gamut, with BC780XLTs, 785Ds, BCT-8s, PSR-600s and 996XTs in use. The majority of our people have no idea how to use them, so they have a generic program installed when they are new and it's hoped that it will be plug and play from there. This is the reality for most public safety officials and news media that use the scanner as a tool. We forget that not all people want to be radio geeks (although for the life of me I don't know why) and just want to hear what's going on. Those of us here at RR are the exception, not the rule.



+1 on this!
 
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#33
I guess the real point is that these companies do a lot more marketing research than a question posted in a forum will ever generate. They know who they are targeting for sales, how many units the market will support, what features their target audience wants and what price point will be the sweet spot for sales. The president of AOR, when told that scan speed was an issue for some on the DV-1 responded that "we make receivers, not scanners" so the wish list of the minority is obviously not an issue to them, and I'm sure other companies look at those wish lists and weigh it similarly. If it is something that can add to the price point (and nothing gets added as a feature without raising the price point) without being attractive to the majority of customers, it won't happen.

I am more than a general consumer and I have no use whatsoever for HF monitoring in a portable radio, so why should I pay for it? Similarly, a HAM using a receiver for HF, frequency hunting, determining propagation, etc. shouldn't have to pay for trunk tracking capability if they're never going to use it.

They are two different animals, marketed to two different markets that may have some fringe overlap. I would rather see them refine what they have within their own product than make a catch all that would probably lack in performance.
 
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#36
A police scanner is just that, it adequately scans and receives police and related calls. The police don't use HF. Police don't use D-Star or Fusion or any other ham mode.

The people that want something more like the OP purchase a communications receiver but not everyone needs that or is willing to spend considerably more to get it.
 

KK4JUG

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#37
KK4JUG - I have tested all the stock antenna for Scanners, throw them away, they are Dummy Loads for Dummy. I have Tested many HAM High Gain Dual Band and Triple Band antennas, they are all quite good but are Expensive. but, work really well with Scanners. the Reason I chose the RS Center Loaded HAM antenna, its really portable at 6" closed and works for All Microwave frequencies up to 2000 mhz.
but the Biggest Draw for me was the HF performance fully Extended at 26" and the Center Load means no Ground Plane is needed, BONUS the Antenna can be Tuned to the Frequency you are on and its it Resonant at 25 - 1300 MHz (perhaps more ) .
If you like to QRP its great for that as well due to its High Gain nature.
its also a great Tranceiver Antenna for 5 Watts.
But does it tune on-the-fly to match the HF, VHF, UHF, 800, etc. or would you be limited to monitoring one area of the spectrum?

Speaking of stock antennae: I had a Radio Shack antenna waiting when the SDS100 arrived. I put it on even before I charged it or turned it on. I know about stock antennae.
 
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#38
Citywide173 - about Programming. I cannot talk about Uniden programming, but Whistler programming is easy with their Software. programming by Zipcode is an awful way to program a Scanner. I Professionally Program my Whistler WS-1088 scanner by County then by City to refine it further. then I go in and Program ONLY the Targets I'm interested in, I find the Programming Trees easy to Understand like State, County, then by Agencies, Category, and Systems. Hint Sometimes the Police Digital Trunking is hidden in Systems or in Category, under Cities.
I notice in the SF Bay Area where I Live , there are a lot of shared Regional Digital systems. Its nice for different county and Cities to be able to Communicate with each other.
 
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#39
KK4JUG - no, its NOT a Automatic Antenna , but because I have use this Antenna Design since 1989, I've had a lot of practice at tuning it to Frequency Bands like 50 Mhz HAM, VHF Air, Military Air, UHF HAM , and 23 cm HAM. but its extremely easy to use as its Resonant either closed or Fully Extended.
you can perhaps find it with Google search Radio Shack #20-006 Telescoping Scanner HAM Antenna - Center Loaded. Transmits on 144, 220, and 440 HAM bands. handles 5 Watts.
 
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#40
I Professionally Program my Whistler WS-1088 scanner
Most people buying scanners today do not want to be bothered. As I said before, the people at RadioReference are but a small (very small) percentage of the total scanner owners out there. The majority of consumers don't want to be bothered, and want something that works out of the box. Making the radio more difficult for those users (the majority) will result in fewer sales, which is not what the manufacturer wants.
 
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