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The Uniden Tavern For general chit-chat and non-technical discussion specific to Uniden and does not fall within the above forum topics. This is not the forum to get technical advice from.

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Old 04-29-2014, 1:52 PM
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Default Does Anybody Prefer...

Does anybody honestly prefer the Pro-106/197 over the BCD396XT/996XT? I bought a Pro-106 as soon as it came out five or six years ago. I thought it was a pretty good scanner for a year or two. However, everything started failing on it- buttons fell out, display went bad, and sometimes you have to tap the radio for the radio to actually receive RF. Last summer I finally bought a 996XT and I can't believe how much better built and designed it is. I can make a huge list of why I think the 396/996XT series is better, but I want to hear from you.

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P.S. I wish we could create a poll similar to Facebook.
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Old 04-29-2014, 2:04 PM
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My issue with the last GRE's was the volume pot. EVERY SINGLE ONE gets noisy after a few months. Contact cleaner will fix it for a few weeks/months, but it returns.

The internal bandpass filtering for VHF being so broad is also a problem, but an external FM broadcast filter fixes that. Once you filter FM broadcast the VHF band comes alive.
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Old 04-29-2014, 2:06 PM
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Default Pro 106

Don't know what care yours got, but mine runs and looks like new and was purchased the first year they came out. I also have a Pro 96 that has no loose pieces and turns on every time. They are not xts radios, but with a little care and reasonable handling should last. My 396xt is a good radio, but the quick key systems is a pain compared to the 106 and the V Scanner folders.
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Old 04-29-2014, 2:26 PM
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I've owned a whole slew of both Uniden and GRE scanners. My oldest Uniden is damn near as old as I am and it still works. The only GRE made radio I still have that works is the 2067 and that's because it was made like a tank. I admit I'm really hard on my radios, but even so I knew I was in trouble when the rubber grips on the sides of my PRO-96 literally fell off the radio. A few short months after that, it stopped working completely. That pretty much sealed the deal for GRE radios with me.

GRE made some great radios, there's no doubt of that, but Uniden makes radios that were meant to be USED and used hard, which is what I do with 'em. I can't spend $500 on a radio that will literally fall apart after I've owned it for a year. Hopefully someone at Whistler is reading this and taking notes.

-AZ
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Old 04-29-2014, 2:39 PM
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I never treated it hard. But the build quality is definitely different. The 106 looks like it was from the early 2000s while the 996xt looks more appropriate.
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Old 04-29-2014, 3:55 PM
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I have had and have both I prefer Uniden that is just me.But i will try everything that is out on the market.The old saying that what works for me might not work for me holds true I think.And the knowledge base you have here on the forums is quite good with the exception of a few who beat the same drum all the time about this and that and how this sucks and this is better.So for me i am a Uniden guy or as some would say on here a fanboy but i have more that a few non- Uniden scanners that i enjoy also.
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Old 04-29-2014, 3:56 PM
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I have a Pro 197 that is set up in my house as a base station. I've had no problems with it. The reason that I use a 996X in my car is because it's easier when I'm driving from state to state to use different Start Up Keys to change profiles. I never liked the way the older GRE scanners did that. I also never liked the way the PSR600/Pro197 volume taper worked. It went from too quiet to hear to blast you out of the vehicle loud within a very short range on the volume control. Plus the Unidens have that positive detent on the volume, squelch, and channel controls.

All of that being said, we had a mix of BC15, BC15X and PRS 600 scanners in our ambulances and support vehicles. The overall failure rate was very, very, low. The older vehicles had 780s, 785s, and 796s and the failure rate was low for them too. One vehicle had, and probably still has, a 760XLT that was still running fine when I retired.

Our guys could break anything, but the scanners seemed to keep on perking along.
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Old 04-29-2014, 4:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garys View Post
One vehicle had, and probably still has, a 760XLT that was still running fine when I retired.
CTCSS tone board and Preamp installed I presume.
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Old 04-29-2014, 4:14 PM
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Tone board, no preamp. The last thing we needed in those scanners was preamps!

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CTCSS tone board and Preamp installed I presume.
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Old 04-29-2014, 4:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garys View Post
Tone board, no preamp. The last thing we needed in those scanners was preamps!
Thanks for the info greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-29-2014, 5:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twister_2 View Post
I never treated it hard. But the build quality is definitely different. The 106 looks like it was from the early 2000s while the 996xt looks more appropriate.
^^^ This ^^^

I cannot fathom why Whistler would even bother to re-release scanners that contain ten year old technology. Unless Whistler can retail the PRO500/600 (or whatever their new model numbers are) for $200-$250 each, who would buy them?

The remote head mobile version and the re-released PSR800 may sell, but again, if Whistler haven't addressed the poor front end filtering problems and build quality issues that plagued the previous models, poor user reviews will quickly kill them too.

With overcrowded bands, closer channel spacing, high powered FM broadcast transmitters, phone and wireless transmitters everywhere, scanner manufacturers have to place more emphasis on filtering performance than ever before. You can't sell 1990's scanner technology in the marketplace today and expect rave reviews..

IMHO, manufactures need to place much more emphasis on RF performance and build quality and less importance on the bells and whistles when they develop these things.. People that buy $600 scanners are more inclined to be enthusiasts or professionals and will have expectations (whether realistic or not) that their radio will sound, perform and feel much like a Motorola radio. Manufacturers need to recognize this point before they go off on a tangent and start developing apps and other feature addons.

Regardless of what they may think, manufacturers are not going to sell many $600 radio scanners to teenagers!
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Old 04-29-2014, 5:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatanchor View Post
^^^ This ^^^

I cannot fathom why Whistler would even bother to re-release scanners that contain ten year old technology. Unless Whistler can retail the PRO500/600 (or whatever their new model numbers are) for $200-$250 each, who would buy them?

IMHO, manufactures need to place much more emphasis on RF performance and build quality and less importance on the bells and whistles when they develop these things.. People that buy $600 scanners are more inclined to be enthusiasts or professionals and will have expectations (whether realistic or not) that their radio will sound, perform and feel much like a Motorola radio. Manufacturers need to recognize this point before they go off on a tangent and start developing apps and other feature addons.

Regardless of what they may think, manufacturers are not going to sell many $600 radio scanners to teenagers!
So true! I gotta say though if Whistler did release the rebadged 500 for $250, I'd be really tempted.That was a very good scanner for P25 from what I hear, and I'm sure while most local agencies will go Phase 2 eventually, Uncle Sam will be using P25 Phase I for a long, long time.

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Old 04-29-2014, 6:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatanchor View Post
^^^ This ^^^

I cannot fathom why Whistler would even bother to re-release scanners that contain ten year old technology. Unless Whistler can retail the PRO500/600 (or whatever their new model numbers are) for $200-$250 each, who would buy them?

The remote head mobile version and the re-released PSR800 may sell, but again, if Whistler haven't addressed the poor front end filtering problems and build quality issues that plagued the previous models, poor user reviews will quickly kill them too.

With overcrowded bands, closer channel spacing, high powered FM broadcast transmitters, phone and wireless transmitters everywhere, scanner manufacturers have to place more emphasis on filtering performance than ever before. You can't sell 1990's scanner technology in the marketplace today and expect rave reviews..

IMHO, manufactures need to place much more emphasis on RF performance and build quality and less importance on the bells and whistles when they develop these things.. People that buy $600 scanners are more inclined to be enthusiasts or professionals and will have expectations (whether realistic or not) that their radio will sound, perform and feel much like a Motorola radio. Manufacturers need to recognize this point before they go off on a tangent and start developing apps and other feature addons.

Regardless of what they may think, manufacturers are not going to sell many $600 radio scanners to teenagers!
You struck it head on. I would definitely consider a pro-106/197 in 2014 if it retailed for $199. It would be a nice radio to have in the background. But until these manufacturers come out with a brick (with or without the bells and whistles), I'll stick with my 996XT and I just might get a 396XT to carry around.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:23 AM
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I have a Uniden 396T, BCD 436 and 536, an two RS Pro 197 (PSR600). In truth, they all perform as I want them to. That's my bottom line.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:25 PM
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Over the years I've owned a PRO-2055, PRO-2067, BC780XLT, PRO-163, BCT15X and a PRO-18. They all served me very well. All I have left are:


PRO-163 (a great scanner but collecting dust as my BCT15X does everything it does and easier to read the display)
BCT15X (my current analog "workhorse" scanner)
PRO-18 (only had for a few weeks, great little scanner, very sensitive, and I plan on making this my dedicated P25 scanner)
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Old 04-30-2014, 1:46 PM
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I have the 396xt and love the thing, mounts to my car and my NMO antenna, quick unscrew, grab and go and I have a handheld again. Very versatile device that's been dropped many times, still works like a champ.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:17 PM
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I've never had any serious dramas with the GRE digital and analog scanners that I own. Build quality is reasonably sturdy however I do make sure that I fit all my handhelds with cases due to the fragile nature of such scanners. I still use a ten year old Pro-96 everyday when commuting and it still performs well. Likewise my Pro-197, PSR-600 and Pro-106 all perform flawlessly for monitoring DTRS and only fall down in front-end filtering and poor dynamic range. This can be mitigated somewhat by use of the attenuator and shortening one's antenna.

I don't agree with comments that GRE scanners are cheaply built and don't last. It all comes down to usage and handling. As for Whistler continuing to push out Phase I scanners - why not ? There is still a demand for such scanners and not all agencies are moving to Phase II anytime soon. I just wish that Whistler had focused on releasing the WS-1080 & WS-1095 first in order to provide much needed competition with Uniden's flagship offerings.

Having said all that I still like the BCT15X for analog (milair) monitoring. Its sensitivity and selectivity are excellent. The x96XT line of scanners are also good performers however I don't like the reduced sensitivity, slower scanning speed, poor PL decoding, variable P25 decoding quality and obnoxiously fiddly system/group key system. The 500 talkgroup limit per trunked system is a major pain as well. I will of course say that the Uniden digital scanners look better than the GRE's

Last edited by cherubim; 04-30-2014 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 05-06-2014, 1:58 PM
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I can give credit to my 106 for its frequency banking system. It is much more simple than the 996xt. However, I do understand the purpose of systems with quick keys and such. But when you don't need to monitor a lot, the 106/197 certainly is superior.
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Old 05-06-2014, 2:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twister_2 View Post
I can give credit to my 106 for its frequency banking system. It is much more simple than the 996xt. However, I do understand the purpose of systems with quick keys and such. But when you don't need to monitor a lot, the 106/197 certainly is superior.
I think ya mean scanlists , noot bankinG?
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Old 05-06-2014, 2:32 PM
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Oh, yes. The V-scanning stuff is super similar to the oldschool banks.
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