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Old 11-22-2010, 10:22 PM
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BHinAZ BHinAZ is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 84

Looks like you are in the market for a digital hand held unit. There are three hand held units currently being manufactured.

Uniden BCD396XT
Radioshack Pro-106

The Radioshack Pro-106 is made by GRE, so the GRE and the Radioshack are functionally the same radio. They differ in style and accessories included. The GRE costs more but it includes a power adaptor and a USB data cable. The Radioshack has a printed manual. Also, firmware upgades must come from the original vendor. That means the firmware update downloaded from the GRE site will not work in the Radioshack and the Radioshack download will not work in the GRE. The most current firmware from both appear to be the same.

This is a good week to buy with Black Friday sales. Radioshack will have the Pro-106 for $299 with possible sales tax depending on your location. ScannerMaster price now on the GRE is $363 plus shipping. GRE sells the power adaptor for $20 and USB cable for $30 plus about $10 shipping. They work great on the Pro-106. Programming software is $35. You may be able to apply some additional discount coupons on the Radioshack unit.

ScannerMaster is selling the Uniden BCD396XT this week for $479 plus shipping. Uniden includes the power adaptor, NiMH batteries, a SMA/BNC adaptor and a serial cable. You may have to buy a USB/Serial converter for about 8 bucks or a USB cable for $30. FreeScan is an excellent piece of software for programming and it is available as shareware. (The author would appreciate a donation if you like it.)

When you add up all the costs for the not included accessories, the price of all three is closer than what initially appears.

The choice is really between two radios technologies, the Uniden and the GRE/Radioshack. The choice between the GRE and the Radioshack is basically a price and convenience issue. Do not expect to get much support from most local Radioshack stores on the Pro-106 because most of the employees are not trained on the unit.

Both the Uniden and the GRE designs are good radios. Each has their pros and cons. Here is a recent thread discussing both:

Edit: Be sure and find the systems you want to monitor in the Radio Reference database to confirm that the type of systems used in your area are compatible with the radio you choose.
Current: BCD996XT,BCD396XT,Pro106,BR330T,BC780XLT,800XLT,Pr o137(Uniden),Yaesu FT-60R,FT-7800R
Sold: Pro93 & 2053(GRE), BCD396T, BC220
Support: Pro95,Pro2053,BC250D,BC785D,BCT15,BCD396T

Last edited by BHinAZ; 11-22-2010 at 10:35 PM..
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