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General Scanning Discussion - For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Manufacturer specific posts should be directed to the appropriate forums below and location specific posts should go in the appropriate regional forum..

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Old 06-08-2018, 11:20 AM
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Default SDS100 or Unication G5

I am interested in purchasing one of the above units, any recommendations? What are some pros and con for each unit?
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:32 AM
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I've owned both, and the SDS100 is a scanner plain and simple and it covers everything you could possibly want to listen to... With that said, the G5 is pretty excellent as well, but at the end of the day, it's a pager designed for alerting purposes for public-safety personnel. I owned the G5 for several months and they fought with Unication to take it back from me as we encountered numerous issues with two pagers, the original one and one that was swapped out by Unication directly not to mention countless amplified charging base issues and false tone activations on VHF. With all that said, it's 800 MHz performance was good on the Michigan MPSCS system but it wasn't always perfect; it was affected by the same sources that affected even the best scanners. Too close to a cellular site, it would sometimes get overloaded; but overall the reception was excellent, but... Keep in mind when scanner outside of a simulcast system where you need to hear traffic from multiple tower sites; the G5 will lock into the strongest site in the scan list and remain there until the RSSI drops to a threshold level; with the Uniden SDS100, you can program multiple sites into a single system and scan all of those sites for the talkgroups and even hold on a specific site if need be; hence the scanner in my opinion is still a better choice for "scanning"... The SDS100 is by-in-far the best scanner I have every used and I've had just about every scanner in the past 10-20 years. Side by side a Motorola APX6000, it's hard to see the difference in performance...
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by W2GLD View Post
Too close to a cellular site, it would sometimes get overloaded; but overall the reception was excellent...
I was going to ask about reception that's close to a cellular tower, but you beat me to the punch (partially).
How is the reception of the SDS-100 near/at a cellular tower site? I've noticed that most scanners simply get overloaded, unless the Attenuation is on within a quarter mile of a cell site. Does the SDS-100 perform similar to a public safety radio, or are their issues with overload still present, whether it be 700/800/900 MHz?
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Old 06-08-2018, 12:39 PM
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I was going to ask about reception that's close to a cellular tower, but you beat me to the punch (partially).
How is the reception of the SDS-100 near/at a cellular tower site? I've noticed that most scanners simply get overloaded, unless the Attenuation is on within a quarter mile of a cell site. Does the SDS-100 perform similar to a public safety radio, or are their issues with overload still present, whether it be 700/800/900 MHz?
I personally cannot answer that yet, perhaps after this weekend I can; but I wanted to mention it because I see and hear all these glowing reports about the G5 and while it's good, it's not perfect; but really no receiver is these days. I will update my comment about close cellular tower information over the weekend, but I can say, sitting side-by-side with a Motorola APX6000; it's hard to tell a difference in my present environment.
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Old 06-08-2018, 1:03 PM
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You cannot compare the G4/G5 and the SDS100. They are two very different products. One is a professional pager and one is a consumer scanner. They both perform well on simulcast, but that is where it ends. What do you want - a pager to listen to one system at a time or a scanner? For me, my G4 is perfect, excellent performance with simulcast and discreet (small size and no obnoxious antenna.) I only need to listen to one system. Knowing that they both perform well on simulcast, only you can decide what you need: pager (single system at a time) or scanner.
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Old 06-08-2018, 1:14 PM
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You cannot compare the G4/G5 and the SDS100. They are two very different products. One is a professional pager and one is a consumer scanner. They both perform well on simulcast, but that is where it ends. What do you want - a pager to listen to one system at a time or a scanner? For me, my G4 is perfect, excellent performance with simulcast and discreet (small size and no obnoxious antenna.) I only need to listen to one system. Knowing that they both perform well on simulcast, only you can decide what you need: pager (single system at a time) or scanner.
That is very well stated indeed and he's 100% correct.
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Old 06-08-2018, 1:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM View Post
I was going to ask about reception that's close to a cellular tower, but you beat me to the punch (partially).
How is the reception of the SDS-100 near/at a cellular tower site? I've noticed that most scanners simply get overloaded, unless the Attenuation is on within a quarter mile of a cell site. Does the SDS-100 perform similar to a public safety radio, or are their issues with overload still present, whether it be 700/800/900 MHz?
I'm in a literal forest of cell sites. About eight within a half mile, and twenty+ in a mile radius. Most sites, including the two at a chopping center two blocks south of me, are stacked sites: One layer of three sites at the top (1 for each 120 degrees of a circle), another layer below that, and on the taller tower, a third layer. That positively kills my GRE (PSR500) and Whistler (TRX-1) scanners with any sort of gain antenna, such as the RadioShack 800MHz or the current Remtronix version. If, instead, I use the generic OEM antenna, the overload problem is abated enough that the scanners are usable.

The SDS100 works well on the various trunked systems I monitor, whether I have an 800MHz antenna, the OEM antenna, or connected to my rooftop ST2 through a 4 port amplified multicoupler. I do not have one of the Unication devices to compare. Note that my other Uniden scanners, including 3 of thee x36HP series, are not severely affected from the cell sites either.

I just received my SDS100 yesterday. I intend to get out and about to see how it does in the known simulcast problem areas here in the DFW Metro area.
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Old 06-08-2018, 1:48 PM
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Also on the G4/5...there is no headphone jack. I've learned to live without it, in light of its perfect performance in my area. It has excellent audio quality, both at low and high volume levels. I second the stealthy size and tiny antenna.
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Old 06-08-2018, 4:49 PM
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One other thing about the G4/G5 is that programming another system or talkgroup isn't anywhere near as quick and easy as it would be on a scanner. Not terrible but to get it set up how you want takes some time. To repeat the above, if you want one or two systems and don't really care about "scanning" the Unication could serve you well.

I only need to monitor one system mostly but the G5 would be almost perfect if I could scan my counties system and NC VIPER at the same time.

Size of the G4/G5 is definitely a plus and audio sounds even better than on my APX4000, but doesn't get as loud as I would like. I use it for the FD and when on the side of the road or other noise it's not as easy to hear. Sitting inside or in the car is fine.

My SDS100 just got to my house today and I'm at work so I haven't tried it yet. Simulcast issues are terrible here but the G5 does pretty great. Will be interesting to see what the SDS does.
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Old 06-08-2018, 8:05 PM
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Quote:
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Also on the G4/5...there is no headphone jack. I've learned to live without it, in light of its perfect performance in my area. It has excellent audio quality, both at low and high volume levels. I second the stealthy size and tiny antenna.
Yes, I too miss a headphone jack.
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