TRX-1: 1st impressions after a day

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wk5h

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I just got a new TRX-1 in yesterday, and have been fumbling around with it... Still don't know if I like it or not. I don't hate it, but, after using a Uniden for all these years, it most definitely isn't as easy to program as they are. Maybe once the learning curve is over, I'll feel different.

I thought I'd list a few pros and cons of mine. Granted, these are MY pros and cons, and derived from my own personal opinion. I'd be interested in hearing what others think too.



PROS:
quality of the build -- feels much beefier than the Uniden models. I don't feel like I would need to baby it as much, especially with the rubber sleeve on it.

audio quality -- so far, I think the audio is better than any of the Uniden radios I've ever had. The audio doesn't sound as "tinny" as Uniden radios did.

charging while powered on -- this was the thing that swayed me into buying the TRX-1 over the BCD426HP. If I take the radio to work with me, I like being able to keep it plugged in and listening without running the batteries down, that way when I take it home, I don't have to turn it off to charge it just to listen to it at home. I know I could get an external battery charger, and an extra set of batteries, but, the TRX-1 easily beats the 436HP on this.

CONS:
lack of volume knob -- first thing I found that I didn't like, was the volume being controlled by the arrow pad. I like adjusting the volume with a knob, that way I can reach over and either turn it up or down quickly when the need arises.

programming time -- to make the simplest of change to a scan list or setting on the scanner via the EZ-Scan software, it has to turn off the scanner, wait for the internal sd card reader to initialize, send a gob of information to the sd card, then turn the scanner back on, wait for the scanner to initialize the data, then you have to hit scan again, and wait for the scanner to parse through the scan lists. A simple change to the scanner via EZ-Scan can take 3-5 minutes.

EZ-Scan software -- probably my least favorite thing about the radio. Yeah, I know you don't have to use the software to program the radio, but, with all the scanners today can do, unless you have about a week of time to devote to the radio, you need the software. I've had to several times force quit the software due to it locking up, and the ease of use just isn't there yet. Sorry Whistler, if we're comparing apples to apples, the Sentinel software has you beat hands down. I give the software props on some nicities of importing from the clipboard, and being able to designate which column is the frequency and Alpha Tag... but, it doesn't make up for the clunkiness, sluggishness, and instability of the rest of the software suite.

lack of quick key designation - I like how it lists what scanlists are being scanned on the screen, and rolls the list across the screen. But, unless you know by memory what scanlist is assigned to which number, it's a guessing game as to which scanlist you're turning off or on. I think I'm just used to seeing the Uniden format on the screen where you had a better visual representation of what lists were being scanned and could be turned off/on via the keypad. You could probably add the number to the name of the scanlist, and get by with that, but, I feel the screen in scan mode is a bit lacking in telling what all it's scanning.

obtaining software from Whistler -- this is one of the worst implementations of obtaining free software I've seen, even worse than the "we will email you the link to download". You have to basically "buy" the free software from their point of sale website, by registering every time you download it. I may just be from the "old school" internet, but, if you have a piece of free software for people to download, host it on a simple website (or ftp server at least) to make it a simple one-click download, rather than asking for someone to fill out a bunch of info beforehand.
 

03msc

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To get the volume on the knob, within EZScan go to the Advanced Features tab (second tab) and in the second column, under "Control Knob Options" select 'volume' from the drop down. [Note: Forgot to say...you have to have it set in the menu of EZScan to display the Advanced tab.]

On the General Settings tab did you rename all of your scanlists to whatever you wanted them to be? Just making sure. Default is Scanlist 001, Scanlist 002, and so on...you can edit them, however.

I also use the Scan Sets feature a lot - easy way to see through the menu what Scan Lists I am turning off and on via the Scan Sets I have setup.
 

03msc

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Also, the EZScan software comes on the SD card that is in the scanner so no need to download it unless you wanted it before you received the scanner or the cards gets reformatted or something. Just be sure to check for updates to the PC application via the Updates menu (or let it check when it asks if you want it to check).

I like the Whistler scanners and the software is easy once you get the hang of it. I actually find it more user-friendly than the Uniden software, personally. But yes, there is a definite learning curve between the two!
 

ecarvalho

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Scanlists can be renamed and scansets have a list or a bunch of lists assigned to them. So for example, you can assign your local law enforcement lists to one scanset and activate it as you wish. Scansets can be renamed to anything you want as well. Hope this helps.
I have a BCD536HP and a TRX-2


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wk5h

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To get the volume on the knob, within EZScan go to the Advanced Features tab (second tab) and in the second column, under "Control Knob Options" select 'volume' from the drop down. [Note: Forgot to say...you have to have it set in the menu of EZScan to display the Advanced tab.]

On the General Settings tab did you rename all of your scanlists to whatever you wanted them to be? Just making sure. Default is Scanlist 001, Scanlist 002, and so on...you can edit them, however.

I also use the Scan Sets feature a lot - easy way to see through the menu what Scan Lists I am turning off and on via the Scan Sets I have setup.
I can't find anywhere on the advanced tab that mentions "Control Knob Options"?

I did rename the scanlists, which I imagine I'll have to incorporate the number key into the name somehow to give me quick reminders as to which scanlist is controlled by which quick key.
 

DJ11DLN

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I don't see it either, maybe that is only for the TRX-2?
Appears to be available on WS-1095/1098/TRX-2 only. Which is too bad...I seldom if ever adjust the squelch, but often have to adjust the volume, if only to mute the scanner at the drive-up window. Sure would be nice to just twist the knob instead of holding down the arrow key.:mad:
 

kb8rvp

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TRX-1: 1st impressions after a day

I just got a new TRX-1 in yesterday, and have been fumbling around with it... Still don't know if I like it or not. I don't hate it, but, after using a Uniden for all these years, it most definitely isn't as easy to program as they are. Maybe once the learning curve is over, I'll feel different.

I thought I'd list a few pros and cons of mine. Granted, these are MY pros and cons, and derived from my own personal opinion. I'd be interested in hearing what others think too.



PROS:
quality of the build -- feels much beefier than the Uniden models. I don't feel like I would need to baby it as much, especially with the rubber sleeve on it.

audio quality -- so far, I think the audio is better than any of the Uniden radios I've ever had. The audio doesn't sound as "tinny" as Uniden radios did.

charging while powered on -- this was the thing that swayed me into buying the TRX-1 over the BCD426HP. If I take the radio to work with me, I like being able to keep it plugged in and listening without running the batteries down, that way when I take it home, I don't have to turn it off to charge it just to listen to it at home. I know I could get an external battery charger, and an extra set of batteries, but, the TRX-1 easily beats the 436HP on this.
Thanks for the nice review. I'm running the GRE PSR-800 and the BCD436HP and am very happy but it's nice to know what others think of the new scanner models. I am curious about the comments about the BCD436HP running it while plugged in and charging. I know you can't charge it while it's on because it charges the internal clock battery when it's on but you can run it plugged into the car or at work and home. I use a 5v USB phone charger with the programming cable that came with it to power it at home and work and I use the USB connector built into the car to power mine on the road. You can also use a 12v to USB adapter to run it in the car and never run the battries down unless you are out for a walk or or just carring it around with you and charge it at night. I also bought an extra long USB cord which makes it a lot easier to plug in. It takes the same connector as the TRX-1 I beleave so if I get one of those I will use the same cord to power it but so far just kind of watching to see what other think and maybe put it on my Christmas wish list.

Enjoy the new radio and keep up the nice feedback.

Mike
 

wk5h

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Thanks for the nice review. I'm running the GRE PSR-800 and the BCD436HP and am very happy but it's nice to know what others think of the new scanner models. I am curious about the comments about the BCD436HP running it while plugged in and charging. I know you can't charge it while it's on because it charges the internal clock battery when it's on but you can run it plugged into the car or at work and home. I use a 5v USB phone charger with the programming cable that came with it to power it at home and work and I use the USB connector built into the car to power mine on the road. You can also use a 12v to USB adapter to run it in the car and never run the battries down unless you are out for a walk or or just carring it around with you and charge it at night. I also bought an extra long USB cord which makes it a lot easier to plug in. It takes the same connector as the TRX-1 I beleave so if I get one of those I will use the same cord to power it but so far just kind of watching to see what other think and maybe put it on my Christmas wish list.

Enjoy the new radio and keep up the nice feedback.

Mike
I apparently had misunderstood what the limits were with the 436 and charging - I see what you mean now. You can run the radio off power without running down the batteries, but, it just won't charge the batteries... got it... was under the impression that it would always pull power from the batteries (if they were inserted), and the only way to charge the batteries back up would be to turn the power off... still lots to learn..
 

03msc

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Appears to be available on WS-1095/1098/TRX-2 only. Which is too bad...I seldom if ever adjust the squelch, but often have to adjust the volume, if only to mute the scanner at the drive-up window. Sure would be nice to just twist the knob instead of holding down the arrow key.:mad:
Sorry about that, I thought it was for both the hh and mobile/base. My bad. However, maybe that should be a feature request made via their request process by all of us.
 

DJ11DLN

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Sorry about that, I thought it was for both the hh and mobile/base. My bad. However, maybe that should be a feature request made via their request process by all of us.
Good idea but I doubt that the current-series handheld has the hardware to support it. Maybe they'll include the press-to-change function in future models, though...I'll join the e-mail chorus.
 

cmdrwill

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Yup, the little scanner has no room for a volume knob.....

But, in this day and age 'UP' 'Down' arrows are the norm on some radios.Takes some time to get used to the 'arrows'.
 
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Machria

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I just got a new TRX-1 in yesterday, and have been fumbling around with it... Still don't know if I like it or not. I don't hate it, but, after using a Uniden for all these years, it most definitely isn't as easy to program as they are. Maybe once the learning curve is over, I'll feel different.
Really? I just got my TRX1 on Friday, and have yet to read the manual (plan on it in the next few days). I am further along in programming the TRX1 in 4 days of light usage, than I was in 4 YEARS owning he Uniden 396xt. Maybe the HP's are much better??? But.... I have found the TRX much easier than the Uniden. That was the only reason for buying it, I could not even use the Uniden because it's UI is/was so convoluted. But I am just a "casual" user, and that was the problem. Every time I picked it up and turned it on, it was like the first time because nothing is/was intuitive. On the TRX, I am up and running for the most part without reading the book, and I can see myself putting it on the shelf and firing it up 3 months from now and continuing on like it was yesterday.


CONS:
lack of volume knob -- first thing I found that I didn't like, was the volume being controlled by the arrow pad. I like adjusting the volume with a knob, that way I can reach over and either turn it up or down quickly when the need arises.
Yep, this drives me nuts!! I have this on my list of suggestions to send to Whistler I'm compiling. Let us swap the sql and vol controls (put volume on know and squelch on arrow keys. BUT, then I read the post below stating that is in the software, I got all excited, but I did not see it anywhere in the software. Then I saw the other posts saying it's not on the TRX1, BUMMER. Ok, leaving this suggestion on my list! ;)


programming time -- to make the simplest of change to a scan list or setting on the scanner via the EZ-Scan software, it has to turn off the scanner, wait for the internal sd card reader to initialize, send a gob of information to the sd card, then turn the scanner back on, wait for the scanner to initialize the data, then you have to hit scan again, and wait for the scanner to parse through the scan lists. A simple change to the scanner via EZ-Scan can take 3-5 minutes.
I also noticed this long delay in shutting off the scanner, turn back on.... I wonder if there is an easier way I just haven't learned yet? Hope so.


To get the volume on the knob, within EZScan go to the Advanced Features tab (second tab) and in the second column, under "Control Knob Options" select 'volume' from the drop down. [Note: Forgot to say...you have to have it set in the menu of EZScan to display the Advanced tab.]

On the General Settings tab did you rename all of your scanlists to whatever you wanted them to be? Just making sure. Default is Scanlist 001, Scanlist 002, and so on...you can edit them, however.

I also use the Scan Sets feature a lot - easy way to see through the menu what Scan Lists I am turning off and on via the Scan Sets I have setup.
Man did you get me excited!! I immediately fired up the software, and said what the heck, I don't see it?? ;) DANG!

Appears to be available on WS-1095/1098/TRX-2 only. Which is too bad...I seldom if ever adjust the squelch, but often have to adjust the volume, if only to mute the scanner at the drive-up window. Sure would be nice to just twist the knob instead of holding down the arrow key.:mad:
DANG! This is on my suggestion list I'm compiling. I hope they technically can do this on the TRX1.
 

SCPD

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Programming time .... use a card reader and not the USB connection.

All of 6 seconds to program my SD card.

I too HATE the Whistler software distribution thing. They need to dump it .. but I don't see it happening. It is called data mining your customers and data is a very valuable thing these days.

The reason for the squelch knob on the top of the handhelds is cause it is directly connected to the squelch circuit. This has been discussed many many times in the past. But I know that there are many that are unaware .. however this is the reason why.
 
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troymail

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I just got a new TRX-1 in yesterday, and have been fumbling around with it... Still don't know if I like it or not. I don't hate it, but, after using a Uniden for all these years, it most definitely isn't as easy to program as they are. Maybe once the learning curve is over, I'll feel different.
It's hard to reach a conclusion in a short period of time. In fact, if you are like me, you could love something the first day, hate it the next and on and on. It's really about how you feel about it over time after getting used to using it.

That is, it depends on how much you use one radio or another.

My "go to" has been a GRE or Whistler radio since the PSR-500 was released. It did take some time to "get it" when I got the 500 and again when the PSR-800 was released. However, I experienced the same level of frustration when I got my BCD296D many years earlier. I was so frustrated with that radio and the crappy software that came with it, I almost threw it across the floor. Eventually, I got used to it. But, if I went back right now and tried to program that radio, I know I'd be starting from scratch as if I'd never programmed it before (start learning it all over again).

I thought I'd list a few pros and cons of mine. Granted, these are MY pros and cons, and derived from my own personal opinion. I'd be interested in hearing what others think too.



PROS:
quality of the build -- feels much beefier than the Uniden models. I don't feel like I would need to baby it as much, especially with the rubber sleeve on it.

audio quality -- so far, I think the audio is better than any of the Uniden radios I've ever had. The audio doesn't sound as "tinny" as Uniden radios did.

charging while powered on -- this was the thing that swayed me into buying the TRX-1 over the BCD426HP. If I take the radio to work with me, I like being able to keep it plugged in and listening without running the batteries down, that way when I take it home, I don't have to turn it off to charge it just to listen to it at home. I know I could get an external battery charger, and an extra set of batteries, but, the TRX-1 easily beats the 436HP on this.
The out of the box decoding and clear audio on my PSR-500 (without the "tweaking" to get digital to work well like was required on my Uniden BCD396T) sold me on GRE/Whistler and they've been my "go to" radio ever since.

Although I typically always have several sets of rechargeable batteries ready to go, I too like the fact that when I plug in my TRX-1's with drained batteries, it's great to see them charged back up the next morning.

CONS:
lack of volume knob -- first thing I found that I didn't like, was the volume being controlled by the arrow pad. I like adjusting the volume with a knob, that way I can reach over and either turn it up or down quickly when the need arises.

programming time -- to make the simplest of change to a scan list or setting on the scanner via the EZ-Scan software, it has to turn off the scanner, wait for the internal sd card reader to initialize, send a gob of information to the sd card, then turn the scanner back on, wait for the scanner to initialize the data, then you have to hit scan again, and wait for the scanner to parse through the scan lists. A simple change to the scanner via EZ-Scan can take 3-5 minutes.

EZ-Scan software -- probably my least favorite thing about the radio. Yeah, I know you don't have to use the software to program the radio, but, with all the scanners today can do, unless you have about a week of time to devote to the radio, you need the software. I've had to several times force quit the software due to it locking up, and the ease of use just isn't there yet. Sorry Whistler, if we're comparing apples to apples, the Sentinel software has you beat hands down. I give the software props on some nicities of importing from the clipboard, and being able to designate which column is the frequency and Alpha Tag... but, it doesn't make up for the clunkiness, sluggishness, and instability of the rest of the software suite.

lack of quick key designation - I like how it lists what scanlists are being scanned on the screen, and rolls the list across the screen. But, unless you know by memory what scanlist is assigned to which number, it's a guessing game as to which scanlist you're turning off or on. I think I'm just used to seeing the Uniden format on the screen where you had a better visual representation of what lists were being scanned and could be turned off/on via the keypad. You could probably add the number to the name of the scanlist, and get by with that, but, I feel the screen in scan mode is a bit lacking in telling what all it's scanning.

obtaining software from Whistler -- this is one of the worst implementations of obtaining free software I've seen, even worse than the "we will email you the link to download". You have to basically "buy" the free software from their point of sale website, by registering every time you download it. I may just be from the "old school" internet, but, if you have a piece of free software for people to download, host it on a simple website (or ftp server at least) to make it a simple one-click download, rather than asking for someone to fill out a bunch of info beforehand.
Not going to disagree on most of this. There's always room for improvement. I'm sure the Whistler folks are reading these threads and are always looking for feedback. To be fair, there are many things about Sentinel I hate too... but, I live with it.

As for the scrolling scanlists, I too found it a problem trying to remember which scanlist number each one represented. It wasn't an issue until we got a keypad back you could toggle the scanlists on and off without going through the menus to enable and disable scanlists.

In fact, since then, I've been doing exactly what you said -- when programming, I always put the scanlist number in the first 3 digits of the scanlist name (i.e. "001 AA Fire"). This makes it easier to disable scanlists but you still need to memorize how your scanlists are numbered (or use the MENU options) to re-eanble them.

Numbering things like this is something I was already doing with the 436. I've never found the tiny rows of dashes and asterisks on the Unidens to be very helpful even when my eyes worked much better. When programming in Sentinel, at least for my local, routine monitoring programming (and even sometimes for trips), I'll also prefix the favorites lists, systems, sites, and departments with quick key numbers to easily toggle them off (the same problem mentioned earlier exists with remembering the numbering scheme to enable them). Service tags ("Law-Dispatch", EMS-Talk", etc.) are nice to have but they don't handle everything I need. There are some law channels I want to hear and others that I don't so the only way to handle this is to quick key them. As a result, I do alot of splitting things up in Sentinel (cutting and pasting) but in EZ Scan, I can just change the scanlist number to put different things in different scalists.

Bottom line is that there's much much chance any vendor is going to supply everyone with everything they want or need... it follows the same logic as buying a car - some like Ford, some like Chevy - but you always wish that Ford you bought had a feature you saw in the Chevy.

There are times when I wish that I could have the best (what I think is the best anyway) of Uniden and Whistler in a single radio. But that is just never going to happen.

Ultimately, competition is good as are having choices.

EDIT: The most important feature (to me anyway) is that the radio receive and properly decode so I can listen (preferably without much if any "tweaking") -- after all, that's the point, right?
 
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Machria

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Programming time .... use a card reader and not the USB connection.

All of 6 seconds to program my SD card.
Good point, thanks, I will try that. Only problem with that though is you have to constantly remove and re-insert the little chip which is kinda a pita with the micro SD's. Then boot up the scanner and test what you changed, and of course you never do it correctly the first time, so you have to shut down and remove it, re-program it, re-insert, boot up again...

Wish there was an easier way, but not the end of the world. ;)

I actually hate the micro sd's, I wish companies would go back to using full size SD cards, they are so much easier to deal with.

The reason for the squelch knob on the top of the handhelds is cause it is directly connected to the squelch circuit. This has been discussed many many times in the past. But I know that there are many that are unaware .. however this is the reason why.
Oh crap, really?? That's a real bummer if that is true, DANG! I had high hopes to be able to swap the squelch and volume controls.
 

Machria

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As for the scrolling scanlists, I too found it a problem trying to remember which scanlist number each one represented. It wasn't an issue until we got a keypad back you could toggle the scanlists on and off without going through the menus to enable and disable scanlists.

In fact, since then, I've been doing exactly what you said -- when programming, I always put the scanlist number in the first 3 digits of the scanlist name (i.e. "001 AA Fire"). This makes it easier to disable scanlists but you still need to memorize how your scanlists are numbered (or use the MENU options) to re-eanble them.

Numbering things like this is something I was already doing with the 436. I've never found the tiny rows of dashes and asterisks on the Unidens to be very helpful even when my eyes worked much better. When programming in Sentinel, at least for my local, routine monitoring programming (and even sometimes for trips), I'll also prefix the favorites lists, systems, sites, and departments with quick key numbers to easily toggle them off (the same problem mentioned earlier exists with remembering the numbering scheme to enable them). Service tags ("Law-Dispatch", EMS-Talk", etc.) are nice to have but they don't handle everything I need. There are some law channels I want to hear and others that I don't so the only way to handle this is to quick key them. As a result, I do alot of splitting things up in Sentinel (cutting and pasting) but in EZ Scan, I can just change the scanlist number to put different things in different scalists.
This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts on these scanners today, and where they are really missing the boat! A simple text search function to search for "objects" would solve this and many other similar issues. In yoru example, just select "Text Search", enter in "AA Fire" and bam, there it is, what would you like to do with AA Fire scanlist, turn on/off, edit it, delete it,.... This would just make things like this soooooo easy.
 

wk5h

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well, I just couldn't do it any more. I tried for 3-4 days to like EZ-scan.. Just didn't like it that much. I even tried to look past it as I tried to scan for some local trunked businesses, and record the audio so as to help map the system. The audio was so low on the recording, it was inaudible.

I just couldn't do it anymore. I sent it back, and ordered a different scanner. I still say the quality of the scanner is solid - I think I could've used it to beat someone to death. But, I needed something that I could use.

I'm not going to give a blanket statement like "this scanner is crap" or "the software is horrible". I just didn't get along with either at all.
 

CycleSycho

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well, I just couldn't do it any more. I tried for 3-4 days to like EZ-scan.. Just didn't like it that much. I even tried to look past it as I tried to scan for some local trunked businesses, and record the audio so as to help map the system. The audio was so low on the recording, it was inaudible.

I just couldn't do it anymore. I sent it back, and ordered a different scanner. I still say the quality of the scanner is solid - I think I could've used it to beat someone to death. But, I needed something that I could use.

I'm not going to give a blanket statement like "this scanner is crap" or "the software is horrible". I just didn't get along with either at all.

:wink: Well said! :wink:
 
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