• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

A Unication newbie ...

Status
Not open for further replies.

rcpwisc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
64
Location
Madison, Wis.
Hi everybody:

I've got the P25 simulcast blues, and I'm thinking about getting a G5 radio from Unication. I'm hoping that I could ask users some very basic questions to get a feel as to whether or not this might be a good option for me.

1. The two systems I'd like to monitor are DaneCom and WISCOM. These are both P25 systems, and I think they operate on the VHF band. I'd need to confirm this before I would order a radio. Would I want the VHF 136-174/700-800 version?

2. Can the Unication replace a desktop scanner? What I mean by that is ... can it receive analog stations (most of what I listen to is in the 150-175mhz region, but some 450mhz stuff too)? I'm also listening to an 800mhz trunking system for the city of Madison, but they're going to be moving to a P25 simulcast as well soon, so they won't be on this much longer. Can the Unication device scan on both analog and digital frequencies? [I realize this might be a dumb question, but I'm still confused about frequencies].

3. Can the Unication radio scan through multiple systems at once (like a traditional scanner)? Can it monitor/scan multiple systems?

4. Can I use a dedicated power cable to run it? This will function as a desktop radio for me.

5. How about programming? Can I download programming into the radio from RR or another source like the traditional scanners?

6. What's the storage capacity in the radio? I have the 2 P25 systems and a good chunk of their talkgroups (180 maybe?) plus about 150 analog channels. My desktop scanner is about 40% full.

It's a steep price, but it sounds like this is the way that many systems are moving. I'm really surprised that companies like Radio Shack and Uniden haven't worked to make their scanners compatible with P25 simulcast systems. They're going to lose a lot of users!

I really appreciate any replies to help me understand these radios a bit better. Thanks for the help!
 

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,294
A Unication Newbie ...

Hi everybody:

I've got the P25 simulcast blues, and I'm thinking about getting a G5 radio from Unication. I'm hoping that I could ask users some very basic questions to get a feel as to whether or not this might be a good option for me.

1. The two systems I'd like to monitor are DaneCom and WISCOM. These are both P25 systems, and I think they operate on the VHF band. I'd need to confirm this before I would order a radio. Would I want the VHF 136-174/700-800 version?

2. Can the Unication replace a desktop scanner? What I mean by that is ... can it receive analog stations (most of what I listen to is in the 150-175mhz region, but some 450mhz stuff too)? I'm also listening to an 800mhz trunking system for the city of Madison, but they're going to be moving to a P25 simulcast as well soon, so they won't be on this much longer. Can the Unication device scan on both analog and digital frequencies? [I realize this might be a dumb question, but I'm still confused about frequencies].

3. Can the Unication radio scan through multiple systems at once (like a traditional scanner)? Can it monitor/scan multiple systems?

4. Can I use a dedicated power cable to run it? This will function as a desktop radio for me.

5. How about programming? Can I download programming into the radio from RR or another source like the traditional scanners?

6. What's the storage capacity in the radio? I have the 2 P25 systems and a good chunk of their talkgroups (180 maybe?) plus about 150 analog channels. My desktop scanner is about 40% full.

It's a steep price, but it sounds like this is the way that many systems are moving. I'm really surprised that companies like Radio Shack and Uniden haven't worked to make their scanners compatible with P25 simulcast systems. They're going to lose a lot of users!

I really appreciate any replies to help me understand these radios a bit better. Thanks for the help!
1) DaneCom and WISCOM are both VHF, so you would want the VHF 136-174/700-800 version.

2) Probably one the things that you should know is when you are monitoring a trunked system, that is all it will be doing on the Unication G4/5. You some people it can, indeed, replace a desktop scanner, but for others it won't. I use mine for 800 Mhz ARMER in Minnesota. If I want to switch to monitor something on VHF, I can do it, but I cannot set up a sequence to scan trunked and then conventional, like you can do on many scanners.

3) No, one system at a time.

4) It uses a micro USB cable, so if you want to dedicate one for that, you can do it. I would suggest the drop in charger/amplifier for service as a desktop radio. That way you can connect an external speaekr and/or external antenna, if you like.

5) It will be up to you to program with the PPS.

6) The memory capacity is huge. Each channel can hold 64 talkgroups. There are eight "channels" per zone and 128 zones. If you want to monitor all talkgroups on a trunked system, you can do that, BUT there is no way to lock out talkgroups currently.

If you are serious about the hobby, there is a good chance that you will use more than one receiver/scanner. If you get the Unication, plan on using it for trunked, simulcast systems. That is where it shines. If you also want to monitor analog, conventional stuff, dedicate another radio for that.

A trunked scanner, in addition to a Unication, would be a dandy supplement to the Unbication. For example, say you like hearing new, unknown talkgroups as they join the system, you can use the scanner in the TRUNK SEARCH mode and lock out known talkgroups, then, when new talkgroups are in use, you will hear them.

Also, while I don't know if you are an amateur radio operator, it is also a great hobby. In fact, amateur radio gear can be used for the monitoring hobby. Also, commercial two way radio gear can also be used for both the monitoring hobby and amateur radio.

I also noticed, however, that DaneCom is Phase II. The Unication will not currently monitor Phase II. WISCOM is Phase I. You might have to get the Unication for WISCOM and use a Phase II scanner for DaneCom.
 
Last edited:

rcpwisc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
64
Location
Madison, Wis.
Thanks for the helpful post JAS. That really helps. It's a shame that we can't get a desktop scanner with the Unication and regular scanner features built into one unit. I would think that manufacturers like Uniden and Radio Shack would be anxious to incorporate additional technology to listen to simulcast systems with fewer potential issues, but it doesn't seem like something they want to embrace. I would think that this would be a very lucrative decision for them, as it would tempt many of us to buy new radios! :) I talked with a few folks, and I'm going to try one more digital scanner and see how it does with the distortion. If that fails, then I'll look more seriously at the Unication device.

Appreciate the help!
 

JASII

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,294
A Unication Newbie ...

You are welcome. Which scanner are you going to get?
 

IAmSixNine

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,634
Location
Dallas, TX
Manufacturers would be Uniden, Unication and Whistler. Radio shack is a re-seller.
Unfortunately the scanning hobby is not a massive hobby so its hard for companies to dump large sums of money into R&D and get their money back. These are companies after all and are in the business of making money. If they did what you ask the scanner may be 600 to 800 and how many current users would they loose at that price point. We are already paying 400 plus for scanners and 700-800 for Unication which i put on the level of commercial gear. But its going up against devices that are 1500 to 2000, think APX. The real problem is Motorola and companies like it who push for these large digitial and sometimes encrypted systems when they dont need them.
Heck theres an agency near me who is a small town who just put up a 4 channel system. Such a freaking waste of tax payer dollars.
There was nothing wrong with analog trunking to begin with. im going off topic so ill shut up. LOL
 

rcpwisc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
64
Location
Madison, Wis.
Well said 69! :) That's very true - it's just a shame that the hobby is being severely curtailed because of these fancy systems that regular scanners have a hard time hearing.

Right now, I have a pro 106 and a GRE PSR-600. I can ALMOST hear our county's new P25 simulcast system, but there's still too much distortion to make out conversations. I'm going to try a BCD536HP. A couple of users who were using the Pro 106 and the GRE said that that the 536 is a bit more sensitive and might be able to pull in the simulcast without an issue. They had the same problems I did and the 536 brought in better reception for them. We'll see if it improves at all. JAS pointed out that the Unication G5 cannot listen in on a P25 Phase II system, so that's not going to be a viable option, either.

What would probably benefit me the most is a yagi antenna, but I'm living in a place that makes exterior mounting very difficult. I can hear WISCOM very well with my current scanners, but this new system is posing a challenge. Where I am in the city seems to be a dead spot. Several users are reporting the same problems I am. We'll see what the 536 can do. If that's a fail, then I'll probably have to go outside, hold the scanner in my hands, put some spoons in my ears and see what I can get that way! :D

It just amazes me that many areas in the main city of the county's system cannot hear the broadcasts! The city is going to go to one of these P25 Phase II simulcast systems in the near future as well. If I can't find a fix, 70% of what I listen to is going to be out the window. Time will tell!

I'll post an update here once I get the 536 and see how it does with the distortion.
 

IAmSixNine

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,634
Location
Dallas, TX
FYI, Unication G4/G5 is capable of doing Phase 2 but its a future release. I have a G4 and am looking forward to that.
 

sparklehorse

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
1,134
Location
Portland, Oregon
<snip> What would probably benefit me the most is a yagi antenna, but I'm living in a place that makes exterior mounting very difficult. </snip>
An 800MHz Yagi isn't all that big - you can probably mount it indoors near your radio. In fact, it's generally better to use as short a length of coax as possible. It's the directional nature of the yagi that helps with simulcast, so mounting outdoors may not be that helpful unless the system you are trying to monitor is some distance away. In the right orientation the yagi can help maximize the signal from a nearby tower, while minimizing the signal from the other towers in the system. It's not something your interior decorator will approve of, but maybe you can hide it behind some plants ;-).

.
 

rcpwisc

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
64
Location
Madison, Wis.
Thanks Sparkle - I could certainly try that. Does anyone have any recommendation for a good Yagi antenna that would be a good fit indoors? What have others used?

What are we talking in terms of "some distance away"? The towers closest to me are to the north northwest - about 12 to 15 miles. Would that be considered close or some distance away?
 

Thunderknight

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
1,835
Location
Bletchley Park
I have several 800 yagis in my attic, fed with RG6. They were made for cell phone boosters and I bought them on Amazon for about $15 each. Not very solid construction but there is no weather in the attic!
They fixed 99% of the simulcast issues for my fixed scanners.
 

sparklehorse

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 15, 2003
Messages
1,134
Location
Portland, Oregon

KevinC

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2001
Messages
4,845
Location
Somewhere other than home :(
One thing to keep in mind is the "secondary" band (V/UHF) uses an internal antenna, so reception distance on those bands may be a less than on something that uses an external antenna.
 

prc117f

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2009
Messages
344
Manufacturers would be Uniden, Unication and Whistler. Radio shack is a re-seller.
Unfortunately the scanning hobby is not a massive hobby so its hard for companies to dump large sums of money into R&D and get their money back. These are companies after all and are in the business of making money. If they did what you ask the scanner may be 600 to 800 and how many current users would they loose at that price point. We are already paying 400 plus for scanners and 700-800 for Unication which i put on the level of commercial gear. But its going up against devices that are 1500 to 2000, think APX. The real problem is Motorola and companies like it who push for these large digitial and sometimes encrypted systems when they dont need them.
Heck theres an agency near me who is a small town who just put up a 4 channel system. Such a freaking waste of tax payer dollars.
There was nothing wrong with analog trunking to begin with. im going off topic so ill shut up. LOL
Actually all the wasted R&D on non radio functions could have been used to produce a proper scanner. But instead the R&D was spent on stuff like that WiFi dongle,siren,GPS features that add nothing to the actual scanning.

All they had to do is not waste time on those features (which many did not work out of the box) and spend it only on the key radio feature.

Now it is obvious that the customer base happy with these inferior scanners because they like all the fancy crap. Most likely you will never see a scanner that is P25 compliant because the hobbyists will balk at paying 100 dollars more for a scanner if it does not come with new lights, new extra WiFi dongles and more graphics.

So the next gen will have the same 1990 RF board but with a generic CPU board that requires an SD card to boot up but of course the OS cannot shut down correctly leaving the units always incapable of powering up without all kinds of tricks. BUT you get new lights and new WiFi features.

But now I think this is actually a plus, as more sites go to LSM, you will see streaming sites go away as scanners fail to comply with the P25 standard and demodulate correctly. and that means less of a chance of total encryption.
 

cpetraglia

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
795
Location
Fairfax, VA
"But now I think this is actually a plus, as more sites go to LSM, you will see streaming sites go away as scanners fail to comply with the P25 standard and demodulate correctly. and that means less of a chance of total encryption."

Excellent Point !!!
 

radio3353

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
1,045
Well said 69! :) I'm going to try a BCD536HP. A couple of users who were using the Pro 106 and the GRE said that that the 536 is a bit more sensitive and might be able to pull in the simulcast without an issue.
Be aware that sensitivity really has little if anything to do with simulcast distortion. It is really about your location in relation to the system towers. In fact, LESS sensitivity would be your friend so you can isolate to one tower.

What would probably benefit me the most is a yagi antenna,
Yes, many users have reported success with pointing a yagi towards one tower. You will have to experiment with direction. Others have reported success by using virtually no antenna at all (just a very short piece of wire soldered to a BNC connector. Again, to reduce sensitivity.)

Good luck with your quest, but be ready for disappointment with any consumer scanner. I hope it works out for you.
 

radio3353

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
1,045
"But now I think this is actually a plus, as more sites go to LSM, you will see streaming sites go away as scanners fail to comply with the P25 standard and demodulate correctly. and that means less of a chance of total encryption."

Excellent Point !!!
Or, the streamers will just continue to stream junk. That is the case in my area with the Philadelphia system. Horrible LSM distortion on the Philly Phase 1 simulcast system. Makes the streams virtually useless.
 

radio3353

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
1,045
Actually all the wasted R&D on non radio functions could have been used to produce a proper scanner. But instead the R&D was spent on stuff like that WiFi dongle,siren,GPS features that add nothing to the actual scanning.

All they had to do is not waste time on those features (which many did not work out of the box) and spend it only on the key radio feature.

Now it is obvious that the customer base happy with these inferior scanners because they like all the fancy crap. Most likely you will never see a scanner that is P25 compliant because the hobbyists will balk at paying 100 dollars more for a scanner if it does not come with new lights, new extra WiFi dongles and more graphics.

So the next gen will have the same 1990 RF board but with a generic CPU board that requires an SD card to boot up but of course the OS cannot shut down correctly leaving the units always incapable of powering up without all kinds of tricks. BUT you get new lights and new WiFi features.

But now I think this is actually a plus, as more sites go to LSM, you will see streaming sites go away as scanners fail to comply with the P25 standard and demodulate correctly. and that means less of a chance of total encryption.
Bravo! Very well spoken. You get it!!

You are correct, we only see bells and whistles coming out of Uniden and Whistler today. So we have $400-$500 radios that don't work (on new systems) and people complaining about spending $800 for a radio that does work. Meanwhile, Uniden and Whistler put their heads in the sand and won't even respond to people asking for a better, functioning product. I know, I am one of them. I have even been warned here on this forum about talking too much about LSM distortion and the failure of consumer manufacturers to address it. :roll:
 

cpetraglia

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
795
Location
Fairfax, VA
I have been warned also and even had posts deleted for complaining about this. Here is my point. I laid down $950.00 for a Unication pager. LSM distortion solved. I would happily pay $1000 for a scanner with features like the 996XT if it worked properly. I can't imagine Uniden and Whistler watching there sales go away. Maybe we'll all get surprised with some new models. With my luck, after I put out the big bucks for the Relm KNG P800, the new scanners will be released.
 

SaberOne

Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
8
Location
Yuma, AZ
I just took note of the Relm KNG P800 and I see it runs around $2500+, so is Tier 3 the one you're looking at?
 

cpetraglia

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
795
Location
Fairfax, VA
I am looking at the KNG2 P800. Keep in mind the price you see is the baseline radio. You have to add for: Antenna, Battery, Programming Cable, Software, PII TDMA (if you need it), and a drop in charger. The KNG2 has the keyboard which you have to have if you want Bluetooth. So far my best price is around $3300.00. I am working with 3 different dealers. My worst price is $4929.00. That is NOT going to happen.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top