Another "just starting out" questions ???

NightOwl326

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Nov 11, 2013
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Just getting back into scanning and need some upfront advice. A bit confused on digital mides.
Could someone look at Nebraska, Omaha, Douglas county and shorthand for me what modes are needed for my area? A bit confused on simalcast, DMR, Phase I vs Phase II, are police encryption or not? Looking to purchase a new scanner and I don't want to over or under buy? I appreciate any help from those who know more than I. Also which current models of mid to high range bearcats and whistlers are good at doing there jobs and are reliable with low hardware issues? 536? TR-2? SBS200? and so on.
 

tvengr

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Feb 10, 2019
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Baltimore County, MD
You do have some simulcast in Douglas County. You definitely want a scanner capable of P25 Phase 2. Omaha police and fire dispatch use that. I don't see any public safety on DMR or NXDN in your area. You can always get the upgrades later if you find something you would like to monitor. If you want a base/mobile, I would go with the SDS200. There is some encryption on PD, but most is open to receive. Take a look at the following link. Anything with DE or TE in the Mode column is encrypted. D is P25 Phase 1 and T is P25 Phase 2. There are three sites in Douglas County. If you click on County at the top of the frequency list, it will alphabetize the counties and put the three Douglas County sites together. Omaha Regional Interoperability Network (ORION) Trunking System, Omaha, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies
 

NightOwl326

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Nov 11, 2013
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You do have some simulcast in Douglas County. You definitely want a scanner capable of P25 Phase 2. Omaha police and fire dispatch use that. I don't see any public safety on DMR or NXDN in your area. You can always get the upgrades later if you find something you would like to monitor. If you want a base/mobile, I would go with the SDS200. There is some encryption on PD, but most is open to receive. Take a look at the following link. Anything with DE or TE in the Mode column is encrypted. D is P25 Phase 1 and T is P25 Phase 2. There are three sites in Douglas County. If you click on County at the top of the frequency list, it will alphabetize the counties and put the three Douglas County sites together. Omaha Regional Interoperability Network (ORION) Trunking System, Omaha, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies
Thank you very much. It helps a lot to get me started. On the SDS200 has the bugs been shaken out of it? It is overpirced for what it is but really the only one that is a Swiss army knife. When I get it what is the best way to start as zip code does not seem to be the best. What will get me going on local services such as public safety along with air bands? And rhank your your help. Should I just delve into the supplied programing software or is there a simple method on the unit itself 1st and then dig into the program?
 

pb_lonny

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Tasmania
The SDS100 / 200 are the "best of the best", if you can afford them, they are the most future proof and handle simulcast the best.
 
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CT
Should I just delve into the supplied programing software or is there a simple method on the unit itself 1st and then dig into the program?

The scanner has a steep learning curve.

Here is the "Easier to Read" manual you can study until the scanner arrives.


It may take a while to get the scanner working the best way for you.

I was reluctant to buy one but I've had mine for about a month and love it!

I've been scanning for over 50 years now. Good luck!
 

TailGator911

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Feb 12, 2005
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Fairborn, OH
Another vote for the SDS200! I had two, sold one to somebody here after the RV trip. Now I wished I would have kept it! I will probably buy another one in the very near future. Or that Whistler base station that is in production. Wait for it! (J/K)

As someone already mentioned, the SDS scanners are what's needed for the future. Systems are changing, and to keep up with the technology you have to get the Uniden SDS200 for your main base station scanner. You will not be disappointed.
 

NightOwl326

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Nov 11, 2013
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Why does the SDS200 have a micro USB front and rear? Can you use either to connect to cable to PC?
 

lu81fitter

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Mar 26, 2014
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Marshall County, Illinois
There are some bugs in the SDS models, but most of them seemed to be working themselves away slowly. I do not have one, but have been reading a lot about them, and it will be my next base/mobile model when I'm ready to buy. As of now, I have a BCD996P2. It seems to work fine, but I really have nothing to compare to. I have listened to simulcast in Will County, Kankakee County, and Peoria County in Illinois. The worst problem I had with simulcast is when Peoria County had a Harris system. It was terrible. Since they have switched to Motorola, reception has been like night and day. Like I said, I really don't have a comparison radio, but I seem to hear things OK.
 

NightOwl326

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Nov 11, 2013
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The trunk group they choose to use determines whether they are encrypted or not
In real world operations of the PD are those metros encrypted of not as why would they no just chose always to run encryption? Looks to me that the only thing not encrypted is dispatch? Am I wrong?
 
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lu81fitter

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Mar 26, 2014
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Marshall County, Illinois
The talk groups shown are "mutual aid" talk groups. Probably used during large events for interop with various agencies. If you look a little farther down and look at Douglas County, those are the talk groups that are probably most used for day to day operations.

I don't live there and do not monitor that system, so I can't say for sure. Maybe someone in/near Omaha can have more insight.
 

lu81fitter

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Marshall County, Illinois
As for encryption on those mutual aid channels, I'm sure it depends on what's going on at the time. A stakeout involving multiple agencies may call for encryption. A Presidential visit may call for encryption. Other things, such as a car chase or various traffic control details may not.
 

Kaleier1

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Dec 27, 2019
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Why does the SDS200 have a micro USB front and rear? Can you use either to connect to cable to PC?
I think the rear isn't used but the front micro USB is used to program the scanner using the free Sentinel software. You can also use it to download recorded transmissions to play on your computer, especially good if you use the free Uniden Wav file player and organizer made by a member here which not only plays the recorded transmissions but shows all sorts of info like what would be displayed on the scanner.

If you are really going to get the SDS100 or SDS200 do yourself a favor and download the Sentinel software and start playing with it while you are waiting on the scanner. There are You Tube videos to get you started.
 

tvengr

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Feb 10, 2019
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It all depends on what you want to monitor. Remember, if you are monitoring a ton of frequencies, systems, and talkgroups, you will miss a lot of your local activity. Pick out what you like and make a favorites list out of it.
 

NightOwl326

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Nov 11, 2013
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The issue is even reading I am not sure I understand the technical operation of ORION. Do I just need to pick each individual service I want to listen to or are all of them transmitted per specific repeaters and I am just doing duplication picking services?
 
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