Best scanner for a newbie?

hightime

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Messages
110
Location
Menominee County Michigan
For Marquette County you will need a scanner that receives P 25 transmissions (Phase 1 & 2 for future). Currently, if you want to hear the Rd Commission, you will need one that receives DMR. And if you want to hear Eagle mine and their trucks, you need one that receives NXDN. If you have deep pockets SDS100, 200 comes with free progrmaing software, DMR and NXDN upgrades at a cost. TRX1 or TRX 2, come with free programing software and free DMR and NXDN. BCD 996P2 or BCD 325P2 are cheaper but no programing software, with purchasable upgrades. The above models will need a computer to upgrade the free firmware. Keep in mind that the antennas that come with any scanner units leave a lot to be desired. A lot to think about. Good Luck
 

Muggsy024

Newbie
Joined
Nov 18, 2016
Messages
2
Mainly just wanting to listen to the County Public Safety Dispatch frequency for police/fire/EMS, if that makes any difference. Like I said, I'm new at this and trying to decipher all these acronyms and what device would work with what I want to hear is getting confusing.

For Marquette County you will need a scanner that receives P 25 transmissions (Phase 1 & 2 for future). Currently, if you want to hear the Rd Commission, you will need one that receives DMR. And if you want to hear Eagle mine and their trucks, you need one that receives NXDN. If you have deep pockets SDS100, 200 comes with free progrmaing software, DMR and NXDN upgrades at a cost. TRX1 or TRX 2, come with free programing software and free DMR and NXDN. BCD 996P2 or BCD 325P2 are cheaper but no programing software, with purchasable upgrades. The above models will need a computer to upgrade the free firmware. Keep in mind that the antennas that come with any scanner units leave a lot to be desired. A lot to think about. Good Luck
 

gmclam

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
5,750
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
It's kind of like stating that you are a new driver, on a budget, but want a vehicle to drive cross-country in all kinds of weather. You can get by with something used and lacking, but you likely won't enjoy the experience.

Looking at the link you posted, I see simulcast sites on a Phase I system. There's really only 2 models of scanner available right now that properly handle that; SDS-100 & SDS-200. They're pricey and hardly entry level radios, but what is needed for proper reception. Your only other choice would be what's called an "SDR solution" that uses a dongle connected to your PC. Much cheaper, not mobile, and certainly takes a little more effort to get up and running.
 

N8IAA

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,047
Location
Fortunately, GA
No simulcast sites for Marquette county according to the RR DB.

If the OP needs to future proof, the scanners I mentioned will work. No cost for DMR/NXDN. Those two digital formats are included with the TRX series. Free software, also.

But, if the OP wants to monitor just their county, a Whistler 1040, or 1065 will suffice. I just don't understand the push to the SDS series from Uniden by fellow RR members when it's not necessary.
 

cpfinlay

Feed Provider
Joined
Aug 12, 2012
Messages
237
Location
Princeton, NJ
The easiest to use scanners allow you to enter a zip code and select what service types you want to monitor (Fire, EMS, Police, etc.). I would recommend you start with those. They will require initial and periodic updating using a PC.

The radio system you want to monitor is "Michigan's Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS)"

That trunking system uses a mode called P25 Phase 1, so you will need a scanner that can decode that mode and can follow trunked radio transmissions. There are other modes (P25 Phase 2, NXDN, DMR, etc.) that you may want to allow for in the future but do not need them presently to monitor that system.

Here are my recommendations:

EASIEST:
Uniden HomePatrol 1 (handheld/mobile/base) or Homepatrol 2 (handheld/mobile/base)
Note- The HP-1 is no longer available new, but you can still find the HP-2 new. The HP-1 & HP-2 include P25 Phase 1. The HP-2 adds P25 Phase 2.

BEST:
Uniden SDS100 (handheld) or SDS200 (base/mobile)
P25 Phase 1 & 2 built in and NXDN, DMR and Provoice decode can be added for an additional cost.
 
Last edited:

Nasby

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
2,454
Location
Ohio
I just returned home from a trip to the area you're wanting to monitor.

I had my $650 SDS100 and it worked great there!

I also had my $225 Whistler WS1040 and it worked great there too!
 

gmclam

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
5,750
Location
Fair Oaks, CA
No simulcast sites for Marquette county according to the RR DB.
I looked at the system that was linked to and see there are simulcast sites. If the user's situation is such that he/she will only monitor Marquette county, great. Hopefully another tower won't be added to that county.

If the OP needs to future proof, the scanners I mentioned will work. No cost for DMR/NXDN. Those two digital formats are included with the TRX series. Free software, also.
Nothing is future proof. The two models we're discussing each come with free software (EZ Scan and Sentinel).

But, if the OP wants to monitor just their county, a Whistler 1040, or 1065 will suffice. I just don't understand the push to the SDS series from Uniden by fellow RR members when it's not necessary.
Agreed. If only a single county of the linked system is to be monitored in its present condition (no simulcast or other protocols), certainly there are less expensive options. But as soon as you want to hear from the simulcast sites, that's another matter.

I have no interest whatsoever in SDS or Uniden. But I have faced several issues for over a year now. I have a long list of GRE scanners, that fail to handle Phase II and simulcast, to name 2 issues. I tried the TRX-1 and was highly disappointed. The issues I am disappointed about with regard to the SDS are not reception issues. I do wish there were other options available (namely that Whistler hadn't discontinued development of their TRX-100 & TRX-200). I need portable and a dongle based soultion doesn't work for me.
 
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