Best STARS mobile scanner - Query

Status
Not open for further replies.

billsblots

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
97
Although equipment related I think this is better placed in the Virginia Forums because it is specifically about STARS.
Which model mobile scanner do you think is best for monitoring STARS ? Am asking for an agency that does not want to spend $7000 apiece for a STARS radio that they will only use for monitoring.
Some criteria-
Mobile installations.
Not concerned much with monitoring other systems or localities.
Ease of programming.
Don't want user to have to diddle (touch buttons) with it to make it work. In fact would be best if most everything else could just be deleted or blocked. Best if user can just turn on and listen without having to touch anything else. It may be desireable to set up just specific set of Talk Groups for different supervisors, or those in different geographic areas. Users are not technical people, the scanner would be something to listen to while doing maintenance duties, the scanner wouldn't be a hobby to toy with like you or I would use it.
Units would probably be programmed or set up in a radio office and then sent out to supervisors for their trucks.
Good speaker.
Looks like there may be good files to download from this site for STARS to program into certain model radios.
We have good qualified radio personnel in office but are not normally active in scanning so would appreciate any advice on current models.
Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.
 

Dafe1er

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
794
Location
Off in a far away place, far from u.......
Although equipment related I think this is better placed in the Virginia Forums because it is specifically about STARS.
Which model mobile scanner do you think is best for monitoring STARS ? Am asking for an agency that does not want to spend $7000 apiece for a STARS radio that they will only use for monitoring.
Some criteria-
Mobile installations.
Not concerned much with monitoring other systems or localities.
Ease of programming.
Don't want user to have to diddle (touch buttons) with it to make it work. In fact would be best if most everything else could just be deleted or blocked. Best if user can just turn on and listen without having to touch anything else. It may be desireable to set up just specific set of Talk Groups for different supervisors, or those in different geographic areas. Users are not technical people, the scanner would be something to listen to while doing maintenance duties, the scanner wouldn't be a hobby to toy with like you or I would use it.
Units would probably be programmed or set up in a radio office and then sent out to supervisors for their trucks.
Good speaker.
Looks like there may be good files to download from this site for STARS to program into certain model radios.
We have good qualified radio personnel in office but are not normally active in scanning so would appreciate any advice on current models.
Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.
I have the HP-1 and it does OK on the STARS. Sometimes I need to change the settings depending on where I'm located at the time.

I also have the 436 and it works better than the HP-1 for stars but again in certain areas I need to change the settings to better hear them.

Then, there are times with both units I have a hard time hearing the STARS no matter the settings.

Others with other manufactured scanners might be able to chime in with different results.
 

shumadine

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2005
Messages
239
STARS comes in just fine on my Radio Shack Pro 106. So whatever the current GRE/Whistler model is would get my vote. But I think it depends on what you mean by mobile, as I hear it fine around the house. But reception is very limited when in a car since I don't have an external antenna.
 

reconrider8

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
2,598
Location
Eastern, NC
STARS comes in just fine on my Radio Shack Pro 106. So whatever the current GRE/Whistler model is would get my vote. But I think it depends on what you mean by mobile, as I hear it fine around the house. But reception is very limited when in a car since I don't have an external antenna.
+1 all the times ive been in va traveling or what not ive never had much of any trouble on my 106. GRE PSR 500 or whistler 1040 all the same radio. the mobile version of these are 106/197 500/600 1040/1065
 

N5XTC

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
819
Location
Hampton, Virginia
I have the HP-1 and it does OK on the STARS. Sometimes I need to change the settings depending on where I'm located at the time.

I also have the 436 and it works better than the HP-1 for stars but again in certain areas I need to change the settings to better hear them.

Then, there are times with both units I have a hard time hearing the STARS no matter the settings.

Others with other manufactured scanners might be able to chime in with different results.
what settings are you changing? curious.
 

billsblots

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
97
it depends on what you mean by mobile, as I hear it fine around the house. But reception is very limited when in a car since I don't have an external antenna.
Thanks for the info. By mobile I mean it is planned for use in a vehicle so a good internal speaker would be a plus. The same model could be adapted for a base/office if needed.

Best reception of STARS with simplest and least complicated ease of use are leading criteria.

We would mount an external antenna on all the vehicles.
 

fredva

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,694
Location
Virginia/West Virginia
I don't own one of these, but if I'm not mistaken, the HP-1 and HP-2 are typically mounted like a GPS unit on the dash. That would make installation easy, but if we are talking about fleet vehicles that might be left unobserved in a parking lot overnight, I'm wondering if that might be a temptation for smash-and-grab thieves. Unless the units themselves are put away every night. If you wouldn't have a problem with a GPS unit on the dash of your vehicles, then the HP units might be OK.
 

billsblots

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
97
Thanks for the feedback so far. This model was suggested for a look see. Any use of this with STARS?
Thanks.

Uniden Bearcat BCD996P2 Police Scanner
 

hdralleiii

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Feb 13, 2004
Messages
34
Location
Shenandoah Valley, VA
The UnidenBCD436HP works great on STARS everywhere I have tried it around the state. I use a tuned VHF antenna when monitoring STARS and also lockout the sites not pertinient to the area I am monitoring which speeds up scanning and locking on to a control channel. of all of the digital scanners I have used (most of them) the 436 performs the best in my opinion...

That being said, the 536 mobile rig should perform about the same...
 
Last edited:

N5XTC

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
819
Location
Hampton, Virginia
my pro 197 does great on everything, except p2 of course, as not a p2 scanner. i think it has the best "ears" of all my scanners, and that has been put to the test in many ways. the downside is that the screen is not as pretty as the uniden scanners i have, but it kicks their butt all over the place pulling in distant signals. i love the unidens (996p2 and 396xt) as they are pretty. i love the pro 197 bec its an awesome scanner. i cant speak to the x36 scanners as i have yet to purchase one thanks to uniden for putting out faulty radios out of the box. lol
 

John

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 29, 2001
Messages
411
Location
Roanoke VA
I use both the Uniden (996 and 996P2 along with the 436) and GRE/Radio Shack (PSR500 and PSR600 along with the PRO-197). I find all perform fine on STARS. The Unidens have a sturdier construction but the GRE versions are less expensive. From a user interface perspective in my opinion the GREs beat the Unidens hands down. They are much simpler to operate when turning on and off lists you want to scan. The GRE displays are certainly better than the Uniden x36 line but not as good as the 996 line. The software available for the GRE line is also much better than that available for the Uniden. Unless of course all you want to do is add pre-programmed systems.

I think you would be happy on STARS with any of the currently available scanners.

John
 

billsblots

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
97
Hank, Scott, John,
Thanks for the great info.
Regarding making the radios hear STARS out of the box, what is required? We don't want to tie up our limited tech staff with a lot of button pushing to set up each scanner we want to install.
Can any or all of these work by programming a file into them that others have already developed? I did have a premium membership here and would gladly join again. If we could download a file that you and others have already developed to program the radios that would be a big factor in model selection.

Thanks again.
 

reconrider8

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
2,598
Location
Eastern, NC
For the whistler/GRE/radio shack 106-197 win 500 would be simple. Download stars and save the file then go and download the file into each scanner. I had about 10-20 files built at one time or another for different trips and such and a day or so before the trip I just load the file and do what little bit if any updating that needed to be done and the morning of it I would load it up and go... So with that being said you could do prob 100 scanners in less then 10-15 min after you got your file built
 

fredva

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,694
Location
Virginia/West Virginia
Model number

If you are talking about purchasing new scanners, the Radio Shack PRO-652 would be the current equivalent of the PRO-197. There would also be a Whistler brand equivalent as well, but I'm not sure of the model number.
 

billsblots

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
97
Thanks guys I appreciate the information and am looking at several of the models. I may be making too big a deal out of it but haven't owned a trunking scanner myself. I want to get the guys something that's easy to set up for STARS Trunk Groups they need to listen to without inundating them with county public works or a radio that's too easy to "screw up". :)
 

billsblots

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
97
We do have the 536 scanner on hand, and are having some trouble recognizing the SD card to program it, see the thread in the Uniden Technical Support Forum.
Thanks for everyone's advice and information.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top