Digital or not digital.. That is the question!!

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jagermeister2

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I recently had my 246t stolen in a burglary of my garage.... among other things!! It is now time to replace it, and I am in the great debate on whether to go with the 396t as a replacement, or just stick with another 246t.... Ultimatley the question is if there will be a widespread changeover to digital in the SLC area or not? I know that there are a couple digital talk groups, but is there chatter of going to digital on the UCAN system or not? At this point i just don't want to spend my money on something that I will need to replace in the near future. If anyone "in the know" could chime in on this, as it will affect my buying decision... that would be awesome!!
 

qlajlu

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Welcome to the Utah Forum of RR.com,

jagermeister2

And thank you right from the get-go for filling in your location. Most first-time posters do not give us the benefit of knowing where they are.

As far as going digital is concerned, that has been a large question for us all. Several agencies in the SL valley have some TGs that are digital and they all have the capability of moving up to that, but we don't anticipate it happening en masse in the near future...at least not here. However, all of us have agreed that having the capability of a digital scanner is a good move, like hedging your bet. What has us more concerned is the upcoming rebanding which we are in the middle of having happen.
 

bneilson

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Looks like you have been in the wings for a bit. Welcome to the group!

I just went through this same thing when picking out my new toy. I ended up picking up a digital scanner, just for the future growth and potential.

As a good portion of the public service agencies in the Salt Lake, Utah and Davis valleys uses UCAN it is very possible that they could go digital. It is simply a checkbox on the order sheet and is only a few hundred more per radio. Of course when this gets multiplied out by the number of radios in the department, it becomes harder to justify.

Is there some digital now: Yes

Will there be more going forward: Yes

Will everything go digital: Not in the short term

I would also be curious as to what scanners you are looking at. I was a big Uniden guy, but my new one is the PSR-500 and I love it. Especially for UCAN. You simply can not beat the memory on the PSR.
 

lndshrk

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I'll second the PSR-500 recce.

My wife and I have a 500 (for whereever she/we are listening) and a 600
for my office. Incredible digital decoding, and also rebanding capability thru both
a firmware upgrade - AND - a temporary use via "custom tables".

Theoretically this means if UCAN flips the switch at 5pm tomorrow - those of us with
PSR-500's and 600's (and also Pro-96's and 2096's) can be running again by about
5:05. :D

I also was a uniden man, but GRE's feature set and responsiveness in releasing updates
and upgrades won me over.

Jim
 

jagermeister2

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Thanks

Thanks for the welcome!! I have been lurking for quite a bit!! I have been scanning for years and still have an old 245xlt... so i am not scanner-less at this point.... but i am not used to the old days when i had the talkgoup id's memorized,lol...

Up until you mentioned the GRE's i hadn't even thought about looking at anything other than another Uniden. If you could please give me any insight as to the funtionality difference between the scanners that would be great. From what i can see just real quick... they are priced about par with the 396t. Function comes before form factor, but i dont want to be the guy carrying the old Motorola brick when i could be using a Razor. what is the size difference between the psr-500 and the 396t? or are they about the same? I havent been able to find dimensions on their website. Does the 500 have a flexible memory like the uniden.... that is something that i loved about the 246t... i wasnt restricted by the number of channels per group.... I am getting the education on the GRE's today... Also where is the best place to buy as far as price and service?

i had the arc246 software for programming my scanner that was stolen... what software is available for programming the GRE... I have made up my mind to go digital, so the PSR-500 would be the way i would go other than the 396t.

Thanks for all of the info!!!!
 

qlajlu

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jagermeister2, I'm going to defer to bneilson for an answer to your questions, but I just wanted to say that it is too bad you were unable to join us in our last "in person" get together last Saturday. bneilson gave us a hands-on demonstration of his new toy as well as handing out a map of some of the capabilities of his PSR-500. As far as size, I would say it is maybe twice the size of today's cell phones...it certainly is not a brick.

In the future, if at all possible, you really should try to attend our meetings because we usually demo several popular types of scanning equipment and there are people there that have the expertise to answer questions.
 

jagermeister2

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I guess i missed the opportunity to view it in person... the brick thing was just an analogy of the 245xlt that being an old school scanner!! but being the former owner of a 246t and still an owner of a 245xlt.... how does it compare in size to those??? i am assuming somewhere in between???
 

bneilson

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Coming from a Uniden BR330T it is much bigger. It is the standard RadioShack form factor and is much like a brick. I loved the size of my Uniden, but I love the capabilities of the PSR.
 

qlajlu

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Deadly Digital Trunking Radio System?

A digital trunking radio system is being blamed for the death of a firefighter and digital communications has been called into question by other FDs including Boise, Idaho. This is being discussed over in the Announcements and News Forum, so if you haven't read the thread, go look. Also, here is the article in Fire/Rescue News at Firehouse.com that is being discussed.

It's not the trunking but the digital that has lost trust with firefighters. This is not the thread to discuss this development in either. Any comments need to be made in the original thread in Announcements and News. This is just a heads-up. It may stop UCAN and SLC from going totally digital as a safety issue.

=====EDIT

I made this post early this morning and since then I have added another post below this concerning Life Flight being totally, but I started thinking and wondering if Life Flight has ever experienced any of the interference with digital comms like are described in the article on Firehouse.com.
 
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jagermeister2

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i remember a few years back prior to the implementation with UCAN that SLCO Sheriff went to digital at least partially.... then went back to analog, it was probably for the same reasons as being discussed about the firefighter situation... The only local digital that i am aware of is a Midvale PD talkgroup, are there more than that in the valley?
 

tbogs

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West Valley PD has two that I know of...trying to figure out what exactly they are. There might be more out there.
 

qlajlu

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tbogs said:
West Valley PD has two that I know of...trying to figure out what exactly they are. There might be more out there.
Life Flight is totally digital. They only come out into the light when they are on LZ-1 or LZ-2 TGs coordinating with ground people because they are going to pick up a patient.

======EDIT

Makes you wonder if Life Flight has ever experienced any of the interference with their radio system like the interference described in the article.
 
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