Digital radio shopping and disturbing trends in radios (to me)

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CommRX

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Before I begin, I would like to say I have been scanning for more than 20 years. While, as a general rule, scanners have become way more sophisticated, and manufacturers are listening, there are still emerging trends which I do not care for.

Recently I sold my 396T as I have wanted a 396XT for a year or so. I’m currently in the market for a new digital scanner, and I really have interest in Uniden’s HomePatrol scanner, however there are a couple of things I have concerns over.

1) Is it possible to program my own frequencies into my own separate memory "bank"? This seems to be a topic of many discussions, with the general answer being no. I need details, as I cannot afford $500 to find out I can't program my radio with my frequency list. For instance - my Milair bank - using Unidens software (or freeware). I have lots of scanning interests that are not of trunking nature.

2) After watching youtube videos on the HomePatrol, there appears to be 4 animated circles that constantly move in and out while scanning. Can this be disabled? It looks very annoying.

Another disturbing trend in scanners seems to be getting away from numeric keypads. I love the look, textured case, and screen on the PSR-800, but it looks more like a MP3 player than a scanner. I’m not saying it isn’t an excellent receiver; I’m just old school and want numeric buttons for quick on the fly frequency entry.

Silver painted plastic needs to go by the wayside as well. They look “techy” and cool for 6 months until the paint starts wearing off, and then a $500 radio looks like a Dollar General closeout. I had already replaced the keypad on the 396T, while black plastic-cased radios 10 years older with rubber buttons still look brand new.

I have considered trying a PSR-500, however unless some advances have been made in software, trying to import frequencies into scanners such as the Pro 92, 95 etc from a copy / paste out of Excel was always a pain. Any suggestions for good software to import data (copy/paste from Excel) on a GRE? (Clearly I have been running DMA scanner software for some time)

This is not intended to start a brand war, just looking for some opinions on the aforementioned concerns before I purchase a new radio.
 

trkntrlrman

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Aug 28, 2008
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Desert Hot Springs, CA.
I was kind of at the same point you are, and finally settles on the BCD996xt for my base scanner, with a discone antenna. It is pulling in a radious of aprox. 100 miles. Really working great, and My hand held is the BCD396XT. After changing the Rubber duck antenna that came with it,to a better wide band antenna, it's doing almost as well as the base unit. I use Freescan to program both units and they are completely compatable with both scanners. Manual programming was easy once i learned the programming sequences, (there's always a learning curve). I found the uniden easier to program than the Gree500. Yes you can program your conventional channels in there own system. Programing is easy, just like the computer,
system folder(Town,state etc) contains Groups, Group folder (fire,police,medic etc)each groupcontains the there own Channels
The BCD396xt is a smaller unit, fits nicely in the hand. Like you I don't care for the chromy look, but it is a nice unit. The Menu button on the side, alon with the function button can be a pain at times . I have found myself in Program mode and didn't know it. after a bit you get used to iit, but it takes a while to get used to handling it. Now I don't have a problem. I also don't like the screw on antenna adapter, but haven't had a problem with it yet.
The H-1 seems to be more for the beginner who just wants to dial and go, or use the GPS Function as it is.
Both the BCD396xt and the 996xt have the GPS Capability which is fully changeable by the user.
ScannMaster has two good articles on Both the Gree and the Uniden Scanner read them both...
Good luck.... hope it helped a little...
 
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BeerNutz

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Dec 19, 2008
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Location
Knoxville, TN
GRE is soon to come out with the keypad enabled, mobile/desktop version of the handheld PSR-800.

If the EZ Scan software remains the same as with the PSR-800 you will be able to program your own frequencies into separate (scanlists) memory banks.

Yes, the controls on the PSR-800 look like they belong on an Mp3 player and this old duff has grown to like them as most programming is done with software.
 
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