GATRRS - BCD536hp vs SDSx00 while mobile

AE6QE

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Jun 28, 2005
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Greetings from Tennessee!

In about 9 months or so, I will be retiring and moving into the Austin area. I think we will be concentrating the home search in the Round Rock ISD, but are also considering other locations in Travis County.

I have read comments in this forum and others about GATRRS and simulcast in general, and I understand that the BCD536hp that I have installed in my vehicle will likely not perform well. However, I do have hope, because I have visited Georgetown a few times through the years and not had horrible results.

So, I was hoping that maybe someone who has had both an SDS and a BCD scanner mobile could provide an on-the-ground comparison. I am reluctantly open to the $800-900 upgrade in scanner, firmware additions, and new GPS before retirement, but only if the current setup will perform poorly.

Thanks in advance for your help, and have a great day!
 

rvacs

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Good News and Bad News
I am from Round Rock which is in Williamson County.
GATTRS (Law enforcement in Williamson County is all encrypted - Round Rock PD, Cedar Park PD, Georgetown PD, Hutto PD, Williamson Co Sheriff / Constables etc. - Fire and other things are open though).

GATTRS (Travis County is open (except for some TAC encrypted channels) - Pflugerville PD, Austin PD etc.

GATTRS Travis County you will listen off Simulcast 1 tower.

I have had BCD536HP and SDS100 and SDS200. SDS models are the best....but the BCD536HP is not bad - especially if you get a cheap Yagi antenna (I even have mine inside on a bookshelf).

Watch my video comparing the SDS200 and BCD536HP on the Uniden SDS facebook page:


Ok its not attaching - join this group and look at the videos...
UNIDEN SDS100 SDS200 Radio Scanner Group

3rd video 1:57 long.
 

AE6QE

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Jun 28, 2005
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Great. I look forward to the video. I appreciate the information!
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
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SDS models are the best....but the BCD536HP is not bad - especially if you get a cheap Yagi antenna (I even have mine inside on a bookshelf).
You can't use a yagi mobile. For mobile scanning, you want the SDS models for simulcast.
 

KTR722

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Jun 28, 2016
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+1 on RVACS comments above. I own both BCD536 and SDS200s; Williamson County is on its own site (20) and generally speaking the BCD536 works OK with Williamson County but I had terrible luck with it in Travis County. The BCD536 would more often than not either lock on a TGID and either give you simulcast distortion or just lock on and give you dead air. If you plan on monitoring in Travis County, the SDS200 is the way to go IMO.

I host the Austin/Travis County Fire/EMS feed on Broadcastify; The right channel is an SDS200 and the left channel (Locution) is an BCD536 if you want to compare for yourself. The locution broadcast can be pretty poor sometimes (I have a modified antenna setup also and I live just outside Austin so my simulcast distortion is pretty limited) but weather will hamper it on occasion. Its also stationary which helps. Cant justify an SDS200 on the locution side given that it monitors just 2 talkgroups....
 

AE6QE

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Jun 28, 2005
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22
Gents,

This is exactly what I needed. Looks like I need to make an investment. Thanks again!
 
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