Help narrowing the field

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hanlonmi06

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I've been asked to set up a scanner for a family member of mine and i'm struggling with what radio to recommend, i'm posting in the MI forum because this is where the radio will reside most often and is the starting point to it all. so obviously i need a good performer on the MPSCS.

my experience is pretty much exclusively with my GRE PSR800. i feel i have a good grasp on the radio systems in use in the state of Michigan and could get a handle on other areas as well. ill willingly travel the learning curve of any product. that said, here are some criteria:

The radio will primarily be used in Macomb Co for local p/f monitoring but will also make its way to Florida and Maine on a regular enough basis to be set up for those areas, possibly st louis (p/f/ems in all locations). id prefer something that can talk somehow to a database for ease of setup for unfamiliar locations and PC programmable. it needs to be handheld. prefer to not be on the used market looking for another PSR800, so needs to be new. support down the road, will it be up-gradable for the future, supportable, ect. budget allows for pretty much anything on the market.

i see a half dozen capable radios listen on sites such as scannermaster. thoughts, suggestions, absolute duds or no-no's for given geography's?
 

iMONITOR

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I live in Macomb County, Macomb Twp, MI. I've been in the scanning hobby for about 50 years, and have owned just about every scanner ever made.

I recently bought the new Uniden BCD436HP hand-held scanner. While being one of the most complex, and feature packed scanners I've ever used, it can also be one of the easiest to use!

Without going into a detailed description, basically all you have to do is turn it on, go into the scrolling menu system, enter the zip code for the area you want to monitor, and start listening! Optionally you can set a radius of how far out of that zip code you want to monitor. You can also toggle services on/off, ie; PD, Fire, EMS, Aircraft, etc.

There's really no complex programming required. It contains the entire RR database for the US, and Canada, on a MicroSD card!
 

hanlonmi06

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does it perform well for you in macomb? macomb has a simulcast system if im not mistaken, does it work well on that system?

im not overly worried about getting a radio set up, but i do want a good flexible platform that guaranteedly will travel the eastern seaboard. there is a lot of hulabaloo about the "faulty advertising" of that product, but if its a performer technically than its definitely on the list.
 

iMONITOR

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It performs extremely well for me in Macomb! The MPSCS simulcast was always an issue in Michigan. However, it appears to have been resolved. The multipath "Donald Duck" voice effect is gone.

There is an issue with the AGC, that can cause some TG's to be louder than others. It's not a big deal for me, and if it was, I could go in and program an adjustment in the audio level for the TG's that are a problem.

The major complaint being discussed on RR is that Uniden has not implemented the Analyze feature they claimed it would have. Once again, not a big deal for me, I doubt I would use it anyway. Many feel cheated by Uniden over this, as they feel they're not getting what they paid for. As I understand it, that feature was still in development when the scanner went to market, and most buyers were aware of that. Uniden has not announced that it will never be added, so hopefully in time, it will.
 

hanlonmi06

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ok, that was exactly my position about the uniden situation as well. glad to get some feedback there. also, read up on AGC issues, but i get that with livonia FD and dearborn conventional chatter, they speak an arms length away from the mic it seems so i'm prepared for that in terms of MPSCS AGC posibilities.

i just want to make sure that a PRO106 or 396XT or heck, wistlers radio isn't more logical somehow.
 

iMONITOR

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The new Uniden's handle P25 Phase II. I don't think existing Radio Shack/GRE/Whistler's do. Rumors of Michigan going to Phase II come up now and then, but I don't think anything has been confirmed. But it's good to be ready if it happens.

I'm not familiar with the systems in the other states you mentioned.
 

mikey60

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The PSR-800 does Phase 2. The upcoming Whistler WS1080 and WS1095 will do Phase 2 as well. There are phase 2 systems in Florida, depending on where you're going with it. Don't know about Maine. The MPSCS is all phase 1 at this point, so that's not an issue.

Mike
 

hanlonmi06

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forgive my lack of research, is there a release date for the new whistlers? last i knew there wasn't a firm date.

so if i cut to the chase, pick one major criteria- phase II, im left with the 436HP and waiting on the whistler?

'spose i could unload my PSR on the old man and keep whatever we choose for a while...
 

detroit780

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Phase II P25

As Mike said you already have a Phase II scanner the PSR-800

I'd wait another year on the 436 until Uniden decides to finish it.

forgive my lack of research, is there a release date for the new whistlers? last i knew there wasn't a firm date.

so if i cut to the chase, pick one major criteria- phase II, im left with the 436HP and waiting on the whistler?

'spose i could unload my PSR on the old man and keep whatever we choose for a while...
 

hanlonmi06

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correct, however the PSR-800 isn't in production to be purchased new and in all reality i am keeping mine. i'm working to be informed about what is available now that's the best choice for a family member, so im hanging my hat on phase II criteria. at this point, i'm not waiting a year for something to happen. if whistler is guaranteed to put something in the public's hands in a month, it might be worth waiting....
 

hanlonmi06

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pulled the trigger

i pulled a trigger on the 436HP.

first impressions, me likely.

doing a comparison for my antenna set up for pulling in detroit, the 436 seems to pull more in than my 800, so that's a pleasant way to start off. the zip code to get started thing was pretty cool, but holy crap this is a huge departure from anything i've ever messed with. this learning curves gonna suck.

i appreciate everyone's input. given the situation the 436 was inevitable but i didn't just want to haul off and do it without trying to cover the bases. i really want to see what whistler can do for this end of the hobby. time will tell.
 
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