I know people's opinions can be subjective, but I still like to hear YOUR answer.

Omega-TI

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No one model is perfect enough to be the best of all time. Each has its strong points and weaknesses. You're wanting an answer based on analog only, but don't mention trunking. The PRO-97 is a nice candidate as it has CT/DC decoding. a backlit LCD with alpha tagging. It can be programmed from software and doesn't require a crystal for each frequency it monitors. It could be the answer but doesn't handle rebanding and the f/w can't be updated.

That leads me to the PSR-310. It has a nicer LCD that's backlit in white. It does everything the '97 does but also employs object-oriented programming which means you're not locked into the 100 frequencies in 10 banks arrangement. While it does handle the rebanded systems, I don't use it for that, as those systems have dwindled away now. I was hoping GRE would come out with that display in their P25 version (PSR-510?), but they went away before that happened.

PSR-310 :)

You are correct, I asked about analog scanners from a historical perspective. I was unaware that a purely analog scanner could do trunking, wouldn't it need some sort of digital decoding software, which is not analog? Thanks for your insights on those radios though, it's nice to learn from people and to find out what they found appealing and why.
 

KD9KSO

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A rudimentary method to follow analog trunking is by programming all of the used trunk frequencies into a bank all by themselves and scan that bank. It is difficult to follow the conversation by this method, but it is the only way to listen to an analog trunked system on an analog receiver.
 

gmclam

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Even the PRO-77 & PRO-10 have digital logic in them to perform scanning. In mine I replaced that digital logic with a CPU (circa 1985) so I could add other features. By today's standards they are boat anchors. Crystal controlled for each channel; natively 8 channels but I expanded to 20. A drawback was/is that the PRO-77 is VHF hi/lo and the PRO-10 is VHF hi/UHF 450. One size doesn't fit all.

To get to "the greatest of all time" or the like; I feel it should at least be programmable and cover from VHF low (30MHz) to ~868MHz. It should also be programmable via PC/etc. That tends to get us into models that handle trunking. While I love the PRO-92, and believe it was one of the first to be programmable by PC; it is a 5v design and takes more batteries to operate. The PRO-95 doesn't do CT/DC which led me to the PRO-97. Each model since then has improvements (not that that isn't case starting with PRO-77 or earlier).
 

ratboy

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Greatest portable rail scanner was the Regency Hx-1000/1200/1500 series. Amazingly good on railband/VHF. Weird scanner in general and it had an annoyingly small battery pack, and if you dropped it onto a hard floor, the nice aluminum chassis would break. Best rail mobile I've had was/is an Icom Ic-2300. Great at everything, except scan speed. With a decent antenna, this is a killer railband radio. They still make a nearly identical radio, the IC-2730A. Seems to work about as well as the old 2300.

Greatest cell scanner, the Pro-43. Some were more sensitive, but all in all, the 43 was the king. Pro 34 and 37 were good, but slower scanning. Most sensitive cell scanner I've ever played with was my friend's AR900. Crazy sensitive, but prone to lockups that required wiping out the stored freqs in it, and those lockups happened a lot. One of the most frustrating radios I've ever used. I actually own an Ar1000, and it's just about as problem plagued as the 900 was.

Best analog in total, Pro-2005/2006. If you got a good one, the 2004, too. My is sitting in a box, but 38 years after I bought it, still works. I don't count the time I blew it up while modding it against it. My 2005 and 2006 work fine too.
Gus spent some of his last hours on earth listening to my 2004:
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Best digital, the SDS200. But it really has some annoying issues, such as audio leveling, and being very very deaf on VHF/Air/Rail. ANY radio I own, $20 junkers bought online and at garage sales included, beat the SDS 100/200 on VHF Hi.
 

rgchristy

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RIP Gus!

I can't tell if our Gus likes my SDS200 for a headrest or the warmth. He has learned how to bring up the menu though. Otherwise, not a big fan...

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ratboy

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Gus really liked the scanner traffic, he rarely slept in/on my bed unless the 2004 was running with enough volume to understand what was going on. I always wondered if he understood what those voices were. He wasn't the smartest dog for sure. This guy WAS the smartest dog. King was nicknamed "The Evil Genius" for good reason. You had to convince him to do almost anything. A lot of the time, you got a look, a sniff, and then he would just stand or lay there, refusing to cooperate. He was super entertaining, but sometimes, you just wanted him to do something without his head games. There was no dog he considered his superior, or even equal, and I was about the only man he really cared about, King was a woman loving dog..
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