Is the programming software worth it???

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Jacob99

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I'm looking at buying either the pro-106 or the pro-197. The USB cable costs $35 and the sofware is extra. Where do you but the software and how much might it cost???

Also, does the software really make programming much easier? This is my first scanner, so would I be able to just program without the software?

Thanks!

EDIT: I have a Dell Inspiron with Windows 7. It's a pretty new computer. Would the scanner and software even work on it???
 
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ka3jjz

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First let's review the 3 packages that are the most popular for those radios; ARC500, PSREdit500 and Win500. All 3 are linked from here (anything in blue is a link)

Object Oriented Scanner Software - The RadioReference Wiki

Note that ARC500 and Win500 both have user's guides. As a newcomer you might want to read this to help you along.

Most will tell you that it's valuable to know how to program a scanner without a computer, but if you have a ton of channels, then using a PC is the way to go. Yes, the USB cable will work with the right drivers on Win7 - and this article pretty much details what you do with Device Manager to help you find installation issues...

Connecting scanners via USB - The RadioReference Wiki

If you are really intent on doing this manually (brave soul) this will also help...

Programming Shortcut PSR-500/600 RS Pro-106/197 - The RadioReference Wiki

best regards..Mike
 

MOGA

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I think the software that I use, WIN500, is well worth it. Not only is it an aid to making new entries into the scanner but cleaning up or updating previously existing entries is a snap. OTOH, updating the TG or PL tone values of several dozen entries without it is a collosial PITA.

Buy the software and the cable if you have more than ten objects to enter into your machine and you prefer to have working entries with titles that are easy to understand. That's my two cents.
 

batrastard

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I have had the pro-106 and pro-107 for a year now with the programming software. Unless you want to end up in a straight jacket and a padded room, I strongly advise getting the programming software. It also makes it very easy to change things out on your scanners.
 

ikarus280

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My first 100 objects or so were programmed by hand. A little tough to figure out at first, but as soon as you get the concept down, it's actually okay. Then I got ARC500 software, and like that. I strongly recommend at least programming some things by hand, just so you get to know your scanner up close and personal. It may help you down the road if you ever have to input/edit something without the luxury of a computer nearby.
 

holmdt

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I use the ARE 300 and 310 not only is it easier to program your scanner but If something goes wrong you have a back up of freq's that you use.
 

Jacob99

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Thanks!

Thanks all. I think I will spend the extra $$$ and buy the software.

I saw at Radio Shack where the software is NOT sold with the USB cables. IS there a website or something for buying and downloading?
 

ka3jjz

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Go to the first link in my message in this thread. Click on the blue text - and follow the links that are there

best regards..Mike
 

ikarus280

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When I bought my cable from RS, it came with a free trial CD of software. Tried it, liked it, bought it. Most other softwares are downloadable over the web with free trials as well. I think one perk of having software is ability to arrange your objects within your scan lists. Good luck!
 

Jacob99

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Thanks!

When I bought my cable from RS, it came with a free trial CD of software. Tried it, liked it, bought it. Most other softwares are downloadable over the web with free trials as well. I think one perk of having software is ability to arrange your objects within your scan lists. Good luck!
Thanks....it looks like my local RS does that too

Go to the first link in my message in this thread. Click on the blue text - and follow the links that are there

best regards..Mike
Thanks Mike. I've been looking at those links, and that info has really helped me.

One quick question about this:

CAUTION: There have been numerous reports of drivers for devices that are not compatible with (or do not supply a driver for) Windows 7 64 bit. Make sure your device has a driver that is compatible before proceeding
Connecting scanners via USB - The RadioReference Wiki

What dioes that mean? Because I have a Win 7 / 64-bit OS as well.

Thanks to everybody else who responded!
 

ka3jjz

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It means precisely what it says. It appears that not every distributor has come out with a USB-serial driver that talks well to Win7 64 bit systems. This is where folks trying to interface Uniden scanners has gotten bit in the past. Your next logical question should be does the RS (or the GRE cable - it's pretty much the same thing) website have a driver for Win7 64 bit, or can it be downloaded from somewhere else. I would suspect so, but have no firsthand knowledge of it

best regards..Mike
 

n5ims

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I'm looking at buying either the pro-106 or the pro-197. The USB cable costs $35 and the sofware is extra. Where do you but the software and how much might it cost???

Also, does the software really make programming much easier? This is my first scanner, so would I be able to just program without the software?

Thanks!

EDIT: I have a Dell Inspiron with Windows 7. It's a pretty new computer. Would the scanner and software even work on it???
The earlier posts do a good job of answering many of your questions, but here are my answers, along with some comments that may be helpful.

"The USB cable costs $35 and the sofware is extra." Please note that Radio Shack often offers the cable for half price if purchased along with the scanner, a great way to save some money. Please note that this sale is only good if the purchase is on the same ticket as the scanner. Forget to buy it then and return to the store for the cable and it'll be full price.

"Where do you but the software and how much might it cost???" The link provided on an earlier post is your best source since it's updated if/when they change. Most of the software is about $35 - $50. Most also have a 30-day free trial for the full package (no limited features, just the time limit) so it's best to try them all and see which one works most closely to how you work. The features on them all is pretty much the same, they just use different user interfaces.

"Also, does the software really make programming much easier? This is my first scanner, so would I be able to just program without the software?" I'll take on both of these together. Just like working on a car, you can replace a piston yourself, but it's lots of work and many chances for error so it's probably best to have a trained mechanic do it for you. You can follow the manual's instructions and program it yourself, but miss one step (or even get them out of order) and it may not work as you desire. Using software to program it can be as simple as connect the scanner, select the desired system and download it to the software, make any desired changes (or add other systems), and upload it to the scanner.

I also run 64 bit Windows 7 and have had no issues with either the cable drivers or software. I believe that the correct driver (an older version probably, but one that works fine) is included with Windows 7. Most folks I've heard of that had issues were caused by trying to force the wrong driver (like the 32 bit version).

Be aware that most of the software requires you to know the correct COM port the driver assigned to your cable. You may need to use the Windows "Device Manager" to locate which one was assigned so you can properly set the software to match. Although it's a USB cable, the required information will be in the "Ports (COM & LPT)" section (the exact section name may vary from this, depending on which version of Win 7 you have). Mine shows up as "USB Serial Port (COM4)", which would indicate I would need to have my software use COM-4 to talk to the scanner.
 

mikey60

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It means precisely what it says. It appears that not every distributor has come out with a USB-serial driver that talks well to Win7 64 bit systems. This is where folks trying to interface Uniden scanners has gotten bit in the past. Your next logical question should be does the RS (or the GRE cable - it's pretty much the same thing) website have a driver for Win7 64 bit, or can it be downloaded from somewhere else. I would suspect so, but have no firsthand knowledge of it

best regards..Mike
For the GRE/RS cable, the latest drivers are available on the FTDI web site at http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM20814_Setup.exe

These are for all current versions of Windows (32/64bit).

Mike
 
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