Mini-Review of TRX-1

emsflyer84

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Hey all, just received a used TRX-1 for general emergency service scanning in New Hampshire. We don’t have any trunking, simulcast or anything hard to de-code around here. So I’m not really putting the Whistler through it’s paces.

So far, after figuring out how to program the unit, it’s working beautifully. I am able to capture everything around me easily, and the stock antenna is working wonderfully. I ordered a Diamond replacement antenna that so far hasn’t made any difference at all. In fact I put the stock one back on because it’s a smaller form factor that’s easier to carry around and I haven’t lost any reception that I can tell.

I’m still learning all the bells and whistles as far as the options available to customize how each frequency receives, scanner behavior, etc.

I’ve totally programmed the scanner manually using the pre-loaded database on the included SD card. I’ve looked at the software but haven’t been able to figure that out yet. I’ll be posting here for some help with that as well.

A couple quick notes... The battery life has not been great so far. I mostly use it in the car so can plug it in when the batteries get low. I also found out that it will run while plugged in with no batteries in it at all which is nice.

Also, the speaker is quite weak. It sounds good but there is not enough volume. While driving I find myself picking the scanner up and holding it because it sometimes isn’t loud enough when sitting in a cup holder, etc. and this is with the volume all the way up. I may look at an external speaker. There is an option called “audio boost” that you can assign to specific programmed frequencies, but that hasn’t made much difference.

As I learn and continue to use the scanner I’ll update this, but so far I’m happy I didn’t spend the extra money on the SDS-100. Used, these can be had for $300 or less and they work just as good as a new one with the database updates you can put on the SD card and The firmware updates that are offered.

Happy scanning!
 

Reconrider

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Between the lines
Yeah that's the one issue I have with my trx1 is that the speaker is quite quiet. It's very annoying because the speaker is very high quality and nice sounding when the volume is loud enough for the situation. In the car it's not loud enough, but you can get an external speaker. I have the mini bose portable one and it sounds super great. Bose Speaker is the one I use
 

DJ11DLN

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I'm pretty happy with my TRX-1. For better volume in the car you can also use a jumper to connect the headphone jack to your aux-in port and run the audio through your car radio. I do that with my "mobiles" where are all HH scanners and it works great. All of these series (based on the old PSR-800) will run on external power without batteries just fine.
 

emsflyer84

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Mar 22, 2012
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Central NH
Thanks guys, I’ll be looking into a speaker. It’s a shame considering my $60 Baofeng handheld HAM transceiver has a speaker probably 4 times louder and just as clear.
 

rayvelcoro

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Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
168
Hey all, just received a used TRX-1 for general emergency service scanning in New Hampshire. We don’t have any trunking, simulcast or anything hard to de-code around here. So I’m not really putting the Whistler through it’s paces.

So far, after figuring out how to program the unit, it’s working beautifully. I am able to capture everything around me easily, and the stock antenna is working wonderfully. I ordered a Diamond replacement antenna that so far hasn’t made any difference at all. In fact I put the stock one back on because it’s a smaller form factor that’s easier to carry around and I haven’t lost any reception that I can tell.

I’m still learning all the bells and whistles as far as the options available to customize how each frequency receives, scanner behavior, etc.

I’ve totally programmed the scanner manually using the pre-loaded database on the included SD card. I’ve looked at the software but haven’t been able to figure that out yet. I’ll be posting here for some help with that as well.

A couple quick notes... The battery life has not been great so far. I mostly use it in the car so can plug it in when the batteries get low. I also found out that it will run while plugged in with no batteries in it at all which is nice.

Also, the speaker is quite weak. It sounds good but there is not enough volume. While driving I find myself picking the scanner up and holding it because it sometimes isn’t loud enough when sitting in a cup holder, etc. and this is with the volume all the way up. I may look at an external speaker. There is an option called “audio boost” that you can assign to specific programmed frequencies, but that hasn’t made much difference.

As I learn and continue to use the scanner I’ll update this, but so far I’m happy I didn’t spend the extra money on the SDS-100. Used, these can be had for $300 or less and they work just as good as a new one with the database updates you can put on the SD card and The firmware updates that are offered.

Happy scanning!
You're very fortunate not to have to deal with simulcast. You have the privilege of scanning "old school." To be honest with you, as you have mastered manual programming, you don't really even have to trouble yourself with the programming software outside learning how to back up your configuration so you don't lose everything.
 

DJ11DLN

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I wrote a review of the TRX-1 last year. One of my complaints was the low volume. It's not the speaker's fault. I ended up purchasing an external amplified speaker just so I could use the radio. I've since replaced it with a SDS-100.
All of that series have low volume, both speaker and headphone out. I can't use my upgraded RS scanners or my TRX-1 in my Wrangler with earbuds because even at max, it's not enough. My Pro-651 is the only thing that will punch enough volume through to overcome the road/wind noise.
 

emsflyer84

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Mar 22, 2012
Messages
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Central NH
I wrote a review of the TRX-1 last year. One of my complaints was the low volume. It's not the speaker's fault. I ended up purchasing an external amplified speaker just so I could use the radio. I've since replaced it with a SDS-100.
How is the volume on the SDS? After running the TRX for a week or so, the volume might be a deal breaker. What is the point of a scanner that you can’t hear? I just don’t understand how this can be considered acceptable. Volume at max and many transmissions are too low to hear clearly, even with no environmental noise. I have to pick the scanner up and hold it to my ear if I’m driving sometimes.

Maybe the SDS is the way to go. Thanks.
 

mrhermit

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Jun 4, 2012
Messages
38
Location
57770
Hey all, just received a used TRX-1 for general emergency service scanning in New Hampshire. We don’t have any trunking, simulcast or anything hard to de-code around here. So I’m not really putting the Whistler through it’s paces.

So far, after figuring out how to program the unit, it’s working beautifully. I am able to capture everything around me easily, and the stock antenna is working wonderfully. I ordered a Diamond replacement antenna that so far hasn’t made any difference at all. In fact I put the stock one back on because it’s a smaller form factor that’s easier to carry around and I haven’t lost any reception that I can tell.

I’m still learning all the bells and whistles as far as the options available to customize how each frequency receives, scanner behavior, etc.

I’ve totally programmed the scanner manually using the pre-loaded database on the included SD card. I’ve looked at the software but haven’t been able to figure that out yet. I’ll be posting here for some help with that as well.

A couple quick notes... The battery life has not been great so far. I mostly use it in the car so can plug it in when the batteries get low. I also found out that it will run while plugged in with no batteries in it at all which is nice.

Also, the speaker is quite weak. It sounds good but there is not enough volume. While driving I find myself picking the scanner up and holding it because it sometimes isn’t loud enough when sitting in a cup holder, etc. and this is with the volume all the way up. I may look at an external speaker. There is an option called “audio boost” that you can assign to specific programmed frequencies, but that hasn’t made much difference.

As I learn and continue to use the scanner I’ll update this, but so far I’m happy I didn’t spend the extra money on the SDS-100. Used, these can be had for $300 or less and they work just as good as a new one with the database updates you can put on the SD card and The firmware updates that are offered.

Happy scanning!
If I want to listen to my scanner in the car, I plug it into the AUX port using a cable that has a 1/8 inch plug on each end. The other end plugs into the headphone jack on the scanner. I can now hear the scanner thru all of the six speakers just fine.
 

mrhermit

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How is the volume on the SDS? After running the TRX for a week or so, the volume might be a deal breaker. What is the point of a scanner that you can’t hear? I just don’t understand how this can be considered acceptable. Volume at max and many transmissions are too low to hear clearly, even with no environmental noise. I have to pick the scanner up and hold it to my ear if I’m driving sometimes.

Maybe the SDS is the way to go. Thanks.
I have a TRX-1 and the SDS100 sitting next to my TV chair and the TRX-1 sounds much better then the SDS100 when using the speakers. Using headphones, they are about the same.
 

Ubbe

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The internal speaker in SDS100 are too tiny to reproduce voices with any quality and clarity. I currently use a 2 ohm speaker Motorola GSN6035 connected to the earphone jack and the sound is excellent and the power is enough for vehicle use. I've tried 4-8-25 ohm speakers and they all sound good. The internal speaker seems to boost noise and attenuate voices, the opposite of what you want.

/Ubbe
 

gmclam

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How is the volume on the SDS? After running the TRX for a week or so, the volume might be a deal breaker. What is the point of a scanner that you can’t hear? I just don’t understand how this can be considered acceptable. Volume at max and many transmissions are too low to hear clearly, even with no environmental noise. I have to pick the scanner up and hold it to my ear if I’m driving sometimes.
What I experienced with the TRX is it is channel dependent. Some channels, especially P25 would sound just fine. While volume is too low to hear on many analog channels.

I have no complaints with the SDS volume level all things considered. However, now I have that amplified speaker installed, I use it.
 

Ubbe

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What I experienced with the TRX is it is channel dependent. Some channels, especially P25 would sound just fine. While volume is too low to hear on many analog channels.
That's when you go to Advanced DSP settings and change the DAC gain to balance the audio level between digital and analog. Try the extremes -10dB and +2dB to see if it actually makes a difference and you could always use Audio Boost on the analog channels that sounds too weak.

/Ubbe
 

gmclam

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That's when you go to Advanced DSP settings and change the DAC gain to balance the audio level between digital and analog. Try the extremes -10dB and +2dB to see if it actually makes a difference and you could always use Audio Boost on the analog channels that sounds too weak.

/Ubbe
I tried the Audio Boost option and it made very little difference on analog channels. I didn't deep dive into DAC settings.
 

Ubbe

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I tried the Audio Boost option and it made very little difference on analog channels.
Whistler doesn't do any audio level compensating when switching from FM to NFM mode so it will sound weaker and the audio boost should really be used for all NFM channels. I don't know why Whistler made that a manual setting and not automatic to all NFM channels. It's only something like a 3dB difference for audio boost but the DAC setting have a 12dB span.

/Ubbe
 

emsflyer84

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Whistler doesn't do any audio level compensating when switching from FM to NFM mode so it will sound weaker and the audio boost should really be used for all NFM channels. I don't know why Whistler made that a manual setting and not automatic to all NFM channels. It's only something like a 3dB difference for audio boost but the DAC setting have a 12dB span.

/Ubbe
Thanks guys, I tried audio boost and well and didn’t notice a difference. Some channels do seem to be at a different level then others. But I can’t make out any rhyme or reason to it. Some conventional analog are much lower then others, some P25 digital are lower then others, it’s all over the place.

Since it seems like a problem across the board with handheld scanners, I’m leaning toward an external speaker. I was hoping to avoid that as I wanted to make it easy as possible to take in and out of the car, etc. The less “hardwired” the better.

It’s amazing to me that a $60 Beofeng handheld ham radio has a far superior speaker and the volume levels can be so much higher. The whole premise of a scanner is listening. But the listening part seems to be an afterthought of the manufacturers.

While on the subject of the $60 Chinese radio, it also receives conventional analog channels with its stock antenna better then the Whistler with a Diamond antenna. When both are on at the same time, the Baofeng will pick up transmissions that just don’t come through on the Whistler.

Sounds like I’m bashing the Whistler, but there are many good things about it and I’m still enjoying using it. I’ll try to work through some of the issues I’m having.
 

gmclam

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Thanks guys, I tried audio boost and well and didn’t notice a difference. Some channels do seem to be at a different level then others. But I can’t make out any rhyme or reason to it. Some conventional analog are much lower then others, some P25 digital are lower then others, it’s all over the place.

Since it seems like a problem across the board with handheld scanners, ...
It's not hand-held models, it is the TRX specifically, which is similar to PSR-800 and others. I wrote Whistler on all the issues in my review, and they did not address this one at all. They added some code to EZ Scan to deal with some things I brought up.

In the beginning, I was just trying to get a Phase II capable scanner. But in the end, I also need one that could handle simulcast systems. I am very happy with the SDS-100.
 

josephdurnal

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I generally find the TRX-1 to be better than the SDS-100 in almost all cases except when listening to simulcast trunked sites. It is too bad I have a lot of simulcast trunked sites to listen to. The TRX-1 has become my at home scanner, still listens to one simulcast site, but it is only hearing one tower.
 
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