Monroe County NY scanner choice

blong

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Rochester NY
Looking for thoughts from this group. Currently have a GRE 500 that works well, but as MC is continuing to move forward with their implementation of the new radio system, I assume simulcast will end at some point. With that I further assume my GRE will become useless in this are. Is that a correct assumption? So with that is the investment in a ADS 100 the way to go? If so what options do I need? Of course a case, extra batter and charger? Anything else?
All advice is appreciated.

Tks
 

sallen07

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
480
Location
Rochester, NY
I assume simulcast will end at some point. With that I further assume my GRE will become useless in this are. Is that a correct assumption? So with that is the investment in a ADS 100 the way to go? If so what options do I need? Of course a case, extra batter and charger? Anything else?
When you say "simulcast will end" I'm guessing you mean the patches that are in place between the old conventional channels and the TRS, yes? Because the new system does use LSM, which gives scanners other than the SDS100/200 fits.

You MAY win the simulcast lottery and be close enough to one tower that you can monitor with an older scanner, but the odds are not in your favor. I've tried a BCD436HP, BCD996P2, BCD352P2, WS1080 and WS1095 and none of them could handle the new system at my location. Much of the traffic is Phase 2 so your PSR-500 absolutely won't work (but you probably already know that).

So your choices are Uniden SDS100/SDS200, Unication G4/G5 pager, or get an SDR dongle or two and run OP25 or one of the Windows packages. I've had good luck with OP25 on a Raspberry PI too.
 

k2hz

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
787
Location
Rochester, NY
I agree with sallen07 comments and his recommendations. This has been discussed extensively in previous threads. My only comment is that, while the SDS100/200 work very well for local trunked systems, they have other issues that make them a poor general use scanner. I replaced a TRX-1 with a SDS-100 and found that I also needed a BCD436 HP for general scanning use. The 436 is an outstanding scanner for everything except P25 LSM systems. SDR dongels also have issues other than for monitoring a specific local trunked system.
 

sallen07

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
480
Location
Rochester, NY
My only comment is that, while the SDS100/200 work very well for local trunked systems, they have other issues that make them a poor general use scanner.
Just curious ... have you played with the filters when trying to listen to other traffic?
 

blong

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Rochester NY
Ok thanks for the response, unfortunately most of that was Greek to me. Sorry I'm just mostly interested in police fire and EMS. The world of scanning has gotten so technical. I have read many post and have learned some things from all the great folks on here. Retired from Emergency Services and just want listen in to the action, can't let that go after 40 years of service.
 

k2hz

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
787
Location
Rochester, NY
Just curious ... have you played with the filters when trying to listen to other traffic?
Yes, after the software filters were added it went from almost useless to somewhat functional with extensive tweaking of the filters but still very poor. Without the software filters, even local NOAA WX cut out with nearby VHF TX activity. I also tried external band pass filters that were of little value since in-band signals still caused desense.

Two examples of the severity of the desense issue: NYSEG P25 152.8025 at Bristol - solid reception on 436. - marginal reception on the 100 and cuts out completely whenever any VHF Fire or EMS base at Cobbs Hill keys up. Kodak 864 MHz trunk system - solid reception on 436 - get 5 bars of crud and no reception on 100 sitting next to 436 with identical antennas.

The 100 has perfect sensitvity on bench test with service monitor but real world operation sucks if there is any strong in-band activity. Aircraft band reception generally terrible. In other words, it has all the poor selectivity and desense issues associated with SDRs. It does an outstanding job of monitoring Monroe E and S TRS at my location and poor on everything else.

All things considered, I highly recommend the Unication to anyone that wants reliable P25 LSM system reception. I don't have one but all reports about it are excellent. I know people in the Fire/EMS service that are very happy with Unication.
 

mc48

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
146
Location
Monroe County, NY
I would go with the SDS100 if you want the best you can get for the county trunked system. I have several other radios and they fail in comparison to the SDS100/200 scanners. I would say as far as options get a Remtronix REM-810S antenna for the SDS100 it is far superior to the stock antenna, and if you decide to add NXDN, DMR or Pro Voice do it yourself, it's easy to do and saves you some money.
Shop around for the spare battery and charger they can be found from many sources and at times for a significantly better price.
 

stevez97

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
142
Location
Rochester, New York
I have both the SDS100 and the Unication G5. Both function well for the Monroe county trunked system. Both are similarly priced. If you truly are primarily interested in Police, Fire and EMS, my hands-down recommendation would be the G5. It's small, has fantastic build quality, generates great audio, and receives Simulcast without a hiccough. There are some downsides to the G5 which have been discussed elsewhere, but the upcoming firmware features (TG hold and skip) will make it more scanner-like. If you have questions, feel free to message me.
 

sallen07

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
480
Location
Rochester, NY
It's small
Silly question that my extensive Internet research (OK at least 10 minutes worth!) hasn't been able to answer: What are the dimensions of the G5 with the antenna on it? The Unication site says "102x61x31.5 mm" but is that with or without the antenna? How tall is it top-to-bottom with the antenna attached?

I have an SDS100 (got one of the first batch, which I'm pretty sure was before the Unication G4/G5 pagers were available) but have thought about getting something smaller to use in certain situations. My big question is, "is it smaller enough", if you know what I mean.

Thanks!
 

sallen07

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
480
Location
Rochester, NY
It's lined up with the top of the antenna, even though it doesn't appear so. <grin>
Cool ... thanks. So it looks like about 5.75 inches top-to-bottom. I think Unication's dimensions are for the body only, not even including the knobs. That makes it about the same height as the SDS100 sans antenna.
 

mc48

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
146
Location
Monroe County, NY
I would suggest the REM-820S. That antenna has a rubber O-ring to maintain the water resistance of the SDS100. Otherwise, it is the same antenna as the REM-810S.
My bad, the Remtronix 820S is what I should have said, that's the one I have.
 

blong

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Rochester NY
I want to thank everyone for the responses. While I certainly didn't understand all the technical stuff I spent the better part of today reading and trying to understand.

I think I'm going with the SDS 100 as I may want to take it with me as I travel. I also spend time in the Buffalo area so this should be easier to add Buffalo and area in.

The only thing I have a question about is DMR. Don't think I need that option for this area at this time. Is that correct?

Finally, suggestions for sellers to buy from? Reliable good service etc.?

Thanks again everyone, a wealth of knowledge here
 
Last edited:

k2hz

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
787
Location
Rochester, NY
The only thing I have a question about is DMR. Don't think I need that option for this area at this time. Is that correct?
In Monroe County DMR, other than business, is mostly school buses and Town Public Works. In Genesee & Erie County it is Mercy EMS on SaiaNet and some other Public Safety users in Erie County. I suggest you look at the RRDB listings for Erie and for SaiaNet to see if it is worthwhile for you. You can always add it later if you decide you need it.
 

stevez97

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
142
Location
Rochester, New York
I want to thank everyone for the responses. While I certainly didn't understand all the technical stuff I spent the better part of today reading and trying to understand.

I think I'm going with the SDS 100 as I may want to take it with me as I travel. I also spend time in the Buffalo area so this should be easier to add Buffalo and area in.

The only thing I have a question about is DMR. Don't think I need that option for this area at this time. Is that correct?

Finally, suggestions for sellers to buy from? Reliable good service etc.?

Thanks again everyone, a wealth of knowledge here

Just an FYI........I'm from Buffalo, so I get back there numerous times per year. Pretty much ALL for their Police, Fire and EMS is on UHF. So I have those frequencies loaded up in my Unication G5.

However, for general traveling, the SDS100 is great. I had the internal GPS modification done, so when I drive from here to South Carolina, the scanner loads up the frequencies of what services I want to monitor (example: Police/Fire/EMS) continually as I travel. It really works awesome for road trips. With either radio you get, I believe you will be satisfied. You must need to pick the best one for YOUR needs.
 

mc48

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2020
Messages
146
Location
Monroe County, NY
I got both my SDS100 & 200 from Zipscanners, They had the best price at the time, shipped USPS and required a signature for delivery.
I ordered online so I never had any interaction with anyone, so I can't say anything about customer service.
I added the DMR option myself so I can monitor town highway depts. in the winter, but some are already on the county system.
 

blong

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Rochester NY
Hi Folks Again thanks for all the info, really great group here.

I'm ordering the SDS 100just not sure from which supplier yet.

I downloaded the Sentinel software and see that it is very similar to the software used to program my GRE 500. So I think I can manage my way through it.

But, always a but, the trunk group and things happening in Monroe county are new to me.

Any chance anyone is willing to share a file they have built for Monroe County, Law Fire and EMS? If so could you email it to me at WL38907@yahoo.com

Much appreciated.
 

blong

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
29
Location
Rochester NY
Ok So no one has offered to share a file so I can look at it. I got the radio and had Monroe County added to it from the Dealer. All works fine.

I am trying my best to figure out the programing. I am ok at setting up my PSR 500 but this has me spinning in circles. I have watched countless videos but I am still confused. Asking if there is a good comprehensive video on Sentinel Software that anyone knows of and if there is anyone that would be willing to share a file so I can look at it to see how to set things up.

The dealer file is pretty generic and I want to set up Quick Keys? to turn certain things on and off.
My goal is to set it up as follows
all Monroe County ---

Fire Simulcast
EMS Simulcast
RPD Simulcast
Sheriff Simulcast
Sheriff - Conventional
Fire Conventional
RPD Conventional

Any help is appreciated
 
Top