Need a digital scanner

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KG4EMJ

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Hi everyone. My first post. I got my ham radio license in 1999. At that time I also bought a top of the line scanner, the Uniden BC 780XLT. I have gotten many years of faithful service out of my 780, but now the digital age is coming in full swing and even the authorities in my hometown (a small Kentucky town) are going to digital systems.

Honestly, I haven't been keeping up with technology much in the last 10 years. Just this month I have started to research the new scanners available and I've been trying to decide which way to go.

I'm looking at the Uniden BCD396 and Home Patrol, and the GRE 500 and 800. From what I gather, the HP1 and GRE 800 are very similar in that they are locked and loaded out of the box, and they seem to be designed for the user who doesn't want to spend a lot of time doing programming. The BCD396 and GRE 500 seem to be a little more "manual" and require more time to be spent with them, but they are better scanners overall. Would this be a fair assessment?

Here's what I'm going to do with it: 95% of the time it's going to sit on the table next to my couch at home and I'm going to listen to it during the nights and weekends. Occasionally, I will take it with me when I travel. I will use the weatherband features since I'm a Skywarn spotter. I have 3 kids and a somewhat busy life, and honestly right now I don't want to spend much time doing programming on the radio, but if it's not too bad I would be willing to learn how to do it. My local authorities are all within 10 to 15 miles of my location and I live on a hill. I want to listen to state police (P25 system from what I can gather), county police, local police, fire, ems, just the basic stuff.

What would you recommend? I like the HP1 but I hate the pricetag. $500 bucks is a LOT for a scanner. I paid $300 for my 780 and felt guilty for a week. :) I noticed that the GRE 500 is a lot cheaper, but is it as nice of a radio as the Unidens? I can't' find much info on the 800...it must be new. Anyway, any advice would be appreciated.
 

Nasby

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Get the Radio Shack PRO 197. It's the same as the PSR 600. And it is on sale now too for less than 300 bux!!
It gets great reviews from many users. I have one and I love it. It tracks digital trunking sytems with ease.
Get the software, programming cable and a RR subscription and you will be all set.
 

Rt169Radio

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Well from what you said I would either recommend the Uniden BCD996XT or the GRE PSR-600.

Also I have heard that the Uniden BCD996XT has problems on some digital systems while the GRE PSR-600 does good,but at the same time the 600 has interference issues while the 996XT has fairly none.

But if you want a handheld,with more features I would go with the Uniden BCD396XT,if you want a regular one the GRE PSR-500 would be good.

Welcome to Radio Reference.
 
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W8RMH

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In my experienced opinion, I highly recommend the BCD396XT.

It is easier to program than the RS/Gre's. It comes with the programming cable, (RS) is extra.

You can download and use Freescan (for free) for Uniden scanners.

Reading through these forums I see many, many, more issues with the RS/Gre's over the Unidens.
 

W6KRU

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I have the 396XT and a PSR-500. The 396XT has terrible digital decoding and the PSR-500 is much better. The features of the 396XT are no compensation for terrible audio when listening to digital systems. If you can't understand the audio, the features are worthless.
 
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Nasby

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Alos, being that the Radio Shack versions of the GRE/PSR scanners (PRO-197 and PRO-106) are on sale for nearly $200.00 less than the comparable Uniden scanners, the choice is a no brainer. IMHO.
Happy Holidays to All.
 

KG4EMJ

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Alos, being that the Radio Shack versions of the GRE/PSR scanners (PRO-197 and PRO-106) are on sale for nearly $200.00 less than the comparable Uniden scanners, the choice is a no brainer. IMHO.
Happy Holidays to All.
Does the PRO-106 come with AC adapter and software for programming? From what I'm reading, I'll definitely want software for programming.
 

KG4EMJ

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OK, so I was at radio shack today and they had the PRO-18 (clone of the PRS-800) on sale so I bagged one up. Just now opened the box and I'm trying to set this thing up, but the software is giving me errors and won't install. UGH. Guess that's a question for another section of the forum though...
 
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