NEWBIE question...basic or overkill...BC125AT or Whistler WS1065

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7Seas

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Essex County, ON
Hello all,

This is my first time posting. I live in the Windsor area. I am about to purchase my first scanner and was recommended the BC125AT (to keep it simple to start they tell me). Being in Canada, we pay more compared to the U.S. On Amazon, the BC125AT is about $170 but I have a chance to pick up a used WHISTLER WS 1065 for about $50 more.

To start, I would like to listen to Marine traffic and maybe Coast Guard as I live on Lake St. Clair and I occasionally see helicopters flying by. As well, I've been listening to O.P.P. broadcasts on Broadcastify. Simply based on price, should I jump on this phase 1 digital scanner for listening to the few categories I mentioned? I will need to pay to have it programmed or should I just keep it simple with the BC125AT? (Can I still listen to the OPP with the BC125AT?)

Thanks in advance for your replies.

7Seas
 

mciupa

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Welcome to RadioReference. :)

If you are looking for opinions, mine is always to go for the scanner with most features that you can afford. So I would be partial to the WS1065.

You can listen to Mobile Repeaters for the OPP on the 125 if a unit is close by on the 401.

Tecumseh


FrequencyInput
LicenseTypeToneAlpha TagDescriptionModeTag
412.88750417.88750 RM107.2 PLOPP BEAT02BEAT02 RepeaterFMNLaw Dispatch

Otherwise, continue to listen to Broadcastify.
A friend of mine has a BC 125AT but we like using it for Air Band traffic, it's pretty darn good for reception.
 

mrweather

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I grew up in Windsor and can receive the Tecumseh OPP beat repeater at 401 and Belle River Road no problem, so the OP should have no issue with receiving it as well (especially if they're near/along Lake St. Clair). And any basic scanner will receive VHF marine just fine.

But, getting into regular OPP monitoring you'll need a P25 scanner.
 

sallen07

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Rochester, NY
Hello all,

This is my first time posting. I live in the Windsor area. I am about to purchase my first scanner and was recommended the BC125AT (to keep it simple to start they tell me). Being in Canada, we pay more compared to the U.S. On Amazon, the BC125AT is about $170 but I have a chance to pick up a used WHISTLER WS 1065 for about $50 more.
Another thing to consider is where you want to use your scanner, since the BC125AT is hand-held and the WS-1065 is a mobile/base unit. So if you want something to carry around the WS-1065 isn't going to work for you.

The WS-1065 should let you listen to everything you mentioned since OPP is on a Motorola Smartzone system with P25 (Phase I) audio. On the other hand, the BC125AT is widely recognized as one of the best scanners for air band, but you won't be able to listen to anything digital on it.

I will need to pay to have it programmed
Rather than do that I would highly recommend you purchase a copy of one of the software packages used to program (assuming you have a Windows PC) and get a premium membership to RadioReference. There are plenty of folks on here that will be willing to help you program it and you may even find someone who will create a programming file you can just download into the scanner.
 

gary123

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mciupa said it all .... buy the most featured scanner you can afford. Having a feature and not needing it is no where near as frustrating as wanting a feature you don't have.
 

Bob1955

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Dec 20, 2016
Messages
655
Location
Eastchester, NY
Hello all,

This is my first time posting. I live in the Windsor area. I am about to purchase my first scanner and was recommended the BC125AT (to keep it simple to start they tell me). Being in Canada, we pay more compared to the U.S. On Amazon, the BC125AT is about $170 but I have a chance to pick up a used WHISTLER WS 1065 for about $50 more.

To start, I would like to listen to Marine traffic and maybe Coast Guard as I live on Lake St. Clair and I occasionally see helicopters flying by. As well, I've been listening to O.P.P. broadcasts on Broadcastify. Simply based on price, should I jump on this phase 1 digital scanner for listening to the few categories I mentioned? I will need to pay to have it programmed or should I just keep it simple with the BC125AT? (Can I still listen to the OPP with the BC125AT?)

Thanks in advance for your replies.

7Seas
Hi 7Seas- In all reality, not only are you looking at (2) different manufacturers, one has conventional only with GREAT aircraft reception as mentioned by another user and the other is Digital/trunking Phase 1lcommonly referred to APCO 25.
The Uniden Bearcat BC-125AT is the NUMBER 1 top selling analog ONLY handheld scanner on the market. Take a look at all of it's feature/benefits on YouTube by Bearcat Warehouse.

The next model up that looks the same is the Bearcat BCD-325P2 but has both Phase 1/2 digital, conventional and trunking. The price is right too and you can look that up also on YouTube from Bearcat Warehouse and Paul there made the video. You should also consider buying a Diamond RH-77CA rubber antenna as the stock antenna is useless.

Also, Panasonic Enloop (2) AA batteries are much better then the supplied Chinese batteries that they give you. The next step up is the 436HP that has Zip Code programming, a built in RadioReference database, a full alpha tagging screen and many more features but MUCH more money. You can view that too on YouTube produced by Paul from Bearcat Warehouse.

Please call Bearcat Warehouse at 877-568-7226(ask for Paul/Melissa) and also look at their website at www.bearcatwarehouse.com
Please NOTE that all digital scanners ship free of charge and both analog/digital are no sales tax except Maryland residents.
Uniden Bearcat is by far a better product because I have owned them both.

Hope this helps you in making a good buying decision.
Stay safe.
 

Bob1955

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Messages
655
Location
Eastchester, NY
Do you actually own EITHER of those scanners, Bob? Or do you just read reviews on Amazon and echo what others say on RR?
sallen07-I had owned a Bearcat BC-125AT and it is a great analog non trunking conventional scanner with all features like close captioning/alpha tagging/CTCSS/DCS/Tone Out/pre-programmed search and it is great for aircraft.

Just purchased a Diamond RH-77CA from Amazon.com as Bearcat Warehouse in Maryland doesn't carry that line. I sold mine last June-July 2019 for the current Bearcat BCD-996P2 digital truking /base/mobile.

If you want a base scanner that is reasonable without digital that has trunking, look at the Bearcat BCT-15X on YouTube. Bearcat also carries that or contact me and Friday after 10am in a private message here.

I have been into this hobby since 1973.
 

mciupa

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It would be great if someone who actually lives in or near the Windsor Ontario area and monitors activity could respond with their experiences for the original poster.
 

Forts

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I've got a GRE PSR-600 (the original version of the Whistler 1065) and it's a great all purpose scanner, although basic by todays standards. You are however comparing a base/mobile and a handheld so my first question would be how you intend to use it. If you have needs for a handheld, then the Whistler is out of the question right off the hop. However if you are OK with a mobile, then I would def recommend the Whistler. It'll work very well on Fleetnet for OPP/EMS etc (however they do tend to get overloaded somewhat easily in strong VHF areas). If you are technically minded you could add a discriminator tap as well to use with DSDPlus which would let you dabble in DMR, NXDN etc too. If you want to use it for MPSCS out of Michigan it'll do....OK. Like most older P25 scanners it can be really hit or miss on simulcast systems which is what you'd be dealing with around Detroit. It should do a decent job on the Windsor P25 system if you wanted to listen to FD.

One thing to keep in the back of your mind though... if you are spending to be able to listen to OPP just remember that the groundwork is being laid as we speak on Fleetnet 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) and OPP will be 100% encrypted once they switch over. So be comfortable with whatever $$ you are spending knowing that you may only have a couple of years left.
 

7Seas

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Essex County, ON
Welcome to RadioReference. :)

If you are looking for opinions, mine is always to go for the scanner with most features that you can afford. So I would be partial to the WS1065.

You can listen to Mobile Repeaters for the OPP on the 125 if a unit is close by on the 401.

Tecumseh


FrequencyInput
LicenseTypeToneAlpha TagDescriptionModeTag
412.88750417.88750RM107.2 PLOPP BEAT02BEAT02 RepeaterFMNLaw Dispatch

Otherwise, continue to listen to Broadcastify.
A friend of mine has a BC 125AT but we like using it for Air Band traffic, it's pretty darn good for reception.
Thank-you. Looks like this is very close by! I'm learning about how repeaters work. I guess I can listen to a repeater broadcast with an analogue scanner? However, digital is where I am leaning.

I grew up in Windsor and can receive the Tecumseh OPP beat repeater at 401 and Belle River Road no problem, so the OP should have no issue with receiving it as well (especially if they're near/along Lake St. Clair). And any basic scanner will receive VHF marine just fine.

But, getting into regular OPP monitoring you'll need a P25 scanner.
Thank-you! The more I read the more I need to know.

Another thing to consider is where you want to use your scanner, since the BC125AT is hand-held and the WS-1065 is a mobile/base unit. So if you want something to carry around the WS-1065 isn't going to work for you.

The WS-1065 should let you listen to everything you mentioned since OPP is on a Motorola Smartzone system with P25 (Phase I) audio. On the other hand, the BC125AT is widely recognized as one of the best scanners for air band, but you won't be able to listen to anything digital on it.



Rather than do that I would highly recommend you purchase a copy of one of the software packages used to program (assuming you have a Windows PC) and get a premium membership to RadioReference. There are plenty of folks on here that will be willing to help you program it and you may even find someone who will create a programming file you can just download into the scanner.
That is very true. I'm now realizing what I really want is to be able to carry my scanner around with me. Starting to now just consider handheld models. A membership would definitely put me on the correct path here!

mciupa said it all .... buy the most featured scanner you can afford. Having a feature and not needing it is no where near as frustrating as wanting a feature you don't have.
So true! I am kicking around the idea of just going 'big' and getting a digital handheld scanner. I really like the Unidens out there.

Hi 7Seas- In all reality, not only are you looking at (2) different manufacturers, one has conventional only with GREAT aircraft reception as mentioned by another user and the other is Digital/trunking Phase 1lcommonly referred to APCO 25.
The Uniden Bearcat BC-125AT is the NUMBER 1 top selling analog ONLY handheld scanner on the market. Take a look at all of it's feature/benefits on YouTube by Bearcat Warehouse.

The next model up that looks the same is the Bearcat BCD-325P2 but has both Phase 1/2 digital, conventional and trunking. The price is right too and you can look that up also on YouTube from Bearcat Warehouse and Paul there made the video. You should also consider buying a Diamond RH-77CA rubber antenna as the stock antenna is useless.

Also, Panasonic Enloop (2) AA batteries are much better then the supplied Chinese batteries that they give you. The next step up is the 436HP that has Zip Code programming, a built in RadioReference database, a full alpha tagging screen and many more features but MUCH more money. You can view that too on YouTube produced by Paul from Bearcat Warehouse.

Please call Bearcat Warehouse at 877-568-7226(ask for Paul/Melissa) and also look at their website at www.bearcatwarehouse.com
Please NOTE that all digital scanners ship free of charge and both analog/digital are no sales tax except Maryland residents.
Uniden Bearcat is by far a better product because I have owned them both.

Hope this helps you in making a good buying decision.
Stay safe.
Thanks so much. The bearcat website is advertising some sales this month. Another option for me to have! Time to start crunching the numbers including darn import fees. I've come across a few others mentioning a better antenna (e.g. Diamond) so this is very helpful!
 

7Seas

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Essex County, ON
I've got a GRE PSR-600 (the original version of the Whistler 1065) and it's a great all purpose scanner, although basic by todays standards. You are however comparing a base/mobile and a handheld so my first question would be how you intend to use it. If you have needs for a handheld, then the Whistler is out of the question right off the hop. However if you are OK with a mobile, then I would def recommend the Whistler. It'll work very well on Fleetnet for OPP/EMS etc (however they do tend to get overloaded somewhat easily in strong VHF areas). If you are technically minded you could add a discriminator tap as well to use with DSDPlus which would let you dabble in DMR, NXDN etc too. If you want to use it for MPSCS out of Michigan it'll do....OK. Like most older P25 scanners it can be really hit or miss on simulcast systems which is what you'd be dealing with around Detroit. It should do a decent job on the Windsor P25 system if you wanted to listen to FD.

One thing to keep in the back of your mind though... if you are spending to be able to listen to OPP just remember that the groundwork is being laid as we speak on Fleetnet 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) and OPP will be 100% encrypted once they switch over. So be comfortable with whatever $$ you are spending knowing that you may only have a couple of years left.
You've really got me thinking. I have read that the Ontario O.P.P. will be going full encryption and should be done within 5 years. Everyday I read more, I feel like I change my mind as to what scanner I think I should get. I think the best option is a digital handheld although your comment about having only so many years left really hit hard. I've been thinking just go with the digital BCD352P2 and take the time to learn it. I don't mind spending the money but if O.P.P. is what I really want and then I lose this option due to encryption years from now, maybe I should save some money and oddly get both the WS 1065 and BC 125AT since I can get both of them for about $200 less than the BCD352P2.

I appreciate everyone giving me some advice. I will keep reading and learning but will always welcome any insights you have. I'm sure this will not be my only post!
 

Bob1955

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
655
Location
Eastchester, NY
I've got a GRE PSR-600 (the original version of the Whistler 1065) and it's a great all purpose scanner, although basic by todays standards. You are however comparing a base/mobile and a handheld so my first question would be how you intend to use it. If you have needs for a handheld, then the Whistler is out of the question right off the hop. However if you are OK with a mobile, then I would def recommend the Whistler. It'll work very well on Fleetnet for OPP/EMS etc (however they do tend to get overloaded somewhat easily in strong VHF areas). If you are technically minded you could add a discriminator tap as well to use with DSDPlus which would let you dabble in DMR, NXDN etc too. If you want to use it for MPSCS out of Michigan it'll do....OK. Like most older P25 scanners it can be really hit or miss on simulcast systems which is what you'd be dealing with around Detroit. It should do a decent job on the Windsor P25 system if you wanted to listen to FD.

One thing to keep in the back of your mind though... if you are spending to be able to listen to OPP just remember that the groundwork is being laid as we speak on Fleetnet 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) and OPP will be 100% encrypted once they switch over. So be comfortable with whatever $$ you are spending knowing that you may only have a couple of years left.
Uniden has a MUCH better front end and no RF based on my experience. The quality is night and day and Uniden America Corporation is the #1 global leader in the scanner industry! FYI
 

Forts

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Wow you're just a walking billboard aren't ya?... I have or have had many Uniden and GRE/Whistler scanners over the years and they all have their flaws and perks. It's a matter of finding what works for your particular needs.
I had a Pro-106 from day one and it was amazing... also have an SDS100 and I totally hate the interface, I think it's unfriendly as hell.... but the radio itself works great on P25 simulcast. It also has lots of other qwirks and hasn't seen a firmware update since before UPMan (RIP) got sick, but that's neither here nor there.

On the flipside Whistler totally dropped their plans for a new scanner so it's not exactly a happening market at the moment.

Anyways, back to the OP's question... I think the most important factor is whether or not you need to have a handheld device.
 

torontokris

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Toronto Canada
If you listen to OPP and dont mind it being a base unit get the 1065...
Yes analogs can get the repeaters (if in range) but its not like listening to full dispatch more reliably on P25 digital.

If you want a handheld aircraft scanner to walk around with get the 125AT. Otherwise get the digital P25 unit.
 
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