No use for a digital radio?

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I'm shopping for a handheld and wondering if it'd be worth the extra $$ for me to get a digital model (PSR500). From what I think I'm seeing here:

Horry County, South Carolina (SC) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Nobody is using digital locally... Soooo, the extra money spent to get the digital capable scanner would be for naught?

Is it agree'd (from what I see in a few reviews) Uniden and GRE radios aren't currently doing a very good job with APCO-25 coding anyway?
 
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tglendye

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Digital on an analog scanner sounds completely scrambled and you would not hear a thing. I haven't been to Myrtle in years, but in looking at the database it "looks" like you are right- but others that are close will be able to give you better information.

The only thing I see is the Highway Patrol- which uses: Palmetto 800 Trunking System, Various, Multi-State - Scanner Frequencies has some (a few) talk groups that are digital through out the state. Must be nice to live in S.C.:p

Best of luck!
 

K9WG

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In my opinion you could look at this two ways.

1. Get the digital because digital is the way many agencies are going.

2. By the time agencies in your area go digital the scanner you get today might not work with the technology they go with.

So it really is a gamble.

Is it agree'd (from what I see in a few reviews) Uniden and GRE radios aren't currently doing a very good job with APCO-25 coding anyway?
Totally incorrect. I am listening to P25 without any problems what so ever.
 
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Thanks very much for the insight! From what I can see it looks like my old (doesn't even have the pretty NASCAR emblem on it) BCT8 is still pulling it's weight pretty well! (waiting on a new cable to arrive for the firmware update)

In addition to the WEALTH of information I've found here (many thanks!), and on wiki, I've been reading and learning a good deal from this site as well. Mark's Scanners

Got out of the radio hobby for a couple years, there's a lot to learn getting back into it! ;)

A PSR310 may be in order though...
 
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divemaster500

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I bought a GRE-800 digital because my area is talking about going digital sometime next year. I don't know for sure that this is going to happen, but figured if I would be safe if they did make the move. Also, if you travel, you can listen in other areas where digital has been introduced.
 

krokus

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BigCheeseStick said:
Is it agree'd (from what I see in a few reviews) Uniden and GRE radios aren't currently doing a very good job with APCO-25 coding anyway?
Not quite correct. The "older" digital scanners have some issues with simulcast P25 systems, but work fine on the others, and still work decently on the simulcasts.

The PSR-800 works well with simulcasts, from what I have read.
 
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KE4ZNR

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Both SC (and NC) are quickly moving towards full P25 system
layouts. There is a push within SC to migrate the analog voice
TG users to digital voice TGs and to expand out the P25 Palmetto 800
system. When asked what to buy for SC/NC I usually only recommend digital voice capable scanners. Better to pay a little more now and have
everything you need.
Happy Monitoring
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

Stardogg

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If it's in your budget, go digital imho. It's the wave of the future, might as well have the capabilities at your fingertips. I have a PSR-500 and absolutely love it. Good luck.
 

lindsay34654

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Remember one thing today you might not need digital radio and with the narrow band coming in any department could go digital at anytime. Check eBay, Hell you want a handheld I have a used uniden 396 xt and the mobile 996xt with a remote head total for $700 or $325 for each with the remote head for $75 plus shipping. That way you are covered completely for the future.
 

Ensnared

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PSR 500 If Going Digital

I'm shopping for a handheld and wondering if it'd be worth the extra $$ for me to get a digital model (PSR500). From what I think I'm seeing here:

Horry County, South Carolina (SC) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Nobody is using digital locally... Soooo, the extra money spent to get the digital capable scanner would be for naught?

Is it agree'd (from what I see in a few reviews) Uniden and GRE radios aren't currently doing a very good job with APCO-25 coding anyway?
I will throw my opinion in this thread and state that if you decide to go digital, GRE is the way to go for several reasons. I might add that Radio Shack carries equivalent radios for some GRE-manufactured radios.

For instance, the GRE PSR 500 equals Radio Shack Pro-106. Here are my reasons for buying GRE: a) the Radio shack Pro-106 does not come with the same amount of accessories as the GRE-500; b) GRE service is second to none, they are very helpful & user friendly; c) the GRE PSR 500, in my opinion, has noticeably better quality audio response and a more responsive speaker, mounted high instead of low.

Good luck.
 
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I will throw my opinion in this thread and state that if you decide to go digital, GRE is the way to go for several reasons. I might add that Radio Shack carries equivalent radios for some GRE-manufactured radios.

For instance, the GRE PSR 500 equals Radio Shack Pro-106. Here are my reasons for buying GRE: a) the Radio shack Pro-106 does not come with the same amount of accessories as the GRE-500; b) GRE service is second to none, they are very helpful & user friendly; c) the GRE PSR 500, in my opinion, has noticeably better quality audio response and a more responsive speaker, mounted high instead of low.

Good luck.
What's weird is this guy says the exact opposite. I think it's just a matter of how hard they're cracking the whip on the Chinese 10yr old's backs the day each particular unit is assembled. (ugly reality of it)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo4a2rVbG-A

WAY to many people complaining about 396's breaking. So I think it's which of the two (106, or 500) I can find a better deal on new. Seen several comments on how people drop these things, and "they still work, but not the way their supposed to." = the used ones you'll find on Ebay that claim "works fine". :( Plus SOOOO many people like to open these things up and monkey around not having a clue what their doing... :( Also = Ebay listing "Used, but works fine" LOL.
 
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lep

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Ford or GM, which makes the better cars? That question has as many answers as GRE v Uniden. Both are made off shore by low paid workers, both have a USA sales office, both advertise, both have reviews that are suportive and/or critical. Pay your money and take your choice.

I prefer Uniden myself, I am famiiar with how they work and find them easy to use.

As I type I have my 996XT on shelf above my pc screen and my HP-1 below it, both are providing perfect copy on a P-25 public safety system (yes it is a 700 MHz MOT trunking system and it is multisite). One is scanning for new unid Talk Groups to help round out the info on a fairly new system.

I have a 396 but I never drop it and therefore don't have any knowledge of the durabiity if you mistreat it. Actually on my last several air trips I did NOT put my 396 in my briefcase but instead took my second HP-1 since it is so easy to enter the zipcode of the hotel where I am staying and enjoy and evening of listening even though I have no knowledge fo the public safety setup in the city beforehand.

Thats neat!
 

KC4RAF

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+1 with Ensnared about the GRE

radios. The GREs have more of everything than the RS scanners. Do a comparsion on Scanner Master web site and you'll see, (and usually the price isn't that much different). There's also been lots of posts that the GREs have better sound and that they perform better in the areas of multicasting. My neighbor has the 800 and it sounds great.
 
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I like the 800 A LOT. But I also like buttons ;). And 4 bills for a scanner right now is more than I'm willing to gamble when my state has yet to switch over to digital at all, and when they do their considering encrypting everything. :(

I agree debating brands is silly, but talking about flaws in different models are a whole other ball game. Chevy has had crap models, so has Ford, so has Volkswagen (did you know they want to race NASCAR next year?!?!) I try very hard to take care of all my stuff, but just to many people talk about the 396 antenna mount being weak. (not cool)
 

nanZor

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Since you take care of your equipment, the sma connector on a 396 won't be an issue. Neither will models with BNC's. The damage you read about usually comes from drops, people sitting on them, or attaching them to outdoor antennas with large coax and a bunch of adapters with a lot of stress. BNC's on most models can also break connections internally, and the typical two-pronged "fingers" inside can also be forced too far apart.

So don't base your judgement on rough handling. No manufacturer REALLY makes a ruggedized scanner.

You can spend a lot of time looking for the holy-grail, single lifetime purchase, or get what suits your needs now. If you really get into it, like potato chips, you'll never end up with only one scanner that does everything perfectly. :)

Sounds like you are defining your needs well and would be suited for even a conventional scanner to START with. The new Uniden 125AT makes a GREAT conventional scanner. But so does a Uniden 346/396, or a PSR310/500 etc etc on conventional, even though they also offer trunking and/or digital. When either one no longer meets your needs, you WILL find a purpose for it as a backup or relieving some duties that your new machine is better at, or for things you don't want it spending time scanning.

Consider this - even if you pay more for a digital capable scanner, and only do conventional monitoring with it, you will probably be able to sell it later for a higher price than a conventional-only and recoup some of your investment on the "wasted" technology you paid for. Not only that, but most digital scanners have "dynamic memory", "object-oriented" memory schemes that do just fine for complex analog systems, where older style bank-channel setups may cramp your style.

When reading reviews, also ask yourself if the complaints come from attaching a wideband antenna in an RF congested area to a radio designed for a simple whip/duck. It can be done, but be sure to make this distinction and judge your eventual setup accordingly. AND most importantly, see if the people reporting are not just repeating the opinions of others and have never actually owned the unit in question. I've been through many, but don't hold on to them if they don't live up to my needs, and try to recoup my investment by doing so quickly.

One thing I can say based on my own personal needs - the PSR500 and it's sister, (I had both at one time) do not do well on milair / UHF sensitivity. If you aren't into milair, or don't plan to be - no problem. And, one reason I don't do GRE's anymore is that I can't take the high-end audio hiss. For some this isn't a problem - for me it's major. You'll have to be the judge - so jump into the waters with a unit, and make your own judgement.
 
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