opinions on rugged (2way quality) digital scanner and why it does not exist

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fireboat61

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Hello to all
I am just starting this discussion on my own curiousity. I have recently left emails and messages with many large scanner and 2 way radio companies. I inquired by all companies why there is no rugged water /dust/ impact resistive scanner on the market. For instance take a uniden 396xt or a grecom PSR800 and put all the components inside a motorola xts or apx case. That scanner would be extremely strong and resistive to all the elements. I am a firefighter and I am constantly in the rain or dust while responding to the station or just throwing my scanner in the car while responding to the station and I would like to have a scanner that would take that beating. The cost of the scanners are all generally in the $500 range and with them being made of lightweight plastic the chances of breaking are very high. This is one of many improvements that could be made, also to include a single rechargable battery to be placed in a charger similar to a motorola 2 way. With a larger battery that would allow a louder speaker. I have spoke to only one company via phone and that person told me "we have done questionaires before and the interest just wasnt there". I then ask why not build a stronger case which is resistive to the elements and he explained that they sell a leather case. I stopped myself before I got angry. I am thinking from a public safety side to include fire/ems/police, news crews , weather spotters ect. I think there woukld be a hugh market

I just what to know from anyone who reads this do you agree that there needs to be a stronger scanner built with the sensitivity and quality of a 2way radio? or not..


Things I like about scanners:

monitor all bands conventional and trunking especially digital systems which a so restricted from use with 2ways.
easy computer based programming

Things I like about profession 2 way radios
strong case
large displays
rubber rugged knobs
single rechargable battery
signal strength
loud clear audio

Put all of these together and that would be the best scanner on the market.
 

Radiomantman

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better case.

I am with you on this. I am a local policeman and use my psr-500 for listing to the state. This scanner i dont like to bring with me out of the car because even if i clip it on my belt it makes all kinds of noise as the case of the scanner gives as i walk. I also dont want to drop it once and kill the thing...



Hello to all
I am just starting this discussion on my own curiousity. I have recently left emails and messages with many large scanner and 2 way radio companies. I inquired by all companies why there is no rugged water /dust/ impact resistive scanner on the market. For instance take a uniden 396xt or a grecom PSR800 and put all the components inside a motorola xts or apx case. That scanner would be extremely strong and resistive to all the elements. I am a firefighter and I am constantly in the rain or dust while responding to the station or just throwing my scanner in the car while responding to the station and I would like to have a scanner that would take that beating. The cost of the scanners are all generally in the $500 range and with them being made of lightweight plastic the chances of breaking are very high. This is one of many improvements that could be made, also to include a single rechargable battery to be placed in a charger similar to a motorola 2 way. With a larger battery that would allow a louder speaker. I have spoke to only one company via phone and that person told me "we have done questionaires before and the interest just wasnt there". I then ask why not build a stronger case which is resistive to the elements and he explained that they sell a leather case. I stopped myself before I got angry. I am thinking from a public safety side to include fire/ems/police, news crews , weather spotters ect. I think there woukld be a hugh market

I just what to know from anyone who reads this do you agree that there needs to be a stronger scanner built with the sensitivity and quality of a 2way radio? or not..


Things I like about scanners:

monitor all bands conventional and trunking especially digital systems which a so restricted from use with 2ways.
easy computer based programming

Things I like about profession 2 way radios
strong case
large displays
rubber rugged knobs
single rechargable battery
signal strength
loud clear audio

Put all of these together and that would be the best scanner on the market.
 

jhooten

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If their market research showed they could sell enough units to make a profit they would have one on the market now. It is a niche market in their view.
 

jackj

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RadioDaze is right. The reason is cost. To make a scanner as rugged as a commercial 2-way would take a lot more than just thicker plastic for the case. You'd need internal bracing on the PC board(s), shock mounting for sensitive components like the LCD screen. Etc, etc, etc. I doubt if it would be as cheap as $1500 either, Motorola sells a lot more handhelds than GRECOM does scanners.

As for your battery question, that is one of my pet peeves with today's electronics. Almost all of them use a "special" battery that is very expensive compared to AA cells and the only thing special about the batteries is their shape.
 

W6KRU

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RadioDaze is right. The reason is cost. To make a scanner as rugged as a commercial 2-way would take a lot more than just thicker plastic for the case. You'd need internal bracing on the PC board(s), shock mounting for sensitive components like the LCD screen. Etc, etc, etc. I doubt if it would be as cheap as $1500 either, Motorola sells a lot more handhelds than GRECOM does scanners.
Yaesu obviously knows how to do it for a lot less than $1500.
Yaesu FT-270R FT270 Amateur 2 Meter HT
 

N2JDS

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It's a shame companies like Otterbox don't see an opening and make cases for scanners like they do phones.
 

fireboat61

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Fireboat: Would you spend $1500 on a scanner?
I spent $2500 on an apx7000 which i thought would be the last radio i woould ever need to buy. I found out the hard way this radio and the cps have so many security features it rendered it useless to me. A scanner is my only option to monitor the project 25 systems but side by side my work motorola radio picked a system and the uniden did not. even if motorola made a recieve only model of there apx or if they made a receiver able to recieve all bands it would be great and yes I would spend that money and use it everyday.
 

gewecke

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I spent $2500 on an apx7000 which i thought would be the last radio i woould ever need to buy. I found out the hard way this radio and the cps have so many security features it rendered it useless to me. A scanner is my only option to monitor the project 25 systems but side by side my work motorola radio picked a system and the uniden did not. even if motorola made a recieve only model of there apx or if they made a receiver able to recieve all bands it would be great and yes I would spend that money and use it everyday.
You spent that money on a great radio, but only for a service that you can get authorization for. You surely did not think it would be your super whiz bang scanner did you? I think more research would have made that apparent.

73,
n9zas
 

fireboat61

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I agree in the version of this.

Welcome to Yaesu.com

There is a way, but it hasn't been acted on...yet.
73,
n9zas
I did look at the yaesu and yes I agree they look like very nice radios, that are built strong. the vx 8gr looks to have the widest reciever but it would be nice to pick up lowband because some fire dept still dispatch over low band. Also I did not want to compare these radios to there quality in the amateur and ham funtion becasue I know they are designed for that. I just want to be able to monitor digital trunking systems with a handheld which is durable. Also it needs to have at least an alpha numeric display.
 

gewecke

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I did look at the yaesu and yes I agree they look like very nice radios, that are built strong. the vx 8gr looks to have the widest reciever but it would be nice to pick up lowband because some fire dept still dispatch over low band. Also I did not want to compare these radios to there quality in the amateur and ham funtion becasue I know they are designed for that. I just want to be able to monitor digital trunking systems with a handheld which is durable. Also it needs to have at least an alpha numeric display.
Look at the vx6r instead. It does have alphanumeric ability,and vhf low band but it is not digital, none of them as of yet will receive P25.

73,
n9zas
 

RadioDaze

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I find the Yaesu radios to be satisfactory in terms of ruggedness and reliability. I would LOVE to have a P25 trunking scanner of the same build. And I would gladly pay 2x to 3x more for it than I do for the current Uniden and GRE products.

But the salient issue is that Yaesu sells a lot of ham and commercial radios. I don't predict the same sales volumes if they built a scanner capable of what we need. So it would require a much higher price for them to recoup their investment.
 

Thayne

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Don't forget that making a handheld that covers all popular bands presents problems in approaching the performance of a single band radio; but making them physically tougher would sure be possible---
 

zz0468

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I think that's a bit of an exaggeration! I could drive nails with my VX-170 that cost less than $150. Yet I am afraid of looking at my $500 scanners in a rough way.
Consider this for a moment...

Your typical $500 scanner has crappy performance and a crappy box to hold it together. Merely making it a tougher box wouldn't triple the price, not by a long shot.

But the market for a crappy receiver in a good box apparently isn't there, or it would be out there.

One of the things people complain about with their scanners is receiver performance, along with the fact that it's in a crappy box. So, what would it take to improve performance?

The synthesizers in scanners are junk. They have lots of spurs and a horrible amount of phase noise. The spurs cause spurious responses (how about that!), and the phase noise makes it seem like the receiver just isn't very sensitive, when the reality is, it's plenty sensitive enough.

The front ends are crappy, too. It doesn't take much to overload the front end of a scanner. A wideband, uncrunchable front end can be built, but it's not going to be cheap. Neither is a quieter, cleaner synthesizer.

But all of that would be required in order to pique MY interest in a scanner built into a better box. And the final price tag? Probably $1500. A bargain, if you ask me.

Your $150 is a single band, single mode radio that doesn't have to anywhere near as complex as a scanner, especially a trunk-tracking scanner that will also do Motorola type II and EDACS, and P25 2 slot TDMA. That's a lot of processing power that has to be present, and accounts for a good chunk of that $500 you're spending on that scanner in the crappy box.
 

RadioDaze

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Your typical $500 scanner has crappy performance and a crappy box to hold it together. Merely making it a tougher box wouldn't triple the price, not by a long shot.
And I would pay a little more for that tougher box.

But all of that would be required in order to pique MY interest in a scanner built into a better box. And the final price tag? Probably $1500. A bargain, if you ask me.
And I would probably pay that for such a scanner. But most private citizens are NOT in a position to do so. And agencies are grudgingly buying their essential 2-way radios, let alone spending funds on scanners.

Even with high sales volume, Motorola radios cost a mint. Imagine the cost of that scanner when there aren't enough people who will pay the $1500. So then it has to be $2500, and there are even fewer people who will pay that. Eventually you conclude that it makes no $en$e to even try.
 

fireboat61

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Consider this for a moment...

Your typical $500 scanner has crappy performance and a crappy box to hold it together. Merely making it a tougher box wouldn't triple the price, not by a long shot.

But the market for a crappy receiver in a good box apparently isn't there, or it would be out there.

One of the things people complain about with their scanners is receiver performance, along with the fact that it's in a crappy box. So, what would it take to improve performance?

The synthesizers in scanners are junk. They have lots of spurs and a horrible amount of phase noise. The spurs cause spurious responses (how about that!), and the phase noise makes it seem like the receiver just isn't very sensitive, when the reality is, it's plenty sensitive enough.

The front ends are crappy, too. It doesn't take much to overload the front end of a scanner. A wideband, uncrunchable front end can be built, but it's not going to be cheap. Neither is a quieter, cleaner synthesizer.

But all of that would be required in order to pique MY interest in a scanner built into a better box. And the final price tag? Probably $1500. A bargain, if you ask me.

Your $150 is a single band, single mode radio that doesn't have to anywhere near as complex as a scanner, especially a trunk-tracking scanner that will also do Motorola type II and EDACS, and P25 2 slot TDMA. That's a lot of processing power that has to be present, and accounts for a good chunk of that $500 you're spending on that scanner in the crappy box.
I agree I have spent lots of money on all kinds of radios. I would spend $1500 no problem on an improved scanner which was capable of digital p25 and computer programmable for firmware updates. I could sell all of my motorola radios.
 

zz0468

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I agree I have spent lots of money on all kinds of radios. I would spend $1500 no problem on an improved scanner which was capable of digital p25 and computer programmable for firmware updates. I could sell all of my motorola radios.
Ok, so there's a few of us that would pay $1500, but is that enough to make it worth while for a manufacturer? I don't think so.

But ask UPman. He's weighed in on this thread, he'd be the guy to tell us what the manufacturers think.
 
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