P25 Scanner

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ka1njl

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My local county, Monroe (NY), recently switched to an APCO P25 system and I have to think about a new scanner to supplement the ones that are all of a sudden obsolete. It has been a while since I bought one so I am a bit rusty on the choices. It looks like a GRE PSR600 or Uniden BCD996XLT are my primary choices for a base rig. Can anyone provide any insights that will help me choose?

73
 
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brandon

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Both are excellent radios. If you plan to use an outdoor antenna and live anywhere near NYC, then you'll want the Uniden. If you want the best sounding digital audio, the PSR-600 has the lead. Good luck!
 

Rochound2003

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Knowing what an RF nightmare some parts of Monroe can be I would say it depends on where in the county you are located. My choice would be for the Uniden if you are in the City as GRE's can become so desensitized that they just go silent. I have used both Uniden (pro-2066, BC100XLT, BC780XLT, Pro-162 and Pro-160) and GRE (pro-93 and Pro-163). Overall both brands have issues when downtown and out south of Marketplace Mall. When I purchased the Pro-162 I also got a Pro-163 to compare and While the Pro-163 did a little better on receiving Genesee Counties 800Mhz system while in MC the 162 did slightly better with almost everything else and wasnt as irritating to listen too. My ears couldn't take the extreme treble of the 163. If you don't want to put up an external antenna either brand will work good if you are in the close suburbs of Rochester if you are farther out then an external antenna may work fine on the GRE. I get to Rochester once in awhile as my parents live in Greece and my wife works near the UofR(we live in Genesee County) and the Pro-162 works great all around the area with only the RS800 antenna on it, any more antenna and I start to get intermod when around the Innerloop, when I had the Pro-163 it would go deaf by the 390/490 interchange wioth the same antenna.

From my experience GRE are a little more sensitive which helps in the 800 range but the lack of selectivity generally hurts it in the 460 and 150 range compared to Unidens so thier overall performance is quite similar with detail differences. As far as which one will decode MC's P25 stream better that I do not know as I am saving to by a new scanner this summer(I miss listening to the city cops and all the action at night).

Hope this helps a little or at least spurs someone with more P25 experience to post.
 

Drafin

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Lots of RF interference can cause overloading. Which can cause them not to pick up. I have used my PSR500 in a large city and never had any problem, but that's just my experience. Others have reported overloading.

As always YMMV.

Draf
 

rmiller818

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Okay, I have read enough threads like this about "Get Uniden for cities and GRE for other areas"

Well I own a Pro-106 and a 396XT and carry them with me wherever I go and this is what I experience.

I live in a metro/suburban area so there is plenty of interference. When monitoring my county's digital trunk system my Pro-106 does better most of the time. All this interference that is talked about doesn't seem to affect my scanner's reception of this digital trunk system (and if it did then it is affecting both equally)

The other day I was parked almost directly under a cell tower. My pro-106 was chattering away as usual while my 396XT was silent, I looked at the display and the 396XT couldn't even find the control channel.


Now, with that said, I will agree that if you were monitoring an analog system or some analog conventional channel the 396XT would be a better choice, especially near cell towers, as you don't hear static along with transmission like you would on the 106.

Guess my point is when it comes to digital, doesn't make as big of a difference as some seem to make it out. In fact while typing this at home, my 396XT can't find the control channel and my 106 is working like normal.

Don't get me wrong, I love both scanners still.
 

fourthhorseman

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Ahh,,now im seeing the full picture,,
I would agree,with my 106 i do get pretty solid RX here in Philly,

Thnk's for the clarification gents!
 

Astrak

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Have both a 106 and a 197 and they both do just fine in the Phoenix metro area. They do just fine listening to fire on VHF analog and do great on the 800/700mhz P25 RWC.
 

W6KRU

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I was doing radio relay duty for a D38 desert motorcycle race and tried this spot as it was nice and high between the two groups I was linking. I was surprised that my radio worked and not only that but my 396T was working fine as well.

 

ka1njl

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Fairport, ,New York
Thank you

Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I live on the edge of the county so you would think I live in an rf quiet environment but I actually live in the shadow of Baker Hill, the highest point in the county. Consequently there are a lot of transmitters there and desensing is something I need to be concerned about. Your recommendations lead me to buy the Uniden. I will take a harder look at it. Again, thanks.

73
 
D

DaveNF2G

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Much of the trouble with RF overload on scanners is failure to use the scanner's features correctly.

On my GRE and Uniden scanners, I get far better results in high RF environments simply by turning on the attenuator.
 

rmiller818

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Much of the trouble with RF overload on scanners is failure to use the scanner's features correctly.

On my GRE and Uniden scanners, I get far better results in high RF environments simply by turning on the attenuator.
Yea, I forgot to mention that. On my 106 I pretty much leave the attenuator on for the system. My 396XT I can't because it pretty much goes deaf.
 
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