TRX-2: Pros and Cons

N1GAW

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CONS: Simulcast issues, not true NXDN and DMR trunked tracking, if you want duplicate systems must manually enter/update dups

PROS: Easier to use (IN MY OPINION) software, doesn't require LCN, more efficient scanning.
 

pgates

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Jul 28, 2007
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I like both of my TRX-2 radios. I don't monitor NXDN but, the radio tracks the multi-site Motorola DMR trunked system in my town with no trouble. In fact, friends of mine marvel at the abilities of my TRX-2 compared to some of their more expensive gear. One of them even struggles to monitor the local trunked DMR system with his Motorola-brand handie-talkie. I like the removable control head. From my reply to a previous such question:
    1. Having all the entitlements in-place when you purchase. No need to purchase anything additional if you want to explore monitoring other modes.
    2. Updateable onboard database that is easily loaded from the front panel, if you're in need of a rough-and-ready monitoring of a new area.
    3. Small magnetically-mounted remote head for easy mobile installation. It's the only part of my TRX-2 you can see anywhere in my car and takes very little dash space. Concerned about theft? Take it off the mount and stow it. Radio will run without the head attached, once started.
    4. "object-oriented" configuration which allows for much flexibility in scanning, if you choose.
    5. Front-of-radio headphone jack.
    6. LED alert for specific talk groups or frequencies, if you choose.
    7. Easy to remove previously-skipped channels.
    8. I like the search options: spectrum sweeper, service search, limit search, tuning.
    9. V-scanner!
    10. I like that it will play a busy signal sound (if I choose) for encrypted channels. Just so I know something's going on.
  1. Don't like?
    1. I wish I could create new virtual scanners from the front panel.
    2. I think it's slow. I haven't measured this and, it could be my configuration but, it doesn't seem to swap through channels very quickly.
    3. The painfully long boot-up time. Although, that also could possibly be improved through some attention to my configuration.
  2. Why you bought the TRX-2 over the Uniden models?
    1. I have a bit of a history with GRE scanners (the design company that market scanning receivers under their own name as well as quite a few for Radio Shack). I still use my well-loved PSR-500 nearly daily. Whistler Group purchased the intellectual property from GRE when they were no longer able to carry on as a viable business. That IP is much of what we see in Whistler scanning receivers.
    2. The TRX-2 was a better value for me as it included all the modes that interested me as well as the database updates.
  3. How is it on simulcast?
    1. Uncertain. There are strong opinions about this but, I don't know that I have any experience with it. Not all areas have services with multicast radio systems. And, even if you are in a multicast area, your experience with it is likely going to be determined by your location and your configuration of the receiver.
  4. I love using both of my TRX-2 receivers, one in my vehicle and, one in my home.
 

k5xs

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Not direct replies to your questions (sorry), but I’ll offer anyway:

Love my two TRX-1 scanners (which are similar in design to the TRX-2). They are sensitive and pretty good at rejecting out-of-band signals.

What I don’t love is the whole simulcast thing. I miss a LOT of calls on our local system now. I know this because I bought a Uniden SDS-100, and it receives those calls when the TRX-1 just misses them when the scanners are setting side by side.
 

gmclam

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I agree with k5xs. The other issues I found are:
- You must program with EZ Scan. I don't like being required to use a single source for anything
- The TRX-1 has low volume on many channels to the point you can't hear what you want. Yes there is an audio boost, bit it's a lot of work to go through and figure out which channels need what. And to balance things out, you really should turn channels down; but then there's the whole low audio issue. An external amplified speaker helps. After saying all that, if EVERYTHING you are going to monitor is digital, you may not experience this problem. And since the TRX-2 is not powered from 6v batteries, the volume may be better anyway (although channels will still differ).
 

Ubbe

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The TRX-2 have an excellent DMR decoder and tracks every call in smaller systems.
The speaker audio are loud and clear.
The audio recorder system are very versatile and flexible.
You can import from cliboard and textfiles.
There are many features that can be set to each frequency and TG.
The delay can be set from 0sec up to 60sec in 1/10th increments.
Alerts and lights are fully featured and lights stay on for the whole conversation.
Spectrum sweeper are much more sensitive with longer range that Unidens CloseCall but are also slower to find the frequency.
Headphone jack can also supply a clean discriminator signal that are perfect for external decoders. That also makes it possible to listen to how the scanner goes through the different systems during scan.
Different decoders for digital systems are included in the scanner.
It compiles the scanlists so that each analog frequency are only scanned ones in a scan cycle to speed up scan rate.
The signal strenght bars can be individually programmed to be actually usefull.

The bad things are that RF sensitivity are not as good as in other scanners. At least not in my scanner when measured with a signal generator.
VHF are easily overloaded.
The whole scanner looks and feels outdated.
The squelch lacks compensation to adapt to different noise levels in different frequency bands, like Uniden has in its service mode, and most commercial radios.
Squelch uses too high hysteres. It opens too high in RF level and closes too late when the signal are too noisy.
There's no audio level compensating when switching between NFM and FM mode, and are probaby also why the squelch acts so weird as it needs to handle both modes without any compensating switching taking place.
The display are too small and lacks information.
Keypad are terrible with hard to push buttons.
USB interface and SD interface seems to be too slow and have bugs that somehow makes the front panel loose contact with main unit, or the interface to the remote cable are also too slow and have bugs, and sometimes recording files that writes to the SD card gets somehow interupted and doesn't close the file properly making the file system corrupt.
There's no bandplan settings that can be modified by the user.
Extremly limited frequency search system.
You have to manually restore temporary locked out channels as they are not restored after a power cycle.
To make a frequency or TG permanently locked out so it wont be cleared by the restore function, you have to go into the menu system and change the skip buttons function to a lockout button and then skip the frequency/TG, which then have dissapeared from the display as the scanner restarts the scan sequence when leaving the menu.
It cannot automaticly switch between analog mode and digital DMR/NXDN.
P25 mode seems to always be enabled in conventional analog mode and have a delay until it unmutes, similar to Unidens Digital Waiting Time, but are not user selectable.
The recording audio have a delay due to the DSP but the recording start and stop are not compensated for this and record a noise burst before the carrier and clips the last syllable in a conventional analog conversation.
There's no high pass audio filter to cut off subtones from the audio and CTCSS tones can get very loud and annoying.
The audio amplifier are enabled very slow and audio starts late and miss first syllable, but will also mask off that initial noise burst. Other scanners will let you hear a pulsating carrier but the slow audio start of TRX-2 never opens up the speaker audio on those signals but the display shows it.
Dial button goes backwards and turning it "forward" clockwise will scroll in the menu, and thru the character set while editing alpha tags, backwards.
Every time you edit something on the scanner it starts to recompile the scanlists before it continues to scan again.
The user interface are not the best and the menu system sometimes hides options that only appear when you start to back out from the menu.
Display backlights lowest setting are too bright for vehicle use at night.
The awkward squelch makes it impossible to decode weak digital signals during scan.
The file system uses compressed and/or encrypted files that stops you from doing any modifications to the programming or to make a third party programming software.

/Ubbe
 

ngel

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There's no bandplan settings that can be modified by the user.
Not sure what you mean here , but I have modified the band plans many times on a P25 system locally.

There is a normal, auto, and custom setting under system and site settings. In the custom section you can change any of these settings manually to whatever you choose. I have done this in the software and manually on the scanner through settings.


It cannot automaticly switch between analog mode and digital DMR/NXDN.
P25 mode seems to always be enabled in conventional analog mode and have a delay until it unmutes, similar to Unidens Digital Waiting Time, but are not user selectable.
I have all my conventional channels set up as auto. Doesn’t matter if it’s DMR, NXDN, P25 or just analog, there is no delay and my scanner never has a hard time figuring which mode automatically as long as you have it set that way. On a local ham channel there is analog and DMR on that particular repeater and the scanner always seems to switch on its own without an issue.

these are just my own findings on my TRX1
 
Last edited:

SirSkinny

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Ubbe is correct you cannot change the band-plans of the radio, The band-plans that you can select for the US and Canada
versions do not match other regions, its hard coded no adjustment, They have an E version firmware for the TRX-1 & TRX-2
which has matching band-plans to various regions, still not adjustable.

From the Release notes

Differences between North American and Non-North American Versions:

Note: This version of software will install TRX-2e firmware into any TRX-2 scanner.
This firmware changes many aspects of the scanner's operation to be more in line with the supported countries.
Switching between the North American version of firmware and the Non-North American version of firmware will change the following items:
  • Due to file format changes to support the various search functions outside the United States and Canada, many global configuration options will be reset to their default values.
  • The United States and Canada band-plans will be removed from the scanner and PC App.
  • Bandplans for the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, France, and South Africa will be available in the scanner and the PC App. Note that these band-plans will not include frequencies prohibited by U.S. Law.
  • All library and Location set options will be removed from the scanner and PC App.
  • Weather radio functions will be removed from the scanner and PC App. The WX button will act as a quick access button for a preset search function defined by the user.
  • Search services available in the scanner and PC App will change based on the country bandplan selected.
 

Ubbe

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I have all my conventional channels set up as auto. Doesn’t matter if it’s DMR, NXDN, P25 or just analog, there is no delay and my scanner never has a hard time figuring which mode automatically as long as you have it set that way.
these are just my own findings on my TRX1
Could it work differently in a TRX-1? What settings do you use on a conventional channel to have it go automaticly from analog to digital? I had a conversation with the software guy at Whistler that did the EZ-Scan software and he came back with the confirmation that it only switches between different digital modes and cannot switch between analog and digital.
On a local ham channel there is analog and DMR on that particular repeater and the scanner always seems to switch on its own without an issue.
That's exactly how you want it to work. I now use the TRX-2e setting but it was the same problem with the latest US firmware for TRX-2. And you haven't solved it by using two channels with the same frequency, one using CTCSS and the other set to DMR? You have the most use of an auto mode while in a frequency search of a band where it is a mix of analog and digital frequencies. Does the TRX-1 do auto mode switching even in frequency search mode?

/Ubbe
 

ngel

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Does the TRX-1 do auto mode switching even in frequency search mode?
/Ubbe[/QUOTE]

Yes it does on my TRX-1. In the search menu there is some check boxes for like DMR, P25 ETC.... I leave all those unchecked, as if their checked they will only check for those specific modes. Unchecked will open up any conversation on a channel no matter what mode , from what I have found with my TRX-1. Mine will automatically figure out the mode once it stops on a conversation. Every now and then there are some hiccups especially if the signal of the frequency is not that good.

As far as the band plan are you talking about being able to change the Country band plan or a specific system band plan such as in a P25 system?
 

jaspence

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Both of mine switch from analog to digital seamlessly, but there is little NXDN in my area so I can only verify this on P25 and DMR. I also have good simulcast results due to my location. This discussion is comparing radios that were designed years apart and are based on different technologies in their receive abilities. That is like comparing a modern hybrid car with a 4 cylinder compact of 10 years ago. If you want real flexibility and quality, take a look at the IC-R30. Many say it is not a true scanner, but once you get through the 2 manuals you will have more listening capabilities and flexibilty than any Uniden or Whistler.
 

ngel

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[/QUOTE]
This discussion is comparing radios that were designed years apart and are based on different technologies in their receive abilities. That is like comparing a modern hybrid car with a 4 cylinder compact of 10 years ago. If you want real flexibility and quality, take a look at the IC-R30. Many say it is not a true scanner, but once you get through the 2 manuals you will have more listening capabilities and flexibilty than any Uniden or Whistler.
@jaspence I thought TRX-1 and TRX-2 were identical with programming and using the software etc...?
 

SirSkinny

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As far as the band plan are you talking about being able to change the Country band plan or a specific system band plan such as in a P25 system?
Yes the Country specific band plan (aka: default band coverage) that's what you are unable to adjust,
the TRX-1 & TRX-2 are identical in programing & software.

--
Skinny
 

CycleSycho

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.


:) I am glad I live within the 'pre-programed' capability of the Whistler programmable scanners. :)

:eek: Good luck otherwise... :eek:

:) Give hobbyists the ability to select ALL systems and capabilities (frequencies) past, present, and future. Simple??? Guess not? :()


.
 

slhbeard

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I agree with post#2. It is a great scanner which works well with both NXDN and DMR. You may have trouble programming at first, but once you figure it out, you will like it. If you have problems, just call Whistler. They will help you. You can post here also and there are plenty of people that will walk you thru everything.
 

Machria

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TRX-2 is a serious PITA compared to the TRX-1, imho. Buy the TRX-1 and you'll be happier.
Whats different? I was under the impression they were the exact same scanner, just packed different for mobile/desk mounting VS handheld NO?

I have and love the TRX1, and am just contemplating getting a TRX2 for the desk, so I don't have to fiddle with the handheld...
 
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