Recommendation for solid 800 trunked scanner

lb2910

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I am looking into taking the plunge for a legit, solid scanner that has the best performance and capability for my area. I live in the Northern Virginia/Wash DC area. Most public service agencies are on 800MHz Simulcast trunked systems (i.e. Alexandria PD, Fairfax PD, DC Metro, etc). That said, I'd also like to listen to aviation and other interesting bands that reside in my area. I'm looking at the Uniden SDS200 desktop scanner but....yeah... thats a lot of coin to drop on a scanner. That said, my last scanner was in the early 1990s and used crystals to tune certain freqs.. :ROFLMAO:. I know... I'm old...

So, are there other options other than the SDS100/200 that would give me good solid performance given the area that I live? Any recommendations and help would be awesome... thanks to all for any help... Stay safe and healthy.
 

N1GAW

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Since you said simulcast, there are three choices, a SDR (under $100), a Unication ($600-700), or the SDS. Unication will not do aviation for you so that probably isn't a good choice.

That said, I urge you to check the database for the areas you want to listen to just to ensure they aren't encrypted as many systems in that area are.
 

lb2910

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Thanks @N1GAW... I actually do have an SDR set up. But while it does offer the ability to tune in to pretty much anything, I am looking to simplify by getting a desktop unit that covers as much as possible frequency-wise. And yes, you are correct that most channels are encrypted in my area. But the primary dispatch channels for our local public service agencies are not encrypted and thats all I really care about. I am able to listen to them on my SDR set up. Just a pain to set it all up and configure things. Hence me looking into an "all in one" sort of unit.

I guess based on your response, the SDS100/200 is about my only option other than the SDR huh?
 

N1GAW

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Maybe this will help, properly cared for the SDS will last you 5-10 years. So, lets go with 5 years/$700 = $140 a year, $12 a month, or less than 50 cents a day. Look at it that way and it's a real bargain :ROFLMAO:
 

lb2910

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@N1GAW… what about the Uniden BCD996P2 Scanner? Is that a viable option for my needs?

and I love the breakdown of the cost analysis. Haha. I can look at it as less than a cup of coffee per day. :ROFLMAO:
 

lb2910

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@N1GAW… what about the Uniden BCD996P2 Scanner? Is that a viable option for my needs?

and I love the breakdown of the cost analysis. Haha. I can look at it as less than a cup of coffee per day. :ROFLMAO:
meh. Never mind. Doesn’t handle simulcast. Ugh.
 

N1XDS

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hahaha. You beat me to it.

any advantage between the handheld and the desktop models?
One's smaller than the other :D..I have had both before selling the SDS100 handheld radio and radio works fine. The SDS200 is what I have now and always been a great mobile/desktop scanner when handling a simulcast system either Motorola or Harris. Both scanners are easy to program once you get the hang up of it and also you can change the background color of your LCD display of your choosing if you wish to do so.

- Jamie
 

lb2910

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One's smaller than the other :D..I have had both before selling the SDS100 handheld radio and radio works fine. The SDS200 is what I have now and always been a great mobile/desktop scanner when handling a simulcast system either Motorola or Harris. Both scanners are easy to program once you get the hang up of it and also you can change the background color of your LCD display of your choosing if you wish to do so.

- Jamie
Is there any difference in overall performance?
 

lb2910

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Mobility, if disaster strikes you can take it with you and monitor road/weather/zombie conditions as you flee
I’m leaning now towards the handheld. Just wondering about difference in performance between the two.
 

N1XDS

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Is there any difference in overall performance?
All depends on the user preference some like the portable SDS100 and some like the SDS200 desktop/mobile scanner. I like the SDS200 its easy to use I am able to use the scanner inside of my house and inside of my car without having any issues that may come up. On the SDS100 you can easily attach a outdoor coax connector to it so you be able to hear near/far away radio systems for instance Police/Sheriff/Fire/EMS and etc.
 

trentbob

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Is there any difference in overall performance?
All Sage advice here and I agree with it all... As far as actual performance surprisingly enough I own both of them and their equal in my eyes... and ears.

The sds200 is optimal in a base situation with the larger display and solid stationary positioning. It's true that you certainly can add an external antenna coax to the sds100 but I find it a little clumsy unless you actually have a dedicated aftermarket base to insert the radio in and they are out there.

The sds200 is more money. There's also some controversy about the speaker in the sds100 as being tinty, I personally like the sound of the SDS 100 oh, it's permanently mounted in my car and I do not use an external speaker as the earphone jack has very low audio output. I find the clearest, loudest crisp sound comes from the radio itself. On the sds200 by the bedside I clearly use a communication speaker.
 

trentbob

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ib2910... let us know what you end up doing, it would be interesting what you end up pulling the trigger on if anything... Bob.
 

lb2910

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ib2910... let us know what you end up doing, it would be interesting what you end up pulling the trigger on if anything... Bob.
As of now, I'm leaning towards the SDS100 since its portable and it seems the performance is no different than the SDS200 desktop version. I like the idea that I can bring it with me if needed. I'm not that concerned about the audio quality since I'm listening to people talk versus my favorite 80s station blasting out my favorite hair band tunes.. HAHA... Saving a few bucks also doesn't hurt. I will definitely keep you posted on my choice and maybe post a pic of the set up. I'll prob get an external antenna and maybe a mounted speaker if the audio is that "tinny"..

Anyone else having opinions on either the 100 or 200, feel free to chime in. The help on this thread has been OUTSTANDING... thanks to all!!!
 

lb2910

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My vote is for the sds100. I have used mine in the Alexandria VA and local area with good results. I do not visit there often but when I do, it is by my side.
Great to know @trap5858... So you have no issues hearing all the public service channels, etc?? I'm curious if you're able to pick up all the local stuff like Alexandria PD, DC Metro, Arlington, Fairfax Co PD, etc....
 

trap5858

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I has been over a year since I last visited my friend in the area- due to Covid. When I was there, I was able to receive all of the non encrypted public safety that I had programmed, I was also able to receive DC fire. I had not put in the police. It worked well for me.
 

lb2910

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Ok sports fans.. I've decided on the SDS100 after watching WAAAAAAAY too many reviews... The next thing I'd like to know is, do I need to buy one or all three upgrades (ProVoice, DMR and NXDN)?? Again, I live in the Washington DC/Northern VA area. I have zero clue what these do. Any thoughts?
 
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