Recommendation for solid 800 trunked scanner

hiegtx

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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?
Don't buy any of the upgrades through whichever dealer you order from. Depending on the seller, they add $15 to as much as $40 to the cost of the upgrade. You can purchase direct from Uniden & save the money. Also, don't pay a dealer to program it. They'll only add the systems for your area that are in the database. You can do that yourself, by updating the scanner's database via Sentinel, then scanning using your location, range, & service types, or by appending from the main database in Sentinel on your PC. There are a number of 'how-to' videos on YouTube, as well as online resources here on RadioReference to help you get up & running.

I would not do any upgrades until you get the scanner, & use it a few days to make sure there are no problems, and you're going to keep it. If you immediately added upgrades, but then there was some sort of issue (possible, though not likely) where you needed to return it, the upgrades cannot be transferred to another scanner.

There appear to be no systems in your area using ProVoice, so that upgrade would not be of use. ProVoice is no longer supported by it's manufacturer, so no new systems will be put into service.

Look at the database for your location, and the surrounding counties, to see what DMR and NXDN systems are in the database. These formats are commonly used by businesses, though some smaller public safety agencies also use them, as well as certain facilities, like a hospital, hotel or sports complex. If any of those interest you, then you can always add the upgrade whenever you're ready.
 

lb2910

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Don't buy any of the upgrades through whichever dealer you order from. Depending on the seller, they add $15 to as much as $40 to the cost of the upgrade. You can purchase direct from Uniden & save the money. Also, don't pay a dealer to program it. They'll only add the systems for your area that are in the database. You can do that yourself, by updating the scanner's database via Sentinel, then scanning using your location, range, & service types, or by appending from the main database in Sentinel on your PC. There are a number of 'how-to' videos on YouTube, as well as online resources here on RadioReference to help you get up & running.

I would not do any upgrades until you get the scanner, & use it a few days to make sure there are no problems, and you're going to keep it. If you immediately added upgrades, but then there was some sort of issue (possible, though not likely) where you needed to return it, the upgrades cannot be transferred to another scanner.

There appear to be no systems in your area using ProVoice, so that upgrade would not be of use. ProVoice is no longer supported by it's manufacturer, so no new systems will be put into service.

Look at the database for your location, and the surrounding counties, to see what DMR and NXDN systems are in the database. These formats are commonly used by businesses, though some smaller public safety agencies also use them, as well as certain facilities, like a hospital, hotel or sports complex. If any of those interest you, then you can always add the upgrade whenever you're ready.

SUPER solid advice... thanks @hiegtx .. I will hold off on any software upgrades until after I get the unit and let it run for a bit... I plan on using the SDS100 as mainly a desktop scanner but obviously with the mobile option if I want to bring it with me. Given that, are there any accessories that you'd recommend to make it perform at its max potential? Here are the accessories I plan on getting: REMtronix antenna (since I'll mainly be listening to 700-800Mhz bands, desktop stand and cup holder stand for when I take in the truck with me. I'll use the included power adapter to just run it off house power while its on my desk. Anything else you'd suggest?
 

hiegtx

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SUPER solid advice... thanks @hiegtx .. I will hold off on any software upgrades until after I get the unit and let it run for a bit... I plan on using the SDS100 as mainly a desktop scanner but obviously with the mobile option if I want to bring it with me. Given that, are there any accessories that you'd recommend to make it perform at its max potential? Here are the accessories I plan on getting: REMtronix antenna (since I'll mainly be listening to 700-800Mhz bands, desktop stand and cup holder stand for when I take in the truck with me. I'll use the included power adapter to just run it off house power while its on my desk. Anything else you'd suggest?
The Remtronix antenna is a good choice for 700/800MHz systems.
I use this adapter to power my SDS100 in my SUV. It has a cable with the mini-USB end that fits the scanner. Also has two additional USB ports for other devices. More than enough power to both run & charge my SDS100, plus also power a second scanner, such as one of my 436HPs.

Should you want another, spare, cable, look for one like this:

It has heavier wires for the power circuit. Some of the cheaper cables you'll find online or at your local big box store only have the smaller, 28AWG wiring, which may not handle the power the scanner needs to both scan & charge at the same time.
 

lb2910

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The Remtronix antenna is a good choice for 700/800MHz systems.
I use this adapter to power my SDS100 in my SUV. It has a cable with the mini-USB end that fits the scanner. Also has two additional USB ports for other devices. More than enough power to both run & charge my SDS100, plus also power a second scanner, such as one of my 436HPs.

Should you want another, spare, cable, look for one like this:

It has heavier wires for the power circuit. Some of the cheaper cables you'll find online or at your local big box store only have the smaller, 28AWG wiring, which may not handle the power the scanner needs to both scan & charge at the same time.
Well... I took the plunge... got the SDS100 along with the antenna, adapter, spare cable and even a GPS set up for when I use it in the truck. Thanks for all the recommendations. I'll wager that I may ask some questions and guidance on programming that thing when I get it. Many thanks to all..
 

GregOH

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You should be able to zip code scan with it right outta the box if I remember correctly.

You could download Sentinel today and begin getting familiar with it and creating a favorites list. I did just that and my programming was ready before the scanner arrived.
 

lb2910

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You should be able to zip code scan with it right outta the box if I remember correctly.

You could download Sentinel today and begin getting familiar with it and creating a favorites list. I did just that and my programming was ready before the scanner arrived.
Ok... that sounds like a plan... I'll download it today and start messing around with it. Are there any more software programs I should look into that will help maximize the performance of the SDS100??
 

GregOH

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Ok... that sounds like a plan... I'll download it today and start messing around with it. Are there any more software programs I should look into that will help maximize the performance of the SDS100??
There are but I know nothing about them.

Have fun, you won't be disappointed!
 

hiegtx

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Ok... that sounds like a plan... I'll download it today and start messing around with it. Are there any more software programs I should look into that will help maximize the performance of the SDS100??
You can do your programming via Sentinel. Be sure to update it's database once you install it. When you first get your scanner, as well as when you first install Sentinel, the database will not be up to date. So, get it updated in Sentinel, then, when you get your scanner, write that update to the radio.

You can use Sentinel for programming, creating a Favorites either by appending systems from the database to a list, or simply using your location, range, & selected Service types to have Sentinel create a 'starter' list for you. Then you can tweak it to suit your preferences.

Software such as ProScan or ARC536 can also be used to create and/or edit Favorites lists. Should you, at some point, want to use logging or virtual control for the scanner, you'd need either ProScan ($50), or ARC536 Pro ($69.95; the Basic version of ARC536, $39.95, only handles programming). I prefer ProScan because it does everything that ARC536 Pro does, for less money, as well as ProScan supports many other models of Uniden scanners.

If you later become a Premium Subscriber, then you could use ProScan or ARC536 to import systems from the RadioReference database, selecting only what you want. You don't need Premium status to use Sentinel to append systems, but for larger regional or statewide systems, when you try to append only the specific departments of interest, it also appends all of the sites for the system. When that occurs, you can either set the sites not needed to Avoid status, delete them, or use location & range so that they are not enabled.

You may also want to review some of the information in the Wiki. Explore the links included in this set of pages:
SDS100 and SDS200 FAQ Page - The RadioReference Wiki
 

lb2910

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You can do your programming via Sentinel. Be sure to update it's database once you install it. When you first get your scanner, as well as when you first install Sentinel, the database will not be up to date. So, get it updated in Sentinel, then, when you get your scanner, write that update to the radio.

You can use Sentinel for programming, creating a Favorites either by appending systems from the database to a list, or simply using your location, range, & selected Service types to have Sentinel create a 'starter' list for you. Then you can tweak it to suit your preferences.

Software such as ProScan or ARC536 can also be used to create and/or edit Favorites lists. Should you, at some point, want to use logging or virtual control for the scanner, you'd need either ProScan ($50), or ARC536 Pro ($69.95; the Basic version of ARC536, $39.95, only handles programming). I prefer ProScan because it does everything that ARC536 Pro does, for less money, as well as ProScan supports many other models of Uniden scanners.

If you later become a Premium Subscriber, then you could use ProScan or ARC536 to import systems from the RadioReference database, selecting only what you want. You don't need Premium status to use Sentinel to append systems, but for larger regional or statewide systems, when you try to append only the specific departments of interest, it also appends all of the sites for the system. When that occurs, you can either set the sites not needed to Avoid status, delete them, or use location & range so that they are not enabled.

You may also want to review some of the information in the Wiki. Explore the links included in this set of pages:
SDS100 and SDS200 FAQ Page - The RadioReference Wiki

Based on your input, I'm going to sign up for Premium service here on RR... If nothing more than just to support this awesome website. I will definitely take advantage of the programming options with the premium subscription though. I looked into ProScan and was wondering if you had a preference between that and Sentinel. If I buy the ProScan license, can I use it to do all Sentinel things but also have more options? My goal is to streamline the programming workflow so, less is more if that makes sense. If I need both, no worries. The endgame for me and this new scanner is to set it up where when it sits on my desk, I can hear my local public service radio traffic with priority given to my local PD/FD, etc. When nothing is going on those channels, I can listen to neighboring agencies. I also like hearing aviation traffic and I live very close to Regan National Airport (KDCA). So that would be cool to listen to as well. Any other channels like HAM, etc is just icing on the cake. Hope all that makes sense. Thanks again for providing such great advice...
 

ka3jjz

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Just a note here, and I need to add this to the FAQ; you should have both Sentinel (which is free) and one of the other supporting apps. The reason is simple; if / when Uniden ever releases any firmware fixes (they haven't in a long time), only Sentinel can apply them. No other app will.

Mike
 

lb2910

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Just got my brand spankin new SDS100!!! HOLY CRAP.. this thing does like...everything! I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the options and capabilities this scanner can do. As everyone suggested, the first thing I did was update the firmware and database. I'm also learning to get my favorites lists populated. I know I'm just scratching the surface on this scanner but so far, I'm pretty happy. I like that it handles simulcast much better than my SDR Dongle set up. I'll spend the next day or so figuring out all the features and options. Thanks again to everyone that gave me great advice. If you have some cool tips or tricks, feel free to post them. I'm a newbie with this thing so I welcome any and all help. Stay safe...
 

trentbob

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Just got my brand spankin new SDS100!!! HOLY CRAP.. this thing does like...everything! I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the options and capabilities this scanner can do. As everyone suggested, the first thing I did was update the firmware and database. I'm also learning to get my favorites lists populated. I know I'm just scratching the surface on this scanner but so far, I'm pretty happy. I like that it handles simulcast much better than my SDR Dongle set up. I'll spend the next day or so figuring out all the features and options. Thanks again to everyone that gave me great advice. If you have some cool tips or tricks, feel free to post them. I'm a newbie with this thing so I welcome any and all help. Stay safe...
...
It won't be long before you have many questions and people here will help you. It's a steep learning curve but just think how you feel when you master it. You will be in a very small club LOL.
 

ka3jjz

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In addition, at the very bottom, are YouTube links for the 100 and 200. They may also be of help

Mike
 

lb2910

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In addition, at the very bottom, are YouTube links for the 100 and 200. They may also be of help

Mike
Excellent.. I'll be watching a lot of the resources here. When it comes to anything radio related, this place is the Everest of knowledge and help.. thanks to all...
 

N1XDS

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To be all honest it all depends if you want to listen to Provoice digital/DMR and NXDN. DMR is used in the DC area especially the Hotels which is nice. When I was in the DC all I listened to was FPS/Federal Protective Services during checks in they use the 400 mhz frequencies always good to listen to them when you get the chance to. I found one user that is using Icom IDAS but their using encryption. I say if it was me i would purchase the DMR and NXDN but its up to you.

- Jamie
 

ka3jjz

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Just looking at the trunk systems in the DC area, there's only 1 NXDN one, so if you're in range and are interested in it, then yes the NXDN upgrade makes sense. But you see a whole lot more DMR stuff there, and that would be the upgrade to get. ProVoice is EOL anyway and I would imagine that they will have to move to something else rather soon, so there's little point in getting that upgrade.


Mike
 

lb2910

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So if I was to get a solid, reliable outdoor base antenna for my SDS100, what would be my best option? I'm looking at the Diamond Discone antennas and the Spider Procomm base antennas as options. I need one that will give me the best reception over all bands. Either one of those two better than the other?
 

GregOH

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So if I was to get a solid, reliable outdoor base antenna for my SDS100, what would be my best option? I'm looking at the Diamond Discone antennas and the Spider Procomm base antennas as options. I need one that will give me the best reception over all bands. Either one of those two better than the other?
How far away from your location is the nearest site in the system? If you're not far away, the stock antenna or a Remtronix may be good enough.
 
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