Recommendation for solid 800 trunked scanner

lb2910

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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.
I am currently using the Remtronix now. LOVE that antenna... MUCH better than the stock one. I'm looking into a base antenna that covers all bands since I live close to a lot of towers and activity but far enough that the Remtronix doesn't pull in. I live close to Regan National Airport (KDCA) to only hear sporadic traffic. I live close to Washington DC but far enough where the Remtronix doesn't pull in the radio traffic with any consistency. There are other things I want to tune in to and I think having a base antenna will help get the most out of this expensive scanner. Hence me asking about solid base antennas.. Hope that helps...
 

lb2910

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Quick update on my SDS100 experience and a quick (and probably dumb) question regarding trunked systems. So far, the SDS100 is performing great. I'm in the process of installing an outdoor antenna to better pick up radio traffic in my area. That said, the Remtronix antenna really does wonders with this unit. I highly recommend anyone getting the SDS100 to pick up the Remtronix antenna. Additionally, this unit has so many features, it boggles my mind to understand them all. But I'm learning and enjoying this unit.

So for the question... I'm listening to my local public service 800MHz trunked simulcast system. I updated (and update regularly) the database to ensure I have the latest freqs. With my limited knowledge of trunked systems, I know that there is a bank or "trunk" of freqs that each agency is allocated. And each trunk has a primary and alternate control freq that essentially hands out an available freq to a radio user when they PTT. When I created my favorites list for my local PD, I'm able to listen to the primary dispatch with no issues. However, all the other channels such as the "talk around/CH 2", other districts, motors, etc don't come over the scanner. I understand that some of these might be encrypted and obviously no worries on that. But I'm almost certain some of the other channels are not encrypted. Is there something I'm missing with how I program the trunked simulcast system to scan? Note that I used Sentinel to program the scanner by highlighting all the freqs for a particular agency, then put them into their own favorites list. I then uploaded that list to the scanner. I apologize if this is a super dumb question but I'm pretty new at this new generation of digital/trunked/P25/Simulcast scanning... Thanks as always for any help.
 

trap5858

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Make sure you are also loading the various talk groups in the systems you are monitoring. Also, enable the service types such as law dispatch and law talk. Another thing to check is the length of dwell time- this is the length of time the scanner waits for a reply before resuming scanning. Keep working at it, you are doing well.
 

jaspence

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At this time, Uniden makes the last released models. They were released in the 2nd quarter of 2018. Rumors pop up occasionally about new models, but with the parts shortage and economic situation, it is unlikely anything new will appear in the near future.
 

lb2910

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Make sure you are also loading the various talk groups in the systems you are monitoring. Also, enable the service types such as law dispatch and law talk. Another thing to check is the length of dwell time- this is the length of time the scanner waits for a reply before resuming scanning. Keep working at it, you are doing well.
Thanks @trap5858. For the talk groups, is there a way I can confirm this? When I uploaded all the freqs to my favorite list, I copied and pasted all the "channels" that were showing in that particular agency. I've also confirmed that law dispatch and law tac are enabled. For law talk, I can't enable that and all I have are three dashes in that option. This may be the issue?
 

DanRollman

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The sds200 is optimal in a base situation with the larger display and solid stationary positioning.
For the "solid stationary positioning" consider this The Best Uniden SDS100 Drop-In Wide-Base Desk Stand - Made in USA - Fast Ship | eBay stand. I know it looks a little gimicky, but I bought one for the SDS100 on the desk in my office downtown and it is terrific. Frankly, I now wish I could get rid of the SDS200 on my desk in my office at the house and replace it with another SDS100 in one of these stands. I agree with others who complain about the sound of the SDS200, and I'd just rather have an SDS100 in one of these desk stands so that it is sturdy on the desk, sounds good, and I can grab it and take it with me inside or outside the house as needed. This stand has worked great for me. With one of these stands and a Remtronix antenna, the SDS100 is all you need.
 

trentbob

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For the "solid stationary positioning" consider this The Best Uniden SDS100 Drop-In Wide-Base Desk Stand - Made in USA - Fast Ship | eBay stand. I know it looks a little gimicky, but I bought one for the SDS100 on the desk in my office downtown and it is terrific. Frankly, I now wish I could get rid of the SDS200 on my desk in my office at the house and replace it with another SDS100 in one of these stands. I agree with others who complain about the sound of the SDS200, and I'd just rather have an SDS100 in one of these desk stands so that it is sturdy on the desk, sounds good, and I can grab it and take it with me inside or outside the house as needed. This stand has worked great for me. With one of these stands and a Remtronix antenna, the SDS100 is all you need.
Thanks... I use the inverted mobile mount for the sds200 and level it straight... It's drilled into my old wood nightstand and is real solid, I pair it with a tri-band ground plane Sputnik. My 100 is permanently mounted in my car paired with a newer version Larsen tri-band permanently mounted on my car. The plastic mounts for these radios look sweet.
 

trentbob

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Thanks @trap5858. For the talk groups, is there a way I can confirm this? When I uploaded all the freqs to my favorite list, I copied and pasted all the "channels" that were showing in that particular agency. I've also confirmed that law dispatch and law tac are enabled. For law talk, I can't enable that and all I have are three dashes in that option. This may be the issue?
If You don't see a service-type to to turn on and you only have a blank then there are no objects using that service type programmed into your radio. You should enable all service types that you are able to. If you program an object that has a service-type you don't have yet it will automatically be added to the list and will be on.
 

maus92

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Quick update on my SDS100 experience and a quick (and probably dumb) question regarding trunked systems. So far, the SDS100 is performing great. I'm in the process of installing an outdoor antenna to better pick up radio traffic in my area. That said, the Remtronix antenna really does wonders with this unit. I highly recommend anyone getting the SDS100 to pick up the Remtronix antenna. Additionally, this unit has so many features, it boggles my mind to understand them all. But I'm learning and enjoying this unit.

So for the question... I'm listening to my local public service 800MHz trunked simulcast system. I updated (and update regularly) the database to ensure I have the latest freqs. With my limited knowledge of trunked systems, I know that there is a bank or "trunk" of freqs that each agency is allocated. And each trunk has a primary and alternate control freq that essentially hands out an available freq to a radio user when they PTT. When I created my favorites list for my local PD, I'm able to listen to the primary dispatch with no issues. However, all the other channels such as the "talk around/CH 2", other districts, motors, etc don't come over the scanner. I understand that some of these might be encrypted and obviously no worries on that. But I'm almost certain some of the other channels are not encrypted. Is there something I'm missing with how I program the trunked simulcast system to scan? Note that I used Sentinel to program the scanner by highlighting all the freqs for a particular agency, then put them into their own favorites list. I then uploaded that list to the scanner. I apologize if this is a super dumb question but I'm pretty new at this new generation of digital/trunked/P25/Simulcast scanning... Thanks as always for any help.
What system are you seeing "talk around / ch2"?

"Talkaround" traditionally means transmitting and receiving on the receive frequency of the channel pair, i.e. talking around a repeater or simplex. This is inherently short ranged as it does not access a tower site to repeat the message. With trunked systems, you commonly see a talk group named "talkaround" which is basically a carry-over of nomenclature from an older system - it describes the purpose of the channel (talk group in this case), usually a tac channel for car-to-car, informal comms that doesn't require dispatcher assistance.

Talk around / simplex is also used by some fire departments for fireground ops when building attenuation prevents portable radios from reaching a tower site. This is also inherently short range.

You mention that you have a SDR. There is software out there that logs control channel data, which is helpful in identifying talk groups in use, and which ones are encrypted - plus a lot of other useful info.
 

lb2910

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What system are you seeing "talk around / ch2"?

"Talkaround" traditionally means transmitting and receiving on the receive frequency of the channel pair, i.e. talking around a repeater or simplex. This is inherently short ranged as it does not access a tower site to repeat the message. With trunked systems, you commonly see a talk group named "talkaround" which is basically a carry-over of nomenclature from an older system - it describes the purpose of the channel (talk group in this case), usually a tac channel for car-to-car, informal comms that doesn't require dispatcher assistance.

Talk around / simplex is also used by some fire departments for fireground ops when building attenuation prevents portable radios from reaching a tower site. This is also inherently short range.

You mention that you have a SDR. There is software out there that logs control channel data, which is helpful in identifying talk groups in use, and which ones are encrypted - plus a lot of other useful info.
@maus92 .. I definitely thought about that very scenario. I do live on the outer fringes of the city limits so the fact that the TA channels are typically point to point, I could be out of range of those. I plan on solving that by installing an outdoor antenna.

For the SDR software you mentioned, what is the name or website to download that software? I can set up my SDR and do some searching for those as well. I appreciate the help and info!!!
 

maus92

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@maus92 .. I definitely thought about that very scenario. I do live on the outer fringes of the city limits so the fact that the TA channels are typically point to point, I could be out of range of those. I plan on solving that by installing an outdoor antenna.

For the SDR software you mentioned, what is the name or website to download that software? I can set up my SDR and do some searching for those as well. I appreciate the help and info!!!
There are several packages, but I use Unitrunker version 2.1.xxx. Note that it is developmental software, but it is frequently updated with new features and bug fixes. I've been using it for several years. To get the software, you need to join the Unitrunker Google Group. Once accepted, look for the thread with the latest release, which I believe is Preview 90. You need a decent computer that runs Windows 8 or above, 64 bits. It will produce audio on most types of systems but is not optimized for simulcast, and does not decode Phase 2 audio.
 
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