Saving my pennies, what digital should I get?

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ObiHann

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I've wanted a digital for a while now, and with the very soon death of my local police feed, I am in need of one sooner. I sadly won't get one anytime close to when my local feed does down, but I should get one by the summer or early fall. I have two decisions to make to figure out what scanner I want, Uniden or GRE, and Mobile or Handleld. I'm hoping to get some opinions on why you all use mobile vs handheld.
 

N8IAA

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I've wanted a digital for a while now, and with the very soon death of my local police feed, I am in need of one sooner. I sadly won't get one anytime close to when my local feed does down, but I should get one by the summer or early fall. I have two decisions to make to figure out what scanner I want, Uniden or GRE, and Mobile or Handleld. I'm hoping to get some opinions on why you all use mobile vs handheld.
Best asked in the Eastern Canada Forum. They are the ones who can help you the best:) Otherwise, you will get a bombardment of which scanner everyone else likes for everywhere but where you live:D Not saying there aren't a few Canadiens who might drop by and give you some ideas.
HTH,
Larry
 

ObiHann

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I don't think that is true. I know what I need, and I said that above, a digital scanner. So I am asking a general question of what style is best, and what models you guys prefer. Thanks for not answering my question though :)
 

ObiHann

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That was pretty mean, now that I re-read it. I haven't had my coffee and it bugs when people just re-direct me, but, I shouldn't be a jerk.

Anyways, what do you prefer for brand and style?
 

fourthhorseman

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Personally,handheld is the way to go,can keep on my desk of coffee
table,out to the truck when cleaning it or doing work..in my pocket
when out walking the K9..

ive got a few radios,i needed a digital for RX here in philadelphia

i really liked my pro97,the size was perfect compared to my pro96
keypad layout was right for me,keypad middle,LDC top spkr bottom..

that ws the only factor that pushed me from the PSR 500 to the Pro 106

for more compact size and a couple extra features youll want the uniden
396T-396XT..

hope this helps mate!
 

Jay911

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The Uniden and GRE radios each have strengths and weaknesses. As for mobile vs handheld, that's something you need to answer yourself, based on what you want to do while scanning. If you want to carry it around places where you won't have either AC power or a car, you want a handheld. Handhelds work just fine in cars and homes as a quasi-"base"/"mobile". There used to be a better argument for a base/mobile when they were more robust and had different hardware inside, but these days, the 996XT is just a 396XT inside a larger case, and same with the PSR600 vs the PSR500, more or less. The one thing to concern yourself with is legalities - I don't think NS/NB have any issues with mobile scanning (I think, if I recall correctly, that MB is the only province with issues with that).

The Aliant TMRS (which I presume is what you would be listening to) is a Smartzone system. This doesn't matter in 99% of cases as far as scanners go - to scanners, it's just a "Motorola Type II" system - but if you plan to roam about the province, in my opinion, the GRE does a better job of handling switching to different sites in a multi-site trunking system. The GRE actually measures signal strength for all the control channels it can hear (I'm pretty sure of this) and uses the strongest one, while Uniden's design simply scans each site you have unlocked and tunes it in if the control channel can be picked up. So you could theoretically monitor a weak, distant trunk site with the Uniden, and get comms cutting in and out, whereas on the GRE PSR, you're much more likely to get a stronger signal.

One thing I noticed when I was taking a road trip thru Newfoundland a year or two back, was that the GRE appears to be a little poorer at picking up VHF signals than the Uniden, on stock handheld antenna. Aliant is an 800MHz system, so if you're listening to that, that's not so much of a problem.

The GRE does take a bit of mental gymnastics to get used to (the object-oriented memory storage) if you are used to the Uniden way of doing things (with systems having groups and groups having talkgroups/frequencies). In the GRE, every "object" - trunk system, talkgroup/conventional frequency, etc - can be linked to one of 20+ scan lists. So scan list 1 could be for Fire and contain both trunk talkgroups and conventional frequencies. On the Uniden, each system's groups are independent of one another, and each system can only contain trunk data OR conventional data, not both. So you could have one system with group 1 being fire, and that group having conventional frequencies, and another system (this one trunked), also with group 1 being fire, and that group having trunk talkgroups. You could switch either of those on or off at either the group or system level. On the GRE, if you have scan list 1 on, it's on across the board - trunk talkgroups, conventional freqs, search ranges, etc.

Also, Uniden has geolocation features (able to turn on/off systems by GPS coordinates if you plug in a GPS to the scanner), which I don't think GRE is capable of.

In short, the decision is yours to make - you need to lay out what exactly you want to do with the scanner, and evaluate each based on its strengths and weaknesses in each category.

Hope this helps!
 

ObiHann

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Hmmm, sounds like a handheld is what I want. When walking I can keep it in a jacket or backpack, I can probablty find a ram mount or something for in the Jeep, and just keep it on the desk at home. I think I will stream it privetly so I can listen at work without the scanner on my desk but I will figure that out when I actually get it. GRE/Uniden, If the real huge advantage is GPS I don't know if I would use it, so for the extra cash it might be worth it to get the GRE and a good antenna for on the Jeep and at the house. If I ever got a second scanner, say a digital for HRP/RCMP/Fire, than a pure analog for Air traffic, could they both use the same antenna?
 

fourthhorseman

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hey man,,

trust me,if you can muster the funds,spring for the upper
end uniden with the GPS,,you my not want it Now,but with an ever
growing world of tech advancements expansion is a great option!.

i would have gone uniden396XT over the pro106 if i wasnt shopping
for a digital with a poor mans wallet...lol

the unidens just dont come down that much,even used/2nd hand..

Antenna,
BNCs are on the GRE's.. some Unidens use an SMA..so as long as you
kept with a BNC friendly brand your good to go..or just keep adapter(s)
handy,,


good luck Sir!
 
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twhitson

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I am using a BCD396T as my only digital/trunking scanner. I love it, but ultimately even on an external speaker in the car the road noise kills the audio and also the small display can't be readily seen to identify what I'm listening to, so I'm guessing I'll wind up getting a 996XT for the car strictly for the increased audio and larger display. I've tried amplified speakers but they all sound awful to me.
 
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