Reporting in from Woodbury. SDS100 works just great for me and always have. Assuming SDS200 will be the same.
I just have control frequencies for Troop A, Troop B on the SZ 800mhz system in and I pick up all frequencies from those just fine, both sites. And CSERN P25 700mhz I can pick up Wolcott and Plymouth sites just fine as well, listening to their control channels I can get all frequencies and talkgroups I want off them no problem. I can also pick up Waterbury's P25 site as well. I'm using a Nagoya antenna mounted in a window at about 500ft up facing a clear view East getting all this.
I just got my SDS100 set up with ProScan... I see a SDS200 in my future to replace it so I can still carry my SDS100 with me portable....
The 436 was the first time that I didn't buy an initial release of a Uniden scanner in a very long time. From the 210 all through the Home Patrol, I bought the newest radios. However, the Home Patrol (1), for me, was such a waste of money that I became very leery of jumping in so fast. I did cave in and bought a 536 when they were released only to have to remove it from my truck because it didn't like the starting while being on. If I get a scanner that is advertised as a base/mobile, I shouldn't need to turn it off before I shut off my vehicle then turn it on again after I start it up. My 996XTs and 996P2 have had the power cycled thousand of times. Memory isn't corrupted.
The newer scanners have very poor search functions where Quick Keys cannot be assigned to a search range like the 996 line. Also, it still doesn't properly work on certain digital systems and there is no one answering questions or soliciting input to correct it. And last, I am not someone who relies on the RR database dump to generate scan lists. So the "feature" of zip code scanning is worthless to me.
Unfortunately, if there is still a beta tester in this area, they are not one of the more active ones (or I suppose it could be that Uniden is not fixing what is being brought to them). If they were, perhaps the ESPN system and the Marcus system would be monitorable.
So, do I spend $800+ to get another radio and risk the same outcome?
Eventually, I will probably buy one. Am I thinking it will be so good that I will be looking to replace the 20+ 996 series radios that I run now? Not from what I can see from the 436, 536, HP2, and SDS200.
Chris, DO NOT waste your HARD earned money on a SDS200. I do NOT like my buddies new Bearcat BCD-436HP because A, the audio output is horrible. VHF/UHF sensitivity is horrible. I'm not into the SIM card thing. I took his "barely used" Bearcat BC-125AT from him and that handheld is great. It receives MUCH better then a BCD-436HP and audio too. I had him pick that one because New Rochelle Police is going digital and it was supposed to change over on 1/1/19 but hasn't done so as of yet. I used to be employed by them in the late 70's. And yes, the Home Patrol is nothing but a plastic piece of junk! I have been into this hobby since 1973. I loved the Bearcat lll, Bearcat IV, Electra BC-210, BC-210XL, BC-300, BC-350, then once Uniden America Corp purchased Electra Corp out of Cumberland IN, it sort of went downhill however, radio systems are more complicated now meaning trunking more so and P-25, so it isn't just a simple channel 1-100 and just type in your frequiencies. I remember the Uniden Bearcat BC-560XLT/BC-760XLT that was a small mobile base(metal case) with flip up stand and a optional ctcss tone board. That scanner was good however, double conversion vs. triple conversion now to cut out intermod. I'm sort of going off thread now. Sorry and hope this helps you sir.
Everyone will have their own opinion on what scanner works better. It usually comes down to their location and type of system they monitor. I have the SDS100 and BCD536HP. Both work great for me at my location in Central CT. I did not like the audio on the 536 on P-25 systems when if first got it. But a update fixed that issue.
Perceived worth of scanner = user needs + user location + scanner limitations + antenna configuration + settings + programming
Everyone's situation will vary from every other situation. Everyone's result and perception will be different, sometimes drastically different from others...just the nature of scanners. I always keep this in mind when I hear "XXX scanner is deaf on XXX band" or "XXX scanner is junk". None of the top-end scanners by the big guys made in the last 15 years are junk or deaf, I've tested them all in various situations. I have found several useless or nearly useless for my purposes, in certain situations.
Now are there scanners which might be described as junk / mere toys? Absolutely, I've played with many. Just not the expensive ones as far as I can tell.