SDS 200 vs. 536

twotoejoe

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Has anyone compared the SDS 200 and the 536 side by side? I'm talking about same programming, everything identical.

I have and am having some problems. I don't want to post them here until I see some posts of them being compared equally.
 

jonwienke

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I have both connected to the same antenna via a Stridsberg multicoupler, scanning the same favorite list. What's your question?
 

ofd8001

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I got a new SDS 200 to go along with a new vehicle. For a while I was running it in my office instead of a 536. The only difference I noticed was an improvement in simulcast, which was the reason for the purchase. I do not yet have all the upgrades installed, so I can't speak to ProVoice, DMR or NXDN.
 

buddrousa

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I am running 1 SDS 6 536 1 SDS100 1 436 all sharing the same antenna using Stridsberg Multi Couplers
With NXDN and DMR on all
 

jonwienke

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Generally speaking, And putting simulcast aside, how do the scanners compare on each band?
In general, performance is similar. On airband, scanning the same channels, the traffic received is nearly identical. Most of the difference was picking up different traffic when two different frequencies had simultaneous keyups.

I had a couple of frequencies where a nearby pager transmitter bled over on the SDS units, but filters took care of that. So the SDS are somewhat more susceptible to adjacent frequency interference, but the also have settings to deal with that interference. My default global filter is Normal, and switching to Invert for problem freqs took care of them. So the SDS models have very similar sensitivity compared to the x36, but somewhat worse selectivity, at least without using the filter settings.

If you live right next to a pager or TV transmitter, and don't have simulcast in your area, an x36 unit might be better. But in most cases, a SDS will be just as good, and for simulcast, they're clearly better.
 

n1chu

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In general, performance is similar. On airband, scanning the same channels, the traffic received is nearly identical. Most of the difference was picking up different traffic when two different frequencies had simultaneous keyups.

I had a couple of frequencies where a nearby pager transmitter bled over on the SDS units, but filters took care of that. So the SDS are somewhat more susceptible to adjacent frequency interference, but the also have settings to deal with that interference. My default global filter is Normal, and switching to Invert for problem freqs took care of them. So the SDS models have very similar sensitivity compared to the x36, but somewhat worse selectivity, at least without using the filter settings.

If you live right next to a pager or TV transmitter, and don't have simulcast in your area, an x36 unit might be better. But in most cases, a SDS will be just as good, and for simulcast, they're clearly better.
Ok. Thanks. I had heard the X36’s and the SDS’s were somewhat comparable, and although I hadn’t done a Stridesburg test, using the same antenna (in the same exact location, which I believe is important) that’s my finding also. I believe both were designed for the digital trunking systems so they do well on the 700-800-900 MHz bands but not as well as the 996’s on the VHF low & high band, aircraft and UHF. But since what I listen to are all strong signal agencies, and I don’t have simulcast issues, I’m good with the SDS100 & SDS200. Probably more radio than I need but I do love the colored displays! My 436 sits there unused even though I have the DMR upgrade installed. I use my ham DMR portable instead.
 

jonwienke

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I don't have a 996 for comparison, but when connected to the same antenna, the SDS and x36 models seem to perform pretty similarly on all the bands I've tried (800, UHF, VHF and airband).
 

Ubbe

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You can read about the measurements I did on a SDS100, that use the similar receiver chip as SDS200. It has a lot of birdie and false frequencies that pop up from adjacent frequencies. There's an automatic RF gain in the SDS scanners that reduce sensitivity to not get into overload but the detector for strong signals cover a large frequency span. The demodulation filters are very narrow and when a signal are modulated the SDS scanner loose sensitivity and close squelch at weak signals when there's high modulation like a datasignal.

Results of measurements of a SDS100

As per recommendation from Uniden, SDS scanners are good at handling simulcast systems but for everything else you would probably be better off using another scanner.

/Ubbe
 

n1chu

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You’ve answered the origional question which related to comparing the X36 to the SDS. And I thank you for your report. The 996 reference was something I added as an interesting sidebar, that I had heard (but don’t know how true it is) the older pre x36 models seem to do a better job selectivity/sensitivity wise on the UHF frequencies and lower... or put another way, the newer X36 and SDS models seem to favor the digital trunking stuff.
 

n1chu

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I’m still trying to understand Uniden stating

“SDS scanners are good at handling simulcast systems but for everything else you would probably be better off using another scanner.”

They are usually tight lipped about everything. So, their comment that actually admits the SDS models are not your best choice if your interests are other than simulcast concerns.
 

buddrousa

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And I see none of these problems with my Unidens all sharing the same antenna at the same time hearing the same Analog P25 DMR NXDN on 150meg 460meg 700meg and Analog compared to 785D 15 15x scanning 150meg 460meg in a real live environment.
 

twotoejoe

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I have both connected to the same antenna via a Stridsberg multicoupler, scanning the same favorite list. What's your question?
Some transmissions that the 536 picks up the 200 entirely misses. Others the 536 picks up the entire transmission and the 200 either misses the first part of the transmission or misses the reply transmission. Both are sitting side by side with the same programming, both using there original (Identical) telescoping antennas. Was advised by Mike at Bearcat Warehouse to turn the squelch down to 2, no help.

Just wondering if anyone else had this problem. I love the big display, but expected at least equal performance.
 

jonwienke

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I’m still trying to understand Uniden stating

“SDS scanners are good at handling simulcast systems but for everything else you would probably be better off using another scanner.”
Ubbe said that, not Uniden.
 

jonwienke

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Some transmissions that the 536 picks up the 200 entirely misses. Others the 536 picks up the entire transmission and the 200 either misses the first part of the transmission or misses the reply transmission. Both are sitting side by side with the same programming, both using there original (Identical) telescoping antennas. Was advised by Mike at Bearcat Warehouse to turn the squelch down to 2, no help.

Just wondering if anyone else had this problem. I love the big display, but expected at least equal performance.
Start with the basics. What d-error, noise and RSSI values are you seeing?
 
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