SDS100 Successor?

sgenoves

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Feb 10, 2003
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I'm looking to upgrade from a PRO-106 to something that handles simulcasts better. The SDS100 has been out for a while. Is a successor being released in the near future? I'd hate to buy a SDS100 only to have a new model released a few months later. Thanks.
 

trentbob

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You're in good shape with the 100 oh, I'm in the group that thinks this is it for Uniden. The designer of the SDS series passed away a month shy of a year ago. He WAS the Uniden scanner division oh, he had been ill with cancer for a while and that is why we have not had a firmware update since April 15th 2019.

If there was some technical wizard out there developing a new scanner you would think they would have had had at least one firmware update to address maybe one of the simpler requests on the wish list.

The many firmware updates we had done by the designer UPMan pretty much brought the radio up to Snuff as it was a work-in-progress for a while there. You are making a good choice with the 100 as it is... It will remain the industry leader quite a long time. (y)
 

cmjonesinc

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As far as handling simulcast and being currently supported, check out the Bluetail Technologies P25RX. The developer is very active and responsive. He listens to his customers and makes a superior product. I just purchased my second one this morning and can say I haven't been so happy with a scanner in years.


 

N0GTG

Scanner programmer since 1977
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I highly recommend the Unication G4 and G5 radios. Prices are comparable, and performance is outstanding on simulcast systems. The radios are commercial quality. I switched to Unication as my daily carry radio. I carried the Uniden SDS-100 until about a year ago, and I have been highly impressed with the Unication quality. See the Unication website. And the RadioReference Unication forum.
 

Citywide173

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I highly recommend the Unication G4 and G5 radios. Prices are comparable, and performance is outstanding on simulcast systems. The radios are commercial quality. I switched to Unication as my daily carry radio. I carried the Uniden SDS-100 until about a year ago, and I have been highly impressed with the Unication quality. See the Unication website. And the RadioReference Unication forum.
This is good advice only if the OP is dealing with two bands MAX. If they are in a place where they are using three or more bands, that could get bulky and expensive.
 

Whiskey3JMC

Avid surfer...of the AIRWAVES!
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As I stated ad-nauseum on these forums, Uniden's future is uncertain along with the rest of the world's. It started with the death of its lead product developer (RIP Paul) and is continuing today with the pandemic. And with more and more agencies switching to the big-E, scanner radio monitoring is becoming an increasingly smaller niche market.
 

WILSON43

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Oct 14, 2004
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Northern New Jersey
The Uniden SDS100 and 200 radios are a culmination of Uniden's decages long developement of scanning radios, thanks to Paul Opitz. They are excellent radios and I have both and I believe they continue to sell quite well. However, from a business standpoint I cannot see Uniden dumping more capital into R & D for an extremely niche oriented market that unfortunately is dwindling due to technological advances in communications.

Unication, on the other hand, had a substantial market for their products in public safety, etc., and sort of stumbled into an
entirely new hobby related revenue stream. Unlike Uniden, they see some upside potential here, and are slowly expanding the capablities of their radios to behave more like "scanners" in many ways, while I assume they are skirting around the patent restrictions on the scanning technology I believe still owned by Uniden. Unication continually updates firmware while Uniden does not. That speaks volumes.

As a base unit the SDS200 is simply marvelous. No receivers of that nature come anywhere close in my opinion. Focusing on portables, however, something you are going to carry, the SDS100 is a Swiss Army knife while the Unications are fine tuned blades. I do not know why Uniden continues to produce such wide banded radios, brining all the problems that entails, when most of the listening is confined to specific bands. And that's where the Unication shines.

If you do not need all of the coverage offered on the SDS100, and what you need to monitor in your area is active on what the Unications offer, I would go with the Unication hands down. Solid, pro grade crystal clear reception across the board.
 

minasha

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There are 3 things Uniden needs to address in any new Unit:
1- PLEASE fix the analog and conventional reception so it sounds like any scanner did before the SDS 100
2- Produce a scanner with a "Proper" fitted battery so it doesn't protrude from the bottom.
3- Re-work the current draw so it doesn't feel hot to the touch.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
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I highly recommend the Unication G4 and G5 radios. Prices are comparable, and performance is outstanding on simulcast systems. The radios are commercial quality.
The Unication pagers are great for monitoring a single system. That's what's they are designed to do, and they do that very well. And their build quality and receiver performance is indeed a step up from Uniden's.

BUT

They are NOT a scanner, or anything remotely resembling a scanner suitable for general scanning. Here's why:
  1. The receiver is only dual-band. 7-800 and either VHF or a slice of UHF. If you want VHF and all of UHF, you'll need more than two units.
  2. The software and device firmware are completely unsuitable for general scanning use. If you dislike Sentinel, you will hate the Unication PPS.
    • To start with, you have to choose from a LONG list of 20-character model numbers to get started making a pager profile. There are over 50 variants just for the G5, and you need to pick the correct one for your profile to work correctly with your pager. Transposing or skipping a digit when looking it up on the pager is really easy to do. You're best off reading from your unit to create a new profile, deleting the default programming, and continuing from there.
    • You get 8 knob positions, which are sort of like favorite list slots in Sentinel, except that you can only program one system to a knob position. You can have multiple zones, which are sets of knob positions, but you have to switch zones in the menu and then physically turn the knob to a different position to navigate around.
    • You can only assign 64 talkgroups to a knob position. So if you monitor a large statewide system like VA-STARS or WV-SIRN (each of which have hundreds of talkgroups), you have to carefully pick and choose which talkgroups you assign to a knob position. You can do a wildcard, but then you lose the talkgroup name and other info for wildcarded traffic.
    • If you want to monitor multiple systems, you'll find that all talkgroups for all systems in a profile get dumped into a common pool. If you monitor Winchester City and VA-STARS, and want to assign Winchester to a knob position, you have to scroll through all of the VA-STARS talkgroups to find the Winchester talkgroups and add them to the knob position. It's not only incredibly inconvenient, it makes zero logical sense to have talkgroups from system B cluttering up your pick list when selecting what you want to monitor on system A.
    • You can't define groups of talkgroups or channels. There is no equivalent of the Department concept, so you can't make a list of talkgroups/channels belonging to a particular agency, city, etc. and assign such list(s) to multiple knob positions. You have to assign each talkgroup to each knob position individually and manually.
    • You can import data from RR, but only systems, sites, and talkgroups. Not departments. And all talkgroups get dumped in the same common pool, regardless of which system they belong to. And since you have to manually assign systems to knob positions, there isn't any convenient or practical way to download everything in Podunk County and scan everything in Podunk County.
  3. The external antenna connector only feeds the UHF (if applicable) and 7/800 bands. VHF uses an internal antenna, which is good enough to work reliably within a system's designed coverage footprint, but if you want to monitor a distant VHF system a Uniden struggles to hear with an outdoor antenna, the Unication isn't going to be much help. It's a missed opportunity, and a strange design choice, given that an 800MHz antenna would fit in the case better, and VHF reception would get a greater benefit from a physically larger external antenna.
  4. There is no GPS functionality. Changing what you monitor as your location changes is a completely manual process. That, and the lack of any ability to load the RR database (or a geographically filtered subset thereof) into the unit severely limits its usefulness as a travel scanner.
There's a lot to love about the Unications if you're using them as originally designed--a receiver monitoring a relatively small number of talkgroups on a single system. The build quality is great, and receiver performance is excellent, even crippled with the factory 800 stubby and internal VHF antenna. But they're missing a lot of features that will need to be added before they can compete as a general-purpose scanner.
 

firemun

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Messages
46
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Concord NC
The Unication pagers are great for monitoring a single system. That's what's they are designed to do, and they do that very well. And their build quality and receiver performance is indeed a step up from Uniden's.

BUT

They are NOT a scanner, or anything remotely resembling a scanner suitable for general scanning. Here's why:
  1. The receiver is only dual-band. 7-800 and either VHF or a slice of UHF. If you want VHF and all of UHF, you'll need more than two units.
  2. The software and device firmware are completely unsuitable for general scanning use. If you dislike Sentinel, you will hate the Unication PPS.
    • To start with, you have to choose from a LONG list of 20-character model numbers to get started making a pager profile. There are over 50 variants just for the G5, and you need to pick the correct one for your profile to work correctly with your pager. Transposing or skipping a digit when looking it up on the pager is really easy to do. You're best off reading from your unit to create a new profile, deleting the default programming, and continuing from there.
    • You get 8 knob positions, which are sort of like favorite list slots in Sentinel, except that you can only program one system to a knob position. You can have multiple zones, which are sets of knob positions, but you have to switch zones in the menu and then physically turn the knob to a different position to navigate around.
    • You can only assign 64 talkgroups to a knob position. So if you monitor a large statewide system like VA-STARS or WV-SIRN (each of which have hundreds of talkgroups), you have to carefully pick and choose which talkgroups you assign to a knob position. You can do a wildcard, but then you lose the talkgroup name and other info for wildcarded traffic.
    • If you want to monitor multiple systems, you'll find that all talkgroups for all systems in a profile get dumped into a common pool. If you monitor Winchester City and VA-STARS, and want to assign Winchester to a knob position, you have to scroll through all of the VA-STARS talkgroups to find the Winchester talkgroups and add them to the knob position. It's not only incredibly inconvenient, it makes zero logical sense to have talkgroups from system B cluttering up your pick list when selecting what you want to monitor on system A.
    • You can't define groups of talkgroups or channels. There is no equivalent of the Department concept, so you can't make a list of talkgroups/channels belonging to a particular agency, city, etc. and assign such list(s) to multiple knob positions. You have to assign each talkgroup to each knob position individually and manually.
    • You can import data from RR, but only systems, sites, and talkgroups. Not departments. And all talkgroups get dumped in the same common pool, regardless of which system they belong to. And since you have to manually assign systems to knob positions, there isn't any convenient or practical way to download everything in Podunk County and scan everything in Podunk County.
  3. The external antenna connector only feeds the UHF (if applicable) and 7/800 bands. VHF uses an internal antenna, which is good enough to work reliably within a system's designed coverage footprint, but if you want to monitor a distant VHF system a Uniden struggles to hear with an outdoor antenna, the Unication isn't going to be much help. It's a missed opportunity, and a strange design choice, given that an 800MHz antenna would fit in the case better, and VHF reception would get a greater benefit from a physically larger external antenna.
  4. There is no GPS functionality. Changing what you monitor as your location changes is a completely manual process. That, and the lack of any ability to load the RR database (or a geographically filtered subset thereof) into the unit severely limits its usefulness as a travel scanner.
There's a lot to love about the Unications if you're using them as originally designed--a receiver monitoring a relatively small number of talkgroups on a single system. The build quality is great, and receiver performance is excellent, even crippled with the factory 800 stubby and internal VHF antenna. But they're missing a lot of features that will need to be added before they can compete as a general-purpose scanner.
I had no clue the VHF antenna was internal only. I (uselessly it seems) modified a vhf antenna to put on mine. But it does help explain why the pager is nearly deaf compared to a scanner monitoring vhf. Good info! Thanks.
 
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