Suggestions for a commercial VHF/UHF p25 phase 2 radio for listening.

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TheLeaper

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I have a BCD996P2 scanner. Audio is not clear, makes it hard to listen, and it misses a lot. I only have about 5 systems I listen to. I need suggestions on a portable or mobile commercial radio that can receive p25 Phase 1 & 2. Not too expensive, can be an older model. I am an amateur radio operator, and have programmed Motorola, Icom, and Kenwood.
 

DanRollman

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I have a BCD996P2 scanner. Audio is not clear, makes it hard to listen, and it misses a lot. I only have about 5 systems I listen to. I need suggestions on a portable or mobile commercial radio that can receive p25 Phase 1 & 2. Not too expensive, can be an older model. I am an amateur radio operator, and have programmed Motorola, Icom, and Kenwood.
I believe the BKRadio KNG and KNG2 radios are still the only commercial P25 radios that have a feature allowing them to be programmed for no-affiliate RX only scanning of P25 trunked talkgroups without needing to hack system keys.

Of course if your issue is simply the quality of receive and decode on your BCD996P2, and especially if your issue relates to P25 simulcast monitoring, you should also consider the Unication G4/G5 receivers, as well as the SDS100 scanner.

I have and like all of the above mentioned radios. My BK KNG radios are what I listen to most, but those are a more significant investment than the others, especially for 700/800. You mentioned VHF/UHF, and models for those bands can be had on eBay for less than the 700/800 MHz models, so that's good.
 

DanRollman

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Interesting. Did not realize the Harris P25 radios could also be programmed for trunking in a true RX Only mode without needing a system key. Is properly licensed programming software and cable readily available for a reasonable cost or do they play games about licensed software purchases (even if you have your wallet out) the way Motorola does?

I had thought BKRadio was the only one making this RX Only scanning thing particularly easy for individuals who want to 'play by the rules' but perhaps Harris is on board too.
 

Direwolf131

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I wouldn't even consider either the SDS100 or 200 radios! You will not be happy with them, you might want to look very closely at Unication's G4 & G5 pagers, the Uniden SDS radios are blown away by them.... its not even close.
 

fredva

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I wouldn't even consider either the SDS100 or 200 radios! You will not be happy with them, you might want to look very closely at Unication's G4 & G5 pagers, the Uniden SDS radios are blown away by them.... its not even close.
That is a pretty bold statement to claim that the OP wouldn't be happy with scanners that a lot of people are happy with. You may have had a bad experience with one of the SDS radios (or maybe you have no experience at all), but that's not a guarantee that somebody else will be dissatisfied. The Unications are also good radios and generally get better reception because they are tuned to certain bands. You should also tell the OP that the current Unications do not have the full functionality of a scanner, although I believe more functionality is coming in the future.
 

Direwolf131

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That is a pretty bold statement to claim that the OP wouldn't be happy with scanners that a lot of people are happy with. You may have had a bad experience with one of the SDS radios (or maybe you have no experience at all), but that's not a guarantee that somebody else will be dissatisfied. The Unications are also good radios and generally get better reception because they are tuned to certain bands. You should also tell the OP that the current Unications do not have the full functionality of a scanner, although I believe more functionality is coming in the future.
Well I wasn't happy with the SDS200 I had, and as I explored the subject further, I found dozens and dozens of other folks who weren't either! Its deaf, it lacks an AGC which was hugely problematic and totally unacceptable in a $700.00 radio, it threw off a huge amount of heat, hummed, and other issues. I really really wanted to love the thing, its display being second to none, yet in the end I was pleased to have dumped it off. I would run the thing on Sawyer county in Northwest Wisconsin right alongside an old GRE Pro96 handheld, and it wasn't even close, the snazzy SDS200 would sit there idle for hours at a time, the little GRE just chattering away. Many other folks I talked with had the same exact issues, here in the forums, we'd be admonished that it was a work in progress and yada yada yada.... Nice looking it is, performance was something else entirely. The little Unication G5 I have is an order of magnitude better than the SDS200 I had was, and I would urge the op in the strongest possible terms to avoid the Uniden SDS200 for a few years yet and go instead with the pager, they'll thank me for it many times over I am certain.
 

bberns22

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I wouldn't even consider either the SDS100 or 200 radios! You will not be happy with them, you might want to look very closely at Unication's G4 & G5 pagers, the Uniden SDS radios are blown away by them.... its not even close.
I have a SDS100, SDS200, & Unication G5 monitoring the Chester County PA Project 25 Phase II system. (Harris). The Unication does not "blow away" the Unidens. At my location all three perform equally well and suffer from the same weakness' (TG audio level variability and occasional audio quality issues - a common issue when monitoring Harris systems). The G5 does have a slight edge when monitoring the system at fringe distances (out past Wilmington DE) and is clearly better built then the SDS100. However the SDS100 frequency coverage and scanner capabilities make it the first choice for monitoring multiple systems and for travel. I see them as complimentary to each other but if forced to have only one the SDS100 would be my preference due to its' flexibility and scanner capabilities.
 

buddrousa

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Sounds like another user not willing to spend the time to setup the SDS with filters and to work properly so they blame the scanner.
Plus I am not sure any other radio scanner covers VHF, UHF, 700 and 800 that is AFFORDABLE other than the (APX8000) and you can not call that affordable.
 

Thunderknight

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Interesting. Did not realize the Harris P25 radios could also be programmed for trunking in a true RX Only mode without needing a system key. Is properly licensed programming software and cable readily available for a reasonable cost or do they play games about licensed software purchases (even if you have your wallet out) the way Motorola does?

I had thought BKRadio was the only one making this RX Only scanning thing particularly easy for individuals who want to 'play by the rules' but perhaps Harris is on board too.
Harris works that way only up to a certain point in firmware and RPM (programming software). Newer RPM and firmware combinations require their type of system key.
Older firmware/RPM versions work fine for RX only scanning.
 
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