Top 5 digital scanners

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tgrbaseball13

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So I use to have the radio shack pro95. I am in the market for a new digital scanner. What would y'all recommend?
 

bkantor

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Depends on how you are going to use it and how "hands on" you want to be. For mobile use, there are choices like the RS Pro-197 (same as GRE-PSR600) or the Uniden Home Patrol (great for travel since you can hook up to a GPS and have the unit track frequencies as you change locations).
For handhelds, again a matter of taste...I have a GRE PSR-800 (similar to RS Pro-18, which has less features, but works the same way) which I love because it is easy to pre-program and update weekly via RR (but no keyboard, menu driven). , I also have a RS Pro-106 (same as GRE PSR-500) which I enjoy when I want a more hands on experience with a full keyboard and works more like a "traditional scanner".
I don't know much about the other digital handhelds like the 996, but I do see great review on them.

Best of luck in your search - I assume there will be some great Black Friday specials.

Bob
 

W6KRU

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I have a PSR-500, a 396T, and a 396XT and I rate them in that order. The GRE is far superior to the Unidens in the most important quality which is audio. Uniden tries to make up for the lousy audio by giving you useless bells and whistles. This is strictly my opinion and others will certainly give you their opinion.
 

troymail

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I have a PSR-500, a 396T, and a 396XT and I rate them in that order. The GRE is far superior to the Unidens in the most important quality which is audio. Uniden tries to make up for the lousy audio by giving you useless bells and whistles. This is strictly my opinion and others will certainly give you their opinion.
I agree with you on the 800 and GRE in general...

The 396T is better than the 396XT? I don't have the latter but it sounds like I'm glad I saved my $$$
 

W6KRU

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The 396T is better than the 396XT? I don't have the latter but it sounds like I'm glad I saved my $$$
Yeah, I loved my 396XT when it was new but due to it's garbage audio on the simulcast system that I listen to I have learned to hate it.
 

Rt169Radio

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I think the GRE PRO-600 has good digital decoding,but it has problems with interference.The Uniden BCD996XT does not have problems with interference like the PRO-600 has,but I heard that the BCD996XT has problems decoding some digital systems.
 

bcd396t

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I agree with you on the 800 and GRE in general...

The 396T is better than the 396XT? I don't have the latter but it sounds like I'm glad I saved my $$$
Is the 396t really better then the 396xt? I was thinkin on selling my T an upgrading to the XT .Mabey i shouldent.
 

shelleys1

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Would Recommend Latest Technology!

Is the 396t really better then the 396xt? I was thinkin on selling my T an upgrading to the XT .Mabey i shouldent.
I have the 396T, 396XT and the HP-1 (and more). Personally, I wouldn't consider buying or recommending any scanner right now other than the HP-1 for *many* reasons! The biggest one being that it's far superior to any radio Uniden has ever build (and I've purchased just about all of their top radios over the last 40 or so years). I do use the 396XT with a remote head in my personal car, but have the HP-1 at home and work.

If you want to stay in the "396 family", the XT is a great radio - I have used mine since they were released and they've done a great job. But, quite honestly, the HP-1 is, without question, a superior radio.

Shell
 

W6KRU

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If you want to stay in the "396 family", the XT is a great radio - I have used mine since they were released and they've done a great job. But, quite honestly, the HP-1 is, without question, a superior radio.

Shell
My 396T does a better job of decoding the local simulcast system than my 396XT. The 396XT was supposed to be better than the 396T. Hence, I have lost all faith in Uniden and would never gamble $500 to find that the HP is equal to or worse than the 396XT.
 

shelleys1

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My 396T does a better job of decoding the local simulcast system than my 396XT. The 396XT was supposed to be better than the 396T. Hence, I have lost all faith in Uniden and would never gamble $500 to find that the HP is equal to or worse than the 396XT.
I can assure you that the HP-1 is most certainly not worse than the 396XT! In fact, in several aspects it does do a better job than my 396XT - one of those being the simulcast systems in the St. Louis metro area. It also handles interference MUCH better than both the 396 radios and the front end is far superior. (And one can buy the HP-1 for a better price than the full retail price from several other dealers!)

Shell
 

gewecke

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I guess I'm a little biased, but a pro-197/ 106 of course! ;)

73,
n9zas
 

W6KRU

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I can assure you that the HP-1 is most certainly not worse than the 396XT! In fact, in several aspects it does do a better job than my 396XT - one of those being the simulcast systems in the St. Louis metro area. It also handles interference MUCH better than both the 396 radios and the front end is far superior. (And one can buy the HP-1 for a better price than the full retail price from several other dealers!)

Shell
No offense Shelley but I heard all of that with the 396XT and I'm not falling for it again. Fool me once......
 

shelleys1

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No offense Shelley but I heard all of that with the 396XT and I'm not falling for it again. Fool me once......
No offense taken, but after more decades of monitoring and using radios than I often like to admit, I don't BS - never have and never will. Feel free to ask anyone from the St. Louis metro area, either by pm or on the boards. They'll tell you...I tell it like it is - if I find something wrong with a radio or don't like something about it, I say so, quite openly and honestly!

The HP-1 is far and above the most superior radio Uniden has ever produced in so many ways. Honestly the only reason I kept the 396XT with the remote head in my personal car was because it was already setup in there before the HP-1 was released and I didn't want my wiring guy to have to screw around with all the wiring again. I have the radios and antennas working properly and I didn't want him messing around with my personal car again. When I get a new one I'll switch to the HP-1, but until then, it's staying like it is.

Shell
 

W6KRU

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I don't doubt your opinion Shell. There are several very credible people on this board that are very happy with their 396XTs. There are also several people here who are not so happy with their XTs. I am one of them. My 396XT's audio on my local system absolutely sucks.

In my opinion this points out a problem with Unidens one size fits all approach. With no way to manually adjust the P25 threshold, you are at the mercy of their auto adjustment mechanism. My 396T is just as bad as my 396XT until I set it for manual adjustment mode. Then the 396T gets a bit better.

I believe that even Motorola radios are tweaked for optimum performance on a system. What makes Uniden think that they can build a scanner that doesn't need fine adjustments for each system?
 

shelleys1

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I don't doubt your opinion Shell. There are several very credible people on this board that are very happy with their 396XTs. There are also several people here who are not so happy with their XTs. I am one of them. My 396XT's audio on my local system absolutely sucks.

In my opinion this points out a problem with Unidens one size fits all approach. With no way to manually adjust the P25 threshold, you are at the mercy of their auto adjustment mechanism. My 396T is just as bad as my 396XT until I set it for manual adjustment mode. Then the 396T gets a bit better.

I believe that even Motorola radios are tweaked for optimum performance on a system. What makes Uniden think that they can build a scanner that doesn't need fine adjustments for each system?
Oh, don't get me wrong! I didn't say that the 396XT was without some problems. I was simply pointing out that I would not necessarily advise someone to go back to the 396 family when considering a radio right now. If they wanted a 396T they'd have to buy a used one - they're no longer in production. And I don't know if I'd be comfortable buying a used 396T unless I personally knew a lot about it! I'd probably recommend that they consider a discounted, brand new, in-the-box, HP-1 from Bearcat Warehouse (for a little under $485.00) with a two yr. warranty.

Shell

P.S. And how can you say that Uniden doesn't make adjustments? They've been the ONLY scanner manufacturer which has consitently released (for many years now) firmware updates for many of their scanners and, in particular, for the 396 series! Maybe it doesn't fit exactly what you want but they've been extremely responsive to user feedback for a very long time - significantly moreso than any other manufacturer.
 

W6KRU

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P.S. And how can you say that Uniden doesn't make adjustments? They've been the ONLY scanner manufacturer which has consitently released (for many years now) firmware updates for many of their scanners and, in particular, for the 396 series! Maybe it doesn't fit exactly what you want but they've been extremely responsive to user feedback for a very long time - significantly moreso than any other manufacturer.
The 396XT has been without a firmware update for quite some time and some of us are asking for just that. I keep asking for a firmware release with a manual P25 level adjustment like the 396T had but so far we have been ignored. It seems that the resources are all tied up doing bandaid releases for the HP. See this thread: http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-scanners/218460-bcd996xt-still-ver-1-04-a.html
 

shelleys1

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The 396XT has been without a firmware update for quite some time and some of us are asking for just that. I keep asking for a firmware release with a manual P25 level adjustment like the 396T had but so far we have been ignored. It seems that the resources are all tied up doing bandaid releases for the HP. See this thread: http://forums.radioreference.com/uniden-scanners/218460-bcd996xt-still-ver-1-04-a.html
Yes, it has been a while - I believe over a year, in fact. And I did go over and read the thread you pointed me to. Unfortunately, as I'd hoped it wouldn't be but sadly it clearly is - Paul pointed out that the 396XT/996XT (and this is not the case with the 396T) there would need to be a hardware change in order for the two scanners to be able to properly receive the P25 Phase II TDMA transmissions...this clearly is not a firmware fix! (I'm obviously assuming this IS the P25 Phase II TDMA systems which is causing the problems in the XTs.)

I don't believe Uniden or any other manufacturer would pull their radios back to make a hardware change such as that. The "XT Series" has been out for quite a while and I wouldn't even begin to venture a guess as to how many have been sold! Nor do I know if a hardware fix like this is something worthwile for Uniden to agree to, even if owners were willing to pay for it themselves...I'm saying this only because I have absolutely *no idea* what parts and how much time would be invested in doing the project (Just my personal opinion, of course.)

Shell
 

W6KRU

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Yes, it has been a while - I believe over a year, in fact. And I did go over and read the thread you pointed me to. Unfortunately, as I'd hoped it wouldn't be but sadly it clearly is - Paul pointed out that the 396XT/996XT (and this is not the case with the 396T) there would need to be a hardware change in order for the two scanners to be able to properly receive the P25 Phase II TDMA transmissions...this clearly is not a firmware fix! (I'm obviously assuming this IS the P25 Phase II TDMA systems which is causing the problems in the XTs.)

I don't believe Uniden or any other manufacturer would pull their radios back to make a hardware change such as that. The "XT Series" has been out for quite a while and I wouldn't even begin to venture a guess as to how many have been sold! Nor do I know if a hardware fix like this is something worthwile for Uniden to agree to, even if owners were willing to pay for it themselves...I'm saying this only because I have absolutely *no idea* what parts and how much time would be invested in doing the project (Just my personal opinion, of course.)

Shell
I couldn't care less about TDMA. I just want decent audio on the Moto II mixed mode system I listen to.
 

shelleys1

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I couldn't care less about TDMA. I just want decent audio on the Moto II mixed mode system I listen to.
Sorry, I thought, from the other posts on the threads, that the system you were monitoring was TDMA. (That's what has been clearly problematic.)

What I do now find interesting is that you're not getting decent audio on the Moto II mixed mode system. I need to check around here to see if we have any active mixed mode Moto II systems (which I'm pretty sure we do and I believe I know of one right now but need to verify it and a second which may be, but I'm not sure yet)...then check to see if anyone is having problems monitoring it/them. I seldom do on my 396XT and HP-1 although both, at times, get slightly distorted - but not enough to distort the transmissions to the point where I cannot understand them. I'll ask our Tech if either or both are using Moto II mixed mode.

Shell
 
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