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Unication G5 for Beginner - Impossible or Reasonable?

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KM4OBL

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I was looking at the usual consumer products for my first scanner purchase, and after seeing all of the problems I'm likely to encounter scanning the local P25 LSM systems, I found this sub-forum. Being the kind of person who likes to invest in quality equipment that really works for me on the first go-round, rather than trying to be cheaper and being disappointed, I am very interested in purchasing a G5.

Many in the forums have commented, as you know, that the Unication G4/G5 are not radios for the uninitiated - they are often thought to be difficult to learn how to use. My question for you experienced users is this: I could learn how to program a G5 without too much difficulty, right? It would not be impossible, just because I've never programmed a consumer scanner, would it?

As background, I obtained my tech license on October, 2015, and then upgraded within a few months to my general, so I could get on the HF bands and try for dx. Being an apartment dweller, I have stuck with a limited antenna set up that I put on my balcony with a tripod every time I want to transmit. I've figured out how to set up my radio and computer for digital modes (psk31), and how to get my antenna resonant around a lot of obstacles and interference, so I'm guessing I can learn how to program a G5. Am I wrong? I am willing to pour over threads in this forum and look at videos and online instructions over and over - I am very tenacious and determined in learning for my hobbies, so I think I should be able to figure out how to do this.

You can let me know if I should definitely start with a 436hp or TRX-1, but seriously, I am concerned about the problems with the LSM system that I know I will avoid with the G5. I think it might be worth the trouble of learning how to program the G5 for the benefit of my future knowledge about using the Unication products and being more satisfied in the long run.

I'm interested in any advice you can give me about this - this is as big investment for me, and I realize there are no returns on the Unication products....so I would want to be sure I was doing a smart thing by going this route rather than the usual route. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
 

JASII

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Unication G5 For Beginner - Impossible Or Reasonable?

.....My question for you experienced users is this: I could learn how to program a G5 without too much difficulty, right? It would not be impossible, just because I've never programmed a consumer scanner, would it?.....I've figured out how to set up my radio and computer for digital modes (psk31), and how to get my antenna resonant around a lot of obstacles and interference, so I'm guessing I can learn how to program a G5. Am I wrong? I am willing to pour over threads in this forum and look at videos and online instructions over and over - I am very tenacious and determined in learning for my hobbies, so I think I should be able to figure out how to do this.....
Yes, you certainly can learn how to program the G5 without too much difficulty.
 

cpetraglia

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If you take advantage of the instant $200.00 rebate going on now, the pager is not that much more than a currently available scanner. Programming is straight forward and we here can help you through it. I recommend Ray's Pager Sales. You can order online. You wont be disappointed.
 

KM4OBL

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JASII and cpetraglia: thanks very much for your swift and encouraging replies. I just have to decide now what frequency ranges I'll need (looks like the VHF version) and commit to the purchase. Thanks again for the help!
 

IAmSixNine

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Also keep in mind that currently the G4/5 pagers only support conventional P25, Phase 1 P25. There is talk it will be Phase 2 capable soon. I have a G4 and am very happy with it. It gets some use now but as more systems around me go the Phase 1/2 route i see my self using it more.

Its a great little piece of equipment and i am glad i got one. My next buy is a Relm KNG-P800 because it has an option for RX only trunking. :) of couse its 2K plus so its a bit on the expensive side. If it works as well as i hope it will i can see it replacing my APX7000 rather quickly.

Oh another good thing about the Unication units is they have an active participation in the forums. We members reported a bug a while back and it was fixed within a few months. For me thats a huge selling point. Seeing a bug get squashed is important in my book.
 

jplyler

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As long as you fully understand how the G5 differs functionally from a scanner don't be afraid to jump on board. Programming is straight forward enough and it's definitely a more professional grade P25 monitor. It's been a great addition to my inventory.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

KM4OBL

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northern Virginia, USA
Thank you IAmSixNine and jplyler - I appreciate your responses. I am dealing with P25 Phase one systems here. I also am encouraged to hear that Unication will provide the firmware update to handle Phase two at some point, based on other threads in this forum.

So far, I understand that with the G5 I'll be limited to monitoring less at any given time than a consumer quality scanner can monitor, but frankly that is OK with me. I see focusing on one system at a time as a positive, in some ways. I can also see that operating these radios is different from operating a consumer scanner, and I will need to do more reading here to understand the details, before I make the purchase. However, it appears that the extra effort and knob dialing will not be an undue burden that would cause me to decide not to make a purchase.

I am somewhat concerned by the intermittent bug I've read about here regarding the speaker volume and units temporarily failing to pick up transmissions, but I can also see that Unication has been working on that problem - which is reassuring. I agree with you that it is important to know that Unication is sincerely trying to make sure their products do what they are supposed to do, and that we get what we pay for. They seem to stand behind their products.

I appreciate the offers to provide assistance, in the event I have questions about using a G5 after purchase. I might need to post a few questions in the forum. There appears to be quite a bit of information already posted that will be helpful.

Thanks again for the responses - very helpful!
 

phirephoto

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Also keep in mind that currently the G4/5 pagers only support conventional P25, Phase 1 P25. There is talk it will be Phase 2 capable soon. I have a G4 and am very happy with it. It gets some use now but as more systems around me go the Phase 1/2 route i see my self using it more.

Its a great little piece of equipment and i am glad i got one. My next buy is a Relm KNG-P800 because it has an option for RX only trunking. :) of couse its 2K plus so its a bit on the expensive side. If it works as well as i hope it will i can see it replacing my APX7000 rather quickly.

Oh another good thing about the Unication units is they have an active participation in the forums. We members reported a bug a while back and it was fixed within a few months. For me thats a huge selling point. Seeing a bug get squashed is important in my book.
Just to clarify, the G4/G5 will do conventional analog too :)
 

KM4OBL

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Just to clarify, the G4/G5 will do conventional analog too :)
Thanks - yes, that's a nice bonus!

I'm very tempted....but it's still a good chunk of money, so I have to agonize over it a bit more....

For example, I will need to figure out which version of the G5 would work best for me. The vhf version would give me the two meter ham traffic, and some public utilities. However, there are other utilities on the uhf frequencies. I'll have to look at the details in the database more carefully before deciding. Many thanks to all for the feedback.
 
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cpetraglia

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The main advantage to the G4/5 is the reception of simulcast P-25 systems. I was going to buy a second one when I realized that I don't have any VHF-UHF simulcast around here. Therefore any decent scanner will work for those non-simulcast systems. Every situation will vary.
 

KM4OBL

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northern Virginia, USA
The main advantage to the G4/5 is the reception of simulcast P-25 systems. I was going to buy a second one when I realized that I don't have any VHF-UHF simulcast around here. Therefore any decent scanner will work for those non-simulcast systems. Every situation will vary.
Yes, simulcast is definitely my main reason for being interested in the G5. I just have to sell off a few items first....
 

radio3353

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The main advantage to the G4/5 is the reception of simulcast P-25 systems. I was going to buy a second one when I realized that I don't have any VHF-UHF simulcast around here. Therefore any decent scanner will work for those non-simulcast systems. Every situation will vary.
Just remember, no Phase 2 coverage yet. Phase 1 only.
 
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