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Unication G5 for Civilian - Worth it?

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ScubaJungle

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Is the Unication G5 worth it for someone who wouldn't be utilizing its public safety-related features, like paging/messaging? I'm just looking into SDS series vs Unication when I eventually save up for another unit.
They both seem great, and I see that the Unication has a lot of awesome features, Im trying to figure out if it would be worth it for someone who isn't a first responder/receiving pages/messages (I'm assuming this doesn't mean actual text messaging from your cell?). I know theyre adding a lot of scanning features with future upgrades, but is this a product that you really wouldn't get true "full use" out of without using those features?
 

Mr_Boh

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Yes - totally, and twice on Sunday.

Here's how I assess it. The Unication is a great choice if you only have one system you are going to monitor most of the time, or one at a time when traveling, and you can deal with the band limitations. It will out perform the SDS, but the gap between SDS and Unication G5 is not as great as the gap between Uniden 436 and SDS series when talking about P25 trunked system monitoring performance. So you won't notice the difference between the Unication and the Uniden SDS unless you are in the fringe area.

That said, the form factor and battery life of the Unication really does make it a good choice over the SDS.

The SDS is definitely the swiss army knife for scanner folks though. You are going to do a lot more with one device, especially if you are already used to a lot of those features.

The big factor with the Unication though is it just feels slow software wise. UI slow to move around, and even jumping between trunked systems is not super fast and the beta firmware scanning between the two is not at SDS level. That's why I say better if you are really only monitoring one system at a time.
 

ScubaJungle

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Cool, thats the idea that Ive been getting from what I've seen so far. For single system monitoring it seems the way to go, but the diversity is where the SDS comes in.

Is there any way that a civilian could utilize the messaging features? I see it has Bluetooth, so could it connect to your cell phone or is it strictly for messaging via a PS system? I feel like if there was a way that a non-PS person could utilize its messaging features, it would be even more appealing to the general public.
 

Mr_Boh

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I don’t think I’ve even seen the messaging used on a public safety system yet, or at all. Haven’t studied it much but it seems to be a Unication proprietary thing.

Bluetooth is for audio. Plenty of info on the ups and downs on that in these forums. Not sure if it’s still offered but they had a BT earpiece designed to work well with it at one point.

The G1 had a GSM model and there was at one point years ago talk of doing it for G4/G5 but I never saw those and I think the G1 GSM was cancelled. Would love one though since for me I wouldn’t mind getting a pay as you go SIM card and forwarding alert text messages to them.
 

ScubaJungle

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I didn't realize it was proprietary thing, but that makes sense. I figured it was some sort of PS-related messaging service. GSm would be cool too, liek you said, pay as you go, but I guess theyre trying to keep it as a radio/pager and not a cell phone.
Thanks for the info
 

picscan

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Yes it's worth it, bluetooth now works with my AirPods and everything else I've tried since the V1.4 beta. I use the G5 for excellent reception of 700/800. All fire and law enforcement has gone to P25 within 20 miles of me. which is where I am 99% of the time. I use the TRX-1 for everything else. Even without the V1.4 beta it was great after I got used to limitations. I was going to get the SDS until I heard it next to the G5, there was no comparison in what I was picking up with the G5
 
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Hit_Factor

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Even with the 1.4 scanning firmware on the G5, it's not as versatile as a SDS. I have both, and they serve different purposes. If you will travel with the receiver, the SDS is certainly the way to go with the built in database.
 

krokus

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Cool, thats the idea that Ive been getting from what I've seen so far. For single system monitoring it seems the way to go, but the diversity is where the SDS comes in.

Is there any way that a civilian could utilize the messaging features? I see it has Bluetooth, so could it connect to your cell phone or is it strictly for messaging via a PS system? I feel like if there was a way that a non-PS person could utilize its messaging features, it would be even more appealing to the general public.
The messaging is not used in the US, it is tied into the EU cellular system, running GSM.
 

bob550

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Increasingly in this hobby, it may be necessary to think of scanners as you would golf clubs. For instance, you wouldn't use a putter or wedge when driving the ball off the tee just as you wouldn't use a 3 wood to putt. Instead of a one-scanner-fits-all approach, separate receivers for different purposes each with their own strengths may be the best approach in the long run. (Funds provided that is.) That said, for the reception of a single P25 Phase 1 or 2 system, simulcast or no, the G5 is a professional grade top contender. With the current firmware geared toward pager use, you can only program a single site into each knob position. But the upcoming version 1.4 will eliminate that handicap while adding several more "scanner" features.
 

AdamHLG

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Feb 13, 2012
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Even with the 1.4 scanning firmware on the G5, it's not as versatile as a SDS. I have both, and they serve different purposes. If you will travel with the receiver, the SDS is certainly the way to go with the built in database.
Curious to hear more on the comparison of the G5 scanning (on previously released 1.4 beta) vs. SDS. Hypothetically if I wanted to monitor only one talkgroup on a P25 System 1 (for example the main dispatch talkgroup) and I wanted to monitor only one talkgroup on a P25 System 2 (again the main dispatch talkgroup), and lets add one more P25 System 3 (one talkgroup), how would you describe / compare the 'efficiency' of that scan operation? In other words, if the G5 had to acquire the control channel on P25 System 1, check the talk group, hear nothing, and then acquire the next control channel on P25 System 2, check the talk group, etc., how fast is that process compared to the SDS conducting the same operation?
 

picscan

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I had my G5 programmed that way, 3 sites and about 20 or so different PD dispatch channels on one knob position. I can't say anything about the SDS but my TRX-1 was not good, it might have been quicker but 99% of the time it would try but wouldn't even pick up on a call or was so garbled you couldn't understand it, most channels sounded encrypted (they aren't) and that was using my antenna on the roof or remtronix compared with the G5 using using the stubby. Yes, the TRX would blow through the sites faster but would miss too much. I don't know if it was quicker because it was missing everything or just quicker. Most of the time the TRX would lock on a channel but was silent. I hope the SDS is better than the TRX. I use the TRX for everything but P25.
 
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Danny37

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Yes it's worth it, bluetooth now works with my AirPods and everything else I've tried since the V1.4 beta. I use the G5 for excellent reception of 700/800. All fire and law enforcement has gone to P25 within 20 miles of me. which is where I am 99% of the time. I use the TRX-1 for everything else. Even without the V1.4 beta it was great after I got used to limitations. I was going to get the SDS until I heard it next to the G5, there was no comparison in what I was picking up with the G5
So there’s full confirmation that the airpods work with the G series pagers? I remember a thread awhile back saying that the Bluetooth function was a hit or miss when it came to BT headsets.
 

picscan

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So there’s full confirmation that the airpods work with the G series pagers? I remember a thread awhile back saying that the Bluetooth function was a hit or miss when it came to BT headsets.

Mine did not work before but with the 1.4 beta they do. I have the AirPods Pro with noise cancellation and it's pretty awesome to only have to carry one set of earbuds. I used to have to carry my LG and the AirPods and keep switching between my phone and G5.
 

AdamHLG

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I completely forgot about this benefit among all the other benefits 1.4 will bring.
 

Johnnydollar2

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Totally worth it. My Whistler sits here benched, merely a weather radio now after 2 trips the last few years. One trip was through 10 counties with a P25 Statewide Simulcast system. Another was with 9 counties involved. The G5 was perfect reception all the way there and back just sitting in the cup-holder with stub/default antenna. The Whistler got nothing and sputtered, chopped at best. The old, OLD Pro96 did far better than the newer Whistler WS1080. If you want a "scanner" then the SDS Uniden series is best. If you want and only need perfect P25 Simulcast the Unications are for you. It's so good I never go anywhere without it now. :0)))
 

rr60

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Without question a fabulous receiver. With pending FW update it will be even better. When listening to a LSM system you can really appreciate how well these systems work.
 
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