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Unication G5 unaddressed FAQs and inquiries

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lite_c

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Hello all,

(If you want to get to the main parts of this discussion, read the bold and italic text.)

After doing some surface research, compatibility seeking, and hearing many good things about the abilities of the Unication G5, I have decided it should be wise to consider getting one.

By the end of 2017, all South Carolina Palmetto 800 elements will be switched to P25 (phase I, as far as I know) digital from the traditional analog. This includes most of local law enforcement, EMS, and rescue in the area as well as critical statewide talk groups. In addition, the majority of main sites are simulcast with configurations involving more than three sites. This, with the anticipation of P25 digital, has made some weary of the LSMpocalypse.

Judging from what I have seen and heard of this unit, especially in areas that I am familiar with and have scanned before with Uniden's P2/HP series (STARS in VA, VIPER in NC, UASI in NC), it seems like the coverage, reliability, and flexibility is unmatched. And with SC to be one of the last in the Southeast to transition to P25, there is no more excuse to address the stinky elephant in the room that is LSM distortion and P25 optimization.

Before I drop $$ on this unit and dedicate almost the same amount on this one unit as I have on both of my two current units combined (Uniden BCD996P2 and BCD436HP), I need to clear up a few things and ensure my expectations aren't far off. I have read lots of literature on the unit, but not especially any in the past month. So, if I ask things that you have heard before a few times, please forgive me. Considering the steep price for the unit, it would make sense to be very diligent.

First, and most importantly.
I understand that this unit relies on pre-programming and such, and is free to program and relatively simple and accessible thanks to RadioReference (as usual). However, it is the capacity of the G5 that is at odds with my expectations.
How do the sites and systems work? I intend to program about 80 +/- channels (limited to 128). However, I will program at least 4 different systems (3 P25, 1 conventional VHF). Is there a certain limit to sites and their frequencies?

Secondly, the interface of it all.
The one area in all of this that is lacking is explanation/presentation of the interface of the G5. I expect that as it is more or less a new topic and is to be explored. The main question I suppose, is there a monitor mode or way to hold on a talkgroup/channel? Also, does the G5 only scan one system at a time, and it must be manually switched?

Lastly.
I am familiar with pagers and system-based two-way radios, as I am in a public safety occupation. The G5 is very impressive as a 'pager' (I don't consider it in this realm, considering the newest $500 Minitor's don't even come close to the utility of the G5s), but everyone here that I have seen really considers its viability as a receiving device, or, scanner. That being said, is this exceptionally worth it? Does Unication listen to "scanner hobbyist's" feedback?
How viable is the G5 in its scope?

Thanks for your time, and making this far. Considering the huge scope of P25 digital now, I have to consider the G5, despite mixed emotions and relatively new presence.
 

tumegpc

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Hello all,

Lastly.
I am familiar with pagers and system-based two-way radios, as I am in a public safety occupation. The G5 is very impressive as a 'pager' (I don't consider it in this realm, considering the newest $500 Minitor's don't even come close to the utility of the G5s), but everyone here that I have seen really considers its viability as a receiving device, or, scanner. That being said, is this exceptionally worth it? Does Unication listen to "scanner hobbyist's" feedback?
How viable is the G5 in its scope?

Thanks for your time, and making this far. Considering the huge scope of P25 digital now, I have to consider the G5, despite mixed emotions and relatively new presence.
Yes, the G5 is definitely worth the cost. Even though it's not a scanner, I have no trouble monitoring our local P25 simulcast system. There is virtually no LSM distortion and I hear complete conversations without missing the beginning the the call.

Unication does listen to the scanner hobbyist. I received several emails and phones call from Unication and Ray's Pagers kindly answering all my questions. Ray the owner of Ray's Pagers works closely with Unication to make sure that the customer is happy with their purchase.

Phase 2 is just around the corner and who knows what Unication might add for the scanner enthusiast. DMR would be nice .
 

PVPD730

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First, and most importantly.
I understand that this unit relies on pre-programming and such, and is free to program and relatively simple and accessible thanks to RadioReference (as usual). However, it is the capacity of the G5 that is at odds with my expectations.
How do the sites and systems work? I intend to program about 80 +/- channels (limited to 128). However, I will program at least 4 different systems (3 P25, 1 conventional VHF). Is there a certain limit to sites and their frequencies?
Based on what you described, I seriously doubt the capacity limitation will be an issue as long as you plan
your programming carefully. There are 7 different trunked systems programmed into mine plus several conventional VHF frequencies. All in all, I have 113 zones programmed (I believe the max is 128 zones).

In each zone, there are 8 knob positions. You can program one or more (max 64) frequencies/talkgroups into each knob position.

These pagers are have quite an impressive capacity.

Secondly, the interface of it all.
The one area in all of this that is lacking is explanation/presentation of the interface of the G5. I expect that as it is more or less a new topic and is to be explored. The main question I suppose, is there a monitor mode or way to hold on a talkgroup/channel? Also, does the G5 only scan one system at a time, and it must be manually switched?
There is a monitor mode, but unlike scanners, there is no hold function unless you program one of your knob positions with a single talkgroup/conv frequency. If you set up a particular knob position with multiple frequencies or talkgroups, it will just scan everything continuously.

For my setup in particular, I just programmed the first 7 knob positions with a single talkgroup. On position 8, I added all the previous 7 talkgroups and made a scan list. When I catch something worth monitoring, it's just a matter of clicking the knob and parking it on the desired channel.

Lastly.
I am familiar with pagers and system-based two-way radios, as I am in a public safety occupation. The G5 is very impressive as a 'pager' (I don't consider it in this realm, considering the newest $500 Minitor's don't even come close to the utility of the G5s), but everyone here that I have seen really considers its viability as a receiving device, or, scanner. That being said, is this exceptionally worth it? Does Unication listen to "scanner hobbyist's" feedback?
How viable is the G5 in its scope?
I personally feel the investment was well worth it. You'll just have to thumb through the literature and decide for yourself. Some good info can be found here (in the "basics" section-bottom of the page): Unication G5 Dual Band VHF & 700-800MHz Voice Pager-Receiver | ScannerMaster.com. As another poster stated, definitely contact Ray's pager sales (717) 859-2021. Ray will take the time to ensure all of your questions are answered.

On the support end of things, yes, Unication does interact with the scanner hobbyist community and they do pay attention to our feedback. David (one of the support techs) actually interacts with us here on the forum. He is also very responsive to questions via e-mail.
 

troymail

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I have a G4 so I can only speak to 700/800 frequencies but the G5 is very similar.

Hello all,

First, and most importantly.
I understand that this unit relies on pre-programming and such, and is free to program and relatively simple and accessible thanks to RadioReference (as usual). However, it is the capacity of the G5 that is at odds with my expectations.
How do the sites and systems work? I intend to program about 80 +/- channels (limited to 128). However, I will program at least 4 different systems (3 P25, 1 conventional VHF). Is there a certain limit to sites and their frequencies?
True - it's a pre-program radio that is intended for end-users vs. scanner enthusiasts. There is no "on the fly" program capability. EDIT: there is a "User Define" and "CH. Setting" option at the end of the zone lists on the radio but I haven't played with these enough to know what they even do. Perhaps someone else will chime in on that.

You can program any number of conventional frequencies and/or P25 trunk systems (WACN, SYSID, RFSS, site values, and frequencies for each).

My configuration currently has probably close to 20 different P25 systems programmed plus various of those systems (total 63 variations). I also have 85 conventional frequencies programmed.

You then program talkgroups in what I'll call a generic list - all talkgroups for all systems are in one big list (one downside to the programming software).

I haven't hit a limit on how much I can program like this (yet).

My configuration has 37 zones defined at this point. Each zone has 8 switch positions.

You can program in a zone/switch setting
(a) any single trunk system (along with whatever site information you've programmed for that system "configuration") and each zone/switch setting can hold 1-64 talkgroups.
(b) groups of conventional channels (I believe up to 16 per zone/switch setting)
(c) other options for doing full spectrum searches
Secondly, the interface of it all.
The one area in all of this that is lacking is explanation/presentation of the interface of the G5. I expect that as it is more or less a new topic and is to be explored. The main question I suppose, is there a monitor mode or way to hold on a talkgroup/channel? Also, does the G5 only scan one system at a time, and it must be manually switched?
There is currently no "hold". Your only options that I know of is to have a zone/switch setting for a single channel or talkgroup (or groups) that you want to hold on.

The radios do have a couple of settings called "Monitor Mode" but they are not related to "holding" on a channel or talkgroup.

You can only monitor a single trunk system at any given time (it's not a scanner). Scanning is limited to a set of conventional channels or a set of programmed talkgroups for a single trunked system. "Monitor Mode" on the radio (a manual setting per zone/switch setting) will allow you to hear any active talkgroup on that system (its like a wildcard).
Lastly.
I am familiar with pagers and system-based two-way radios, as I am in a public safety occupation. The G5 is very impressive as a 'pager' (I don't consider it in this realm, considering the newest $500 Minitor's don't even come close to the utility of the G5s), but everyone here that I have seen really considers its viability as a receiving device, or, scanner. That being said, is this exceptionally worth it? Does Unication listen to "scanner hobbyist's" feedback?
How viable is the G5 in its scope?
My reason for my purchase is to listen to P25 simulcast systems that my other radios struggle to receive. I verified before making my purchase that the radio would do what I wanted before placing my order. There are things I'd like to see it do that are more scanner-like but I'm not expecting anything soon if at all in that area of new features.

I'd have to believe that Unication listens to feedback from anywhere to allow them to make it a better product. However, I would also expect that Unication would give priority (at a minimum) to requests coming from their "pager" customer base first since that is their market. The question for each request/comment in feedback is probably "will this help and/or apply to our pager users?".
 
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lite_c

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Thanks, everyone. The responses have been very helpful and cleared the air for me about my questions of the pager's capacity (the primary concern). Judging from your comments and a video I have seen on a user's setup for its programming, it all comes down to planning (which I don't mind) and zones. If anything, this will make it more organized for me, so I don't mind.

I have only heard good things about Ray and David and plan on getting one from Ray anyways (best price, free shipping, best service, no-brainer).

The only drawback I have acknowledged to this is the lack of a true hold/monitor function, but like troymail and PVPD mentioned, I am not very worried about this because of Unication's involvement and it's not a significant problem.

Having been used to pagers, I am still very impressed with Unication and the versatility of the G5. This post was just kind of supplemental to me so I could verify it was feasible, while I already acknowledged it's pretty much necessary after the LSMpocalypse comes.

Thanks again!
 

IAmSixNine

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Just received my second G4 yesterday. Not really a huge need for it now but i plan on gifting it to my dad when their city migrates from a Moto Type 2 system to a Phase 2 system in the coming months. By then Unication should have the Phase 2 upgrade available.
He loves to listen to FD in his city and the neighboring. I originally had a Home Patrol II but ive decided to sell that as i feel he will get more use out of the G4.

Im happy with mine the way it is and if they make any changes geared towards scanner people (hang time options and hold button / lock out ) then the unit just gets even better in my opinion.
 

scan18

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One thing to keep in mind too, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this, there is no way to copy/paste/insert within the TGID and Zone lists in the PPS software. So as you said, planning out ahead of time is a good idea. I don't think there is a way to sort or rearrange the talkgroup list, so if you have a list of talk groups for multiple systems there is no way to ensure they are all listed together unless you enter them that way from the start. If you add talk groups later, they will be listed at the end. That won't affect functionality at all, but just something to keep in mind.

Same with the Zone listings, if you setup numerous zones and knob positions and then decide you want to bump a zone up or down, or shift knob positions around I don't think there is a way to do that without deleting and resetting up as needed.

Again, I could be wrong, so others please correct me if that is not the case.
 

k3sls

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One thing to keep in mind too, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this, there is no way to copy/paste/insert within the TGID and Zone lists in the PPS software. So as you said, planning out ahead of time is a good idea. I don't think there is a way to sort or rearrange the talkgroup list, so if you have a list of talk groups for multiple systems there is no way to ensure they are all listed together unless you enter them that way from the start. If you add talk groups later, they will be listed at the end. That won't affect functionality at all, but just something to keep in mind.

Same with the Zone listings, if you setup numerous zones and knob positions and then decide you want to bump a zone up or down, or shift knob positions around I don't think there is a way to do that without deleting and resetting up as needed.

Again, I could be wrong, so others please correct me if that is not the case.
Actually, you can copy/cut/paste…but you have to copy to an empty zone and knob position, then copy back to where you want them finally. You can't insert an empty slot in a zone. No "drag and drop" either. Tedious to say the least, but it does work. Not really sure it saves any time over re-entering the info from scratch.

But as scan18 and others have mentioned...plan, plan, plan!!!
 

scan18

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Actually, you can copy/cut/paste…but you have to copy to an empty zone and knob position, then copy back to where you want them finally. You can't insert an empty slot in a zone. No "drag and drop" either. Tedious to say the least, but it does work. Not really sure it saves any time over re-entering the info from scratch.

But as scan18 and others have mentioned...plan, plan, plan!!!


Ah yes, I see now that right clicking on a knob position allows you to copy/paste/delete. And I also noticed that you can right click on a Zone # and you can move them up or down. So you could insert a new Zone anywhere you wanted by creating a New Zone at the end and then moving it up to where you want. That certainly helps!
 

jtech48

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I have a question to ask to my fellow Unication'ers. Is there a way to modify the existing scan list on the pager itself or this is a PPS modification only? I wasnt able to locate if this was mentioned on the thread list of requested future updates
 
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One of the downsides to the G4/5 is the lack of a true preferred site list. For some systems it's not an issue, for others it's a bit of an issue.

Sent from my SM-T713 using Tapatalk
 

slapshot0017

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Just three gripes and its not like the first two haven't been addressed, but a channel hold and nuisance delete are needed.

This isn't coming from the scanner enthusiast either as I have stated in other threads... cough Unication david cough, cough...

The last gripe is the inability to monitor multiple systems/conventional frequencies. Understand that there are alot of agencies out there that use alot of different means for communication. Most revolving around conventional analog, conventional P25 and P25 Trunking. Most agencies aren't given the privilege of hearing their neighboring agency's let alone given the permission to talk. With a feature like this you help alot of people in an official capacity to get the information they need to do their job.

Unication has a very good opportunity here as the scanner manufacturers aren't on their game.

Just putting it out there. Thanks for this thread though, does give alot of good information for the prospective buyer.
 
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Sure is a lot of unhappy people with these pager's i LOVE my G5V BEST thing to come out and works GREAT. Sure i like to see a few things Change in them BUT i knew what i was buying at the time i have no need to cry over what it does and don't do PEOPLE just me happy.
 

tumegpc

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It's funny that a big part of the griping in the scanner forums has been about simulcast distortion. Now we have the means to scan with little to none we still want more. And it's understandable, the G4/G5 has some features that scanner enthusiast have been requesting for many years.

Unication is on to something and given some time and a few tweaks we may be seeing a new player in the scanner industry. If not , at least we know it's possible to make a radio that can handle SLM . Something for Uniden and Whistler to think about .
 

IAmSixNine

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I have to agree with you tumegpc. I knew it didnt have a couple features we scanners users need so i programmed my G4 accordingly.
Just imagine a device with the G4 build and hardware with some of the features of a BCD436HP. Now thats a sexy beast.
But i also guess it would cost 800-1200 for something like that. However its still a good deal considering a device like that would last you years.
Im still getting use out of my XTS2500 that i got 10 years ago.
 
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i use to use my XTS-2500 for Non-Affiliation scanning just did not like to take out with me in case someone was to ask questions now i can take my G5V and no questions asked.
 

dhalbasch

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My G5 VHF does have a "Hold" button.

I know most people are talking about a hold button on P25 truncking, however in case anyone is interested my G5 does have a "Stay" button when scanning conventional channels, including P25 conventional.

It will hold that frequency until you hit the "Unstay" button.

If it's been mention before I apologize, I haven't seen it mentioned before.

Dennis
 

IAmSixNine

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I know most people are talking about a hold button on P25 truncking, however in case anyone is interested my G5 does have a "Stay" button when scanning conventional channels, including P25 conventional.

It will hold that frequency until you hit the "Unstay" button.

If it's been mention before I apologize, I haven't seen it mentioned before.

Dennis
Thanks for the info. I rarely scan conventional so was not aware of that feature.
 
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