• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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SDS200 Uniden SDS-200 & MilAir monitoring ONLY.

JPSan

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#1
Looking for feedback from actual users on the usability of the Uniden SDS-200 on strictly V/UHF MilAir freq

Looking to replace old and in there last life BC-780XLT's.
The units will be in used in very busy MilAir traffic area in and around Tucson, AZ. DMAFB and TIA 162nd ANG
Would be used in monitoring DMAFB base flight line activities, but primarily air traffic from DMAFB and TIA ANG to and from Goldwater Range and area MOA's.


Care less about civilian police and county sheriff traffic.

Would be used with dedicated UHF / VHF military discones.

The BC-780's and 15X's dedicated to both freq ranges hear great in these configurations.
Hoping the 200's would be equal in similar sensitivity.


Not looking for speculation, BUT, for actual real first hand user experience.

Thanks.
 
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Joined
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#2
You may have to wait awhile, although you could post this to some of the dudes up in PHX under the regional thread for AZ, who monitor Luke and BMGR. Perhaps Rich Carlson of Scanner Master, PM him. Have you seen this? SDS-200 MilAir Test out of Luke.
What are you going to do with your BC-780's and 15X's ?
 
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JPSan

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#3
Thanks.
As far as the 780's and 15x's time will tell. Friend in WI who lives near VOLK Field my get em if the 200 looks viable.
 

SteveSimpkin

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#4
The SDS200 was really designed to excel at receiving P25 Simulcast systems and weak signal digital systems. It uses a *completely different* receiver design than past scanners and may be more susceptible to local interference that does not affect past radios. In addition some have commented that the analog VHF/UHF reception is not as good as past models.
https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/sds200-poor-audio-on-analog.384076/#post-3078645
https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/vhf-analog-on-the-sds200.384539/#post-3083850

Here is a brief comparison of the SDS200 vs the BC780XLT on airband (4th video) and Milair (5th video).
https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/sds200-comparison-test-phoenix.384293/#post-3081087

If you are happy with the performance of your BCT15X scanner, why not buy more of them? You can buy almost five new BCT15Xs for the price of one SDS200.
 

waynedc

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Jan 12, 2003
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#5
I am in Tucson (Marana now) but have been doing MilAir for years. I was on the east side of Tucson and had a great setup for MilAir but about three years ago I moved to Marana and an HOA :( . I have been setting the station back up and getting everything tuned again.

I do own the SDS-200 and the SDS-100. Although I can not provide you the detailed data yet on its usefulness for MilAir, I can tell you that while trying out an antenna in the attic a couple of weeks ago, I heard the ground-based operator for the very first time on the WAATS 245.1 ops channel. This was on the SDS-200 using a triband mobile antenna just sitting in the attic. Very temporary installation as I am looking to put my antenna farm up there, unfortunately.

Wayne
 
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#6
I am in Tucson (Marana now) but have been doing MilAir for years. I was on the east side of Tucson and had a great setup for MilAir but about three years ago I moved to Marana and an HOA :( . I have been setting the station back up and getting everything tuned again.

I do own the SDS-200 and the SDS-100. Although I can not provide you the detailed data yet on its usefulness for MilAir, I can tell you that while trying out an antenna in the attic a couple of weeks ago, I heard the ground-based operator for the very first time on the WAATS 245.1 ops channel. This was on the SDS-200 using a triband mobile antenna just sitting in the attic. Very temporary installation as I am looking to put my antenna farm up there, unfortunately.

Wayne
He may not know what WATTS is over at Marana Air Field... or maybe he does.
 

iMONITOR

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MACOMB, MI.
#7
You may have to wait awhile, although you could post this to some of the dudes up in PHX under the regional thread for AZ, who monitor Luke and BMGR. Perhaps Rich Carlson of Scanner Master, PM him. Have you seen this? SDS-200 MilAir Test out of Luke.
What are you going to do with your BC-780's and 15X's ?
It would be interesting to know what they were both using for speakers. Considering I don't see any external speakers one would have to assume they were using their internal stock speaker. The BC780 sounded great, I though the SDS200 sounded muddy.
 
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Messages
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#8
It would be interesting to know what they were both using for speakers. Considering I don't see any external speakers one would have to assume they were using their internal stock speaker. The BC780 sounded great, I though the SDS200 sounded muddy.
Mud that expensive is associated with hot spring resorts that apply it all over the human body...
 

iMONITOR

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MACOMB, MI.
#9
The SDS200 was really designed to excel at receiving P25 Simulcast systems and weak signal digital systems. It uses a *completely different* receiver design than past scanners and may be more susceptible to local interference that does not affect past radios. In addition some have commented that the analog VHF/UHF reception is not as good as past models.
https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/sds200-poor-audio-on-analog.384076/#post-3078645
https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/vhf-analog-on-the-sds200.384539/#post-3083850

Here is a brief comparison of the SDS200 vs the BC780XLT on airband (4th video) and Milair (5th video).
https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/sds200-comparison-test-phoenix.384293/#post-3081087

If you are happy with the performance of your BCT15X scanner, why not buy more of them? You can buy almost five new BCT15Xs for the price of one SDS200.
From what I had read from owners of SDS200's VHF & UHF analog performance in general was anything buy stellar, not even good for that matter. As a result I actually did order a BCT15X for air-bands specifically on Monday because I missed the one I had sold. I had been tying up my AOR AR-DV1 for aircraft since, so it will soon be free to use it as I intended to when I bought it. As Steve said above, if the VHF/UHF air-bands are your goal, why would you spend $700 when you can spend only $150 and get excellent performance.

To be fair, I've been reading about various 'filters' available within the SDS200, so possibly after users have a better understand on how they work, when and how to use them they will achive better results. Time will tell.
 

JPSan

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Nov 23, 2006
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#10
Appreciate all feedback provided.
The SDS-200 is grossly overpriced and sounds seriously lacking for my needs.
Will pick up a few more new old stock 15X's. As I have experienced they will do exactly what I desire and no more... KISS. (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Thanks to all.........
 

mancow

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#13
Been running mine now for about an hour in parallel (off a splitter with preamp at the antenna) with an Airspy and the BC785D. So far it's performing better than both. The audio is much clearer than both. I can't say for sure yet the sensitivity is better than the 785 but it seems at least equal so far.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Washington Pennsylvania
#14
Appreciate all feedback provided.
The SDS-200 is grossly overpriced and sounds seriously lacking for my needs.
Will pick up a few more new old stock 15X's. As I have experienced they will do exactly what I desire and no more... KISS. (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Thanks to all.........
Hell of a deal on the 15x on overstock right now. I just bought one. $132 plus tax free shipping.


Overstock.com: Online Shopping - Bedding, Furniture, Electronics, Jewelry, Clothing & more
 

KR7CQ

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Phoenix
#15
I've done a fair amount of milair listening with my new SDS200 and I'll share my observations and a little video clip below.

As was stated above, the SDS200 is first and foremost a P25 simulcast scanner, that's its bread and butter. Being able to actually properly receive simulcast while still doing a respectable job at everything else is the aim of this device, and that means compromise for "everything else". There is also a good deal of white noise when listening to analog frequencies, especially weaker ones, especially AM, compared to older scanners.

The common knock on the SDS200 is that it isn't sensitive with VHF / UHF analog but that's not what I see. What I see is good sensitivity with poor image rejection, struggles with interference from adjacent frequencies, and intermod. Filters and attenuation help sometimes, but obviously that's not what you want when monitoring distant air band / milair frequencies.

Down in the lower part of the VHF air band, the SDS200 struggles with bleed-over / interference from nearby frequencies, and a high noise level. It does "OK" but for me it's below average there. My BC780XLT will be keeping it's spot in my main scanner cabinet, no doubt about that. The 536 is also a good deal better than the SDS200 on VHF airband.

Now the twist. Once we move up over 200 MHz, the SDS200 does surprisingly well, sometimes capturing weak signals that the BC780XLT misses. That really surprised me. I've done a fair amount of testing to confirm, but this does happen at times, and the SDS at least keeps up with the 780 from 200 MHz up the rest of the time. In the video below you can hear one annoyance though. Just monitoring Luke tower (16 miles away from my antenna), you can hear that both scanners pick the signal up pretty well, but that the SDS200 has a good deal more white noise. This is typical with either VHF air band or the higher milair frequencies.


My take is that for people like myself who very much need good simulcast performance, but who also like to listen to pretty much everything else, the SDS200 is an amazing scanner. I love it for the Swiss army knife that it is. But as a stand-alone milair scanner for $700? No way.
 
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mancow

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#16
I too have noticed that it is receiving more than my 785 which to me is remarkable since the 78x series has long been the standard for milair.
 
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