Uniden SDS 200

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Makitaman60

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Have plans on purchasing the SDS200 , but need some education on digital scanners before spending that chunk of change. I live in Coffee County Alabama, would like to hear local sheriff, and surrounding towns, Enterprise seems to be the only gone digital. Don't quote me on this I've been wrong once before (lol). I'm old school scanner guy punch in frequency and your done, so I don't want to purchase a scanner that I can't use for the station I want to monitor. It just seems everything has gotten complicated for scanner listening. Also don't want to spend $700 , plus another $75 for it to be programmed. To put it all in a simple question : Will this radio do my area? And can I program it myself? Without having any other cost like pre-programmed.
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Makitaman60
 

baj76

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search YouTube on how to program SDS200....that's how i learned to program my SDS100
 

maus92

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Have plans on purchasing the SDS200 , but need some education on digital scanners before spending that chunk of change. I live in Coffee County Alabama, would like to hear local sheriff, and surrounding towns, Enterprise seems to be the only gone digital. Don't quote me on this I've been wrong once before (lol). I'm old school scanner guy punch in frequency and your done, so I don't want to purchase a scanner that I can't use for the station I want to monitor. It just seems everything has gotten complicated for scanner listening. Also don't want to spend $700 , plus another $75 for it to be programmed. To put it all in a simple question : Will this radio do my area? And can I program it myself? Without having any other cost like pre-programmed.
Thanks
Makitaman60
FYI, the Enterprise system would require a NXDN license (basically a royalty to the owners of the NXDN patent) to be purchased to decode it. The statewide P25 system will decode with the stock radio. Take the time to learn how to program the scanner yourself. Paying somebody $75 to literally spend 5 minutes or less to program it is huge waste of money IMO. It's really not hard to do.
 

Ubbe

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Most areas in US have both NXDN and DMR systems, maybe not all are interesting to listen to for some users, but spend that extra $100 to get those additional modes. Why cripple the scanner right from the beginning.

Those GPS controlled scanners lets you just enter your GPS position manually or enter your zip code. Then start by enabling all services and start listening. If you only use the included antenna and/or you are situated at ground level you could adjust the range setting to avoid scanning systems that you cannot reach. On the other hand if you have a bigger antenna and are higher up above general ground level, then you could increase the range setting to hear more, if you would like to do that and really put the scanner to use.

After a while you probably would like to narrow down what you are monitoring and it's time to read up on how to use service selection and permanently avoid systems, departments or talk groups that are of no interest to you. You could then move your areas systems to a favorite list to make additional tailoring of different parameters like delay and filter settings.

But to start scanning you power on the scanner, add your zip code and enable all services. If you have bought the additional digital modes you enter their key from the scanners menu.

/Ubbe
 

darkness975

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Have plans on purchasing the SDS200 , but need some education on digital scanners before spending that chunk of change. I live in Coffee County Alabama, would like to hear local sheriff, and surrounding towns, Enterprise seems to be the only gone digital. Don't quote me on this I've been wrong once before (lol). I'm old school scanner guy punch in frequency and your done, so I don't want to purchase a scanner that I can't use for the station I want to monitor. It just seems everything has gotten complicated for scanner listening. Also don't want to spend $700 , plus another $75 for it to be programmed. To put it all in a simple question : Will this radio do my area? And can I program it myself? Without having any other cost like pre-programmed.
Thanks
Makitaman60
FYI it looks like the Sheriff Dispatch is part time encrypted. The rest seems fully in the clear.

Here is the listing for Coffee County:


Programming is not as hard as it is made out to be, you just have to become familiar with how the software works.

Plus this scanner comes with the full database, so you can always use that at first until you see how they organize the systems and then make your own custom Favorites List later on when you get better acquainted with how the systems are set up.

As others have said, the law dispatch is NXDN so you would have to purchase that capability for the scanner.
 

tvengr

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Feb 10, 2019
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Baltimore County, MD
Enterprise also uses NXDN. Kinston uses DMR. You will need the paid upgrades to receive them. You can do that yourself and save money by logging into my.uniden.com and registering your scanner.
 

Kaleier1

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Dec 27, 2019
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I don't know whether it the scanner will work in your area, for example if what you want to listen to something which is encrypted no scanner will work.

As far as whether you can program it, download the Sentinel program and play with it. Before I did I had questions as to how I would name stuff and then when I looked at the database I saw that was already done for me (but I could edit it). I leave the USB cable plugged into the scanner so if I want to make any changes I just make the changes in Sentinel and upload them to the scanner. To tedious to mess with the key pad unless it is quick stuff like picking favorites lists.

You may pay someone to program it and then find out you don't like what was programmed or want something else and you are stuck. The SDS200 is to capable of a scanner to cripple it with stuff you don't want or can;t get because you can't program it. As the another reply stated, check YouTube videos on how to get started. That's what I did.
 

WA1LMC

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Nov 14, 2009
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I don't know whether it the scanner will work in your area, for example if what you want to listen to something which is encrypted no scanner will work.

As far as whether you can program it, download the Sentinel program and play with it. Before I did I had questions as to how I would name stuff and then when I looked at the database I saw that was already done for me (but I could edit it). I leave the USB cable plugged into the scanner so if I want to make any changes I just make the changes in Sentinel and upload them to the scanner. To tedious to mess with the key pad unless it is quick stuff like picking favorites lists.

You may pay someone to program it and then find out you don't like what was programmed or want something else and you are stuck. The SDS200 is to capable of a scanner to cripple it with stuff you don't want or can;t get because you can't program it. As the another reply stated, check YouTube videos on how to get started. That's what I did.
For programming, the Sentinel software makes it easy BUT update the database first!!! Sentinel makes it quick compared to BUTEL ARC536 .If you do not need virtual control, you don't need BUTEL ARC536 at all and you can save @$80.00 I am using ARC536 only for virtual control since I am legally blind and can't see the display well.
 

Makitaman60

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Apr 22, 2020
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Thanks appreciate the information. I'm going to try it out and see how I like it. If I don't like it, I'll have a deal for someone.
 

hiegtx

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Dallas, TX
Thanks appreciate the information. I'm going to try it out and see how I like it. If I don't like it, I'll have a deal for someone.
The SDS200 will cover everything in your county, with the needed upgrades applied for DMR (Kinston) & NXDN (Enterprise, and your Sheriff's office dispatch (although that is encrypted part time, and no matter what scanner, you would not be able to receive the encrypted transmissions)).

However, looking at your county & the the ones around you, none of them, at this time, are using simulcast sites or systems. If that remains the case, then a 536HP would still cover your area (again, presuming that you add the upgrades for DMR & NXDN if you want to listen to those transmissions). The programming for the 536 uses the same version of Sentinel as the SDS200. There are multiple sources of help & information for programming either of these scanners, ranging from Wiki articles and forum posts here on RadioReference, to videos on YouTube, and sections of the Easier to Read Manuals site. The 536HP is about $200 cheaper than the SDS200. Even adding the DMR & NXDN upgrades, you'd still be at a lower cost than the SDS200 without upgrading the 200.

Now, if you plan on traveling, at times, with the scanner, if you headed to areas with simulcast, such as Birmingham or Montgomery in your state. or in other states, then the SDS200 is the better choice. It is designed to deal with simulcast; the 536HP is not.
 
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