Uniden's SDS200 Claim vs The Evidence

bberns22

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I purchased the SDS200 for curiosity sake. Compared to the Unification G5 the receive on the Undien at 800mhz is not as good - specifically sensitivity appears to be significantly poorer. I am able to hear the Chester west simulcast site with the stock antenna lowered almost all the way, with a signal of about -105DB. The radio is capturing the majority broadcasts though and they are intelligible. Using an inexpensive 800mhz yagi I gained almost 20dB of signal improvement and the majority of broadcasts are quite clean. Given my needs I am satisfied with the SDS200, it is a clear improvement over the 536. The Unification G5 is clearly a better receiver, although lacking in a lot of scanner functionality.

77182
 

WX4JCW

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pretty much again comparing apples to oranges, both have good points and bad points, the unication behaves a lot like a system radio in reception, but its limited to P25 only so say in Memphis where the voice is P25 but the control channel is an original Motorola analog type 2 the unication wont follow the talkgroups, to be honest I will probably get a G5 at some point to use when i am stitting still but for me its not a real neccesity, its really up to personal preference, best to try both
 

maus92

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I have both. I use them mostly in a mobile, multijurisdiction environment. When monitoring from within the intended operational footprint of a system, they perform identically. When outside of a system footprint, the G5 *seems* to start receiving a distant system about 30 seconds sooner / .5 miles further away, anecdotally. In practice, I prefer using the SDS200 (with a GPS) because it automatically switches systems without user input, while the G5 requires manual zone changes. The SDS is also able to receive the legacy SmartZone systems in the area (including my home system,) while the G5 cannot.* But the SDS200 is not portable, so the G5 fills the need when I'm out of the vehicle.

*Unication chose not to license SmartZone tech from Motorola. I mitigate this shortcoming somewhat by using the VHF receiver in the G5.
 
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buddrousa

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With a SDS200 I monitor 3 State P25 Trunking Systems Tn Mo Ar, NXDN in 4 States Tn Mo Ar Ky plus UHF VHF Analog.
 

jandlory

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I currently at this moment own 6 SDS200's that have never given me any problems and no hum issues either. I did receive several offers for them but refuse since they are a pure gem to work with. The LEO's I work with marvel at how things have progressed from the old days.
You have 6 SDS-200's ? We need to be new best friends :)
 

mtindor

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Well I went all the way, the Uniden's are good - they meet the claim in my opinion:

View attachment 77558
If you are using stock antenna, you'll find getting one of the Radio Shack 800 Mhz antennas (I think they are available under a different name/brand these days) will improve things significantly. The stock antennas that come with Uniden / Whistler scanners are total garbage. The 800 mhz specific antennas obviously won't do so well on VHF/UHF, but I've always been willing to do without the best signal on V/U because all that i want to listen to is on 700/800 Mhz.
 

ten13

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Let's keep something in mind: these systems we're trying to monitor were designed by Motorola, Kenwood, etc, for their respective radios. They were not designed for Uniden (or any other manufacturer's) scanners. Nor did those top-end manufacturers even consider the use of their systems on off-brand scanners.

Basically, what you hear is what you get. Comparing an over-the-counter scanner to a top-brand radio is like comparing an SUV to a VW bug...they're two different cars which can do their own thing, but not necessarily what the other car can do....but they're both cars.

And, yes...it seems from reviews that the Unication group are doing a good job with today's systems. I have my reasons for that, which is also why they don't...or can't...call it a "scanner," which I won't go into here. But I think it's safe to say that Motorola is not developing any "pagers" along the lines of Minitors to be used on digital or trunked systems anytime soon, despite the fact that there is, and will be, a market for it.
 

eaf1956

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I currently at this moment own 6 SDS200's that have never given me any problems and no hum issues either. I did receive several offers for them but refuse since they are a pure gem to work with. The LEO's I work with marvel at how things have progressed from the old days.
WOW 6 SDS 200s I thought I was bad having 2 and an SDS 100. Wish I had his cash flow.
 
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WeBeCinYa

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There a lots of people looking for a Good SDS 100. Not me though, I'm good
Hard to pay premium for a used 100 when new ones just sold for $545 on Black Friday. The warranty is the biggest factor IMO.
 

maus92

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Hard to pay premium for a used 100 when new ones just sold for $545 on Black Friday. The warranty is the biggest factor IMO.
People do it regularly on eBay. It's astonishing what people will pay to save a few bucks.
 
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