Upgrade HP1 to TRX2

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Xray

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Am thinking about it ,,, Aside from generally being a superior scanner, and reason to do this in the Detroit metro area, would I actually hear something I cannot now ?
 

hiegtx

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Am thinking about it ,,, Aside from generally being a superior scanner, and reason to do this in the Detroit metro area, would I actually hear something I cannot now ?
Taking a quick look at the Metro area, I did not see any P25 Phase II systems. Whether any current systems would upgrade to Phase II at some point, or a proposed new system that would be Phase II, I would not know.

The main things you would gain, for now, is a unit that has upgrades for both DMR and NXDN. There are a few public agencies that have one or more DMR or NXDN channels listed. And there are a number of private (or business related) systems using one of those formats. Whether any of them would be of interest to you is something you would need to decide for yourself. You would also gain P25 Phase II capability, which though it is not in use at this time, may well be a factor later. If you travel & take your scanner, you're likely to encounter Phase II somewhere along the line.
 

Ubbe

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Am thinking about it ,,, Aside from generally being a superior scanner....
The HP-1 are, for the systems it can handle, a superior scanner. The big color touch display and easy to handle menues are so much better. The TRX-2 buttons and tiny display feels and looks like going back 20 years. Maybe whistlers factory tuning isn't what it should be as my TRX-2 are not as RF sensitive as other scanners. Swapping antennas, cables, connectors and using different signal levels confirms this. Some TRX-2 users says the opposite so I guess it must be a lacking quality control.

If you have set your eyes on a TRX-2 and it's the only upgrade path for you, then please, do not set it next to a BCD536HP and compare.

/Ubbe
 

Xray

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Thanks for the insights.
No doubt the HP1 display is nice.

In fairness, I have seen and heard alot of negative things about the BCD536HP, including side by side comparisons. Weren't guys trying to start a class action lawsuit against bearcat not long ago for some Bluetooth feature advertised but never working correctly ?
 

W2GLD

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I'll offer my comments since I own the following: Whistler TRX-1 and TRX-2, Uniden BCD436/536HP, and Homepatrol-2 and I live in Southeast, Michigan an regularly travel the Detroit Metro area...

With that said, they're all decent scanners in their own rights; however, my preference currently is towards the Whistler TRX-1 and TRX-2 scanners for two simple reasons. First, they hear as advertised and two, digital decoding always works with all modes, this includes Project-25 (Phase 1 and 2), DMR, and NXDN...

I have been a diehard Uniden user for more than 20 years; however, the current BCD436/536HP scanners are deaf on UHF, even with all the modifications, etc. DMR decoding sucks terribly (I have two BCD536HP's and one BCD436HP), they're all the same. We've upgraded firmware, added resistors, foil, etc and still they can't hear a simple UHF EDACS system that's less than 13 miles away from my location. That said, the Homepatrol-2 is okay, but lacks firmware upgrades for several years now and has limited support because of all the issues surrounding the BCD436/536HP scanners. Based on this, I would never purchase another Uniden scanner again as they've used me as a beta tester for the last time.

To recap, the Whistler scanners are not without their faults, but it comes down to something simple for me, if you can't hear the traffic, what good is a scanner. The Whistler interface isn't as user friendly as the Uniden's, but in general, the darn things just work, have great audio and excellent reception qualities, which is why I purchased a scanner for in the first place. There are no extras to buy, they include Project-25, DMR, and NXDN and no extra stupid license upgrade keys to purchase. I tried for several years now to make the BCD436/536 scanners work as advertised, but to no avail; I even purchased a new one to see if it had changed any, but quickly sent it back, never to purchase another Uniden scanner again...

For the money, the Whistler TRX-1 or TRX-2 are excellent scanners for the Michigan area, and once programmed correctly, will perform excellent throughout the state and around the country. Also, be aware that allot of the states towers have been upgraded to prepare for Project-25 Phase II, so it will switching over in time, but it's going to be segmented migration as there's allot of radios that'll need to be upgraded/replaced.

Good luck with your choice either way!

Regards,

Jerry, W2GLD

Thanks for the insights.
No doubt the HP1 display is nice.

In fairness, I have seen and heard alot of negative things about the BCD536HP, including side by side comparisons. Weren't guys trying to start a class action lawsuit against bearcat not long ago for some Bluetooth feature advertised but never working correctly ?
 
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hiegtx

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Thanks for the insights.
No doubt the HP1 display is nice.

In fairness, I have seen and heard alot of negative things about the BCD536HP, including side by side comparisons. Weren't guys trying to start a class action lawsuit against bearcat not long ago for some Bluetooth feature advertised but never working correctly ?
It was not about bluetooth, but instead regarding the app to control the scanner over WiFi, i.e. the Siren app. The app was long delayed, and not as full featured as described in the initial release promos for the 536HP. Also some of the Analyze features that were originally promoted have not been fully integrated and activated. (See the Analyze features for the Extreme Upgrade for the HP-1 & HP-2 series for examples.)

I purchased a 536HP as well as the 436HP when they were initially announced, and have since purchased a second 436HP. While the two early purchases did develop the clock issue as well as display dimming, these were taken care of via the Repair Campaign at no cost to me. My 436HP & 536HP both outperform my TRX-1 (the handheld sibling of the TRX-2) using the same antenna at the same time (via a multi-coupler) on more distant 700 & 800MHz systems.

The display of the HP-1 (as well as the HP-2) is about the best available in any scanners. As the HP-1/-2 series don't have the search and Close Call features of other digital scanners, they tend to be overlooked as an option for more advanced users in the hobby. However, the reception on these is far from the worst of the scanners available. Several years ago, I spent a month in hospitals, for surgery & rehab. I had my HP-1, with this antenna, and could receive virtually all of the systems in my metro area (this was before we got the first P25 Phase II system).

My suggestion is this: As the HP-1 receives the systems in use in your area (excepting DMR & NXDN), I would say sit tight for now, unless you really want to add the DMR protocols. The prices on the TRX-2 are slowly declining, and there is always the possibility that a better option may be available by the time you encounter P25 Phase II systems in your area.
 

W2GLD

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It was not about bluetooth, but instead regarding the app to control the scanner over WiFi, i.e. the Siren app. The app was long delayed, and not as full featured as described in the initial release promos for the 536HP. Also some of the Analyze features that were originally promoted have not been fully integrated and activated. (See the Analyze features for the Extreme Upgrade for the HP-1 & HP-2 series for examples.)

I purchased a 536HP as well as the 436HP when they were initially announced, and have since purchased a second 436HP. While the two early purchases did develop the clock issue as well as display dimming, these were taken care of via the Repair Campaign at no cost to me. My 436HP & 536HP both outperform my TRX-1 (the handheld sibling of the TRX-2) using the same antenna at the same time (via a multi-coupler) on more distant 700 & 800MHz systems.

The display of the HP-1 (as well as the HP-2) is about the best available in any scanners. As the HP-1/-2 series don't have the search and Close Call features of other digital scanners, they tend to be overlooked as an option for more advanced users in the hobby. However, the reception on these is far from the worst of the scanners available. Several years ago, I spent a month in hospitals, for surgery & rehab. I had my HP-1, with this antenna, and could receive virtually all of the systems in my metro area (this was before we got the first P25 Phase II system).

My suggestion is this: As the HP-1 receives the systems in use in your area (excepting DMR & NXDN), I would say sit tight for now, unless you really want to add the DMR protocols. The prices on the TRX-2 are slowly declining, and there is always the possibility that a better option may be available by the time you encounter P25 Phase II systems in your area.
If you're BCD's are outperforming your TRX scanners, then you have something in your setup that's amiss; however, I will say that 700/800 MHz performance is fine on the Uniden BCD's, but overall, the TRX scanners always hear more. I have them right in front of me now comparing a UHF DMR business system and the Uniden is basically useless, where I'm hearing constant traffic on both TRX scanners; one on an outside antenna and the other on a rubber duck antenna, same system and with the Whistler, an outside antenna almost isn't required and I'm out here in the sticks too... Check your TRX programming or ditch the OEM antenna for the 800 MHz antenna; that's about the best combination for the TRX scanners for all bands.
 

hiegtx

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If you're BCD's are outperforming your TRX scanners, then you have something in your setup that's amiss; however, I will say that 700/800 MHz performance is fine on the Uniden BCD's, but overall, the TRX scanners always hear more. I have them right in front of me now comparing a UHF DMR business system and the Uniden is basically useless, where I'm hearing constant traffic on both TRX scanners; one on an outside antenna and the other on a rubber duck antenna, same system and with the Whistler, an outside antenna almost isn't required and I'm out here in the sticks too... Check your TRX programming or ditch the OEM antenna for the 800 MHz antenna; that's about the best combination for the TRX scanners for all bands.
There is nothing wrong with my programming or "setup". Also, as I noted, I am referring to having the TRX-1, the 536HP, and the 436HP, all connected to the same rooftop antenna, at the same time, via a multi-coupler. An outside antenna is required for the more distant systems. Even with one of the R/S 800MHz antenna on both the 436HP and TRX-1, I get more of the local 800MHz systems on the 436 than on the TRX-1. The OEM antenna on the TRX-1 was removed as soon as I got another 800MHz one. However, the TRX-1 does work for the main reason I added it to my collection. One group of three mid-sized suburbs near me are on a NXDN system, and a fourth suburb has their own NXDN.

The TRX-1 does have good reception on Vhf-high, but Uhf seems to be not as robust, missing some things that are monitorable on the Unidens. For 700/800MHz, I suspect the real problem is desensing due to to the proximity of multiple cell sites. There are 8 within a third of a mile from my residence, and 20+ within a mile, most with more than one site on each pole. My PSR-500 was about as useful as a manual typewriter with an 800MHz antenna on it. While the TRX-1 is better, I suspect the overload is the main issue.

As you noted, you are 'out in the sticks', so you don't have the nearby multiple sources of signals. I am in a metro area, in Dallas proper, surrounded by cell sites, and roughly halfway between two major concentrations of SMR transmitters, Downtown Dallas and the antenna 'farm' at Cedar Hill. At the latter, all of the local TV transmitters are located on 1000+ foot towers, with platforms every 100-150 feet with other users. Many of the local FM stations are also located in that cluster. There are multiple Uhf sites for local SMR networks at both of these locations.
 

W2GLD

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Steve, yes I will agree, when you're in the thick of it, the Whistler likely isn't going to perform as well, which is one reason I was always a Uniden guy. Coming from the Philadelphia Metro area, I previously used a GRE PRS-500 for a few weeks and it was overloaded constantly, whereas the Uniden performed fine. There's certainly a balance that needs to be had, but I can tweak the Whistler in several ways that it's really not an issue. Don't get me wrong, I still prefer the Uniden interface overall as well as the GPS scanning, but what good is it if I cannot hear what I am trying to scan; especially for an EDACS simulcast system less than 13 miles away. This includes the BCD436/536 and the Homepatrol-2; when I had the BCD396/996, those heard the very same system without issue; the new BCD's are POS's and Uniden should replace them all free of charge to the users who ended up being beta testers since day one. For this reason alone, my money will no longer be spent on anything Uniden.

There is nothing wrong with my programming or "setup". Also, as I noted, I am referring to having the TRX-1, the 536HP, and the 436HP, all connected to the same rooftop antenna, at the same time, via a multi-coupler. An outside antenna is required for the more distant systems. Even with one of the R/S 800MHz antenna on both the 436HP and TRX-1, I get more of the local 800MHz systems on the 436 than on the TRX-1. The OEM antenna on the TRX-1 was removed as soon as I got another 800MHz one. However, the TRX-1 does work for the main reason I added it to my collection. One group of three mid-sized suburbs near me are on a NXDN system, and a fourth suburb has their own NXDN.

The TRX-1 does have good reception on Vhf-high, but Uhf seems to be not as robust, missing some things that are monitorable on the Unidens. For 700/800MHz, I suspect the real problem is desensing due to to the proximity of multiple cell sites. There are 8 within a third of a mile from my residence, and 20+ within a mile, most with more than one site on each pole. My PSR-500 was about as useful as a manual typewriter with an 800MHz antenna on it. While the TRX-1 is better, I suspect the overload is the main issue.

As you noted, you are 'out in the sticks', so you don't have the nearby multiple sources of signals. I am in a metro area, in Dallas proper, surrounded by cell sites, and roughly halfway between two major concentrations of SMR transmitters, Downtown Dallas and the antenna 'farm' at Cedar Hill. At the latter, all of the local TV transmitters are located on 1000+ foot towers, with platforms every 100-150 feet with other users. Many of the local FM stations are also located in that cluster. There are multiple Uhf sites for local SMR networks at both of these locations.
 

hiegtx

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Steve, yes I will agree, when you're in the thick of it, the Whistler likely isn't going to perform as well, which is one reason I was always a Uniden guy. Coming from the Philadelphia Metro area, I previously used a GRE PRS-500 for a few weeks and it was overloaded constantly, whereas the Uniden performed fine. There's certainly a balance that needs to be had, but I can tweak the Whistler in several ways that it's really not an issue. Don't get me wrong, I still prefer the Uniden interface overall as well as the GPS scanning, but what good is it if I cannot hear what I am trying to scan; especially for an EDACS simulcast system less than 13 miles away. This includes the BCD436/536 and the Homepatrol-2; when I had the BCD396/996, those heard the very same system without issue; the new BCD's are POS's and Uniden should replace them all free of charge to the users who ended up being beta testers since day one. For this reason alone, my money will no longer be spent on anything Uniden.
Don't get me wrong either, I try to use the best scanner for the system I want to hear. As noted, in an RF-dense environment, the Uniden's have an edge on the GRE (now Whistler) scanners. But this is very location specific. For one of the area systems, PAWM, depending on who is posting, whether here, or on the DFWScan Yahoo group, I've seen most every available scanner be pronounced as the 'best' for that user, from the oldest digital trunk trackers to the newest. That system has serious simulcast issues, as does the NETCO layer for FWRRS. However, I am relatively unaffected by either since I am quite a distance from their sites.

I prefer Uniden's programming interface, DMA. But I can also handle Whistler/GRE's OOS. For now, the Unidens do best at my specific location, but if that changes, I would have no trouble transitioning to another model/brand.
 
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