TRX-1: Very Dissatisfied with my TRX-1

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jje64

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Please let me layout why I am making that statement. I have owned the radio for about 3 months. I am not new to programming or using radios. I am a BSEE who has 30+years experience in RF, satellites, broadcasting, etc. I have been a radio hobbiest/amateur for 40+ years. So I believe I am accustomed to working with complex things and know how to do proper testing.

My dissatisfaction is with the DMR performance of the radio as that is the main reason I bought it. I did not expect the radio to perform well with P25 Ph II for all the known issues with either brand in that mode.

In DMR mode the radio has NEVER fully received on going transmissions. It will catch a few fragments of a conversation here and there. It has an annoying habit of seeming like it wants to decode something because it will make low level white noise from the speaker and thumps as if it is on a signal. When looking at the RSSI meter, it maybe as high as full scale, but still no audio from the speaker. (on a few occasions, when this occurs their seems to be audio recorded. This is known because I went back and reviewed the data in the radio.) It can sit there for hours receiving nothing while a $100 TYT MD-380 is unmuted and receiving comms. I have tried this with recording disabled or enabled. Same result

I have tried different antennae, outside antenna, portable antenna, mobile antenna. I have adjusted the DSP levels in the software.

About all it will seem to receive is NOAA WX radio. It does a so-so job on the county SMARTZONE system (Frankly, my old Uniden 785 does a better job of tracking the system).

I was very surprised since it seemed to have good reviews by others. Maybe I got a bad unit, but it was and is a waste of money since the radio sits on the table more then gets used due to the lack of performance.
 

sibbley

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I'm sorry to read about your experience. My own experience with the TRX-1 was so good I bought the TRX-2. I wonder if it's just a bad unit.

Have you tried adjusting the squelch clockwise as far as the thicker portion of the white line? I found early on that setting the squelch here gave faster scanning and more followed discussion. I also program mostly conventional with each entity in it's own scanlist. I have my dwell time set at 0.5 s on trunked systems.

Just a few suggestions.
 

Melv7956

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I'm sorry to read about your experience. My own experience with the TRX-1 was so good I bought the TRX-2. I wonder if it's just a bad unit.



Have you tried adjusting the squelch clockwise as far as the thicker portion of the white line? I found early on that setting the squelch here gave faster scanning and more followed discussion. I also program mostly conventional with each entity in it's own scanlist. I have my dwell time set at 0.5 s on trunked systems.



Just a few suggestions.


Can't agree more, mine is the best scanner I have ever owned and hears things from further afield than my unidens. The dmr is brilliant.


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troymail

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Reading about your experience with the TYT sounds comparable to my experience from home. However, the repeater is 26 miles from me so I don't expect more than I am getting when compared to my TYT-390 that is UHF specific.

With the only exception of Phase 2 simulcast (of you have noted), my series of GRE/Whistlers run circles around the Unidens I have. In fact, one of the things I like most about these radios over the Unidens is that I NEVER need to do any tweaking of the nerd knobs to get got reception and nearly crystal clear digital audio from them by just programming the frequencies (I've come to hate analog with all the static, etc.). I enjoyed my BC396T up until I started monitoring digital and then got fed up with all of the tweaking. My next radio was a GRE PSR-500 (got one as soon a they were available) and since then, the Unidens I've purchased (wish I'd never purchased the 536) are just "toys" and take a back seat to my Whistlers.

It certainly seems to me that you may have a bad unit and or possibly something interfering with your reception. I'd look into getting a replacement and/or maybe getting some warranty service to see if they can figure out what the problem is.

I know it can be frustrating -- I've certainly been there.
 

jje64

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Thanks for the replies.

I have adjusted the squelch across its range to no benefit.
I have tried different delay times, no improvement.
I have considered the 'desense' issue and placed an FM BCST filter between the antenna and the radio. no help there either.

I have deleted and rebuilt the SD card data (stock card which came with the radio), no joy.

One of the reasons I went with the Whistler is i was tired of constantly playing with adjustments on the Uniden I own (yes it is an older model).

Too late to return it. I bought it from The Ham Station and they only give you two weeks. As for warranty, that might be hit or miss. Though, I have considered it.
 

TAbirdman

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What are you running for firmware? Have you tried entering in the DMR freqs in a limit search to see if it picks it up that way?
 

trido

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check your PM from me. I make this right
Jeff
[
QUOTE=jje64;2662963]Thanks for the replies.

I have adjusted the squelch across its range to no benefit.
I have tried different delay times, no improvement.
I have considered the 'desense' issue and placed an FM BCST filter between the antenna and the radio. no help there either.

I have deleted and rebuilt the SD card data (stock card which came with the radio), no joy.

One of the reasons I went with the Whistler is i was tired of constantly playing with adjustments on the Uniden I own (yes it is an older model).

Too late to return it. I bought it from The Ham Station and they only give you two weeks. As for warranty, that might be hit or miss. Though, I have considered it.[/QUOTE]
 

Boatanchor

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Probably has the same 'dodgy' squelch as the old GRE EZscan scanners.
The squelch opens at a lower RF level when held on a channel, than it does when scanning.

Try it for yourself..

Find a weak FM signal that opens the squelch. Then put that frequency into a scan group and hit scan.
You will probably find that the scanner just skips right over it.

Don't forget that the squelch operation effects digital reception too.

And, there is no way for you, or I to test whether the digital channel squelch (scanning) firmware settings are different again to analogue channels. Only way to check that is with a P25 test set, which I dont have.

I suspect that GRE/Whistler increase the squelch level in scan and possibly search mode to increase scan speed and/or reduce false hits.

There is not a significant difference in receiver sensitivity between the Whistler scanners and other receivers, but there is a big difference in the way the squelch operates.
 

Ubbe

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There's a fine line between scanning fast and squelch detect. Scan too fast and the squelch hasn't time to properly detect a carrier.

Whistlers squelch are very different from other scanners and radios. The positive side of it are that it closes very quickly with a short or no squelch tail. Opening the squelch seems a bit slow and unreliable.

If you set the squelch low it will hamper scan speed as it hesitates over some channels where it thinks it might be a valid signal.

Squelch operations normally works by detecting the high frequency portion of the audio, where voice modulation doesn't reach. Problem is that the VCO in the scanner, that dictates what frequency to listen to, needs to be filtred from the digital bits that the PLL use to steer the VCO. If the filtering is weak to increase scan speed, it will add digital noise to the audio that will affect the squelch operation.

Usually the scanner designer will add a lot of filtering to the VCO when sitting on a frequency to make the audio barable to listen too without too much white noise added, and have weak or no filtering while scanning to give a high scan speed. The added digital white noise during scan will make the squelch work "tighter" and also make the squelch detect have a harder time seeing the difference between noise and a valid carrier. So this beaviour are "automatic" and probably nothing that Whistler does to the SQ by increasing its setting.

If a scanner, normally the cheap ones, use a single filter for both scanning mode and monitoring mode, you will get moderate scanning speed and noticable higher level of white noise in the audio even at fully saturated signals. It is then also important to have frequencies being scanned in frequency order to help the VCO work over smaller frequency jumps as the added filtering can't handle big frequency jumps very well.

/Ubbe
 

woodpecker

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The RF performance of these TRX receivers is poor to say the least, they overload very easily, I have to run mine with multiple notch filters and even a bandpass filter to get anything much from it, I also use a variable attenuator which I have to tweak to stop overload as well.

Unidens 436/536 RF performance is equally as poor, if you just want to monitor DMR the TYT MD380 is a much better choice.
 

kayn1n32008

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The RF performance of these TRX receivers is poor to say the least, they overload very easily
In order to receive DC to daylight, sacrifices need to be made. In the case of scanners, selectivity is sacrificed for sensitivity. Also sacrificed is front end filtering.

I have to run mine with multiple notch filters and even a bandpass filter to get anything much from it, I also use a variable attenuator which I have to tweak to stop overload as well.
Not surprised. There is no filtering in these scanners. The PSR-500 are notorious for front end overload on VHF.



if you just want to monitor DMR the TYT MD380 is a much better choice.

Band specific radios will always work better for receiving.

The MD-380 is fine if you only want to listen to VHF or UHF DMR/analogue. No idea what scan speed is like.



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scotttish

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Not all scanners are created equally. Contact john at the whistler factory and see if he can test the sensitivity for you. That worked for me...Whistler rocks BUT they are ironing out the bugs, just like every manufacturer does...I could't be happier now!
 

Anderegg

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The TV station I work for has a giant AT&T cell phone tower in our parking lot, I actually park directly beneath it. The Unidens, XT's as well as the HP's simply cannot handle it, even with ATT, which on a Uniden cannot be globally applied as you drive past tower cells. My old Pro106 and the TRX-1 simply decode and stop on 800 signals that the Unidens will not, much much more so when you engage the global ATT. My PRO106 might as well not have VHF in it, it simply cannot RX the small number of Marine and widfire frequencies I monitor, compared to the Unidens, which are loud and clear.

I just really really hate the fact that you cannot order the talkgroups how you wish, and that the TRX-1 has no freaking volume knob! It is also a lot easier to mess up ability to scan on an HP for newbies, too many levels of hold possible.

Paul
 

TAbirdman

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I just really really hate the fact that you cannot order the talkgroups how you wish, and that the TRX-1 has no freaking volume knob! It is also a lot easier to mess up ability to scan on an HP for newbies, too many levels of hold possible.

Paul
Can you help me understand why you need the TGRPs in an order? I place mine in different Scan lists with different colors so I know what I'm hearing. What is different if you could place TGRPs in order as opposed to different scan lists?
 

jje64

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Here is an update on my experience with the TRX-1:

Jeff at the Ham Station was GREAT and replaced the old unit with a new radio. Even though this was past their return policy he took care of me. That is a very supportive vendor!!!

I just have the new radio two days and that was the weekend so traffic was light. BUT, it appears, so far, this radio works better. It was able to hold on to conversations on the amateur DMR MARC network where before it would drop or not unmute on the conversations. All other variables (i.e., antenna, location) are the same. IN fact this radio is set up with the default settings for DSP, DAC and ADC. Time will tell as the commercial traffic picks up this week.

I did notice even on a local 800 MHz mixed mode SmartZone system the decode and audio SNR with this new radio is better than the original.

Thanks again to The Ham Station and Jeff for making this right of me

jje64
 

HOLEBILLY

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After having trx1 a couple weeks now I can say, to me this radio is not worth the money. My 106 and 197 in my opinion is a better radio. If my local sheriff would not have went NXDN I would have never bought this radio. I will be using it for the local sheriff and maybe 1 MARCS site. This scanner scans so slow.
 
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sibbley

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You should be able to speed up scanning by adjusting the squelch knob counter clockwise to the thicker portion of the white line. Also if you have trunked systems set up, set the dwell time lower .5-.7 seconds.
 

jje64

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2nd update

I have heard more on this new unit in the past 24 hrs than I did in 3 months with the previous unit. There was clearly something wrong with that unit.

Thanks again to Jeff at THe Ham Station for making this right

jje64
 
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