What scanners decode NXDN for free?

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jbhunt04

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I’m not really looking to buy one now, but I just want to get one when the railroads switch to digital for the mainline ops.
 

jbhunt04

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The biggest thing I hate about it is the sound of the voices on digital modes. They all sound like they talk with their hand over their mouth or like they’re eating something. Why is this?
 

W2GLD

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Save your money and don’t buy a scanner Whistler or Uniden; neither will properly decode NXDN node do they properly respect wildcard RAN, NAC, etc. If you’re serious about rail communications, either get a Icom R30 or a real AAR radio such as an Icom IC-F3161, F3261 or F3400 loaded with AAR firmware.
 

fxdscon

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I’m not really looking to buy one now, but I just want to get one when the railroads switch to digital for the mainline ops.
As mentioned above, both the TRX-1 and the TRX-2 from Whistler do not charge for their version of DMR and NXDN reception. But.......

Keep in mind that the free DMR and NXDN included with the Whistlers is free for a reason. The TRX series radios do not have the ability to properly trunk track those systems. They will only scan the voice channels without the ability to use the trunk tracking information from the control channel to accurately follow conversations. In small, rural systems with not much traffic, that may be satisfactory in those situations.

The Uniden scanners use a paid upgrade for NXDN and DMR because they must pay licensing fees on each scanner they sell to legally include the technology that uses the data from the control channel to accurately follow conversations on those systems. If you are in an area where those systems are very busy with lots of traffic, it could make a world of difference.

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jbhunt04

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I live in Robards, KY. A town of 500 people. CSX runs through there. Right now I use a Uniden BC15x with a BC20 speaker. As long as they stay on analog for awhile I may just keep those for the time being.
 

ElevatorsAndRadios

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Save your money and don’t buy a scanner Whistler or Uniden; neither will properly decode NXDN node do they properly respect wildcard RAN, NAC, etc. If you’re serious about rail communications, either get a Icom R30 or a real AAR radio such as an Icom IC-F3161, F3261 or F3400 loaded with AAR firmware.
I second this, but the AAR firmware isn't necessary. I use an F3161DS without the AAR firmware and it's great. The only pain is manually entering all of the AAR channels by hand the first time around, but it can be done and transmitting can be disabled. The AAR firmware has keypad entry of channels (it's only available on the full keypad versions to my knowledge) which is great and all but can lead to accidental transmissions and that's a big no-no. You can also turn keypad entry off if you REALLY want an AAR firmware radio. All things said and done, if you find a good deal, you can get a used Icom radio with all of the fixings for programming it up to your liking for about as much or less than a Whistler TRX-1, which is just "okay." I also own a TRX-1, and would NEVER bring it as my main trackside radio unless I can't bring my Icom. The audio is super quiet and would not be heard over the sound of trains going by when trackside. Mind you, the Icom is also relatively quiet so a speaker mic or earpiece would be even better, especially when riding so you don't raise the eyebrows of fellow passengers or employees.

TL,DR: Get an Icom F3161 or F3261 and program it with AAR channels RX only and you'll be a happy railfan.
Source: A happy railfan and licensed amateur radio operator who has done the above ^-^
 

jbhunt04

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I live trackside, so my base works fine for me. I also have a BC125 if I want to listen outside. I was just wondering if any of the digital scanners were any good.
 

W2GLD

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Indeed it is; in-fact, it’s scan rate is faster than any scanner on the market today! While it does not track trunking, it is most definitely a “scanning receiver”...
 

highwayman1224

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Indeed it is; in-fact, it’s scan rate is faster than any scanner on the market today! While it does not track trunking, it is most definitely a “scanning receiver”...
No, in fact it's not a scanner, keep trying though it's cute ❤ ❤
 

R0am3r

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Save your money and don’t buy a scanner Whistler or Uniden; neither will properly decode NXDN node do they properly respect wildcard RAN, NAC, etc. If you’re serious about rail communications, either get a Icom R30 or a real AAR radio such as an Icom IC-F3161, F3261 or F3400 loaded with AAR firmware.
I don't quite understand what you were trying to say. So please tell me why my Uniden scanners aren't properly decoding NXDN systems.
 

jaspence

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The Icom IC-R30 does an excellent job on NXDN. It is not a scanner like the ones normally discussed here. Coverage is from .1 MHz to 3304.999990 MHz minus the usual protected 800 frequencies. Scanning speed is 200 channels per second. It does not do trunking, but the high scan speed makes it useful on smaller low traffic P25 systems. Like the entire Icom radio line, DMR is not available. The basic manual is a free download for more details.
 
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