Which scanner should I choose?

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paulmohr

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Ok here is my problem, maybe some of your opinions can help me make a decision.

As I said in my other thread I was going to get a ws1098, but the place I ordered it from discontinued them. So I found a shop nearby that had a 325p2 for 429 dollars. However when I went to get it my debit card wouldn't work because it still showed my 420 dollar charge for the 1098 that I cancelled because they didn't have them anymore.

Now I am thinking I should just spend the extra money and get the TRX-2. I could call bearcat warehouse in the morning and just change my order since they have the card info already. And maybe they can cut me a deal on the TRX, or make it up by discounting shipping or something.

So for those of you with experience, what would your opinion be. Stick with the 325p2 for 430 dollars (if I can get the transaction cancelled before they sell it to someone else). Or would it be worth it to just drop the 495 on the TRX-2 because it is better and has more up to date features. If it is indeed better, which is where you guys and gals come in lol.

Here is some information about me and what I will use it for that might effect your opinion.

I don't really want a hand held, I prefer a base unit, or in this case base/mobile unit. I don't need it to portable and would prefer to run it on AC power and not mess with batteries. I also believe the base/mobile units have slightly better speakers and sound. In no way is it a deal breaker though. I can live with a hand held and charging batteries or getting an adapter to plug it in if the 325 is a better deal. If it works better it can be pink and shaped like a penis, I really don't care lol.

Like I said, doesn't need to be mobile, it will not be put in a car or carried around, nor will I travel with it. Nor do I plan on moving anytime soon. It will mostly just sit in my room in the basement where I will listen to it, and where my computer and media center is.

My location is Adrian MI, lenawee county. I only need to pick up local city, sheriff, state police, fire and ems. I don't care about the jail, prison, rail roads, utilities or air traffic ( except maybe life flight). 15 mile reception is probably plenty far for me. Not concerned with other cities, counties or states. I can listen to those online if I really want to. The guy at the local radio store said he knows exactly where I live and live between 4 repeaters for my county so reception should not be an issue unless I want to listen to detriot or toledo or something. I don't know why he would lie, because I was asking about buying a better antenna and he said I shouldn't need it.

For now, the only thing in my area that I want to listen to that is high tech is the state police. They are on apco25 phase 1. Everything else I guess is vhf, but they are talking about switching. I don't think I will need DMR or NXDN in the near future. However I do not want my 4 to 5 hundred dollar scanner be obsolete in a year or two.

So when you factor in how well each scanner performs, what I need it for, service history or problems reported for each model and ease of use and programming which one would you choose?

Basically is the TRX-2 worth the extra almost 100 dollars, or do the two perform close enough that it would be splitting hairs. Keep in mind I am not rich, 4 or 5 hundred dollars is an investment for me. It is my 50th birthday and I am treating myself.
 

AA6IO

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$429 is high for a 325P2. I would go with a 996P2, BCD5336HP, or TRX-2. I have all four of these scanners, and all are good performers. Don't sell DMR and NXDN short. Most of the stuff you will hear, you won't even know it exists, until you start using a scanner.
In a nutshell, I would go for the TRX-2, which comes with DMR and NXDN already.
 

paulmohr

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The $429.00 price on the 325p2 is because it is from a local radio shop. They mostly service police vehicles but they do sell a few items to the public, they can also order anything you want. So there is no shipping cost, comes with a 30 day satisfaction return policy and includes custom programming on site for as many locations as you want.

I can probably get one in the internet for $350 or so, but then if I want it tomorrow you can add 60 bucks for overnight shipping. And from what I can tell most online places charge 40 to 70 bucks to program 1 county. And it holds off your shipping date a few days. So no overnight if you want it programmed. And as an added bonus your buying it from a shop that actually installs and services most of the equipment you are trying to monitor. There were at least 5 police cruisers there when I pulled up. So I would guess the service and support side of it is probably top notch.

And of course I always expect and am willing pay a bit more for a product from an actual store I can look at and walk away with. Be it guns, archery, or electronics. Then again I wouldn't pay the premium to buy a computer from a small store when I can order the parts and build it myself for about half the cost. Of course if it doesn't work right or breaks I can't take it back and complain either lol.

I was considering ordering the 996 as well simply because I like the idea of the base model better, but after shipping and programming I will probably have 450 or more into it too.

If I were to get the TRX-2 I would probably try to program it myself and just go with standard shipping so I don't have to pay for it. I just won't get it for a week or so.

I started out thinking I was going to get a scanner for around 200 dollars or so, now we are approaching the 500 dollar mark lol. That is more than half my monthly income, I just get basic SSI for income.
 

jonwienke

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For $429, you can get a 436HP, which has a better receiver than the 325P2 and comes with a nationwide frequency database and free weekly database updates. Amazon can get it to you in 2 days.
 

paulmohr

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I ended up getting the 325P2. Man what a nightmare this was. I spent half the day going back and forth arguing with bearcat warehouse and my bank because they had a hold on the transaction until Monday. Even though BW refunded my account at noon yesterday shortly after I told them to cancel the order. I finally got the bank to cancel the hold on the transaction.

I tried to cut a deal with BW on a TRX-2 but they wouldn't budge, they said it was already on sale at 495 dollars. They did offer me free next shipping though, but he said since it was friday I wouldn't have gotten it until monday anyway. And he added that since my bank still had a hold on my account the card wouldn't clear with them either, so I was still in the same boat.

Ya, I could have gotten the 325 cheaper if I wanted to wait and order it. But after shipping and programming it wouldn't have been much cheaper. I ended up spending 423.00 at the radio shop in Monroe MI. I don't think that is too bad considering it was in stock, they custom programmed it for me, updated the firmware and verified it worked. We pulled it out of the box, put the batteries in it and played with it a bit before I left the store with it. And since they actually install and service the systems I am trying to monitor for the local police I bet they have an idea what they are doing. I think if I have a problem or questions I will have way more luck with them then I would some guy on ebay or with amazon. Plus they said if I didn't like it after a week I could bring it back and return it or get something different. Plus a 30 day warranty if anything were to go wrong with it. Good customer service goes a long with me.

And it seems to be working fine. It picks up pretty much all the agencies I wanted and I only had to lock out a few things that slipped by the guy that programmed it. Like a local taxi service or something. Like I want to hear who needs to be picked up at dollar general lol. I downloaded FreeScan as well and may take a crack at programming it myself too. Looks pretty straight forward actually.
 

jonwienke

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You still got screwed. For that price you could have gotten a 436HP, which has a better receiver, and comes programmed with a nationwide database with free weekly updates. Basic programming is as simple as entering your ZIP code, and tweaking things to your specific need is easy.
 

paulmohr

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Ok, first of all, way to welcome the new guy! I could swear there was a rule about treating people that way in this section? Oh wait there is, it is in a sticky at the top of the page.

Second, over 300 people looked at this thread and 3 responded, one of which actually gave me a usable opinion. And one only chimed in after the fact to belittle me. Those statistics would tell me probably nobody cares if I got screwed or not.

Third, I didn't ask for advice on what scanner I should get for X amount of money. If you wanted to tell me what scanner I should buy someone could have said that in my first thread a few days ago. I asked for opinions on two different scanners. Sshermanmd is the only person that gave me an informed opinion, and thank you for that. I considered your opinion and decided for me, at this time those two features were not worth the extra price and wait time to receive the product. And as it turned out because of the whole mess up with my bank account it really wasn't an option anyway at that time.

Fourth, as I said before I don't feel I got screwed at all. Could I have gotten this model for less, or a slightly better model for about the same price? Probably, if I wanted to wait and shop around looking for just the right deal. However from the major vendors like scannermaster, zipscanners and bearcat warehouse I don't think I could have. By the time you factor in shipping and programming the price would have been about the same or more. And I would still be here waiting for my product, not listening to it.

And I looked into the 436, and the prices I saw were closer to the TRX-2, between 450 and 500 dollars. And that is before shipping or any programming services. Again, could have gotten one cheaper eventually? Probably, if I waited around for the right deal on amazon or ebay or something. Then again I could have gotten a bricked model in the mail. Don't tell me it doesn't happen, because have seen posts on this very site where it has. Or worse yet, I could have actually gotten a Brick in box and no scanner at all. And there really wouldn't be much I could do about it. I have seen this happen before too. If I wanted to go that route I could have just ordered the actual ws1098 I wanted in the first place from a different website.

I also read about a lot of the problems people were having with the SD card models and decided to not go that direction in the end.

Also I was obviously already willing to buy the 325 since I actually drove 30 miles to the shop to get it. Unfortunately because of my previous internet order that day my bank account was screwed up and my card wouldn't clear. They had already programmed the scanner to my specs and were holding it for me even though I hadn't given them a dime yet. I wasn't going to blow them off and order one from the internet unless I could get a really good deal with fast shipping. That didn't happen, and I am kind of glad because I would have felt kind of crappy about it afterwards.

And I am willing to pay a little extra money for a product that someone took the time and money to have in stock and have some knowledge about locally. It is a 400 hundred dollar purchase, not a USB cable or something. It is kind of nice to see it and hold in my hand before I pay for it. I guess I am just odd that way.

I was hoping this was a forum where I could come to chat and discuss opinions with others that have the same interests as me. If its not, that is ok I can find another one I am sure, it is a big internet after all. Glad I paid for a premium membership. What do you think the odds of me re upping that are now?
 

jonwienke

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Amazon is a reputable dealer that sells thousands of scanners every year. Yes, they have slipups occasionally, but they have excellent customer service and will make things right when there is a problem. I've bought scanners and many other items from them over the 10+ years I've been a customer, and have never been ripped off.

You asked for advice, and you blew it off. And as a direct result, you overpaid for a scanner that isn't as capable as what you could have gotten for your money. It's not any more rude to point that out than it is to ask for advice and then go do the exact opposite.
 

paulmohr

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Again, I didn't ask for Advice. No where did I ask anyone to tell me what to do or what scanner I should buy. If you want to give me advice that is fine, but that is not what my post said. I clearly ( I thought) asked, of those two options, in your opinion which would you choose.

Had I said "I have 430 dollars to spend, tell me what the best scanner for my money is". And then I ignored everyone's input and went and got something totally different I could see where you would be confused and maybe question why I made that decision. However, I asked about two different models. I used the word "opinion" on purpose. One person gave me his opinion, and an informed one at that. I considered it, decided those two features were not worth the price and the wait for me and went with the model that was in stock, available to me and from someone that back up the product locally if I have an issue.

Normally I wouldn't make an issue out of it, or really care, until I got chastised for not doing what someone told me to do. Especially when it wasn't even one of the options I proposed.

If someone asked me " If you had to choose between a Kia Optima and a Honda Accord, which would you choose?". I wouldn't reply with " Neither, I would special order a Buick and have it shipped to your local dealer.". And I certainly wouldn't tell them they got screwed when they didn't choose the one I picked. Nor would I make a smart *** comment about asking and then not listening.

Especially in a forum where it explicitly tells me not treat new members that way.

And if you feel comfortable buying a high priced item from amazon to save a few bucks then awesome for you. I don't, I would rather pay a little more to get the product from some place I am more confident I can trust. And it supports a local small business. That is just how I like to do things.
 

Nasby

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One suggestion I would make is that you download the Freescan scanner programming software.
Then you can "read" the contents of your scanner and save them to a file.

After saving the contents, open up the software and look around at the way the programming is set up and familiarize yourself with the software, systems, frequencies, etc.

There are bound to be changes in the systems you monitor and you may want to add or delete things down the road. So learning how to do it will add to the enjoyment of the scanner and will save you from paying someone to program it for you.

Since you are a premium subscriber, you will be able to download systems and frequencies directly from the database. This will save you lots of time and frustration. Downloading is very simple and straight forward.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle will be learning Uniden's "Quick Key" method of programming and setting up systems. But it can easily be understood with some reading and playing around.

Good luck!!
 

jonwienke

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Ok here is my problem, maybe some of your opinions can help me make a decision.

...
So for those of you with experience, what would your opinion be. Stick with the 325p2 for 430 dollars (if I can get the transaction cancelled before they sell it to someone else). Or would it be worth it to just drop the 495 on the TRX-2 because it is better and has more up to date features. If it is indeed better, which is where you guys and gals come in lol.
That is indeed a request for advice. You asked which scanner you should buy. Just because people recommended options you (in your complete lack of experience) hadn't considered, doesn't mean that the advice was bad or inappropriate.

It is a bit arrogant to assume that you, as a first-time scanner owner, can do a bit of online research and determine the two most optimal scanner options. If a newb woodworker asked whether a chain saw or a crosscut saw was the best option for making wooden jigsaw puzzles, the correct answer is neither. If you're going to ask for the advice of people who have been doing something for years, you need to consider the possibility that they may well advise you to do something you hadn't considered, or had unwisely ruled out due to your inexperience. And being snarky when they do so is a disincentive to others take the time to assist you any further.

One final thought. Take the time to learn to do your own programming. If you have the intellectual ability to post on an internet forum, then you are capable of learning to program your scanner if you invest some time and effort into doing so. You will be much happier with whatever scanner you own if you learn how to program it and (within its limitations) configure it to do what you want it to do. Paying someone else to program your scanner has a lot in common with paying someone else to make love on your behalf--it is unnecessarily expensive, probably isn't going to work out quite how you intended, and you're missing out on half the fun of owning a scanner.
 

paulmohr

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I was snarky? LOL. Re read that quote and tell me where I asked someone to tell me what scanner to buy and I would run out and buy it. I asked for an opinion on two different models to help me make a choice. I got a couple, I considered them and made my choice. Sorry it wasn't the choice you would have made, but it was my choice to make.

And I don't consider myself ignorant either. I am also not a first time scanner owner. I have never owned a trunking scanner though. I played with scanners and CB's quite a bit in the 80's and 90's. Never got into ham radio though. I looked into, but it really didn't interest me much. By then computers were coming out and that interested me more. And I don't think comparing three models of scanners that all basically do the same thing to choosing a chain saw to do small woodworking. Maybe closer to suggesting I get a certain brand of scroll saw because it has a better motor or is easier to change blades on.

Half the fun of owning a scanner is programming it? We will have to agree to disagree on that one. That is like saying half the fun of owning a 50cc scooter is working on it because something is alwyas going wrong with it. I assure you, that is not the fun part, but it is something you will have to do at some point. I just wouldn't expect to do it the first day I owned it. And I sure as heck wouldn't compare making love to programming a scanner lol.

I did take your advice though and looked into the 436. When I looked it wasn't cheaper. The cheapest I found one new was 450 dollars before shipping. I also didn't see any raving reviews about it, but I did see a lot of complaining about bad SD cards and stuff like that. Had I wanted to save a lot of money, wait on shipping and do the SD card thing I would have just ordered the ws1098 from another company, which is the model I was going to get originally. And like I said in the other thread, no one was screaming at me telling me not to buy that one.

What I wanted was a working scanner, before the weekend, and that is what I got. I went to the store, picked it up, turned it on and it was picking up my local police and fire department. I am sorry you think I got ripped off, but I don't feel I did. If I felt like I was getting ripped off I wouldn't have done it.

I have downloaded FreeScan and have been playing with it though. Doesn't look overly complicated really. Once I get used to what all the buttons on the scanner do and understand the quick key thing a bit better I will probably add some locations that are farther out and re structure things to exactly how I want them.
 
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