Whistler1040/1065/PRO-106/65X/197 Programming and next purchase

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twentysixXX

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So I own both the 106 and 197, and have had the chance to play with quite a few wideband receivers and older scanners. I always read reviews on how are these scanners are to program and can never figure out why, I have only ever programmed them without software and they always seemed intuitive enough.

I only have three or four Trunk Systems programmed currently, whatever ham repeaters are in the area (both up and downlink), and whatever legacy analog public service freqs are up. Occasionally I will also throw a limit search on there just for shiggles but have never had issues programming these on the fly. Am I missing out on a lot of options by not using the software? Am I under utilizing the scanner itself? (I can't even monitor everything on ONE Trunk system no less everything at once so I figure four systems is ridiculous even if they are for various areas for when I travel).

I am considering getting something to do DMR for future systems but some of the reviews I saw labeled some scanners hard to program without software (the numberpad-less radio shack Iscan series Pro-668 I think). Am I better off buying a 600$ SDR and using DSD+ or are the new TRXs the same programability as the 1040/1065.
 

Wackyracer

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So I own both the 106 and 197, and have had the chance to play with quite a few wideband receivers and older scanners. I always read reviews on how are these scanners are to program and can never figure out why, I have only ever programmed them without software and they always seemed intuitive enough.

I only have three or four Trunk Systems programmed currently, whatever ham repeaters are in the area (both up and downlink), and whatever legacy analog public service freqs are up. Occasionally I will also throw a limit search on there just for shiggles but have never had issues programming these on the fly. Am I missing out on a lot of options by not using the software? Am I under utilizing the scanner itself? (I can't even monitor everything on ONE Trunk system no less everything at once so I figure four systems is ridiculous even if they are for various areas for when I travel).

I am considering getting something to do DMR for future systems but some of the reviews I saw labeled some scanners hard to program without software (the numberpad-less radio shack Iscan series Pro-668 I think). Am I better off buying a 600$ SDR and using DSD+ or are the new TRXs the same programability as the 1040/1065.
ALL radio shack models IMO will no longer be updated so rule them out with the exception of the pro-668 which has a unofficial upgrade to make it a ws1080 which is probably near its end of official whistler updates.(the ws1080 that is)

These Grecom PSR series and the RS pro-668 have the same identical keypad. They are IMO only harder to program until you learn the scanner and how it navigates without the use of a numbered key pad. Many people despise change...plenty of changes in these models over the 106/197 and many other old scanners.

I would go with the Whistler TRX series as I am familiar with the programing software. Whistler also offers DMR and NXDN for free, uniden charges for those. Whistler gives you a crappy antenna but no power wart as they charge off USB. Whistler is listening to it customers that own their branded products but are ignoring the products made by their predecessors or rebranded Radio Shack models and for some this has left a bad taste in their mouths.
 

Swipesy

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TwentysixXX, Starting with the release of the Pro-96 scanner in 2003, scanner hadware began to change drastically to accomodate the changing public safety radio systems. With radio systems moving away from using one or two frequencies to communicate with each other, the Trunking systems, using talkgroups came on the scene. The trunking concept increased mult-fold the volume of entries and options that scanners could program. The idea of programming the scanners by hand was becoming a major task, Thus, 3rd party software was developed to program these scanners. Turning the calendar forward to 2017 and looking at the Uniden and Whistler scanners and how they can be programmed makes for a huge manual task. Yes, there are diehards who want to program by hand. But, if you live in a major metropolitan area such as I do, it is impossible to program by hand the way my scanner is programmed. Over 3,000 Talkgroups and 12,000 radio Id's spread over 9 systems with 5 to 6 options for each talkgroup is not a manual task.

So, if you are going to use a 2017 made scanner in a medium to large market you should resign yourself to using software to program the scanner(s). I have been in this hobby over 60 years and experience says, keep current.
 

twentysixXX

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TwentysixXX, Starting with the release of the Pro-96 scanner in 2003, scanner hadware began to change drastically to accomodate the changing public safety radio systems. With radio systems moving away from using one or two frequencies to communicate with each other, the Trunking systems, using talkgroups came on the scene. The trunking concept increased mult-fold the volume of entries and options that scanners could program. The idea of programming the scanners by hand was becoming a major task, Thus, 3rd party software was developed to program these scanners. Turning the calendar forward to 2017 and looking at the Uniden and Whistler scanners and how they can be programmed makes for a huge manual task. Yes, there are diehards who want to program by hand. But, if you live in a major metropolitan area such as I do, it is impossible to program by hand the way my scanner is programmed. Over 3,000 Talkgroups and 12,000 radio Id's spread over 9 systems with 5 to 6 options for each talkgroup is not a manual task.

So, if you are going to use a 2017 made scanner in a medium to large market you should resign yourself to using software to program the scanner(s). I have been in this hobby over 60 years and experience says, keep current.
Over 3,000 Talkgroups and 12,000 radio Id's spread over 9 systems with 5 to 6 options for each talkgroup is not a manual task.
Okay, so this may be what I have never experienced with my older scanners. Do newer P25 scanners allow you to decode specific radio ID's, this would be awesome even if the content was encrypted, and I didn't even know there were options within talkgroups besides encryption or phase2tdma/analog/digital. I have always seen it as "A trunk system is a few dozen freqs, configure the system, let it sit on wildcard and grab up the talk groups as they come through and add the alpha tags as you need them. Once the Trunk System is set up, its setup, figure it would take a few hours of initial setup getting the all the trunk systems online then a few weeks of characterization (and cheating with radio reference ;) ) to narrow down all the talkgroups.


So, if you are going to use a 2017 made scanner in a medium to large market you should resign yourself to using software to program the scanner(s). I have been in this hobby over 60 years and experience says, keep current.
I couldn't agree with this more, thats where I am at in determining whether it may be worth it to get a decent SDR and run DSD+. Previously, I was always of the opinion that SDR's are great for more broad purpose jobs, and dedicated equipment is better once you know what you want. IE An RTL-SDR is great to find out if you have a groundwave HF station around, then you'll probably want a dedicated HF reciever (SDR or otherwise) to monitor it. Likewise, DSD+ is awesome for trunking and DMR, but it is glitchy at worst and relies heavily on your computer and SDR for performance, also its a hell of a lot less portable than a mobile/base trunking scanner.
 

Swipesy

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The big thing here in Northeast Ohio has been the consolidation of 45 indivdual dispatch centers down to ultimately 8 -10. With that has brought multiple communities using 1 dispatch Talkgroup. We have one dispatch center that dispatches 10 different communties using one TG. The only way I can tell who is using the TG is via using radio ID's. I have invested hundreds of hours matching the numeric RID with a alpha tag. But it does the trick. The Whistler brand handles the RID better and is easier to program than the Uniden units.

As to DMR, it is a minor factor in my opinion here in NE Ohio. I don't bother with it so I can't comment on it.
 
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